As I write, Virginia’s newly elected Republican governor is embroiled in a Twitter battle with a flamboyant high school student.
And then there’s the losing.
It’s like something out of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” a show Moms for Liberty would certainly outlaw if they had the power to do so. Never mind that the whole incident began because the youngster tweeted an incorrect article about Gov. Glenn Youngkin taking down an educational exhibit about slavery, which he did not do.
You’re in trouble if you have a public spat with someone under the age of 17. Overzealous staffers, according to Youngkin, were responsible for “an illegal tweet” mocking young Ethan Lynne for being in a photo with “a man who had a blackface/KKK photo in his yearbook.”
That would be former Gov. Ralph Northam, Youngkin’s immediate predecessor, who originally apologized for the blackface photo but now claims it wasn’t him. As a result, it’s a farce all around.
My personal policy is to stay away from Twitter entirely. Facebook is already a scary place. I’m also not running for office. As a redneck pal likes to remark, “never one time.” My wife would seek legal guardianship and send me out to pasture if I ever declared my candidacy.
Even yet, the Youngkin event had it everything: a bogus racial dispute, an erroneous (and later removed) news item, and a slew of half-cocked hotheads all over the place.
Moms for Liberty could want to outlaw the whole thing. The Moms are a Florida-based “grassroots” movement devoted to converting American public schools into fundamentalist Christian academies. Or eradicating them entirely, which may be the ultimate goal.
Karens for Christ could be a better moniker.
Their hearts are blessed.
People like them are on the rise in Arkansas, where I live. In any case, the newspapers are rife with stories of sexual violence and child pornography. In federal court, a well-known holy man was recently found guilty. These aren’t things you learn in school.
It’s dubbed “virtue signaling” when leftists make such righteous positions, and most people think it’s a bit stupid.
lists of best-selling books
Consider the case of the McMinn County, Tennessee, school board, which recently decided to remove the graphic novel “Maus” from the eighth-grade curriculum. Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, shares the story of his Holocaust-survivor parents. Because of the book’s “unnecessary use of profanity and nudity, as well as its depiction of violence and suicide,” the school board decided unanimously to have it removed.
It goes without saying that this ludicrous move sent “Maus” to the top of best-seller lists and prompted tens of thousands, if not millions, of young readers to seek it out. The book’s tremendous force, like Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” lies in its use of a children’s fable to deliver a dreadful lesson. “Maus” is a book that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
As a result, the futility of book-banning in today’s United States can hardly be overstated. It’s also not solely a right-wing phenomena. “Last year, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ was on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books List ‘for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience,” writes Nashville writer Margaret Renkl in her New York Times column.
Besides, when the little cherubs aren’t listening to their teacher droning on about Harper Lee, “1984”, or some other equally impenetrable text, they’re listening to Cardi B’s “WAP,” a crude ditty about a boastful strumpet’s use of her… well, there’s no polite word for it, and the clinical terms have started to sound dirtier than the unprintable ones. That thing Trump brags about having snatched.
My point is straightforward: the culture war has ended, and your side has lost. Mine did, too. See, there’s this thing called the internet out there, and it’s revolutionized everything about what and how children learn — except the way school boards and old fools like you and me talk about it. Nothing, in fact, renders a once-incendiary book harmless like being compelled to read it in a high school English or history class.
If I become education czar, pupils will not be allowed to bring their wretched phones to school at all – the modern equivalent of Hans Brinker poking his finger in the dike to prevent a tsunami.
You’re also an ancient pedant if you recognize that allusion.