Saturday, September 5, 2009

I'm not about to sit idly by...

... while right-wing clowns like Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Beck continue their attempts at lying, mis-representation and fear-mongering in an attempt to attack the President... this time aimed at school-children and gullible parents.

For the most part, the Northeast has a fairly liberal and progressive bent, and frankly speaking, I never thought the stupidity and insanity that has overtaken Texas and Virginia would spread up here... but alas it has. My daughter's school sent out an email informing parents that Obama's speech to the children of the US would be reviewed and then a decision made as to whether or not it will be shown to the children. As you can imagine, I was outraged, and more than a little surprised. I responded with the email below... (I've removed the school name and location out of consideration for my family and the school).

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for taking the time to send this email concerning President Obama's speech to our nation's school children. Xxxxxxxxxxxx, while I understand the school administration's desire to be mindful and considerate of the concerns of the student's parents, I must confess to some confusion regarding your email. In it you state that there will be decision made as to whether or not the children will be shown the President's speech? I must object! Xxxxxxxxxxxxx School is still, last time I checked, a public school... a publicly funded ward of the State of New York and the government of the United States of America. And like him or not, President Obama is the elected leader of our government, and our country's president. Is the administration of this public school seriously considering censorship with regards to a speech made by the President and directed at the school children of our country, all in order to appease the desperate and misguided attempts of a vocal minority of people with a transparent goal of attacking this President by any means necessary?

Whatever your politics, whatever your beliefs, whatever your thoughts are concerning President Obama, the fact remains that he IS our President, our government's elected leader, and the very idea of a public institution even considering an act of censorship of this kind leaves me simply appalled.

While it may not seem convenient to those waging this wedge-driving campaign to remember, this is hardly the first time a President has delivered a speech to the children of the US. In 1991, then President George H.W. Bush delivered a speech to school children in a widely broadcast teleconference. The message was hardly one of trying to convert school-kids to a political ideology. It was a speech meant to encourage kids to work heard, stay in school, and learn. It was an admirable effort that should no more have been opposed than the proposed speech by President Obama.

The thought that President Obama would present a speech to children that would somehow encourage them towards a specific political ideology is simply laughable, and is just another in a long succession of fear tactics being employed by a small minority with a specific goal. And I for one will not sit by idly while a public school considers such an act of censorship.

I encourage you to please use common sense in this matter, and not buy into the hysteria simply as a matter of appeasement. A speech by the highest elected official in our country to our schoolchildren encouraging them to work hard and be successful can be nothing but a positive thing. I would recommend showing the speech to the school as a whole, and invite parents along to watch with their children if they wish. This will get the parents involved and help provide context if the parents feel it is needed.

However, I will strongly resist the school being complicit in an act of censorship. I have known the school administration to use common sense and intelligent consideration with issues in the past, and it is my hope that this will continue.

Thank you, xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, for your time in reading this letter.

1 comment:

  1. Curious as to if there was any reply from the school yet. Great letter, btw.