Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Tale of Two Children: 9 Years, 2 Presidents and 1 War Apart

Way back in 1997 the neo-cons got their knickers in a twist over a teacher keeping a 4th grader from reading "The Way Things Out to Be" by Rush Limbaugh and the "Limbaugh Letter" in the classroom during personal reading time (probably during D.E.A.R - Drop Everything And Read)

Part of the news release read:

"We are deeply concerned about these additional infringements," said Wayne Haig of Donald W. Huffman & Associates, who is handling the case for The Rutherford Institute. "School should be a place which tolerates the free discussion of different views and beliefs."

The original complaint included an incident in which teachers took Rush Limbaugh's "The Way Things Ought To Be" away from Jason when he attempted to read it during a free-reading period.

"There is no tyranny quite like the tyranny of the classroom," said Haig, "where a teacher uses her authority to censor the small voices of children with viewpoints contrary to her own. As far as school children am concerned, the teacher is the law in the classroom, and there is normally no watchdog to guard the constitutional rights of the students, We commend the Gardners for taking a stand."

In this instance I agree. I've fought for 1st Amendment rights, and I've read "The Way Things Ought To Be." If a 4th grader can read and understand it, then I don't see a problem with it. I don't agree with the what is inside the book, BUT it doesn't contain overt sexual and violent content that is too much for a 4th grader.

Fast Forward to 2006, an 11 year old girl, Molly Shoul, wants to sing Pink's "Dear Mr. President" for her school talent show. The principal is barring it after deeming it inappropriate and too political

The reasons?

The song does not mention abortion, and the profanity mentioned is the word "hell." The drug use refers to Bush's alleged conduct before he became president.

… What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away

… And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay

… I can only imagine what the first lady has to say

… You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

Another portion criticizes Bush for the war:

… How do you sleep while the rest of us cry

… How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye

Molly said Thursday she thought the song was "really cool" because it spoke about important subjects like war and homelessness.

Molly said she liked the way the song addressed the president directly

One wonders if the Neo-cons will step up and be as outraged that Freedom of Speech is being denied for this girl as they were for the boy in 1997. Probably will not, they are hypocritical that way.

But do you know what she will sing if she is not allowed to sing a song about social conscience and concern for one's fellow man? She will sing a hip hop song about 2 girls fighting over a boy. Hmmm... something more up the theocons alley.

Here's hoping that Pink contacts this little girl, and that she will be able to sing about something that means something her and that is social relevant and not some mindless drivel.

The video

keywords: Molly Shoul, Nancy Shoul, Jason Gardner

1 comment:

W. Thomas said...

Great song - thanks.