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Sunday , August 18 2019
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Home | Tag Archives: tim holt educator

Tag Archives: tim holt educator

Op-Ed: What Good Is Teaching Kids To Not Bully When We Have A Racist as President?

Send her back!” “Send her back!” chanted the crowd at the rally for the man that was sworn into office with a bible once held by the Great Emancipator.

They chanted in unison as he smiled broadly after mocking a duly elected Unites States Representative and US citizen, Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

He smiled.

He basked in the moment.

He did nothing to stop them from expressing their message of hate.

He could have said “Stop.”

He could have said that that type of behavior was inappropriate.

He could have said that we are all Americans.

He did nothing but smile.

Thousands of slobbering, mouth breathing MAGA-hat-wearing Republicans, all crammed into a convention center in Greenville, North Carolina; all rabidly and proudly displaying their most base, racist tendencies. This, in their minds, is what making America great again was all about.

Send her back. Send the BLACK woman back to where she came from. Back to Africa. Get out of here. You are black. You wear something on your head that isn’t a red, Chinese made baseball cap.

America will be great again when all the blacks are back in Africa. While you are at it, send all the Mexicans and other brown skins back to Mexico. Except the Cubans. We like the Cubans.We would rather have them than those pesky unAmerican Puerto Ricans.

You don’t belong in our whites-only America.

All of that hate was stoked by the crapfest made by a man who has made a political career by being a Not-quite-white-supremacist-but close, a charge he denies, but something his actions cannot.

From denying housing to minorities as a 1970’s slum lord, to the Central Park 5, to fanning the flames of the “Birther Movement,” to starting his run for president by calling Mexicans “rapists and murderers,” to asking for “My black guy” at a political rally, to saying that there are good White Supremacists, to telling four women of color that are in Congress to “Go back where they came from,” this almost daily reminder that this grand experiment may not be so grand after all, has proven time and time again that not only is he a racist, but his millions and millions of Republican followers, who seemed to have never taken a single class in US History, are as well.

“We aren’t all racists” they claim. But just look how the GOP, collectively, come to the Racist-in-Chief’s defense, not only to claim he was misquoted, to mock the media for reporting it, to even, as Fox News did, blame the democrats for his racist behavior. Can the GOP as a group condemn his words?

Not a chance. They roll excitedly in them like your dog in a pile of poop. In fact, some have even made the case that if you protest a racist and his racist rants, you are anti-American and anti-Jesus. You should go back where you came from.

Indeed, his approval rating among Republicans actually increased once he began his racist rants against four female members of Congress that are all women of color. His approval ratings went up. Up.

Let that sink in for a second.

And before you claim that what he or his followers were saying was not racist, the phrase “Why don’t you go back to where you came from” is specifically mentioned in EEOC documents as a textbook example of discrimination. A Textbook Example.

Yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary, 90% of his supporters claim that he is not a racist. It is like a Monty Python sketch where the man holding the dead parrot refuses to believe it is dead, despite all the evidence pointing to the parrot, indeed is dead.

Just a few years ago, Republicans tried to prove they were not a white’s only club because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and well, look at what he did for black people.

Well, about that: Two recent studies have shown without doubt that Republican supporters, by and large, support this president not for typical economic reasons, but because they are afraid of losing their lily-white faced country to people that do not look like them. They are afraid of “the other.”

Pew Research data, published last week stated: “An analysis of ‘feeling thermometer’ ratings of Trump finds that attitudes about immigration, Islam and racial diversity are strongly associated with Republican voters’ views of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

Other political values — including opinions about whether the U.S. economic system is unfair and whether business profits are excessive — are less closely linked to feelings about Trump.”

Not surprisingly, other research has shown that the more one associates feelings that our nation is being taken over by “the other,” the greater the support of Trump.

Make America White Again should really be the slogan.

Maybe all Republicans aren’t all racists, but as the Chicago Tribune pointed out, supporting racism and those that are racist is just as bad as being one. Every single Republican that right now supports this president (who will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst we have ever had), is just as guilty as their fellow  North Carolinian GOP moral neanderthals for supporting his racist agenda. You don’t get a pass by saying “But yes, the economy is good.” You are not allowed to be a fair-economic weather racists.

Either you support racism, or you don’t. You either are Christian or you are not. It is that easy. You take the moral high road, or you take the low road. There is no middle ground here. Your choice Republicans. You can’t have it both ways.

When I was young, I was taught that I should respect the “Office” of the President, even if I didn’t like the president himself. Fair enough.

