The Daily Show on Ethnic Studies and Strip Searches
April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
MONDAY (April 2, 2012)
In what can only be understood as an attempt to enact a dystopian dream out of a Ray Bradbury novel, the Tucson Schoolboard banned K-12 Mexican-American Studies program. School board member Michael Hicks claimed that these programs were preaching violence against whites. How does he know? Well, let’s listen to his own claims.
HICKS: I chose not to go to any of their classes. Why even go? Why even go? I based my thoughts on hearsay from others.
My heart bleeds for hardworking teachers such as Curtis Acosta, whose attempts to train his students in critical thinking is being thwarted by pro-ignorance campaigners such as Hicks.
ACOSTA: What we’re trying to do is to present a more complex version of what has happened in our past so that our students are engaged and they can ask themselves critical questions and build their own understanding.
Hicks is outraged — outraged! — that teachers might be buying their students burritos. And I just bury my head in my hands.
Hicks lets the cat out of the bag when it comes to the purpose of the anti-Ethnic Studies law, signed by Jan Brewer, which allows for this big government intrusion into the classroom.
HICKS: Honestly, this law won’t be applied to any other of our courses. It was strictly written for one course, which is the Mexican American Studies Program.
The satire writes itself, but Al Madrigal also does a bang-up job in putting this segment together. It’s well worth watching, if only for Madrigal getting Hicks tied up trying to explain slavery without saying anything negative about white people.
TUESDAY (April 3, 2012)
Jon Stewart is quite correct that while we’ve been paying close attention to the Supreme Court conservatives preventing the government from providing its citizens with health care, they’ve been working overtime to make sure that the same government can strip search its citizens without cause.
STEWART: The ruling that anyone who’s arrested, even accidentally, can be strip searched, was decided 5-4, with the votes for the searches coming from the court’s five conservatives. You know, the defending-personal-liberty guys. Which is weird, because I’m not a Constitutional scholar, but I’m willing to bet that Big Government feels its biggest when it’s inside your anus.
Stewart rightly singles out Justice Kennedy’s particularly inane logic.
STEWART: I guess the judicial principle is, since anyone could be a criminal, let’s treat everyone like they’re criminals.
Tom Goldstein is an attorney, the co-founder of SCOTUSblog, and a lecturer at Stanford and Harvard law schools. It’s unfortunate that the second half of his interview was put up on the web only, as he was the one who lost the strip search case to the activist big government (so long as it’s a conservative cause) conservative majority on the Supreme Court. He also notes the illogic that appears to be Kennedy’s specialty.
GOLDSTEIN: At oral argument he said, look, don’t you feel people will appreciate knowing when they get booked into jail that they are stripped search, ’cause they’ll feel safer, knowing that everybody was strip searched, and wouldn’t it seem wrong to you if you weren’t strip searched because they would be drawing lines and you might feel that it was discrimination that you were treated as someone who shouldn’t be strip searched.
I don’t like feeling this much smarter than our Supreme Court justices.
GOLDSTEIN: We did think we had a really good case, that this just isn’t a problem, that people don’t drive around on the street hoping to get picked up so that they can smuggle something into the jail. I was not able to persuade them of that.
There’s quite an easy way to test for conservative consistency when it comes to these sorts of government intrusions, and Jon Stewart goes there.
STEWART: There’s a lot now about TSA airport screening. Conservatives are the ones who would make the argument that that it is an absolute violation of people’s privacy, that is absolutely an overuse of governmental authority. How do they reconcile those two principles in these two cases?
GOLDSTEIN: Because they go to airports. They don’t get arrested.
I don’t share Goldstein’s faith in the justices’ good faith. I think it’s quite possible that the justices themselves believe that they are acting in good faith, but there are too many times that they twist themselves in the wind (and against their previous decisions) to make the conservative choice.