There is Hope

MuNu blogger Greg, at Rhymes With Right, (who trackbacked to this post) is a Texan teacher who's on a mission to set straight the thinking of Mexican teens who protest on behalf of...well, they're not sure what they're protesting.

(I actually cheered when I read this post. But not like "cheerleader" cheered or anything. Yuck.)

My students and I had a bit of a discussion on these demonstrations during last period yesterday. Rumor is that they are going to do a walkout sometime today, and since I overheard discussion, I thought I should address it.

I may be accused of going a little bit Jay Bennish, but I think you will see where what I did differed.

And so goes the brilliant exchange:

You know, I'm the last guy in the world to tell someone not to express their opinion, but I think this whole walkout thing we've been seeing on Channel One and I've heard you kids talking about here is a bad idea....

Besides, do you know how these walkouts are being received by your average middle aged, middle class Anglo like me? Do you? You know, the folks who represent a majority of Americans nationwide? I'll be glad to tell you.

{the ringleaders are enthusiastic, and the rest of the class would like a chance to stop working}

I was listening to one of the talk radio stations over the last couple of days -- I don't remember which one, with all that's been going on in my life -- and you had a guy saying "I see all these folks waving Mexican flags and chanting "Mexico! Mexico! Mexico!' I want to go down there and start shouting 'Go back to! Go back to!'

{one of the ring leaders responds "Mister, I think somebody wants to get his ass jumped doing that."}

Jose, you're missing my point. My point is this -- has waving a Mexican flag and chanting "Mexico!" done anything to get this guy on your side? Do you think it is doing anything to get your average middle aged, middle class Anglo on your side?

{"uhhh... No"}

Why not?

{"Cuz this isn't Mexico."}

Yeah -- and what are you supposedly protesting for.

{"To let Mexicans who are here stay here and become citizens."}

And if you wave Mexican flags and chant "Mexico!", what does it sound like you are more interested in being?

{"Mexican. What's wrong with being proud of being Mexican?"}

Nothing -- but I think you are missing the point. If you want to be proud Mexicans and wave the Mexican flag, that's great. But a lot of Americans are going to look at that and think there is a great place for you if you want to do that -- Mexico. If you want to show us that you want to be American citizens and work and live here and follow our laws, what might be a better thing for you to do?

{various kids respond -- "Carry American flags." "Shout 'USA'." "Don't disrupt school."}

Read the rest of the discussion that gave me hope that we might indeed have a bright tomorrow.

Well done, sir. Thanks for trackbacking!

Posted by Portia at March 29, 2006 11:22 PM | TrackBack

I stopped reading after I thought "portia" and "cheerleader" at the same time.

Posted by: dan at March 30, 2006 08:22 AM