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What Did You Learn In School Today, Dear Little Boy Of Mine

It seems to me that issues have been the same damn thing forever. Last week, there was several articles about how states are outlawing Critical Race Theory because they were trying to avoid having white children feel bad about themselves. Who’s going to argue with that? Of course, the picture is so much different than what the law makers are trying to convince people is the truth. First of all, Critical Race Theory is NOT being taught here in town or anywhere for that matter in the public school. In a word Critical Race Theory ‘s goal is to challenge the popular notion that racial justice is here already and that the law upholds such notions. Well, I could go further, but you get the idea. But the Tucker Carlson’s of the world are trying to convince people that Critical Race Theory main goal is to force white students into thinking that they are bad and responsible for the current status quo as far as racism goes. There’s so much wrong with this position that its hard to know where to start. Let’s start with the wonderment-do we not teach our children that one group (whites) enslaved another group (POC) for hundreds of years, denying them their humanhood, future financial assets and dignity (to name but a small sample)? Or do we just gloss over the massacres of Tulsa, Rosewood, Elaine , to name but a few of a long and shameful list, an pretend they didn’t happen? Or Redlining, the insidious plan to deny real estate to African Americans after WW2? To say the very least, these are terrible, unconsciounable events. But to omit them from our knowledge base because it might make our white children feel bad about themselves…??? That’s just not the way it works. Your 12 year old son or daughter is as much responsible for these deeds as your family pet. However, these children desperately need to be equipped with the history of this country that includes terrible things that white people did to POC. Education, sound judgements and opinions are based on knowing real facts not “Tucker Carlson Facts”. This is what we owe to our children.

I started this letter with a reference to a folk song that I grew up with. Lyrics are by Tom Paxton. Almost 60 year years ago, I would hear this song sung beautifully by Pete Seeger. The issues are the same now as then. And perhaps that’s why I feel that what goes around comes around. Please spend a moment reading the entire song below. I hope that you agree with me that our education system should help our children see and experience the truth rather than limit what they can know about.

Here’s the whole song:

“What Did You Learn In School Today?”

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie,
I learned that soldiers seldom die,
I learned that everybody’s free,
And that’s what the teacher said to me,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
that’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned the policemen are my friends,
I learned that justice never ends,
I learned that murderers pay for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned about the great once we had had.
We fought in Germany and in France
And some day I might get my chance.
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned our government must be strong;
It’s always right and never wrong!
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school.

Words by Tom Paxton

To all of you I wish a peaceful start to Summer and that its full of all the magic you might be hoping for.

Namaste,

David

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