Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Milosevic Is Dead

I know this is not Howard County related, but since I wrote my Master’s thesis on the Bosnian constitution that came out of the Dayton Peace Accords and have spent many years studying the Balkans and the brutality Milosevic instigated I thought I would share the news of Milosevic’s death. It is good riddance. Milosevic decided to stir up ethnic conflict for political advantage. He consolidated the media under his control and used it to push stereotypes, fear, and hate.

As I was working on my research a common question I was asked by those who enquired about my research was why did the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans happen? Despite the stereotypes common in America, Yugoslavia was a modern, highly educated country and, with the exception of Kosovo, had no long history of ethnic violence (that is none going back more than one hundred years). The Yugoslavs thought they had an independent press since they were part of the Nonaligned Movement and their press was critical of both the Warsaw Block and NATO. So as Milosevic consolidated the media and used it to spread stereotypes, fear, and hate the people were susceptible. My studies of the destruction of Yugoslavia convinced me more than ever before on the importance of teaching critical think (something that can not be measure with standardized tests) in the school system. Only through teaching people to challenge their sources of information and to think for themselves can we inoculated ourselves from hatemongers using the media to play one group in society against another. Sadly No Child Left Behind has significantly shifted our education system away from critical thinking and to the recall left stuff that a standardized test can measure.


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