By John Hubbuch
I would describe my politics as chameleon. I grew up parented by New Deal Democrats, then became an anti-Vietnam War zealot, for reasons of policy but mainly cowardice. Then when I began to make some money, I morphed into a Reagan Democrat. Having lived in Oak Park since 1976, I eventually joined the Oak Park Church Of Liberal Orthodoxy. It was just easier to go along and get along especially given decades of Republican perfidy. Almost everyone I knew were members of the Church. Kumbaya.
But alas I can't take it anymore. Two recent events have been been my Paulian-like epiphany on the road to Damascus.
First, regular readers of this column will recall how foolish, I believe, are the high school's efforts to close the achievement gap, which begins at birth, 14 years earlier, before students ever arrive at the high school, and despite decades of strenuous effort to close the gap.
Now, according to last week's editorial in this newspaper, "We are battling a century plus of systemic racism in this high school." Really? I believe that in 1919 the board was probably focused on World War I, and also, you can't have a gap if there are no black students. The statement does a disservice to the many teachers, administrators, parents and students who have tried to solve this pernicious problem.
It is truly laughable to think that a magic potion in the form of the newest iteration of a racial policy is going to fix the unfixable. Even worse, there is the implication that those who are not on board with this alchemy are somehow racist.
Second, there was the Tribune report that a 1930s mural from one of the village's junior highs has been removed because it depicted only white children and adults skating on a frozen pond, which did not reflect the diversity of the community. Really? May I suggest for consistency the removal of the honorary photos of past white citizens from all village public buildings who have served on boards and halls of fame. There will be a lot of space created. Also, our hagiographic elevation of Messrs. Hemingway and Wright, and even Madam Betty White may need to be reconsidered. I don't see how they can possibly reflect the current diversity of the community.
White people skating on a pond is not the same thing as a statue of Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forest bestride a horse.
So that my confession might be complete. I believe that the impeachment of a president who will stand for election in 18 months will significantly increase division in the country. I believe that police sometimes shoot black people for reasons other than race. I believe that safe spaces should be the size of a closet instead of an arena. I believe that capitalism should be better regulated, not eliminated. I believe that Democrats pander to their base as much as Republicans. I am very conflicted about abortion.
Now that I am woke, I have learned that there are quite a few Oak Parkers with views similar to mine. We are liberal, just not that liberal. We hide in the shadows so as to avoid charges of racism, misogyny and insensitivity.
I call us the Silent Minority.
Answer Book 2018
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2018 Answer Book, please click here.
Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.
|Submit Letter To The Editor|
|Place a Classified Ad|