River Deep, Mountain High

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 19 2012

“L’eggo My [Ego]!”

Some sticky situations arose this week and I’m not talking about waffle syrup.

If you are wondering why we still have violence and education crises in modern day America, look no further than the grown folks making decisions and mouthing platitudes from their soapboxes. We see this pseudo-argumentation about the fiscal cliff (here and here), we witness this recently about gun violence (here and here and here and all over Facebook), and we unfortunately observe the same trend in the world of education reform (here and here).

Just for the record and for future reference, it’s not okay to reprimand people, who happen to disagree with your view on a given issue, for “exploiting a tragedy,” AND subsequently broadcast your own perspective all over the place. For the uninitiated, this is called hypocrisy; it’s not okay. I amount of egotism pervading from all these posts linking Sandy Hook to TFA, teacher’s unions, VAM, etc are ridiculous. True leaders understand how to comment (or refrain from commenting) about an event without trying to steer the conversation towards themselves. “As the wisdom of Zulu proverb imparts, “Ubuntu: I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” Fighting amongst ourselves, rather than coming together in solidarity as one united community of thoughtful Americans, is a discredit to our humanity and speaks poorly to our empathetic capacities.

That’s a nice way of saying that folks need to get over themselves.

Don’t do it for me. In fact, I’m arguably being hypocritical since my stance is anti-hypocrisy, but that’s a meta argument for another time. Do it for the poor, largely minority children who don’t get the support and resources they need and deserve because older, established people sit around arguing bitterly over social media all day. It’s a blatant showing of privilege to hark the herald angels from an Ivory Tower constantly; it’s what turned me off from academia a few years ago. If that’s all they are good for, please step aside and let the up and coming generation have greater control. We are more than capable. The future is OURS; “experts” do more to harm than to help by fighting over the precise way in which they plan to mess it up. As the Beatles once said: “let it be.”

I recommend people read “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)” for an excellent overview of how cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias led pundits, scholars, and politcos alike to become overly confident with themselves and their own “genius.” It deftly explains how both sides of an argument can be incredibly convinced by their own viewpoints that they fail to recognize that they are both wrong. Meanwhile, as I said, children suffer. Please stop, for all our sakes.

** Gets off soapbox **

photo courtesy of keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

 The views expressed above are my own and do not represent City Year or AmeriCorps.

2 Responses

  1. Well said. I stopped following the Twitter kerfuffle after a while because both sides were acting like children. (Actually, it reminded me of a verbal argument that two of my kids had last week, except my kids got over themselves in the end.)

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