David Barton mentioned this and us in a tweet yesterday. (If you don’t know who David Barton is, you need to learn!) Constituting America is a group that was founded by Janine Turner (former TV actress). They have an essay contest for every level of school. We just thought you might want to check it out.
Category Archives: Famous People Affecting Education
We came across this video on The Blaze of Cornel West and Rapper Lupe Fiasco, and we thought it worth sharing and discussing.
Sorry Mr. West, but we’re going to wrestle a little bit with it, from US code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d):
(2) the term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents
So, one who participates in terrorism is a terrorist. Now, we acknowledge that one could make an argument against the wars in the Middle East and am sure some of our members might agree our foreign policy needs some evaluation. Many libertarian/conservatives like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Thomas Woods do so effectively, without calling our President a terrorist. But our President is certainly not a terrorist, and certainly does not participate in terrorism. We do nothing to improve the dialogue about the appropriate use of military force when blanket statements such as this are made.
Mr. West is just about as clueless, after Mr. Fiasco demonstrates his ignorance, West chimes in declaring his statements Socratic. Somebody please send this guy to an entry level course on philosophy at any community college in America. The Socratic method is a pedagogical technique in which a teacher does not give information directly but instead asks a series of questions, with the result that the student comes either to the desired knowledge by answering the questions or to a deeper awareness of the limits of knowledge. There’s nothing Socratic that happened in that video, it’s just some clueless rapper blathering and parroting something he heard from one of the most offensive and divisive leftists in America, Howard Zinn.
Now, you may be thinking, oh, doesn’t matter, that’s nutty, nobody listens to these people. Yeah, go to a bookstore sometime, we have seen Zinn’s books out in prominent display in Barnes and Noble in recent months. Mr. Fiasco, the ‘intellectual rapper’ has 750,000 followers on Twitter and we suspect teenagers actually would listen to this guy’s blathering. MTV interviews performers like him, and if you don’t think teens are watching MTV, you need to get a clue yourself.
Why does this matter? Aside from being intellectually dishonest, this affects classrooms around America. How many students listen to this kind of nonsense and head into the classroom assuming it’s correct? Why should I listen to the teacher when the famous musician that I think is really cool has told me the ‘truth?’ Also, it’s divisive and dangerous. Now, don’t get us wrong, Mr. West and Mr. Fiasco have the right to speak their mind no matter how uninformed it may be. We feel though it’s up to us as educators to call out this type of ignorance, both in the classroom and outside of it, and ask Americans to do their own homework.