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Bright Immigrants Promise Bright Future for America

Bright Immigrants Promise Bright Future for America

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Posted on May 4, 2012

By Richard Reeves

GRANADA HILLS, Calif.—In 1921, Lincoln Steffens, among the greatest of American journalists, visited the new Soviet Union and came back to the United States to say, “I have seen the future and it works.”

He was of course, quite wrong. I may be, too, after chronicling the triumphs of Granada Hills Charter High School here in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. For the second straight year, it has won the National Academic Decathlon. Here are the names of the winners and the languages they speak at home:

Lev Tauz from Uzbekistan speaks Russian and English; Sean Wejebe, half-Mexican and half-Filipino, speaks Spanish and English; Hamidah Mahmud speaks Bangla and English; Christian Koguchi grew up in Peru and speaks Spanish, Japanese and English; Priscilla Liu speaks Indonesian and English; Kimberly Ly speaks Vietnamese, Cambodian and English; Stella Lee speaks Korean and English; Jimmy Wu speaks Chinese and English; Julia Wall, half-Mexican and half-American, speaks English and Spanish.

They are America’s future, and I suspect they’ll work as hard as they studied for a year to defeat 60 high schools from around the country in the 30th national decathlon, held last week in Albuquerque, N.M. This country was built by immigrants, and it looks like that will continue.

The overall subject for the two-day “Super Quiz” this year was “The Age of Empire.” Here are a couple of sample multiple-choice questions:

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 Bright Immigrants Promise Bright Future for America


—”Regarding the anti-slavery movement in Europe, it would be MOST accurate to say the humanist intellectual climate of the Enlightenment:

“a. tended to be evenly split on the issue of slavery

“b. provided intellectual justification for slavery

“c. had little or no impact on the debate on slavery

“d. strengthened arguments for the abolition of slavery

“e. weakened the abolitionist movement overall”

—”The MOST accurate interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The White Man’s Burden’ in regards to its view of colonialism would be:

“a. cynical and pessimistic

“b. positive and uplifting

“c. naive and unrealistic

“d. negative and condemnatory

“e. neutral and uncaring”

Then came the essay questions. Here are two:

—”Many historians find the distinction between ‘settlement colonization’ and ‘exploitation colonization’ as a distinction without a difference. Provide examples of both ‘settlement colonization’ and ‘exploitation colonization.’”

—”Explore how ‘the historiography of colonization’ has shaped the public perception of the pursuit of empire. Which voices have been emphasized and which have been largely ignored in historical studies? To what effect?”

Tough stuff!

In case you are wondering, Granada Hills Charter—funded by the Los Angeles Unified School District, but with a great deal more autonomy than non-charter schools—is no nest of nerds. Its alumni include John Elway of the Denver Broncos and Ryan Braun, the Most Valuable Player in the National League last year.

So even in cash-strapped Los Angeles, there are good things going on out there in high schools.

And there will be good things going on in America as long as we keep attracting the best and the brightest of immigrants.

© 2012 Universal Uclick


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avatar 287017 Bright Immigrants Promise Bright Future for America

By americanme, May 7 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Just a few quick comments:

1.  It’s not all in the past, and that’s where I have to tell you to stop denying your part in it.  When I talk about 75% unemployment on The Rez I am talking TODAY—not 150 years ago.  So long as you continue to vote and support the system that maintains genocide in the colonial settler state you call the US, you are part of the problem—and no way are no going to be part of the solution.

2.  Ward Churchill has written about how to start giving back land by first of all admitting that about 35-40% of the US settler state territory was never ceded to the US by any treaty.  (My people live on both sides of the border with Canada—and we are many, but the US government refuses to recognize our southern brothers as an official tribe because that would mean giving them back the state of Vermont—as no treaty was ever signed by the Abenaki with the US.  That’s just one example.)  You can start by reading his collection of essays Since Predator Came—or you can start by reading this condensed version of C hurchill’s piece “I Am Indigenist” on znet:  http://www.zcommunications.org/i-am-indigenist-by-ward-churchill

3.  The Mennonites who were booted out of Canada in the 1920s were given land in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua by then-president Alvaro Obregon on the basis that they would continue to supply Mexico with cheese for the life of their residence on that land.  They were more welcome in Mexico than in the US or Canada.

4.  You have a fairly sophisticated wall of denial going for you—more so than the posters on this site who still claim that The only good Indian is a dead Indian—but you are still lying to yourself and to me.  Like I said, people learn when they WANT to learn.  You seem to have the same disease as all the other US whites, who think they already know everything.


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