Recap of ‘‘Conversations With Cait’ episode 4: A discussion with Saladin Allah’ part two

Saladin Allah

photo credit: Atlantis Build / Twitter

Saladin Allah photo credit: Atlantis Build / Twitter

Cait Malilay, News Editor

One of the GOP’s main focuses lately has been on education.

They’re on the hunt to ban books in an attempt to put a stop to critical race theory despite the fact there is little to no evidence that it’s taught in K-12 schools.

In Tennessee, a school board banned “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin
photo credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber

Most recently, Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin had an email hotline set up specifically for parents to address their concerns of what he called, “divisive concepts,” including critical race theory.

Democrats argue that this is an attack on education and that they are attempting to erase history.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis showed his support for the Parents Rights In Education, also known as the Don’t Say Gay Bill, which essentially prohibits “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
photo credit: Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald via AP file

In response, Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, vocalized his concern in a tweet and argued that it would “push kids back in the closet.”

Saladin Allah, the third-great grandson of the underground railroad freedom seeker whom Harriet Beecher Stowe used as the primary narrative for her famous 19th century novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” joined “Conversations With Cait,” to discuss the importance of acknowledging our histories, the future of the youth and education getting mixed up in the game of politics.

Allah said that these legislations don’t worry him and that he is hopeful because the younger generation are what he describes as, on the path to becoming ambassadors who are “evolving with a different level stream of consciousness.”

“Seeing the type of legislation, it’s really counterintuitive because the present generation that I see working with youth, they have, not only the access to resources to tool as critical thinkers, but they also have the capacity to be able to problem solve in a way that maybe people in our past generations may have not had the capacity,” he said.

However, the founder of Atlantis School for Gifted Youngsters does say that there is age-appropriate content and describes that it’s “a very slippery slope between programming, socializing and educating.”

“I see some people trying to push narratives or trying to expose younger children to topics that are developmentally not there yet and when you have adults that don’t understand that, then it can create a problem in terms of that child’s development, where as maybe it was that parent or guardian’s responsibility to introduce certain subjects or conversations with children, not you as an educator or administrator or school district,” he said.

Allah describes that one benefit that comes out of banning books is that it makes them more popular.

After “Maus” was banned, its sales skyrocketed and made the top 20 on Amazon.

He said that if children are having certain discussions, adults can help them “facilitate that conversation in a healthier direction as opposed to just leaving children in their own devices if they don’t really have scientific basis” or resources.

In other words, adults can strive to meet the children at the level that they are at in contrast to attempting to bring them to where the adults themselves think that they should be at.

Allah said that not everyone has to be in agreement, but that it’s important to push to understand different perspectives.

“You should at least invest in striving to learn about one another because that understanding is really the highest degree of love, and it’s difficult to love one another if you just have no understanding about people, where they come from, what their perspectives are or what’s important to them,” Allah said.

He describes our ancestry as “a reference library of life” and encourages people to look into those stories because it can help one write the story of their own life.

“One thing that I tell people all the time is, you are really just a deposit of all of those who came before you and the more that you learn about those who came before you, you get greater insight into your own infinite potential as well as your capacity to meet obstacles and challenges,” he said.

When asked if he thinks that Youngkin or DeSantis mean well when pushing for these policies, Allah said that, in his opinion, their constituents and the people that they represent believe that they actually do, and it is this that he describes as ignorance.

Allah said that the different policies that they are implementing “does not consider certain members of the human family.”

“A consensus was not the approach in why they see the importance of creating certain types of legislation because it clearly marginalizes or leaves certain community members out,” he said.

This episode is set to air at 5 p.m. tomorrow on 91.3 WBNY-FM.

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