A few weeks ago I got a plaintive text from a friend saying he was looking forward to the time when we would no longer be celebrating the anniversary of something awful that happened 50 years ago. It was hard to read that without experiencing a flashback. 1968 is seared into my memory, coming of age in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the beating of protestors at the Democratic Convention in Chicago and then a presidential election in which millions of Americans shrugged because the political process looked like a dead end. October, 2018 has generated more than its fair share of truly awful things, and one can only wonder what lasting damage the constant exposure to brutal behavior is doing to our children and our national psyche and what, if anything, may be remembered 50 years from now as the turning point that pushed us away from the precipice. I personally cannot abide the thought that there may not be a turning point. The deadliest anti-semitic event in American history happened just a few hours ago. As an American Jew I cannot describe the pain it causes me to write those words. I do not hold any one person or party responsible for that massacre. But I’ve lived long enough to know the connection between hate crimes and nationalism. I don’t take the use of the platform that we have created for CPICS lightly and, in general, we use this space to discuss issues that are germane to education and to our schools. I could, without straining credibility, claim privilege under “education and schools”—certainly the events of the last few weeks are being discussed in classrooms around the country—but the truth is there’s an election coming up in one week and the repercussions of this election may pound in our eardrums even louder than the big hurt of ‘68. I’m also reminded of the fact that CPICS is a tax exempt organization and, as such, refrains from partisan politics. Hence, the following brandishment of decidedly nonpartisan rationale while making a case for political change without telling anyone who to vote for:

  • Science does not have a partisan bias. Let’s elect those who support scientific inquiry and accept its findings.

  • Inclusivity is a democratic ideal. Let’s elect those who understand that inclusion and diversity is what gives America strength and an abundance of creativity.

  • Words matter; we have ELA standards to further elaborate. These ELA standards have no partisan bias. Let’s elect those who choose their words thoughtfully and understand that words have consequences.

Vote. Teach your children well. Peace.

Steve Zimmerman

#JustSayin #SteveZimmerman


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