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Thursday, September 03, 2009


Norris Hall

Many parents don't want their kids to see that black man telling white kids to stay in school.
He should be telling that to little black kids
Texas has a long proud history of keeping the blacks "in their place". So now we got to listen to one of them blacks lecturing our white kids to stay n school??
If Obama wants to push a broom down the school halls, that's ok. But to put that black man in a suit and tie and have a bunch of secret service men and reporters crowd around him...treating him like he's the president of the United States or something like that....
Now that's more than our lillie white hearts can take.
I miss the good old days when those darkies had to address us as "massah", don't you

hall monitor

For goodness sake, if the guy can convince a few more students to stay in school and start caring about their education, give him a chance.

Check out http://detentionslip.org for this, and more crazy headlines from our schools.

Miranda Flint

Thank you both for your comments.

Norris: Although some would like to pretend that the protests we are seeing have something to do with race, they simply don't. None of the parents in the article I used even hinted that they had a problem with the color of Obama's skin. Those who continue to cry racism every time someone objects to one of Obama's policies are the ones who call attention to any differences there might be among our races. One of the neat things about Obama is that his ancestors came from different places. So did mine. Some people committed atrocities against some of mine. Others probably committed vile acts of their own. But none of that has anything to do with what is happening now and you make any problems we DO have with race worse by constantly calling attention to our differences.

Hall Monitor: Fair enough. And if that's all Obama means to do, I don't have a problem with the schools broadcasting his speech. As I said, I think the reaction here was a little overboard.

Donald Pay

Sorry, this is astroturf. Cato Institute is behind the misinformation.


I agree completely with Ms. Flint's measured take on the issue. It is not a big deal, just one more example of someone in the Obama Administration being a bit tone deaf. Asking kids to think about what they could do to help the President was stupid. Otherwise, I can't see anything wrong here.

But it's interesting how quickly our interlocutors dismiss the opinions and concerns of anyone who does not share their views.


One person's "opinions and conerns" is another's "paranoia". This fabricated concern is at least as goofy as the deather nonsense.


Considering that Obama has agreed to release the speech ahead of time and has already released the suggested questions to be presented to the students I don't think there's really any reason to worry that he's going to slip something wildly partisan past parents.

Of course, education is a liberal thing. The more educated you are, the more liberal you tend to be. Many conservatives choose to homeschool their kids so they aren't taught liberal concepts like evolution, human sexuality and diseases, and science.

Maybe this is just a lashback against education by 'conservatives'!

Just Sayin'

Wanna know why the White House is asking students to write letters about how to help the president?

It's because we elected a know-nothing "community organizer" who is now so disorganized, that he's begging OUR KIDS for advice!

Anthony D. Renli

What I find odd – it is not at all uncommon for Presidents to address students in the classroom.

Presidents Reagan did it used his platform to push tax cuts (in 1986). I don’t have video of this. Sorry.

President George H.W. Bush did it in October of 1991 to push his education policies (a month before his re-election). You can see the video here: http://www.dailykostv.com/w/002099/ (Yes – I know it’s on Daily Kos TV – I tried to find a youtube video of it and failed.)

President Clinton had “Chats” with students, and answered pre-submitted questions (in 2000). He pushed his education policies and did some light campaigning for Al Gore.

I can’t find any direct documentation that President George W. Bush had these chats, but I don’t remember them.

Yes – If President Obama uses this platform to attempt to gain a political advantage, it is a low road tactic, but one that has a lot of precedent. If you look at all of the above Presidents sighted – they were doing this in election years…They all pushed a policy initiative (or in President Clinton’s case, a candidate). We won’t know what President Obama is going to do – until we see the speech. If it is what he has said it is (Stay in school, study hard, don’t do drugs, etc.) then he has shown himself to be better (with respect to this test) than the three Presidents who have had these chats. But even if he does break into politics, we have three of the last four presidents who have done this. If we want to repudiate this, shouldn’t we repudiate the previous presidents who did the EXACT SAME THING?

(as an aside, I vaguely remember President Carter addressing my third grade class…but I can’t find any documentation to back that up…and I barely remember Presidents Ford and Nixon – so I don’t know if they addressed school children…but it wouldn’t have surprised me if they did.)

Miranda Flint

Thank you all for contributing to this discussion. I appreciate your comments very much.

Mr. Pay: I should have known! That dastardly Cato Institute and its powers of Mind Control!

