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Re: Bomb the shit out of those bastards

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Holly112_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Thu Sep 13 2001 - 19:52:43 PDT


I may be making a mistake to be this candid in a wide forum such as this, but
only in an attempt to convey the frustration and confusion some feel. While
I certainly don't agree with RB's choice of words, I feel his anguish and
fear through those hasty words. Maybe its that its very easy for people who
don't live and work among diversity to misunderstand. There is a really
large influx of people from the Middle East here in the Metro area, and a few
of them are brazen enough to say things to our faces that make it bad for all
the good citizens among them. Their culture is so radically different than
ours, that the rifts can seem enormous. In an almost exclusively
MidEastern-flavored nearby school, a kindergartner asks to go to the
restroom, and comes back carrying his shoes. The teacher is baffled and asks
why. Because in India, he would have ruined his shoes while doing his
business. He doesn't realize there is no need to remove your shoes here.
The students are so respectful and wonderful, they are a pleasure to teach.
I worked ther 4 years. However, I have also seen firsthand how (some of ?)
the men have no respect for women, and have been rude at conferences with
women teachers, and angrily denouncing our own ways in school, while tacking
on the words: "In my country..." at the end of their sentence. I remember
myself at such a conference, feeling angry and offended. My ancestors were
European immigrants who WANTED to be Americans, and while they retained the
customs (food, music) of their homeland, strove to learn English and raised
my parents to be proud Americans. Do some now come to America for
opportunity AND liberty, or only opportunity, we wonder. So we all bring a
little baggage. Just today, my cousin who works in a hospital at the foot
of the Brooklyn Bridge, related this experience. On the day of the WTC
debacle, thousands of people walked out of Manhattan over the bridge, covered
with dust and in need of a rest. The hospital opened its restrooms to the
people and gave them all the water they could drink, from all the water
cooler bottles they had on hand. He had never seen a day like that. At the
same time an Arab-owned deli across the street had told some hospital
coworkers that "not enough Americans died that day". The police were called
and shut him down for his own protection. So, the actions of a few make it
hard for the good citizens living among us. Its so hard not to take a comment
like that personally. There are idiots in every culture, but these
particular comments are scary, given the nature of terrorists to work so hard
for their cause. In the back of our minds we wonder, is it free speech, or
danger in our midst? Who's to know among all those innocent faces, which is
one who hates us enough to see us die? Perhaps if I never had an experience
like this, I would never DREAM of having a thought like that in my head EVER,
having been a peace and love kid myself.

I chose to help the kids heal today, I let them talk about their feelings
about the terrorist attacks and then asked them if they could see any good in
all this. The students were saying things like yeah, school was closed,
delayed opening, and that was it. It took a lot of prodding, but we got to
the countless number of police, hospital and firemen rescuing people and
others removing debris, donating blood, food and $$, etc. All the faraway
volunteers coming together as Americans, not ethnicities, to work together to
rebuild our lives. We spoke of the true meaning of democracy and freedom for
all. ANd what can they do, as kids? They can write thankyou notes to the
rescuers, donate food, clothes, even chapsticks. I think they left feeling a
little older but a little more important. Tomorrow I'm having them look at
THE SCREAM and make a portrait, framed in their written positive sentiments.
I also am planning Judy's dove lesson and /or a memorial wall. (If they ever
get my schedule fixed...) LOL

Sorry this was so long, and I truly hope I didn't offend anyone, as that is
certainly not my intention. Sometimes your mind thinks things based on
personal experiences and I know in my case I shove those other types of
thoughts aside and try to take the high road. I am constantly evolving and
working on myself to be better.
 
Respectfully,
Holly :0)

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