IMPORTANT: Social Justice stands in contrast to criminal justice. It’s the idea that people should work for the good of one another. Christians immediately think of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor .. those who mourn … the meek … those who are persecuted.” Muslims think of Zakat, one of the Five Pillars that requires charity and assistance to the poor. Jews think of Tzedakag and chesed, the obligation to perform charity and deeds of kindness. Social justice can be summed up in the world-wide concept of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Arizona legislature wants to ban this best of human impulses from all schools and universities.
HB2120 prohibits all schools and universities from including in any class, event or activity anything that promotes social justice. Want to have a group of first graders send a care package to earthquake victims? It’s forbidden. Want to have a discussion about the underground railroad? It’s forbidden. Want to talk about the American Revolution and banning of aristocratic titles? It’s forbidden.
But HB2120 does even more. No university or college would be allowed to include in any course, class or events anything that advocates “solidarity” based on social class or other grouping. I can only assume the drafters know nothing about the Bill of Rights and our “freedom of association” guarantees. And from an educational standpoint, it means a course could not discuss the anti-royalist fever that sparked the American Revolution. No discussion of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s allowed. Don’t even mention political parties.
One could wonder how an elected official could sponsor something so profoundly un-American. But reading between the lines, it’s obvious the bill is targeting groups that our legislature would rather not exist: Black Lives Matter, LGBT, Undocumented, Dreamers. A bill directly targeting these groups would be plainly unconstitutional, so our legislature instead wants to throw out everyone else’s rights in the process, with a wink and a nod that enforcement will be selective. Contact your legislator and ask him or her to stop this bill, now.