The Huffington Post has obtained a letter penned by John Huppenthal, the outgoing head of Arizona’s Education Department, and in the letter the former senator makes a handful of statements condemning the teaching of Mexican history, Rage Against The Machine lyrics, and an explanation of Hip Hop by Bronx, New York rapper KRS-One.
According to The Huffington Post, Huppenthal feels that all three of those teachings “illegally promote ethnic solidarity and the overthrow of the U.S. government.”
In his letter, Huppenthal took aim at a particular course, which is taught from the African-American perspective. In the class, KRS-One’s “An Introduction to Hip Hop Presented by Master Teacher, KRS-One” essay is taught.
According to Huppenthal, the use of KRS-One’s essay violates state law because it advocates ethnic solidarity.
“I think we’re getting a really clear view into the paranoia of the leadership of this state,” Curtis Acosta, a former teacher of Tucson, Arizona’s prohibited Mexican-American studies courses said, according to The Huffington Post. “They pulled out these inflammatory quotes to scare people. The same thing’s happening here, where you’re seeing a picking apart of novels or books or unit plans to build a case rather than to see it in its holistic environment.”
The state education department is demanding that the material Huppenthal called out in his letter be removed from the curricula by early March. Despite the department’s threats, school administrators are hoping to work with Huppenthal’s replacement, Diane Douglas on a solution.