We have become a nation of “followers.” We follow each other on Twitter and FaceBook. We follow our “mandates” from our schools, our districts, our state, and our government. We follow what our favorite non-profits are expounding. We follow what our unions tell us is right and important. We follow our political affiliations and we follow what our real-life friends follow sometimes without even checking out what they are following. My question today to me and to you, my gentle reader is – who, what, and why are we following and should we stop following and start leading – again?
I watched an horrific news show today on Fox News about the slaughter of innocent Nigerians in the town of Doro Baga by the Islamic radical group Boko Haram. I have been hearing rumors of this slaughter since January 7th, coincidentally the same date as the murder of Charlie Hebdo and his staff in Paris. I have been looking at the news, at FaceBook posts, Twitter posts and blog posts for news about the Nigerian catastrophe. There was very little out there and some of the initial postings were later removed. It made me think the story was a hoax. But now there is what looks like photographic evidence that truly this loss of perhaps 2,000 innocent lives did happen after all. Why do I have to wait a week and a day and hear the report from Fox News? And why is there not a huge outcry from all those I “follow” against this atrocity? Are we all sitting back and waiting for our favorite FaceBook group to denounce the act, or a preferred politician to make a statement, or our chosen non-profits to issue a statement, or a twitter storm we can join to protest this event? Why are we not individually speaking out? What are we all waiting for? Why are we not leading the charge to right this terrible evil in some way? Where is the justice? There is no poetry here.
So, I ask all of you to examine just what you are following and what you are waiting for before you will take a step up and speak out against the wrongs all around us? We may not be able to stop the evil forces bent on overtaking a nation, but we can stop the forces bent on taking a free and excellent public education system away from our children and perverting it into a for-profit money making machine for the Education Monsters.
I believe we have to confront the lie that says the organizations we are following are in control of the narrative and in control of the war against the education reformers. I believe we all need to go rogue and speak out for what we believe is right. This is the kind of “mandate from our hearts” that I was speaking about in my last blog post. The huge lie is that organizations will help the children – unions – non-profits – Facebook groups – it is all a lie because organizations get corrupted by power and money and ego issues. We have to be rogues and relentless and remain unbought. This is our hardest endeavor. We need to become leaders once again and not just followers.