Watching the news and stuff… I see all these young people in Anti-fa outfits, old people marching with signs that hearken back to the last time they carried signs, I see a post on FB by a kid who doesn’t know what happened in the 60s re: race and thinks that the counter-protestors are no better than the White Supremacists. I try to explain history to him, and, to his credit, he Googles Birmingham and comes up with a church bombing.
It’s something. He realizes that he’s in the lurch; he has now looked into Fibber MacGee’s closet and doesn’t want to do the work. It’s a whole lot easier to say, “Violence is bad and the White Supremacists were planning a peaceful demonstration. Do you really think it’s all-right for the anti-fas to use violence? Anti-fa is fascist!”
He’s found a soapbox from which he believes someone of my generation will be cowed. But, no. I was never a “Peacenik” or whatever. I envy the Anti-fa outfit. It’s black. It’s scary. It says “Anarchy!” How to fight evil? Give it no quarter. I have learned that the hard way.
“Fascist, my child, is a particular thing,” I tell him. “Anti-fa may or may not be thugs, I do not know, but they are not fascist.” I see the whole thing sinking even lower into semantics. I end the conversation and ask my friend who this kid is.
“He’s an OK kid. Just got married. The nephew of my son’s ex. Rescued a husky last year.”
Rescued a husky? He’s OK in my book whatever his politics. Well, almost. I don’t think a Nazi husky rescuer would be OK. I’m going to have to take this on a case-by-case basis. I see that now. This kid hasn’t gone that far. And he’s curious. Curiosity means a lot. And he rescued a husky.
All you teachers out there, past, present and future, heading to school today, you have your work cut out for you. I’m glad it’s not me any more. I honor your effort, I respect your challenge, I love the work you do. Please help this kid out in whatever shape or form he arrives in your classroom. Our world depends on you. Seriously. I’m weeping as I write this.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry you don’t have a better salary. I’m sorry the gubmint doesn’t recognize the vital work you do. I’m sorry for acting out in 9th grade (3rd grade, 10th grade, 11th grade). And thank you for everything. ❤
2 thoughts on “To Teachers on the First Full Day of School”
I grew up in part of London where Oswald Mosley Fascists marched in 1936 and the Battle of Cable Street. this was 80 years ago, but we have still not obliterated these facts. The fascists are still here and thriving it seems. The youth of today knows nothing of what happened in the past. I was born 10 years after the Mosley March and the Battle of Cable Street, but my mum lived with it and it was part of the general knowledge of growing up. This is not new, but unfortunately somehow slipped into the background over the past. Hitler was not the only one, he had his disciples, and quite a strong group of “blackshirts” in the East End. I remember a march of these animals through our local streets when I was at school, it never seemed to die.
No it’s always there an undercurrent of pure evil that appeals to the angry, resentful and stupid among us 😞
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