Friday, September 25, 2009

Sing, sing a song

This story has already dropped off the radar but you probably heard the cries of outrage over the school kids that sang about Obama. I wasn't going to blog about it, except that Joanne Jacobs blogged it. We were briefly co-bloggers during my nine days of fame as a quasi Fox News blogger so I read her post and got pissed off enough to leave this comment.
One might think that unless one was a parent of one of these children it's none of their business what a single school does to commemorate Black History month. It's not like this was done by some edict out of the White House. It was part of a lesson plan drawn up by a person who wrote a book about Obama. It might encourage them to read a book. OMG the horror! I find it far more disturbing that the school principal received a death threat from some nutcase that got fired up by the overblown media/right wing bloggers' attention.

And it also seems to me that many of the people who are so appalled by this are the same people who want to bring back school prayer, abridging the separation of church and state and have hissy fits every time a kid decides he doesn't want to pledge to the flag.
It was stuck in moderation for hours but I just checked to see if it was ever posted and discovered the reason this dropped so abruptly off the daily outrage sheet. It seems some school kids sang about Bush too. Praising him for his help with the Katrina disaster. Charming lyrics.
Our country’s stood beside us
People have sent us aid.
Katrina could not stop us, our hopes will never fade.
Congress, Bush and FEMA
People across our land
Together have come to rebuild us
and we join them hand-in-hand!
Hard to believe I can't remember the hysterical shoutrage back then about indoctrinating the children with this ditty.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]
Bookmark and Share


Anonymous sandbun said...

Oh come on, first off I don't think anyone's called me a right wing crazy yet and I'm certainly not blaming Obama for what a school teacher did, but even I found those songs a little creepy. Only one line in the songs talked about him being the first African American president. The rest was was full of stuff like 'Equal work means equal pay' and 'Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans' and 'He said red, yellow, black or white, All are equal in his sight'. That's hardly celebrating African American accomplishments, that's flat our praise borderline worship for Obama. The last line is basically a copy out of "Jesus Loves the Little Children"! As a schoolteacher, when you change the lyrics of a Christian song to be about someone else and teach it to little children, that's creepy, and can not be explained away by saying "It's Black History Month".

2nd, since when do you have to have a kid in a school to worry about what's being taught there? By this logic I don't want to hear anyone complaining about parents wanting creationism being taught in their schools other than by other parents with kids in that school. Except that logic is complete and utter junk - people have every right to care about what's being taught schools because it's important that they aren't taught ridiculous things like creationism. (I know this came from something someone else wrote, but your posting it suggests you agree with it)

3rd - you going to have to explain how learning a song by someone who wrote a book isn't going to get people to read. Being a good teacher could get kids to read, but I'm not seeing how learning a song, no matter who teaches is, causes reading.

4th - the "Bush" song is actually about Katrina, not Bush. Just because a song mentions Bush does not mean that the song is about him. Come on, that song and the one about Obama are nothing alike. If even I disagree with you it's usually because I think you're being naive, not because you're making false comparisons. You're better than this.

11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Take a breath sandbun. Clear to me you didn't read the link because I was quoting myself and I most certainly think it's nobody's business but the parents of the ten kids in that school that sang the stupid song. And you clearly don't have the back story straight. The teacher didn't invent the song. The author of the book did as part of her own lesson plan around the book. Which was all part of larger focus on black history month. Obama IS the first black president of the US. It doesn't seem that inappropriate to me and I forgot what the tune was, but it wasn't a bible song.

Stand by what I said. One school. One tiny thing that was blown out of proportion as part of the whole wingnut assault on our duly elected president's credibility. When the White House orders every kid in America to learn it and sing it daily, get back to me. I'll work up all the outrage you like.

In the meantime, it looks very much like that census worker was murdered for taking the census, as the details come out, which is not that hard to connect to the whole larger wingnut hysteria being drummed up about everything no matter remotely connected to Obama, so pardon me if I think the bigger problem is hatemongering that leads marginally sane Beck/Malkin/whoever worshippers to call in death threats to the principal over it. I rather doubt that came from a parent of one of the students.

12:45:00 AM  
Anonymous sandbun said...

Your right, that line saying it came from someone else was something I wrote after I'd written about everything else. I took a little time writing this and by the time I finished I'd forgotten that the quote came from you and added that disclaimer because I noticed that the comment was offset and suddenly added the note because sometimes people quote others and then try not to defend it. My bad.

The tune wasn't to "Jesus Loves the Little Children" but the lyric absolutely was -

"Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,"
"He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight. . . ."

When you take the words from a song about Jesus and apply to anyone else and teach it to school children, it's creepy.

A song about civil rights progress that mentioned Obama or even one just about him that talked about him getting elected would be fine, just like I have no problem with a song about Katrina that mentions Bush. But as I said, between the two songs they mention it once. "We honor your great plans" is support for his plans. "Equal pay for Equal work" is a clear reference to the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This has nothing to do with him being black, it has to do with support for a bill he signed.

