As his last official act in office, former head of Arizona’s Department of Education, John Huppenthal, released a letter saying, “Public schools in Tucson, Arizona, illegally promote ethnic solidarity and the overthrow of the U.S. government by teaching Mexican history, Rage Against the Machine lyrics, and an explanation of hip hop by rapper KRS-One.”
As a state senator in 2010, Huppenthal supported a law that was used to “ban a controversial Mexican-American studies program from Tucson schools.” He believes the current courses being offered violate the ban as it pertains to “advocating ethnic solidarity.”
According to the Huffington Post, Huppenthal argues that part of the problem is “U.S. history … taught from the Mexican-American perspective.” He cites part of the course’s description to prove his point:
In this class we will study the history and culture of Chicano, Mexicano, and indigenous people throughout the United States and Mexico. This class is intended to get students to become critically conscious about the society that we live in and the history that has made it what it is today.
He also quotes Rage Against the Machine lyrics for “Take the Power Back,” by which he claims the course advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government:
The present curriculum
I put my fist in ’em
Eurocentric, every last one of ’em
See right through the red, white, and blue disguise
With lecture I puncture the structure of lies
Tucson public schools “must remove the material from its curricula by March 4, or face the loss of up to ten percent of its state funding.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.