Friday, December 31, 2010

Arizona is a Model of Tolerance (Chic)


     Randall Amster's excellent dismantling of the horrid HB 2281 has been making the Facebook rounds, and I thought that, as an addendum to my previous post (which you should all read), I'd highlight two excellent points he makes about this bill.  First, as he points out, the "perverse" (and it is indeed perverse) "Declaration of Policy preamble," which apparently frames the entire bill, and which actually promotes racial tolerance and respect for difference, is seemingly at odds with Arizona's own policy of racial profiling.  Second, as Amster puts it:

HB 2281 contains an exemption for teaching students about episodes such as the Holocaust, genocides, and "the historical oppression of a particular group of people based on ethnicity, race, or class." In essence, combined with the provisions noted above, this means that students of a particular group can be taught about their history of subjugation but not about their spirit of solidarity; they can focus on their decimation but not their emancipation.

In essence, HB2281 is the legal equivalent of what I termed "tolerance chic" in the post below.  At the same time that the bill annihilates a history of racial solidarity and extends a brutal policy of racial profiling, it also celebrates a notion of racial difference based wholly on victimization.  To paraphrase Pink here, HB2281 champions the "dirty little freaks" who are "wrong in all the right ways" while at the same time identifying and exterminating the "dirty little freaks" who are "wrong in all the wrong ways."  And that is "tolerance" in a nut shell.  Beware of those who tolerate you, because somewhere these same folks are building camps. 

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