Sunday, March 27, 2011

Conservatives Lying Liars -- What A Shock

This post at the Language Log, and its attendant links to a tempest in AZ, brings to mind a reoccurring fuss that arises in my first-year writing classroom every so often.  We'll be talking about immigration, or high school curriculum, or language acquisition -- something, who knows -- but someone will burst out, in fury, exclaiming how "It's not fair!" that they had to study Spanish in high school.

"We had to study Spanish!  Why?  They," usually pausing at this point shooting glares at the Hispanic students in the classroom, "came here, we didn't go to their country.  They should learn English!  Why do we have to learn their language?"

"Actually," I always say, at this point, really tired of making the point, but it has to be made, "you don't have to learn Spanish in high school.  You have to learn some foreign language in high school.  It's just that you," I always pause at this point to stare pointedly at the complaining student, "came from a very small and very poor town.  Is that the case?  One of those little tiny Arkansas high schools that didn't want to consolidate because that way you would lose your football team?  Do I have that right?"

They have shut up by now and are looking sullen.

"Well, when that is the case," I say, "usually such small high schools only have the resources to hire one foreign language teacher.  And when that's the case," I say, "they usually hire a Spanish teacher, because Spanish is most useful for most students in this area.  Don't blame immigrants.  Blame your community, which is poor and broke and refused consolidation."

Sometimes I add a little riff on NCLB, which is taking what funds exist and spending them on idiotic testing, but usually I move on at this point.

But!  Not what this post is about!

Not exactly anyway.

This post is about those links at LL.  Go read those links!  This guy, Tony Hill, writes a letter to his legislator about how these "Mexican" students "told" him they hated white Americans and hated America and were planning to take America back from Americans who stole it from them.  How they tore pages from the textbooks and threw the books at each other and how when he taught those "Mexicans" and black students (love how he inserted blacks in there -- racist bingo!) they didn't want to learn and how if "we" just got the illegal immigrants (cause he could tell by looking at those "Mexicans" they were all illegal, I guess) the class sizes would all go down to nice small classrooms (full of white kids who would read books instead of ripping them up and throwing them) --

Anyway, my point is, apparently the idiots in AZ believed this story Tony Hill fed them.

Conservatives make up lying lies and other conservatives believe them.

No wonder that Jesus thing plays so well in their community.


dorki said...

Well said there, so many cannot or will not look beyond Flush Limburger and his like.

"No wonder that Jesus thing plays so well...". This has always been a sore point with me. Coming from a similar environment, I still was taught to READ and UNDERSTAND what Jesus taught. So maybe this "Jesus thing" is the False Prophet I was warned about.

delagar said...

Yeah, sorry. That last line was a bit of a cheap shot.

Jesus as a philosopher -- Jesus the rebel, Jesus who speaks the sermon on the mount -- him I have no problem with.

It's the Jesus that's stuck in the back windows of the bright yellow Hummers around Pork Smith and the Jesus used to justify the invasion of Muslim nations -- the Republican Jesus -- the one that will make certain people live forever while sending Ghandi and Socrates and Anne Frank to hell: that's the one that gets down my neck.