Two night’s ago was the second time I attended the monthly school board meeting at my daughter’s high school. My purpose for going was because it offered me one more rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the dynamics of all the “players” in this year’s District 125 school board election. However for me, the “players” were not just the 7 candidates, but it also included the Administrator’s, concerned students, members of the community and staff. Why? Because I’m still trying to understand how and why this election has become so contentious and divisive to the point where people who were once “friendly” neighbors are now being targeted, ostracized and gossiped about with no regard and left unchecked.
That old familiar saying “politics is politics” has been repeated to me often enough recently as if justifying the actions of a person(s) or group of people’s goal to trample or discredit neighbors opposed to their views. Maybe “politics is politics” but is that because it has been accepted as the norm? The status quo? Is it possible that as a society we’ve become desensitized to certain basic human ideals, values and respect regardless of race, religion or whatever? Is everything game and nothing sacred anymore? Is this really the “critical thinking” we want to pass on to our kids? I need someone to explain to me how we as a community have been good examples to our kids in terms of tolerance, acceptance of others and self-awareness in this campaign. How about self-management or social-awareness? And let’s not rule out relationship skills or responsible decision making. As I see it, none of these “social and emotional competencies” have anything to do with academics, class, race, color, religion or sexual orientation. In a society where labeling everything and everyone is so important, where do these social and emotional competencies fall under? And how come they are only called into play when it’s convenient? Yet they are considered essential foundations for student success in school, work and life? More importantly, how do they compare to academic excellence, fiscal responsibility, or culture of involvement, inclusion and collaboration?
Over the last few week’s this community has been kept “well- informed” of this election by an urban liberal journalist by day and comic book writer by night. I had the distinct pleasure of being slighted by this journalist last week when he wrote
“The fact of the matter is that people have defected from the incumbents’ campaign because they were offended by the underhanded “deceit” tactics. When they defected, they brought their strategy sheets with them.”
Dude, are you serious? Is it possible that you consider yourself some sort of “hero” or perhaps “sexy-cool villain” in believing intelligent people won’t see through your negative innuendos, implied condemnation’s and one-sided flippant remarks? And when you’ve completed your noble work of helping shred a great community to pieces, are you the lucky recipient of some sort of ComicCon award? You have no idea nor do you care to know all of the facts. And by the way, I wasn’t “offended”. Disappointed maybe but not offended. What I did was call bullshit on something because it was morally and ethically wrong. Note, while I don’t have any horses in this race the ultimate prizes are my children and this community’s children. I won’t allow you or anyone to discount the fact that making that decision was extremely hard for me and goes against who I am. Elaborating on that fact is useless at this point, judgment has already been made. I don’t think those “supposed” strategy sheets shed any light as far as real campaign strategy but I’m pretty sure the 125 candidates were at a minimum shocked by the divisive words used to describe them and their supporters. Can you imagine if the 125 campaign or its supporters created such a document or any of the other similar documents circulating in this community?
Mr. Lissau, this campaign and this community may just have been a grid of panels where as much “action” as possible was crammed into it. After all, a panel is a “captured moment in time” that “include one or more more-or-less simultaneous (or at least rapid fire) actions”, no? You’ve been quoted as citing the words “enter a scene late and leave it early.” You were successful in building tension and momentum in this community and have no issues or conscience walking away from the havoc you nurtured and helped wreak.
I’m ending this post with a quote, “what any journalist should do is, at the very least, to avoid being naive, or gullible, or lazy is checking facts and sources..” — Russell Lissau.