Sunday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with occasional thundershowers and a high of 79. Sunrise is 6:32 AM and sunset 7:08 PM for 12h 36m 07s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 34.6% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1962, President Kennedy delivers his “We choose to go to the Moon” speech at Rice University.
Campbell Robertson reports Student mocked at school board meeting after sharing that his grandmother died of covid-19:
Grady Knox stepped to the lectern at the Rutherford County Board of Education meeting Tuesday to share what was at stake with a mask mandate that the board was considering that evening.
Knox, a junior at Central Magnet High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told the board that his grandmother, a former teacher in the district, had died of covid-19 last year because of lax mask rules. He was immediately jeered.
An unmasked woman seen over Knox’s shoulder smirks and shakes her head at his comment as she holds a sign that reads “let our kids smile.” Another person is heard saying “no” as attendees murmur, interrupting Knox. Another voice is heard shouting “shut up,” though it’s unclear whether it was directed at Knox or his hecklers.
Though Young was able to restore order and allow Knox to finish his two minutes of speaking time, the crude reaction to the teen’s story of personal loss drew national headlines. The buzz over the school board meeting underscores how fights over school mask rules and other covid-19 precautions have grown increasingly ugly, even as the delta variant triggers new rounds of quarantines and school closures — and states such as Tennessee see record levels of pediatric covid cases.
In extreme cases, adults angry about health restrictions have physically assaulted teachers, ripped masks off and confronted a principal with zip ties. Despite some of the more high-profile showdowns over health restrictions, an August poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that a majority of parents approve of mask rules: 63 percent of parents polled said their child’s school should require unvaccinated students and staff to wear masks. The same poll found that attitudes were sharply divided along partisan lines: 88 percent of parents who identify as Democrats approved of mask rules, while 69 percent of parents who identify as Republicans opposed them.
One should be unsurprised: those without an adequate moral or general formation will not allow someone to speak without interruption, and will be indifferent to any viewpoint other than their own. Right-wing populists for years advanced the slogan ‘fuck your feelings,’ and they live out that declaration in Rutherford County, Tennessee and elsewhere. They delight in the discomfort they cause.
This isn’t a matter of formal education, as anyone properly self-taught would have behaved better than this.
This ilk litters others’ private platforms with their crudities, all the while insisting that they have a right to use others’ property to their ends. No and no again: they don’t deserve others’ property, they have no right to it, and so they may — and should — be denied.
They complain about lawful private employers’ and publishers’ decisions on terms of conduct and service, but in reply they seek to restrict speech through public laws. They insist they have a right to say what they want, but squirm and shout when someone else speaks.
All the while, a group that behaves disreputably demands that it be treated respectably.
While basic rights are accorded equally, respect is earned.
These conservative populists, this selfish and repulsive band, should not be underestimated, in the way that cobras should not be underestimated. One turns away for a moment, and they inflict injury.
One sees all this with clear, cold eyes. Some of us in opposition to them are unmoved: these right-wing populists are neither suprising nor shocking.
They are, instead, what many of us said they were.