I remember, back in high school, being upset that a quiz question asked what date Christmas falls on. I didn’t know, and this hurt my score. As an adult, I view things differently; scoring a bit lower on a quiz is a small price to pay for the benefit of attending schools that are representative of a functional culture – even if it’s not exactly my own culture.
It would appear that some Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan feel imposed upon because their children received invitations to an Easter egg hunt at school. According to the Christian Post:
Some Muslim parents in Dearborn, Mich., are upset over an “Eggstravaganza” Easter egg hunt invitation their children received from teachers at school because the event is going to be held on the grounds of the Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church.
Attorney Majed Moughni, the father of two public school students, said his son was uncomfortable about receiving the flyer from the Presbyterian church for their event on April 12.
“It really bothered my two kids. My son was like, ‘Dad, I really don’t feel comfortable getting these flyers, telling me to go to church. I thought churches are not supposed to mix with schools,’” Moughni told The Detroit Free Press.
Moughni said he’s uncomfortable with publically paid school teachers passing “out these flyers that are being distributed by a church. I think that’s a serious violation of separation of church and state.”
While separation of church and state is a worthy goal, it shouldn’t render public schools culture-free zones. When we speak of “public institutions” we should not lose sight of the fact that they’re supposed to represent a specific public. If we were to somehow succeed in catering our schools to people in general, without deference to any particular culture, we would be robbing our children of both their heritage and their childhood.
If we were to take the separation of church and state to its extreme, public schools would be dry, depressing, places. There’s a large grey area in our culture that, while not overtly religious in nature, has its roots in what passes for Christianity. Easter egg hunts, Christmas, graduation caps and gowns and St. Patrick’s Day are good examples of this. They’re part of American culture, and I see no harm in allowing schools to recognize them – without shoving them in our faces of course.
To the offended Muslim parents I say, you (or your parents) came to this country of your own free will. You benefit from our functional society and liberal government – which are offshoots of our culture. When you came to this country, you agreed to put up with this culture and, if you don’t like it, you can return to whatever Muslim-dominated country you came from. You’ll probably find that there’s less separation of religion and state in that country than you enjoy here.
Meanwhile, black women in the military are upset that new hairstyle regulation adversely affect them. According to Yahoo News:
New Army regulations meant to help standardize and professionalize soldiers’ appearance are now coming under criticism by some black military women, who say changes in the hair requirement are racially biased.
The Army earlier this week issued new appearance standards, which included bans on most twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows, all styles used predominantly by African-American women with natural hairstyles. More than 11,000 people have signed a White House petition asking President Barack Obama, the commander in chief, to have the military review the regulations to allow for “neat and maintained natural hairstyles.”
Some black military women, who make up about a third of the women in the armed forces, feel they have been singled out with these new regulations.
“I think that it primarily targets black women, and I’m not in agreement with it,” said Patricia Jackson-Kelley of the National Association of Black Military Women. “I don’t see how a woman wearing three braids in her hair, how that affects her ability to perform her duty in the military.”
Yes, there’s actually an organization called the “National Association of Black Military Women.” Their website states their goal as:
“To seek out, record, maintain and tell the historyof every Black Military Women...”
My advice to them would be to brush up on their writing skills, or at least hire a good editor, before putting together a website. I couldn’t help but notice that their president, Kathaleen F. Harris, seems awfully young to be retired. She must have been paid very well while in the military; I’m sure being black, and a woman, didn’t hurt her career.
Yes, being black and female can do wonders for one’s career, especially if it’s in a government job. If griping about hairstyle regulations is what now occupies them, clearly there’s not much in the way of real oppression to burden them. Is there an organization that works specifically for the benefit of white women in the military? Don’t be silly!
Can white Christians also be offended? As a matter of fact they can. Some Idaho parents objected when their school district included, as part of their official curriculum, a book that ridiculed Christianity and includes vulgar language. According to Yahoo news:
The largest school district in Idaho has banned from its curriculum an award-winning book about the struggles of a Native American teenager after complaints by parents that the novel was rife with profanity, racial epithets and anti-Christian rhetoric….
The book is described by publisher Little, Brown as a “heartbreaking, funny and beautifully written” tale about the experiences of a young Native American who leaves his troubled school on an Indian reservation in Washington state to attend an all-white high school in a nearby farming community.
I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that the book also includes anti-white rhetoric – but it’s not politically acceptable to object to the persecution of whites, because unlike Muslims or blacks, whites truly are an oppressed group (unless they happen to be well-connected of course).
Of the three aggrieved groups I cited above, the only one I sympathize with is the white Christians of Idaho. Does this make me a white-supremacist? Hardly. The “plight” of Muslim immigrants, who would rob school children of their culture, does not move me. Neither do I worry much about the military hairesy against black women (though I do feel that black women should be happy with their natural hair). But the cause of parents fighting a school district’s attempt to disparage their traditions, in their own native lands, is a worthy one.