Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Arizona...

Via Truthout:
For the next few months, the world will be focusing on Arizona's SB 1070 - the state's new racial profiling law - as it works its way through the appeals process. However, in this insane asylum known as Arizona, where conservatives have concocted one reactionary scheme after another, another law in particular stands out for its embrace of Dark Ages-era censorship - the 2010 anti-ethnic studies HB 2281 - a law that seeks to codify the "triumph" of Western Civilization with its emphasis on Greco-Roman culture.

Unless it is blocked, HB 2281 - which creates an inquisitorial mechanism that will determine which books and curricula are acceptable in the state - will go into effect on January 1, 2011. Books such as "Occupied America" by Rodolfo Acuña and "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire, have already been singled out as being un-American and preaching the violent overthrow of the US government.

Talking about Empathy

Eric Weltman's piece, Empathy and Our Nation's Future, on Truthout cites out a possible decline in the empathy of college students today. He points out what empathy means in public policy practice:
Policies to foster residential integration include effective enforcement of fair housing and lending laws and providing more housing vouchers to low-income families that break up concentrated poverty and enable greater mobility. The use of inclusionary zoning should be broadened, requiring new developments to contain low- and moderate-income units. In education, we should create additional magnet schools for students across district lines and increase programs allowing urban students to attend suburban schools. And, perhaps most significantly, urban and suburban municipalities and school districts should be merged, breaking down barriers to sharing resources, broadening access to opportunity and helping students navigate our changing nation.