Wake up, people! The emperor is buck-naked!

I posted the following on LA Times.com in response to Hector Tobar’s great article about Adult Ed:

Thank you for sharing such a personal and moving account. The onus is on all of us who want to see a human right to education flourish into the future to step up to defend all of Adult Ed in LA now! You put your finger right on the anti-immigrant bigotry that is, in part, fueling this attack. What other explanation could there be for slashing a program that serves 27% of students for 2% of the budget? The money is there! Wake up, people! The emperor is buck-naked! Billions upon billions for banks and CEOs, but basic human rights and social services get zilch?

Wow! What a surprise! A flurry of comments filled with racist vitriol from the same repugnant cracker-bigots you describe in your piece. (And yes, the Tea Party is as racist as the slave-owning, native-slaying founders they champion… and they do have a terrifying influence over official politics these days.) I’m sure they hound you at every turn, thinking “Why don’t you just go home, Hector!” as only the smallest of minds resort to such ahistorical nonsense. But see, that’s the problem with these people. Too much stayin’ at home. Home-schoolin’ shut-ins fearful of what might happen to them if they took their hateful ways out into the world. And now non-white birthrates surpass those of their “master race”… a real cause for concern for hate-mongers everywhere. But the world, and humanity, is far better than they are.


  1. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Craig Carter. 🙂 And sure, I’d say that there’s some “hate” included in my message. It’s a “hate” for injustice that in my view MUST accompany a deep LOVE for humanity. I happen to think that the two are as inseparable as the double-helix of our DNA. [By the way, did you actually read the racist comments left by Mr. Tobar’s tormentors? I thought I might have gone a little easy on them.]

    Do I think that “hate” is a good thing? Shouldn’t we “hate” global hunger and suffering in a world where there’s more than enough to go around… many times over? Shouldn’t we “hate” the oppression of women–half of humanity–that holds us all down? Shouldn’t we “hate” the racism and economic domination that go to the roots of this country’s founding and seem to be flourishing all the more these days?

    I think we should… don’t you? If not, why not?

    But again, it’s because a thoroughgoing LOVE demands it. Just “hating” these outrages is not enough, either. We need to get organized and mobilize to build the world we want to live in.

    Yes, I’m most definitely out to “win”. Whether or not you’re impressed by my passion really doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that we all do what we can, raise our voices, come together, and beat back this attack. If we don’t, it’s not magically gonna get any easier sometime down the road.

    I couldn’t disagree more on your perspective that Adult Ed isn’t a human right. For starters, Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (from 1948) plainly states that “Everyone has a right to education.” So would you suggest that it’s a human right only for some, but not others? Or is the very essence of what makes us human (our minds, dreams, curiosity, exploration…) not entitled to the fiercest protection?

    If by being “smart” you mean watering down our convictions to coincide with the mainstream… I have to say I don’t think that’s smart at all. I will continue to express myself freely, and I sincerely hope you do too.

    While we may have a range of disagreements, I can see that we nevertheless share common goals. And we should celebrate that. As long as you continue to fight for education, we will be in this together. And that sounds like a very good thing to me.

    Your friend,
    Dan =)


  2. I thought Tobar’s column was great too, but your hate-filled rhetoric undermines the effort to save adult education. One can be in favor of de-funding adult education without being a bigot, but the moment you write him off as an evil, non-serious person you have lost any chance of converting him to our side. Are you out to win or impress us with your passion? And please, it is nonsense to argue that adult education — which hardly exists anywhere else in the world — is a “human right.” It is necessary and important, even vital, but to call it more than that just makes you look silly. I’m with you 100% on ousting Garcia and fully funding adult education, but please be smart about it.


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