But first . . .

CORRECTION

Of the late Robert Moses, I wrote yesterday, “It was only from reading the Chicago Tribune that I learned he had been a Rhodes Scholar (not that it would have meant much to an 8th grader).”  Thanks to those of you who wrote in to say the Tribune (via the Associated Press) had it wrong.  Bob was many remarkable things — a “MacArthur genius” among them — but not a Rhodes Scholar.



HO-HUM-IZATION

In the 1998 sequel to a 1973 book I had written under a pen-name (because who in 1973 was brave enough to use his own name in writing about such things?), I devoted Chapter 16 to what I called the “ho-hum-ization” of being gay.  (As in: Who cares?)

We had come so far in those intervening 25 years!

And in the 23 years since the sequel — with the tre-quel due out in two years, as I seem to write these things every 25 years — we have come so much further still.

(Marriage . . . gays in the military . . . Pete Buttigieg . . .)

One obvious example: the world’s most highly valued company ($2.5 trillion at last night’s close) is run by an openly gay man.  Who cares?

But here’s a less obvious example I just learned about over the weekend.  Which surprised me, because how could I not know this?  But that’s the point: it’s almost ho-hum by now that for the past decade the President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers — not exactly a radical left-wing group — has been an openly gay man.  Only at the end of his official bio does it refer to “his husband,” because, well, ho-hum, why wouldn’t it?

(It then goes on to summarize the pro-equality law he and his husband fought to pass in Virginia.)

We’re not there yet; and when Republicans are in power, things slip backward.  But on everything from homophobia and xenophobia (“Irish need not apply!”) to anti-Semitism and racism, equal rights for women — and more — the long trend has been toward a more nearly perfect union.

Special thanks to all the straight white Protestant men, and there are many, who are okay with that.



And now . . .

EDUCATION

Nelson Mandela’s quote at the entrance of the University of South Africa:


“Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education and allowing cheating in the examinations by the students. . . .”

Patients die at the hands of such doctors.
Buildings collapse at the hands of such engineers.
Money is lost at the hands of such economists & accountants.
Humanity dies at the hands of such religious scholars.
Justice is lost at the hands of such judges.

” . . . The collapse of education is the collapse of the nation.”


A year ago, I posted The Sacrifice We’re (Needlessly?) Asking Kids To Make for Us.

David Wallace-Wells argues The Kids Have Been Safe All Along.

But, boy, have they ever suffered.  Especially those nearest the bottom of the economic ladder.

The teachers had a fierce and powerful advocate in the teachers unions — who, being human, put the teachers’ interests ahead of the interests of the kids (while persuading themselves otherwise).

But who was the fierce and powerful advocate for the kids?

If, like me, you love teachers and love unions but fear things may have gotten a little out of balance, consider, from Newsweek: Teachers Union Has Become A Public Menace.

Everybody needs to get vaccinated; kids and teachers need to get back into school.  (With exceptions, of course, for anyone seriously at risk.)

We can do this, people.

 

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