Recent commotions have overshadowed what good news has occurred during recent weeks. One piece of encouragement is that Malala Yousafzai graduated from Oxford.
It seems like just yesterday that a 12-year-old Malala was shot in the head – twice – by Taliban zealots who hated (meaning feared) her because she advocated educating girls such as herself.
She believed in education. And, while it nearly cost her life, it also made her the youngest Nobel Prize winner (Peace) ever.
This country once believed in education. One of the first things those sturdy pioneers did when settling new territories was to build a schoolhouse. Most parents were hoping that their children would have more and better opportunities than their own.
Education is not so valued in the USA today.
Led by a relentlessly, deliberately, determinedly ignorant president, forces of ignorance and indoctrination have convinced themselves that science is a political football, to the point of endangering Usanian lives.
As reported June 19 by Huffington Post, “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Thursday he was troubled by the rise in ‘anti-science’ beliefs throughout the country, saying such ill-founded sentiments could be ‘a problem’ as the nation seeks to move past the coronavirus pandemic.
“‘One of the problems we face in the United States is that, unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are ― for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable ― they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,’ Fauci told the podcast “Learning Curve,” presented by the Department of Health and Human Services.
“‘That’s unfortunate because, you know, science is truth,’ he added.”
The main issue Dr. Fauci and other responsible truth-tellers face is the bizarre refusal of many people to take seriously the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 131,000 of their neighbors (with many undocumented more coronavirus deaths suspected).
In North Dakota, Republican Gov. Doug Burgum became frustrated to the point of tears in May trying to reinforce the obvious that masks were a medical, not political, statement. But, Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts said in June that he would withhold pandemic relief funding from any counties that require masks in public. Enforced ignorance.
Showing equal ignorance, Republican governors in Oklahoma (Kevin Stitt) and Texas (Greg Abbott) started “re-opening” their states before they had experienced wave one conditions. The result has been the number of cases spiraling upward.
Abbot then tried to shift blame for his mandated indifference to young people who had listened to him before he decided that the coronavirus spike he initiated (record new cases each day for three weeks) was “unacceptable.”
Abbot has finally taken action. In Oklahoma, it is still up to local governments to try to protect their people.
The pandemic has only shown a new light on Republican disdain for education. People who deal in lies are allergic to facts.
Their ranks include anti-vaxxers; the “smells like profits” poisoners of our air; the fevered, bottom-line fever faithful who have sent temperatures above 100 degrees in Siberia and the home-school/superstitious-instituted indoctrinators raising their kids on poorly redacted Sumerian mythology.
I guess we will at least have people ready to lead US into a new dark age while the rest of the world flourishes – including places that Trump’s criminally negligent coronavirus inaction are now barring our entrance. The current Usanian (Republican-generated) aversion to education bodes ill for our future, immediate and long-term. The old Dark Ages only applied to Western Europe. Other civilizations did just fine, thank you very much.
(Duncan resident Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party.)