You are a high school student. You never even liked school and thought the education system was somehow against you. College is nothing you really think about especially because it seems that people don’t think you can or should go to College. In Tucson, Arizona, there is a 50% dropout rate of Latino and Latina students.
Then suddenly, you meet this teacher who changes everything. You find yourself going to school everyday just because of this inspirational teacher. You can relate to a class and have this safe space where you are able to express yourself and your beliefs and opinions with no hard feelings against you. Then, you begin realizing who you are. You have better goals for yourself than ever before and you know that you are somebody. You are worth fighting for.
Precious Knowledge is more than an eye-opening movie. It’s empowering and emotional. The fact that Ethnic Studies is not part of American History is beyond crazy. We have been fighting for Civil Rights for a long time and because we are still fighting for it, is sad. In the state of Arizona, the State believes that “ethnic studies should be abolished” and Ethnic Studies is teaching students to hate. They accuse students who are taking Ethnic Studies to be racist… who new that learning more about their own culture is being a racist? If anything, Ethnic Studies helps students find out who they are and how their ancestors came to the United States. There are so much other benefits when taking Ethnic Studies. I myself am taking some Ethnic Studies classes and I just not learn about how my parents and grandparents and ancestors migrated here and what they had to go through, but I learn about the laws and rules and regulations and how they were treated or mistreated. I also learn a lot about myself and for once I feel connected to some history since I never really felt connected to U.S History. And thinking about what is going on now, I feel that in some States, we are not going forward, but backwards. If you see that kids are improving and the dropout rate is obviously decreasing and you see a sudden increase of students showing up to school and having an interest in education, why take something that precious away from them? Why? What were these students doing wrong when they were just trying to better themselves?
The Arizona government was having major issues and somehow think that Racial Minority groups are taking over the world. When one Senator came to visit an Ethnic Studies class, he believed that Ethnic Studies is not supportive of American History because there was no picture of Ben Franklin or the Founding Fathers. Instead, he saw pictures of beautiful people of color that can actually relate to other students. They accused the Raza program of having evil ideas and being distasteful. They also believe that students wearing brown shirts, bandanas and sunglasses arm in arm was life threatening. These students were not threatening anyone. It’s called Resistance. They are using resistance to protect their teachers, the future students, their families, values and culture. And ever since SB1108, you see how valuable Ethnic Studies really is. Students and teachers alike take it to heart that Culture and Ethnic Studies may never be taught again until we get it back. Kids and their teachers will go so far to protect Ethnic Studies and to keep teaching Ethnic Studies in their school that they will run 110 miles in 115 degrees weather, they will risk being threatened and even physically threatened, they will risk being sent to prison and they will risk living in a racist State. And anywhere else in the world where Ethnic Studies will be banned, I am sure students and teachers will do the same.
I feel honored to have watched Precious Knowledge and I am so glad that this movie was made to show people what is going on in certain parts of the world. It was so emotional that some audience members cried when they met the guest speaker who even tears every time she sees this movie. It was more than an eye-opener. It was empowering. This is a must-see movie for one race- the Human Race.
You are a High School graduate. You are thankful to have had the best teachers and Ethnic Studies classes. Unfortunately, you know that your younger brothers, sisters, cousins and future children will have to struggle in school because classes that teach good morals, values and culture may not be taught. College may not be an option since the dropout rate for racial minorities is 50%. What would you do?