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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Education > AZ Legislator Wants Schools to Forbid Fraternities, Sororities and Student Groups Based on Race

AZ Legislator Wants Schools to Forbid Fraternities, Sororities and Student Groups Based on Race

LatinaLista — Last week, the Senate cleared the way for a serious study to be conducted on whether or not a national museum dedicated to the American Latino should be built.
The museum would be dedicated to the art, culture and history of U.S. Latinos.
When Ramon Del Castillo, chair of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver, heard about the Senate ratifying the bill to explore the development of the museum, he said, “It’s about time. The Latino has been left out of American history.”

Arizona Rep. Russell Pearce
(Source: azcentral.com)

Yet to Arizona legislator Rep. Russell Pearce, such a museum would be anti-American. He’s already declared that college student groups that are based on race are anti-American and he’s trying to pass a measure in the state legislature that would forbid such groups from operating on campus.


In other words, no more black, Asian or Hispanic fraternities or sororities or business associations, etc.
He thinks such groups “denigrate American values.”
How little does he realize that such student groups, as well as the museum, promote American ideals, provide emotional support and instill aspirational hope among groups that are often disenfranchised from the mainstream.
Rep. Pearce doesn’t seem to have the good intention of preserving American values, as much as, he seems to have the intention of suppressing ethnic pride.
Millions of families across the country have proven that we can have both and are still good Americans.

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Comment(11)

  • Avatar
    Jax
    April 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Rep. Pence is, I think, right.
    We hardly need more divisiveness.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 18, 2008 at 8:57 am

    I agree, these groups are just divisive in this country. Better to encourage students to integrate rather than to segregate.
    I find it ironic that those who advocate these separatists groups are the same ones who found it terrible the way that the Blacks were kept seperate from the Whites during the Civil Rights Era. Yet they are advocating the same thing right here.
    Haven’t we learned anything from the Civil Rights Era? We should be one united country no matter what our race or ethnicity is.

  • Avatar
    Maegan la Mala
    April 18, 2008 at 9:07 am

    The problem with banning such groups is that it further isolates young people of color in academia, who are already marginalized. The problem is that many other college organizations are defacto white organizations often, leaving no outlet for students of color for support and activism.
    Banning such groups denies the very real issues that college students of color deal with.

  • Avatar
    Alessandra
    April 18, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Ethnic pride is fine, but when the emphasis is put on identification with a particular ethnicity (regardless of that ethnicity) rather than identification with nationality (American) than that just fosters divisiveness IMHO.
    Maybe 50 years ago there was a need for these groups pre-Civil Rights era. But, now it seems as though these groups are being used to foster resentment and separatism from the mainstream when the goal should be inclusion.
    There are some in this country who stand to gain from continued racial/ethnic strife and division. Race hustlers make their living off of it and if it disappeared they’d actually have to go out and get a real job.
    Some political movements also depend on aggravating feelings of alienation and antipathy to advance their own political agendas and coalesce their own political power base.
    Maybe a middle ground would be not to completely eliminate these organizations, but, particularly if they are school affiliated, to more closely monitor what they are teaching impressionable young people.
    The KKK or other white nationalist groups are not allowed to foster hate and resentment through tax-payer funded, school sanctioned programs and I don’t think any other groups should either under the guise of “ethnic pride.”

  • Avatar
    adriana
    April 18, 2008 at 11:05 am

    I wonder if this guy would get rid of Skull and Bones at Yale, which President Bush and his father belong to. While I went to college at a rather multi-cultural campus, I would still see “exclusive” clubs where students of color were not openly recruited or welcomed.

  • Avatar
    Daniel
    April 18, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Maegan: “The problem with banning such groups is that it further isolates young people of color in academia, who are already marginalized.”
    This is actually a good thing. Chicano studies, for example, has been a complete failure ALMOST since it became a college course. It started out ok. But it was derailed by cointelpro. It wasn’t difficult to find those who will take money in exchange for wearing the latino -hispanic label. Inclusion, after all, was a major point of the Chicano movement.
    However, demographics were much different back then and a successful seperatist movement had little chance of victory.
    The thing now is to turn this around.
    This Pearce bill will serve, if passed, as a reassessment of future possiblilities.
    Expect more. And remember, this Pearce bill is not the only movement against us. They have a long history of legislation that promotes their privilege at the cost is our economic and political slavery.
    Adriana: “I wonder if this guy would get rid of Skull and Bones at Yale”
    lol Good one!
    But let’s learn. We can keep it brown and just not let others in. The same way they keep skull and bones white – including no Jews.
    Right now, ANYONE and I do mean ANYONE can join MEChA. In MEChA, Jews, Asians, whites, blacks and blacksicans etc., etc. are welcome AND THIS IS A GOOD THING.
    Maybe NO racism means you can exclude by race while being inclusive means you may keep undesirables out.

  • Avatar
    Texano78704
    April 18, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Sorry, this is just yet another white guy advocating a mono-culture, his culture, at the expense of others. No doubt he is card carrying member of the KKK, Stormfront or the Minute Man Project.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    April 18, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Allesandro you put it so well!
    I would like to add that most White Americans just want to retain their culture in this country just as Mexicans want to retain theirs in their country. But for some reason the brown ethnocentrics find the former ideal racist but not the latter. Hypocricy anyone?

  • Avatar
    Juan Valdez
    April 19, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Wow what a racist site. I am forwarding it to all the right people. People need to see the racism of the mexican community. Sorry you have been exposed.

  • Avatar
    Isaac
    May 6, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Well I believe that Arizona Rep. Russell Pearce along with others who believe this is right are wrong. I for one belong to a Hispanic Fraternity and we were founded to help each other out on campus. Here at the University of New Mexico we are one of the strongest fraternities and do the most positive things on campus. I could not see myself in any other organization such as mine. I chose to be apart of my fraternity because I could bond with them culturally and beleived in the same values. I fully support Ethnic organizations and even though we are trying to break racism I believe in having ethnic organizations to support and focus on our needs as a race. I for one am American even though I am Mexican-American. I love my country and will always be there for it but I also have roots that take me back to Mexico in which I also love. No matter what happens I will always be proud of who I am and where I come from. People can try to break what has been built for minorities but it wont happen, we are to strong! I dont agree with racism but I do agree with helping my own people!

  • Avatar
    George Chell
    May 9, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    No problem forbidding Hispanic or black sororities as long as the law would allow law suits to force white Greeks and individuals such as Elephant Walk, shinerbock and other white bafoons to integrate. I only have problems if white people can have their own Greek organizations where they can exclude minorites while minorities cannot.

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