To The Daily Sun,
Another right-wing critic reminds us why teachers need tenure. In his scurrilous attack on me in a recent letter, Tony Boutin, didn't debate my thoughts. Instead, he mis-characterized what I wrote, called me names, and questioned my right to teach because of what I might think.
My letter did not attack capitalism. Rather I argued for the need to contain the excesses of unrestrained capitalism. I clearly stated that capitalism is the economic basis for our successful society. I also pointed out that left to its own devices it can lead to poor working conditions, low pay, and degradation of the environment, among other problems that a quick check of our history would reveal, and that we need regulation to keep those bad outcomes in check.
Mr. Boutin wrongly thinks that any criticism of capitalism's excesses is an attack on capitalism itself. He apparently is unable to understand the simple difference between being against something and being against its easily treatable perversions. If I am against gluttony that doesn't mean that I think we should all stop eating. Does that entitle him to call me a socialist?
Tony and his ilk threaten the livelihood of teachers with whom they disagree. He has no idea how or what I teach, and yet would question my right to do so because of my ideas? Don't we have a First Amendment so that our ideas can be freely expressed? Sobering to think that some would only allow teachers who pass a litmus test to teach irrespective of how good they are. Been to Saudi Arabia lately, Tony?
In fact, Tony might enjoy attending one of my classes where he would apparently be surprised to learn that I encourage all points of view and challenge them all in the interest of intellectual growth through critical discourse. I check to make sure I understand the arguments. I'm interested in facts and evidence, not ideology. I don't call anyone disparaging names. And, I never question anyone's right to hold ideas because they differ from mine.
- Category: Letters
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