CORRECTION: This story may be incorrect in saying that Moran opposed the D.C. school voucher program. But we believe the point is still valid that our own education system takes priority over prisoners’ access to books. Thank you to all who have debated in the comments section below.
America’s education system is broken. Once #1 in the world in graduation rates, America now lags behind several other countries. And while the system is failing our kids, Jim Moran apparently isn’t worried about it. Instead, he’s sad that Guantanamo Bay detainees don’t have enough to read.
From a story on BigThink.com:
Yesterday, at the Aspen Institute Cultural Diplomacy Seminar in Washington, Virginia Representative Jim Moran spoke with former NEA Chairman (and acclaimed) poet Dana Gioia about the absence of reading options for prisoners at Guantanamo. Moran cited as, in his view, one of our past Administration’s great mistakes: the fact that these young, arguably still impressionable, men are offered only one book when they arrive—the Koran. In Moran’s view, this is a terrible mistake. Why offer them the one book with which they are likely most familiar? Why offer them something that has no chance to challenge or change the Way They See Us? Here we have, as Moran implied, an excellent potential audience for a low-cost act of cultural diplomacy: reading more about us.
Is it obvious or brilliant to conclude that the most important books we can give our prisoners are fine works of American literature, works which represent the rich diversity of our current cultural climate, and the history of literature in American life? “The way we counter negativity is with the arts,” Moran said.
So the fundamentalists who hate us and want to kill everyone of us are going to be turned from their ways by exploring the very culture that motivates them to attack us? Can you imagine Khalid Sheikh Muhammad becoming an American literary scholar?
Moran wants to educate terrorists while voting to kill the Washington, D.C. school voucher program that allowed disadvantaged kids a better education.
Mr. Moran, get your priorities straight.