But as a child, I could not mentally separate the “Office” of the president from the person that was the president. The office and the person were one in the same. This is probably true today with our children, who are watching carefully what is happening.

The moral standard bearer for our nation is a racist and a bully.

“Someday little Sally, you could grow up to be the President of the United States” we used to tell our kids. What does that mean today? Do we even want our kids have that particular aspiration? What message is that sending? Someday, you too can be the biggest bully in the whole world? Someday, you can lead a convention hall full of haters in a hate chant? Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

School districts across the country spend millions and millions of dollars each year on “anti-bullying” and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum and teaching, trying to get across the message to our children that being a bully, being mean, and being rude to your fellow students, or anyone, is wrong.

It is a deep-seated message, founded, I suppose, in the idea that you should treat your neighbor with the same type of behavior that you want to be treated. It is the basis for most religions. It is in every school. It is the foundation, basically, for almost every single law that we have ever passed.

It is even the basis for the Melania Trump’s ironically named “Be Best” campaign.

Yet, here we are, trying to teach that message to our children that watch the news and see the president being a bully, being mean, being rude and treating his neighbors like caca almost on a daily message.

How can evangelicals, with a straight face, teach their children the words of Jesus who said to treat everyone with love, while at the same time claiming that this president was chosen by their god? Is racism, hate and bullying the message we want our children to see? Is that the type of behavior we want them to emulate?

How do we explain to them when they misbehave when they can point at a tv screen and say “but the president does it?”

Hopefully, there are enough parents and teachers out there that can use our current office holder as a negative example.

Trump is how NOT to behave.

Trump is what a bully looks and behave like.

Trump shows us how not to treat other people.

Trump shows us what our country is NOT about.

People that support Trump are examples of how NOT to behave.

Maybe that is how we make the difference.

Kids, this guy is a bad example of how to be a human, and this is how you should not behave. MAGA.

***

Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Op-Ed: Librarians will restore your faith in America

It is easy to lose faith in America and the American way of life.

Politicians certainly don’t do much to reaffirm the ideals of the founding fathers. The judiciary seems impotent to stop incompetent or just evil political parties and policies (as recently demonstrated in their deferral on radical political gerrymandering).

People without means fall farther and farther behind those that do, thus ensuring that their slice of the American Dream Pie grows smaller and smaller until all they have to fight over are the crumbs from the crust.

And don’t get me started on religion, where the followers of the Christ, still the majority religion in this nation, who believe that our plot of land has some special embedded voodoo power from the invisible guy in the sky, seem to have forgotten or just choose to ignore almost every single thing that their prophet ever taught.

Meanwhile, we have gotten so used to kids getting shot up in schools, that it hardly gets a mention on the evening news because we are watching a bunch of brown kids being locked into chainlink holding cells, and any indignation is simply drowned out by the next outrage tweeted by the current grifter-in-chief.

It is easy to get discouraged. It is easy to forget that there is hope. It is easy to think and feel that our beloved country is stuck in a funk.

But there is hope.

I saw hope recently in Washington DC. And I saw it from an unlikely group of people, ones you would might not think would be leading the charge of keeping the the ideals of the American Dream alive. That group is America’s librarians.

The recent American Library Association conference, held late in June, was not only a celebration of all things reading as one would expect, but it was also a celebration of all of those things we think are are somehow being squashed by forces that we cannot control.

The ALA quite frankly used the 5 day event to give a giant collective middle finger, right there in the nation’s capitol, to anyone that says American ideals are on the way out.

(Image from Publishers Weekly)

ALA used their convention to showcase the ideals that our country is a collective of diverse ideals from a variety of voices and all ideas are welcome, not just those yelling the loudest.

Starting off the conference with a keynote speech from young adult author and poet Jason Reynolds who led the audience on a trip through the hood, why libraries are the true temples, and his award winning YA poetry and novels to the creation of his ‘Miles Morales – A YA Spider-Man Novel.”

Follow that up with a discussion from Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor who discussed how she used libraries to influence her life, Hoda Kotb addressed the conference as did “Sin City” and “300” creator Frank Miller, CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Mo Rocca and George Takei who silenced 6000 attendees with his description of being interred as a child in a Japanese American in a concentration camp in the California desert during World War 2 and how what happened to him and his family was similar to what is happening right this minute outside of El Paso in Clint Texas.

