Picking up on Tolik’s point, the older baby boomers that came of age during Vietnam yielded great influence by getting out and protesting. The Civil Rights marchers similarly yielded great influence protesting. In both cases the protests were usually peaceful, not always, but most of the time. We don’t see that anymore, and I suppose I am as much to blame as anyone because other than a couple gun rights rallies at the Statehouse here in VT I haven’t done anything substantive in this regard. I do vote but more than that is needed.
Robin, ESL was a huge mistake, all but ensuring 2nd class citizenship for a major part of the immigrant population. My mother’s parents were native French speakers and that was my mother’s 1st language but they switched to English when she started school and never looked back. Back then there was no expectation to have different standards for her just because her parents were French. My mother actually forgot how to speak French. My daughter-in-law who works as a speech therapist in a public school system just told me this morning how hard it is to get her student’s regular teacher’s to reinforce the expectation that these kids (mostly poor but sometimes immigrants) use standard English in their classrooms. Many teachers just have lesser expectations for these kids and in doing so doom them to operating on the periphery for lack of ability to speak standard English. As an aside it is not accent we’re talking here but rather sentence structure and grammar and in some cases word pronunciation.
There are many facets to the societal change that in total has not been positive and which in part is likely to blame for the issues with police too. Tolik’s comment about pyschological screening is a good one too, though we’d need to be careful that doesn’t morph into political screening.