The purpose of this project, initially, was to discover different views and interpretations of similar subjects in the news from differing news sources. As a member of the conflict and post-conflict education group, there have been many interesting and engaging articles about the struggles of students across traditional conflict zones around the world. As Evan described in his article on schools in Chicago, however, conflict zones might not be as foreign as we think. To complicate the matter further, I’ve decided to look at two articles investigating the “Trump Effect” on schools, and the conflict that has arisen from the rhetoric of the now President-elect.
The two articles, one by The Washington Post, the other by Al-Jazeera English, are similar in their subject matter, but, in my opinion, dissimilar in execution. The Washington Post article was a direct response to a more in-depth look at this phenomenon done by the Southern Poverty Law Center in April about the virulence of the political rhetoric in the Republican primary race. The Al-Jazeera piece was written in April as well, and has a deep and nuanced interpretation of the racial and ethnically charged attacks cropping up in schools across the country.
Al-Jazeera’s article was well balanced, and while it was clearly concerned with the safety and well-being of Islamic students and students of color, it pointed out that the rhetoric went both ways, identifying the term “Trump” as a new euphemism for “jerk” among school students. Another triumph of the article was the way in which it identified the vitriol as a travesty of the educational aspect of the political process. In it, the author quotes a source that states this education cycle, as a process for educating the future electorate, has only shown the cycle as a medium for hate speech, intolerance, and oppression.
Both articles frame the classroom as a new conflict area, a place where children are unsafe because of their heritage, appearance, or beliefs. The Al-Jazeera article, however, does a far more compelling job of investigating the ramifications to a future electorate, and the effects we will continue to see from both sides of the political aisle.