At this point, I guess I really shouldn't be shocked that a person holding high government office, like Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, would be capable of such casually ignorant racism. That he would direct it at Rep. Colleen Hanabusa while she was questioning him about funding for the preservation of the history of Japanese American internment during World War II—and do it with a smirky smile (see the video)—has me banging my head against my desk in frustration.
In addition to supporting student-led movements for change, I believe it's important that teachers do everything they can in the classroom to help young people become informed, active and engaged citizens.
First off, this isn't intended to be a partisan political post. I really am trying to approach this from a history/social science angle. The topic I'm addressing is already being vigorously discussed in social media, at home, in the hallways, and in the classroom. I'm writing with the hope of helping to ground the discussion in American history.
Reading the New York Times' story on Gabe Fleisher made my weekend. The St. Louis 15-year-old, who publishes the daily political newsletter "Wake Up to Politics", has rekindled my hope that teachers and parents can spark an interest in politics in kids and provide the kind of Civics education required to help them become informed, engaged, and active citizens who are ready to vote the day they turn 18.
If you're paying attention, you are witnessing history in the making. And if you're not––no, seriously, you'd BETTER be paying attention.