Posted in Bullying, Education, In The News, Parenting From The Headlines, Politics

I’m Not Anti-Semitic – I’m Anti-Stupid

My father-in-law gives me a ton of lectures about how impolite it is to call people stupid. As much as I respect my father-in-law, sometimes in situations when my mouth hangs agape in frustrated confusion, the word stupid is my weapon of choice. Such is the case regarding a Tennessee school district’s textbook controversy.

According to a Fox News report, Williamson County, outside of Nashville, selected “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography” as a textbook for an advanced placement (AP) class. The book suggests students ponder the following question. “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”

I read the question twice but failed to find a problem with it. All I saw was an opportunity for students to debate an important issue with as much modern day relevance as historical. I’m a huge fan of debate. I believe we only grow and learn when we are able to listen and consider the views of another while defending our own. At this point in the article I’m thinking the parents just need to chill. Then the Director of Schools, Mike Looney spoke. “No one else has complained”. Not only is that one of my most despised statements but it is also a pretty stupid defense. Look around you. If no one ever dared to color outside the lines or raise questions where there had been none before, we would still be peddling around in Flintstone cars and marveling over the wonder of fire.

Some parents find the sentence is anti-Semitic but Looney maintains they are taking it out of context. Okay, lets see how that holds up.  The entire paragraph reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult. For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions? Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.” Now, let’s break it down.

Sentence one reads, “Distinguishing terrorism from other acts of political violence can be difficult.” Um….no not really. Political, medical, global whatever the venue, anytime violence is used to try to force someone to agree with you or at least make them afraid to disagree, is terrorism. I didn’t need an AP class to figure that out.

In a futile attempt at clarity the paragraph continues. “For example, if a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” So, as long as it’s considered retaliation it’s acceptable? Well, that’s just what we need to teach in high school.   Lets go into the place were far too many use bulling as justification for mass murder and have them ponder the merits of murdering teenagers in retaliation. Yea, THAT’S a good idea.

The paragraph closes with, “Competing arguments are made: Israel’s sympathizers denounce the act as a terrorist threat to the country’s existence, whereas advocates of the Palestinian cause argue that long-standing injustices and Israeli army attacks on ordinary Palestinian civilians provoked the act.”  Sooooo, depending on your point of view terrorism is acceptable? Seriously? That’s what we want to put out there? Good Lord no wonder America is dangling at the bottom of the educational chain.

Ironically, the entire paragraph is a great deal more worrisome than the single sentence. Even more worrisome is the fact Looney didn’t get that. The last thing we should EVER be doing is teaching our kids to question the motives of terrorism. They need to be learning ways to cope with pressure and differing views while predicting and avoiding violent situations. The father who shoots the man who murdered his daughter is still a murderer, regardless of how “justified” it may seem.

I am dumbfounded that anyone would even remotely consider terrorism acceptable regardless of the reason. If we allow our students to even consider terrorism in any form, we are flinging the door wide open to violence and putting a bulls-eye on all of us. Because whether we acknowledge it or not, there are hundreds of thousands who consider themselves at war with America everyday.

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/parents-call-textbook-anti-semitic.html