I still don't know what possessed me to read all the truly "wack-a-doodle" stuff the hand-wringing right-wingers were saying about the President's plan to address school children on Tuesday...I must be a glutton for punishment.
You would think the President was planning on using "Jedi Mind Tricks" to indoctrinate grade school children into a secret cult of 8-14 year old storm troopers rather than simply encourage academics and responsibility in the generation that will one day inherit this space we occupy.
It's hard not to agree with presidential spokesperson Robert Gibbs who said, "I think we've reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can't tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school."
Most of the silly comments by conservative commentators just annoyed me (to be fair... they usually do), but this bordered on the absurd. Good Lord, to think that our raised by a single mother, Harvard educated, African-American, happily married, father of two school age children President is actually trying to serve as an example of excellence and provide leadership to the next generation of kids who may look like him, come from families like his and might want to follow in his footsteps. Egads...we might as well impeach him now, because God knows what he'll do next. Try to balance the budget, restore our reputation in world, tackle racism, provide universal healthcare, focus on diplomacy as a viable solution to conflicts?
I can see why the anticipation of this speech was so scary.
Well if you want to judge the President's radical speech for the indoctrination of school children for yourself...the White House released it Monday for parents to review ahead of time and you can read it HERE.
"Set your own goals for your education"...OMG...how radical, how political, how dare he. Folk are ridiculous!
Both President Bush and Reagan addressed the nation's school children with a similar message during their administrations and there was no threats to pull kids out of school rather than allow the President to encourage kids to "ask questions", "work hard" and "spend time studying."
A lot of people are trying to figure out why all the animosity toward President Obama when it comes to his "audacity of hope" approach to things. Some attribute it to racism...but I think it is actually FEAR. Those who have always been at the top are afraid that a generation of those traditionally on the bottom will actually grow up with goals, dreams and aspirations...and a plan of action to make them realities of life.
Prior to the release of the actual address, a great deal was made out of the one of the announced aspects of the President's "lesson plan." An initial version of the plan recommended that students draft letters to themselves discussing "what they can do to help the president." The plan was for letters to "be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals." After pressure from conservatives, the White House said that the plan was not artfully worded, and distributed a revised version encouraging students to write letters about how they can "achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."
Let's cut to the chase. The plan was to ask the kids to think about how they can "help the President;" Well, give me my marching orders because I'd like to know that too. Why wouldn't we...or haven't we figured out yet that helping him, helps us!
Somebody tell me why, if Obama is "the President" & if he has a plan that is beneficial to the country...why shouldn't we want to help him achieve it?
Oh...maybe it is because OBAMA is "The President"... and helping him right the wrongs of previous administrations would really start a revolution of change.
I tweeted on this topic on Labor Day (when I should have been eating ribs and listening to Frankie Beverly and Maze...) and one of my "followers" asked me, as if there was a vast left-wing conspiracy brewing, "Now Star, what can a grade schooler do to help the President?"
Well, since you asked...how about we start with the simple stuff like stay in school, listen to their parents, do their homework & don't hit other kids. Basic stuff like that will lead LITTLE kids to be responsible BIG kids who then get decide to get their high school diplomas, stay away from using and selling drugs, and refrain from shooting people who tick them off.
And then God forbid these same little Obama-mite "cult members" become responsible adults who then go to college, get jobs, invest in the economy and raise another generation just like themselves!
Former First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian and school teacher felt compelled to come out in support of the speech because of all the brouhaha. I've read the lesson plan and the full content of the speech if you can find anything at all wrong with the speech or the lesson plan, you just need to check yourself...because you are, in a word: tripping!
Here is the President's actual charge to the students:
"Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. 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."
Conservatives calm down the "scary brown man" isn't trying to steal little Johnny's brain cells...he's actually trying to activate them.
Ya'll work so hard at trying to go against everything this man is trying to do, you go after him on something that there should be no argument against. I swear, I have to agree with the writer who suggested "if President Obama reminded people to brush between meals, thousands of conservatives would rather allow their teeth to rot out of their heads!"
Admit it...brushing your teeth is a good thing...and so is motivating children to be all they can be through education.
(Note: If you want to watch the speech with your children and/or your school district isn't showing it, here is the link to watch it yourself!)