Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ban This!

I despise censorship. Heck, maybe despise is too lenient of a word. I abhor, detest, loathe and execrate censorship. To top it off, I'm a Christian. Some of you may not think those two sentiments mix, but hey, I'm a walking oxymoron (and some think there's emphasis on the "moron" part).

So, what is it that has my drawers in a wedgie? Oddly enough, an article on the religion blogs at I mean, seriously, of all places. Stranger things have happened. Here's the deal, the NY Department of Education wants to ban a boatload of words from standardized testing. What words, you ask? How about words like dinosaurs, birthdays, religion, Christmas, halloween and divorce to name a few.

Apparently, these clowns come up with a list like this every year. Why? Because these words may offend some people. Of course, who might they offend? Jehovah witnesses, Christians, atheists, republicans, democrats, tea partyists, smart people, stupid people, average people, you, me and everyone. Seriously? Give me a break. Do these people not have anything better to do with their time? God forbid a word on a test evoke an emotion. In fact, maybe we should ban all words that may possibly bring about some inkling of a response. Then we can go in and do that to books, too. In fact, we should ban books, too.

I'm so sick of this type of baloney. We're really becoming a country full of pseudo-do-gooders who feel the need to try and protect everyone from everything. All in the name of the children, of course. Oh blah. The logic is that these words, used on a standardized test (don't even get me started on standardized testing), might evoke some negative feeling, which would then disrupt the poor child's brain skills, and cause them to fail the test.

Oh My God.

Folks, we're talking about the same kids who go home to four or five hours of Sponge Bob Squarepants before mom or dad get home from work for crying out loud. The same kids who may or may not be getting enough to eat and when they eat at school have to suffer through processed frozen crap warmed up in an industrial microwave. The same kids who can't read the damn words in the first place because their parents don't care enough to be a part of their education. The same kids who are being failed by a broken public education system.

Yes, I hear all of you public school teachers crying out in offense to what I just said, but deal with it. You know as well as I do that the system is broken. You can put as many good teachers in a broken system as you want and it's still a broken system. Believe me, I see this first-hand every single day, so don't get me started on that, either. This isn't an indictment of teachers. It's about the system and idiots within the power centers like the NY Dept. of Education making up a list of 50 words that they "feel" should be banned from standardized tests.

And it gets worse. Slavery is on this list. Are you serious? I'm sorry, but how on earth can you test over American history without using the word slavery? This is stuff that we, as human beings, need to remember. We can't ban slavery out of our history. We have to remember these huge mistakes that our predecessors made so that we don't make them again.

Poverty's on the list, too. Really? You think these kids don't know about poverty? War, Religion, Rap Music and politics are on the list, too. "I'm sorry children, we won't be talking about war today. Ooops, wait, I said it. I'm so sorry. I hope that didn't make you feel bad, little Tommy." Well, guess what, little Tommy knows about war because his mom is still in Afghanistan fighting terrorists (another word on the list of proposed banned words).

I'm sure there are plenty of you who disagree with me on this, but give me a break. My grandparents dealt with the Great Depression and WWII. My parents dealt with Vietnam. My generation has dealt with 9/11, recession and multiple wars on multiple fronts. My kids's generation is dealing with many of the same issues and if we aren't real about it they'll grow up with some utopia-type belief that nothing bad ever happens. I'm not kidding when I say this, we're turning our kids into a bunch of namby-pamby milquetoasts by sugar-coating everything for them.

Here's the thing, maybe it's common sense to avoid using certain words on tests, but is it really up to a small minority of people to dictate which words should be censored? When it comes down to it, these jagoffs ought to be concentrating on how to better educate our youth. They need to figure out how to individualize the education process. Maybe they should even look at how to revolutionize education and fight the powers that are force-feeding our kids standardized tests in the first place. Maybe they need to occupy congress until they get rid of the draconian rules that teachers must follow in order to make sure that all children are tested equally on tests that don't tell us anything of real value, anyway.

Well NY Department of Education, here's what I have to say about your BS list of words:

Don't abuse your power. Your alcohol, tobacco and drug-addled brains need to learn to deal with the fact that kids deal with cancer, death, disease, evolution and divorce. They work on computers at home, they trick-or-treat on Halloween. They are or know people who are homeless, they hunt, eat junk food, play sports, have parents who are unemployed and living in poverty. They celebrate religious holidays like Yom Kippur, Christmas, Ramadan and Kwanzaa. They listen to rap and rock-and-roll. And stripping standardized testing of these words and more is not going to change the fact that kids are strong and intelligent enough to deal with them. So, pull your heads out of your asses and do some real work. (BTW, "Asses" isn't on the list, apparently, but bodily functions like "Fart" are.)

That's all for now.