Sunday, October 03, 2004

Beware Peace Lovers and Non-Whites!

As a teacher, artist and political activist I found myself perusing the LA public library for books that might give guidance on how to work current events into my drama lesson plans. What I found was this handy little guide for teens: Live Aware, Not in Fear: The 411 After 9-11*.

Unfortunately the authors, apparent "public safety experts" and political appointees by the governor of Virginia "with years of experience in domestic preparedness for terrorism," are better suited to writing propaganda for non-"Arab appearing", neo-con youth.

The first chapter gives a scenario that includes the young reader being invited to participate in a college protest "against the bombings of Afghanistan and the escalation of the war on terrorism to other parts of the world." [emphasis mine] It deftly leads the reader to conclude that to participate in such an action is to be motivated by fear and quotes FDR's "only thing we have to fear is fear itself." However it glosses over such fear-induced arguments - and uses them in it's justification for staying home - as "You aren't in favor of war or killing ... but isn't this a matter now of kill or be killed? Don't we have the right to avenge their deaths, to retaliate? Isn't the United States entitled, no, required, to defend herself and prevent more innocent citizens and visitors from being killed at the hands of fanatics and zealots?" Basically, the book's argument boils down to this: protesting the violence of our government is acting out of fear. Bombing other people (wrong country, wrong people, wrong war - BEFORE THEY BOMB US!!!!!) isn't.

Chapter three is all about economics and entitled "Dollars and Sense." After some rudimentary facts about why middle class folks might be suffering after 9-11 (all based thinly on trickle down economics and having nothing to do with tax cuts to the rich, corporate welfare and crony capitalism/corruption), it ends with this scenario: a friend has told you about a wealthy family who "appear to be from the Middle East." They "live in the biggest home in the neighborhood... yet neither the mom or dad seem to work... You recall a TV program warning people to look out for suspicious situations and activities ... It fits the profile. But you've heard your dad say how bad profiles are." Since Dad is so busy and "worried about his own money problems ... Maybe Mrs. Hansen, your economics teacher, would be a good person to talk with about this." (Oh now I see what the economics connection is.) Great idea! A book for your child that tells them not to talk to you, but to a teacher instead, especially when it comes to politics! (Hey Big Brother! We're watching you, you mother fucker!)

I had to stop reading at that point. I had a lesson to plan. More to come! Three more chapters. And lots o' quotes. Some by Peggy Noonan, even! Betcha can't wait!

*brought to you by HCI, Health Communications Inc. The same folks who brought you those insipid Chicken Soup for the .... everything but the bowl as far as I can figure...


Blogger C.I. Abramson said...

Great article! I'm sure this books publishing was government subsidized. When will American citizens wake up and realize we are consuming vast quanities of propaganda? What do you think the end game plan is?

October 05, 2004 1:57 PM  

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