Are They Teaching Islam in Nebraska?! No. No they’re not…

Now that I’m trying to do this here bloggin’ business a bit more regularly—what with all the votin’ and whatnot comin’ up this fall—I asked some folks on “The Facebook “if there’s anything they thought I should talk about. A friend of mine pointed me towards this Omaha World Herald article:

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I’ll give you a second to wipe your spit-take from off your laptop/monitor/phone. WHAT IN THE NAME OF BILL MAHER?! OUR KIDS IS LEARNIN’ THE ISLAMISM TERRORISM?!

No.

No, they are not. Not even a little bit…

To follow Parker’s “logic”—and, please, do envision my hands making emphatic, obnoxious air quotes around this word—requires a degree of intentional misrepresentation…or at least internet access to right-wing websites like Brietbart

The company who makes the textbooks in question, Pearson, is not a corporation that I in any way vouch for. They are vouchless. Understand that. A quick Googling shows me they’ve got plenty of issues, including some with standardized testing and teacher education. It’s just that one of those issues is not actual ties to terrorism.

They are a publicly traded company. As such, any eligible party can buy stock in them. Owning stock in a thing doesn’t give you control of it, just ask any of the bajillion Nebraskans who are Berskshire babies. The questionable investment group that Parker fingers owns about 3% of Pearson’s stock. If you were to (somehow) buy 3% of Berkshire, would you get to tell Warren how to Buffet? No. No you would not.

So what the hell, Amber Parker? It sounds like you’re drumming up xenophobic outrage for attention! Wherever would you get that idea that would work?!

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(Note: This is one of the AMAZING illustrations from the brilliant goddess Molly Crabapple: go buy her stuff here.)

Hey, it’s okay! Unlike Donald Trump, it’s not like Parker is making claims she can’t back up!!!

“Islam is a threat in schools,” she said. “We do have indoctrination that is coming and taking place.”

DAYUM, PARKER! Okay. I see you. That is a pretty specific claim! So, show me where in Pearson’s textbook or in which classes this is happening!!!!

Parker did not question any specific passages in the textbook. Nor did she cite any instances of indoctrination in Millard schools.

Oh. I see…

So you literally read an article on Breitbart and tried to get attention by drumming up fake controversy and appearing “patriotic.” Well, I’ll have you know, the textbook was approved by the Millard School Board’s Americanism committee and OH MY GOD DOES AN “AMERICANISM” COMMITTEE SOUND TERRIFYING!!! Turns out, the statue mandating an Americanism committee dates back to 1949 and is somewhat less alarming than it sounds. Because I swear to you, I immediately envisioned this:

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Parker’s bullshit provoked two immediate reactions in me. Well, three if you count the usual flatulence that develops in the face of xenophobia and links to Breitbart.

First off, it’s important to vote in local elections and to be educated when you do. 

We make a big deal of the presidency because it’s a big deal. We make a big deal of congress, well, because they’re ineffective assholes who all need to be shot to the moon. We don’t make a big enough deal about the local politicians who actually dictate our day-to-day encounters with government. The vast majority of public officials are local politicians, not national ones. And yet, many people go to the ballot boxes wholly ignorant and either check names they kinda remember or ignore smaller races altogether.

Seek out information on these candidates! I love the League of Women Voters, but Ballotpedia and others do good work as well! If you don’t want synthesized information, feel free to look up a sample ballot when they become available and Google the candidates. You and I both know that you’ve Googled dumber shit before!!! For the record, it was Jeff BRIDGES and not Jeff DANIELS in that one movie…

Local elections are (A) more susceptible to your influence and (B) influence your life more. Pay attention.

Second, this is what happens when a party runs on racism.

Is the Democratic party without sin? Schultz no! The DNC has been outed (likely thanks to influence from the Russians…which apparently nobody is all that bothered by) for being supreme wangs to Bernie Sanders. And who acts like a wang to a guy who looks like your favorite angry philosophy professor?! But as bad as the DNC has been, the RNC nominated a guy who once answered a question about banning “heebie-jobbies” from being worn by TSA attendants with “We’re looking into that.”

Unlike capitalism, xenophobia can trickle down. Especially to those who believe everything they are told by suspect sources. The scapegoating of Muslims and Islam is a go-to bread-and-butter scare tactic. It’s morally reprehensible, but it is also effective. Hell, I didn’t know who Parker was before she whipped up this cockamamie porkshit about textbook ties to terrorism. She’s fighting for one of the three seats eligible on November 8 after finishing sixth in the primary. Gee, I wonder why she’s making a fuss?!

From the top of the ticket to low-level local races, we need to send a message that racism and fear of others is not an acceptable voting issue. Every time Trump dipped in the ratings, he’d make a controversial, hate-filled statement to get back in the news cycle. What his triumph in the primaries showed is scary: It can work.

So we have to show we won’t stand for it. Not nationally, where the baby-fingered obese orange-creamsicle intends to build walls and blow up Europe or something, and not locally, where a woman can claim “indoctrination” without evidence and make accusations of a textbook she’s never read.

Vote.

Vote smart.

Vote ethically.

Vote for local offices.

And vote to keep racist bullshit like Parker’s flibbertigibbet out of places it can have actual influence.

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One thought on “Are They Teaching Islam in Nebraska?! No. No they’re not…

  1. I’m imagining what it must have felt like to live through the red scares of the 50’s now. I’m more afraid of my common fellow American now than anyone else. So sad.

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