Full Circle

Four years ago this month I quit LDOE to pursue justice for the people of Louisiana.  I feel justice is the appropriate word, because I believe superintendent John White is a criminal and he should be brought to justice and answer for his crimes.  Now, four years later, it appears White has achieved a new form of legitimacy under a new Governor and administration of the opposite political party bringing new and local relevance to the cliche’ that “the more things change the more things stay the same.”

I’ve been told by former allies I need to hush myself, to be quiet and allow Governor Edwards time to work his magic.  To those who would seek to silence me, know this, I am doing nothing to stop him.  I strongly encourage him to continue his efforts; if those are serious and sincere.  It will be beneficial for him in the long run, as well as the rest of Louisiana, to remove White.

When I left the Department I had only vague ideas of what I would to accomplish.  I was very naive to say the least.  I foolishly believed that good always triumphed over evil, that crimes were punished once they were discovered, that deep down everyone wanted to take care of our state and our children (they just had different ideas about how to go about doing that.)  I thought the media still had plenty of Peter Parkers and and Clark Kents to battle all the Jonah Jamesons, but that just isn’t so.

Even so, I think many folks who knew me considered me plenty jaded before I left the department on my ill-conceived quest for justice, truth, transparency, and fairness. I’m sure many were genuinely surprised to find out about my extracurriculars after I left. . .  Now that I’ve peered behind the polluted political curtain personally, my anger and frustration has given way to something. . . new.  It’s not acceptance exactly, but it is the expectation that almost anyone involved in politics, law enforcement, and government in general is probably a crook – at least those in positions of power in those agencies.  So like, what’s the point in “exposing” anything really?  The Catch 22, no one in power cares or they wouldn’t be in power.  We reward personal loyalty over integrity in the government sector and our political system is geared toward electing liars and bribable double-dealers.   For instance, in Louisiana many of our agency heads are former or future politicians or relatives of connected individuals or donors.  Competency is probably the least important consideration for most appointees.

I imagine this is not an enormous revelation for most of my readers, but it is a sad realization for me, and poses a bit of a personal quandary.  I started my blog with the idea that I could make a difference and that the truth mattered.  That no longer appears to be the case.  Keeping up a blog and researching new material for it takes a lot of time if done well.  Usually you become the subject of scorn and mockery and you and your family can even be personally threatened if you anger the wrong folks as has happened to me on occasion.

I suppose the experience for bloggers like Peter Cook out of NOLA who proudly extolls the virtues of his not-so-secret unabashed bromance, is a bit different.  Those who support the status quo and the ideas of their wealthy benefactors probably walk on rose petal strewn paths to their keyboards every morning.  The life of an outcast, agitator blogger are a bit less pleasant and filled with a lot less triumph, reward, and recognition and you are always one post away from making a new enemy if you are acting true to your principles and beliefs and, well, the truth.  When people recognize my name from my blog I never know if they are going to punch me or hug me so I eye everyone a bit cautiously until I see if their hands are clenched and eyes are narrowing.

Believe it to not, writing a blog reporting on unpopular subjects that most people will never read or give you credit for is not the most inspirational existence.  Inspiration is a blogger’s stock in trade, to give and receive.  Inspiration is the only currency most bloggers will ever receive for their efforts and so when then that disappears. . .

I have the material, just not the will to curate or produce it for the time being.  I have taken on other projects, so I don’t lack for things to do.  Perhaps I am done, or perhaps my goals and objectives are evolving into something new?

Getting involved in the election process has taken a toll and I’ve been taking the decisions made by others too personally.  Accepting that I don’t have control of others, only myself, sounds obvious but has been more challenging than I expected.  I don’t like losing, elections, games, goals, but maybe this was a good thing for me personally and needed to happen for the next evolution of myself and my blogging to take place?

The problems are deeper and more entrenched than I’d thought.  I do have some ideas though. . .  and I don’t expect the next 4 years to be the same as the last.





14 thoughts on “Full Circle

    1. I appreciate the shout out, but I don’t believe it. You are too good of a writer to have kept that bottled up much longer. 🙂 I feel like I’m just making more people feel powerless and hopeless, I’m like the Laurence Fishburne of Education without a plan and I have no prophecy to guide me. Basically all I can show you is how you are owned.

  1. I hope you don’t go away. You’ve done an amazing job in keeping people informed but in many cases educating them first!!!! Thank you for what you’ve done, and I believe will CONTINUE to do for our kids, their parents and our teachers.


