Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoughts on the election

My wife, Shauna, teaches in a small private school, Capitol Hills Academy, whose students are mostly from the lower middle class. Some of the things that occured there after the election are interesting.

She has two young (she teaches first throught third grades) black boys in her class. One came to class Wednesday morning very outspoken. "Obama's family were slaves so now he wants to make us all slaves. I don't think it's fair. Just because he is a slave is no reason to make us slaves. " He then turned to the other black student and said, "I suppose you are happy about the election?" To which the other student replied, "Of course, he will be a great president."

Both boys, of course, reflect the outlook of their parents, but it is good to know that there is at least one black student here that is a potential replacement for Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas.

In the older class, taught by Jodie Millard, the students were for the most part jubilant over the election of Obama. When Jodie asked why, the typical response was, "Now there will be no more rich and no more poor. We will all be equal." "And you think that is good?" Jodie asked incredulously. "Of course," was the typical response.

Jodie decided to show the students what it meant at a practical level. She gave the scheduled spelling test that day. The next day, when the papers were turned back, they were duly marked--the correct answers checked, the incorrect answers x'ed, but the students found that no matter what their tallies in terms of correct or incorrect, everyone got the same grade--a "C". One of the top students in the class, one who had been most excited about "everyone will now be equal" protested vociferously, but Jodie merely reminded him that "we now live in a country where everyone is equal". The next day the boy's father showed up at the school, saying generally he liked the school, but it was absolutely unfair that his son, who was a very diligent student should be given the average grade for the class. His son, of course, was merely expressing the sentiment he had heard at home when he praised Obama for making everyone equal, but like so many others, the parents actually complained bitterly when the policy meant having less than they felt they had earned.

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