fresh voices from the front lines of change







I wrote last week about the absolutely shameful, shocking and appalling attacks from conservatives against President Obama in response to his plans to give students a back to school pep talk about the importance of education. I wrote at the time that the level of paranoia and vitriol was all the more amazing given the fact that they were reacting to something that hadn’t even happened yet–not to mention something that could never possibly happen, outside the confines of their snugly fitted tinfoil hats.

Well now the infamous brainwashing, march-of-communism, Nazi. Maoist, Mussolinist, terroristesque, take-away-our-children-and-force-them-into-Obama’s-personal gestapo speech has come to pass, and undoubtedly the right-wingers are gloated that they were absolutely right. And of course they were. I’ll swallow my pride and admit it. Here I expected a completely vanilla, completely uncontroversial, completely benign speech to children about staying in school, and the President shocked me by diving right into the Commie indoctrination from the beginning. I was flabbergasted:

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

At this point I was just thankful that I don’t have any kids yet, because I couldn’t bear to think of my poor child being subjected to such brainwashing! If his introduction wasn’t a call for an armed revolt against capitalism I don’t know what is. And then he started talking about destroying Christianity:

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

And the importance of being pro-choice and not questioning the government:

And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And then he topped it all by commanding everyone to become gay:

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.

And then he turned them all black:

That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

And then, in his parting shot at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, he told all the children to burn flags:

I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

What can I say? Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin were right…it was a horrific speech, a speech full of blatant brainwashing, filled with harmful messages to our children. Thankfully there we parents out there who had the courage to stand up and pull their kids out of school so they couldn’t be subjected to such evil words, words like “Don’t ever give up on yourself”, and in the process giving them a valuable lesson on how the President of the United States, or at least a colored one, ought to be treated as a common criminal.

So obviously gone are the days of our children being taught to look up to the Office of the Presidency, as I was taught when I was in school, so that maybe one day they could aspire to such a prestigious post. Prestigious? Hell no, not anymore! Now we teach them that the President is out to get them, that the President doesn’t have their best interests at heart, that the President is no less than the Boogeyman. Wonderful lessons for children. I really hope these people are proud of themselves.

But of course they probably are. Despite the fact that the President’s speech was exactly what any sane person would have expected–exactly what I would have expected from any president, regardless of ideological background, regardless of color–these parents, right-wing agitators, fearmongers, and the public school administrators who banned the President of the United States from speaking to students in their schools and districts probably are proud of themselves. They are so out of touch with reality, so full of hate, that I wouldn’t be surprised if not a single one of them took a look at the President’s speech, saw how ridiculously harmless it was, and blushed with embarrassment over their paranoid delusions, their gullibility, their shamefulness, and how utterly wrong they were.

That is the problem with these people, they have no sense of shame. With them there is zero introspection. They can be proven dead wrong over and over again–they can lie and lie, or be fooled and fooled, over and over again–and every time, when their wild stories and accusations turn out to be false, they never look back, never think about what that episode says about who they are as people. They don’t feel embarrassed, they don’t feel shame, they don’t wonder how they could have been so gullible and ignorant as to be sucked into all of that. They just go about their lives, maybe jumping on the next bigot bandwagon that conservative opinion leaders send down the trail.

Just once I’d like to know that at least one of these people actually feels shame for how they acted. I don’t expect this from Glenn Beck or those types…I know they are liars, and they know they are liars, and they are happy with their jobs (and well compensated)…but I would just love for one of these teabaggers, or one of these parents who allowed themselves to get worked into a frenzy by the lies of conservative media, to look in the mirror at some point, and think: Wow, when did I lose my sanity? Who have I become?

So that is my simple wish. I urge all the conservatives out there who bought into this “Obama is gonna brainwash your children” nonsense to take a step back, take a deep breath, watch the video of Obama speech, see how undeniably harmless it was, and then take a look inside and really ask yourself…

A) How could I get so caught up in this madness?
B) How could I fall for something so ridiculous and insane?
C) What does this say about who I am?
D) Did I really just treat the President like a sexual predator or a common criminal?
E) What does this say about all of my favorite right-wing pundits and blogs that filled me full of this paranoia?
F) What else could they be lying to me about?

Oh, and let’s add one more, that I’d love for them to really soul-search about:

G) Would I have been this upset about a white president talking to my children?

No, really, ask yourself. Be honest.

As for me, I just want to thank the President for trying to inspire America’s youth to work hard and stay in school. We have been coming up short in education for decades, and dropout rates are soaring, especially among the communities that the President has the most influence with. These are serious problems, and for someone with as much power as the President of the United States not to act would be a dereliction of duty. I hope students his message to heart, and I hope he inspires this young generation to stay in school and take education seriously. We will be a stronger country if he is successful in this, and that shouldn’t have anything to do with politics or ideology.

Update: Here is the video. Be sure to wear your tinfoil hat before viewing, and hide your pets because they are susceptible to Obama’s mind-rays as well, especially terriers and short-haired cat breeds:

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