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2 thoughts on “Community Forum

  1. REVEREND BARBER, MORAL FRAMEWORKS

    From Kelly (via email):

    Did you guys see this? It’s a larger political message but I send it re: changing the narrative about public schools, in particular. A legitimate moral framework would be a HUGE help to us. Because that’s really what it’s about. How to tap into the morality/spirituality of the movement without the sanctimoniousness and self-consciousness I so often feel — that’s at least one of the challenges, from my POV.

    Are there are ways for us, in partnership/”fusion” with people of color, to increasingly command that moral authority?

    Curious about your thoughts.

    https://thinkprogress.org/rev-barber-moral-change-1ad2776df7c#.v6kohzhpo

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    1. damn… this man is powerful.

      my thoughts: I’ve been thinking about this project of ours in somewhat different terms since the election (yes, i was one of those “surprised trump-racism won” white ladies). As I read the Pantsuit Nation lamentation posts and, at the same time talk with parents about their kids’ educations, I feel we have tragically decoupled something integral….

      As we middle class and/or white families think about school, the prime story is about what-we-can-get-for-our-kid. The choices we make are about being a “good” parent who wants “only the best” for our kids and who is “investing in their futures.”

      The larger picture — the notion of citizenship (and I need a better word here… not implying immigration/documentation/anything like this) — is crucially absent. Maybe it is because the problems of poverty, systemic racism, etc., seem too large, too intractable. And so, by extension, integrating our kids would just be a drop in the bucket. (And please please please of course this is about spreading out privilege and not “saving” poor kids). But it would also be a ‘”risky” drop at that. (Of course, we could all talk all day about risk, perceived risk, etc etc).

      So if the MORAL job of a parent has become to look out for one’s own, we can ignore that this is most often an act that inherently steps of the backs of other’s own.
      We have effectively ERASED the other moral implication of our choices.

      We have to balance, as we talk about this, the fine line between getting good things for MY kid (like all the research re: benefits of integration for white and/or middle class kids) and the bigger context of what is good for ALL kids.

      When we think about where we are sending our child to school, we consider all the things the school offer that will benefit my kid (like diversity, etc) AND we must consider that this choice creates the world we are building for them to live in as adults. Are we supporting a world in which some win (and win big) and others lose? Are we supporting a world in which citizenship means merely oneself?

      I am rambling, indeed. I want to talk more about this….

      What do you all say to moving this convo to the website??? I think it’s good to have this struggle to think about this plainly out in the open?

      (from Rev. Barber)
      “We need to use moral language, like the devotees of the First and Second Reconstructions. Moral language can re-frame and critique public policy regardless of who’s in power. A moral movement claims higher ground than merely a partisan debate, something that’s bigger than left versus right, conservative versus liberal. We have to begin to re-frame the conversation not to talk about left policies and right policies, but let’s talk about violence. And as people who run for office, are you on the side of violence”

      “Moral language gives you new metaphors. You can say, I’m against this policy not because it’s a conservative policy or a liberal policy, I’m against this policy because it’s constitutionally inconsistent, it’s morally indefensible, and it’s economically insane.”
      “We need a moral movement to revive the heart of American democracy and build a Third Reconstruction for our time. This work is not easy, and it will not be completed quickly. But we know what is required to move forward together.”

      and this from the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/betsy-devos-and-the-plan-to-break-public-schools
      “Missing in the ideological embrace of choice for choice’s sake is any suggestion of the public school as a public good—as a centering locus for a community and as a shared pillar of the commonweal, in which all citizens have an investment. If, in recent years, a principal focus of federal educational policy has been upon academic standards in public education—how to measure success, and what to do with the results—DeVos’s nomination suggests that in a Trump Administration the more fundamental premises that underlie our institutions of public education will be brought into question. “

      Like

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