Urgent: week of August 20

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Messages which absolutely need to be seen today due to time constraints or breaking news. Remember to check the"new answers" link for the most active topics. This topic will run for a week, and then we will start a new dated "urgent" file.

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2000


As you can see, the board's back up.

-- Anonymous, August 20, 2000

I left the Board meeting tonight at about 8, as I was coming out of the Boiceville Market I saw a white police car (don't know if it was state or local) pull into the high school parking lot. Not quite the undercover operation we were hoping for, unless one of the two guys out there was a policeman. A bearded guy that I didn't recognize waved as I was going out, was the beard sprayed on?

For those who didn't make it there, there was a first reading of the intended action to remove the old statement, the second is scheduled to be Sept. 25 on the agenda. Terry made the only plea in "public be heard", Tobe read the New Lebanon piece in the "good news" section of the festivities "(good idea, Tobe!), Marino spoke about not using Erwin Gordon as the stand-in for all Indians, and referred to Gordon's remarks about the stereotypes being just Hollywood. Meg was most passionate, though I think that she lost them with talking about rape. I think the analogy here is more the creep who keeps telling you he loves and worships you and won't listen when you tell him to buzz off. Perri the Squirrel got snickers from the audience for saying he was gonna remove the old resolution just the way it got originally put on. Greg made this bewildering comment about how he had trouble with the not using artifacts part, because just about every artifact is used by some ethnic group. I guess there goes our opportunity to be the Onteora Knives and Forks.

Freddie Blue Fox said to me while we were waiting that Rose Ostrander said "Screw the Indian" to him recently, peculiar both in its choice of verb at this point and its sentiments, given how she has flaunted her pride in her Native American heritage so prominently. He has been talking up the issue on the Net, on several e-lists and in the Native American chat room he hosts on AOL. He has a few pages on the subject at hometown.aol.com/fblufox/

The Board's table was draped in a strangely aggressive deep pink, a sort of Death Star Barbie color. Come to think of it, Rose Ostrander was dressed entirely in the same color. What does this mean? Check for future patterns of use of the Board as accessories. And I didn't get a chance to tell Beth I thought her shirt was really cool.

Anything else happen after that?

-- Anonymous, August 21, 2000

Now that I think of it, it wouldn't be appropriate to have a high school team be the Knives and Forks anyway. Everyone knows that the cheer of "Fork U.!" is a university cheer...

-- Anonymous, August 21, 2000

Found a book that looks interesting, from Chardon Press. www.chardonpress.com. if/when we get to the stage of actually implementing a Native American curriculum...

It's called "Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education & Staff Development". Edited by Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart & Margo Okazawa-Rey, originally from NECA/Teaching for Change.

Description says: Classroom lesson plans, staff development activities, reflections on teaching and an extensive resources guide for the educator who wants to go beyond the "heroes and holidays" approach to addressing multicultural education. Features the work of leading scholars, including Jim Cummins, jChristine Sleeter, BEVERLY TATUM, Sonia Nieto, Alma Flor Ada, Peggy McIntosh, Luis Rodriguez, Lisa Delpit, and Louise Derman-Sparks.

Costs $27. 480 Pages, ISBN 878554-11-5 To order call tollfree 888-458-8588 or fax 510-596-8822.

If anyone knows this book, is it as good as it sounds? And if STAND has the bucks, should we order a copy? Jane

P.S. If Terry Leroy isn't on the bb, I nominate her!

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2000

I left the meeting at 8:30 to cook shish-ka-bob for my in-laws. All was quiet in the parking lot and there were 2 Olive police cars (white) chatting near route 28.

Anyone hit? I inspected my tires by flashlight, expecting that I might be arrested at any moment, but everything looked ok. I'm gonna touch base with the sp, but wait a while to see if anyone reports something...

Point of information: Marty Millman never read part two of the policy, about creating the committee, last night. Isn't it required to read the entire policy? Doesn't this invalidate the reading? Did anyone else notice this, or am I hallucinating (knives & forks, knives & forks...)


ps Awesome to get Charles Yow onto the bb.

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2000

Maybe our tires were safe this time because even hate-crime terrorists go on vacation with their families?

-- Anonymous, August 22, 2000

Curry, that's may vague recollection too, that he didn't read all of it. Maybe some corroboration or explanation from those who were there longer can shed light on this?

