A school board outside St Louis has struck down an anti-racism resolution that had been created after the killing of George Floyd to address discrimination in a largely white school district. The school board, three years later, is now led by new conservative members.
This is what the resolution promised the community: “We will speak out strongly against racism, discrimination, and senseless violence against people regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or ability.”
That was too much for the new conservative leadership of the school board. The board vice chair said the resolution’s reference to “systemic racism” is too vague and means different things to different people. Another new board member said the resolution serves no purpose, asking, “How effective has it really been?”
That may be the best example of cognitive dissonance ever mentioned. How effective? Maybe not at all if she and other members of the community still allow racist values into the school system.
What such a resolution intends is to set a course. It wasn’t a specific policy, but it was created to serve as a philosophy moving forward. Here is another set of “vague” principles: We the People of the United States, in order to create a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity…”
Guess what, Mr. Vice President of the School Board, those words also mean different things to different people. But they set the course; the direction; they provide the fundamental philosophy for moving forward.
The current debate in the United States between the right and the left is the direction that one side or the other takes us. I heard a speech by Governor DeSantis, echoed by interviews from his audience that the “leftist agenda is destroying our American values.” Those values refer to sexual orientations, gender identity, economic principles, how the government should work, and subscribe to the idea that racism and sexism are things of the past.
An absolutely hilarious video of Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Green surfaced at the Turning Point Action Conference where she attempts to discredit the leadership of Democrats, from FDR to LBJ to Biden. She points to the New Deal, the Great Society, and Build Back Better, as examples of Democratic spending, big government control, and economic socialism. Instead, she literally describes the progressive agenda to build social infrastructure, programs to protect the environment, promote education, health care, urban issues, rural poverty, transportation, preserve Medicaid, and our workforce.
You know…”a more perfect Union” to “establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity…”
We can argue until the cows come home about how to focus on each, the programs to provide each, and the methodology to achieve each, but denying the “vague” set of principles to conspire for the Common Good cannot be the direction we choose.
A proclamation from the school district to speak out against racism, discrimination and violence without bias should also not be denied.
Who is leading whom in the “wrong direction” with their ideology?