The President gave a speech over the 4th of July weekend in which he claimed that kids in our public schools are being taught to hate our country. That is certainly not what the TEKS calls for. It’s certainly inconsistent with the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the flying of flags, the existence of ROTC programs, thousands of halftime shows at high school football games, and all manner of other indicators that our public schools encourage patriotism.
I posted a clip of the speech on Twitter (@jwalshtxlawdawg) and pointed out what I thought obvious—that the man was lying, and that he was no friend of public education. I got more “likes” and “retweets” to that post than anything I have ever posted on Twitter. So obviously, a lot of people see this as I do. But there were a few who defended Mr. Trump’s remark, and I’ve been thinking about that ever since.
Some people confuse honest appraisal with hatred. Some people prefer comforting mythology to truth. When we move from mythology to truth and make an honest appraisal of our history and our present circumstances we can see much to be proud of, much that we are not proud of.
Isn’t that the case with any institution? In fact, isn’t that the case with any person? To speak the truth about those things we are not proud of does not indicate hatred. It indicates maturity. Teachers are charged with nurturing critical thinking skills. How do we do that if America’s exceptional righteousness is never questioned?
Just some thoughts for the weekend.
DAWG BONE: CRITICAL THINKING MOVES US FROM MYTH TO TRUTH. THAT’S WHAT EDUCATION IS ALL ABOUT.