The Consequences of “Diversity”

June 2nd, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

In the furious storm of criticism of Arizona’s recent immigration law, mostly by people who never read the law before criticizing it and had no intention of reading it, another recent law passed by Arizona got, if not completely lost in the rush, then strongly overshadowed.

This law was aimed at canceling ethnic studies programs in public schools in Arizona.  The actual text of the law stated that in the name of teaching students to “treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people…a school district or charter school…shall not include in its program of instruction any courses or classes that include…”

1. Promoting the overthrow of the United States government.
2. Promoting resentment towards a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

The law was introduced by Arizona’s superintendent of schools, Tom Horne, who marched in the Civil Rights movement.  He stated that the reason he introduced the law was because:

In the Tucson school district — this was what led me to introduce this legislation — they divide the kids up. They’ve got Raza studies for the Latino kids. Raza means “the race” in Spanish. African-American studies for the African-American kids, Indian studies for the native American kids and Asian studies for the Asian kids. And they’re dividing them up just like the old South.

And I believe that what’s important about us is what we know, what we can do, what’s our character as individuals, not what race we happen to have been born into. And the function of the public schools is to bring in kids from different backgrounds and teach them to treat each other as individuals. And the Tucson district is doing the opposite. They’re teaching them to emphasize ethnic solidarity, what I call ethnic chauvinism. And I think that’s exactly is the wrong thing to do in the public schools, and that’s why I introduced this legislation to give myself the authority to put a stop to it.

Horne’s point that this modern-day attempt to promote “diversity” would be completely in line with the old Jim Crow laws is both striking and accurate.  As Thomas Sowell has pointed out several times in the past: 60 years ago, the belief that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards would have made you a radical;  30 years ago, it would have made you a liberal; today, it makes you a racist.  Once upon a time it was Jim Crow we derided and Martin Luther King we admired; these days it’s Tom Horne who gets screwed by the Old Media and the emulators of Jim Crow who are praised.

But forget the results of those policies today, or the rampant hypocrisy of those who claim to stand up for minority rights.  Let’s think about what might have happened to our country if we had implemented those policies 100 years ago.

Back in the days of massive immigration, our public schools were used to take children from countries all over the world, with all kinds of histories and backgrounds, and teach them what it meant to be an American.  We used them to teach children English, to teach them about our history, government and culture.  Nobody viewed this as a bad idea.  On the contrary, it was viewed as a vital necessity to our survival as a nation, to make sure that these kids grew up as unhyphenated Americans, unreserved citizens of the nations their families had voluntarily chosen to bring them up in.

Today, the standards of the average modern Liberal are apparently different.  Could you imagine what the results would have been, if the people who separated those students into their Raza studies and African-American studies classes had been around in late 19th century New York?

Could you imagine the chaos, the disintegration it would have brought to our immigrant-populated towns and cities to put all of the Poles in one class and the Germans in another and given them lessons in Polish Studies and Aryan Studies? (After all, that was what the Germans called their race in the 1930s, and quite a few liberals lauded Hitler before the start of the war.)  Could you imagine if the Irish and the Italians had been put in separate classes and taught to identify themselves with their ethnic groups?  What would have become of America’s much-famed “melting pot” under such policies?  Would a unique American culture even have forged itself from those disparate elements in the first place?

When the Japanese were interned during WWII, some of them showed up to the camps in their WWI uniforms, as silent testament to their loyalty to their adopted nation.  Some Japanese-Americans even fought for the Allies, despite the injustice we had done them and their families.  But would that have happened if we had taken those Japanese aside from their fellow Americans as children in the schools 10 or 20 years earlier, and taught them all about how they should identify themselves as Japanese first, and Americans second?

Horrible as the internments were, if that had been how we’d educated our children in the 1920s and 1930s, the internment of those families may well have been necessary for America’s internal security.  Worse, we might have also been forced to resort to massive internment of German and Italian Americans (some were interned, but in much smaller numbers and without the element of racism).  America could have ended up tearing herself apart over ethnic lines in a futile contest of German American vs. British American, Japanese American vs. Chinese American.  Instead of being the nation that rescued Europe and Asia from the horrors of fascism and tyranny, we may well have ended up being the nation that managed to destroy itself from the inside before our enemies had fired a single shot in our direction.

None of this means that immigrants to this country have to give up their native customs, foods or languages.  But it does mean that they have to come to identify with the person next door who doesn’t look like them more than they identify with the person halfway around the world who does.  Dividing the kids into separate classes where they get to hear a mixture of truths, half-truths and outright lies about how great they are because they are black or Latino simply does not accomplish that.

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7 Responses to “The Consequences of “Diversity””

  1. Tom Carter |

    Excellent article, Brianna. I agree with you completely. If children aren’t taught that they’re part of one nation and that they’re all Americans first and foremost, then the assimilation of immigrants and an overall sense of nationhood are impossible to achieve.

    To take it a step further, I would support a federal law that states English is the official language of the United States. That wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) prevent bilingual education programs to bring immigrants (especially children) up to speed. However, it would make it clear that speaking English is essential in order to function as part of American society.

    The internment of people of Japanese ancestry, not all of whom were American citizens, remains controversial to this day. (Wikipedia has a very good article.) Apologies have been made and reparations paid (laws signed by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush), and that’s appropriate. However, like all other historical events, it has to be understood within the context of the times. It was a bad idea and should never be repeated, but it was in no way comparable to evils such as the Holocaust.

  2. Brianna |

    “It was a bad idea and should never be repeated, but it was in no way comparable to evils such as the Holocaust.”

    Never meant to imply otherwise.

  3. Tom Carter |

    Brianna, I didn’t mean to indicate or imply that you made such a comparison, and I agree with everything you said. However, I’ve heard others do it, usually those who are misguided enough to try to compare the U.S. to totalitarian regimes.

  4. Brianna |

    “To take it a step further, I would support a federal law that states English is the official language of the United States. That wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) prevent bilingual education programs to bring immigrants (especially children) up to speed. However, it would make it clear that speaking English is essential in order to function as part of American society.”


  5. larry ennis |

    I agree that diversity has created several problems that tend to negate the good it may do.

  6. d |

    Great article,Brianna. You aren’t completely opposite from me,after all. I agree with everything you said, and I support the other,silent law, from Arizona. Just waiting for the rest of the country to do the same. Why isn’t English our official language,anyway? I am so tired of trying to read all those products and signs in Mexican.

  7. Brianna Aubin |

    Errr… you mean Spanish?

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