    Sent from my iPhone


    1. I will be taking a new more wholistic approach this time if I continue. Our entire political process is corrupt and education pols are just one sad example and dimension of the larger corruption we all face.

  2. Don’t give up, Jason. You have had influence that you will never know about. You enlightened many of us about the dirty dealings in DOE that we would not otherwise have known about. I was very disappointed that you lost in the BESE race, but you aren’t done yet. I know it is demoralizing to see the same things continuing, but nothing will change without the voice of the people. And you are a very visible and vocal voice. I don’t agree with everything you say, but I certainly enjoy reading it. Scale back if you must, but send out a beacon every once in a while to spread a little light in the world of Louisiana education and politics. You are much appreciated. Thank you.

  3. You inspired me for whatever it’s worth. Your blogs are a wealth of information for me and I am sure for others.

    Change is constant. But don’t doubt for a minute that you have had an influence on the discussion and are a thought leader.

  4. I’m with pittypatbr. I understand part of the toll it takes on you being an invested parent and educator. I cannot imagine the depths of what you’ve experienced being how tirelessly you’ve worked for so long, fighting for justice, against injustice. I have been a faithful reader and republisher of your blog because of the dedication and tenacity you put into your work. Take time for you; for your family. I fight for justice daily in my school system. It doesn’t win me brownie points and has leaders not leaning on my side. I continue because it’s what’s right.
    Many blessings and thanks. You are appreciated!

  5. Jason, I totally understand your feelings. You have worked so very hard to make things right, but as you say, you cannot control other people’s actions. I too am very tired of evil winning. People like us want right to prevail and think if we try hard enough and expose wrongdoing that someone, somewhere, somehow will fix it.

    Unfortunately greed is one of the greatest of all evils and there are so many who think only of themselves and what they can amass. I agree with you that politicians (I hate politics!) are some of the worse.

    I am much older than you and am so tired of it all that I decided to no longer vote because NO ONE represents me once elected. I broke down and voted for Edwin Edwards because I adore him (anything he did while in office pales when compared to the crooks in office nowadays). I also voted for John Bel which was simply a vote against David Vitter.

    I will rarely vote until I die and only when I feel strongly about an issue or person.

    You have done great things and while doing so have endangered your health and I’m sure have sacrificed much time with your family.

    There is nothing more important than your health. It’s time for you to take care of you.
    And remember that the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of yourself ( your actual physical and mental presence). Charity and love begin at home and your family needs you with them so you can teach your children what really matters in this life.

    Thank you for you!

  6. You have written my feelings exactly. I was naive to think wrong doing, when exposed, would shrink from the light ashamedly and good would prevail. Hah. I can say I was devastated to learn evil can, will and does take home home the trophy,as in the case of John White and the Buyable BESE. Ok, adjustment time. I guess we are exactly where we need to be, Jason, for whatever reason. To understand the reality of this situation (LaEd and LAs kids being sold to the highest bidder with the most self serving of motives). So go regroup, re-prioritize, restructure, re-orient, refresh…but please dont quit. I’m out here with a whole bunch of others, feeling the way you do. Disenfranchised, disillusioned, disgusted. Remember C B Forgotenston? He came out swinging and he laid a good number of hits on the bullseye of his target before he left this mortal coil. Don’t stop slugging it out or shining the light on wrong doing. Be the voice. It is a calling. But rest up for now 🙂

  7. You HAVE made a difference, and the truth does still matter. I feel like you have helped in the quest to shape a bright, new future for our children. The final product will take more time. Rest for awhile, but don’t give up the fight. You are in inspiration!!! HUGS!!!!!

  8. Jason, I agree with all of the above. You have been an inspiration to so many, including me. You have uncovered the unethical and illegal practices not known to many, and certainly not to me. Don’t, for one minute every think you have not made a contribution to the people in Louisiana who give a rip. You have.
    One simple rule in politics: FOLLOW THE MONEY! Stand for Children (one of Grigsby’s organizations) spent over $500,000.00 to defeat me. No way to compete against that kind of money. I am like you and many others who are disappointed in John Bel Edwards, but it is early and let’s see what happens over the next several months. I sure hope I am wrong.

  9. Jason, hang in there. Health first, and take a break if you need to. But, as others have said, your voice does make a difference. It may feel as though you are trying to empty the Gulf of Mexico with a teaspoon, but you are helping to enlighten many people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s