Dr. Blanchard: Thank you for your support. I suspect that even the author of the lesson plan meant well enough, but the parents in this case are sending a clear message to Washington that they are keeping an eye on what happens to their children – and that’s probably not a bad thing. Part of Obama’s speech had to do with getting parents involved in education and these parents, if nothing else, are involved.

A.I.: I think it’s little silly too, but it seems to me to be genuine, and that means something in a debate where one side has voiced doubt about real citizens protesting. This is real, unpaid opposition.

FS: I agree with the first part of what you say. It looks pretty innocent to me and I think the kids probably should have been allowed to see the speech. I disagree with the second part. I think both parties have their share of bozos and intellectuals. Some of the most well-educated people I have met are conservatives. Some of the least educated people I know are liberals. Many home schooled children I’ve met are liberal and most of the conservative students I know go to public school. Meanwhile, some conservative professors, including one who posts regularly on this blog, believe in evolution and teach their students Darwinian concepts. Meanwhile, some liberals couldn’t explain those concepts if they tried. Furthermore, evolutionists are not in agreement about how evolution actually worked. Some believe humans evolved from tree-living monkey-like creatures, others believe that this is not the case and that we came from a sort of sea-creature. So the fact that someone does not agree with one person’s evolutionary explanation does not prove that he is an uneducated imbecile.

JustSayin: That would have been a fun theory to entertain if the students had been asked to write letters in this case. But they were really only asked to fill in the blanks on a study guide. Still, maybe the kids would have had good advice!

Mr. Renli: I agree. If this is just a customary educational speech, the uproar is probably not justified. One does wonder, though, why parents are reacting this way when they have not done so in the past. One commenter suggested that it has something to do with race. I think it has to do with ideology. Specifically, I think it stems from a fear of losing liberty, which most Americans love dearly. We have been taught to guard against those who would usurp it. Sometimes we are overzealous.


I like David Harsanyi's take on it all at reason.com. Here's a taste:

"To begin with, even if the president delivered an openly politicized speech, which he won't, your kids would survive the unpleasant experience. Most of our children have not been transformed into complete idiots yet by public education.

Moreover, if your child is incapable of handling a 20-minute haranguing from a self-important public servant, he will be tragically unprepared for the new world. (Whom do you think he will be dealing with when he needs that hip replacement in 60 years?)

Even if you oppose the president on a political level, it is empirically evident that the more one hears his homilies the less inclined one is to trust him. And Obama's penchants to lecture us endlessly, to be the center of attention endlessly and to saturate the airwaves and national conversation are clear indications that he believes government is the answer to every societal, religious, economic, and cultural question we face. Why should your kids be immune?"

Read the whole thing here:


Harvard Grad

You Want Some Private Alone Time With Our School Kids? That’s Just Not Appopriate, Mr Obama

Miranda Flint

DonCoyote: Thank you for the link. I share the author's sentiments. We should be giving the kids a little more credit. They are not idiots.

Harvard Grad:
Thank you for posting.

I read the article you linked to, but I found it a little outrageous.
The author claims that Obama means to have "alone time" with students,
in order to tell them who knows what! He speculates that Obama might
give an impromptu sex-ed lecture or preach Marxism.

But, as FS points out, Obama released the speech ahead of time. It's easy to see what's in it. Furthermore, the teachers will be there and I wager if a parent asked to be included or wanted a copy of the speech he could get it.

But what really bothers me is that the same web site hosts an article praising the man who slapped a two-year-old in the store, because her mother could not get her to stop crying. That's no way to protect America's kids.


Miranda, again you fail at understanding English. Is it not your first language?

I said "The more educated you are, the more liberal you tend to be." This is a true statement. I does not imply that all educated people are liberal and all uneducated people are conservative, I'm not sure how you read that. As people are more educated they tend to hold more liberal view points. I think this has to do with the fact that reality has a well known liberal bias.

Miranda Flint

I understood you perfectly, FS. And I still think you're wrong. Do you have a source for that?


FS: you said: the fact that reality has a well known liberal bias.

What does this mean?


I am inclined to think that FS is right that levels of education correspond roughly with liberal bias. Conservatives in the academy are a minority. As Tom Wolfe put it, conservatives thinkers have for decades formed the greatest block of dissenters from the party line. Of course that doesn't tell us that liberals are right. Progress in Western Civilization has often grown from small groups of dissenters. I am content to be among the dissenters.

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