Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
Freya put up a link on the Open Thread yesterday to a story about a teacher in Georgia who clearly did not have a clue how to teach about the Nazis. (She also started a petition to censure the teacher.) But, you know, this is really, in my opinion, just a symptom of a bigger problem. It begins to appear that no one in the U.S.A., certainly no one under the age of sixty, has a clue about the Nazis. It’s certainly not just Georgia.
In Massachusetts, after an incident of swastika vandalism, followed by a threat of revenge to another student who confronted him, a few teachers attempted to address the concerns of students, and ended up getting reprimanded, and one suspended without pay “for rescinding a college letter of recommendation for the student who made the swastika,” among other high crimes and misdemeanors. The school district’s superintendant personally reprimanded senior English teacher Stella Martin after the parents of the perpetrator of the vandalism complained that he was being “bullied.”
In this case, it would appear to be the parents of this student who do not have a clue about the Nazis (and, incidntally, cannot recognize a bully when one is right under their nose.)
Do you suppose it is a coincidence that as of today – well, yesterday – the school is now on its fourth Nazi incident in less than a year?
The Principal, Juliette Miller, engaged the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to create educational materials for a program for “students, faculty, staff, and parents.” They still have a little over a year to finish it; however,
Last month, representatives from [the ADL] were at the school training upperclassmen to be peer ambassadors for the groups A World of Difference Institute. The training focused on understanding symbols of hate.
There appears to be some resistance.
Meanwhile, the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law has taken up the cause of the reprimanded and suspended teachers, and is trying to get the punishments expunged.
Alecto, if there was ever a need for education about who and what the Nazis were, and why they are not to be emulated, it’s right here and right now – all over the United States, and not just in schools.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment is an organization building power in low to moderate income neighborhoods. ACCE has been working on unjust evictions, insane rent increases, and rent control for some time, but this week, there is a situation which is urgent. Urgent enough for me to get an email about it (from which I shall quoute extensively, though I did find a news article) from an ACCE member, Norma Sanchez:
My three sons, my husband and I are in the brink of becoming homeless.
My family has lived in our home for 8 years, but after my landlord, Steve Kalmbach, bought a $4 million dollar mansion in Piedmont this June, he sent my family and the 6 other families in my neighborhood whose homes he owns a rent increase between $1100 – $1300.
Thats a full 100% increase in rent for us.
When we visited our landlord at his mansion in Piedmont a few weeks ago, with a Tesla and a BMW in the driveway, Steve claimed he needed to raise the rent so he could send his kid to college. But while his family lives with chandeliers, luxurious decor, and on what Zillow describes as “one of the most desired streets in Piedmont,” my family and my son are at risk of losing our homes, our jobs, and everything we’ve worked hard to build for. As a housekeeper, I work 12 hour days on a regular basis while my husband works full-time at Togo’s sandwich shop. And yet while we’ve worked hard our entire lives and pay our rent on time – we somehow live in a world where its okay for my landlord to live in a mansion while my children face potential homelessness.
Even though Oakland has rent control, single-family homes like mine aren’t covered by rent control because of the state law called the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act…. I can understand that he would want to raise the rent – the market is hot right now and rents are skyrocketing. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that his personal profit is founded on my family’s displacement. I know my story is not entirely unique – since 2005, 2.5 million working class families like mine have been forced to leave California in search of an affordable home. And black and brown families like mine are being hit the worst.
Megaera, this sounds terribly grudging to me. Please lend a hand to the ACCE and these poor people. The rest of us can try to help you by signing this petition.
Tisiphone, I would say take the week off (you can use the rest), but something will probably come up.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 here.