Dyson on Arizona Ethnic Studies Ban (Part 2)

Uploaded by BLASSDCCD on 21.07.2010

So Tom, what about that, what I mean are you throwing the baby out with bathwater. I mean,
why not to just try to change the curriculum? >You know what I was on the March on Washington
>in the summer of 1963. I just graduated from high school, where Martin Luther King gave
>his famous speech saying we should judged by the quality of our character and not the
>color of her skin and that has been my most fundamental belief, my entire life that we
>are individuals. We are not exemplars of the race we were born into. And this philosophy
>that's preached by this program in Tuscon and by your other guest that's a race obsessed
>philosophy, and it's a downer philosophy teach that there are opressed. Make them angry...
>>Here’s the reality ... Let me jump in too. I’m saying that it's not about... you you
>>keep saying “downer.” Look, it’s a downer that people are oppressed. It’s a downer
>>that people are depressed. It’s a downer that people suffer injustice...
>That’s not what’s you should be teaching them.
>>Hold on ... but the thing is, if we don't with the downers, we can’t deal to with what's
>>up. We’ve got to deal with ... How many deal ... How many stories have we told about Benjamin
>>Franklin? How many stories have we told about Aaron Burr? How many stories have we told
>>about the founding fathers and brothers? And then let's tell the truth about Thomas
>>Jefferson. A great American. He wrote the Declaration Of Independence, but he also
>>- one of the authors - but he was also a slave holder. Let’s tell the truth, about
>>that downer to Sally Hemmings, and we can tell full truth about Thomas Jefferson and
>>the full arc of democracy. This kind of ostrich approach where we deny the legitimacy of people ... First
>>we oppress them, then we get mad if they say they were oppressed, and then when they say
>>they’re part of American history we deny them. This is a central part American history
>>that we need to discuss. >We need to teach American history to all
>the kids. And we can show both sides of issues when we teach history to all the kids, but don't
>divide them by race and teach the black kids black history, the Chicano kids Chicano history,
>the Asian kids Asian history.  They should all be exposed to all the history and it’s
>a race obsessed philosophy that should be kept out of our schools, that kids should
>be put in where they only learn about the history of the race they happen to have been born
>into. That is the wrong philosophy for American public schools.
>>If you had been demoralized, and degraded, and your history has not been taught ... Why
>>should we have to have a special class four Chicano Studies? Why doesn't the larger
>>curriculum deal with the ... Let me tell you. Deal with the prophetic ... deal with profound
>>and sophisticated contributions of Chicano people to American society? Once that happens...
>We have that in our standards... >>Let me finish. Once that happens, then when
>>we integrate the full arc of the contributions of demoralized and degraded peoples into
>>the curriculum then we won't need that curriculum, until that time...
I’ve got to jump in here. Let me ask you in your critics say let, look, this about
politics.  You want to run for Attorney General. You’re running for Attorney General, your
term’s up as superintendent. Is that true? You’re running for Attorney General?
>Yes I am running for Attorney General. I have served eight years as superintendent of schools,
>and that's all that's allowed. So, to your critics who say this all about
politics ... You are trying to appeal to potential voters out there.
>I have been fighting for this law four years and this is among my most deeply held beliefs.
>I mentioned to you being on the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King gave his speech.
>I've believe very deeply that people are individuals. They’re not exemplars of the
>race they were born into. And this race obsessed philosophy that your other guests is expounding
>... is wrong for the American public schools. >>It’s not a race obsessed. First of all,
>>you’ve repeated the same statement earlier, so it’s a great line, but the reality is Martin
>>Luther King Jr. said the whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundation of
>>this nation until the Negro - and we can add others - are granted his full citizenship
>>rights. He talked about the bitter legacy of a white supremacy before he began talk about
>>that dream and then he said that in America it's an ideal toward which we should strive, but
>>in the meantime, we should adjust the reality that we have some negative realities that
>>we should adjust to and that we should address. And I think the Martin Luther King Jr. cannot
>>be used to justify the xenophobic and racist passions that are dressed up as desires to
>>reform the curriculum. >Well, I would say the xenophobia and the
racism is on your side, Martin Luther King... >>Not at all. I don’t want to keep anybody out.
>>I want ... Arizona been deeply, profoundly racist and xenophobic.
>No, you want to divide kids by race. You want to divide kids by a race...
>>No, I want white kids to learn about Chicano people. I want white kids to learn about African
>>American people. >Martin Luther king inspired us all by, saying
>that we should be judged for the content of our character and not color of our skin...
>>The night before he died, Martin Luther King said “America all I ask is that you
>>be true to what you said on paper.” One at a time, because both of you talking
at once, no one’s going to listen. Michael, go ahead and finish up.
>>... Now you must raise them up. Martin Luther King Jr. cannot taken out of context, and
>>you can’t use one speech is if you froze him 1963 without saying what he said in
>>1968 where was he bitterly opposed to the practices of most of what America was doing
>>in the name of freedom and democracy. That’s the tradition, I think, that the people in
>>... Who support Chicano Studies in Arizona are carrying forward.
Tom I want you to be able to respond and then we’ve got to go.
>Okay, it is not out of context to say that he's inspired us all with the idea that we to
>be judged individuals: what can we do, what is our character, not what race do we happen
>to have been born into. Don’t divide kids by race. Don’t propagandize kids that
>they are oppressed and that they have no future and they should angry at this country...
But Tom, anyone can take these classes, right? >Teach them that this is the land of opportunity
>where if they work hard they can achieve their dreams and teach them American history...
Tom, anyone, just for accuracy sake, anyone can take these classes.
>Anyone can take the classes, but they are designed primarily for the race - for the
>African-American, the Chicano... Tom Horne, Michael Eric Dyson, guys, I appreciate
your time. Good discussion.