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    • A Great Idea About Capitalism That Was Wrong
      So, back in the 80s, when I was young, green and wet behind the years, one of the great thinkers about how to help poor people was a guy named Hernando DeSoto. (Great name, aces on parents!) DeSoto, who was mostly concerned with Latin and South America had one big idea: the reason that poor people were fucked is they didn’t have clear ownership of what they […]
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Monday: The Racism Backlash

I’m running a little late again and I suspect I have a meeting this morning at work. But in the 6 minutes I have, I would like to relate a little story about what happened here in my school district back in the 90’s. Note to teachers: this incident may be isolated and is in no way intended to disparage a whole generation of educators.

I ran for the school board (and won) back in the early 90s when I went to a curriculum goals team meeting and the only thing the curriculum supervisors wanted to talk about was teaching values. Call me fussy but I don’t think it is the role of the school to teach values. It is the role of the school to teach. Reading, writing, arithmetic, calculus, spanish, english, you know, stuff like that. And I preferred that they do it well. Not my school district. No, they were more interested in making flowery statements about how “Children are the messengers that we send into a future we will never see…” Seriously, that’s the opening line of our district goals. {{gag me}}

So, anyway, I ran and won. Then came Diversity Day 1996. Oh. My. God.

Diversity Day was set up by those same educators who thought it was a good idea to teach values. And in a way, it sounds like a great idea. All ethnicities, races and lifestyles are able to show students what they are all about in a non-threatening and safe environment. Cool and groovy. Except, there were some parents who were strict fundamentalists who kept their kids home on Diversity day because they didn’t like the Gay and Lesbian students who had their own kiosks. Hey, whatever you may think about whether this is right or not, the parents must *still* have the final word about this. I think they are wrong but they are still parents and Diversity Day is a non-academic school day. So, they kept their kids home.

No can do, said the administration. An absence on Diversity Day was to be recorded as an unexcused absence, even you were sick. So, everyone was forced to attend. To give parents some leeway, students got to choose which presentations they could attend. But once a section filled up, they got diverted into another one, involuntarily.

Which leads me to the AIDS activist. She was a poet from around here and she was quite, um, assertive? She started out her presentation with a recitation of the F word. She wanted everyone to get comfortable with it. Then she talked about masturbation and fantasies. One of the more interesting fantasies was if you could discuss your fantasies with your parents at the breakfast table (no I am not making this up). Then she said that everyone should take a good look at their vagina and if you didn’t have one, maybe you could borrow someone else’s. Then, to top it all off, as if that weren’t enough, she put a condom on a purple dildo – with her mouth.

What the principle and the curriculum supervisors didn’t realize s that there was a reporter from the local rag in the audience who took down every word of it and was so shocked she told the principle. The principle asked the AIDS activist to leave out the F word for the afternoon session.

When I got home from work, I immediately started getting phone calls from angry parents who couldn’t understand how I could let something like this happen (I didn’t know about it before hand) to reporters looking for a quote to take out of context (I learned my lesson that day).

The board meetings were normally held in the HS library but the throng that threatened to show up at the next one was so large that they shifted it to the HS Auditorium. I walked to my seat from the wings and HOLY HEMIOLA! The place was packed and there were klieg lights and national media and a fricking circus.

For 3 hours, I listened as parent after parent raked us over the coals. It was humiliating. But the worst thing was the stupid educators who got up to defend themselves because, after all, how else would students know how to protect themselves? They were just taking on the role that parents who were too timid to perform the task themselves. The demonstration was necessary.

I was speechless. The role of the educator was not to invite an amateur sexologist and public health specialist to a school to allow her to highjack a presentation and turn it into a national spectacle. The role of the educator is to have the health teachers perform these tasks in a professional way and TO MAKE SURE THE STUDENTS CAN READ THE GD CONDOM PACKAGE!

Backlash? Honey, you haven’t seen backlash until you see hundreds of angry parents who want your head. None of them thought they were so ignorant that they couldn’t talk to their children about sex. But the fact that educators sought to take this right away from them because they knew how to teach these values better just pissed them off to no end. These are well educated suburban parents and they mightily resented it when the principle et al implied they were ignorant, backwards, prudes who couldn’t understand kids these days. No, my droogs, that did not go over well. A lot of those parents became regulars at school board meetings.

So what is my point? I see a lot of the same kind of stuff going on with the election this year. You’ve got a lot of pretentious liberals who have interrupted the most important election of my lifetime and have decided to turn it into a teachable moment about race. This is a baaaaad idea. Because they have insulted the character of so many voters who do not see the election in racial terms. They think this election is about the future of our country and they are not pleased to be sidetracked by racism nor are they happy about being called racists by people who think they know better.

Backlash is coming, complete with Klieg lights and cameras.