November 13th, 2008

tv // lbd // shoulder touch

The t-shirt test

Another failure to communicate tolerate?

Tolerance fails T-shirt test

As the media keeps gushing on about how America has finally adopted tolerance as the great virtue, and that we're all united now, let's consider the Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment. Catherine Vogt, 14, is an Illinois 8th grader, the daughter of a liberal mom and a conservative dad. She wanted to conduct an experiment in political tolerance and diversity of opinion at her school in the liberal suburb of Oak Park.

She noticed that fellow students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for president. His campaign kept preaching "inclusion," and she decided to see how included she could be. So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:

"McCain Girl."

"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters," Catherine told us. "I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be."

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid. "People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

"One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.

Read the rest

Yeah, so they're just stupid kids. The kids at my school were hyped up about Obama, too... at least more than they were hyped about McCain. But then this is a low SES school in California, and not just California but the Bay Area, where their parents and (most of their) teachers are influencing what they think.

I had a lot of kids ask me who I voted for.

"I'm not going to tell you," I told them. "When we vote in America we do it in secret, because it's our business."

"Mrs. B told us she voted for Obama," said one student.

"That's Mrs. B's choice," I told them.

Two teachers I know of - one I work with and one in my cousin's school - let their class have parties after election day "because Obama won".

The indoctrination gets less subtle in high school, believe it or not.
etc // stop global whining

Can 'o worms, open.

Bill O'Reilly has a really good panel on tonight about the CA Prop 8/gay marriage issue.

I really have to take exception with the 'No' crowd claiming that a 'Yes' vote was made out of hatred. I have absolutely no hatred for gay people. I think civil unions/partnerships are probably a good secular option for consenting single adults of any stripe. I just don't think the traditional definition of the word 'marriage' should be changed, and a majority of California voters (including 70% of African American voters, interestingly enough) seem to agree. I am a little puzzled at all the protests over it after the fact, unless the protesters are just hoping to bring the Supreme Court of California into the matter, to once again state that the opinions of California voters don't matter.

Of course, if Prop 8 had failed, the same people would be declaring "the people have spoken".

If the Yes on 8 crowd is showing hatred towards gays, then the No on 8 crowd is showing hatred towards the 52% of voters who disagree with them.

ETA: By the way, if anyone thinks that my views on this are just too terribly extreme and you feel like you have to unfriend me -- well, that's your choice. Personally, I'd like to think that part of 'tolerance' is about 'tolerating' different opinions.