Dear Sir John Huppenthal,
I am an Latin-American woman. While living in Europe, I experience for the first time what it is to be an immigrant. So, I feel that I am entitled, first; as an American, second; as a Latina, and third; as an immigrant, to give my opinion and my feelings regarding your decision and this new law in Arizona.
As Americans, we are taught in class the history of our beloved United States, of the effort and endless battles and hardships endured by the founding fathers and its’ fellow Americans which were immigrants. We are also taught about the Indian history, the European history, as well as Asian history, African-American history, and the many givings of scientists around the world to humanity, be it scientific, of mathematics, or medical findings… we also read about the impact that Egypt and Greece had on civilization, and so forth.
When you say these Ethnic studies classes can create hatred and divide communities; but I beg your pardon Sir, for if you remember through all the classes I have just mentioned (which present just a few), you will realize that we can remember how we were taught how England was so unfair towards the colony, and that could create some resentment towards the British.
We talk in school about the African-American culture and the slave cruelty in the USA; that created some resentment for decades. We can talk in school about Europeans, especially the powers of Spain while they were an empire and their abuses in the colonies, that could steer some hatred as well due to all the innocent people that have died for the inquisition due to religious Catholic extremists. We can talk about Japan and we can talk about World War II. We can talk about our heroes, but we can also talk about Hiroshima and the destruction left in that country for decades, and how the Japanese were forced to labor in concentration camps even though we were fighting Hitler at around the same time.
I could go on, Sir, but we have learned all this in social studies, haven’t we?
I am a Republican. I believe that power should rely on the people and that government should have minimum control. I believe in small governments. I also believe in the founding fathers, the very thoughtful and spiritual men who founded this country. I believe, as a Latina, in how important it is to feel integrated in a nation where I am not a foreigner in my own United States. I am not Mexican, I am Cuban-PuertoRican. And I am proud of the richness of my culture and the simplicity of their happiness.
There is nothing to be ashamed of and there is no reason to hesitate people from different cultures to feel their culture is shared. That will create a better understanding within the community to feel like they belong; for the community to understand them and the contributions of their culture into society. It’ll lift their spirit and moral in a world where values are lost.
Youth will not feel alienated, and they will feel proud to be passed in the records of the USA, that is a nation of immigrants from the days of it’s birth, that recognizes every citizen’s background and history as a contribution to the nation.
Sir, they also need to feel proud. There’s a lot of problems of racism and it’s the problem of people not understanding a culture or race which creates speculations and stereotyping.
As an immigrant, it feels uncomfortable when people in the nation you live in have no idea and are ignorant of other people’s culture, geography, and history. I think there is always space for knowledge, and division will only be created with laws like this one. It is insulting to cover up things we have done in our past that we are ashamed of, but it’ll only make us a fair country if we speak of the good as well as the bad, and let people hear the truth instead of going for conspiracy theories.
I hope you reconsider the big mistake you are making by this law that makes us feel as Americans very sad how the government is closing up our walls to knowledge, and makes decisions of what we should hear, read, or even think according to their beliefs. That creates nothing but narrow-minded citizens, one step from bigots or neo-nazis. And this, my Sir, is a crime to humanity; to create monsters against other races just because they will feel superior to them. I thank you, Sir, for your time in reading this letter.