Going to the Precious knowledge film screening, I didn't know what to expect having heard nothing about it. But after the film was over I was amazing by it. It is a powerful film and I highly highly recommend everyone to see it!
The film was about if ethnic studies classes can be taught in public schools. The girl Crystal and her peers were in this class to learn more about their culture and have a greater appreciation for it. These students were disenfranchised high school seniors who become academic warriors and community leaders in Tucson, Arizona's while state lawmakers attempt to eliminate the program. The arguments for the program were that:
It brought in a high graduation rate for Lations than any other program around, 93%
It make the students more interested in learning
Teaches them about their culture and shows them they are more than people label them as
The arguments against the ethnic studies is that:
It created Anti-Americanism, the students are taught to hate Americans with the curriculum that was being used
The teachers speak hate speeches to the students
They don't teach about the founding fathers who "built" America
Bringing back segregation and not living up to what MLK jr spoke about.
The debate was very very difficult to watch. The people pro the ethnic studies school used a lot of pathos and logos and the people con used a lot of ethos, and logos.
It was a really really good film. One of the students in the film, Crystal, actually came to the film screening and gave us more information about what is going on. The community actually staged many protest, sit-ins and walk outs to get state legislators to stop the bill from passing. The ethnic studies classes in the end were considered unconstitutional and were shut down. The teachers and students all faced a lot of struggles with people saying so many hateful things about them and their classes.
Lawsuits are still going on right now and hearing with the federal courts as well. it was really interesting and empowering to hear her speak and how even 3 years later they are still fighting for these classes to come back. It hit close to home knowing that racism still exists. even though I don't see it, it is happening.