Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Just Us in Davis: We need each other(‘s vote)

JustUsW

By
From page B6 | March 04, 2012 |

Learn more

What: “The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian,” a young adult novel written by Sherman Alexie, is the Campus Community Book Project selection

When: Alexie will speak at 4 p.m. (free) and 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 11

Where: Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis

Info: www.facebook.com/pages/UC-Davis-Campus-Community-Book-Project

This is an exciting time in our country. The presidential election season rolls around every four years, bringing with it opportunities for collective memory, dialogue and consensus-building about what it means to be American together.

During this time, we rehearse and remember, rehearse and remake the meta-narratives (big ideas) that hold us together. Some of the meta-narratives we are asked to subscribe to are frankly political, extreme ideologies of the left or the right. Some mask as election politics, but can redefine our relationships to one another, as the dialogue propagates in the public sphere.

Take, for example, the statement that all three Republican candidates have been repeating, first noted by me from Mitt Romney in January: “The creator endowed us with unalienable rights — not the government.”

That God gives us “our rights” is quintessentially, rhetorically American apple pie. The truth I must simultaneously hold, to not deny my absolutely true family history and myself, is that it took the United States government, in the form of the Union Army in the 1860s, the Supreme Court in the 1950s, and hosts of brave people of all races and ethnicities who litigated and demonstrated and boycotted and otherwise lived out quiet lives of integrity and kindness and courage, for me and mine to realize the value God endowed us with.

To embrace “American exceptionalism” means I am not allowed to reflect for too long or out loud on the absolutely true genocide of Native Americans, perpetrated to make the physical space divinely set aside for “Christians” (sic). I am not allowed to connect the dots out loud of how the present disproportionate poverty and disease of Native Americans is a manifestation of that historical trauma.

I do believe God endowed each human with immeasurable value, as reflected in God’s sacrifice in giving the life of his only son (or so the story goes). But to say we are a country that collectively and daily and internationally reflects that spiritual truth I personally hang my life on is to me, well, a stretch.

It rents my soul to hear some of the current narratives of America. It also breathes life into my patriotism to review and debate the contradictory narratives of those rebel Americans who have made this a better country, yet still with so much further to go before these truths are absolutely and daily self-evident when we walk down each of America’s streets.

Or perhaps we will say in one voice, “Some of us have not, because we haven’t worked hard enough for it, or chose dependence over freedom.” Yet, I have not seen flawed character any more prevalently in the poor of this nation than I’ve seen in the wealthy of this nation. I would not choose to let my unrelated brothers and sisters go hungry any more than those FDR folks who decided that the elderly must not be cold and hungry amid our wealth.

We need each other.

It’s a great time to review that. We need each other to be the America we are so proud of saying we are. Interdependence, as well as individual initiative and creativity, makes us great. Because none of us can be great alone, and still have it be America.

I hope you will join me in voting for Measure C in our island of America that is Davis. While many of us could easily afford the time and the money of art, music or sports education, our community is richer because we still get to offer these to all of our children during the course of their school days. For those Davis children not privileged by an accident of birth, we still have school counselors at ratios with which crisis intervention and academic mentoring can (barely) occur.

We can be proud of what all Davis educators have produced in such seemingly endless lean years. At Davis High School, Principal Jacqueline Moore is walking out the best of what the cutting-edge, educational literature says makes for schools where increasing achievement and developmental wellness characterize the student population.

Moore has instituted Professional Learning Action Teams, reflecting the concept of having (educator) communities of ongoing learning and development on behalf of students. Each staff meeting features a professional development topic, reflecting gaps in the performance of the school’s mission.

You can always find a provocative article on creativity or bullying or the importance of sleep on her desk. Moore’s administrative team and counselors are reading together Carol Dweck’s landmark book, “Mindset,” on how students can internalize the labels we prematurely give them and thus stunt their growth as confident, aggressive learners.

During the principalships of Moore and now-Superintendent Winfred Roberson, the latest data indicate an increase in the Academic Performance Index at DHS of 39 points for Latino students, 46 points for the socioeconomically disadvantaged, 27 points for English learners and 49 points for students with disabilities.

The Student Forum, an idea that emerged from the Race and Social Justice History class, serves as a student advisory board to adults responsible for athletics, administration and other activities. The excellent Davis Bridge Foundation, under the selfless leadership of Janet Boulware and others, is now at DHS.

Those of us who own property in Davis know what an incredible investment in our real estate value Measure C is. We need each other to succeed, though we could purchase a much shallower, more tenuous success for our individual children. We depend on each child’s potential being nurtured in the diversity of ways that reflects their varying talents and interests. That meta-narrative of interdependence is what holds us together as a nation and as a community.

— Jann Murray-García, M.D., M.P.H., is a Davis parent and pediatrician. She shares this monthly column with Jonathan London. Reach her at jmurgar@comcast.net

Comments

comments

Jann L. Murray-Garcia

.

News

DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
World travelers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Weightlifters causing a racket

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Police are our friends, right?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Wage plan has a big flaw

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

No support for militarization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A better use for this vehicle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

 
Light-hitting Cats fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Giants win nightcap in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Yolo Mambo to play free show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

 
Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Business

Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6