Resolution - To Help Fight Arizona Bill To Ban Ethnic Student Groups
WHEREAS, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is this nation’s oldest and largest Latino organization, founded in Corpus Christi, TX on February 24, 1929; and
WHEREAS, LULAC throughout its history has committed itself to the principles that Latinos have equal access to opportunities in employment, education, housing and healthcare; and
WHEREAS, LULAC has supported the principles of equal opportunities for economic development, political influence, civil rights and the general welfare for all Latinos in the United States; and
WHEREAS, multiculturalism is a basic American concept, we value the beliefs, traditions, customs, arts, history and folklore of the diverse cultures reflected throughout the nation; and
WHEREAS, this is being placed at risk in Arizona, where three weeks ago, the Arizona State Appropriations Committee National Homeland Security Bill SB1108 would prohibit students at the state’s public universities and community colleges from organizing groups based on race (i.e. groups such as MECHA, the Black Business Students Association, North American United); and
WHEREAS, multiculturalism does not limit these students but gives them pride in who they are and challenges them to be well-rounded people by promoting the concept of America as the land of opportunity; and
WHEREAS, these student groups are like any other school club or fraternity, bringing students together so they can achieve academic and personal success; and
WHEREAS, the bill goes one step further, as it would ban public schools or colleges from including race-based classes or school-sponsored activities. Officially, the language says it would ban activity “deemed contradictory to the values of American democracy,” a Western civilization. The language is too broad, leaving ethnic studies programs vulnerable and at risk for termination; and
WHEREAS, studies have shown that students who learn about their race and culture have a lower drop-out rate; and
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that LULAC oppose this legislation and if it passes through, that we ask the Governor of Arizona to veto the bill.
Approved this 11th day of July 2008.