Always Just Below the Surface in This Fucked-Up Country

A middle-school teacher in Florida asked his students what CHANGE meant in relation to Barack Obama’s campaign. Then he wrote the answer on the board.

7 Responses to “Always Just Below the Surface in This Fucked-Up Country”

  1. gcotharn says:

    Congrats! You’ve found someone we both agree committed a racist action!

    Re This F#$%@#$ Up Country

    I invite you to take heart in the progress which is being made. I know you want race to instantly be an invisible nonfactor in every corner of America. In the world as it exists, that is not going to instantly happen. And yet: we are progressing. I know you want progress to be faster.

    I invite you to reflect on the wonder that progress is happening at all. Such is not a given – look at the Jewish struggle throughout history. Our nation is progressing. A black man is leading the race for POTUS. Forty years ago: this teacher would not have been fired from the Florida Public School System, Oprah and Condi Rice and any number of others would not have achieved what they have achieved. Heck: forty five years ago Condi’s childhood friends were bombed and killed just for being black. Today, Repubs are anxiously awaiting Bobby Jindal’s eventual run for the Presidency (even though he’s not of African descent, his example is applicable.) Progress is happening.

  2. An appreciative teacher says:

    This literally makes me sick at my stomach.

  3. Kathy says:

    Actually, I don’t think he was fired. He was suspended for ten days.

  4. gcotharn says:

    Wow. That must be some pile of extenuating circumstances.

    The WJHG article says he has been removed from his position as a 7th Grade Teacher, suspended, and reassigned to a county Adult Education Program. In addition:

    Howard has been released from his football coaching responsibilities and his actions are being reported to the Florida Department of Education. He is also required to attend diversity and sensitivity training as part of his disciplinary action.

    Howard was first suspended on September 29th with pay. Wednesday he was given a written reprimand. He will also have to write a letter of apology to the students involved.

    I see a couple of possibilities:

    1) He’s a racist who should be fired but cannot be due to Teachers Union contract.
    2) He’s a good guy who used bad judgment via trying to make a point in an inappropriate fashion, and therefore his supervisors choose to have some mercy. Decent persons sometimes use bad judgment. Even bloggers and wingnut commenters.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I had to surf through some left blogs to get to that WJHG article. Those blogs invariably were saying “J’accuse! Proof of lurking racism against Obama!”

    First, who doubts there is racism against Obama? No one doubts this. Why are those blogs so keen to “prove” something which everyone believes? I believe it’s Gallup which found 3% of voters will vote against Obama b/c of race. It was some big polling company – like Gallup or Rasmussen – which ran that study.

    Second, the same study found that 3% of voters will vote for Obama b/c of race – this includes a portion of white voters. My question: Do these left blogs, which keenly ascertain race votes against Obama, fail to as keenly ascertain race votes for Obama?

    I’m guessing they know Obama will gain some votes b/c of race. Is it that they believe far more than 3% will race-vote against Obama? Is it that, since they don’t have polling data to back up their suspicion, they are trying to use anecdotal evidence to argue their case?

  5. Kathy says:

    I see a couple of possibilities:

    1) He’s a racist who should be fired but cannot be due to Teachers Union contract.
    2) He’s a good guy who used bad judgment via trying to make a point in an inappropriate fashion, and therefore his supervisors choose to have some mercy. Decent persons sometimes use bad judgment. Even bloggers and wingnut commenters.

    It is irrelevant whether “he is a racist” or whether “he is a good guy.” No one can see into his soul to know whether he is a racist or a good person, and those terms are meaningless in this context anyway. What matters is what he did. What he did should be grounds for firing.

  6. gcotharn says:

    I basically agree. However, the people running the school district likely have a feel for whether he has the type of character which they want to have in their employees. It’s at least possible he does have good character, and merely made a misguided choice on the way to making a larger point such as: Racism is bad. That’s a reasonable possibility. The school district has not given detailed enough quotes for us to fully assess the situation. In absence of further information, I’m even backing off my original assessment that he committed a racist act. He might have. Or, he might have made a poor choice while trying to make a larger point. I don’t think we have enough information to accurately assess which is true. People make poor choices. It’s who we are.

  7. Kathy says:

    It’s at least possible he does have good character, and merely made a misguided choice on the way to making a larger point such as: Racism is bad. That’s a reasonable possibility.

    No, it’s not.

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