The message was clear to all: to present what we are as Americans, we present who Americas actually are: Black, Hispanic, Gay, Asian American, Egyptian American, white, male, female. ALA made it very clear in their choosing highlighted speakers: We, as a country, are truly a melting pot of ideas.

Perhaps Takei stated it best when he reminded the crowd that in Star Trek, where he played Mr. Sulu the starship’s helmsman, the concept of IDIC, Infinite Diversity through Infinite Combinations, was the reason that there was a representative from every populated continent on Earth as part of the cast, including an alien first officer.

That ideal from the 1960’s was alive and well on the main stage at ALA.

Of course, if it were just the speakers, one could dismiss that as mere coincidence, but the entire conference was a celebration of the creative spirit with literally hundreds of authors, illustrators, graphic artists, comedians, actors all blended together.

Walking down the isles of the exhibition halls, one could find not only graphic novels with traditional white male heroes, but female heroes, gay heroes, minority super heroes, lesbian and transgender super heroes, asian and latin American superheroes, and on and on and on.

Creativity was welcomed, as much as diversity. White male middle aged authors creating characters that defied characterization used to be left in the realm of Science Fiction.

At ALA, and soon at a bookstore near you, reading materials from the totality of the American experience will be offered to you. This conference was more about the gifted talents of Americans than any GT-specific conference I have ever attended.

Within walking distance of the ALA conference, the National Mall, with it’s museums and monuments, stands as a testament to the American Dream.

One can’t help but notice that these great museums are shrines to the creativity and diversity of all of the American people, not just a select white, rich few.

Art, culture, race, technology, and history all are on display for anyone to experience. All are reminders to what diversity and creativity and drive can accomplish if freely allowed to do so.

So too was the ALA convention just down the street.

Librarians, leading the way, showing the rest of us what America should continue strive to be. We are, as a nation, better together.

E Pluribus Unum.

Thank you librarians.

Lead on.

***

Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Op-Ed: Too much technology for parents to handle?

I once was asked to answer questions from a TV report about Ed-tech in the classroom.

“Does your district provide classes or help for parents who are not comfortable with technology?”

We had recently just completed a 1:1 roll out in our schools, and had also moved towards digital textbooks. The implication of the question, at least in my mind, was that the technology was difficult to understand, and the school district should provide some kind of training for parents so that they could work with their children.

It sounds like a great idea. At least at first.

I got to thinking about the question a lot. I tried to think of another area in school where parents might be given instruction about how to use the tools their children are being asked to use. I could not think of a single one, although I am sure they are out there somewhere.

For instance, suppose my child is taking band. Do we teach parents how to play the instruments so that they can help their children during practice?

Do we give parents lessons on modern dance to help their children with a complex dance routine?

Do we train parents for basic academic topics? Do we tutor parents on Algebra, American Government, Calculus, or Physics? No, we do not. To any of the above examples.

Would that type of training even be helpful? I don’t think so. Here is why: Student use all kinds of technology to get to a single answer. For instance they might solve a Algebra homework question by using Wolfram Alpha, or Khan Academy, or Hippocampus.org.

The list is endless.

There is no way a school could say to a parent “here is the only way to help your child with this algebra problem.” It would be an exercise in futlity. The better exercise would be to teach students how to search for help, how to collaborate on questions, and how to use tools like Skype to work together after hours.

Then explain to their parents WHAT students will be doing, how to watch them online, and how to set expectations for technolgoy use at home.

I know that school districts all over the place, and even schools by themselves, give “parent training” on the basics of technology. Usually, these classes center around how to use a computer, how to surf the internet, how to fill out online forms, etc. They help non-technical parents function at a low level in a technical workforce.

Yet, I dont think that these are all that useful for parents to work with their children unless the lessons given to the parents are tied to the lessons the students are learning in the classroom. In most cases, they are not. They are the basics of technology use.

The children have a greater understanding of the technology by what they use in the classroom and with their peers.

Many districts does provide videos for students on how to use the very basics of the technology they are getting and parents could access those videos. Most districts have cyber safety tips for parents as well.

The general education public still does not see technology as an integrated piece of the learning culture, but rather an add on; Tech is not as a pencil, but as a pencil sharpener. That needs to change.

Tech in the classroom is here to stay, and is designed to transform learning when used correctly.

Parents need to get on board and learn how to help their children use technology, as much as they help teach their children how to hold a book and write.

***

Author: Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Read his previous columns here.

Amy’s Ambassadorship
Khalid 728
Soccer/Volleyball 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Mountains 728
Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
EP ELEC 2019 728×729
STEP 728
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