Action #1 – Thank our CA state legislators for AB 331 – “Ethnic Studies”
On Sunday, Trump threatened to cut funding to schools teaching curriculum derived from The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, a day after moving to eliminate racial sensitivity education for government employees. While CA passed AB 331 last week, which requires all high school students to pass a semester-long ethnic studies course to graduate, starting in 2025, Sen. Tom Cotton introduced the possibly unconstitutional “Save American History Act,” which would defund schools exactly as Trump was proposing.
Well, Senator, “American History” isn’t a person you can save from falling overboard at a “Trump Boat Parade. Nor is “American History” an object you can save from exposure by re-using 1960’s textbooks forever. The GOP’s version of “American History” cannot be “saved” when the truth beckons a keystroke away in the unbound internet. (White supremacy in US textbooks here.)
“Susan Neiman’s “Learning From the Germans.” contrasts Germany’s response to the Holocaust with America’s response to slavery and centuries of racial discrimination. Her concern is not “comparative evil” — which event is worse — but “comparative redemption,” how each community has responded to and reframed the memory of its unsavory past.” She believes that people who live in a society built on injustice, even though they may not have created the injustice themselves, are responsible for correcting it. Germany started their task two decades after the Holocaust. Our country has malingered for more than a century.
“American History” is waiting for us. When a Trump supporter tweeted that “we wouldn’t recognize America” if our true historical roots were taught properly in schools, he was right. We would become different. “American History” is waiting for us to grow up, to become braver, to become more just, to take responsibility. It is long past time.
1st: Thank our state legislators.
Thank your state legislators for having the courage to do what our national leaders can not. (Not sure how your people voted? Go here.)
Minimal script: I’m calling today from [zip code] and I would like to thank Assemblymember/State Senator [___] for voting to approve AB-331- “Pupil instruction…ethnic studies.“
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19): SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 email
State Assemblymember Monique Limón (CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700 email
State AssemblymemberJacqui Irwin (CA-44): SAC (916) 319-2044 CAM (805) 482-1904 email
Not your people? Which assemblymember is mine?: findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.
2nd: Tell Newsom to sign AB-331
9/14/2020: Current status: enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4:00pm!
Contacts:Governor Gavin Newsom:email, (916) 445-2841
3rd: Call your federal legislators.
Call your federal legislators and ask them what they’re going to do about the cuts to racial sensitivity training. Contacts: Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com