Letter to Editor:
Is it not the goal of most educators to present students with the most up-to-date information? Or has our job changed to discussing the section of the curriculum to that which I am in favor of. I work with youth everyday. As an educator with the Adolescent Offenders Program, I chose to discuss the election process with my students. For weeks, we looked at candidates, their policies and beliefs, and the Electoral College process.
Never once, can a student honestly say that I indicated to them that I was angry or would be angry if they favored one over the other. This is America and just like me, my students have political freedoms. I allowed my students who were for Senator McCain to state whatever it was that they wanted to say about him or the election, as long as it was not offensive towards another student. I gave my students who supported Senator Obama the same opportunity. Both sides talked, and they seemed to enjoy weighing out the differences in the candidates.
For months, I received emails encouraging me not to vote for this Muslim, and for months the media and Obama himself repeatedly told us that he is not a Muslim. This election has received more coverage than any other in the history of the world! People everywhere have been fixated on who the American people would choose.
So what if he were a Muslim? Those who oppose President Obama must realize that the rest of us don’t care if he is a Muslim or not. Muslims in America have the same freedoms as you and I and that being Muslim does not mean terrorist. In the south, we term those good ole’ boys Klansmen. My McCain supporting students dropped that argument a long time ago.
President Obama has made history. That is a fact! Why shouldn’t this fact be discussed in classrooms, lecture halls, auditoriums, etc.? Remember Americans there is this little thing that we use from time to time called freedom of speech, or have we educators stop teaching that, too. I am bothered by the fact that many of our school administrators have taken the position of not allowing students to discuss the election of Barack Obama as President of the United Stated of America.
President Obama is, and should be, a household name. It is unfair to suggest that we Americans (whether we be African American, Caucasian, Latino, etc.) should somehow privately discuss or celebrate one of the most news-worthy events of our time. Americans have always discussed politics, and most of us are proud to have a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Law School, the president of the Harvard Law Review, teacher of constitutional law at the University of Chicago Business, and an advocate for civil rights litigation as our President.
The fact that he is African American is just the characteristics that aided him in making history. Perhaps that term fits him better than most of the black people I know who have no idea of their African heritage. His biological father is from Kenya (African) and his biological mother is from Kansas (American.) What a beautiful combination!
I am appalled at the fact that reports keep coming in from students about negative remarks that school officials are making concerning America’s choice. At one school students report that they were called into an assembly. During the assembly, the principal proceeded to tell students that the wrong man had won and that he did not want to hear Obama’s name mentioned in “his school.” Students that could not obey would be placed in in-school Suspension. How does a public school sponsored by taxpayers become one man’s school?
At another area school, a teacher was reported as telling students that she was mad and that they were not to open their mouths to discuss anything about the election.
“Americans are going to see once he messes everything up!” More disturbing still, at another school it was reported that a teacher told students, “Obama is a Muslim and he thinks that he is going to give my hard earned money to crack heads and others who don’t want to work.”
Oh, and I wouldn’t dare forget to mention the bus driver who is now suspended without pay for putting a student off his bus because he proclaimed that Obama was the President.
What do we Americans who believe in democracy say to such ill stated remarks?
The Klan does not regulate the south anymore. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t do a thing about it! President-Elect Obama was voted as the best person to serve by more than a majority of Americans, so who cares what the minority thinks. I personal never voted for nor was I ever satisfied with George W. Bush as President (who lost a majority of the popular votes in 2000), but what could we say? What could we do? What can the minority of you do about Obama being elected President now in 2008? Forget it, move on. Try again after President Obama serves his two consecutive terms. Next time, choose a Republican Candidate who doesn’t define himself as a maverick while others view him as a loose cannon and one who “Pals around with the President,” and make sure that he or she picks a running mate who isn’t widely viewed by Americans as an uninformed diva who is now giving interviews to reporters whom she denied during the campaign season.
/s/Melody M. Campbell
MELODY M. CAMPBELL
419 Railroad Ave.
Water Valley, MS 38965