I was riding the bus to the Red & Black Cafe when I suddenly felt a swell of anger rising in my chest as I realized that it is only, just now, that I am learning about the real history of the United States. And alternative models to the politics and economic system that we've been practicing in this country. I felt angry at what is considered "alternative" in this society, and the misplacement of values, and the way our children are undereducated - the fact that in parts of this country the question of whether or not to teach evolution is even STILL A QUESTION - it just pisses me off.

I am not sending my hypothetical future children to public school, and maybe not even to private school unless it is some type of free school operated by people who truly have a clearer, more truthful vision of what this world is and can be. I don't want my children to be raised up on a foundation of lies, and then have to spend the first 10 years of their adulthoods trying to undo the massive racist, sexist, homophobic, nationalistic, capitalist trauma that has been done to them. While I can't insulate them from it entirely, I can at least give my kids something precious: Time.

I feel robbed of so many years of my life. Even though my parents offered alternative ways of looking at things (e.g. religion, diet, black history), there are so many things they didn't know, so much history they could not pass on to me because they, too, were products of this culture.

The word radical is really starting to make sense to me.

I need to be very conscious and willful about the choices I make now. The type of future I want to live is taking shape in my mind. I have a purpose. I don't know exactly what it is, but I know in which direction to seek it.

I love my friends; they have opened my eyes to so much.
This article made me laugh. Not at the thought of a European American Heritage Month - no, that doesn't bother me; I'm all for putting European American history in perspective (though I'm not naive enough to believe that it will happen anytime soon). No; it was comments like this one (bolding is mine):

Calabro believes that a heritage month would reduce discrimination and defamation directed against European Americans as well as minimize negative associations of European Americans. “Everything taught in schools about European Americans is negative, like how [European Americans] took over the land from [Native Americans]. Why not focus on the positive? Why be ashamed to be European American? We made this country but now are a minority in terms of participation and numbers,” he said.

Understanding other human beings is the greatest challenge of all.
I was talking to two coworkers of mine who have teenaged children. One of my coworkers' kids are in the Portland Public School system, which is having a lot of problems, but the other one has kids in the Beaverton (wealthier suburb) School system, and both of them stated that their children do not bring textbooks home. In fact, the kids do not even possess their own textbooks in high school - the books belong to the classroom, and they are kept there.

I asked, "How do they study?" The answer, "They have worksheets." I asked, "But how do they study the materials; how do they study the information in their books?" The answer was, "They don't; they just get the printed-off worksheets." I said, "But how are they going to learn how to study for college?" The answer, "Yeah, it's pretty bad," followed by shrugs.

That is a new level of WTF-ness for me.



December 2013



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