OPPOSITION TO THE CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY’S PROPOSED MANDATED ETHNIC STUDIES FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
As an Orange-County based community education activist for more than a decade, I have watched the California Department of Education grow increasingly more arrogant, ideological, and beholden to special interests with each passing year.
This year, they have chosen to exploit cultural and political challenges in the African-American and Asian communities to introduce an Ethnic Studies curriculum. The California Assembly has also introduced AB 101, a measure mandating ethnic studies as a graduation requirement for high school students in the state.
The danger and insidiousness of such a graduation requirement are already widely apparent, as the Ethnic Studies curriculum has already been implemented in many schools. Here in Orange County, a seventh grader attending Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos came home with an assignment based on a Huffington Post op-ed titled “Why I’m a Racist.”
Parents and concerned citizens are rightly angry and have expressed their outrage, including through protest rallies organized by our organization.
While we have no issues with ethnic studies in general, the current Ethnic Studies mandates in California schools have become a vehicle for special interest groups to pursue fringe politics at the expense of our students’ education. In practice, the curriculum is taking valuable class time away from important subjects like math and science, in which kids are currently failing miserably. In Los Alamitos, once one of the best school districts in the state, only 45 percent of students are meeting grade-level standards in math.
Before such grave challenges, AB 101 asserts that race is the fundamental determinant in American life, and seeks to propagate ethnic studies teachings about discrimination and prejudice as dictated by the radical edicts of Critical Race Theory. Emphasizing equity for some over equality for all, this school of thought runs counter to the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and American history. This is not what we should be teaching our children.
Certainly, this country and California have made mistakes against racial minorities. We are not a perfect system or society. Throughout our history, we have failed, repeatedly, to treat all people as equals in all aspects of life.
Our mistakes occurred when we failed to live up to the values and precepts embodied in the country’s founding documents, such as the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Those wrongs have been and will continued to be righted by returning to fundamental American principles.
Our history teaches that this country, and its education of the next generation, should not be obsessed with race as the Ethnic Studies curriculum or AB 101 graduation requirement is, but should be focused on the concepts, values, and goals of the Founding Fathers who proclaimed that all are created equal. Americans of different racial and ethnic heritage have demonstrated that they can achieve success and equality if we uphold the U.S. Constitution. Those suffering hostile discrimination have used the U.S. Constitution, their rights, their character, and hard work to overcome bad laws and unfair treatment. That is the lesson we should impart to California’s students.
Therefore, we oppose AB101 unequivocally. It unnecessarily stokes racial divisions and conflicts and is based on a wrong-headed understanding of race, equality, and prejudice and ignores that Americans of all colors have fought to extend equal treatment and opportunity to all.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Chinese American Citizens Alliance Orange County urges
1. California elected legislators to VOTE NO on AB101; and
2. California voters REJECT AB101.
3. We invite other organizations to sign on to this letter.
Asian Industry B2B / C.A.C.A. Orange County