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Curiouser and Curiouser

I’ve published the letter that Lori Klein read on the floor of the Senate yesterday below after the jump so you all can peruse if for yourself.

It’s just a wee bit odd that this man’s experiences in a classroom seem to include every possible paranoid fantasy of anti-immigration extremists, even invoking Steve Gallardo’s name. I guess it would have been a more perfect storm if one of the students stood up on a table reading aloud from Occupied America while peeing on a picture of Ronald Reagan.

The scenario is so fanciful that one wonders if it has a similar provenance and veracity to letters that start “Dear Penthouse Forum.”

I wasn’t the only one to wonder. Freelance journalist Nick Martin has been checking into it himself:

I’ve got some personal experience being in a room full of Hispanic students, some of whom are current gang members, ex-gang members and wannabe gang members. I’ve never observed the sort of behavior, even among the small minority that are affiliated with gang activity, that this person, if he exists, allegedly saw. This characterization is racist and hateful, pure and simple.

Russell Pearce ought to be ashamed of himself for putting up Klein to read the letter, and Klein ought to be ashamed of herself for reading it into the public record.

Ought to, but something tells me that they won’t be.

NB: Klein actually showed up at the Águila Youth Leadership Institute Luncheon today. She may have been shocked to meet young Hispanics that aren’t in gangs.

March 15, 2011

Dear Senator Russell Pearce,

I am compelled to write to you about a recent event that occurred to me. I currently work as a substitute teacher in the west valley areas of Phoenix, Glendale, and Peoria. I was called upon to teach history and language arts for 8th grade at a Glendale public school. The number of students I had in each class ranged from 28 to 38 children, which were almost all Hispanic and a couple of Black children. The day started out as usual turning on the television listening and watching the announcements and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Pledge of Allegiance I notice the vast majority of students refusing to stand and say the pledge. I asked the students why they refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and they responded by saying, “we are Mexicans and Americans stole our land.”

The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook and to finish their final drafts to Senator Steve Gallardo thanking him for his position on Illegal Immigration rights. Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Steve Gallardo and Lou Dobbs. Most of the students came unprepared for class not possessing paper and pencil. I provided the students with paper and pencils only to have them wade-up the paper and throw it at each other along with their pencils.

The students’ final drafts that I read were basically the same. Most of them stated they were in the country illegally, White Americans are racist, and that they came here for a better life. I asked the class if America adopted Mexico immigration laws would Americans still be consider racist? That question they could not answer and called me a racist for asking it. I mentioned that my wife and children are Hispanic so how could I be racist?

I asked the students to stop speaking Spanish in class because it was impolite to speak a language in front of people who may not speak that language. Their response was that Americans better learn Spanish and their customs because they are taking their land back from us.

When it came to completing the Mark Twain assignment only 10 students completed it out of all my classes. Most of the students refused to open the book, tore the pages out of the book, or threw the textbooks at each other. I thought are these the students we are trying to educate with taxpayers money. I have found that substitute teaching in these areas most of the Hispanic students do not want to be educated but rather be gang members and gangsters. They hate America and are determined to reclaim this area for Mexico. If we are able to remove the illegals out of our schools, the class sizes would be reduced and the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens.

I applaud and support your efforts to stop this invasion into our state and country. When the citizens of a country are forced to speak the invaders language, adopt their customs, and forced to support them, are we not a conquer nation? I do not want to see our state and nation turned into a third world country. Thank you for standing up to this invasion. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or mail.

Thank you, again.
Sincerely,

4 Comments

  1. Steve wrote:

    One has to wonder, in the outside chance that the letter was actually written by a substitute teacher, what role that person’s attitude toward the students played in the atmosphere in the classroom, or even in his characterization of the situation.

    If he has so much concern about the classroom environment (contempt for the students), what’s he doing in the classroom in the first place?

    Is he blaming the “illegal immigrant invasion” for his inability to get a steady job with benefits?

    Friday, March 18, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Bob Unferth wrote:

    The letter contains unsupported anonymous assertions with no verification of any kind. Aside from the fact that the assertions stretch credibility, what is any document that is not only totally unverified, but anonymous, doing in any legislative context? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Instead Senator Klein offers nothing. As King Lear put it, “Nothing will come of nothing.”

    Senator Klein apparently doesn’t realize that she has a serious job that requires serious attention to things like using reliable data, fact checking and using your head.

    “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.” The Kings’s Fool might have had Senator Klein is mind.

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink
  3. Tom Prezelski wrote:

    March 19, 2011

    Dear Senator Steve Gallardo,

    I am compelled to write to you about a recent event that occurred to me. I currently work as a substitute teacher in the east valley areas of Chandler, Gilbert, and Mesa. I was called upon to teach history and language arts for 8th grade at a Mesa public school. The number of students I had in each class ranged from 28 to 38 children, which were almost all White children. The day started out as usual turning on the television listening and watching the announcements and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. During the Pledge of Allegiance I notice the vast majority of students refusing to stand and say the pledge. I asked the students why they refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and they responded by saying, “the wrong side won the Civil War and a colored man is in the White House.”

    The teacher’s instructions were for the students to read a few pages and answer the questions regarding Mark Twain in their history textbook and to finish their final drafts to Senator Russell Pearce thanking him for his position on denying civil rights to Mexican-Americans. Their teacher apparently had showed them a video with Senator Russell Pearce and Lou Dobbs. Most of the students came unprepared for class not possessing paper and pencil. I provided the students with paper and pencils only to have them ignore me and play with their iPhones.
    The students’ final drafts that I read were basically the same. Most of them stated that America is a white Christian nation and everybody else should go home. I asked the class if Mexican-Americans whose families had been in Arizona for generations should go home too? That question they could not answer and said I hated America for asking it. I mentioned that I served in the Army and was working in the public schools for little money so how could I hate America?

    I asked the students to stop making fun of a custodian with a mild accent in class because it was impolite to ridicule someone for how they spoke. Their response was that this was America and he better learn proper English because John Wayne beat Santa Anna fair and square.

    When it came to completing the Mark Twain assignment only 10 students completed it out of all my classes. Most of the students refused to open the book and said that their parents told them that reading would make them gay. I thought are these the students we are trying to educate with taxpayers money. I have found that substitute teaching in these areas most of the white students do not want to be educated but would rather star on reality shows. They hate Mexican-Americans and blame them for all their problems. If we are able to remove ignorant suburban rednecks out of our schools, the class sizes would be reduced and the students who wanted to learn would have a better chance to do so and become productive citizens.

    I applaud and support your efforts to call out the bigotry and the lies. When the citizens of a country are subject to official harassment for the way they speak, the color of their skin, or their last names, are we not a police state? I do not want to see our state and nation turned against themselves. Thank you for standing up to the hate. You may contact me by phone, e-mail, or mail.

    Thank you, again.

    Sincerely,

    Name and address withheld by request

    Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 6:49 am | Permalink
  4. Richard Tackett wrote:

    The letter certainly seems suspect in its validity, but it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out. It wouldn’t be crazy for the letter to be legitimate (in that it could be a complaint from an actual teacher), but many signs seem to point to other explanations.

    Monday, March 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

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