The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) along with its California chapters demand that Arab American Studies is restored to the Core Curriculum of Ethnic Studies in the California educational system. We are alarmed that elected officials within the Education Department and state legislatures have determined, through discriminatory logic, to exclude Arab Americans from California’s high school Ethnic Studies core curriculum.
We demand that the politics of division be cast aside in making educational decisions and that Arab-American Studies is restored to its rightful place. Specifically, we demand the following:
- Re-insert Arab American studies within Asian American studies.
- The Arab American lesson plan submitted to the California Department of Education by the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) advisory committee must be reinstated.
- Arab Americans belong within the anti-racist, decolonial, and liberatory lesson plans.
- Remove the extreme definition of antisemitism that equates criticism of Israel with antisemitism because it violates our First Amendment rights.
The struggles and history of Arab Americans must not be erased and is as worthy of being taught at the same level as that of other oppressed groups. Insisting on a broad definition of antisemitism which criminalizes the Arab American tragedy narrative violates the First Amendment and silences the experiences of Arab Americans. Limiting and reducing the Arab American lesson plans and banishing it to an appendix divorced from the scholarship that has appropriately defined Arab American reduces what can and cannot be taught.
It is important that you take action by 12:00 PM PST tomorrow.