In a letter to the editor in today's Times-Picayune, Ms. Judi McGovern from Folsom on the Northshore in St. Tammany Parish writes the following:
Some of the loudest protests to the Obama "student chat" come from St. Tammany Parish parents and educators. It is interesting to note that not a single St. Tammany school is rated "academically unacceptable."First, that some of the loudest protests are coming from ultra-conservative St. Tammany Parish residents comes as no surprise. The mere mention of Obama is enough to elicit the frothing madness of Northshore conservatives. It was this way before the election and has been this way ever since. Let's remember also that some of the state's most notorious racist hate-mongers like David Duke find a comfy perch in St. Tammany Parish from which to spew their filth. It's in St. Tammany Parish where white supremacist groups thrive and carry out their sometimes murderous mischief. Everyone knows the unvarnished truth about the nature and extent of the ideological leanings of St. Tammany Parish.
Could it be that St. Tammany parents and teachers have already taught their children the value and importance of education?
But, leaving all that aside, what I would like to ask Ms. McGovern is how having President Obama reinforce the "value and importance of education" that she claims is so successfully imparted by St. Tammany Parish parents and teachers to their own superior youth is somehow bad? You'd think that having this country's President reinforce the values that St. Tammany Parish's extraordinary parents and teachers convey so well is something Ms. McGovern would embrace. Instead, Ms. McGovern thinks a censorious pre-screening of a Presidential address on the virtues of staying in school is recommendable, and says that it is "a sad commentary for a president who has been in office for such a short time to have succeeded in raising so many obvious issues of trust." I think Ms. McGovern ought to re-evaluate her claim. It is not Obama that has succeeded in raising so many obvious issues of trust. I'd say it's the opposite. It's folks like Ms. McGovern, in collusion with the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh, who have succeeded in raising the issues of trust where they simply do not exist. Obama has, from the very beginning, extolled the values of family, has exhorted parents to be involved in their kids' lives, has defended the discipline of study and respect for teachers. But, in St. Tammany Parish, Obama could read, without commentary, verbatim from the Bible to students and Ms. McGovern would want to shield kids from it, simply and only because it is Obama doing the reading. The fact is that folks in St. Tammany Parish don't trust Obama because they never have and they aren't even interested in doing so. Ms. McGovern thinks the current controversy is some commentary on Obama; but I think the truth is that it is more a commentary on her. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that Ms. McGovern was never open to placing her trust in Obama. I'd bet dollars to doughnuts she never will be. And it is that which is the "sad commentary" here.