Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One More Reason to Homeschool: You Can Recreate the 1st Thanksgiving in Peace

File this one under the category of "don't these people have anything more important to do?"

Police in Claremont, CA (an upscale suburb of L.A.) were called to Eleanor Daly Condit Elementary School after rival protesters clashed in front of the school. The dispute stemmed from the decision by the school board to cancel the construction paper costume portion of the four decades-old tradition of having the kindergarten students recreate the First Thanksgiving.

Apparently, one Condit parent, Dr. Michelle Raheja, who teaches Native American Literature at UC-Riverside, complained that the costumes were "racist". She compared the recreation to:
"asking children to dress up like slaves (and kind slave masters), or Jews (and friendly Nazis)"
Testifying in front of the school board in support of Dr. Raheja's position were Dr. Jennifer Tilton, professor of Race & Ethnic Studies at the University of Redlands, and instructors from Pitzer College and Riverside Community College.

Parent Constance Garabedian accused Dr. Raheja of:
"using those children as a political platform for herself and her ideas. I'm not a professor and I'm not a historian, but I can put the dots together."
The school board took the political correct position and ordered the students to forgo the costumes "in order to be sensitive to the Native American culture."

I'm of Irish heritage. My ancestors had to deal with oppression by foreign conquerors and when they fled to the U.S., they faced discrimination. But that was a long time before I was born. I wouldn't get my knickers in a knot if some kindergarten kids wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by making leprechaun costumes out of construction paper. True, it may be a bit cartoonish, but certainly not racist.

They don't call it "La-la Land" for nothing!


Alasandra said...

Enjoyed your post.

I can't believe how STUPID the politically correct police are.

Next you probably won't be allowed to have turkey centerpieces because it might offend vegetarians.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

So, I imagine that my elementary school experience was a real problem. Not only did we dress up as pilgrims--it was lots of fun making those caps and collars--and Indians (ahem! I mean Native Americans), but we also learned a Pilgrim Hymn for our paegant. It was from our Music for Americans songbook, and it mentioned, uh . . .G-d. As in:

"We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing . . ."

I can't believe that Jewish parents and grandparents were not rioting outside of Fairview Elementary!

I guess they had better things to do!


PS: I was so enchanted by the whole paegant thing that I wore my Pilgrim cap and collar to the Krolak family Thanksgiving 1968 and my Squanto headdress to Thanksgiving 1969. I also got some moccasins to wear that year. I did not think of the Indians (oops--you know what I mean) as lesser. I thought they were more interesting.
But what did I know!

Activities Coordinator said...

I was a pumpkin in a Thanksgiving school play once, and I am allergic to squash!

Where was the P.C. crowd when I needed them? :)