I never expected SOS Shantel Krebs to take down the photo of a Mobridge student sporting a traitor’s shirt or another student sporting gang symbols. But she did, good for her. Even though she said it was ‘out of respect to the faculty and students’. Not even sure what heck that means, but nice try Shantel.

What worries me more about this situation is that schools don’t teach government or civics anymore. Some would say this is a 1st Amendment issue, I would agree. So let’s have that important discussion. What if the shirt was a Swastica or a image of Satan? What if it was of a nude girl? History tells us that we fought a bloody civil war to defeat the traitors of the South, just like we fought another bloody war to defeat facism in WWII. While I will defend anyone’s right to express themselves, there is a fine line when you are doing it on school time funded by taxpayers. I got into this same debate with the SF school district when teachers were advocating for the school start date on the taxpayers time and dime. Or when a private HS painted Christian religious symbols on taxpayer funded snowplows. There is a time and place (even legally) when it is appropriate to express your 1st amendment rights. Disrupting other students when taxpayers are paying to educate these kids is not appropriate, Mobridge faculty should have known better. Placing this photo on a taxpayer funded website for over a year is also not appropriate. Krebs and her staff should have known better, and should apologize out of respect to her fellow taxpayers who fund her salary and office.

Free speech is a wonderful thing, but when you are using my tax dollars to force your opinion on me, I take issue with this. If you want to look or talk or act like a jackass, you have that right under the 1st Amendment, you lose those rights when you use my taxdollars to do so. Maybe if schools would get back to teaching history and civics we wouldn’t have to see this stupidity anymore. It makes you wonder if our elected government officials understand the government they are in charge of running.

5 Thoughts on “A teachable moment?

  1. Back in the late 1970s, you could take a nine week course, at the old Washington High School, on the history and the practical fundamentals of the political art of civil disobedience itself, which I did.

    What I learned from that course was not only a greater historic perspective on the names of the great icons of civil disobedience like Gandhi, Dr. King, and others, but I also learned that to practice civil disobedience in a just way is to do it peacefully and be cooperative in dealing with the consequences of breaking an unjust law. And it is a breaking of an unjust law, that must happen, in order for it to be called a civil disobedience, which also often leads itself to an encounter with law enforcement officials, and it is this encounter that is where the “cooperative” element comes into play, when you practice actual and just civil disobedience.

    Now I think it is quite fair to say, that the white supremacists in Charlottesville definitely violated the principles of civil disobedience, when one of their disciples violently used a vehicle to plow into a crowd and injure many and kill one, and then left the scene of the crime, that’s without saying – and not to mention, the way many of them were dressed in tactical gear as well. But the true lesson that I take from that civil disobedience course, some 40 years later, is not only that the alt-right failed in their execution of the practical principles of civil disobedience this past weekend, but I also assumed a value, or the course’s existence itself did in our society back then, a value that I question if it exists any longer today, in a world of greater conformity, where everyone lives in a taupe house and drives a white or black SUV (Well, most people, or a lot do), and seldom think “outside of the box.” So that as a society today void of this value, I wonder if we are capable or prepared any longer to understand the lessons from a true civics course that would go beyond the civility of conformity itself and then on to the lessons of the three branches of government and their interactions with its citizens and dare venture into the world of “civil” disobedience as well….

    But that said, I think the only way to truly negate this conformity, which has helped to brush aside the teaching of civics in our schools, I believe, is to try to bring civics class back to our schools and dare to bring back the thought of questioning the status quo as well at times; which I think is the kinetic energy of a true democracy, as long as it is a peaceful and cooperative questioning or lesson, that is, and not merely branded as “troublemaking” in a society that growingly is consuming conformity at an ever increasingly toxic level, I am afraid, as we live in our ever expanding society of “taupe” communities…….

  2. matt johnson on August 16, 2017 at 10:00 am said:

    Yes and the counter protestors showing up with bats, etc and using them were blameless Also I hope you pontificate on the people leading the secession effort in California among the traitors you so happily trash. 150 years ago we had a then 75 year old nation and one of the great compromises that helped forge that union was being trashed. Slavery did not start in the United States nor did our abolishing it end it in the world.

  3. Matt,

    How many people did the “counter protestors” kill last weekend? Did the “counter protestors” show hate or merely hate towards hate itself? I learned in Sunday school long ago to not hate the person, rather to hate only what some do….

    As far as the secession efforts in California, I didn’t know a fire had been shot, yet. And if one is, I will be the first to call it out.

    Oh, so now the North’s victory over the South is called a “compromise?” I would love to have you tell General Sherman that one. You know General Sherman, he’s the Union General who had his army march on Atlanta and then all the way to Savannah and the Atlantic ocean. I believe on their march they even took Confederate rail lines apart, melted them down, then wrapped them around burnt trees. An army that can do that is not an army that needs to “compromise.”

    Plus, roughly a 150 years ago, President Lincoln said,

    “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that ‘all men are created equal.'”

    Lincoln didn’t say “some men.”

    As far as you lesson on slavery, do your claims make you proud? Are they some kind of perverted affirmative defense? The history of slavery in America is an embarrassment. America was the last western country of relevance to end slavery, how embarrassing. Just as today we are the only western and or industrial country in the world without universal health care for all Americans…

    I love my country, but some of our history embarrasses me. And that history, which embarrasses me, I wish not to try to brush over with a revisionist attitude, rather I try to learn from it, without legitimatizing it with things like statutes, so as to make America greater…

  4. matt johnson on August 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm said:

    It is hard to know where to begin- so swinging bats is peaceful protest? You yourself describe their actions s hate. As to the compromise- that was at the beginning of the country when the states signed up to join the union. I did not say slavery was right but it was legal. If you change the rules the players should have the right not to participate. Yes I am embarrassed by some of the history of our country- maybe we should start with Robert Byrd, Huey Long, Al Gore, Sr , Russel Long, etc. Or how about our most recent previous president who jumped to conclusions on numerous occasions and got most of them wrong

  5. Well, actually slavery was still legal in all of the states that wanted it, at the commencement of the war. It was the Civil War, and thus the Emancipation Proclamation and then the 13th Amendment which made slavery illegal…. Actions do have consequences…. So it is quite fair to say the “rules” where changed by the Confederacy’s own naive political or military doings…. Just as the actions of the alt-right this past weekend, as well as Trump’s comments, will lead to more Confederate statutes coming down instead of staying up…. I think that is what is called karma or its a form of it at least…..

    Your comment about changing rules in the context of slavery leaves me stunned. Are you a pro-slavery apologists?

    I am not real familiar with the history of the Longs and Gore. I do know, however, that Byrd once belonged to the KKK – a membership which he later regretted and disavowed. People who are not “pro-slavery apologists” usually know something about atonement or asking for forgiveness, or better yet, have a better understanding of a true and valued apologetic mentality…

    In terms of Barack Hussein Obama, you speak in generalities. Please elaborate…. I know the 44th President called it “stupid” for the Boston police force to detain a Harvard professor on the professor’s own front yard, because the police assumed that the home was not the black professor’s home. But guess what, it was “stupid” for the police force to do that, yet the President apologized for using that word, why?

    And finally, you are right that the “counter protestors” should not be showing up with their gear either. But did they kill anyone? Did they intentionally ram cars into crowds? Do you think that their gear was an original thought or merely in response to the alt-right’s cute little storm trooper outfits, however?

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