- Godwin Cotter
Previously on The Rise of Nothing: The inhabitants of this comic book were both startled and dismayed by the sudden appearance of encroaching blank space at the bottom of each comic book panel! Crisis seemed to follow crisis. Cortisol levels kept rising, approaching the stratosphere. However, world leaders showed great courage. In spite of the safety concerns about air travel with all panels encroached by white space, the leaders jetted off to a World Economic Finktank summit and shebang. To the relief of many, the president returned and was about to deliver a major speech, pointing the way forward in these trying times. But suddenly, the presidential teleprompter died, and the president became speechless in mid sentence! As his silence continued, the stock market went into freefall. Would the future bring both financial Armageddon and the Telepromptapocalypse?
I want to assure my readers that The Rise of Nothing is fiction but I would like to switch gears to blog some non-fiction at this point. It has often been said that fiction is stranger than non-fiction, but you be the judge.
A boy who had been homeschooled from infancy through grade 10 switched over to a regular school for grade 11. There may have been some gaps in his education, or perhaps he had been educationally disadvantaged by homeschooling, but again, I will let you be the judge from the narrative that I am going to relate. When he walked with fresh eyes into the hallowed halls of learning, a reportedly inclusive learning environment, he looked and an educational display highlighting the course work in a humanities classroom. The display included printouts condemning white privilege, male privilege and heterosexual privilege and the list went on
This was a bit of a jolt for the kid, coming from a Mennonite background and all. A quick mention about Mennonites, they have had to nation hop and continent hop many times to preserve their religion, language and culture, especially as their faith abhors taking up weapons of war, even in self-defense. Over the centuries, it seems like Mennonites have developed a nose for oppressive or totalitarian regimes that are on the horizon. If you are worried about big government squashing politically less powerful minorities, Mennonites can be pretty useful as canaries in the coal mine, much more reliable than reading and assessing the talking points and utopian manifestos that governments put out.
Anyways, the kid felt named, shamed and blamed by the printouts and responded perhaps in ways not stereotypical of Mennonites. He began tearing them down.
I guess things like this happen when you go from one bubble to another bubble. The youth's home school was festooned with quotes from scripture, exhorting one to love of God and neighbor in both German and English. Now, scripture is all about inclusivity. It tells us we are all God's children, to judge not lest we be judged, and “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you" and this list goes on. But secular institutions can't quote Christ. For them to promote inclusivity for some, it seems to require the marginalization of others. Raise some people up, put others down, level the playing field when it comes to social status. These efforts may be fueled with good intentions but they don't seem to fueled with great intelligence. But while believers can leave such things to the Lord, sometimes secular authorities feel the need to take on the task themselves.
Back to the story, the administration wasn't too happy. Before you could say Cultural Marxism, the kid was in the office. Now, there is an understanding that institutions and individuals can unwittingly commit acts of microaggression, even with the most noble of intentions. Whether an act is micro aggressive or not really depends on how the victim of microaggression experiences the possibly offensive words, gestures or actions.. The kid explained that he felt the anti-white privilege posters were making him feel attacked, bullied and saddled with an ugly, racist stereotype, all because of the color of his skin. The administration tried to explain that attacking white privilege and white fragility and pointing out the flaws of all white people throughout history wasn't being racist: in fact it was being anti-racist. This is perhaps where the gaps in the homeschooled kid's education came into play. He wasn't buying it.
One may recall that the Nazi's blamed the Jews for everything bad that happened: the start of World War One, the German loss in the same war, the rise of Communism, the great depression, the financial collapse of the German currency, the frequency of hangovers, and the list goes on. The wealth and prosperity of the Jews was all due to their financial exploitation and oppression of the honorable, hard-working Aryan peoples. Similarly, Rwanda's Hutu led government, in the lead up to the Rwandan Genocide, were educating youth about the historical exploitation and unfair treatment of the Hutu by the Tutsi. Whenever a Tutsi individual was enjoying a superior social standing, a better-paying job and or greater personal wealth, this could be traced back to the historical system that had privileged the Tutsi over the Hutu.
But consider this, readers, these ethnic tensions that were nursed until they boiled over into genocide, these all happened elsewhere on the globe. We live in North America! School curricula condemning white privilege (male privilege etc.) are not political. This is not propaganda, this not hate, this is not racism. This is promoting tolerance and harmony. We don't teach youth what to think, we teach them how to think! But don't disagree with us, or you're being micro aggressive.
Anyways, the administration decided to call in the big guns, so they called in the mom. It was somewhat disconcerting to the administration that the mom took pictures of the newly restored display board her son had been unable to tear down, and posted the photo's on social media. The mother was not impressed that the school had chosen to disparage being white, male, straight and Christian. After all, her son was born that way (in all aspects when you include being born again). She could attest to that. However, there was some slight coming together of the radically polarized positions. The mother acknowledged that her son could be more respectful of educators and administrators, while still disagreeing with their woke core values. The concessions limped along for a while but didn't last.
Eventually the boy was hauled into the office by the administration. It was high noon and all his teachers were there too, seeming to be very interested in the tile pattern on the floor beneath their feet. The administrator read the list of the boy's sins, his thought crimes and unacceptable errors in judgement. All the while, the educators continued to look down, not making any eye contact. They seemed to be ashamed, almost. I guess if they had been better as educators, they could have corrected the boy's thinking long before things got this bad. C'est la vie. Ce sera, sera.
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