About the book: The Power in the Room is an ambitious book that tries to shift the paradigm of the American educational system bottom-up, based on a simple device: Pay young people to teach their peers what they know, and do this work through youth-led community-based cooperative enterprises. Many groups and organizations, mostly outside of schools, have started to do this already, with dramatically positive results. The relationships of young people to their own learning, to each other and to the adults around them begin to shift, and these new relationships open up all kinds of educational and political possibilities. The Power in the Room is about the economic, educational and political power that emerges when young people earn money teaching each other, and about how racist and caste-based education can be challenged in this very practical way.
About the author: Jay Gillen has taught and organized in and around Baltimore City Public Schools since 1987. In 1994, after a 2-year organizing campaign, he became teacher-director of the new Stadium Middle School, the first community-controlled public school in Baltimore in many years. Working with graduates of the Stadium School, Gillen developed the peer-tutoring Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP). He is currently helping to design youth-led math research centers and to develop a peer-to-peer youth enterprise incubator. Gillen is the author of numerous articles and the book Educating for Insurgency: The Roles of Young People in Schools of Poverty.
His replacement, Jeanine Añez Chávez, agreed. “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites,” the opposition senator tweeted in 2013, “the city is not for the Indians who should stay in the highlands or the Chaco!!!” After Evo’s departure, Chavez declared herself interim president while holding up a large bible, though she failed to get the required quorum in the senate to do so.
Next to her stood Luis Fernando Camacho, a member of the Christian far-right. After Evo’s resignation, Camacho stormed the presidential palace, a flag in one hand and a bible in the other. “The bible is returning to the government palace,” a pastor said on a video while standing next to Camacho. “Pachamama will never return. Today Christ is returning to the Government Palace. Bolivia is for Christ.”
Sure, impeach this fool but please, let’s be real
As the impeachment process lumbers forward, we are all caught up on the latest actors, getting their fifteen minutes of infamy on the pathetic stage of government corruption. New household names become Taylor, Sondland, Yovanovitch, and Kent. May the crooks they expose get a well-deserved fifteen years.
Here’s what bothers me though. Needling the Ukrainian president for dirt on Biden? That’s the crime? That’s what should take Trump out of office? OK, I get it. Al Capone went down for tax evasion. But come on! We are not impeaching him for putting more than 2,500 children in concentration camps? That was OK, but this phone call is the high crime?
This is nothing new. Take a look back at the Nixon impeachment/resignation. That was over . .. . a break-in at the Watergate hotel. Not for genocide, killing 3 million Vietnamese people and 58,000 US soldiers? Not over the coup in Chile? Those were OK but the break-in, that was just too much.
I wonder what these two high crimes have in common. Oh, they were illegal shenanigans against the Democrats. All that other stuff is bad but play dirty against the Dems and we are shocked, shocked!
Even if we do want to focus on the issue of collusion with a foreign government, why not get to the really horrendous ones, the ones that could get the president tried for treason? How about the time in 1968 that Richard Nixon used right-wing operative Anna Chennault to induce South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to spike the peace talks long enough to get Nixon elected? This move extended the war for a bloody five more years and yet it was too hot to handle and charges were never brought against Nixon.
Then there was the foreign interference by Ronald Reagan in 1980 to delay the release of hostages in Iran, just long enough to get Reagan elected (they were released 20 minutes after Reagan concluded his inaugural address). There is plenty of evidence to support this theory, including testimony from former Iranian President Abulhassan Banisadr — but the charges never benefited from a full impeachment inquiry so the history books downgraded it to a conspiracy theory and it has faded from memory.
I worry that our voracious appetite for impeachment porn, the details of the Ukraine story, will turn us away from the crucial crisis of children in cages. When judges have ordered Homeland Security agents to connect the children with their parents and the agents failed to do so, why were they not imprisoned immediately for contempt? What is the number now? Two thousand eight hundred families? Why are private and activist organizations forced to search for families ripped from their children? Why aren’t the criminals who stole these children forced to repair the wrong? Why aren’t the top criminals, Trump and Sessions and Nielsen and McAleenan, on trial? If we are to have justice, I would say that everyone at the top but also those “only following orders” should face a reckoning. After all, even young guards at German and Polish concentration camps still face prosecution.
What has happened to our moral compass, to our sense of justice, that even caging children is normalized, alongside constant police killings of Black men and women (just this morning the news was the murder of Eric Reason in Vallejo), the desecration of Native lands, the destruction of the climate and life on earth . . . aaach, the horror! But, well, there was a funky phone call to the Ukraine.
Go ahead, get Al Capone for tax evasion. But, please, let’s be real.