Whiteness as Ethnicity in Arizona’s New Racial Order

I’ve just posted a few comments on Arizona’s recent legislative attack on ethnic studies at Savage Minds. It started as a post for this site, but as I got into the argument it seemed more appropriate to post there. The nutshell version is: Traditional US history, literature, and civics classes are clearly in violation of Arizona’s new HB 2281, which prohibits courses that “promote resentment towards a race or class” or that “advocate ethnic solidarity”. In fact, the law itself, based as it is on a notion of “Americanness” that clearly excludes Americans of Hispanic origin, does both.

Read the rest at Savage Minds.

1 comment to Whiteness as Ethnicity in Arizona’s New Racial Order

  • The sum of 9+2 apparently do not equal 11? but then it was either learn English well, when I came to this country at 7-years of age or continue to master the arithmetic I had learned in my country-it’s been downhill ever since..since the spam block would not accept my answer on your Savage Minds Blog I moved it here..I was responding to the Whitenazation of Arizona. However,now Rick won’t know I want to connect with that Student who has a green light to teach anthro in junior high. If you can assist I would appreciate it.


    “You’ve changed my mind, I think rather than teach about our differences, which are already quite well marketed in popular culture, we should have a kind of 4 field anth. course”

    BTW, I know of a Jr. High teacher that’s getting her MA in anthropology here in Texas to start a pilot anthropology class in Jr. High as a civics/social studies requirement. The school district has green lighted it to see if it can work.

    Rick–this is absolutely wonderful. I have been saying this for the past ten years. Can I connect with her?

    As for the person who wrote their comment (Privilege Questioned ) I agree with you. White privilege is an access card bestowed on those who “look, pass, say they are white” and those as well who are of European ancestry. I see the empirical evidence every day.

    And…thank you Dustin!you said: “While as an anthropologist I certainly am aware of the biological non-reality of racial categories, and teach from that perspective, I am also aware that the reason I *have* to teach it is that for most people, race is a primary categorizing tool and a central part of their lived experience of being *them*. While the last generation has seen increased efforts to revive distinctions like “Irish-American”, “Italian-American”, and “Jewish-American”, these ethnicities are comfortable because their distinctness is safely *non*-racial – I can be hyphenated without losing the privileges my whiteness, however socially constructed, brings me, something that is not true for “other” Americans: Mexican-AMericans, African-Americans, Asian-Americans.”

    Folks please memorize this. And keep a picture of it mentally when you enter these discussions. I would also like to again add, skin color appears to be the all in all determinant in society for ascribing a category of this false biological concept of race, and Prof. Gates who is running around doing DNA historiography is ridiculous.

    I am not entering the fray, because it has to do with legal issues and changes that will affect the economics of business in America. As well if you arrest persons,even if it is dismissed or expunged it still remains on your record, and can prevent future employment.

    Let me leave you with this: for 40 years I worked on my ethnocentrism. I am Cuban. I am the descendant of the quintessential hodge podge. I will not use “mutt” as President Obama did because I believe that to be offensive. Any one of my relatives can fit into about 20 ethnic categories. From popular and erroneous common public perceptions. From Asian, European, African phenotypes to pink cheeked or black as night. Please. Please my fellow anthropologists do what you can to destroy the “racial” labels. We all know why A.A.’s are still marginalized. We know why then they set themselves apart. The same for the Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn,or the Haitians, or any other group who share common mores and values.

    The problem in America particularly is that “race” is Institutionalized.

    I can attest to the real feeling of what it is like to carry oneself as a human above all other labels and categories and feel free.
    True I have been reading and studying for 40 years, and I read everything, not just anthropological papers but it’s a good feeling to be able to express and understand the cultures that surround us. I don’t bite my tongue when I am speaking with my Russian, Italian,Polish, Columbian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Israeli, Southerner,Northerner or Westerner and so forth acquaintances and friends.

    Yes I do have a lot of explaining to do, each and every time there is a confrontational issue being discussed, but at least I get that information out there one person at a time.

    They don’t have to agree, but they should at least know, if not then what are we anthropologists doing to make this country, this world a better place?

    I ask myself that question everyday, which is why I chose to travel solo. I am now in law school. There are new frontiers on the horizon and I want to add that to what I have been learning all of these years. It was very nice being here, I just found this blog, but I have to get back to my studies. !Adiosito!

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