On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will address the nation's school children in a speech promoting education, ambition, perseverance and the need to become civic-minded. It's a terrific message designed to challenge and inspire today's youth. But as expected, the issue has been hijacked by the right-wing lunatic fringe that's either gone completely mad or lost all control of its racial bigotry. Either scenario is equal parts frustrating, infuriating, shameful and scary. Wild, unfounded accusations of "indoctrination" are flying at the president, and many children will be kept home from school to avoid the speech. It's "America's Parents Gone Wild."
I try to understand the opposition's concerns -- which have unleashed a torrent of emotion and vitriol from many parents -- but I simply can't. Because there's nothing rooted here in logic or rational thought. To the contrary, it's based on ignorance, fear and, yes, racism. I suspect that a majority of the most fervent protests are originating in those parts of the nation where the black population is the smallest, and where blacks hold few positions of power. Is it possible that these "concerned" parents simply don't want their very conservatively-raised children getting the message that it's okay for a young black man to be so powerful? Maybe the thought of their children being "lectured" by a black man repulses them? Doesn't it seem ironic that, in an effort to prevent their children from being "indoctrinated" by supposedly radical views, these parents are perpetrating the biggest mind-fuck of all on their kids by censoring outside influences and instead heaping on them their own generations of intolerance and prejudice? So who then is doing the actual indoctrinating?
It's just plain moronic, all this talk of indoctrination and of Obama "spreading his socialist views" on school kids. I mean, after all, we're talking about the office of the United States Presidency for crap's sake. This isn't 50-Cent or Pamela Anderson addressing our kids. Have people simply lost their minds?
To be sure, the movement to prevent Obama's speech on the above grounds, and to boycott school Tuesday, is the single most unpatriotic event in modern history, and so disrespectful and offensive to the president and what the office stands for. In fact, on its merits, it's truly unfathomable. The people behind it should be ashamed of themselves.
The people stirring up all this school-speech trouble are no different than the misguided tea baggers, the town-hall goons, the birth-certificate 'truthers' or those who say Obama's a radical, a terrorist, a socialist, a communist and someone who's out to destroy America. Nah...he's just black, people. Get used to it. Because, whether you like it or not, he's gonna be running things for another seven-plus years.