Alright, Arizona. We Get It. Please Stop Now.

Yes, Arizona, we get it.  You're really serious about this hating-brown-people thing.  You can stop passing laws to demonstrate that seriousness any time now.

As if the show-us-your-papers law wasn't egregiously racist enough on its own, Arizona has just passed another law and instituted another policy to show us they really! mean! it! about the whole white-supremacy thing.  They've outlawed the teaching of ethnic studies and begun removing teachers with "unacceptable accents" from the classroom.

Proponents of the anti-ethnic-studies law claim that programs like Tucson's Mexican-American Studies program encourage "ethnic chauvinism" (what the fuck does that even mean, anyway?) and racial hatred.  This reminds me of nothing so much as the particular kind of privileged straight white man who complains about things like the Black Congressional Caucus or LGBT Chamber of Commerce, because it's "reverse discrimination".  Apparently, teaching the history and culture of non-white ethnic groups is oppressing whiteness, because it's not like the regular history and culture classes are all about white people or anything. Ahem.

But it's the teachers-with-accents one that has me really pissed off right now.  So, they're also going to remove teachers who have strong Southern or Northeastern or British accents, right?  Somehow, I doubt that.  And of course, this comes at a time when ALL the schools are feeling the crunch of overstretched state budgets and a bad economy, and many are laying off teachers already...so they're willing to lose otherwise qualified and experienced teachers just because they don't like their accent?!?  I can understand worrying about children's language acquisition.  Really, I can.  However, let's let logic and facts intervene here for a moment.  These children are exposed to many, many adults besides their teachers.  Parents and cousins and grandparents and friends of parents and family members.  Some of whom will have more Spanish accents than the teachers, even!  And some of whom will have different accents!  (I refuse to say "less" accents, because there's no such damn thing.)  It's not like having a teacher with a Spanish accent will somehow stunt students' language development.  This is a justification, pure and simple, for making life harder for Latin@s in the state.  And it will disproportionately affect Latinas (when DON'T these kinds of policies affect women disproportionately?), given the pink-collar nature of early childhood education positions. 

What's next, Arizona?  Relocation camps?

I find it terribly depressing that I wrote that last line, then reread it and realized I was genuinely afraid it might be prophetic...


Alright, dearloves. I know I've been neglecting you lately. But I keep opening links, promising myself I'll write about them just as soon as I'm done with homework or the laundry, and then I've got two dozen tabs open, each containing a story I really want to write about, and it starts getting overwhelming to the point where I start hiding in WoW.  So I'm going to just toss down some links and snippets to get the backlog out of my brain so I can get back to regular posting.

In abortion news, Oklahoma's legislature overrode their Governor's veto to pass two incredibly intrusive and frankly immoral anti-abortion laws - one requiring vaginal probe ultrasounds for first-trimester abortions, along with a detailed description of the fetus, with no exception for rape, abuse, or incest victims (yeah, THAT'S not triggering at all), and the other allowing doctors to legally lie to pregnant women about the health of their fetus and not get sued for it.  This has been covered really well elsewhere, so all I'll say is, it is really fucking stupid to pass these at the same time, because it's very easy to compare the two bills and see in the second bill the proof that the first bill's ostensible purpose of "providing more information" to pregnant women is an utter crock of shit, because in the same breath that they say "We just want to give her information!" (if that information would discourage an abortion) they're willing to legally provide for the withholding of information (if that information would encourage an abortion).  Also, Florida is trying a similar tactic, only they also want to make women pay for the ultrasound, to the tune of $350 or so, thus putting abortion services further out of reach for low-income women - and thus enlarging the demographic of children in poverty, because THAT'S pro-life, right?  However, Florida Dems have more spine than the national set, it seems, because when it came to the House of Representatives for a vote, they used a procedural move to close everything down to avoid a vote on this bill.  Cookies for the Democrats in the Florida HoR!

In news of the Big Gay Agenda, a Mississippi school decided to punish a lesbian student for wanting to wear a tux instead of a drape for her senior photo...by completely cutting all mention of her from the yearbook.  Not even her name sans photo.  The family has the ACLU on their side and they're considering pursuing legal action.  I wish them luck.  Also, the Religious Reich is screeching [trigger warning on that link for vicious lies of the gay=pedophile sort] about the audacity of Congress, to consider protecting LGBT students from bullying.  Of course, this really makes them look like they're shielding bullies, especially when juxtaposed against this story of a bunch of highschoolers who tried to push their lesbian classmate off a cliff during the National Day of Silence protest.  No, gay students totally aren't targeted by bullies.  Just ask that girl.  And on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell front, a group of retired chaplains sent a letter to the President and Secretary of Defense asking them to keep discriminating against gay servicemembers (not that they need encouraging, frankly) because apparently discrimination is a zero-sum game; to not discriminate against gays is to discriminate against chaplains somehow.  They fail to mention non-Christian or even not-anti-gay-Christian chaplains in their handwringing about how Oh noes chaplains will be forced to treat gays like everyone else and that's against our beliefs!   Listen, if your beliefs interfere with your ability to treat all people with respect and compassion, maybe you need to take another look at the ethics and morality of those beliefs.

In news of oh my fucking RACISM, the Arizona police-state profiling law (short version: the police now have the right, and even the duty, to demand freedom papers citizenship documentation from anyone who looks like an escaped slave illegal immigrant.  They don't say outright that they want to check all brown people for green cards, but how else do you think they're going to decide who "looks illegal" or not?) seems to have brought out the worst in every politico's inner white supremacist.  From a CA state rep from San Diego saying he'd like to see the American-born children of immigrants rounded up and deported for not being American enough, in blatant violation of the 14th Amendment, which reads "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." to Texas reportedly considering a bill like Arizona's, to the worst of all, a stunningly racist Republican running in an Iowa primary, who said "I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?"  Well, how about because immigrants, illegally here or not, are PEOPLE, not DOGS, entitled to just as much bodily sovereignty as you yourself are, and also YOU DON'T OWN THEM, and while we're talking, HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN IN A POSITION TO RUN FOR OFFICE?  Listen, you pathetic, miserable excuse for a human being.  Talk like this?  Is how the fucking Holocaust started. Shut the fucking fuck up and get some fucking therapy before you find yourself touting a Final Solution to the "immigration problem".

And lastly, in sheer stupid what-the-fuck-ery, the Teabaggers are staging a boycott of San Francisco (in response to their decision to end official city business travel to Arizona because of the above-mentioned racist law)...by congregating in San Francisco to protest.  Teabaggers?  Just so's you know.  A boycott generally includes things like AVOIDING the boycotted place. 

There's plenty more stories where these came from, of course, but they're mostly religion-related, and I feel they deserve a more in-depth treatment than this format.  Look for normal posting to resume this afternoon!


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