Daily Archives: September 12, 2014

This American Life: 534: A Not-So-Simple Majority…


Date: September 12, 2014

…534: A Not-So-Simple Majority…

“We take it for granted that the majority calls the shots. But in one NY school district, that idea — majority rules — has led to an all-out war. School board disputes are pretty common, but not like this one. This involves multimillion-dollar land deals, lawyers threatening to beat up parents, felony criminal charges, and the highest levels of state government. Meanwhile, the students are caught in the middle.”

Wow…

…This story really underscores one of the problems with “closed communities”, and with the mindset that “We are the majority [or in power], so we don’t have to negotiate with anyone”…

So called “closed communities” to often do not get along well, with everyone else they are attempting to remain alienated from.

This is a very curious situation, where an self alienated Jewish community [highly orthodox religious], decided that it did not like having to pay for public schools [amongst other services] which it refused to use…So, it organized and seized a controlling majority of a public school education board, which governs over schools they wont even use…seemingly, in order to force Jewish religious schools onto the public tax system, and alleviate this Jewish community from paying taxes towards public schools.

By most accounts, it seems they are engaged in illegal behavior…amongst other highly questionable behavior…to say the least.

The communities which use these schools have been alienated, and cant seem to win a seat on the board in elections…and they’ve watched their schools be gutted, essentially.

Naturally…there are a lot of very angry people.

One thing that struck me, early on…is the comment by the guy who equated having special needs Jewish kids receive services on public school grounds with being “tortured”…

…This really underscores the isolationist, manipulative nature of “closed communities”…

In reality, children are very resilient…and this sort of broader exposure to diverse people, is generally considered a very good thing, for any child’s psychological, emotional and social development…It helps them understand how to get along with, understand and be a part of other groups around them. Sure…they might be uncomfortable the first time or two, when going into a public school…but Jewish children can get accustomed to it, like anybody else.

…This type of talk feels an awful lot like the imposed social phobias of adults in that “closed community”…more so, than any objective description of a real Jewish child’s experience.

The children don’t choose their community…It is imposed upon all of us, no matter who we are…which is amongst the stronger reasons, why it leaves me with such an ill feeling, witnessing children in these “closed communities”…seeing children molded by them…

Groups that wont integrate with other communities, and that don’t share a healthy, necessary respect for the communities they live alongside….those groups are very bad, for any culture…and they stunt their own children, socially.

When are people going to learn, that the first and most important community we all belong too, is the human community?

Everything else regarding social identity, needs to take a very distant back seat to this…Because if we never have the basics of peaceful coexistence [and preferably, both love and respect] down…then everything else will be marred, by the social problems we’ve created in not loving our fellow humans.

I go through phases…


Date: September 12, 2014

01) In response to this

Thank you, for that.

A lot of times, I stay away from here because as soon as I load up the index…the day is gone…

I need to focus on not visiting BC, if I want to get anything else done online…Otherwise, it’s just not happening.

Sometimes, I just don’t have the…whatever it is, it takes…to really put anything out there…And I go through that phase, it seems a lot…Though I’m usually right back at something, within a few weeks.

…And there is the atmosphere here…sometimes, it does push me away…because it feels so hostile and repellent…and that’s just not what I need to be exposed too.

Probably the worst part, is visiting the board to find it a warzone…looking at the nicks involved…and thinking, “who even knows, who these people are behind this?”…And it just becomes harder to recognize the genuine BLs from any bottom feeding troll…It also gets very difficult, to read motives…This place feels like debasement…anarchy…

…When it rightly should be a sound place, that we can come back too…

…One of the reasons I get so angry with people who play these kinds of manipulative, debasing games…is because they are stealing what this board means to us, from us…They are stealing from us, whatever good BC has offered our lives…or what it might continue to offer us.

…And that is a stab, right to the heart…It’s a declaration of war.

I shared the story about middy, in part…because I wanted to discuss a bit about the flip side of the coin…and about what things used to be like in this community, if you dug a bit deeper.

…I’ve always had a strong distaste for it, whenever people rebuff how this community used to be better, with the “rose colored glasses” cliché…often continuing on, to cite that the boards atmosphere has always had a lot of in fighting…lots of storms…

…What they’ve failed to realize, is that I’ve not been talking about the posting trends on BC’s index…nor disputing their history…What goes on here, is the shallow, often trivial face of our community…

…What I talk about as being gone, or lost…is all the tangible stuff that took place, when you dug below the surface…That was the true heart of this community…The fact that we weren’t held hostage to “just this board”, and that we had real contacts and relationships with each other…

…The trolls here, did not really matter…They could be ignored…The rest of us could just step away, and ignore them…In addition, there were enough friends, who would stick up for each other…that a lot of people would have your back…

…That just does not exist, anymore…

It feels like this board has a pendulum, that swings back and forth…between the troublemakers running rampant, and the stable minded coming back to restore intelligence and order…kindness, even.

…We used to have a healthier balance here, that used to keep the troublemakers in their place…Their effect on this board, was much better tempered.

…That is not “rose colored glasses”…It’s dead cold fact.

Maybe…in all fairness…some of those who dispute my accounts, had a substantially different experience with BoyChat, than what I did.

…But the loss is extremely real, to me…and I know that I am not the only one.