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Education in the Media, Leadership and Activism


Crazy that they’re arresting protestors on Wall Street while the men inside who caused our economic collapse are still running the show.

Crazy that teachers are asked to take cuts and “bear our burden” when we never reaped the benefits of an inflated, make-believe bubble economy.

Crazy that the very structures designed to make things safe are often the very systems that take away our safety.

Crazy that the debate quickly becomes “Who was right: the cops or the protestors?” without any distinction between system and people. Crazy that people can’t see how all the folks on the street are victims of a system that they don’t control.

Crazy that people jumped on Mitt Romney for saying that “corporations are people, too,” when the Supreme Court effectively said the same thing with regard to campaign finance reform, thus sanctioning kleptocracy and plutocracy.

Crazy that we let the power brokers frame the debate for us, set up the tribes for us and watch the tribes war so that in the end, nothing changes.


Collectively crazy.


About John Spencer

I teach. I write. I live. I want to do all three authentically.


8 thoughts on “Crazy

  1. One of the worst excuses I heard was that the protestors disrupted commerce. My God, what will we do if democracy disrupts commerce?

    Posted by John T. Spencer | September 26, 2011, 2:10 pm
    • John,

      I am not at all optimistic about the republican form of government guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution due to the many “peace keeping” and “emergency powers” that are available to the few who exercise them.


      Posted by Brent Snavely | September 26, 2011, 2:42 pm
      • My feelings are mixed. I love the Bill of Rights. I’m a big fan of civil liberties. But historically (and in the present) the republican government can easily strip the powers. From Washington ordering the military to shoot former Revolutionary soldiers, to slavery, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the conquest of indigenous nations, etc. It has always been corrupt.

        Every year that I teach modern history, I’m amazed that my students believe that World War II was fought to end the Holocaust (clearly not true — we’ve never fought a war to end genocide). Few of them have ever heard of the Japanese Internment camp. Even fewer see the genocide that the U.S. committed for centuries (and I’m not sure I should have used the past tense of “commit” with this one if genocide is viewed as destruction of culture rather than simply the loss of lives)

        But I also recognize that I benefit from the rights I have as a citizen, the privilege of my upbringing and status and the cultural “normalcy” of being from the power culture. It is easy to ignore all of this, because it is admittedly uncomfortable.

        Posted by John T. Spencer | September 26, 2011, 2:54 pm
  2. Do our rights come from our Constitution and its amendments, or from “our” “place” in society?

    An old question worth considering again and again.

    How do our answers compare inside and outside schools?


    Posted by Chad Sansing | September 26, 2011, 3:24 pm
  3. Agreed. I have been watching and spreading news about #OccupyWallStreet since day 2, and have been incredibly impressed by the Assembly. It’s more than just a protest, it’s also a work-in-progress exemplar of direct democracy. It’s an expression of our 1st Amendment rights.

    Everybody wants to know “what’s the purpose?”; “what are the demands?”; “what are they protesting??” There is a short answer and a long answer. The short answer is that we, “The Other 99%”, have lost control of our own government. The long answer can be found here:

    Posted by Jason Lacoste | September 26, 2011, 5:20 pm
  4. This post is really worth reading. An account of one of the women in the video above. I believe this protest is directly related to education. We do not live in a vacuum… Transforming education will only happen if we help to transform the whole of society! Thank you John for posting this!


    Posted by dloitz | September 26, 2011, 7:29 pm

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