What a furor is going on in Florida over school children viewing this speech in the schools. The furor is further splitting our populace into those who are afraid of exposing their children to the President of the United States on one hand, and those who are sure that banning a live speech from the President in the schools to be nothing less or more than racism alive and well and politics AGAIN! At the worst, there are even people who are saying that we will end up in the ovens as in Nazi Germany!
A comment was made that government should stay out of school. Well, then should we close down "public tax payer funded schools" and move everyone over to private schools?
No one seems to know what the 18 minute speech contains, other than encouragement to stay in school and to work hard for an education.
The following is from The Orlando Sentinel -
Barack Obama's school speech: Pundits lambaste furor as stupid
Pundits this morning weren't showing a lot of sympathy for critics of President Barack Obama's address to schoolchildren this week.
"We live in the age of firestorms," Thomas Friedman of The New York Times said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The president will talk to children about the importance of staying in school and working hard. Friedman didn't look kindly on people who don't want to hear that message. Friedman said: "What it [the controversy] needs is for people to stand up and say, 'That's flat-out stupid.'"
What do you say to that?
On the same program, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw described the controversy as "stunning."
"It's so ripe for satire, it's unbelievable," Brokaw added. He called Obama's message appropriate and said the president exemplified working hard and overcoming adversity.
Even Rudolph Giuliani, the Republican former mayor of New York, said the controversy was "unfortunate."
"There's a lack of respect for presidents," Giuliani told "Meet the Press."
On ABC's "This Week," former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd seemed stunned as well that presidents can't speak to schoolchildren about staying in school. "If he can't give a speech like that to the schoolchildren... without people freaking out, that's the problem we have today," Dowd said.
Also on "This Week," Katrina vanden Heuvel noted that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had given similar speeches and that education is a critical job for the federal government. She blamed the right-wing media for fanning the controversy. David Sanger of The New York Times said the furor had less to do with what Obama was going to say and more to do with what some parents think of the president as a leader.
George Will, however, was the rare pundit who faulted the White House in this furor. He said it's not the federal government's job to raise children and blasted the administration's approach to public relations. The president is ubiquitous in the media, Will said, and has become like elevator music.
On CBS' "Face the Nation," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wondered why it had been 18 years since a president had addressed schoolchildren. Duncan said listening to the speech was "purely voluntary" and it was "just silly" that some parents were keeping their children home Tuesday.
"It's just going to be an 18-minute speech," Duncan told Bob Schieffer. "And so that just doesn't make any sense."
The speech will not be canceled, Duncan added.
The Fox channel reports were very much different, rather extreme right wing for a news agency, appearing to reflect more of a tone of a talk show than a news channel.
I will remember this when it is time to vote: Escambia and Santa Rosa County School Superintendents have decided that Obama's message won't be played live at school but they might decide the speech will only be taped and played back should it "fit into a classroom lesson".
In Santa Rosa's case, this could be backlash for the Civil Liberty Union's successful coupe in banning prayer from the public schools. Or it could be blatant racism which is very alive and well down here. And, as well, probably is also the roaring fear loosed by the political wars between Republicans and Democrats.
My personal opinon? Again, I'm embarrassed. I love Florida. I am ashamed of the attitudes of some of the Floridians. Perhaps if the President would just pop into the schools and read a fairy tale or two, he would be more welcome. With a paler face. Grrrrrrrr. A few days ago, I posted in Facebook a statement of admiration for Michelle's beauty and the controversy over her hair styles. (of all things) And a VERY racist comment was made - it shocked me. I deleted it quickly and decided not to post anything remotely political on Facebook ANYMORE. Especially hair styles. I guess I expect change too quickly, I remember in my life time when people who weren't "white" could not drink out of the same fountain, eat in the same restaurant, etc., etc.
Next, I'm going to post my granddaughter's poem. It's a lament, really. Next post.