Monster of the Week

Just last week, I wrote that I would not get political on the website. I hold to that idea, however, times demand a reaction, a response, to the recent and tragic death of George Floyd. This is why I’ve chosen a real life monster this week.

It is cliche now to state that monsters are real and blend in with the rest of humanity. Sometimes, they are the one who should be protecting us from said monsters.

I have several friends in law enforcement. They are good people who work to serve and protect. As a teacher, I’ve had the pleasure of working with student resource officers who make an actual difference in a student’s life. Not because the SRO brought the hammer down and punished the kid, but because he/she took the time to understand the situation this child was in and acted compassionately.

With that said, reforms are desperately needed. Too many young people of color have died tragically and unnecessarily at the hands of police officers using their power to menace and intimidate. Perhaps one of the most impactful statements I’ve heard over the last few day has been “Good cops don’t let bad cops get away with it.”

Black lives do matter, and a fundamental systemic change is needed to make sure that these lives are not taken because of police brutality, gang violence, poverty, and a myriad of other systems put in place to minimize an entire segment of our population.

I don’t consider this post political for simple fact that this is about humanity, dignity, compassion, and justice. These should be traits that appeal to both sides of the aisle. In America–a democratic-republic, the land of the free, a beacon of liberty–we have to do better. We have to be intolerant of abuse and support the just cause.

The monster of the week is not just the man who helped murder George Floyd; it is all racism, prejudice, discrimination, and hate.

To Go or Not to Go Political

I don’t need to write about how polarized this nation is when it comes to politics. Even in a pandemic and wearing masks has become a dividing point for left versus right. So, it has become very easy to choose a side, write all the rhetoric for that side, and let everyone know where I stand, but I will not do that on this website.

As a teacher in a conservative county within a state governed by a Democratic governor, I’ve learned to walk a line. As a result, I’ve also developed my own political views. I know exactly who I will vote for in the coming election, why I will vote for that candidate, and I will never tell a single student who I voted for. It’s not that I’m gutless or ashamed of my vote, it is that it is MY vote. I don’t want to have to argue with students or have them look at me as though I’m trying to sway them to my side of the aisle. They won’t have to think, “Is this lesson Mr. B has today going to have a liberal/conservative agenda?” I don’t want them questioning my motives for why I’m teaching something in history, and whether or not I’m telling them that their parents are wrong for having certain political views. If they question something based on what I’ve taught them based on the actual text of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or some other American document, I’m okay with that.

With all this said, I have no desire to step into the political discussion. Maybe that decision will cost me some traffic. Yet, what I do know is that once I’ve taken a side, I will definitely make one side uncomfortable. I choose to remain quiet regarding my views with the hope that my writing will speaking for itself. That kindness, hard work, and education will be the emphasis. I hope that no matter what side you’re on, you can get behind those points.