Saturday, July 19, 2008

Its Really OK, he was a Republican

I've always felt Dave Neiwert's view that eliminationist rhetoric was terribly important as a bellwether for other kinds of violence was a bit overblown. But check this out--this former city GOP official and the current GOP official both think that an adult threatening to "blow up" a bilingual children's school in the heart of Cambridge is merely a humorous and constructive suggestion of a good way to deal with what they think is a political problem.

An online suggestion from a former city GOP official calling to “blow up” the Amigos School with dynamite has alarmed at least one parent. But the party’s current head said it was a done “to get a laugh.”

Former Republican City Committee Chairman Fred Baker made the controversial comment posted July 8 on the Cambridge GOP online chat group.

“End bilingual education in the schools and BLOW UP the Amigos School as a symbolic act in doing so, complete with a lever to push and dynamite at the ready, with a nice ceremony complete with a band and balloons,” Baker wrote.

The remark about the Amigos School, according to Baker’s post, was part of a list of “other really necessary changes” that he felt the city should undertake such as the ending of all contracts with teachers’ unions and stopping “$500+ of free food at all City Council meetings.”

According to Mark Jaquith, the parent of an Amigos School sixth-grader, a call for the destruction of the school where his daughter has learned to read in English and in Spanish — even if symbolic — was disturbing.

“I think there’s a viscous undertone to it, and I think if you say things like that in public, you ought to be called on what the implications of this stuff are. If a child was found with a note to this effect, he’d be pulled out and questioned by the cops and possibly expelled,” said Jaquith who encouraged Baker to examine statistics regarding the success of bilingual education.

And the Defence? Oh, come on, you knew it was that everyone else is just a dirty fucking hysteric:

“I don’t really have anything to say about this; it’s just something I wrote in an electronic forum. If one person seeks to take out of context one point that I made, I’m astute enough to keep that in its proper perspective,” wrote Baker in an e-mail to the Chronicle.

Republican City Committee Chairman Henry Irving said the remarks were meant as an observation on the consequences of bilingual education.

“It’s a comment on bilingual education and how bad it’s been for kids,” said Irving, who added that the remark was for entertainment.

“It was a hyperbolic comment, which to me, is a rather over-the-top exaggeration on a private Web site. [It was] not at all a serious comment. If anything, it’s to get a laugh. To take it seriously is utterly ridiculous and [taking it seriously] is even more hyperbolic than the original comment,” added Irving.

Admittedly in Cambridge the Republicans are a dying breed, but will no one call these guys on this stuff?