American values: European?

According to an April 17 news item in La Voz de Aztlán in Arizona (U.S.A.), Arizona legislation will outlaw MEChA and Mexican-American studies: »The anti-Mexican provisions to SB1108 were approved yesterday and the bill is now scheduled for a vote by the full House. The provisions would withhold funding to schools whose courses “denigrate American values and the teachings of European based civilization.”»

American values? Don't those include “A decent respect for the opinions of mankind,” “E pluribus unum,” and a welcoming beacon to the world's “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”? I wonder which of these values the bill's sponsor, Rep. Russell Pearce, thinks that MEChA is denigrating.

As for “the teachings of European-based civilization,” Mr. Pearce should take another look at U.S. census figures, or if he is including consumer practices in “civilization,” where our manufactured goods are coming from.

Meanwhile, the Pope is addressing U.S. audiences in Congress and the U.N. in Spanish. Nothing more European than Catholicism or the language of Cervantes, but I don't think that's what Mr. Pearce had in mind.

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