America the Great

I was inspired by all the great speeches the past two days, so I wanted to say my piece.

 

It’s not hate that drives our country to succeed, but our ability to overcome hate and look beyond our differences to create success together. It is our ability to persevere in the shadow of darkness and a refusal to give in to tyrants.

Hate was not the unifying bond of our founding fathers. They were bonded together by their drive to create a country of religious freedom, a country where one person did not have all the power, where people could feel safe and secure to be themselves. They relished change, they were inventors, and educators who invited progress, hoping for a brighter future for their children. And if you consider yourself a true American who knows that we live in a diverse melting pot of opportunity then you cannot let yourself be swayed by a person who tears down the very fabric of our country every chance he has. Who asks our foreign opposition to hack our country and is willing to commit acts of treason to secure his presidency. Who tells Americans that they do not belong here because of their religious beliefs or the color of their skin, when our country was founded on the immigrants who came searching for opportunities and helped to create this land as we know it now.

Maybe you feel this does not affect you because of your privilege and class. But, you cannot call yourself a Republican or a Democrat if you are willing to overlook these atrocities that are being committed by this man. Republicans and Democrats are Americans and no real American can condone this slander on their beautiful country in good faith and good conscious. It takes faith, hard work, and democracy to build a strong country like ours. And it can take one man to prey on the fears of the weak and ignorant to break it back down. Do not let history repeat itself. I have seen, and felt what happens when one man blames a people for his country’s problems. My own family has felt these repercussions for generations. It is not the Muslims, the Jews, the African Americans, the LGBT community, the Women, the Military, or the Mexican’s fault for our country’s problems. It is our inability to embrace each other, move past our divisions and create the effective change needed.

Until we stand together once again united under a flag of hope, promise, and drive to do good, America will remain torn by a man who’s goal is to incite fear and hate into the soul of every individual. If you choose not to vote it will be a choice that condemns our great country and makes allowances for one man to terrorize our people. That is not America the Great.

“United we stand, divided we fall.”

 

 

A Thought on Syria

I have to say something about this whole situation on the Syrian refugees. I just read an article that claims that Syrian or Muslim refugees are not like Jewish refugees during WWII. Their claims are that 1. there was no threat of Jewish terrorists during WWII.  I will give them that claim. However, I feel like this is such a hypocritical statement. (by default they are insinuating that these refugees are terrorists or we will let terrorists in by letting refugees in) I know, that one ideal that Jews want people to believe is that over in Israel it is only the extremists are the ones bombing Muslims and vice-versa. So, how can anyone claim, that by letting in refugees, we are letting in terrorists. Are you saying that all of these people are extremists? That is ludicrous.

Furthermore, the article claims that these people have multiple Muslim states that will take in these refugees. Whereas the Jews had no state to take them in. While that may be true that the Jews had no state to take them in, the states that these people can go to are just as bad. I HAVE worked with the children from these war torn countries. The things that they have been through and seen is horrendous. If they have the ability to come to our country or any country that is not in the Middle East, safely and legally, why deny that opportunity? When you hear these stories, about how their little sister was killed while in her school. Their father was told if came to get her body, he himself would be killed. Then, they were chased by their own army while being shot at, into Syria. When Syria became unsafe, they tried to go back to Iraq and were almost killed. Does this sound like Muslim countries they should be forced to live in? I think not.

So no,  they may not be in the exact same situation as Jewish refugees during WWII, but it is pretty damn similar. And, I feel just fine making that claim as a Jew myself. So, they have other countries, so there are extremists on their side. But, there are also humans, men, women, and children, being killed, tortured and thrown from their homes with no place to go. It is our job as humans on a side that can help to do just that, help. It is not our place to judge every person for their religion, race, or country of origin. They cannot help that they were born in Syria just as we cannot help that we were born in whatever country we originate from. And if America, or England, or some other country was in their position, I know that we would want help from whomever would offer it to us.

 

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

~Martin Miemoller

An Open Letter to Doug Ducey and Arizona Citizens

An Open Letter to Doug Ducey and Arizona Citizens:

Let’s begin by discussing the expectations that the districts of Arizona have for their publicly funded schools. No matter what location the school is in, the expectations are equal. What does this look like? Your school could have a large refugee, immigrant, low income, middle class, special education, or wealthy population and everyone is given the same state and/or district test. The expectation is that these students are prepared rigorously for these tests even if they are monolingual and have just moved here from another country, or are in specific sect of the special education program. The student might have no support system at home and are only thinking about where their next meal is coming from, or if they will have electricity when they get home. Rigor is the only option.

Then, no name politicians without an ounce of educational background come in and take out the curriculum that has been used across the state to support this rigor for the past three years. The students finally have some kind of familiarity and then they want to yank the ladder of support the teachers have been so carefully building. Furthermore, in an already under funded work place the governor is refusing to give money to his public institutions of education. If the rigor was lacking before, it will be non-existent now.

A government cannot expect its people to create something from nothing. They cannot expect teachers to create rigorous readers when there will be no more reading programs. They cannot expect teachers to create rigorous math students when after school programs will be cut. They cannot expect teachers to foster learning when music and sports will be cut. They cannot expect students to continue learning when those counselors and social workers who ensure the safety of the student outside the school will not be around.  They cannot expect teachers to continue down the path of public education when the government places no value in an institution that has been turning out some of the United States’ greatest minds over the last 200 years.

Our value is worth far more than the pittance we are paid. Which is obvious in the hours teacher devote in time spent not teaching but doing the job.

The expectation for teachers: to hold a child’s future in their hands. It is one of the most valuable and the most rewarding job in society.

If there was ever a teacher who had an impact on you, then stand against Doug Ducey and the corrupt politicians in Arizona. Secure YOUR child’s future. Do not let them take away your child’s or any child’s rights: to learn, to a valuable education.

Sincerely,

Alex K.

Middle School Teacher