The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Obama School "Controversy:" Has America Gone Completely Insane, or Just Plain Racist?


On Tuesday President Barack Obama will address the nation's school children in a speech promoting education, ambition, perseverance and the need to become civic-minded. It's a terrific message designed to challenge and inspire today's youth. But as expected, the issue has been hijacked by the right-wing lunatic fringe that's either gone completely mad or lost all control of its racial bigotry. Either scenario is equal parts frustrating, infuriating, shameful and scary. Wild, unfounded accusations of "indoctrination" are flying at the president, and many children will be kept home from school to avoid the speech. It's "America's Parents Gone Wild."

I try to understand the opposition's concerns--which has unleashed a torrent of emotion and vitriol from many parents--but I simply can't. Because there's nothing rooted here in logic or rational thought. To the contrary, it's based on ignorance, fear and, yes, racism. I suspect that a majority of the most fervent protests are originating in those parts of the nation where the black population is the smallest, and where blacks hold few positions of power. Is it possible that these "concerned" parents simply don't want their very conservatively-raised children getting the message that it's ok for a young black man to be so powerful? Maybe the thought of their children being "lectured" by a black man repulses them? Doesn't it seem ironic that, in an effort to prevent their children from being "indoctrinated" by supposedly radical views, these parents are perpetrating the biggest mind-fuck of all on their kids by censoring outside influences and instead heaping on them their own generations of intolerance and prejudice? So who then is doing the actual indoctrinating?

It's just plain moronic all this talk of indoctrination and of Obama "spreading his socialist views"on school kids. I mean, after all, we're talking about the office of the United States Presidency for crap's sake. This isn't 50-Cent or Pamela Anderson addressing our kids. Have people simply lost their minds?

To be sure, the movement to prevent Obama's speech on the above grounds, and to boycott school Tuesday, is the single most unpatriotic event in modern history, and so disrespectful and offensive to the president and what the office stands for. In fact, on its merits, it's truly unfathomable. The people behind it should be ashamed of themselves.

The people stirring up all this school-speech trouble are no different than the misguided tea baggers, the town-hall goons, the birth-certificate 'truthers' or those who say Obama's a radical, a terrorist, a socialist, a communist and someone who's out to destroy America. Nah...he's just black, people. Get used to it. Because, whether you like it or not, he's gonna be running things for another seven-plus years.


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30 Comments:

  • At 3:27 PM, Anonymous macduff said…

    How does this differ from perhaps the most famous event when GWB sat reading My Pet Goat to school children? Is it the content? I'm sure both presidents spoke to the best of their abilities to the school children about the importance of getting an education.
    sheesh!

     
  • At 3:34 PM, Blogger Susan said…

    Well written, Andy. It seems McCarthyism has risen from the dead- or maybe it was just simmering beneath the surface all these years. It is truly astounding what is occurring.

     
  • At 3:57 PM, Blogger RJ STRITTMATTER said…

    I enjoyed you article and agree with you on every point but one.

    The people behind this are not the tea baggers, birthers, and people screaming that Obama is a fascist/nazi/socialist, etc. They are but the (unwitting?) foot soldiers of a more sinister agenda.

    I don't mean to sound like a 'conspiracy nut,' but I began to suspect this when I saw respected members of the GOP appearing on TV evading the question of whether Obama is a U.S. citizen with things like, "I've never personally seen his birth certificate," or, "That's not a birth certificate, it's a certificate of live birth," and saying that they would not discourage their supporters from bringing weapons to town hall meetings or other events when the president is present.

    I became convinced of this when I heard Sen. Chuck Grassley distorting the contents of the health care bill that he has most certainly read by telling people they are right to fear 'death panels.'

    The GOP is purposely playing on racial fears and whipping fringe elements among their supporters into a frenzy in an effort to get the president killed.

     
  • At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great editorial
    couldn'ta said it better myself

     
  • At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You captured it supurbly! ! I'm at once ashamed, incensed, and flabbergasted!!!!

     
  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well said. I thought I was the only one who thought that the world at large had gone insane. Thank you.

     
  • At 4:15 PM, Anonymous Realist said…

    If Obama wasn't hiding behind the skirts of the Congressional Democrats on so many issues, he could have had a much different response to his school lecture. But since he decided he didn't want to lead shortly after entering the Oval Office, he gave no one any reason to rise to his defense when he is now clearly in need of such support. By not being the leader he told us he was going to be, he has no one but himself to blame if the country slides into fascist chaos.

     
  • At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Amen Andy!

    You identified the problem. It's outright racism from the fringe who can't get over the fact we elected a non-white (pure white that is) President.

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Another 7+ years???

    I don't think so. Not if he continues to sell out and break every promise he made.

    The progressives have already taken their first shot at the Blue Dog DINO-Fascists by raising over half a million dollars and donating it all to progressives in the House who support a Single Payer option.

