Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Want to Teach in Arizona? Better Lose the Accent

Joshua Lott for The Wall Street Journal

Okay, trying not to rant about this one. Deep breaths. The craziness in Arizona is isolated, I tell myself, and will be overturned.

The Wall Street Journal reports that teachers with “heavy” or “ungrammatical” accents must learn proper English–or be fired. Arizona’s racist new law discriminates against public school teachers. Outraged yet? Don’t worry: Those with accents will not be fired immediately. They have the option of enrolling in classes to “improve” (i.e. lose their native) accents.

Makes me wonder if this only applies to bilingual Spanish-English speakers, or if the law discriminates equally against those with Southern or Brooklyn accents.

Not only do these teachers need to lose their accents to keep their jobs, they must also face the irony that they were part of a movement to hire more bilingual teachers in the 1990’s, when No Child Left Behind laws required the recruitment of these teachers to secure federal funding.

Irony, and ridiculousness. I am a U.S. citizen. Makes me want to walk the streets of Phoenix or Tucson without my driver’s license. Will I fear police detainment? Legalized harassment?

Still hard for me to believe that the state of Arizona has enacted such shameful, hateful, extremely odious legislation.

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Filed under: immigration, racism, , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Laranaman says:

    I find the outlawing of ethnic studies equally appalling. So it is now AGAINST THE LAW for a school to teach Native American studies, Latino studies etc… Christopher Hitchens spoke tonight about the Pen Festival, where he said, thinking people all at some point ask themselves: what would I have done when they came to gather them for the trains. This is one of those moments. WE can’t let this go on. Arizona, god damn.

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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