Upon review of the complete speech Obama will deliver while I am sleeping ( which means I will have to catch it on YouTube), I could find no content which I would want anyone, much less a student to be averted from hearing. I am planning on sharing the speech with my teachers and learners here in Kenya and having a very frank discussion with them. It is my greatest hope that other world leaders will step up to the plate and deliver their own education speech to their constituents. Of course in some parts of the world this could be dangerous for it would dismantle religious and male dominated power.
While I may have slightly different standards than the rest of the world, I could not find anything in the speech which could offend any group. There was no egregious language; there is nothing which implies any religious agenda unless you fear knowledge as power; there is no political agenda unless you believe controlling the uneducated masses is purposeful – the only blame being passed was collective and long overdue if you ask any historian. Why is it America is in an education rut? Where is a truth and reconciliation committee when you need one…….
It seems to me that there is more fear mongering amongst White Republicans than any other group as this speech clearly makes American’s OWN its business. Within the last week, I saw democracy in America take an ugly turn with Van Johnson from Oakland, CA resigning a post merely because he spoke his own truth about the Bush Administration. What has America become?
If the American people cannot handle controversy, I suspect many people will be more than turning over in their graves as the true Bush years are ultimately unfurled, never mind the reality of America. I encourage anyone who has issues with Obama’s Education Speech to please read Before the Mayflower A History of Black America by Lerone Bennett Jr. for some perspective and enlightenment. Knowing history is the surest way to set oneself free of misperceptions.
I am embarrassed and ashamed of my home country which has exported so much disingenuousness in the world, most especially with the Bush Administration. How do I explain to anyone the American fear about education. The content of the speech is not at issue – it is all of the assorted issues it dredges up about American History.
The world is watching America. As much as this whole issue has the potential to be funny, the world is weeping for the adults who would deny children the right to hear a man speak truths.
UPDATE: One year later is there was nothing I could find from any Tea Party, hate mongering group, values voters, etc. about denying their child the opportunity to listen to President Obama speak about education when the 2010/11 school year started. Has that much changed in a year OR is it possible the right wing element in America was able to sit down and have a discussion of reason.
The current vitriol is about jobs, which is interesting. When the economy slid, it slid in such a way that anyone with a sub-par education was not able to easily re-engage in the job market. Couple that with all the people who lacked basic algebraic reasoning and were side swiped by outrageous loans and you can see why education is contentious. The right wing (including the Bush family which bargain purchased the education of at least one son) is complaining AND not offering up anything different. I dare anyone without a job and/or who lost a house with the recession to give me a reasonable example of an education plan from the right wing aristocracy. I thought America was about equality for individuals whether they were paupers or kings.