An Arizona lawmaker's proposed ban on ethnic studies at the state's universities is as good as dead, buried by a lack of support from a top legislator and the denial of a hearing before a key committee.
Republican State Rep. Bob Thorpe got national attention for attempting to stifle debate in college classrooms.
The bill (HB 2120) would have blocked university and community college classes and events that "promote division, resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political affiliation or social class." The penalty for violations was up to 10 percent of state aid.
Thorpe has said his bill was a response to an ASU class originally titled "The Problem of Whiteness" -- a survey of how whites look at race.
"I know sometimes people who are white might perceive it as guilt-tripping, as saying this is all your fault," Belen Sisa, an Arizona State University political science major, said of the courses Thorpe targeted. "It's not about guilt-tripping."
"It's not about attacking. It's about learning," said Sisa, an undocumented immigrant who is covered by DACA.
Arizona House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, a community college professor who would have been affected by Thorpe's bill, had indicated in an interview Friday he didn't support the measure.
"I appreciate his frustration, I appreciate the frustration of people writing and calling with their concern," said Mesnard, who, as speaker, can decide the fate of bills. "This is a bigger issue, frankly, than Mr. Thorpe's bill."
Late Tuesday, House Education Committee Chairman Paul Boyer said he would not give Thorpe's bill a hearing, effectively killing it.