My thoughts on the top--and top-ish--stories in this week's political, sports, and pop culture news.
It seems to me the folks who want to ban CRT have no idea what it actually is. Sadly, it has become a convenient excuse for reactionary, racist behavior.
As for CRT: if we just taught history including slavery, reconstruction, civil rights (never mind giving our children more geography and awareness of other countries!!) we wouldn’t have to have a discussion about critical race theory in schools. The opposition to CRT is a way of eradicating any discussion of inequality. As an historian I am appalled at the education of our youth and the way the GOP is hijacking it.
"It's not born in you.
It happens after you're born.
1958. Lt. Cable. South Pacific.
You've got to be taught to hate & fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.
You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade
You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
And the Uncle Benny story & the nickle in the ear is so appropriate.
R.I.P. David Crosby. Your music was wonderful and so appropriate for the times. I saw him both with the Byrd's & CSN. Life is such a cycle.
And to all the predatory politicians out there who are trying to "out"
transgender people. Why for God's sake? It's happening here in UT where all treatment, from medication, surgery, counseling, etc. is set for hearings in the state. Many legislators, want all of it totally banned & made illegal. Like abortion. Their nasty petty small- mindedness and hypocrisy is so obvious. Oh yes. Religious beliefs. Whatever
Before we descend into complete madness, we should look at other countries where voters have elected the ultra right-wing politicians and the devastation that has followed. The new Congress. Hanging by a thread. It will be interesting to see if any of these people have any inkling of what it means to be in Congress to serve their constituents.
Thank you Kareem for your words of wisdom & thoughtfulness. We all need encouragement.
CSN album with 'Wooden Ships' was the first LP I ever wore out. Hell...I wore out a CD. Some great music. Losing these geniuses of our youth is a sad byproduct of our aging. RIP David Crosby. 'All Along the Lee Shore' on 4 Way Street is another beautiful piece. Have a splendid weekend, everyone.
The CRT bans are particularly disheartening because the claim that it is ever taught is patently false. Public school teachers are working people, not communist radicals. They teach to test standards created by the Pearson corporation, housed in Austin, TX.
They do create a vehicle for harassing teachers who teach subjects that imply systemic racism. When I taught learning disabled students in Oklahoma, part of my job was helping them with core subjects. Oklahoma history was one of the courses. One of my students once remarked that it seemed to him that the entire course was about the disinheritance of Native Americans, which was a succinctly and accurately stated summation. It is hardly inconceivable that a student with a grudge against a teacher could get his or her already suspicious parent to pounce on a teacher over the straightforward text, and get away with it,
And, it has happened. A teacher here in Norman, OK, a university community, was sent home for the day for giving her students bar codes for the Brooklyn Public library. She quit and happily was hired away by the Brooklyn Public Library. Nonetheless, Ryan Walters, the right wing crackpot who serves as our State Superintendent wants to investigate and take her license, a purely performative waste of taxpayer funds that will, nonetheless, send an insidious chill through the teaching community,
This issue was one of your best Kareem. Thank you for saying this:
"We, the people, make villainy possible by smugly ignoring it when it starts, arrogantly dismissing it as it grows, and foolishly giving up as it chokes the air from our beliefs. We have to keep shining the flashlight on these insects as they scurry about trying to convince us they’re dragons when they’re really just cockroaches."
The FL Governor, the new Rep. of NY03, and the former President are evil people with destructive power in their hands. They will not go away if we ignore them.
You, like Robert Hubbell and Heather Cox Richardson, are a beacon of wisdom and sanity in these times. Thank you so much for standing up for democracy and education and thereby showing how we can too.
Thanks for your unfailing good sense. I’m always interested in your take on things, and appreciate your generosity and thoughtfulness.
David Crosby was not a member of the Buffalo Springfield. He played with them once at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
In regards to Labron James' quest for scoring record, we should keep in mind that Kareem went to college (UCLA), He did not go directly from high school to the pros. While at UCLA he scored over 3000 points during his four years in college. I believe that that team only lost two games for the three years he was on the varsity team. (Kareem did not play in those two games). As a freshman, his team was undefeated. (At that time freshmen were prohibited from playing on the varsity squad).
We also enable" villainy" by hoping it goes away. Just like too many people hope reminders of 'racism' will just go away.
My comments are not about your always spot-on eloquent essays and observations. I was so hoping you would have mentioned Las Vegas Golden Knights goalie, Robin Lehner and his wife filing for bankruptcy. They cite up to $50 million in debts to dozens of creditors and vendors. Had this been LeBron, Steph, Kevin, Giannis, Mahomes, the media would have been chomping on this story for days. Their lives would have been dissected to the inth degree. The old trope of dumb jock would come roaring back to life. Fortunately for Mr. Lehner, he and his wife get to avoid the media glare beyond the few sentences ESPN wrote. Damn, it’s good to be white in America!!
I actually published a podcast with one of my students on the CRT topic-as it relates to AP US History. I'm honestly confused by the propaganda. The idea that history is something that should purely be for the purpose of romanticizing the nation-state seems off to me, and no historian or history teacher would ever want to teach that unless they were embracing an ideology from another century. Here is the podcast if you are interested. Thanks for your reflection on the topic, Kareem. I love your perspective.
As a teacher in the FL public school system I can't tell you how in the last 12 years our curriculum has changed to make our Republican Governors(Sott and DeSantis) happy. We have a Republican legislature bought by the Texas book publishers who push more testing and less learning.
We have never taught CRT in our public schools, however 2 former teachers from Lee and Collier county ran on that issue, keeping it out of the schools, and won their positions on the local school board. Both had DeSantis backing them as candidates.
I am retiring in 2 months after teaching math and Civics in our county and honestly I feel sorry for the really good teachers staying because they must now teach the revised History and Math curriculum approved by DeSantis and the Republicans in this state.
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Good sir, please reconsider some of your cutlines with photos. For example this one: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders Googling MLK after being told it doesn’t stand for My Lovely Klan (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images).
I feel strongly about the first, the second is more of just an opinion (which everyone has).
1. Jabin Botsford is the professional photographer who took the photograph. At most newspapers, the photographer also writes the cutlines. It diminishes his journalistic work as in my eyes to have a "joke" cutline. I could probably go to my Associated Press Stylebook and find better arguments of why not to do this to news photographs.
2. I like your columns for the insights and opinions. Some I agree with, others I don't. Some I just think about. It just seems a bit too name-calling by exaggeration. This is my opinion. I could be wrong.
But I do like your columns, even if I disagree.