In order to maintain our moral high ground over terrorists, we banned the use of torture. But risk of redundancy hasn’t stopped two Arizona state legislators from taking a page out of the SJW handbook by introducing a bill that would strip state aid from schools with classes that teach progressive attitudes on race, class, and gender.
HB2120 bans all school districts, charter schools, and public colleges from allowing any courses, classes, events, and activities that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “[p]romote DIVISION, resentment OR SOCIAL JUSTICE toward a race, GENDER, RELIGION, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, SOCIAL CLASS or OTHER class of people,” “[a]dvocate solidarity OR ISOLATION BASED ON RACE,” or “NEGATIVELY TARGET SPECIFIC NATIONALITIES OR COUNTRIES.”
This bill—which Republican sponsor Bob Thorpe admits is in need of revision—would presumably ban privilege walks, race theory classes, anti-Israel demonstrations, Black Lives Matter protests and a whole host of other events and courses.
I say “presumably” because I’m honestly not sure how this bill will be enforced since its text does not even bother defining the term “social justice.”
Is it “social justice” to demand reforms to a criminal justice system that overwhelmingly targets minorities? Does reading Marx or Žižek qualify as promoting “resentment” toward a social class? Does Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” vilify white people and promote racial isolation? Would a fundraiser for North Korean refugees “negatively target” North Korea?
And who would be in charge of deciding which syllabi and events meet these criteria?
This bill would be the kind that grows into a monster, full of loopholes and exceptions, with its masters wielding it viciously against their enemies until the day that it finally turns and devours the arm that holds its leash.
This is the same censorship that sends Breitbart readers into frenzies when a liberal university cancels a talk by Milo Yiannopoulos.
HB2120 is nothing more than Trump-fueled reactionary triumphalism, driven by the patronizing pipe dream of unity, which claims that, with the election over, everyone in the country needs to “come together” and “get on board.”
No one needs to get on board with anything. This is America, and we have a beautiful tradition here of fighting each other tooth and nail. Our money says “Out of many, one,” but the emergence of the “one” doesn’t obliterate the “many” from which it rises.
Silencing voices of dissent in the name of American unity will only lead to greater division.