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Reality Bites

July 1, 2012

Today’s editorial in the Oklahoman serves as a reminder that some people have power and some people don’t. It also highlights the fact that the people with the power get to mock the people who don’t when they try to exercise their voice and get noticed.

The editorial starts with the statement that “Fancy websites run by advocacy groups don’t necessarily translate into good political strategy.” It has the ring of an old man saying, “These kids today, with their fancy websites,” and putting his hands up to make quotation marks in the air at the end of the sentence. The nerve of these people – thinking that by promoting awareness for the critically low funding for public education in this state, that people might carry their flag forward.

They go on to scoff at the organization 49th is Not OK for urging voters to “ask the candidates running for office what they plan to do for public education if they’re elected” [used in quotation by the Oklahoman as well]. In the next paragraph, the editorial writers basically say, sorry education lovers, you don’t have enough money and influence to buy seats in the legislature. It stings…because it’s true.

As one commenter on the NewsOK website pointed out, teachers don’t have the same access to politicians that the entrenched, corporate elite do in this state. Every politician has an education platform that he or she says will benefit children. Even politicians with opposing platforms all believe that they’re doing everything they can for kids. Reality shows us otherwise, though.

Oklahoma has never funded public education the way it should have. This was true when Democrats controlled things. It’s true now under Republicans. The Oklahoman says there’s nothing you can do about it, what with your fancy little Internet and all.

What you can do, though, is keep contacting your legislators and telling them that what they’re doing isn’t good enough. Talk to your school board members and tell them to be more active. And remind them all that public education as an institution does a lot of good with very little support. The Oklahoman will continue be willfully ignorant and boastful about the fact that they get a seat at the grown up table. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to shut up.

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  1. Lisa Hunt
    July 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    As I read that editorial I kept thinking aboutvthe Rome of the citizenry to tell elected officials what they need and issues they want supported. The tone of this editorial just expressed the idea that a republican will be elected and that means there is no way to more effectively fund education. The advocates have missed any opportunity to effect change because “our” candidates didn’t or won’t get elected. I guess nothing happens once the election is over except to pass ALEC legislation. The editorial itself was insulting, but WHO wrote it?

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  2. Lisa Hunt
    July 1, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    First line should read “thinking about the role of the citizenry”

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