On Saturday mornings, I volunteer as a tutor for underprivileged kids. I'm the volunteer that got tagged to be the tutor for high school math - algebra.
It's fun and fulfilling, but it's scary that some high school kids are operating at a 5th grade math level. Have you ever tried, conceptually, to explain why -200 is a "smaller" number than -20? Have you ever tried, conceptually, to explain why 2 x 1/2 = 1?
Here is the REALLY scary thing that prompted me to write this post. Another tutor and I were chatting with the school district security guy who unlocks the school. Call him a typical "rent-a-cop". We were talking politics - well, they were talking politics and I was listening. This guy was saying that if Obama loses the nomination, he thinks there are going to be riots in the streets. Then he chimes in about Kent State. He said, verbatim, "Kent State was the best thing that could have happened. It sure put a stop to all that stuff." He meant the killings of Kent State students protesters by Ohio National Guardsmen. They were protesting the American invasion of Cambodia in 1970.
I also now recall him saying something about "treehuggers" and "environmentalists", but I forget what exactly. I didn't hear because I was backing away slowly to retrieve my Starbucks Grande Triple Mocha Skim No Whip that was sitting on my bumper. So being concerned about public health, clean water, clean air, viable and sustainable agricultural and forestry practices, oil & gas drilling in wilderness areas is a bad thing to many people. It's un-American. It's anti-capitalism, so it must be communist.
What's scary is that there are people out there in America, right now, who believe that protest should be quelched by state sponsored violence. They could be your next door neighbor, your co-worker, anyone, anywhere.
There are people who believe that protest and dissent is "un-American".
These are the people who when you make a comment about the American educational system sucking, or the American government sucking, or American foreign policy sucking - they immediately chime in with "Well, why don't you just go live in Russia or Iraq!?"
They are too ignorant to realize that THEY are the ones with the un-American mindset.
America was founded on protest. It was founded on revolution. Revolution is as American as you can fucking get.