Knowing which fights to fight can be one of the hardest skills to acquire. I am not speaking of knowing who amongst your peers to debate with, that one is easy. If your buddy rolls up in a Toyota Prius, I would say that is a situation in which it would be unwise (though very funny) to start cracking Obamacare jokes. We can pretty much all tell, after talking to a person for a couple of minutes, whether we are going to be able to correct their path of ignorance/malice.
However, there are times when battling it out with someone who is obviously set in their ways, is justified. Not only justified, but in my opinion morally necessary. I come across at least two or three of these situations every day. All thanks to the good old public school system!
These situations are different for everyone however, and it is important to be able to distinguish when the appropriate time is for you. Why is this important? Because every now and again (or everyday in my case) the person you might have to verbally assault with truth, will have power over you in one form or another. In my case this usually means control of my grades.
For all of my life, I have battled no matter what the cost, and while this tactic may not be the most intelligent, (you could potentially go from a B student to a C student, with no change in your study habits, believe me, I know) I was never a very good student anyways. I have a really hard time letting things go. So much so, that it keeps me up at night if I do. If the teacher says something even the tiniest bit biased/inaccurate, I prepare for battle.
I have two reasons for this seemingly reckless jeopardization (an RJ word) of my grades. The first of which is to counter act the perceived infallibility of schools teachers in society today.
An example? Sure…
Last year, junior year, my U.S. History teacher Joshua Bammer told the class that communism fed its people just well as capitalism. When I asked him about the Russian famines he denied such things ever existing. I proceeded to pull up info on three gnarly Russian famines, responsible for an estimated 12 and a half million deaths. He was humiliated in front of the class. The next day he tried to accuse me of cheating. He claimed that I had been answering questions to my homework in such a way that it violated “The Honor Code”. I had answered this way on every assignment since the beginning of the year, and now all of the sudden late in second semester he is gonna call me out on cheating? Personal retribution if you ask me. I told him very calmly that by definition I had not cheated and that I looked forward to the meeting with the assistant principal. He never sent in the report.
Bammer was wrong and I called him on it. The entire class saw, and as usual, being immature teenagers, the class gave me a round of applause even though they didn’t know what the hell I was even talking about. They saw that Bammer was wrong and that is all that matters.
On special occasions such as these I ask my father to go meet with the principal (we should really be going to the school board but that is a nightmare) and let her know how offended we are as a family. She refused to speak on it with him due to the fact that it wasn’t on her state approved list of controversial issues. My father then began to explain the definition of controversial to her. His mere presence, in the room of course warranted the topic a controversial topic. She then had the gall to tell him that everything he knows about American History is false, as it was taught to him incorrectly.
This wasn’t the first time we have had these encounters, as I said I am gonna be a freshman in college in the fall and I have been doing this since the seventh grade. I am certain it won’t be the last time either. The important thing here though is the kids. They may not believe me, but I sure as hell don’t want them believing the system. So the key is, make them think. If they are thinking for themselves, they might just fight the progressive medicine that is being shoved down their throat. They might embrace it, but at least that decision will be their own.
We all run into our own belief battles on a daily basis. More often than not, this is mine. We have to justify the wasted time in the fight, by the outcome of the fight. If I can wake one kid up out of his after lunch high, by getting a teacher flustered. Then fluster teachers I must, because maybe I will reach a kid or two.
I recently found an old Ben Shapiro interview in which he talked about his college days. He said he wrote like a marxist to get good grades. I believe I will find myself in a similar predicament. School is not cheap, and if I am going to dedicate resources to it, it has to be worth my while. However I am not as crude as I have made myself out to be. I don’t always come out swinging and pointing fingers. In fact more often than not I am the “well placed” questions kinda guy. I believe there is room for this kind of “below the radar” debate in college classrooms. Ben says he doesn’t believe there is any sense in risking your grades for the sake of fighting a professor who you won’t convince anyways. I believe that he may have over looked the fact that there are other kids in the room with you (Of course I only differ from him on this because I don’t believe I will ever have the publicity he does.) All you have to do is make the professor explain himself. Ben always say’s reality is conservative. Then again he has been at it a lot longer than me…
But what about those times when there is no immediate gain? This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Law enforcement around the country violates the law everyday. Police ignorant to the law, unconstitutional federal checkpoints, and even teachers violate the law every day and get away with. Why? because they are in positions to inconvenience our lives for the moment in which they do it, if we do not comply. We tell them what they want to know at their unconstitutional checkpoints because we want to be on our way as quickly as possible. But what about the principles? Where do we draw the line? These are the fights that I wonder about. Which ones are worth having?