Tag Archives: public policy

Waiting For Krypton: Education Post for Media Diversity UK

Lee's depiction of DC Comics' Superman and Batman.

Lee’s depiction of DC Comics’ Superman and Batman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The opening scenes of the documentary Waiting For Superman depict education reformer/charter school advocate Geoffrey Canada as describing one of the saddest moments in his life. When he learned that Superman was not real, he was distraught because there was, in Canada’s words, “I was crying because there was no one coming with enough power to save us.” From his perspective, DC Comics’ Clark Kent/Superman “just shows up and he saves all the good people,” “even in the depths of the ghetto.” As a fellow comic book fan, I would have to question whether Mr. Canada knows the story of Superman, and the criticism thereof from the likes of one of his allies for justice, Black Lightning (Jefferson Davis, who, in one rendition, just so happens to be a public school principal) , who noted that Superman may be Kryptonian, but he is still white, and avoids the Suicide Slums (the poor side of town where Metropolis is).

I want to lay aside that criticism, and talk about the idea of power, and what it means in eyes of education reformers. As I quoted Mr. Canada above, he was distraught that there was no one with all of the power to save what Geoffrey Canada calls “failure factories,” or schools in predominantly impoverished neighborhoods that primarily feed the community drop-outs and/or felons, and yes these are communities that are of predominantly black and Latin@ American populations. These “failure factories” are what stifle economic growth, deprive corporations of an educated workforce, and communities of stability. From the perspective of philanthropists such as Bill Gates (from the documentary and his history of being active in the Education Reform movement), children receiving education is for the purpose of the workforce, so that multinational corporations can keep up with global competition. In Waiting For Superman, the topic of power is not discussed again until we see education reformer/charter school advocate Michelle Rhee at work, who was given “broad powers” to make sweeping changes. The issue of power is an interesting topic, and to see it discussed explicitly in these two instances are what caught my attention. Where does power come from? Who has it? What does it look like?

For the rest of the essay, please go read Waiting For Krypton: Race, Ableism and Education Reform

The Costs Of Governor Rick Perry's Special Sessions #txlege

Rick Perry presidential campaign, 2012

Rick Perry presidential campaign, 2012 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How about a not so brief history of the special sessions that Rick Perry has called, shall we?

MEDICAID

HIGHWAYS

“EDUCATION REFORM AKA PUBLIC FUNDS BEING SENT TO CHARTER SCHOOLS, AND EVENTUALLY RELIGIOUS PRIVATE SCHOOLS”

REDISTRICTING

ANOTHER REDISTRICTING BATTLE

RAISING PAY FOR JUDGES

EDUCATION FUNDING

“TAX RELIEF”

CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING (AGAIN)

Rick Perry is a proud fiscal conservative: no doubt, a label that has lost ALL meaning relative to every politician who claims to be one and their very own records. Aside from saving Christmas (oh glory hallelujah!), Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst couldn’t pass any bill that they wanted to push through (oh their “compromise” on redistricting). So, at the behest of his corporate overlords, Rick Perry wants to have mandatory sentencing for 17 year old (life in prison with the possibility of parole) and have another wasteful, porkbarrelling highway bill. Pet projects, and construction companies competing I mean stealing tax payers’ hard earned money will be a number one priority, but hey, FISCAL CONSERVATIVE! That’s our governor, uh hummmm!

The sad part is, what should have been a special session over infrastructure and much needed roads in various areas of Texas was ended because Rick Perry’s desire to fire up his voting base. SB5 was not about protecting innocent life; the GOP senators didn’t even know the difference between a rape kit and an abortion clinic! Such profound incompetence is found all over the capitol, citywide, but it starts at the top, the reign of Perry and Dewhurst. Should it be a symbol of pride that Rick Perry is breaking gubernatorial records by calling his 11th special session? Does he not realize that the Texas Constitution made the legislative sessions short for the very purpose of LIMITING the state government’s power? Between the special sessions, imposing an HPV vaccine requirement on teenage girls and the continual sacrificial system of the state death row (500 executions since 1982)
, Rick Perry is actually THE best example of big government spending and interference.

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How Do You Spell Right Wing?

Of course, the answer is T-E-A.

The best way to discredit persons who have sincere differences in public policy differences (or theological/doctrinal differences) is to label them as something horrific, like racist. Just like the NAACP teaming up with the The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights.  I cannot wait until we find out who funds the IREHR; research organizations cannot fund themselves.

Similarly, a commenter on this blog has recently (and albeitly falsely) accused me of doing the sort, but that commenter does not know how  I do theology. I do not believe in doing scholarship out of fear of the Other, even if it is the “big bad white male Other.” Power relations are far more complex than the simple dichotomies we depend upon. And I find dualisms quite distasteful myself.

But really, there is now an “objective” study on the Tea Party and its ties to White nationalist organizations. I just do not understand why the NAACP does not find all other forms of nationalism as problematic, like the New Black Panther Panther Party.  All nationalisms are sinful.The other problem with the study is that it seems to not address the notion that many persons around the world do not have a problem with nationalism, as such.

If you want to take a look at IREHR’s results, try here.