In my privilege and complacency, I never expected to wake up to a Fahrenheit 451 re-write starring cops as garbage men whose job it is to destroy books – and whose principal mortal and tactical failing it is to use force against people and objects in vain attempts to kill ideas. (Why is it never the flying cars that come true?)
Though I take issue with superficial criticisms of the #occupy movement, I certainly believe folks should be able to protest against the protest. I get the idea of saying and doing things to provoke a response. I get the idea of a movement that includes folks willing to be arrested and beaten and folks unwilling to be arrested and beaten. We live in a complex world; we have some complex problems; some of us live in complex ways.
Therefore it becomes scary to have to deal with something so simply evident as gross fiscal, political, and physical inequity in our society without being able to retreat into ambiguity (might not be safe for work: protestor shot with a rubber bullet).
Please take this moment to look critically at schooling and teaching in our country. Don’t embrace the inequities you find; don’t retreat from them. Describe them, voice them, and make them a foundation for lasting change.
Liberation looks one way to the protesters and another way to the police.
Liberation looks one way to children and another way to public education.
We stand in need of reconciliation. We are the agents of that reconciliation. We are the line between government and children.
Do we dissolve into one side or the other? Do we become a closed border between one side and another? Do we use our place and its special privilege to accomplish something extraordinary?
If it is not that we must decide overnight and begin tomorrow; it is that we must begin deciding for ourselves who to be. We must become honest in our conflicts, faithful to our decisions, and resolved to our consequences.
It may be that we decide schools are not the best places we can build for learning.
Or it may be that we accept lower pay for delivering canned curricula.
Or it may be that we throw away the books.
I see people learning from one another all over the world.
What lessons are we?