On Friday, the Daily Caller reported on a bill under consideration by Arizona Rep. Bob Thorpe that would ban taxpayer funding for “any coursework which stokes racial, religious or gender resentment,” and “ban government funding of courses which promote racial, gender or ethnic isolation.”
According to the Daily Caller report, Thorpe is also contemplating passing another bill that “would require that college students receive notices of employment statistics for all courses they take. Under this part of the bill, all state-funded colleges and universities would be required to provide students with national employment statistics “associated with the majority of students who have successfully completed the course of study or degree” and a warning that “participation in classes may not result in a student’s employability.”
Daily Caller Education Editor, Eric Owens, reports that Thorpe’s bill also “deliberately notes that it is not meant to “restrict or prohibit” students from “engaging in academic exercises that may have little or no marketable skills or measurable worth to themselves, an employer or to society.”
In an appearance on the James T. Harris show on Friday, Harris told Thorpe that he admired the way Thorpe honored Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights act of 1964 in this bill. Later Harris said, “As a former History teacher, I appreciate the fact that Bob is protecting academic freedom while sending a strong message that we cannot continue to foment racial division in the name of justice.”
Thorpe told Harris, “I’m a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King. I think that anyone would agree that Dr. King wanted strong, resilient young people to develop into what God wants them to develop into. Be strong, confident, and capable. Now the whole notion that we are dividing instead of uniting just really leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and so I was driven.” Thorpe said his bill is not trying to curtail academic freedom; instead he said, “we need to be thinking strategically when we talk about what the taxpayers want to fund. Do we want to fund underwater basket weaving or do we want to fund a scientist, a mathematician, people who will guard us against cyber-attacks and become great leaders. I think that the emphasis on really producing stellar individuals at some point has been diluted in our secondary institutions.”
Popular conservative pundit, Yolanda Weinberger started an online petition urging Thorpe to officially submit the bill for consideration. Weinberger writes:
Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for any classes at our state universities that indoctrinate our students and promote racial, religious and/or gender resentment. These classes are divisive, incendiary, and contrary to the values of Arizonans. Additionally, the classes are in violation of laws prohibiting the taxpayer funding of coursework encouraging racial resentment in public schools.
We want our population to be well educated with an honest, balanced view of history and the many cultures of people that make up our state so that we can move forward united in this, the 21st century.
The petition, Representative Bob Thorpe: Submit the Bill to Stop Taxpayer Funding of Social Justice Classes Now!, has already garnered vocal supporters.
Paul F. wrote:
It has become completely out of control and these social justice warriors are merely uneducated henchmen of the liberal left. Its the reason we have youth rioting when they have not even voted… Professors should not be recruiting students to their political ideologies.
Julia R. wrote:
Money should be spent on classes so children can get jobs not on classes that promote odd idealogy that is hurting our country.
Richard W. wrote:
I am married to a black woman with a black stepdaughter, and a mixed son. We have had our fill of the increased racial divide driven by this corrupt agenda on the far left, and want our schools to stop preaching and teaching anti American philosophies, which serve only to further divide our country and set racial relations back decades- for the sole purpose of destroying our union.
“I was extremely excited to find out that Rep. Thorpe was drafting this legislation,” Weinberger told the ADI. “As a mother who is about to send a child to one of our esteemed universities here in Arizona, it pained me to think that I could be paying to undermine the values and truths that we fought to instill our children over these formative years. We are paying for our children to be educated, not socially engineered—not beaten into someone’s progressive mold. College is about expanding the mind with great ideas—not shaming people for factors they cannot control, like their race or ethnicity. The classes offered like’ The Problem of Whiteness’ are petty, divisive, and counter to our already established judicial review on the matter.”
“As soon as I saw the draft of the legislation, I wanted to encourage others to let Rep. Thorpe know just how many of us stand with him and want to hold our post-secondary institutions accountable,” continued Weinberger. “I know it’s just putting my name on a list, but I also see this petition as a way to record for posterity that I stood up for unity, equality, and the dignity of all Arizonans.
The Fifty-third Legislative Session begins on Monday, January 9. Lawmakers have a limited time to submit bills.
“After reading Eric Owens’ Daily Caller story, I was truly amazed and pleased to read the huge number of positive online comments. People from across our nation were passionate and energized by our anti-social justice legislation; it seems to have really touched a nerve. I’m so pleased that there is now a petition, where like-minded people can demonstrate their support for these needed reforms. This grassroots groundswell can truly help us get this bill over the finish line,” stated Thorpe.