Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Freedom to be Ignorant

I was all set to blog on a different topic when I picked up Thursday morning's Orlando Sentinel and read a commentary by one of its most astute columnists, Scott Maxwell. I just had to pass along some of his well-phrased rant against one of Florida's latest idiocies. 

But first, a few pics to lighten your day before we get down to the nastiness of the meaning of "freedom" in the State of Florida.


Over Labor Day weekend, the Reale family finally went diving together (all but Hailey who is in college). Pic taken while on their way to the diving grounds off the coast of Venice, FL.

Riley, Susie, Cassidy, Mike

My son sent me this pic of a current sign in Hartford, CT.



A truly spectacular lightning photo (found on Facebook).



Below, an amazing example of "embroidery." It is the work of South African Textile Artist, Di van Niekerk. A true masterwork. I am in awe. (The medium includes silk ribbon.)


The "Freedom" to be Ignorant

Background: I used to think our governor, Ron DeSantis, was merely a Trump clone. I have finally realized he is far more dangerous, for the simple reasons that he is far smarter, far better educated (Yale), and seemingly determined to violate rights even Trump didn't mess with. (Even worse, he intends to run for President in 2024!) One of his latest outrages - passing a law that basically gives parents the right to challenge what their children learn in school - from basic history to civil rights, sex education, etc., etc. Even certain MATH textbooks have been found to be unacceptable. Believe me, the world Ray Bradbury warned us about in Fahrenheit 451 does not simply loom; it has arrived!

Below, a few excerpts from Scott Maxwell's bitingly sarcastic column (Orlando Sentinel, 9/8/22):

    Florida Republicans spent much of the past year trying to ban books and history lessons that cover any subject that might upset the Moms for Liberty of the world. 
    Thank goodness! No student should be exposed to any facts or perspectives that their parents dislike. If I wanna keep my kid ignorant, I have every right to do so—and to keep your kids ignorant as well. That's Florida's version of "freedom."
. . . . In Sarasota, the school district put a hold on handing out dictionaries—yes, dictionaries—donated by Rotarians because the district hadn't yet fully implemented its new censorship training.
    . . . . So I have a better idea:  Let's just ban all the books in Florida. That way, no fragile minds will have to worry about being offended. No closed minds will dare be opened.
    . . . . Information is bad, especially when it prompts people to think for themselves—and most especially if it ever prompts a child to have an independent thought that contradicts their parent's. So let's just ban every book and idea that makes anyone uncomfortable.
Maxwell, still dripping sarcasm, goes on to comment on his personal reaction to his children learning ideas contrary to his own - simply nodding and encouraging them to think for themselves. He then cites a recent incident in Polk County where parents actually contacted the Sheriff's Office to protest books their children were reading in school. And then . . .
   My wife and I used to think it was fine for our kids . . . to hear the unvarnished truth about America's history, how some remnants of Jim Crow still affect society today . . . . What schmucks we were! Our children—all white children—should be spared any history or civics lesson that might make them feel "guilt" or "anguish."
Maxwell then cites other disastrous results of Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" law, such as schools feeling they can no longer apply a Band-Aid without parental permission! His diatribe stays in Sarcasm Mode as he ends:
    So let's quit nibbling around the edges and get to where we really want to be when it comes to honoring our ignorance and opinions over facts and truth. Only when we ban all books, censor all dissenting thoughts and discourage all independent thinking will we truly be free.
~ * ~  
Next week - a Tribute of Queen Elizabeth II 

 For a link to Blair's website, click here.

 For a link to Blair's Facebook Author Page  click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)

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