It's interesting how a simple gesture can bring up so many memories, like smelling and tasting a freshly percolated cup of coffee on a balmy afternoon. I’m thinking of the social experience of eating out in Georgia 30 or 40 years ago. It was the end of an era, and I would be the last generation to experience it.
The reality of male entitlement and White supremacy - intersecting and independently - is not a new ism that's growing. Instead it's something that's always been, and has simply become more brazen in this particular moment in history.
The response to Black power has usually been White terror, although it’s not the history that’s commonly told. Yet it must, nevertheless, be understood that race as we know it today exists as a social control construct to both justify and conceal the true nature of the entire reshaping of America, and indeed the world—primarily its wealth.
Greenwood Cultural Center – Tulsa, Oklahoma (Image: Wikipedia)
Prior to his arrival to the US, Einstein was already making clear his stance against anti-Black discrimination, in part by writing a letter of support on behalf of 9 Black teenagers, known as the “Scottsboro Boys,” and once in the US, Einstein became allies with many prominent African Americans, like Marian Anderson and W.E.B DuBois. When Einstein saw injustice he would come to the aid and defense of African-Americans, again and again.
Charlie Chaplin and Einstein at the Hollywood premiere of City Lights, January 1931
In the final segment of my interview with Tom Alexander, we continue our discussion about John Dewey, who was one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers and a widely-respected education reformer. Alexander is the author of John Dewey’s Theory of Art, Experience and Nature: The Horizons of Feeling (SUNY Press, 1987), and he’s the author of The Human Eros: Eco-ontology and the Aesthetics of Existence (Fordham University Press, 2013). Since 1985, Alexander has been a member of the Department of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University.
In the next installment of my interview with Tom Alexander, we continue our discussion about the life and legacy of moralist and education reformer, John Dewey. Alexander is the author of John Dewey’s Theory of Art, Experience and Nature: The Horizons of Feeling, and topics of the interview include democracy in education, social justice and life in the age of "the post-truth society."
John Dewey (Image: Library of Congress)
For every dollar the US government spends, 1/50th of one penny is spent on the arts. Even so, more than a dozen news outlets have reported in the last 2 days that President Trump wants to eliminate that - to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Fortunately, there are others with better ideas.
“Man of Mystery – LEGENDS: David Bowie” by Max Eternity
Beyond the nightmare of genocide, slavery and the engineered poverty of today, beyond the transgressions of morally bankrupt leaders in the East and the West, beyond the starvation and unmet basic needs allowed to happen around the world, people must, as well, fight for education, architecture and art. Being civil means being willing to do the work necessary to protect a vision of beauty -- to enshrine local, national and global treasures -- to stand up and defend the ability to express oneself creatively. These things make the life water of the soul.
“The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
There’s no getting around the fact that Donald Trump is an over-the-top narcissist with extreme bombastic tendencies and a moral compass as vile and toxic as a nuclear waste site. It is truly a political nightmare in every sense of the word. Even so, there’s also no getting around the fact that Barack Obama has been a charlatan and an absolute fraud—his presidency an irreparable failure—and his political party a sloppy hot mess with only itself to blame.
Trump Obama Screenshot
An ignorant public is not just a problem for educators to reckon with, it’s a fundamental crisis within our democracy, because according to Tom Alexander “democracy needs education if it’s going to work.”
John Dewey (Image: Library of Congress)