Friday, September 04, 2009

Obama's School Talk Brouhaha

President Obama is going to be giving school kids across the country a talk next week via television. It’s going to be about staying in school, working hard and achieving your dreams. Sounds good and inspirational, right?
Not everybody is seeing it that way. An awful lot of wingnut radio and television personalities are calling it a politically motivated propaganda move. Some are calling it something out of the Third Reich. Blogs are ablaze with parents, particularly here in Texas, saying they’ll be keeping their children out of school that day, or writing petitions asking that schools not show the speech. Personally, I can’t imagine anything wrong with a sitting president giving a “strive and achieve your dreams” speech to kids when our dropout rate is so high. After all, other presidents have done it and nobody seems to have suffered for it.
But that’s not how an awful lot of people are seeing it with this president. And I’m thinking that those people who are going to keep their kids from school are probably people who cannot bear the thought that their kids are going to be inspired by a black president, by a true African-American. They probably cannot stomach the idea that their kids might come home from school and blurt out something like “I want to be just like Obama!”
Because he is going to inspire some kids to stay in school. And he is going to make them feel special by directing a speech at them.
And I hope my daughter is one of the inspired ones, though just this morning, in discussing the issue she said she hated Obama. I asked her why. “Because he’s going to tell us to work hard and I hate to work hard!”
At least she’s got a legit reason to not want to hear it.

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