    We got rid of the Republican Neocon-Fascists during the last two election cycles. Now its time to vote out the Blue Dog DINO-Fascists in their next Democratic Primaries early next year!

    Kevin Schmidt

     
  • At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Having read these comments, I can only say, "It's too bad these individuals, and the blog's author have not done their homework. If you would research Republican points rather than depending on mainstream media or friends and neighbors to tell you what to think and pass on, like a game of gossip, you would be a more justified group in your ideation. I have done the research and did not start out on either side of these issues. Anyone who claims racism is behind the anger expressed at town hall meetings is seriously mistaken. The largest demographic being white is the same demographic that put Obama into the White House. Without such support, he never would have been elected. Numbers don't lie. Obama's problem now is that he ran as a Moderate, but he is leading from far left Liberalism. The people are simply tired of being lied to.

     
  • At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Stozzel said…

    The left has no one to blame but themselves. They spent the last 8 years denigrating and disrespecting W so much due to leftover bitterness from the disputed 2000 election and policy disagreements, that there are those on the right who don't feel they owe this president any more respect than their guy got. You're so quick to play the race card, but everybody that I know who is keeping their child home say they have genuine disputes with Obama's politics, and would rather their child not hear an unfiltered declaration from his bully pulpit without being there to offer counterbalance, the way they can when they watch presidential speeches and press conferences with the family at home in the evenings, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. You say you've tried to understand the other side, but I just don't believe you. Have you talked to any of them? If you're just trying to understand based on Op-Eds and blustering from partisan pundits (which there's too much of on both sides), you never will understand.
    And frankly, Obama voters and moderates like me are getting pretty turned off to *ANY* criticism of the President or his agenda being declared racist. It's a 'boy-who-cried-wolf' kinda thing -- I'm starting to tune out anybody who labels the opposition as "racist" to the point that when it actually is, i'll have already stopped listening, and that's unfortunate.

     
  • At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Jane said…

    Well said!

    I'm not altogether surprised that the wingnuts are keeping their kids home from school to avoid the President's address. The Republican party as it is presently constituted, is thoroughly anti-intellectual. The last thing they want is an educated public, since educated people don't fall for the kind of nonsense the Republican leadership is fomenting and encouraging. The last thing they want (besides not wanting a black man for President) is for kids to be told they should work hard in school!

     
  • At 8:06 PM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    Anon 7:19...are you kidding? You're whole premise is absurd. What you;re saying is..(a) "White people are protesting his speech (b) white people voted for him, therefore (c) white protestors are not racist. Ummm, there's lots of white people in this country and they all didn't vote for Obama and many of them are indeed racist. Jeez, it's comments like yours that really scare me the most. Ignorance runs a close second to racism.

     
  • At 8:30 PM, Blogger VennData said…

    The "right wing media" that cashes in on this stuff is happy, but the Republican party is humiliated. The independents are looking at this and saying.... "I want to vote for these wackos?"

    This is a gift of the commercial Right Wing Media to Obama.

     
  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger VennData said…

    Americans are looking at the "Town Hall Mettings" and thinking... these are the same people... they are nuts. Give me whatever they hate.

    Health care is a shoe in.

     
  • At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    I think that this has gotten out of hand, students should be able to listen to the President.

     
  • At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bush wasn't elected. Obama was.

     
  • At 12:32 AM, Blogger Barry Schwartz said…

    To be fair, some of the most racist regions also are home to very large African American populations. This is part of why some of those states have a lot of poverty. Mississippi, Alabama, etc. Think Jeff Sessions. It isn’t unfamiliarity that drives that kind of racism; it’s desire for power.

     
  • At 1:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What bothers me is that the Democrats never seem to lead or be the ones springing surprise issues to distract the Republicans. I wish that instead of giving a speech to school children, Obama would just walk out to the microphone, picked up "My Pet Goat," read it, then leave. Let the "news" pundits deal with that.

     
  • At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Skip said…

    Bush was elected twice. Obama was just once.

     
  • At 8:48 AM, Anonymous WDRussell said…

    I am so ashamed this morning. The school system I spent all 12 years in decided that no student should be able to see the president's talk.
    Even worse they used the Hitler youth argument.

     
  • At 10:11 AM, Blogger Athena Smith said…

    I also observed the same things with RJ STRITTMATTER and I find mind boggling the short-sightedness of that campaign. Don't these politicians realize they are losing the center? And that the extreme right ignorant part will never make up for these votes?

    What makes this approach even more suicidal is that this year colleges are experiencing an unprecedented growth in enrollment. So by definition these politicians will have to face a wider voter population which does not mentally reside in the Middle Ages. And which is indebting itself to be able to go to college. Do they really think that these students don’t feel they are slapped on the face when there is such a symbolic negative reaction to their investment?

