Friday, September 07, 2018

The Conservatives in Camden

Well, well, well! Another September, another year of teaching school! If you worked in the profession, you'll know that your administration waits until you are comfortable at your grade level and period length, and then they will change it up on you and make it baffling again

My classroom has no air conditioning. We had two heat advisory days this week. We got to leave early yesterday -- 12:45. That's not so early. I was so overheated I was dizzy driving home.

But enough whining! Pity party over.

I have one class of sophomores this year. I haven't had sophomores in the past four years. (see above re changing things up) There's a whole new curriculum for sophomores. I'll look at it next week. I have plenty of time, since I have to give a standardized test between now and then.

Today, having five minutes left in class with my sophomores, I asked them the question: What isn't fair? I started listing their gripes so they could see them on the screen.

Of course they began bitching about the uniform policy right away, and the school rules in general.

Then a student of color said, "Taxes aren't fair."

I said, "What do you mean?"

He said, "I think there should just be one percentage for everyone. If a person makes $5 million, they are already contributing more taxes than someone making $50,000. They shouldn't have to pay a lot more."

I said, "So you don't think the rich should be taxed at a higher rate than the middle class?"

And he said, "Nope. Think about it. They worked hard to get that money. They should get to keep it."

I said, "Well, that makes you a conservative."

Then a few other students challenged him. One girl said, "But the rich have it to spend. They should give back more! People need help!"

So I said, "Does anyone else in here agree with what she said?" A few hands went up. "You guys are liberals," I told them.

In the end, it shook out at about 50-50. These are teenagers, espousing personal opinions that might be coming from their homes and might be coming from their own thinking. Either way, there are fiscal conservatives in Camden, New Jersey.

Stupid Republicans. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

All the time and energy they spend gerrymandering, and vote-suppressing, and spreading their racism thick, like peanut butter on a sturdy slice of bread ... they could actually receive legitimate votes from minority voters who are fiscal conservatives. And don't even get me started on the social issues! I'll bet I don't have a single student who believes in a woman's right to choose. Well, maybe a few. But not many.

And yet, if I said to my conservative student of color, "Would you vote for Donald Trump? Would you vote Republican?" he would fall out of his chair. I can answer for him. Never in a million years.

I'm no sociologist, but I see this all the time. I would say that at least one in three, maybe more, of my students would test as conservative and vote that way, if not for the sickening racism on display in the Republican party.

But that racism cancels out everything else. Thank all the Gods and Goddesses of all the pantheons, now and forever.

4 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

I don't know how ANY teacher can teach in an un-air conditioned classroom!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Another year of guiding young minds, Anne -- have fun!

Ol'Buzzard said...

challenging children to express their own ideas - following with an assignment to justify their ideas in writing, with facts and references. I always hated standardized testing as limiting a teachers ability to branch out with creative curriculum.

the Ol'Buzzard

JACKIESUE said...

I can't believe that with climate change all public buildings don't have a/c..but then I live in Texas where even the outhouses have a/c