Michael Foucault, the French philosopher who wrote on asylums, hysterical administrators and irrational bureaucrats, allegedly asked his host when he visited America to show him a high school. After closely observing the structure of an American school, its rules and procedures, he complained: "No, no! I asked to see a school, not a prison."
The recent disciplining of a Howard County high school student for unfurling a Confederate flag at a football game is a splendid example of free speech being mocked ("Rally scheduled Monday in wake of Confederate flags at Howard Co. school," Sept. 15).
The hollow re-inventing to meet current hysteria and deodorized variants of both the past and present are right out of George Orwell's 1984. Superintendent Renee Foose's defense of student suppression amazes. What does she think, that black students will gang up on some silly white bigot?
My guess is neither she nor County Executive Ken Ulman, who is not known to miss an opportunity for exposure, are clueless that less than one in four citizens of the Confederacy owned slaves and that many people during and after the Civil War felt that they were defending a culture far superior to that of the callous, bigoted and cruel industrial North.
Indeed, if the Ravens' Ray Rice had grown up with the manners, etiquette and decent Southern respect for women, he would never have dreamed of slugging one. H. L. Mencken, where are you when we need you?
R. C. Monk, Towson.
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