Thorpe Bills Would Ban Classes That Violate Civil Rights Law

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.”

[Listen to the interview here]

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.

[Sign the petition here]

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.”

twitterFollow Yolanda Weinberger on Twitter @yoconservative


“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.

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  1. Colleges are not job factory mills. Learning is not just about job skills. Division is what makes for critical thinkers; white-washing college education so that no one needs to be upset about the atrocious bigotry upheld by government and institution is a disgusting abuse of power.

  2. Employment statistics for EVERY course a student takes, you have got to be kidding. What an incredible waste of time and money. What do you suppose the employment statistics are for freshman English? Rep. Thorpe really thinks people are hired based on taking an individual class?

    The other bill Rep. Thorpe wants to pass sounds like a great opportunity to censure classes and waste money investigating classes and instructors. It would be fascinating to see which countries have laws like this on their books; you known, the various totalitarian countries. I would hope by the time students get to college, that they aren’t brainless automatons. Students can and do vote with their feet.

  3. It is just another way to hide the facts of History. Lets just brush everything under the rug and pretend how rich, white Americans didn’t steal land from the Natives, nor broke every treaty ever made or how they entered into the Slave trade or started wars for the money and ruined small businesses when it came to the oil or railroad industry, etc. America is and can be a great America and has done some very good things, but by hiding the truth will only make Americans stupid because the whole world knows more about our History than we do as it is.

  4. Let`s hope Gov Ducey and the rest of our political Parties shows some leadership on these contentious issues. Too often today, lefties that control our universities spend taxpayer dollars to promote a secularism based in racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, etc. differences (divisiveness) which is nothing more that lefty political propaganda sold as “sensitivity training” which is used to enforce a “political correctness” which attempts to destroy American individualism and political freedom.

  5. Simple… have the school co-sign the student loan and then, when the student defaults, take it out of the budget from whatever department the student majored in and got a degree.

  6. I read the entire article and could not find a single reference to any civil rights laws being violated by courses that foment racial or ethnic isolation. There clearly is a disconnect between the headline and the article itself.

    I agree that schools should not be in the business of fomenting any sort of religious, racial or ethnic animosity, but that animosity already exists in our society, and extreme examples of it certainly exist in our history. If the intent of Rep. Thorpe is to suggest that any discussion of racism or any other “isms” that promote negative stereotypes about minority groups is fomenting “racial or ethnic animosity” then he does not understand our own history. American history contains numerous examples of progress towards racial, ethnic and religious understanding, but it also contains lynchings of blacks, massacres of Native Americans, as well as mistreatment of Jews, Irish, and other religious and ethnic groups. Teaching that history is not fomenting violence, but I bet if you ask members of the KKK or people who put their hands over their ears and go “lalalalalala” every time they hear about negative historical events they would disagree.

    The quoted comments in the article clearly do not recognize the qualitative difference between teaching about historical events in elementary schools or middle schools where students lack contextual information and have not developed critical thinking skills and teaching about the same events in advanced high school or college classes where students have the background knowledge and thinking skills to understand the difference between history and propaganda. There are, by the way, no federal or Arizona laws preventing the teaching of virtually any subjects on the college level.

  7. Rep. Thorpe’s bill sounds like a plan that’s been a long time coming. Although employment trends do change, Rep. Thorpe’s bill may prove to be extremely useful to any resilient college student.

  8. while the employment prospects in a particular filed of study are important, the are not paramount – that the individual exhibited the ability to complete a course of study of interest in depth, research etc. to present these findings and knowledge is what the student is really learning while attending college – sure you’d like an engineer being an engineer in their area or field of study – but reality is ; lots of time they are not when they arrive to the world and employer who has and wants something specific in mind from the person capable of getting that complex task done – an engineering degree demonstrates the ability to take on that level of task to a successful conclusion or on going process.. has nothing or perhaps not much to do with specifically what the study course work was in detail, that’s more like learning the language to them begin the work that will be expected. Putting the ‘cats’ in the bag… a socialist management pump — why not force the student to ask the government ‘what does the economy need that I can study’ the government makes the choice of what is available to you. That is “Army Training” — not the ‘desired course’ of the person doing it.

    I’ll agree that many a young skull full of mush has little idea of what they are going to be doing and how they are going to be living after getting a degree in underwater basket weaving – perhaps a mandatory course in this direction is worth exploration before buying the box of apples.

  9. The idea of telling students the employment chances of each degree is a good one but with a caveat. Employment opportunities can change quickly as technology and the marketplace develops and changes. But on the whole, it is a good idea.

    Another good idea is to eliminate speech codes. College should be a place to encounter and experience new ideas. These new ideas can seem threatening and dangerous but speech codes should never try to eliminate them. It is the strange and new that grows society.

    Christopher Cole
    First Vice-Chair
    Pima County Libertarian Party

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