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 September, 2009


 Another Phony Controversy About Kids and Obama

An Indoctri-Nation

Honoring the President of the United States is now considered a crime punishable by dismissal, and even death threats.

It’s all part of the conservative wingnut’s latest fake controversy.

Last winter an elementary school teacher in Burlington, N.J. allowed her students to sing a song that just happened to contain praise for President Obama.

The video of the performance has been online since June.

Suddenly, it’s supposedly become the latest example that educators everywhere are practicing mind control by permitting school kids to sing songs with the words “Barack Obama” in them.

“He said we must be clear today, equal work, means equal pay,” those future revolutionaries sang. Equal pay for men and women who work the same hours, isn’t exactly a wildly provocative concept – unless you’re a wingnut.

To Rush Limbaugh, it was “just like it happens in Cuba. They have to do it down there in Venezuela to Chavez.”

“Mao would be proud,” added another right winger on Fox News.

No wonder the student’s parents heard about the controversy, and some of them are calling for the teacher who to be fired.

But who knew that fostering words like, “He said that we must take a stand, to make sure everyone gets a chance,” could ever jeopardize the job of a teacher who allowed school children to sing them?

But to conservative pundits, like Tucker Carlson, there are some hidden messages buried (somewhere) deep, within those words.

“It’s bringing race into a discussion that doesn’t necessarily need to concern race,” he claimed in his usual matter-of-factly stated, but consistently hard-to-follow, logic.

Of course race was, and was appropriately, involved. They were singing as part of an assembly during Black History Month.

How could they sing a song about the nation’s first black president, during Black History Month – but avoid it being about race?

I don’t know the answer to that. Only Tucker Carlson knows it.

Throughout this so-called controversy the word “indoctrination” keeps getting thrown out there, as if Adolf Hitler, himself, is behind the song.

Carlson should probably clarify his next silly assertion too. “This is just pure Khmer Rouge stuff,” while obviously forgetting the Khmer Rouge killed millions of innocent people.

Barack Obama got unfavorable press (especially on Fox News) because he swatted a fly.

There, too, are the nauseating warnings about Obama’s appeal having something to do with the “Cult of personality,” as if by merely looking at him – he’ll cause children to leap off bridges.

But why weren’t there the same concerns on July 7th, 2002, when the people of Stockton, Ca. named one of their schools the George W. Bush Elementary School?

Bush had only been in office a year and a half, but they named a school after him because, as one school member beamed, “The Bush name is an expression of patriotism.”

Name a school after George W. Bush, and that’s “patriotism.” But sing a song that honors his successor and that’s “indoctrination?”

“Barack Hussein Obama,” those kids proudly sang. “He said we must all lend a hand, to make this country strong again,” was their pint-sized plea to overthrow the government.

Those words, to Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Drudge, Beck and Carlson are the makings of a nation full of robot-children who’ll simply want to spend their lunch money on Mao’s Redbook.

If politics and school children don’t mix, then where were; Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Drudge, Beck and Carlson, when George W. Bush launched his “No Child Left Behind” push at schools across the country?

Less than a month after he took office, in February of 2001, Bush stood before the students at Townsend (Tenn.) Elementary School, and he outlined his school reform bill in great detail.

His prepared text was hardly more than a campaign speech. “A priority is going to be tax relief, so hardworking Americans have got more money in their pocket to pay down their own debt,” he told those pre-teens.

I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure none of those children were “indoctrinated” by Bush’s anti-tax rhetoric. The democracy has remained in tact.

Edward A. Owens is a three time Emmy Award winner and 20 year veteran of television news. E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net