    Out of curiosity I googled to see whether presidents and prime ministers in other countries have given similar speeches and whether there have been similar reactions. I don’t have to write the answer, it is obvious. Former prime minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India did, current prime minister of India Dr. Singh has, Tony Blair did, Gordon Brown has, and so on and so on…
    They have ignorant extremists in these countries as well. How come they did not go ahead with idiotic similar protests?
    Hard to believe what I am seeing… I am speechless.

     
  • At 6:16 PM, Blogger Clemsy said…

    24/7 news coverage magnifies and sensationalizes these ignorant people into larger issues than they are.

    Not that they aren't very embarrassing issues. They are. I'm sure "And these people have thousands of nuclear weapons?" is a common thought around the globe.

     
  • At 10:32 PM, Anonymous JollyRoger said…

    Obama's problem now is that he ran as a Moderate, but he is leading from far left Liberalism. The people are simply tired of being lied to.

    This takes the prize as the stupidest thing I've read all day. Why don't you Klanservatives man up for one time in your lives, and admit what it is that is really bothering you?

    If this President is a "far left liberal," I'm Marilyn Monroe.

     
  • At 11:23 AM, Anonymous gopmom said…

    Hmmm, lets see. The most polarizing partisan President ever has his Secretary of Education send a letter to school principals across the nation telling them POTUS will address the nation’s “schoochildren” and they should refer to the accompanying lesson plans whilst participating in this unprecedented event. And you have no issue with that because you just love the guy. Fine. That is your prerogative, just as it is mine to protest the participation of my child/my private parochial school. (My school is not participating by the way. Responsible parents FTW.) Parents are the decision makers, followed by elected school boards and superintendents. The Secretary and the Prez attempted a complete usurpation of the power of parents across the nation and all the MSM and Libs can whine about is that we don’t want our children "indoctrinated". Nice dodge but those of us who are paying attention fully understand that it is that usurpation of power and the ridiculous lesson plans that are the issue here. This is the missing link. No other President who has addressed the nation’s children - voluntarily, I might add - has had the arrogance and stupidity to provide a read about my magnificent but still unverified life story and/or write about how you can help POTUS instruction.
    Obama and his cronies completely overstepped on this one and they are the ones who should be lambasted for their mistake. We all know full well that if W had made such a poor move, heads on the Left would have exploded. Anyone with any intellectual honesty would recognize this.

     
  • At 12:17 PM, Blogger Athena Smith said…

    Last night I watched this so called Pastor from Arizona wishing Obama's death. First of all I don't dare imagine what the reaction would be if that man were a Muslim living in this country.
    Secondly, I am waiting to hear from all these people that endorsed the gun-shows outside presidential events right after questioning Obama's citizenship. I am waiting to see if this sorry excuse of a man "is entitled to his opinion."
    If Jesus were alive today...

     
  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous lucydrake said…

    Send the kids or don’t send them…either way, they will find out what was said…with the media and people talking, it will get out…

     
  • At 4:50 PM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    Your 1000% wrong, GOPMOM. Had President Bush (like his dad) addressed our schoolchildren with a simple message of motivation and inspiration, I would have no issue with that. And the reason? When you're 5 or 10 or 13 years old, you simply view the President of the United States with respect and reverence. No 8 year old has "partisan" viewpoints...unless of course they get fed them by their parents. By keeping kids out of school Tuesday, that's exactly what these parents are doing. THEY are the ones doing the "indoctrinating," not Obama. It's a shame when parents cannot let their children hear a simple message which promotes education and goal-setting..instead letting their own misguided partisan BS get in the way. This whole "controversy" is a stain on America, for it shows just how closed-minded and ignorant many of our citizens are. They hold the president in contempt, and criticized/judged his speech before even knowing what it was going to be. And now that the text has been released, and it's going to be exactly what it was intended and should be, do you think these same parents will now send their kids to school? I doubt it. Because the underlying issue here is not the speech per se but how some people simply hate this president...and yes, many of them because of his color. Wake up and smell the coffee...

     
  • At 9:34 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    Students should be able to listen to the President's speech

     
  • At 10:23 AM, Blogger The Ostroy Report said…

    1 CommentClose this window Jump to comment form
    The Ostroy Report said...
    Folks, a word of advice: don't waste your time sending in nasty, hate-filled combative comments...and/or comments with crazy, convoluted conspiratorial fantasy BS that makes you sound like a wacko. None of it will get posted, and none of it gets past my intern Lauren. The minute she reads a sentence or two she can tell that it's unprintable...and then hits the "reject" button. So, while some of you (especially one person in particular) are clearly spending a boatload of time writing long, rambling diatribes...and sometimes many times per day...the truth is no one is reading, especially me. You're literally talking to yourself....and wasting your time.

     

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