At least we don't have to pretend anymore. Arizona's passing of that mean-spirited immigration law wasn't about high-minded principle or the need to maintain public order. Apparently, it was all about putting Latinos in their place.
It's hard to reach any other conclusion given the state's latest swipe at Latinos. On Tuesday, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a measure making it illegal for any course in the public schools to "advocate ethnic solidarity." Arizona's top education official, Tom Horne, fought for the new law as a weapon against a program in Tucson that teaches Mexican American students about their history and culture.
Horne claims the Tucson classes teach "ethnic chauvinism." He has complained that young Mexican Americans are falsely being led to believe that they belong to an oppressed minority. The way to dispel that notion, it seems, is to pass oppressive new legislation aimed squarely at Mexican Americans. That'll teach the kids a lesson, all right: We have power. You don't.
The new education law is gratuitous and absurd. Arizona can't be picked up and moved to the Midwest; it's next to Mexico. There have always been families and traditions that straddle the two societies, and there always will be. Mexican Americans are inevitably going to feel proud of who they are and where they came from -- even if acknowledging and encouraging such pride in the classroom are against the law.
You know kids. They'll just learn it in the street.
Hey, that's where we learned all the good stuff anyway.