I will not say much about this story as John Huppenthal’s comments have been well-chronicled and editorialized in the news media and the blogosphere, cheap but he must be removed. Huppenthal’s insensitive, racist, classist comments are a mischaracterization of Americans and are offensive to many of the families and communities he is entrusted with serving as state superintendent of public instruction. During his tearful public apology, Huppenthal said that his online comments did not reflect his thinking and the love he has in his heart. But that’s crazy. If his online comments don’t reflect his thinking, where did they come from? Was he insulting low-income people, Latino’s, and African Americans just for giggles? Was it some kind of joke? And I don’t doubt that Huppenthal is a loving person. Most people love some other people. In fact, after his apology, I am convinced that he in some way or another cares for his assistant-who he also offended through his comments. But Huppenthal will not convince me, or more importantly convince the people of Arizona, that Latinos, low-income people, and African Americans give him a warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside.
Under no circumstances can Huppenthal continue as Arizona’s state superintendent, but I believe Arizonans would appreciate his honesty at this point. Huppenthal ought to be willing to be as honest now as he was in his anonymous online posts. If he thinks Americans who receive welfare benefits are lazy pigs, call them lazy pigs to their faces. If he thinks Spanish should not be spoken in the U.S., in schools, on the radio, and very little in Mexican restaurants, he should say so. But even if he decides to be honest with Arizonans, and regardless of how many tears he sheds, Huppenthal cannot continue to serve the children and schools of Arizona after making public comments where he degrades and insults children he was elected to serve. He must go, and he must go now.