Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dissecting Bennish's Statements

If ever there were an accurate appraisal of this left-wing kook 'teacher' in Colorado, this is it:

The righteous indignation against the classroom activism of Jay Bennish has thus far centered on the inappropriateness of such remarks, the obvious left-wing slant of Bennish and his desire to proselytize, and the clear violation of district policy. All these considerations make a slam-dunk case for getting rid of Bennish quickly, and the school district’s plodding attempts to decide what to do simply show how bureaucratic, union-driven, unfocused, and cowardly the regular public school system has become. Yet there is a much more obvious reason for firing this so-called teacher, one that has escaped most of the media scrutiny thus far. He is incompetent. He makes moral statements without understanding basic morality. He makes historical statements that clearly reveal an ignorance of the simplest historical facts. This moral and historical ignorance should disqualify him from teaching children regardless of whether he ever makes a controversial statement again.

That is exactly right, especially the description of the public school system. How a man like this ever proved he was qualified to teach in the first place is beyond me. Of course, the media is sympathetic towards him because he reflects their views, though of course they won't admit it. More from the article:

Let us consider the moral worth of Bennish’s statements. He compared President Bush to Hitler and claimed that the United States "is probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth." These are more than political statements; they are moral. As everyone knows "Hitler" or Nazism has become shorthand for evil in contemporary terms. In fact, as Allan Bloom argued two decades ago, "Hitler" is basically the only person whom post-modern relativists are willing to designate as evil. So Bush (and Americans who support him and fight his wars) is evil. Then what does that make Saddam Hussein? Bennish’s comparison of President Bush to Hitler thus undermines basic moral understanding in two ways. First, it diminishes and obscures the monstrosity that Hitlerism really was. Second, by suggesting that President Bush and Americans are simply imposing their values on Iraqis (who have recently voted for their government, even at great personal risk, for the first time in their lives), Bennish renders constitutional democracy and oppressive dictatorship as moral equivalents. Yet the most basic common sense suggests that they are not. How many people living in democracies were emigrating to Saddam’s Iraq? Was that reluctance to emigrate simply the result of Western values, or might the basic human rejection of torture chambers and tyranny have something to do with it? By equating President Bush with Hitler, Bennish cannot identify evil when it truly exists.

Very sound reasoning there. Read the rest of the article, where the author systematically tears Bennish's statements apart and reveals them for their glaring stupidity. Certainly this man has no business teaching our young people. But...he will probably continue, considering the linguini-spined school officials in his system.

JASmius adds: How's this for an uppercut:

Lane, the Bennish button man, has questioned Allen's "agenda." Allen has made that clear. He believes it's wrong for a teacher to exploit his position of trust to engage in self-indulgent ideological indoctrination. And Allen's parents believe their public education tax dollars shouldn't be used to subsidize Bennish's political agenda and that their son is entitled to a fair and honest education. Apparently, many other parents and taxpayers agree. Nobody's taking Jay Bennish "out of context." He damns himself with his own words. This is nothing less than intellectual child abuse. [emphasis added]

Ouch. Especially since that label could be applied far and wide in our public education system.