0034: To those who see the faces of the American Third World
#occupy #teaching #inequality #revolution
I visited some friends this weekend who think what I do is quaint. Additionally, they think my worldview is bleak. I view the world as a place that is wrought with injustice and unnecessary poverty. These things were only interesting concepts to my acquaintances. Concepts without faces, except the homeless guy they were approached by when they were walking downtown. And they projected, he should get a job. Do something to better his life. Like they were doing, like by going to school or working harder… The list is endless and my interactions with these people of wealth and blindness is frustrating. A year ago I sat in Sen. Thad Cochran’s plush Washington D.C. office (Mississippi-R) and tried to explain to him that the state of education in Mississippi was dismal. “No,” he said, “we have the greatest education system in the world.” His grandkids go to private school or maybe a white public school. The argument was futile. Just as it was with my friends this weekend.
There are two sides of town, no matter where you are. The rich live here and the poor live here. And then, there’s the ever shrinking middle class, some are becoming more aware, but in my southern locale they work hard to hold on to there conservative ideals and work there hardest to stay separate from the underclass. I ramble to say that the problem that exists within our education system is only a symptom and a part of a national crisis. We still live in separate camps. The third world is at our back door and many of us are able to ignore it. My worldview would certainly be less bleak if I were in a better position to ignore our invisible citizenry, but consciously teaching does not allow that luxury. Until the “other” is humanized in the eyes of the people rich and middle class then there will always be a separation and our problem will continue and grow. People can only be mistreated for so many generations before they rebel. The “them” out numbers the “us”. As the middle class is falling into the “them” they are becoming revolutionary. We’re nearing a tipping point. The people, from our classrooms to the unemployment lines, deserve humanity and equality. Teachers keep fighting the good fight. We’re all more than a number, but our numbers are greater.
- educatedtodeath posted this