Sterling and Sharpton we can survive; It’s the ‘educators’ that are the real danger.

April 30, 2014

This week’s column could have been about the Donald Sterling’s and Cliven Bundy’s of the world, old white men saying things that the first time you hear them leaves only a gasp.

But then I’d have had to mention the double standard of Joe Biden and Harry Reid being given passes for their own skin color and word articulation comments about Barack Obama. (Rule number one: if you’re an aging white male making insulting comments about African Americans, make sure you’re a powerful politician who can push through the agenda if you want to be excused for your behavior.)

And then I’d have to bring in the hypocrisy of hypocrisies regarding the fact that until 80 year old Stern’s conversation with his half century younger girlfriend went public, the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was going to give him his second life time achievement award in the past five years. (Rule number two: if you’re an aging white male harboring racist thoughts, make sure you’re a rich old white male who can write big checks to liberal groups and buy the awards you could never win on merit.)

And to make matters worse, if this column was going to delve into the Sterling cesspool I would also have to point out that scheduled to share the stage with Sterling at that NAACP ceremony was none other than the “reverend” Al Sharpton. The same Al Sharpton of the Tawana Brawley fraud, the Crown Heights Riot, the Freddie’s Fashion Mart fire that left seven store employees dead and a list of incitements, tax indictments, and failure to pay debts lawsuits longer than a listing of Barack Obama’s foreign policy failures.

The same Al Sharpton who now is “totally outraged” over Donald Sterling but conveniently ignored the publicly documented overtly racist behavior by him for years.

And then there’s the whole conundrum of Sterling getting a “second” life time achievement award. Did he die and come back to life and only the NAACP knows about it? We know by the public record it buys you selective blindness while the checks are being cashed, but who knew reincarnation was included in the package?

Nope, no way was I taking the column this week into that house of horrors.

Thankfully, Harley Avenue Primary School interim Principal Ellen Best-Laimit, Ed. D and four kindergarten teachers provided the real story of the week when they wrote a letter defending their “yes, Virginia, even highly educated educators can act like complete idiots” decision to cancel the school’s annual year end kindergarten play.

In their own words:

“We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools, and, more specifically, to clarify, misperceptions about the Kindergarten show.” ….”The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.”

America can survive bigoted old white guys and hypocritical race hustlers but how we survive the thought process illustrated in the Harley Avenue letter is beyond me.

Kids cannot grow up to be responsible adults if they’re never allowed to be kids in the first place.

Even highly educated educators should be able to figure that one out.

PUBLISHER’s NOTE:  An edited version of this column first appeared in the April 30th, 2014 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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