Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Support Our Track Meet

I attended Field Day at an area elementary school recently. There were thirteen classes represented at the event and each one had a uniform unique to its “team”, alone.

Twelve of the classes had their teacher’s name and a team name paired together on their shirts. For example, there were “O’Hanlon’s Olympians”, “Rockwell’s Runners” and “Colone’s Crushers”. Each of the classes had designed their own cool logos and each had shirts that were of a distinct color so as to separate them from the others. I was stunned to see that one class was using “Support Our Troops” shirts in place of a uniform.

Why was I stunned? Imagine for a second that instead of “Support Our Troops”, the shirts had said “Parson’s Peacemakers” or “Allen’s Anti-Warriors” or “Don’t Support Unconstitutional Wars”.

Do you think that a responsible parent or administrator would ever allow children to be used as vehicles for jingoistic propaganda supporting war and militarism? I’m sure that, like most responsible parents, they would recognize that my hypothetical messages would be wholly inappropriate to tack on our children’s backs. I’m also sure that they would see the “pro-war” message inherent to the “Support Our troops” mantra as wholly inappropriate as well. What kind of a sick person wants to teach children to love war?

Supporting out troops would be to demand that our craven, seedy and disgusting public servants in Congress do their jobs and bring our troops home from Iraq immediately. Congress did not declare war and, therefore, has absolutely no business whatsoever sending our sons and daughters to Iraq in the first place. Allowing ANY educator to use a kid as a billboard to promote this pro-war message is tantamount to having kids wear shirts that say, “Support Unconstitutional Wars Against Civilian Populations”. Would that shirt be okay with everyone?

I find it disgusting enough that the false patriots and faux warriors among us would dare to disparage our soldiers’ true purpose (defense of constitution and country) by hiding behind the “Support Our Troops” propaganda. Why don’t these people just come out of the closet and admit that they love war and death and killing? Why don’t they just admit that they believe everything they’re being fed by our false leaders and the corporate media? They don’t need to pretend they’re on the “right” side. They’re on the “pro-war” side, that’s all. If they were honest, they would admit that they see war as a football game and that they’re simply cheering their “team” on to victory. They cannot see that their behavior is racist, evil, simplistic and most definitely against all of the basic tenets of Christianity (purported to be the preferred religion of their fearless leader and his band of merry warmongers).

Any truly “supportive” human being would not want to see ANYONE hurt or killed, regardless of their perceived “side”. Saying “Support Our Troops” literally means that “I ONLY support Americans. Other human beings can be killed senselessly. That’s OK with me.” In my view, that is not an attitude we should be teaching our children, especially not in a publicly-funded institution of education! It smacks of intolerance and bigotry. Hitler imbued his young charges with a very similar kind of nationalistic fervor. Look where it got him. We are better than that, aren’t we?

Allowing children to be dragged into this VERY political arena and having them unconsciously used in this manner is unconscionable. Misrepresenting to them what those shirts really mean is also totally reprehensible. I hope that those responsible understand how serious it is to have behaved in this manner.

Upon leaving the school, I was met with a poster on an easel at the main entrance that said, “Shh! We’re writing the Constitution”. Ironic, isn’t it? If modern schools actually taught pupils to value thought and analysis and the founding documents of our country, we wouldn’t even be in this asinine war because the “vigilant electorate” called for by Jefferson to maintain our “noble experiment” would actually exist and wouldn’t tolerate this kind of horseshit.

Shame on those who seek to dumb-down our kids and turn them into brown-shirts.There really are more than enough influences out there trying to accomplish that result already. We don't really need our schools joining forces with television and mass media, do we?


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