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Let The Boycott Begin!!!

Back in April it was announced that Arizona State University would not bestow upon President Barack Obama an honorary degree.  (I’m sure President Obama didn’t lose too much sleep over it seeing as he’s already earned a degree from Harvard.)  There was a social uproar of course.  People were shocked that the school deemed him suitable to deliver the commencement address, but not suitable to receive an honorary degree.  *rolling eyes now* Now I’m a die hard Obama Mama, so maybe I’m biased, but I’m just saying….

The powers that be at Arizona State University had the nerve, the audacity, the unmitigated gall to actually say and I quote: honorary degrees are given “for an achievement of eminence” and Obama was not considered for an honorary degree because his body of achievements, at this time, does not fit within that criteria. WHAT?!?!?!  The man wrote how many best-sellers?  His campaign efforts registered how many new voters?  I am not even going to mention the part about him being the first Black President of the United States (because to me that is just far too obvious)!

In an effort to save face, the University instead created a scholarship in President Obama’s name, with the first recipients being announced in conjunction with this year’s commencement.  President Obama is a humble man, so I’m sure he is not tripping over their little funky honorary degree anyway.  I’m sure he is much happier knowing deserving students will be able to attend college because of this scholarship created in his honor.  That’s good for him, but I’m not so easily swayed!

In honor (or dis-honor) of ASU, I shall boycott all things Arizona and ask that you join me.  Let me first shout out my friend Fiona, as she brought this travesty to my attention, and together we hope to “shut it down” in Arizona!

•    Arizona Iced Tea, I’m through with it!  I’d rather drink a tall glass of dirty dish- water, thank you very much.
•    Sorry Amare Stoudemire.  You got game and all, but I can no longer cheer for you or the Phoenix Suns.
•    Sorry Larry Fitzgerald, but I will no longer be considering you for my Fantasy Football team.  I know you had a good run this year, but unless the Arizona Cardinals trade you, I’m not interested!
•    No Grand Canyon tour for me!

I’m not saying being the commencement speaker automatically entitles you to an honorary degree, but this is President Barack Obama after all.  If Yale gave George W. Bush an honorary degree ASU should not only have given President Obama an honorary degree, but they need to be naming a dorm and a library after him.  I wonder how much of this is sour grapes on ASU’s part because President Obama decimated McShame? The whole thing reeks of some sort of Republican/ Red State set up.  It’s all good though, because the boycott is on! Who’s with me???

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Education, Obama, Opinion, Politics | 5 Comments

The Blame Game

Yesterday morning I heard a news story about the alarming drop out rates across the country.  It seems that the graduation rate of high school students is below 50% in many of our nation’s larger urban cities.  As if that wasn’t distressing enough, yesterday evening I heard a story about a bunch of third grade students in a small country town that plotted to attack their teacher  *gasps*!  It seems as though the teacher disciplined a student for standing on a chair in class….and it was on!  As many as nine children formulated a plan to take her down.  They had a broken steak knife, handcuffs, three different kinds of tape, ribbon, and a crystal paper weight.  I don’t know how malicious you were in the third grade, but these kids were on a mission to “teach” her a lesson.  They equitably divided the attack duties to make sure someone was covering the windows and someone else was cleaning up the blood when they were done.  What’s really going on?????

It’s so easy for people to dismiss the actions of the third graders as “isolated”, but once upon a time Columbine was isolated.  The incident in Jonesboro, Arkansas where the students pulled the fire alarm and shot at their classmates from the woods was “isolated” once upon a time too.  Be it rural areas or big cities, ghettos or suburbs; there is a problem with our kids and if we keep treating “isolated incidents” while never looking at the big picture it will never get better.  

As is usually the case in Atlanta, several radio shows had people call in to debate who was to blame in the case of the 3rd graders. A lot of people blamed the parents.  Some people blamed video games/rap music, but one fool had the NERVE to blame the teacher!  He actually said “we need to wonder what this teacher did to these kids to make them want to attack her like that.”  WHAT??????  He said he is a parent and he knows sometimes teachers don’t know how to talk to kids.  I am going to go out on a limb and say his kids are probably the main ones disrupting the class and acting like fools!  (Not that I am saying all teachers are perfect, but when you have to spend more time on discipline than you do on educating, you are entitled to lose it every now and then)!

What happened to children respecting adults…regardless?  When I was in school acting out was never an option, and I knew enough to tell my mother if I ever felt that an adult was getting out of pocket with me.  Back talk was not accepted in my house or in the presence of any adult that knew me.  Obviously that whole “respect you elders” thing was lost on these 3rd graders in Waycross.  Who do we blame for the apparent lack of respect with today’s youth?

I am not one to point the finger at music and video games simply because I think if you are on your job as a parent, you monitor and control what your child sees.  Not that you can shield them from all forms of violence, but you should at least keep it in perspective so that they understand the difference between fact and fiction. If you let the television and computer raise your children then you have no idea what they’re being introduced to.  At the same time, you can be the most on point parent out there, but your child can get caught up in some mess due to peer pressure.  Some people say kids will be kids and sometimes they just have to learn the hard way.  Now that crap I don’t believe!  Kids need discipline and structure, and that certainly should begin in the home. 

Thankfully in the case of the 3rd graders in Georgia, nothing happened because an adult was alerted to their plan.  Unfortunately the media attention given to this situation will probably give too many other bebe’s ideas about attacking a teacher they don’t like.  So what do we do?  The world most of us grew up in sadly no longer exists, but who do we blame?


April 2, 2008 Posted by | Children, Education, Life, Opinion, Society | 5 Comments