Is it getting blown out of proportion, sure. And obviously the death threats are terrible and should never happen, I'll never defend anyone who sends them. But there is a segment of the population that clearly worships Obama. The same thing happened with Bush - some crazies saw him as "God's chosen warrior" or some junk like that. But I never heard it being taught to elementary school kids like this. To say that this isn't inappropriate is crazy. We teach kids facts about President Obama in public schools - we don't teach praise for Obama. This crossed the line.

9:08:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I recall singing that song in Sunday School, but didn't make the connection and I'm not seeing that it glorified Obama. Personally, I find a lot of stuff about public schools creepier than this one time little lesson plan. Applying the 48 hour rule, meaning if you knew you were going to die in 48 hours, would this be important, it's not even on the scales for me.

10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

In Florida Schools, kids still are required to stand up and pledge allegiance to a country under a God they may or may not believe in, or may even detest.

Funny how the righteous Limbaughers don't complain about that even though they insist the rest of us are confusing Obama with god. Anyone else smell the pong of mendacity here?

That's unconstitutional on more than one basis, but at least they stopped requiring the Nazi salute in the 1930's. Funny how the wingnut retards forget it was the product of a children's magazine published by a socialist organization.

Of course whether mandatory praise for someone else's God or praising ( or damning) the nation's president is good or bad, patriotic or unpatriotic depends on your political affiliation, doesn't it?

For my part, I'd drop the whole damn thing and tell teachers to leave those kids alone. Makes for a much better song too.

10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg isn't it illegal to require the pledge. I thought that had already been through the courts.

8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous sandbun said...

I thought the same thing as Libby, I wasn't aware of it going on in Florida. Of course IMO the right thing to do isn't stop children from saying the Pledge of Allegiance, but to take out the "Under God" which should've never been added in the first place.

I have no idea what your babbling about the "Nazi salute" in the 30s is about - neoconservatives (of which I am not one) are now responsible for something that happened in the 30's, which one would assume began before the Nazi's started using it? And that was before the "Under God" line was added. What does this salute have to do with anything?

No, mandatory praise/worship for someone else's God or any person is always bad. At least that's how I feel. I wonder if you feel the same way. You say to drop the whole thing, but I don't get any indication that you feel it was wrong.

9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"I have no idea what your [sic] babbling about"

Save the flimsy hauteur for your cat. Why in the world should I reply to such a gratuitously hostile, willfully obtuse and somewhat ungrammatical comment?


Florida recently has allowed students to opt out but only with written parental permission. That pretty much assures a humiliating experience for anyone with the guts to go through it. "OK Jimmy, you can stand in the corner with the rest of the God-haters while we recite the pledge"

(The oath of office for Palm Beach County requires a similar pledge of faithfulness to God. There have been unsuccessful suits.)

Yes, the SCOTUS ruled it was unconstitutional to require it back in the 1940's, long before the God clause, but this is Confederate Florida.

I think it was 6 or 7 years ago when someone filed suit in California and the next day half the cars on the road here had "UNDER GOD" written on them with lipstick or paint.

"the pledge" has an interesting history that most people don't seem to know. Bellamy, the writer of the original version related that "equality" was to be included with "freedom and justice" for instance, but there was too much opposition from racists. Typical of "grassroots" things in America, the intention of the childrens magazine that promoted it was to sell flags as well as to indoctrinate kids with the growing militaristic and nationalistic sentiments of the era. Hence, in part, the Roman salute went along with the lust for empire and conquest. Photos and film clips remind most people of the kind of indoctrination authoritarian governments from Mussolini to Mao have used to regiment young children.

I would object to such a thing being foisted on our children even without the Eisenhower addition for a number of reasons too numerous to discuss, but for the most part, since I don't see the purpose of public education as being to promote obedience or religious belief at the expense of teaching history and I don't see anything but the work of lobbyists in such indoctrination.

Yes, Ike caved in to a huge campaign by the Knights of Columbus to add the God thing so as to try to link it to fighting "Godless" Communists. More lobbyists at work.

The bottom line is that forced indoctrination, especially of children, is in my opinion out of place in what's sold as a free country. It's not free if I have to worship or revere certain symbols.

10:33:00 AM  
Anonymous sandbun said...

Hauteur? This coming from a guy who felt the need to point out not once but twice an admittedly dumb, but small and fairly common grammar error in my post that most people would just look over? Gratuitously hostile? This coming from someone who once responded to a post of mine talking about wanting less govt intrusion in my life by saying my thoughts were
"a grotesque oversimplification to make complex things clear for substandard minds...requires a degree of ignorance and dementia", wondered if it was because I had sand in my buns that made me ignorant and asked if I was born yesterday. But yeah, my use of the word "babbling" was gratuitously hostile.

11:50:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I certainly don't care what you want in your life and I care less about your other opinions.

3:09:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Fogg, I've got a lot of concerns about the public school system. They teach kids to think. Rote learning is not critical thinking, and that's the only skill that has any relevance to what they need to survive in this insane society now.

10:26:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home