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The Value of an Education
September 26, 2023
Reader Note: I’m starting a new role as a Social Studies teacher. Though I did not expect life’s journey to lead me here, I am excited to grow and learn with the students I will be teaching. My experiences, lessons, and thoughts will be enhanced by this new phase and it will electrify my writing as we enter a tumultuous national period that will call for understanding, listening, and learning. Our youth always represent renewal.
Life is full of beauty. That must always be remembered.
Republicans have spent recent years demagoguing certain educational contributions, particularly those within Black American history, Jewish American history, and LGBTQIA+ American history. It has been a tour de force of bigoted notions that minority populations are more focused on their anger over pushing the nation forward. This perspective never considers that reckoning with the past is a way to push the nation forward.
Today was another episode of cutting government spending through a GOP political culture that is bound and determined to destroy public education in America. If anything, the outcome would make it a lot easier for political cults to manipulate voters with strategic, shiny objects. This educational trend has always been an issue in America as modern citizens often undervalue the work that grew the 20th-century middle class. Generations of labor activism and labor-friendly policies built this brand of the American dream. One outgrowth is rising standards of living and wealth distribution that also influenced an increase in college attendance generation after generation.
The state of American equality is never going to be perfect, but it can be a lot better than it is today.
Historically, America has struggled to have a national education policy. It is a legacy of Southern-style politicking that is determined to make a national education policy that was difficult to achieve until the 1960s as many of the Dixie-based leaders denied populations of color educational opportunities through intimidation and scarcity. By the transitive property, this also meant holding back all Americans (no matter their background) who may have been exposed to the errors of inherited pathologies through exposure to different worldviews and evidence that debunked localized stereotypes. Basically, this style of politics cuts off one’s nose to spite one’s face.
The GOP decided to take on the divisive baggage of Dixiecrat racial politics when the two major political parties realigned after the mid-20th century civil rights era. Thus, segregationist and feudal energy emanates from today’s GOP as wealth inequality increases, political illiteracy mires many populations, and instances of racial terrorism are on the rise.
So, as the GOP fearmongers about critical race theory, which is really learning Black American history from a non-whitewashed standpoint, it also attempts to sink educational budgets. For example, today’s proposed cuts by the GOP could subtract over 200,000 teachers from the workforce.
It seems the majority of the GOP today doesn’t just disdain the history of American minorities, they disdain education in general. But Trump did say he loves the uneducated for a reason and this iteration of the GOP has fostered a war on knowledge that didn’t just start with the Donald. The former president knew that the Party of Ronald Reagan was prime territory for his brand of anti-intellectual, bigoted demagoguery.
Unfortunately, that is something Republican Inc. must live with knowing while it also attempts to improve itself.
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