While hardly homogeneous, as Latinos we do share a broad range of experiences and legacies brought down from our ancestral culture. Living in the US, for many of us, means we have learned to celebrate the diversity of our multi-generational and recently arrived immigrant Latino populations, and preserve our rich cultural traditions, language and culture by melding the best from American and Latino cultures to create our own.
In recent times, though, it would seem as if the preservation of one’s ethnic culture is not a welcome concept for some. In a none-too unexpected move, both HB 2281 and Arizona Revised Statutes ARS 15-122 have come into effect in the state of Arizona, prohibiting, among other things, courses and books that “promote the overthrow of the U.S. government; promote resentment toward a race or class of people; are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group; advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals”.
Moreover, over 30 states have passed laws making English their official language. The implications of these laws are worrisome, not just for Latinos but for everyone, as they seem to be designed as an excuse to promote bigotry and erase the past and present contributions of ethnic communities to the United States. As you can see on the graphic above, there is a word for this type of action that we should all be familiar with by now: ETHNOCIDE.
Tonight on LATISM, we’ll talk about whether these are isolated incidents or signs of a bigger issue to be concerned about, how to counteract this type of legislation and actions and what are proactive ways to preserve our history.
- Are these laws, as their supporters claim, designed to promote individualism or are they veiled racism?
- Should public education be politicized?
- Knowing what happened with SB 1070, what actions can we take now in order to avoid the propagation of laws of this kind?
- How can we make sure our Latino cultural traits are preserved and passed down to future generations?