Four months into the 2014 school year and the newest Vice Principle at Norfolk, Virginia's Booker T. Washington High School, Amy Strickland, found her tweet titled “Ever white father’s worst nightmare or Nah?” hitting nearly every major U.S. news source and prompted an avalanche of responses.
Mortimer J. Cosgrove's Open Letter to Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Linden Blue has excellent advice for the students of Booker T. Washington High School when he quotes astro-physicist Carl Sagan:
Carl Sagan said it clearly and accurately when you look at where we are today back in 1995 (― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark):
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both…..
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
Could the poor performance from students at Booker T. Washington High School have been engineered? Could the arrival of Ms. Strickland at BTWHS been much more than a routine job change? Under Adolf Hitler were all Jews the scum of the earth? Ignorant and with no redeeming social values? Did Albert Einstein, a Jew, give us nuclear energy? Did Robert Oppenheimer, another Jew, give us unthinkable destructive energy in the atom bomb and then refuse to build the infinitely more powerful hydrogen bomb because of where that road would inevitably lead us? In the new world of applied sociology and psychology, mass marketing and concentration of power in the hands of a misguided few where education is more informed by the precepts of Wilhelm Wundt than Howard Zinn perceptions are all too easily managed for the maintenance of the status quo.