Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

Posts Tagged ‘civil rights

MAGA: Sociology is Magic

Okay I want to explain something.

I’m GRATEFUL for #MAGA Hat student in class today. He is the literal embodiment of why I teach.

We are politically socialized by our families and our religion. We don’t even begin to develop a political ideology apart from our parents until we start to develop our lives apart from them.

(Insert #notall)

This is my Every Student™. My student who came in thinking sociology is an offshoot of psychology. My student who is only there because it fulfills Area E.

We discussed Marx Friday and this student probably talked to his parents about his first week of college. College. Not class.

We start with Marx.

“We should all be Marxist in the sense that…”

Their fears come true.

So, this hat.

Yeah, it was distracting. For me it represents so much.

Hate. Fear. Intimidation. Violence.

But this is a child whose world until now has been small. That’s what college is for, a world expanding experience.

This is LITERALLY #whitefolkswork.

It’s also literally my job.

I don’t demand political agreement. Some of my most conservative students have and are my best students and they take all my courses. They are my favorite. They push back against me and keep me always standing on the data and not shifting sand.

What they do have to do, is learn and engage with the material.

I think sociology is fucking magic.

It is the imagination of the object and subject. The special glasses that never again allow us to see the world and be pacified.

I believe in its power to open eyes, hearts, intellect.

It isn’t perfect. Fraught with racism, sexism, queerphobia, classism, ableism…white supremacy.

But my classroom is constantly arching toward inclusivity, toward justice, toward an equitable world, toward a revolutionary pedagogy.

I believe in what I do

I’m grateful for MAGA Hat.

I have this opportunity. I have this small precious chance to open the door to seeing the world a little more compassionately for this student.

I have this chance to show him what it is like when students of color’s voices are centered. When we talk about disability rather than ability. When we queer the neutral and “normal”.

In a world of measuring how “woke” we all are, maybe I can ring the alarm clock and maybe he will stop hitting snooze by December.

Fight Hate by Killing Free Speech

I’m sure most of you have read or heard by now that the Westboro Baptist Church, out of Topeka, KS, has decided to picket the funeral of the nine year old girl who was murdered last weekend in Arizona, as well as other victims’ funerals while they are in town.

In order to combat the added atrocity of the WBC’s expression of their right to free speech, as abhorrent as it is, the local government has passed legislation to restrict the WBC from coming within 300 feet of the funeral site or the burial grounds.

*insert wild applause*

I think the Westboro Baptist Church is a dangerous hate group.  I think many reasons they have been allowed to thrive is because many upstanding citizens actually agree with a lot of what they have to say.  I think that many people with extreme conservative views silently applaud at the WBC’s lack of apology for their views, their ridiculous signs and their willingness to pull their children into their Army of Right in the Culture War.

However, I’m also a fan of free speech.  I’m a huge fan of honesty and truthfulness and this legislation is anything but.  The WBC, headed by Fred Phelps, is well aware of their rights.  They never planned to protest inside the 300 feet limit in the first place (I think they were trying for a two-fer by protesting in intersections near more than one funeral.)  Fred Phelps, believe it or not, used to be a civil rights attorney, protecting the rights of African Americans way, way back in the day.  Fred Phelps is a highly intelligent man, as is his daughter, who is also an attorney.

The passing of legislation in order to “make people feel better” because they are hurting and about to be hurting even more by the actions of a group that doesn’t know the meaning of the word compassion seems a little bit insulting to me.  It seems patronizing.  It won’t actually do anything, since the WBC wasn’t planning to violate the terms provided in the first place.   It doesn’t protect the families, it whittles away just a little bit more of our First Amendment rights and it screams “Disingenuous!” from Arizona politicians (shocking, I know.)

There is a better way to combat hate.  Trampling on the Constitution is not my first choice to fight problems.  If any of you are interested in doing something that might actually make a difference, click here.  For every hour that the WBC protests over the next month, you can sponsor them with a donation to help victims in Haiti. is an organization looking to create positivity out of hate.  They are using their free speech rights to raise money for a good cause, without the law, with just grassroots organization.

I feel for these families.  I have a son; Jim has a son who will be 9 this month.  I cannot imagine the pain this mother must be feeling.  We cannot let emotions rule the day when it comes to legislation.  I firmly believe we are smarter, more creative than all that.


Written by thelittlepecan

January 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Posted in atheism

Tagged with , ,