George E. Lowe Helps Save Public Education, Pt. 2
In the first two minutes George Lowe describes the cancellation, which Lowe suspects came from James Baker's office, of a planned T. H. Bell speech at Bob Jones University (which at the time had a ban on interracial dating) that Lowe had written - at the last minute, as Lowe describes, "STOP STOP STOP.. The White House has decided Bell shouldn't go... CANCEL CANCEL".
As Lowe describes how his speech, never given, was based around a core of values that Lowe, trained as an historian, identified as what had formed the core of "traditional American values" and according to Lowe his speech, which was shelved, was appropriated by the Christian right.
"The speech was canceled, I put it away and it was forgotten. Except, the Christian right discovered it and said 'Oh, this is great - we're now going to now use and organize around Traditional American Values, and let anyone contradict us and they'll be un-American. And we're in the glory, the great glory now because we can use American history against our enemies."
At approximately 2:00 into this 7-minute segment, part 2 of my interview with Lowe which I did in May, 2008, George E. Lowe explains the genesis of "A Nation at Risk" as an internecine ideological fightback, under T.H. Bell, to save American Public Education from the Christian right.
As Lowe narrates, Bell instructed Lowe to add material, into the speech Bell was to give - in which the "A Nation at Risk" was to be announced, that was not cleared by the Reagan Christian right movement conservatives. In fact, explains Lowe, he and Bell hid the speech from its would-be enemies in the Reagan administration, and Lowe personally supervised printing of a only very limited numbers of copies of the speech, after which T. H. Bell was hustled onto a plane, to fly off to his appointed speech before hostile members of the administration could get their hands on the final speech version.
According to George Lowe, he personally wrote the speech that launched A Nation at Risk", which effectively committed the Reagan Administration to strong support of public education.
James Baker plays a key role as one of the heroes in this tale, backing T. H. Bell's covert battle against Reagan's Christian right conservatives:
"We then put out "America at Risk", the great pamphlet that changed the whole name of the game - and we even convinced Jim Baker to let Ronald Reagan run, in his second term, on education!... What happened was, before it was formally announced, Bell was called over to the White House [by] Jim Baker, [who] said 'Well, let's see this report, let's see the speech', and so i wrote the speech launching it - I made a very tough speech, because I wanted to save American Public Education - and so I put in stuff that I knew the White House would knock out. You always do that as a speech writer - you want to see what you can get through the system. In fact, that's the only satisfaction you get, because you get no respect as a speech writer. You get no respect at all.
George E. Lowe Helps Save Public Education, Pt. 2 | 0 comments ( topical, 0 hidden)