15 October 2009

And here I thought this place would be boring.

Yesterday, our student body received no less than three emails, from former President George H.W. Bush, from our student body president, and from the interim president of the university stressing that Obama is coming, so DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE. Worry about how the university is going to present itself is in the air. And it's not just protesting a president as he attempts to honor our school for community protest (although I agree that's stupid, it's not necessarily embarrassing). What everyone's really worried about is outright stupidity and racism. There are supposed to be around 6,000 protesters tomorrow, students, College Station residents, and residents who are commuting from Houston and other places--one of the protests is even called "Texans Against Obama's Socialist Agenda," and Amanda over at Pandagon has talked about how socialist is a code word in the South for white privilege being threatened. Socialism means welfare for all, in many Southern white minds, and welfare means lazy black people living off of your hard-earned money. So when you throw "Socialist" into your protest title (also, do protests need titles?), you are asking for a bunch of racists to come and protest Obama giving black people your money and demanding that you care for your fellow human beings, even if they aren't white. I will be (pleasantly) surprised if this turns out to be polite, non-crazy, and non-racist.

There were three articles about Obama's appearance tomorrow in the Battalion, and even a little video about it on their website.
Nearly a year ago, the YCT sponsored an "Anti-Obama Carnival" where eggs were thrown at a poster of then-Presidential Candidate Obama. Many students said they are concerned for the image of Texas A&M University with national cameras rolling.

"Students need to behave in a way that is befitting of A&M. Having any president visit campus is a prestigious honor and for us it will be the second visit in less than a year," said James Vogelsang, a sophomore animal science major. "The visit will bring great publicity for the University and a chance to show the country and the world what type of people we are."
One of the articles even has pictures of the Young Conservatives of Texas making signs, which are hysterical:

The first one says, "Don't draft me, bro," which is either stupid, because Obama has started no wars, or even dumber, because it means she doesn't wanted to be drafted into community service (OH NOES, helping people!). The second one is even better; it says "It's not community service if it's not mandatory!" Because you should feel good about yourself and better than poor people if you help the disadvantaged, not feel like it's your duty as a human being.

It's going to be a circus tomorrow.


Foxwood said...

Do you know what the teacher's unions do for your children?
Do you know why the founding fathers are not taught in school anymore?


Unknown said...

I think the "Don't draft me, bro" came from a proposed bill that was by a Democrat (if I remember correctly) to start drafting for the Iraq war in case numbers were low.

The second one is just dumb.

Courtney said...

I went to public school. I was certainly taught about the founding fathers, in multiple grades, including in prep for the US History AP test. Almost none of my teachers were critical of them, although they most certainly should have been.

Teacher's unions are not meant to look out for children. That's why they're not called children unions. I agree that minors should have rights; in fact, I think that minors are one of the most disenfranchised groups in America and that it is appalling. However, I doubt that's your concern. Your concern is that our schools don't FORCE teachers to teach about capitalism like it has no flaws and is just SUPER AWESOME. You don't care about "the children" so much as you care about every generation after you learning the same hero-worshipping, AMERICA IS THE BEST COUNTRY EVERZ kind of American history and politics that you probably learned in school. School should not be an indoctrination center; it should be about teaching kids critical thinking skills. Which means questioning the sort of sanitized history and politics that are allowed through school boards filled with people who disagree with public schooling on principle.

The Constitution is an outdated document, and if our country's citizens weren't being fed the sort of horse-shit that they are history classes, if we focused on the fact that it is a document written centuries ago by men who owned slaves and didn't think women should ever vote, we'd get that. Even they got that; the founding fathers would likely be appalled that we have changed the Constitution so little since they wrote it. It is supposed to be a document which we can alter to fit the social and historical moment we are living in now, which means that if we recognize that capitalism is causing all sorts of problems, we can write that shit out of the Constitution. It is not set in stone; it is not the ten commandments of making rich people richer and poor people poorer. It is changeable. And, frankly, if we can't improve upon the past, we aren't worthy of the people you are looking up to. They expected us to improve on their model.

Further, if you believe in a federalized education (which, if you think the government should be forcing your children to learn from particular kinds of people--capitalist loving conservatives--and certain versions of history, you most certainly do), then you are supporting a form of socialism. If you use public roads/transportation systems or the post office, or if you trust that your medicine or the food from the grocery store isn't full of poison without having to test it yourself, you are participating in socialist systems. There are already socialist elements to our government that don't throw you into a tizzy, so either stop using these resources and stop being a hypocrite, or get over yourself and start realizing that this isn't the 50s, and "Communist" is no longer a dirty word.