. . . .Like the Urban Assembly students, Meremetoh and her schoolmates credit their school with their engagement on this issue. Melanie Mueses, eighteen, said, “The school really pushed me to understand how the environment is crumbling and how we are affecting it,” she says. “I wasn’t like that before.” Meremetoh tells me about an art project she did, showing the sun going from cold to warm to hot. “A lot of people don’t pay attention, and don’t realize the world could be ending in a couple years.”
Mueses suspects policymakers don’t care since they think they’ll be dead when problems caused by climate change get more serious. “I feel people in power don’t feel as deeply about this as us because they’re not going to be here,” she explains. “Us, as ‘the future,’ we are the ones who are going to be most affected.”
Emmanuel Pimentel, eighteen, also a student at High School for Environmental Studies agreed: “We need the world.”
Said Meremetoh, “We have to stand up to everything Trump is saying because he’s crazy. We have to continue to fight. We can’t stop.” Asked what she hopes comes out of these actions, she says, “I hope the future president listens. We have to start taking care of the environment. I really hope the government listens to us, the young people.”
Climate strikers at City Hall were mostly high school kids, but there were younger children, too. A growing movement, #Fridays4Future will continue the Friday strikes that Greta Thunberg began.
Monday, March 18, 2019
. . . . Amid all the carnage, the leading global authority on warming, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, detailed the horrors in store if average temperatures pass 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. (We’re already over 1 degree Celsius, or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, and worldwide carbon emissions hit a new high in 2018.)
Scientists are now sounding the alarm. Young activists are skipping school and taking to the streets. And in the U.S., a bold proposal to remake the American economy is sending shockwaves through climate legislation discussions that had been stalled for a decade.
Into that now-bubbling climate cauldron comes the book The Uninhabitable Earth, a distressing review of climate science designed to jolt us out of complacency. David Wallace-Wells, who characterizes himself as a concerned liberal who “wasn’t really focused on this issue until a few years ago,” channels the panic he felt at reading reams of scientific reports into a vision of a dystopian future that we’re not doing enough to avoid.
The question is whether fear is the right emotion to play on to get people to sit up, listen, and take action. According to Grist’s own Eric Holthaus, who’s been writing about climate change for more than a decade, it’s not. To him, it’s best to accept the scientific consensus and inspire our fellow humans to roll up their sleeves and ensure we do whatever it takes to decarbonize the global economy rapidly. . . .
Friday, March 15, 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Sunday, March 10, 2019
The Mind Trust’s Neo-colonial War on Parents: Part One
By John Harris Loflin
Due to the Mind Trust’s (MT) view that urban schools are broken and need fixing, this January the non-profit began looking for someone to launch “an independent parent advocacy organization” with emphasis on social justice and closing the Achievement Gap for communities of color in high poverty areas.
However, this commentary argues urban schools are not broken. As concluded in The White Architects of Black Education by Watkins, America’s public schools never meant to educate all children, especially children of color. We can’t call schools broken that were designed to fail.
Because America’s school system was designed to fail and/or mis-educate certain children, it was colonial. That is, its purpose was to colonize Native Americans and other non-whites, “fitting” them and settlers/immigrants into America’s “melting pot.”
“Education’s indoctrination if you're white--subjugation if you're black.” -- James Baldwin
Thus, initial (and current) public schooling confused education with conformity via assimilation/acculturation, making coloniality (kuh-loh-nee-al-i-tee) the main characteristic of US public education.
Coloniality is based on a Euro-centric world view. It’s the continued existence of colonialism (assimilation/acculturation) even after anti-Jim Crow and Civil Rights legislation.
MT’s concern for neighborhoods of color comes from its “Othering” mentality. “Othering” is inherent in MT’s “settler-minded” DNA because without this “other” there would be no reason for MT to exist.
So, intentional or not, this positions MT as purveyors of coloniality and “whiteness” as normative, presupposing difference from “the norm” as somehow inherently “damaged” and needing assistance. Such deficit models of these neighborhoods misconstrue social justice by emphasizing the Achievement Gap and its creator, standardized testing. Both perpetuate the assimilationist/missionary logic of coloniality.
Failing to challenge MT’s colonality means the onus of change is forever on the “colonized.” Success for people of color will endlessly revolve around finding ways to conform and succeed on another’s terms, rather than around nurturing their own criteria for achievement.
“Urban students quickly receive the message that they can only be smart when they are not who they are. This in many cases is classroom colonialism.” ~ Prof. Chris Emdin
From the perspective of this commentary, under MT’s parent advocacy scheme, the value of parents will depend upon how they’re able to get working-class students of color to assimilate towards the cultural normative dogma of whiteness.
What to do? De-colonize the Mind Trust
To push back against this parent advocacy enterprise requires the un-settling of MT’s anti-democratic ideology. Alternatives such as Transformational Community Schools and Local School Councils will begin a process of hope, rooted in resistance, leading Indy towards education for liberation.
Ultimately we need to de-colonizing parent advocacy efforts: center on the humanity and possibility of students of color, and dismantle the prevailing discourses of coloniality that only highlight their “otherness”/difference from whites.
But, will the Mind Trust and its elite-class board members allow their parent advocate to disrupt coloniality, playing transformative roles of cultural, economic, and political liberators of their communities of color?
Please read Part Two here: http://vorcreatex.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/The-Mind-Trusts-Neo-colonial-War-on-Parents-Part-Two.pdf.
John Harris Loflin
Education-Community Action Team (E-CAT)
March 10, 2019
Friday, March 08, 2019
If you don't care about global warming, then you should read this book. If you care about global warming, then you should read this book.
An excerpt of a good review from NYTimes:
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Isra Hirsi, US Youth Climate Strike
Looks like the two good candidates — Jackie Goldberg and Graciela Ortiz — will be in the run-off, and the vile California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) has no candidate to support in Los Angeles Unified School District 5. The CCSA shouldn’t be able to replace their convicted felon Refugio “Ref” Rodriguez with another one of their own ever again.
Glad to see that right-wing privatizers Allison Greenwood Bajracharya, Heather Repenning, and Ana Cubas are likely done. Cubas couldn’t even manage 1,000 votes on Tuesday — I finished with 5,244 votes in 2013 #LAUSD #EdReform
Monday, March 04, 2019
Though educators did not achieve all their demands, Oakland’s teachers strike transformed the city, won important gains, and empowered educators to take on the billionaire education privatizers.
Under the inspiration of the national teachers’ revolt, and with the blessing of a newly elected militant leadership, a torrent of working-class creativity and self-activity was unleashed during Oakland’s strike. In many ways, Oakland resembled the bottom-up, effervescent upsurge of West Virginia much more than the systematically and meticulously prepared Los Angeles strike. . . .