Jamil Ragland: OP-ED | I’m an Anarchist. Here’s What I Believe

CT News Junkie, May 27, 2021

My journey toward being an anarchist started in front of 23 third graders. I was working as a student teacher, and the children constantly peppered me with questions. Despite my supposed status as an authoritative source of knowledge, most of the time I had no idea what the answer was. I fudged it by hastily grabbing a book on the topic and saying, “Why don’t you read this and find out?”

To say that teaching is flying by the seat of your pants while almost two dozen people seek your guidance undersells the amazing work that teachers do. But something was bugging me about the arrangement. I knew that I was barely holding it together, yet I’d been trusted with the power and authority to shape these children in profound ways. It didn’t seem to make sense.

I left teaching during the pandemic for a safer, less stressful virtual desk job. I had plenty of time to read about and watch the completely ineffectual response of the federal government to Covid. I poured over congressional testimony, writings from experts, and podcasts from talking heads. Most of them seemed to be saying the same thing: the federal government had to do more. But because the man at the top of the pyramid denied the seriousness of the situation, the federal response was almost nonexistent. One person could paralyze the whole nation. Again, it just didn’t seem to make sense.

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