I watched President Biden’s speech last night, was pleased with both what he said and the tone with which he said it. Some claimed that he ran on a platform of unity and that his speech was not unifying, as it called a spade a spade, called out the ‘maga-Republicans’ for obstruction, for inciting violence, and for dissing rule of law for their own selfish reasons. But if you looked with open eyes, you will have noticed that the president WAS calling for unity … to those who would listen. He was calling on Democrats, Independents, and reasonable Republicans to come together to protect and preserve the democratic principles that are the foundation of the U.S. Constitution. He acknowledged that the maga-Republicans had no intention of being a part of such a unity, but in essence said we need to move beyond them and their ways, that they are in the minority (which IS true), and that if we hope to save democracy in the U.S., we have our work cut out for us.
Overall, the speech was good, and he spoke with passion, compassion, and intelligence. Apparently, there were some hecklers just outside the area where he was speaking … I could neither see nor hear them, but he made reference to them a couple of times, at one point saying that “good manners is nothing they’ve ever suffered from.” For me, the funny part was in the captioning. Every time he referred to the ‘maga-Republicans’, the captioning read “Maggie Republicans”. I kind of like that … perhaps I’ll start calling them that, with apologies to people named ‘Maggie’.
And now for just a couple of other ‘snippets’ …
A pilot program worth watching!
Despite all the school districts that are banning books and attempting to whitewash their teaching of history, there is a bright spot defying those attempts. A new Advanced Placement (AP) course and exam on African American studies will be taught in about 60 high schools this fall. The course is multidisciplinary, addressing not just history but civil rights, politics, literature, the arts, even geography. It will be the first course in African American studies for high school students that is considered rigorous enough to allow students to receive credit and advanced placement at many colleges across the country.
Among the subjects are how African American studies became a field of study at the college level in the 1960s, the strength of early African kingdoms and cultures, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the lives of enslaved people and what they did to resist, and moving toward the Harlem Renaissance, Black power and Black pride, the civil rights movement, Black feminism and intersectionality.
Across the country this year, 36 states have introduced 137 bills seeking to restrict teaching, mainly on race but also on gender and history. I hope that this new test course takes off and the following year is taught in hundreds of high schools around the nation! Yes, that’s probably a pipe dream, but … it would go a long way toward improving the quality of education in this country AND of turning out a next generation who is awake and aware, who has empathy, who refuse to turn back the hands of time as so many … yes, I mean YOU, Governor DeSantis … are determined to do.
And speaking of education in the state of Florida …
Some 51% of 10th grade students statewide failed their English proficiency exams. In at least one school district, only 15% of the 10th grade students were able to pass the English exam! 15%!!! Now … if they aren’t teaching history and they aren’t teaching science and they aren’t teaching English … just what the Sam Hell are the schools teaching in Florida???
And that’s all I’ve got for today … well, actually I have lots more, but it’s Friday and I’ve got other things I must attend to like mopping floors and finishing the dusting that I started on Wednesday! However, I do have a couple of cartoons I think you’ll enjoy …