Monday, May 24, 2010

Protest or Self-Preservation? Academia and the Arizona Law

Via Gateway Pundit, Free Republic has a post about an Arizona associate professor of 'Chicano/Chicana' studies who basically reiterated slammed both the Arizona Immigration Law as well as the one on ethnic studies and got booed, big time.  But while that gives me hope for the next generation, I found this tidbit, linked from Inside Higher Ed to be more interesting.  She says:
First, Chicano studies, the field under attack in this legislation, is my own field of research and teaching.
The fact that she goes there says to me that maybe a lot of the academic wailing and gnashing of teeth over both laws isn't so much about immigration per se but about preserving their fields of study.

It's the same as the article about American Educational Research Association's "I Could be Illegal" buttons (also through Inside Higher Ed).  The President-elect of that organization says in regards to the Arizona Immigration law:
"This materially affects our research," Gutiérrez said. "We are interested in studying our communities, many of whom are immigrant. We are interested in looking at the learning going on.... Doing this work requires the trust and respect of these communities. Researchers are also held suspect in these communities. You layer onto it the fear of being profiled and deported" and many children will be scared to talk to researchers and many parents won't want their children studied."
I think that the bigger picture is faculty salaries being spent on studies and issues that are meant to divide rather than unite.  This includes gender studies and ethnic studies.  Perhaps they are hiding their self-serving ideals under platitudes.  I think they doth protest too much.



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