On the surface it would be hard to say why Arizona's latest measure is tragic. Arizona's Department of Education is sending evaluators to audit teachers and their English speaking skills to make sure districts are complying with state and federal laws.
Why is this bad? Surely, we want our children to learn English in the best fashion possible. Yet, the reality of the law is not so easy to decipher from first look. Will Hispanic children be able to learn English effectively if their teachers are thrown out for having an accent? Will their be any sensitivity to their needs? Will Hispanic teachers be able to to undergo these evaluations successfully while fearing for their jobs? The answers are all no.
Previously we have seen classes teaching ethnic history and solidarity assailed for teaching "white hatred." We have seen legalization of racial profiling. In a larger sense we are seeing everything that would keep Hispanic children in touch with their heritage done away with. It is a bold statement, but they are most assuredly being made into second-class citizens. All education and law that would empower Hispanic Americans is being chipped away.
The laws being put in place in Arizona are not out of justice, but rather fear. Fear, in all recorded history, has never led to the rational thinking required in justice. Fear is mob-rule. Fear is what relegates the innocent to ghettos.
Washington has only contributed to this climate through inaction. And I won't defend Barack Obama in this. He took on everything before immigration reform. He promised it in his first 100 days, and doesn't look to get to it in his first 100 months. Both parties and everyone continuing to stand idly by while this tornado of racial hatred engulfs us is to blame.
As with so many times before, our government has failed us. And it's the minorities of Arizona who feel the brunt of our reckless incompetence.