First, an apology for posting such an intense thread then ditching for nearly a month. My last final is tomorrow; prior to this I was completely buried in schdeules and projects and exams.... Going back to school at my age is no picnic. Fun to be certain, but not easy. I have a deepened respect for my 19 and 20 year old classmates.
Thanks everyone for pitchin' in .... unfortunately the real thing we were going for here was kid-oriented. After three years in this particular patch o' the planet we're pretty sure we need to move to a more tolerant neighborhood. Unfortunately until I finish my undergrad degree, moving to another town isn't an option. So that's why we were really interested in how other like-minded folks helped their younger children deal with tolerance/intolerance in a hostile community. We still feel kinda lost.
I'm not quite sure how to respond to some of the dominant tangent themes that emerged... our own views are not simple and it'd take a book to really present things well. My take on the details of certain things is different from that of my wife and vice versa although we share solid common ground on many major ideas.
Here are some thoughts or clarifications (either that or we're just defending ourselves somehow
• In terms of another country, phooey... we were born here, in this one. From our POV, "love it or leave it" is merely an excuse for not wanting to hear what is difficult to hear. Maybe a good book would be all the things we progressives love about our country but never get to share because everyone else is too busy slandering us
• Are we Anti-American? Some people just don't care to listen to any view beyond their own, their doublespeak notwithstanding. It is true that we profoundly dislike ideologies that marginalize others while we try to tolerate others that differ from our own... it's a fairness thing. You accept us, we'll accept you. We'll always try to accept you regardless but it's not easy while we're being asked or told to leave all because we disagree.
• We don't "inherently dislike America." We inherently dislike abuse, oppression, tyranny, hypocrisy, and priviledge. If America has a bloody past (or even present), let's not pretend we don't. Let's get in touch with it, take responsibility for it and learn so that we actually change and do things differently in the present and into the future. Typical "patriotism" of late seeks none of that, therefore we profoundly dislike typical patriotism.
We are North Americans who were born, raised, and who live today in the United States. But we don't believe that such origins or citizenship is any more valuable than that of a Canadian or Mexican North American, or of any other country. US Americans don't have a corner on the market in values, freedom, virtues or anything else. Why does saying this out loud mean we're somehow, "anti-American"? Rubbish.
• "If someone invades your house..." scenarios.... Our two cents: "self-defense" to us means that you defend yourself during an attack so as to effectuate an escape. That is not the same as hunting down the attacker(s) later and taking them out. That is called "vigilantism." Do you really teach your kids to hunt down bullies after an attack and beat them?
Militarism and terrorism both seek to enforce a view or position unilaterally against another's will. Read Wendell Berry's "the Failure of War"... (you can find it on commondreams.org). There has to be a better way to respond to being violated the way we were on 9-11.
Anyway, one last exam to go... if anyone still has insights with regard to raising a conscious young child in a hostile climate/environment, please continue to post. The other tangents should probably have their own threads so they can run their full course. It wasn't our intention to go beyond the issues with raising healthy kids in unhealthy communities. That's pretty much more than we can handle at this stage.
wholeness and Be-ing