The American People?

With roughly a third of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans, the party bombards us with the term American People at every utterance. With almost 60% of the country fully vaccinated, Republicans say the American People have doubts. Yesterday, Mitch McConnell, in response to questions about the insurrection, said the American people want to move on; in response to a bevy of issues surrounding the grievous actions, by the former president, defaming democracy:

     “I think the American people are focusing on this administration and what it is doing to the              country. And it’s my hope that the 2022 election will be a referendum on the performance of the current administration. Not a rehash of suggestions about what may have happened in 2020,” said McConnell.

The use of domestic-PsyOps-speech by Republicans has proven so effective, they continue to use it; American people, pro-life, trickle-down, and job creators are so inculcated into political language, no one bothers to question their legitimacy any longer. The latest entrant in the misappropriation of words is Critical Race Theory. The teaching of Critical Race Theory in graduate law school classes is a complex idea. Time and space do not allow for a lengthy discussion in this forum, but I hope the words of former Vice President Pence and Senator Ted Cruz, who liken the theory to reverse racism and the Klan, are not the final words. Even though Republicans say the ‘American People’ are fearful of liberals brainwashing white seven-year-olds to hate themselves, no elementary, middle, or high schools teach such a complex theory.

So what is happening now is that some school districts are [literally] whitewashing history by removing books, such as those by award-winning author Jerry Craft. Two books by the African American writer “New Kid” and “Class Act” were deemed as labeling white children as oppressors. Before the banning of Craft’s work, parent Bonnie Anderson told the Katy Independent School District near Houston, Texas, The books don’t come out and say, ‘We want white children to feel like oppressors,’ but that is absolutely what they will do,” Anderson said.

Are parents more afraid of little Ken or little Karen being traumatized by misinformation, as they see it, or the truth of their ancestry? The credo of the world’s Jewish population is “never forget” about the atrocities of Hitler. The two-word phrase has been appropriated in remembrance of 9/11. Unfortunately, for black Americans, never forgetting is looked upon as silent finger-pointing of white America. As much as I am generally opposed to “what about-ism,” I have to mention my opposition to a group of black California parents. They were able to have some classic American literature removed from schools; Among them was one of my favorite books, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Although the motivations were different, one side to shield their children from further injury and the other to deny that injury was done; let me not equate the two points of view, but I am still loathed to ban books. As a black parent, grand-parent, and educator, I believe the adage that the ‘best disinfectant is sunlight’ and, in my opinion, makes the air we share tolerable. Hiding our wounds does not heal them; it only prolongs the pain.

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