By Katharine Biele, Salt Lake City Weekly
Oh, really, Lisa Cummins? Are you really a member of the state school board—the group dedicated to providing children with a proper education? Do you really want to promote whitewashed history lessons and teaching children only what comports with your own personal political philosophy? Right-wing politicians like Utah Sen. Margaret Dayton have long fought against the concept of critical thinking, especially the kind they disagree with. Wesleyan University researchers have identified political components to schooling—including "the assimilation of immigrants" and "the development of citizenship." Cummins, whose side lost, voted against showing students the award-winning musical Hamilton because of its government-enlarging message, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Maybe she thinks kids should know about only those Founding Fathers she deems worthy. Are there any?
Isn't It Ironic?
We get it. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop doesn't like Bears Ears National Monument. Neither do his rural, oil-rich constituents. Bishop introduced "The National Monument Creation and Protection Act," which a Durango Herald opinion writer called ironic "because it is intended to hamper both creation and protection." Utah Sen. Jim Dabakis railed against the bill in a Facebook video, where he said, "To see a man who has tremendous power in our state use it for evil just gets me over the edge." Dabakis made a good point. The bill would let presidents designate monument="s up to 640 acres without restriction, but would make anything more virtually impossible. Bears Ears is 1.3 million acres. "This is our sanity," Dabakis continued. "Goodbye to this sacred land that we ... need to keep us sane as the state of Utah grows and multiplies and becomes a mini Los Angeles."
Remember when Utah's Housing First initiative made national news? No? That's probably because it wasn't enough. Housing First might not work, according to Washington-based Baby Steps Ministry, which stated, "Homelessness can ultimately be boiled down to loneliness and extended isolation, combined with the great variety of hard circumstances that people face." OrgCode CEO Iain De Jong, according to The Salt Lake Tribune, called Operation Rio Grande "an exercise in social control rather than social service." Yes, there were arrests. Addicts and homeless people have scattered. But the problem remains. De Jong was willing to say it: Criminalizing homelessness is wrong.