A top Arizona school official who was outed as an anonymous Internet troll last week is coming under fire for comments he made supporting the state-wide banning of Spanish.
“We all need to stomp out balkanization. No Spanish radio stations, no Spanish billboards, no Spanish TV stations, no Spanish newspapers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal (R) wrote anonymously shortly after being elected.
“This is America, speak English,” he demanded. “I don’t mind them selling Mexican food as long as the menus are mostly in English. And, I’m not being humorous or racist.”
In 2010, Huppenthal called for the dismantling of the state’s Mexican-American Studies (MAS) program. He then helped write a law outlawing programs that he believed “promote resentment,” like MAS.
In a 2012 interview with NPR, Huppenthal said that the point of MAS was to “racemize” the students by teaching them about Marxism, “this oppressed and oppressors conflict, and the racemization was this construct of Caucasian power structure being the oppressors and Hispanic kids being the oppressed.”
After these comments came to light, the Arizona Chamber of Congress cancelled an awards show in which it had planned to honor Huppenthal. “Due to the recent comments that Superintendent Huppenthal admitted to making,” the chamber’s CEO and president Glenn Hamer said, “the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry will not be presenting the superintendent with an award at our annual luncheon as we had planned.”
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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