Jim Crawford: Decommissioning the truth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2023

Measles is back in Ohio. Teachers are not trusted to develop their own curriculum in their classroom. Nurses are under attack for their care practices. Flight attendants are physically threatened for enforcing flight rules.

What do they all have in common? They are all part of the attack upon science and the truth in general.

In central Ohio, a measles outbreak is underway with 82 cases identified to date. The children who have contracted the serious and sometimes fatal disease have not received or completed the 98 percent effective vaccination because their parents have decided that science is wrong and the vaccine will harm their children.

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Since the pandemic, when avoiding vaccination became a Republican badge of courage, fewer and fewer Republicans have trusted vaccinations overall. In a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, four in 10 Republicans do not believe measles vaccinations should be required by schools.

Unfortunately, measles does not care about your political affiliation and being Republican will not save your child’s life should they become a victim of measles.

Many of these same Republican parents have decided that their children cannot entrust educators to design curriculum or to select reading material. Instead, parents should determine if history should include facts about Native Americans or truths about slavery. And burning books, a practice once symbolic of a broad band of ignorance, can once again be practiced protecting our children from the influence of untidy facts or human sexuality.

Of course, teachers must stop teaching Critical Race Theory, material never taught in K-12, but nonetheless a grave danger in every classroom across the nation.

And our Republican friends, often poor students of facts or science, do not want anyone wearing masks under any circumstances, whether required by airlines or schools, or hospitals. Conservative talk radio has determined that mask wearing is absolutely unnecessary under every circumstance.

Likewise, nursing became a dangerous profession during the pandemic. In addition to patients resisting masking, some resisted the life-saving vaccinations. OSHA has long identified nursing as one of the most dangerous professions, and, with pandemic effects, the long hours and short staffs, the profession faced early retirements and fatigue.

America faces many society-wide challenges, but none greater than the attack upon the truth and the assault upon the facts. You may not like getting vaccinated, but vaccines work and save lives. It is but a short walk into history to discover the unnecessary deaths of so many childhood diseases.

And you may not like a book your child’s teacher has selected. If that is your case, talk to the teacher and find their perspective. Respect the viewpoint of the professional. And remember that many teachers are underpaid and overworked because they love their work.

Most importantly, keep your politics out of our schools, away from our hospitals, off our airplanes and distanced from our doctor visits.

We can do better; we can be a more civil people with an appreciation that facts always matter.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.