Monday, December 31, 2007

Dreams and Nightmares

Up until now, I have reserved this blog for letters from administrators and my written responses. I haven't mixed my personal life with my life as a U-rated target.

However, Año Nuevo, Vida Nueva. New Year, New Life.

I am one person, and I have only one life. When they write me negative letters, or bring me up on charges, it affects my teaching and all other aspects of my life. When I have to spend my free time writing responses or planning defensive/offensive strategies instead of relaxing or spending time with family and friends, it affects my teaching. It affects my family. It affects my friends. And guess what, it affects my students too.

And it affects my health--and perhaps my lifespan.

Last night I was sitting in my warm, cozy livingroom . The Christmas tree was lit in the corner by the window. The whole room smelled of basalm. I was watching Bill Moyers on PBS--one of my favorite shows. I was in my home, in my safe space.

There were interviews with Thomas Cahill and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

This was was the Cahill quote that most resonated with me.

"All societies have a dream and a nightmare. And our nightmare has been, I think, our racism. We practically committed genocide on the people who were here, the Native Americans. We enslaved another race of people, the Africans. And then we dropped the atom bomb on Asians. We would have never dropped that bomb in Europe in my view. And I think that's what proves the racism of it. That's the nightmare of America.

The dream is just the opposite. The dream is that there is no country on earth that has tried to actually embrace all the people that we have tried to embrace. All you have to do is walk through New York City to see that — or any of our cities and not a few of our countrysides at this point."-- Thomas Cahill

Today I went to Moyer's website to get that quote from the transcript . Then I went to the transcript for the Archbishop Tutu interview. There was something he said about forgiving your enemy that impressed me, but after reading the entire transcript, I was more in tune with this quote:

"... we had to say to our people, 'You know, in the end, justice and goodness will prevail. This is a moral universe.'...In the Book of Revelation, there's a wonderful passage where there are souls under the altar. And they cry out, as all who suffer cry out, 'Oh, Lord, how long?' Now the answer we would have expected to get would have been the answer that says, 'Don't worry. It will be OK.' It does say that, but it says, 'Before it is OK, a few more of you must suffer and die.' And we used to tell our people at home, 'It is going to be OK. The victory has already been won.' But in the process of our apprehending this victory, appropriating it, there are going to be causalities. More of our people are going to be detained. More are going to be imprisoned. More are going to be killed. 'But my dear people, we used to say, 'we have already won. They have lost. Those who support injustice have lost. They may have guns. They may appear to be powerful. But don't let it kid you.' And we used to say to the white people in South Africa, 'We're being nice to you. We're inviting you, join the winning side.' And that was in the dark days." -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Moriah's Thoughts:

I think that the feeling we get when we are treated unfairly by another person must be programmed into our DNA. It comes not from the heart, or the gut, but from the very center of every cell in our bodies.

It is more difficult to connect with other people who are suffering an injustice when you haven't suffered. I guess that is why it is good to suffer injustices now and then.

We need to distinguish between the Good Guys and the Bad Guys without being influenced by whether they are wearing white hats or black hats; or whether they have pale skins or dark skins--and injustice is the key.

Being on the receiving end of injustice is extremely unpleasant and dangerous to your health. But it does do one thing. It gives you the Moral Highground--or Moral Credit.

You can build up a great deal of Moral Credit without realizing it because you are suffering so much at the hands of the Unjust.

At this point I occupy a Moral Highground. So does Adila. (See "If a President can Lie, So Can a Principal"). Every teacher who has been abused under the Bloomberg/Klein reigime has Moral Credit.

Bloomberg may have billions, but he is in extreme Moral Debt. His regime will ultimately collapse under the weight of it, crushing everyone who did his bidding.

Before we get there though, more people will be set up, framed, sent to the rubberroom, forced into retirement, fired.

But in the end we will win. Those who support injustice have already lost.

Do yourself a favor. Join the winning side.


FidgetyTeach said...

I may be reading this post a year late ,but I have to let you know how much it has helped me put my present situation in the rubber room into perspective. The moral debit- nothing could be closer to the truth.

Moriah Untamed said...

I am reading your comment many months later. Your comment has helped me in my present situation.