Monday, September 21, 2009
Last week, in an interview with Brian Williams, Jimmy Carter accused Joe Wilson's comments, and the current political tenson, to be racially motivated.
"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans," continued Carter, who is famously from Georgia:"And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface becauseof the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."
Those who have disagreed vehemently with Obama's policies, particularly those regarding health care reform, denounce these statements with equal vehemence. They have called Carter's comments ridiculous left-wing rhetoric that bubble up from his "sanctimonious guilt". Glen Beck, not surprisingly, took it one step further and touted that Jimmy Carter's comments were analogous to terrorist attacks:BECK: Nobody is saying we’re blowing children up or anything like the Taliban. But this is the same kind of tactic being used now in America. You can’t get your agenda, so you unleash the hounds and point the fingers, and everybody is a racist.I have read several op-ed pieces that call out Carter for pulling the "race card".What do you think? Do you- my white, black and brown friends- think the fervor demonstrated regarding politics today has anything to do with Obama's being black? I think it is interesting that the White House spokesperson stated that Obama does not feel that the opposition to his policies are racially related. Do you think that is really true or is he just trying to stay above the fray?
I find it interesting that Jimmy Carter is even considered to have a race card. He is white, and therefore, seems excluded from the right to even carry one (Of course, he could, theoretically, have a white one, but certainly can't have one a black one in his deck, if he is, in fact, not black. But, this would also bring up the matter of whether or not a white race card even exists). I think Obama is right to disagree with Carter's assessment of his opposition's motives because he himself is black. He can't say he's being discriminated against. People will assume he is just pulling the race card and dismiss it. But, Jimmy Carter, precisely because he does not have a (minority) race card, he is able to call it as he sees it. He thinks its time to discuss this issue.These conversations on race are critical at this time in history. It is an ideal time to talk publicly about the state of race relations. Our children are growing up in a culture that communicates openly about the value of all people, regardless of race, gender, age, etc. But, they see something that is altogether in conflict with those messages. They hear adults say they refuse to vote for a man whose middle name is Hussein. They see people of color without jobs. They see the media filled with pictures of dark criminals. How can they be called to value people of other races when their parents have not had opportunities to show them? Well, we have one now. What next?
Friday, September 11, 2009
So, it seems that time travel is theoretically possible, to the future at least. UConn physics professor says so, so it must be true. Also, I read The Time Travelers Wife and it seemed pretty convincing. Not that Doc Brown didn't already have me half way there. Though, the prof from UConn said it would take too much energy to travel to the past, but if you used enough speed, you could go to the future. I'm kinda confused by that. I mean, didn't we already know that?Like, if I were riding my bike, and I left my house at 4:15pm and when I was done riding, it was 4:45pm, I'd be in the future right? Apparently, it took several physicists in Texas with a laser beam to figure that out (I couldn't find any reference to this on the web, but someone at a Bible study told me so; so again I say, it must be true.)
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Currently, my favorite book is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd Jones. My mom bought it for my kids, but I help myself to it regularly. Its the best children's Bible I have ever read. Most children's Bibles contain disconnected stories from the Bible, highlighting the characters of each story, along with the "lesson" to be learned.
Monday, September 7, 2009
My friends' reasons to shield their children from Obama's speech may, in fact, be completely ideological (which I still have issue with. AND many parents weren't boycotting the lesson plans, they were boycotting the speech itself.) However, I do ask that my friends also consider how my child, and all other American children, have the great privilege to be encouraged by a our first minority president. For most children, this is the first minority role-model who is not an athlete or entertainer. The reason why my child, and many others, might assume it has to do with race is not hard to understand. Never has America chosen to put itself under the leadership of a person of color before (brown, black or purple.) Now that it has, people are refusing to let their children listen to him. Its not a huge stretch. My 9 year old made it.
No, I do not think this is only about race, nor am I the one making it about race. However, it is, in part, about race. I just would like my friends to acknowledge that part, to know that I am understood. That my child's assumptions and fears are understood.
Friday, September 4, 2009
On Thursday, September 4, 2009, as part of our fall curriculum, we are sending home a permission slip that notifies parents that they will be watching a live televised address to students from the President of the United States. Parents will need to sign this form if they do not want their children to participate in this event.
If you do not want your children to see the permission slip and then have to explain why people won’t let their children watch President Obama, please sign THIS form.
______________ ____________ __________________
Name of Student Grade Parent Signature
Reason you do not want your child to know about the permission slip (please check all that apply):
rI’m afraid of the unspoken message my children might hear: There are many parents who don’t want their kids to be influenced a black man.
rI don’t want to have to explain to my children that parents of their classmates won’t let them listen to others they disagree with.
rI don’t want my children to think that it is legitimate for the Public School System to spend tax money (let alone our precious environmental resources)on all the paper and ink for all the forms sent home making sure to give parents every opportunity to choose something that could potentially harm other children’s faith in humanity.
rI do not want my kids to know that parents in my community, who I am teaching them to trust, are afraid that our elected officials might try to manipulate and brainwash them to believe scary and dangerous PG-13 things.