I Zoomed into the school board meeting last Thursday. It’s a far cry from sitting in chambers and participating face-to-face. The little windows leave much to be desired.
First thing you notice is that almost no one but maybe the speaker offers any eye contact, everyone seems distracted with something off camera. Obviously few have given any thought to background or positioning themselves centered in the screen. Okay, sounds petty but this lack of a professional touch bugs me.
Getting down to business.
With few housekeeping matters to address, the meeting jumped straight into Public Comment. Cued up to be read were almost 50 public comments either posted via the district website or submitted via email. A ponderous amount of opinion to bail through. Nicole Colon and Annette Arora took turns and did a very good job with them.
I must say though that the reading was pretty flat and lacked the typical exuberance one would expect if delivered by the author. Ah well, a sacrifice we’ll have to endure during the new normal.
It was encouraging though to find out that 96 folks zoomed in to watch the meeting. Sure, I’ve seen two or three times that many crammed into an SRO meeting in chambers… but the extra effort and inconvenience of a virtual meeting makes those who watched warriors in my book.
Mostly a fanning of the flames.
Here’s where everything unraveled. Thanks to an amateur wannabe activist and a barely employed yellow journalist, both non-Breans, once again spreading the deception connecting William Fanning to the KKK, all but a couple of the rambling rants was anchored in a nothing burger.
Look, like the blog’s borrowed tagline says, “Everyone is entitled to their opinion but not their own facts.”
Okay, the facts were attested to long ago by Dr. Sarah Doherty, Assistant Professor of U.S. & Public History at North Park University in Chicago, whose area of scholarly expertise is the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s. Dr. Doherty concludes, “Anyone who chooses to use [these documents] outside a proper historical context without establishing clear provenance is acting recklessly.”
Naysayers can continue in their misguided beliefs or take a moment to actually get the truth. Click this: Dougherty Statement – and I’ll move on.
The American Spring.
One month ago, in eight minutes and forty-six seconds, George Floyd was murdered and a new era of civil rights activism was launched. You’ve all watched the memorial services, protests both violent and peaceful and marches right up to the White House. I won’t linger on any more description than that.
Black Lives Matter has evolved into a multicolor phenomenon that is turning white privilege inside out and, I hope and pray, will lead us into the realization of “the dream” voiced at the March on Washington in 1963.
We have bigger fish to fry than the fraudulently contested name of an elementary school.
We need to create the curriculum, programs and policies that will, “…transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.” (MLKJr.)
Members of the BOUSD Board of Directors, Dr. Mason, district staff, teachers, parents and students… it is within you all to rise to the occasion, to discard the conspiracy theories and those who obstinately attempt to perpetuate them.
The time to finally, after 400 years, do the right thing is now and you’re the ones to do it.