The Board of Education in California recently voted unanimously to approve an Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum for use in all of the state’s public schools.
Students are to be taught that white Christian settlers committed “theocide” against indigenous tribes when they arrived in the New World by murdering Native American gods and replacing them with the Christian God. According to the curriculum, this replacement ushered in a regime defined by “coloniality, dehumanization, and genocide,” and the “explicit erasure and replacement of holistic Indigeneity and humanity.” But all is not lost, we are told. For students will learn that they have the power and the responsibility to build a social order defined by “countergenocide,” which will eventually supplant the last vestiges of colonial Christianity and pave the way for the “regeneration of indigenous epistemic and cultural futurity.”
Students first clap and chant to the god Tezkatlipoka — whom the Aztecs traditionally worshipped with human sacrifice and cannibalism — asking him for the power to be “warriors” for “social justice.” Next, the students chant to the gods Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and Xipe Totek, seeking “healing epistemologies” and “a revolutionary spirit.” Huitzilopochtli, in particular, is the Aztec deity of war and inspired hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices during Aztec rule. Finally, the chant comes to a climax with a request for “liberation, transformation, [and] decolonization,” after which students shout “Panche beh! Panche beh!” in pursuit of ultimate “critical consciousness.”