Thursday, May 1, 2008

Getting Started

Don't know why i'm doing this exactly and i don't really know what i'm doing as i proceed through this-supposed to be-simple process to get this blog up and running. But I have no clue what i'm doing as far as choosing settings, layouts, etc. So i'm doing it to the best of my current blogging ability.

Now my reason for starting this blog...

I had a conversation with someone today that took a racist turn and i didn't know how to respond without offending so i just eased out of the topic, was non-committal in my response. But as i reflected later on this conversation, and past conversations with him and his spouse, i was confronted again with this issue of racism that comes up in our conversations periodically. I'm not challenging these attitudes when they come up and i don't feel right about that but i think i need to think about this thing outloud or see it in black and white and maybe, just maybe, put it out there for others to maybe read and reflect on and maybe even comment on for some added perspective and constructive dialogue.

The truth of the matter is that i completely understand the reason for ELL(english language learners) getting seperate, extra attention, am on board with it and embrace it. The person i was conversing with seems to resent this extra time and attention given to second and third graders who are struggling to learn the English language and assimilate into the United States culture enough to become educated.

January 3, 2009--the line of thinking continues

If we trace the roots of most of the inhabitants of this country back far enough we find that the majority of us descend from people who were immigrants at one time. And whether a person immigrates to a place because they want to be free to worship as they see fit or immigrates as refugees because they are being persecuted for somehow not being the right type of person or immigrates because they can't earn a reasonable living in their homeland because of an ineffectual government, survival needs are survival needs.

And children are children and they will all be inheritors of this country and this world and the ones charged with keeping things running as we, their parents, grow old. Wouldn't it be to the benefit of all concerned if all children were given a chance at an education that prepares them for that stewardship of the world and all of it's inhabitants?

So if we want to start pointing fingers about laws being broken maybe we each need to look at how we(or our ancestors) got here and why and realize that whether the laws were "on the books", or just in the hearts of a people, there has been plenty of "disrespecting of laws" to go around.

That's not something that can be said in passing, though. The issue is complicated and fraught with emotion. And I could say the politically correct thing in that situation and possibly alienate the acquaintance and lose any chance of constructive dialogue in the future. So I guess that's why I didn't. But were a person being directly targeted, bullied, excluded, etc. I trust that I would speak up in defense and support of the persecuted person or persons. At least I hope I would. As for further conversations with this individual, were the subject to arise again, I think, after putting my thoughts out here, that I will be in a better position to say something constructive.