Diary (11): “Support our teachers “
Posted on April 25, 2009
April 25th, 2009
Support our teachers, the guardians of young minds, mentors of the next generation, and today’s under appreciated heroes.
Uh-oh. Cutbacks are threatened, and our teachers are up in arms. Should only teachers lead this fight against cuts? This affects all of us. Big time.
I don’t know the levels of remuneration. Different claims are made. A state retirement must be very nice. Especially in these times. And I guess you can’t get a quart out of a pint pot, as the saying goes. If cuts are coming, let us hope they are shared out equally. Still, I confess that teachers have my warmest sympathy. Let me explain.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr Elbert Guillory, during his senatorial run. I was impressed with the gentleman’s charm, his soft spoken, but piercingly insightful comments, and his knowledge of History. We had an interesting all too brief discussion comparing notes on the efficacy -or otherwise- of FDR’s economic policies during the Great Depression. He is the sort of person of integrity you feel instinctively that you can trust. I put it to him that the recent burning of a cross at Grand Coteau was a shameful act, and should be clearly condemned. He, for his part, sighed sadly, and thought it was probably the work of immature adolescents, and perhaps best quietly ignored. He is probably right. But it annoyed me.
Hitler went to great lengths to portray the Jews as an inferior race. Stalin did something similar with the Kulaks. And of course, we have the great contributions to humanity performed by Pol Pot and his Kmer Rouge, and other friendly people such as the current thugs in charge of places like North Korea and the Sudan. White supremacists disdain blacks and Hispanics. Hispanics and blacks naturally retaliate, and the whole thing stays just plain ugly.
Much of the writings of Hitler in Mein Kampf seem almost puerile today. The ravings of a crackpot. It would almost be comical, but for the fact that those rambling hate-filled thoughts led to untold suffering and human misery.
Is it really true that the British routinely hunted native aboriginees in Australia for “sport ” right up until the nineteen thirties? I thought it was perhaps a Hollywood inspired exaggeration flowing from movies like Quigley Down Under.
But no, some research indicates the sordid facts of that ugliness. Man’s inhumanity against Man.
Is it really true that untold numbers of young black men were publicly hanged, without proper trial, in twentieth century Christian America? Often for the flimsiest reasons? Yes. Is it true that many white townspeople posed proudly for photographs beside the limp bodies, seemingly proud of their accomplishments? Yes. Is it true that mostly there was never any legal comeback on these cowardly murderers? Yes. Is it true that President Franklin D.Roosevelt was repeatedly urged to back an anti-lynching law, and refused? Yes. Was this a shameful episode? Yes.
But this is 2009. Times have changed. A black man, smart, highly intelligent, sophisticated and charismatic sits in the White House. Proving, if further proof was needed, that there are no limits to where a black man can go, a brown man, a yellow man, or a half brown with-a-bit-of-yellow-and-black man.
Who cares anymore? The science of DNA should convince even the most ardent Swastika tattooed White Supremacist.
If only said person would stop and look. I’m no scientist, but I believe the coloring agent is called Melanin. It’s called a pigment. If you have lots of it, you’re black. If you have a medium amount of it, you are brown. Not a lot makes you varying shades of yellow or white. It’s basically that simple.
We are talking minute, tiny, infinitesimal small differences between human beings on this planet. To all extents and purposes, we are all brothers and sisters. Just take a look at the complicated ancestry of Tiger Woods. And what a charming, intelligent, witty fellow he is.
Who cares anymore? There is more and more intermingling going on. With such minute differences, I am much more interested in a person’s intellectual and emotional make up. I really don’t care if he’s black, or white, or yellow, or brown, or purple with orange polka dots. I have worked with whites, blacks, browns and yellows. Some were good, some were dubious, and the occasional few were stinkers. It had nothing… to do with their pigmentation.
A friend of mine, white, was recently viciously mugged by two young gun wielding black men on Ambassador Caffrey in Lafayette. They pistol whipped him so badly, that he was knocked unconscious. He showed me the photos. He had a lump the size of an egg on the back of his head. It could have killed him.
Recently, four incredibly brave young black men invaded a house in Opelousas just after lunch time, waving guns and threatening a Vietnamese grandmother and some young children.
These are two examples of despicable crimes, that, note this: have NOTHING to do with race. They have to do with young men making incredibly bad decisions, and crossing the line. A line they know full well exists.
It wasn’t their pigmentation that made the decision to willingly endanger life. Or their hair style. Or their baggy pants.
It was their minds. Their brains. The exact same biological mass that all us humans have.
Some have said that Police and Newspaper articles should not mention race. I don’t agree, but I can see their point. It’s a distraction. It seems to imply a racial tendency towards greater crime. Which doesn’t exist, right? We’re all the same, brothers and sisters, right?
Some would say: Wrong. Ask any person in Law Enforcement. The percentage of young blacks incarcerated is way, way higher than other races. What? Why?
Others say: well, blacks don’t get the same legal representation. That’s why there’s so many more behind bars.
Does that explain ALL of it? What do you think?
For me, I still don’t see it as a predominantly racial issue. I see it as a desperate problem, but I’m inclined to follow Mr Guillory’s lead: think in terms of literacy. Education. Teachers… What IS the illiteracy rate amongst these young men?
I have heard frighteningly high figures. Forty-five per cent?? How handicapped is a young man, who does not graduate from school? Who reads and writes poorly? I don’t care if he’s white, brown, yellow, black or indigo with ocre stripes, how is he going to make a career out of anything? What happens to his self respect?
Most of you have already guessed where I am going with this: this is a passionate plea for everybody to support our teachers. This is an urgent, urgent appeal for everybody to warmly appreciate our teachers. Call the cops by all means when it goes wrong. When young men cross the line, take up guns and drugs, and throw away their lives. But know this: law enforcement cannot solve the problems of society. Law enforcement, however brave and determined our fine Officers are, cannot educate our young people. Society as a whole must tackle the problem of illiteracy.
We look at our teachers. We also look at our leaders to support our teachers. And we look at parents to support our teachers. And we look at charities, self help organizations to support everybody, any age, and race, who wishes to learn to read and write. Or improve their skills.
I don’t care if you’re black. Or white. Or brown. Or yellow. You are a human being. There is a world of opportunity for you, if you can master reading and writing. You can go anywhere, and do anything. You can even be the President of the United States of America.
It is essential -vital- that we all face the problem of illiteracy. It affects all of us. Support our teachers. And support local voluntary organizations dedicated to helping people to develop reading and writing skills. I would ask for reader feedback: with regards to people outside the education system: where can they go to develop their skills? Where can a High School drop out go, regardless of race, age or origin, and be treated with respect and compassion, and helped with basic reading and writing skills?
Do we have reading and writing lessons available for young offenders in our prisons? On parole? I’m curious to know more. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Support our teachers! Realistically, they may not get all the pay and retirement benefits they are seeking. But I hope that does not distract these fine professionals from the urgent tasks in hand. I for one would like to express my warm appreciation for the difficult and challenging jobs they do. I think you will find the good ones, the idealists, put in many, many more hours than they are contracted to. Good educators can work wonders for interracial harmony, and a steady climb out of illiteracy for countless disadvantaged youngsters. They can help spread compassion, mutual understanding, and racial tolerance. They deserve our support.
Peace. Happy reading.