Tag Archives: education

Whenever You’re Ready

re-educationSo Charlottesville happened. Trump is to blame. But he was elected president; all those who voted for him are therefore to blame. Everyone could see this coming from the beginning. It was 100% predictable. The fascist marches in the streets, the gun nuts out in force, everyone who isn’t a red-blooded white American male the target.  And Trump doing nothing to discourage any of it. Those who claim they didn’t see this coming kept themselves willfully ignorant, and that doesn’t make them any less responsible. “Wir haben es nicht gewuβt” is not a valid excuse, and neither is not knowing what that means.

It’s anyone’s guess by now where and when this is going to end. Even this incident didn’t lead to unanimous, unequivocal condemnation of Trump by the Republican party. Sure, a few more Republicans have voiced their disgust, a few more CEO’s have left Trump’s manufacturing council, but still no unanimous call for Trump’s impeachment or for the application of Article 25. Maybe that will happen tomorrow and by next week this piece of slime will be in jail, or it could go on and get worse and we could have a civil war.

But at some point this will be over. Trump will be out of office, along with Bannon and his other thugs, and America will have to pick up the pieces. Americans didn’t learn the lessons Europeans learned from World War Two. They didn’t experience fascism firsthand, they didn’t learn how it creeps up. They didn’t know the meaning of the word fascism and they wouldn’t have been able to recognize a fascist if one walked up and kissed their babies. Clearly.

So America will have to be re-educated. Americans can’t do it themselves, because there never has been any real history education in this country, not in middle and high school. There has never been real geography education either. During the Cold War we in Holland learned that lots of Americans didn’t even know where the Soviet Union was, that lots of folks thought it was in Canada. That was hard to believe. Until a few days ago, when people were asked on the streets of Los Angeles if they could point out North Korea on a world map. Sure enough: Canada. Because of this lack of historical and geographical perspective, most Americans also don’t have a sense of their culture and how it relates to the rest of the world. And white kids in this country certainly don’t learn where African Americans are coming from, or Native Americans. Just look at the massive incomprehension facing the Black Lives Matter movement, or the nazis in Charlottesville chanting “Blood and Soil”.

America is largely Christian, and a lot of American Christians are extremely loud and proud about it, and go on and on about their moral compass, and how others don’t have one. For all the influence they have had on this country, as far as teaching people that racism is bad, that fascism is bad, that hating people in general to the point of wanting to hurt them physically is bad, they have done jack shit. To all those Christian Trump voters: I wouldn’t touch your moral compass with a ten-foot pole. The Christian influence on American public education has mostly been to avoid all talk of “controversial subjects” like slavery, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, European nationalism, imperialism, etc. We humanists call those subjects teachable moments. Those are the subjects you use to teach kids to think for themselves about what is right and wrong and how to recognize them. If you really have a moral compass. If teaching kids right from wrong is truly your priority.

The school textbooks will have to be rewritten and teachers retrained. The politics around the content of school curriculum and textbooks needs to go. It’s a lot. Where to start? It would all have to be addressed at once. Maybe the leader of the free world could send a few of her best folks to re-educate this country. And for those of you who don’t get the joke, that’s why you need history lessons–irony is so much fun.

 

Get Real, America!

sean spicer

Image: cnn.com

This week White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer uttered what may be the most offensive garbage yet, claiming that Bashar al-Assad is worse than Hitler, because even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons, at least not on his own people and not in their cities and villages. Continue reading

Empty, Spent, Blank, While the Pundits Catch Up

Image: salon.com

Image: salon.com

Blank is what my blog has been lately, and blank is what my mind is right now. Blank, empty, with nothing left to say other than “I told you so, America”.

For decades, I have been railing against American authoritarianism, America’s flirtation with fascism, the dangerous lack of education and critical thinking skills. Continue reading

Surprise? I Think Not

 

make americ agreat again

Image: atlantic.com

In an otherwise good article, Ann Marie Cox claims that Trump’s success in this GOP primary race could not have been foreseen with logic or by looking at history.

Really? Continue reading

Trump and Muslim Databanks

image: dcwhispers.com

image: dcwhispers.com

I wrote a short post about the angry goldfish and his demagoguery about illegal immigrants last week. Now that a few Islamic extremists have carried out some horrendous attacks in Paris, he has moved seemlessly to Syrian refugees and more: he wants to register all Muslims in this country and make them have some kind of identification as such. Continue reading

This Country Great Again

image: huffingtonpost.com

image: huffingtonpost.com

The angry goldfish at the top of the GOP presidential candidate polls is blaming all the country’s woes on a vulnerable group in society–undocumented immigrants in this case. Continue reading

Uh, Independence From What?

When I saw this video on  Facebook, it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me, although I suppose it shouldn’t have, were a lot of the comments blaming the GOP and the Koch Brothers. Continue reading