Arizona has been strongly criticized for its stand on immigration policy.  Their collective views on all issues related to immigrants have been largely negative.  The questions are, “Who is the “they” and why does their view win?”  Additionally, who is doing all the criticizing? Obviously, some are expressing dissenting opinions. Where are these people when laws and policies are set?

Do we assume that all people who reject this anti-immigrant trend are illegal immigrants, or are there a large percentage of people who simply remain complacent?  The film Precious Knowledge was screened by CES recently.  It chronicles the story of a school board decision to ban an ethnic studies program, and it shows the early stages of student and teacher protests.  More recently, these students decided to take a different approach.  This exercise of an amendment right does not seem to pertain to these students.  They are characterized as uncivilized.  Dialogue on the Tucson school district ending its controversial Ethnic Studies program months ago continues in the CES.

We need not go too far to see this uneven distribution of our civil liberties.  Right in our own back yard, a California jury found 10 Muslim students guilty of disrupting the Israeli ambassador’s university speech about U.S.-Israel relations.  Have we learned nothing from our past?

By Marisol Rexach, Doctoral Student