As most American school children learn, the Statue of Liberty urges the world to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

But the author of those words, Emma Lazarus, neglected to mention that the “wretched refuse of your teeming shore” were probably victims of colonialism, state violence, racism, intergenerational trauma, and/or heteropatriarchy from the white folks who run this country and Europe.

Fortunately, we have the academic discipline known as ethnic studies to correct that oversight, and if a group of educators and politicians have their way, every California high school student will be introduced to the subject in the near future.

The field of study was born — if that’s the word — in 1968 during a five-months

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