Selective outrage near and far…

Over the course of the last few months, Martin County has spent considerable time addressing issues of state and national importance. Affordable housing, questionable books in schools, and just today an article about the local NAACP joining the state organization in requesting a travel ban to Florida- all to protest the states opposition to the proposed AP curriculum. Arguments have flared on both sides of the discussion, but in most cases, there has been little said of substantive value. It would appear that selective outrage has become the clear rule of our (local) land.

To be clear: I have personally submitted a proposal for this legislative session to help alleviate affordable housing issues by incentivizing generational living (through the Save our homes act). I believe parents should be welcomed into their children’s education, including questioning what materials are used for instruction- but that does not mean removing materials carte-blanch. Finally, as a student who specialized in black history at the nation’s top rated public HBCU (historically black college/university), I believe black history IS American history, but the fight over AP is misguided.

As I write this, the Martin County BoCC still has a “Home Rule” warning on their website, seeking to “educate” constituents about the states live local act. In a time when Martin County has spent over a year of time and money to address affordable housing solutions, the first proposal from the state became an instant target. Our county has a long history of no growth, or “slow growth”, and we now sit by- surprised- when housing costs explode, and housing developments explode to keep up. As asked so many times before, when will have an updated study of growth patterns in the county? When will we have a quality driven discussion of future growth (or no growth)? When will we become proactive as opposed to reactive? Apparently, this is not yet the time. No need for a western lands study…no need to review our current USB or analyze lands within the USB for development. After all, we want our green space (myself included), but until the USB is built out, no need to extend it. Save the space, but count is as available for development- but only for statistical purposes. The circle continues!

How about those books at the school library? Without a doubt, the materials quoted during school board meetings are not appropriate for under-aged youth to consume. Imagine the irony that a member of the school district requested YouTube restrict the meetings video to 18+ year old viewers because of the content- yet that material is ok for students to read. What was most notable in the hours of parent and resident testimony was how little was said about the review process. Blame was thrust at the School Board, and the governor for “banning books”, but nearly no-one talked about how those materials went through multiple reviewers from school to administration level. This is not a process of simply saying “ok, Mrs. Johnson, we’ll pull that book”. Many individuals had to review these materials, most of which were simply moved from Elementary level to Middle or High School. I don’t believe in banning books, nor do I believe in coddling children. I do believe that a taxpaying parent (or any parent to a child in school) has a right to question materials presented to their child. IF that material does turn out to be out of line for an age group, then why would we not remove it? That’s just basic logic.

Finally, today we see the NAACP calling for a tourism strike- in a community that is heavily dependent on tourism. It makes we wonder how well the proposal was thought out. Ironic that America’s greatest seaside town would suggest people stay away because of opposition to AP curriculum. I can’t recall much opposition to the amount of funds funneled to the college board for AP materials, or test administration that has a pass rate of under 35%. Students are diverted from dual enrollment to the AP system costing them actual college credits, and costing taxpayers needed funds. But why? Florida is home to the nation’s top rated public HBCU, multiple private colleges, and one of the most welcoming college/university systems in the world. Is opposing a privately run high school extortion program really a sign of racism, or have we taken the bait?

Every day we see something new in the media to be outraged about, but are we really sure what we are getting angry over? Selective outrage- with little in the way of investigation- has led to plenty of anxiety, but little in the way of solutions. As a community we must do better in how we approach a topic. We can’t have our cake and eat it too. We must take the time to investigate, research, and deduce from that research what is the best way forward. Burying our heads in the sand accomplishes nothing, and jumping on the outrage bandwagon does even less. Selective outrage at home has done little more than gain us state and national attention- none of which we want or need.

One thought on “Selective outrage near and far…

  1. The naacp is nothing but a racist, divisive pack of money seeking hustlers. They do nothing positive for any kind of race relations, just nasty, threatening behavior as we see here trying to initiate a travel ban to a city,,,, do Miami a favor and start a travel ban there, the citizens would be grateful

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