-- Anonymous, August 23, 2000

Curry, this was not your imagination...Marty did not read the rest of the item under Policy changes. I don't see why we shouldn't nail them on the "first reading" since it wasn't complete. Adding a study committee, while not exactly a policy, should not be overlooked. I say the first reading was incomplete and therefore illegal. Also, did anyone else's blood boil when Marino conveniently "forgot" to mention that Dennis was at that AG meeting last week and gave specific testimony about racist remarks? Rose hopped up to squawk that "that wasn't all of Erwin's testimony" and of course she conveniently didn't mention Dennis' testimony either. This too, should be part of the record, even if it's in a letter to the editor. What do you think, Dennis? Jane

-- Anonymous, August 24, 2000

Meg and I will be away for four days...back in action on Friday...In the meantime, i have begun a draft of a possible "public be Heard" comment for the meeting on september 25th...It's important we rally ALL our allies to show up...this is the big one...You can be sure that CARE will have their troops out.

I am enclosing the first draft of a possible comment. Again, I welcome all feedback...I know it has to be somewhat shortened to fit the 2 minute time period, but I at least wanted to get my thoughts down. Please let me know (in this BBS) what you think...Is it over the top? Is it revealing too much about the tires? etc. etc.

Thanks and have a wonderful week.


At the August 21st meeting, when asked why Mr. Doan, Mr. Millman, Mr. Perry, Mr. Walters and Mr. Vanacore seem intent on removing the District's anti-racism policy, and why they want to bring back the stereotypes and caricatures that pass for school symbols, the only answers were, "Because the voters want us to," or "Because 2500 voters want it back." Let's put this claim of a mandate in some historical perspective, and let's talk about some other so-called mandates that need to be remembered..

On July 31, 1932, the German people voted and gave the Nazi party over 13 million votes, granting them 230 seats in the Parliament. Hitler's Nazi party was now the largest and most powerful in Germany. Within a year he seized this mandate and became the Chancellor of GermanyThe people had indeed spokenand history records the bloody results.

In 1947 President Harry Truman signed the first executive order on civil rights for African Americans. The Gallup Poll conducted soon after reported that the vast majority of Americans were against the granting of even the glimmer of equality held out by this declaration. The people would have voted a mandate against giving any rights to its black citizens whose work, blood and tears helped build this country and who had fought so gallantly for freedom in WW II. Truman stood strong and forged the beginnings of the modern civil rights movement.

In the early 1950's, when the Onteora Central School District was formed, segregation still ruled in much of the country, and when given the opportunity, citizens throughout a large part of the nation gave a mandate to candidates who promised to keep it that way. They called it "honor" and "dignity" and "states rights"code words for racism. They claimed a mandate from their voters to block any progress for anyone but whites. Fortunately, the Supreme Court had the courage to stand up for human dignity and begin to open our society for all its citizens.

In the 1960's when thousands of Americans worked and fought to register voters and to open public and private facilities for all to use, they were called names, spit upon, beaten by police and bitten by dogs forced on them by elected officials. Indeed civil rights workers were killed for the cause of social justice. The struggle continues today.

I guess then, it should be no surprise to those who in the Onteora School District are working to continue advances in civil rights that they should be subject to the most vile personal and political insults. In school board meetings, in high-school classrooms and in the press, we have been insulted and attacked, labeled Communists, Fascists, Dirty Hippies, and Traitors. Indeed, some have even been called "putzes".

If it weren't so serious it would be funny.

And it is indeed serious, when lies are spread about us and about our families, when we are called "Godless" and when we received threats to our safety and to our lives. When attempts are made to intimidate us and to frighten our neighbors from standing up for their beliefs, when our property is damaged, our tires punctured with sheet rock nails in what I can only call attempted murder, it is serious indeed. And why is this happening? Is this the mandate that the board majority speaks of? Were you given a mandate to "win at all costs" and push a "winner take all" attitude that is so evident at school board meetings and in the community of which we all are a part?

Tell us about the mandate to do the WRONG thing! Tell us that the voters who were lied to and misled throughout the last election want it this way.

Tell us this is the example of leadership and citizenship you want students to follow? Tell us you really intend to give the students in Onteora a mascot and symbol that takes a race of people and holds them up to ridicule simply because you have the power to do so!

And then, if you can, look at yourselves in the mirror and dare to call yourselves patriotic Americans.

-- Anonymous, August 27, 2000

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