We spent a lot of time this morning adjusting the BikeE’s brakes. They wore considerably on our wild rides in Pennsylvania. Ohio is much flatter, but there still are a few hills that require good brakes.
Atop one of those hills in Akron is Archibishop Hoban High School. We had the pleasure of addressing some of Greg Milo’s and Judith Mohan’s juniors and seniors this morning. We talked about refugees, asylum law, immigration in general, and the work of Human Rights First.
The students are bright, alert, diverse in appearance (unlike the people I saw in PA), and their questions suggested that they have open minds about immigration issues. That’s important. There is a lot of loud talk and misinformation floating around. These kids soon will be making decisions for the rest of us. We want those decisions to be based on reality, not on some tinpot pol’s talking points.
Kids got the country to reduce litter along our highways. Their accepting attitudes have reduced racism, sexism, and homophobia. Maybe once their eyes are opened to the facts, they’ll be the ones to help us reduce xenophobia in America.
Below are some pics of us outside the high school (that’s Saint Joseph next to me in the first one) and in front of the students; a shot of the Goodyear building in Akron; and some photos of the flat Ohio countryside.
Thanks for your expertise and insight. The presentation was a very honest perspective, and my students very much appreciated the opportunity to hear another side to the story.
Today, I asked for their questions or comments about your presentation, and the feedback was all very positive. It’s not often they hear criticisms of their country’s policies, and some admitted they felt a little taken aback; however, others explained the need to confront the problems in order to improve, regardless of your position on the matter. It was a rather good discussion.
Thank you for taking the time to stop in and lend us an enlightening hand.
I posted a short bit and picture of the event on my photography blog: http://chiefsourcephotography.blogspot.com/
Greg, the pleasure was all mine. My visit to Hoban left me impressed with the students, the faculty and the atmosphere. Even the cafeteria food was good, espeecially compared with the stuff served in my day. (Stromboli! In my school, wwe had brownish glop.) I can see that you are teaching the students not to parrot, but to think.
I encourage the students to read the Joey-illustrated posts regarding asylum and philosophy (both particularly relevant to Wednesday’s discussion), and the other “Immigration Snapshot” pieces.
To learn about Postville and why Joey and I are going there, they should watch the 8-minute documentary trailer for which there is a link on the first post, “Joey Goes to Postville”.
And we all, who through no merit of our own enjoy so many wonderful things in the USA, should keep in mind what Malcolm X expressed thus: “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” If our forebears hadn’t acted to overturn the American status quo, then American voters still would be limited to free white property-owning Protestant males over age 21. I suspect that would disenfranchise the families of practically everyone at Hoban — indeed, practically everyone in Akron!
As Joey noted in the May 3 post, the Underground Railroad lawbreakers are history’s heroes today. What do we think of their contemporaries who defended slavery as morally right (under what moral code?) and the law of the land (absolutely correct)?
Your ride has also been the source of conversation with my 7th grade Geography students the past few days, and will be a part of the discussion about the Alien and Sedition Acts next week for my 8th grade US History kids tomorrow. Too bad Human Rights is not found in any of the state-provided curriculum materials.
And for my 4th graders, the sheer vastness of our country and your crossing it by bicycle has been completely mind-blowing.
Jeffrey, Human Rights First is so very grateful for your enormous efforts. For me personally, this trip across the country is a welcome break from the cement and sirens out my window. But I am only too aware how your bones must ache to bring me that break.
Thank you for the peddlin’ and bloggin.’ The epsom salts are on me.
what a great trip, though wet and tough, and now the breaks.
keep on and thanks.