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Xenophobia and Cowardice

July 25, 2016 pm31 12:34 pm

In the context of race I recently advised someone:

  1. Speak the Truth
  2. Work for Change
  3. It’s not about you

I need to heed my own words. Primarily about race. But about other forms of discrimination as well. Given the current political climate, how could I see xenophobia and anti-immigrant propaganda, from allies, and not speak?

A week ago there was a coup-attempt in Turkey. And a counter-coup by the government, clearing opponents out of the armed forces, the judiciary, higher education, and schools. And the government named the supporters of Fethullah Gülen as being behind the coup, and demanded his extradition from the US.

Now, Gülen runs charter schools in the US. Many of us oppose charter schools – White Hat, Success, Democracy Prep, etc, etc. No issue so far.

But when public education advocates don’t write “There should not be charter schools” and instead write “Fethullah Gülen should not be operating American charter schools” – I need to call that out. Anti-immigrant appeals are fashionable in some places. NOT HERE.

The link is to Mercedes Schneider, but there has been much more of this on Twitter and Facebook and listserves and I assume just about everywhere. And it should stop.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2016 am31 9:57 am 9:57 am

    I had very little knowledge of Gulen before reading Mercedes Schneider’s piece. Reading it, I ended strongly in favor of Gulen and his movement. To avoid getting a biased view from limited information, I will have to look for more about Gulen.

    And what should I think about MS (who I also don’t know before this post)? From a quote against Gulen: “Gulen promotes tolerance, interfaith dialogue, and, above all, he promotes education.” When a writer thinks those are bad characteristics ….

    On further reflection, I disagree with you, JD2718. These people should speak their mind and show their true colors. Then we see they are not true allies and it further clarifies how much racism remains.

    For example, Trump. Imagine how much more dangerous he would be if he were able to hide in sheeps’ clothing? By putting his views on full display, he has made it obvious how much is at stake and he gives us time to fight him.

    • July 27, 2016 am31 7:22 am 7:22 am

      Well, I’m opposed to all charters, no matter the race, nationality, etc…

      And we disagree on something else. This year I’ve been involved in a conversation that turns on race. In one presentation I remarked that there was no opposition in the room, and someone corrected me “there was opposition, they were too embarrassed to speak”

      And you know what I answered? “Good. Let them be embarrassed”

      Racism is evil. That we live in a time and place where many are not ashamed of carrying this evil, of expressing this evil, that’s not good. Let them be embarrassed. I’d rather they and their ideas were gone. But in the meantime better that they cower in the shadows then march proudly through our streets and across our televisions.

      As they get bold they get more aggressive. They appeal to fears and prejudice and gain strength. No it would be better if they hid from view.

  2. Tom Hoffman permalink
    July 27, 2016 pm31 3:47 pm 3:47 pm

    I think it is pretty clear that the Gulen schools are pawns in some kind of geopolitical great game — and that is inappropriate, regardless of the countries involved, the race of the people, or their religious affiliation. At best, a foreign political faction is quietly involved in some kind of international patronage scheme using schools and heavily lobbying US politicians at the federal and state level. We don’t need to accept that.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    August 2, 2016 pm31 11:07 pm 11:07 pm

    This blog is boring. ICEBLOG and Ednotes are both more interesting. The comment sections on both are hilarious. This one is dull.

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