Last night was the first time I walked out on a movie. I struggled watching “Detroit” in the theater. In part, not that it is a bad movie, but that it is too good. At one point in the movie, I became aware that my fist caused my hand to hurt; I felt my blood pressure elevating due to anger. A strange emotion had taken hold of my soul. Few movies have caused me any sense of real emotion; but this one did. “Detroit” is an indictment on the complicit nature of white people’s comfort, as many all but too often turn a blind eye to police brutality and the constant killing of unarmed Black men. Many talk about All Lives Matter as they sit and watch video recordings of cops murdering Us. Too many Americans make excuses for their privileges, while dismissing Our daily exertion. We did not make it through the movie. After a while I was just too mad. I checked out and drifted to a mental place of pure frustration and anger. After a while the only thing I saw was white Americans’ silence. I saw a white supremacist in the White House who speaks about Black and Brown folk in a condescending way. A man and his majority white supporters who support white nationalism over shared values and mutual means. “Detroit” was nothing but a trigger warning for me. I saw Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Emmet Till, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Andeson, and more.
My friend and colleague shared this with me on social media. Coming from her this compliment is a big deal.
“Edward Carson did an amazing talk on Marxism and Urban Centers. I miss our time together on the AP Euro test development committee. I always wondered what he’d be like as a teacher. All I can say is his kids are very lucky to have him.”
Dear Houston Christian students, the number of letters I have received in the mail this summer from you, my former students, is unreal. The emails and private messages are so comprehensible and thoughtful. In checking my mail today and reading what another former student wrote is humbling. Hey students from Houston Christian –thank you. It means the world to read your thoughts and appreciation for our time together. To see and read about what you are doing or about to do now that many of you are out of college motivates me. Having you share your freedom to be you is gratifying. Some of you are now able to live in your identity: gay, lesbian, transgender, etc. Others are motivated to use your faith to do what is right for others. For some, our beliefs in religion and many other things are so vastly different, and yet reading your thoughtful notes is profound. I am really moved by you. I am glad we were able to spend time together…in and out of the classroom. Please know that I keep a rainy day file in my office. I have kept everything. Some of you have traveled to stay with me, dine and drink with me, and yes, continue to make fun of me. There are so many graduating classes I admire. In the end — I admire all of you. I hate weddings and rarely attend them, but I will be honored if you desire to travel to yours as I have done in the past. Having you dedicate your thesis to me and ask me to be in your wedding has been an honor. You are loved and missed.
Dear Faulkner University –if moral guidance is the driving force of your faith, I suggest you revoke your invite to Donald Trump Jr. However, if your true God is that of Republican idolatry and the falsity of white evangelical Christianity as moral truth, go ahead and keep the door open. But I ask, who do you worship? President Mike Williams of Faulkner University was at Harding University when I vocally called the Harding out for what I saw as white supremacy in its hiring of professors and beliefs when I was a student. Share this with him, it will not surprise him that I am calling Faulkner out. Go Jesus!!! He likes rich white Christian men.
Richard Hofstadter’s works contribute to my teaching of American historiography. I am engaged in yet another revisit of his Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. This work is highly critical of American democracy – something those of wealth and privilege view positively as it favors them. Teachers teach American democracy from a grand position — a positive and not through a critical lens, a reason why many see Black Lives Matter as noise and not a condemnation of the falsity of democracy. This country allows public pressure on what is taught in schools – often teaching that the USA is right and the world is wrong. Many of us, including myself, received a bad education regarding the Cold War. At Brooks we do not stand and pledge allegiance to the flag; however, at my last stop and many other schools, this is mandatory. Of course I told my students they were allowed to abstain if they wish. It allowed me to educate them on the myths of God and American democracy — a falsity taught. Hofstadter argues that the nation’s democratic institutions are designed to reinforce the purity of capitalism and evangelical Protestantism, which tends to blind the masses due to their own education. Hence, the expansion of anti-intellectualism is pervasive today, where many elect to ignore reason and logic. Many Christians believe climate change is a myth constructed by scientist for grant funding, since God protects the environment. However, they and other secular folk do not see that wealthy big businesses have convinced them that climate change is a myth in order to save them money.