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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Obama in the classroom: Was his speech indoctrination?

A public service announcement for our nation’s children

Editor, The Times:

This message is offered by the Republican National Committee to provide balance to the president’s message to America’s children.

“Kids, studying is hard work. Don’t do it. Don’t study, and do not stay in school! If you picked your parents well, your daddy will get you into college and set you up in business with your buddies. If you were born poor or middle class, well it sucks to be you!

In America, it may be true that even a man who was born into a family that broke up and was given a funny name can stay in school, study hard, work hard and run for president! And even get more votes than the other guy!

But it can’t happen to you. We’re working hard to ensure that, so don’t bother trying, OK?

Remember, kids, whether you’re in the classroom or just walking around wearing a suit if something really bad happens, you should freeze for six or seven minutes. Sooner or later, another man in a suit will come along to tell you what to do.

You already know school is hard work. And I’m here to tell you it does not matter. Don’t study! Don’t stay in school!

Hope sucks. Give up!”

— Randy Winn, Mercer Island

Fox keeping speech only on its news channel

I was amused at The Seattle Times’ attempt [“Fox to dance, not sit for Obama speech,” News, Sept. 7] to denigrate the Fox network decision to ignore (not air) President Obama’s health-care speech Sept. 8 in favor of regular programming.

Is it really necessary for the Fox broadcast network to cover the speech when its cable affiliate, Fox News Channel, will be doing so?

— Ed Wittmann, Seattle

Why can’t Obama reinforce parents’ positive messages?

It is tragic how easily fear can be generated and people manipulated into believing President Obama should be censured and shouldn’t have spoken to students.

Excuse me, but he is the president of the United States of America. He told the children to, “Study hard, be good, be responsible.”

It’s a parent’s job to talk to their children, of course, but aren’t we pleased when other adults reinforce important messages? Could we be reasonable? The president cares about children, including his own whom he obviously treasures.

I’m not happy with all Obama is doing either, but he does know how to speak to children. As angry as I was when Bush was trashing this country in a variety of ways, I would never have objected to his offering a word of encouragement to our nation’s young citizens.

No one objected when Reagan and George H.W. Bush spoke to the country’s children.

This suspicion is completely unwarranted. Our country is built on diversity, but acceptance of it is tough.

— Charmian Jondall, Gig Harbor

After Bush, who wouldn’t question president’s motives?

It’s not surprising some parents worried about their children being indoctrinated by President Obama when he spoke about the importance of education to school children [“Obama tells students each has something to offer,” seattletimes.com, Politics & Government, Sept. 8].

We are barely out of the eight years of the Bush administration, in which no decision was made, no action taken, no speech given that was untainted by politics and ideology.

Unnecessary wars, the firing of federal prosecutors, inept cronies in charge of federal agencies — all carried out with an eye on the goal of a permanent Republican majority.

Rest assured, parents. As a child of the ’60s who grew up in a politically conservative family, my life was constantly scrutinized for evidence that I was being indoctrinated into the liberal agenda of the public school system.

Forty years later, I am a law-abiding, family-raising, hardworking, taxpaying American, just like you. Can we please give President Obama the respect he deserves as the legally elected leader of our country?

— Karen Knutson, Seattle

Objections to Obama’s speech boil down to racism

No argument as to why President Obama should not speak to students at a school can hide the real reason for the dissent: racism.

Racism that is so abandoned to its own urges that it cannot help but make itself obvious in the most vile, contemptible ways. For example, in this phony indignation over Obama’s speech to students.

A visit and speech by any other president was an honor in the past, and no valid reason can be given for this to be any different. It is obvious some people will just not accept a black president and that racism is the reason for the whole litany of ignorant objections to Obama’s presidency.

It is time for the rest of us to marginalize this hateful group, and call them out for what they are. And it is time for the press to stop legitimizing the thuggery that is so commonly practiced by these racists by presenting it as some sort of normal thing.

At a time like this, the country needs to pull together, not tear itself down, as these lunatics would have it. Enough is enough.

— Jeremy Smithson, Seattle

Comments | More in Barack Obama administration, Children, Education, Media, Politics

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