Joe Pisani (opinion): If we judge everyone, we’ll be left alone

Artwork about political discourse.

Artwork about political discourse.

William Brown

Now that The Powers That Be are investigating the Greenwich assistant principal, who was reputedly caught on camera saying he doesn’t hire Catholics, old people or conservatives, I want to confess that I’m a Catholic, an old person and a conservative — except on the days when I’m a liberal.

As the story goes, he wanted to promote progressive thinking in the classroom, but believed Catholics can’t rise to the challenge because they’re often “brainwashed.” If this is true, I can cross that school off my wish list, although I could probably qualify for janitorial services if I wasn’t so house-cleaning challenged. You see, we old people have to keep working because we don’t want to be denied our constitutionally guaranteed right to make money we can squander at Foxwoods.

I suppose the silver lining is that this guy won’t be hiring those new IRS agents.

The good news is the investigation will give the people driving the bus an opportunity to ask really probing questions, such as “How the #@!%*! did we ever get into this pickle?” and equally important, “How the #@!%*! will we ever get out of this pickle?”

I’m sure the investigators will leave no stone unturned, so let’s let them do their job, and never forget that in America you’re innocent until proven guilty ... unless you’re a Catholic, an old person or a conservative.

Someone I know insisted the woman interviewing this guy could have coerced him, so as an investigative humorist, I have to consider the possibility his admissions were made under the threat of torture just like in that show “Peaky Blinders.”

On the other hand, this situation more likely falls under the category of “Guy desperately trying to impress young woman gets snookered.”

That sort of thing happens all the time. Here are some actual headlines from the archives: “Report: Suspected Chinese Spy Befriended Congressman” And “Jewelry designer unmasked as Russian spy luring NATO chiefs.” Those unsuspecting guys got caught with their pants down (figuratively and literally).

I sincerely hope this woman wasn’t a Russian spy because I can’t handle another Russian collusion investigation by the FBI, the New York Times and the Senate Intelligence Committee in collusion with the Department of Education.

After reading a few interpretations of the interview from liberal and conservative media, and viewing the secretly recorded video, I have a hunch there was an unrecorded portion that might have gone something like this:

(FAKE NEWS ALERT: What you are about to read is an imaginary reconstruction of what didn’t happen.)

UNDERCOVER REPORTER: “Tell me how you filter out undesirable applicants in your job as assistant principal.”

MR. BIG: “We have to be shrewd as serpents and harmless as doves.”

UNDERCOVER REPORTER: “What about the MAGA monsters?”

MR. BIG: “They’re everywhere. They’re generally old conservative Catholics who got hit on the knuckles by angry nuns brandishing 16-inch rulers. As you know, we banned 16-inch rulers years ago.”

UNDERCOVER REPORTER: “It’s so cool you’re making the world safe for democracy in the tradition of Woodrow Wilson and Joe Biden.”

Of course, we may never know what actually happened until the New York Post finds a laptop at the Greenwich transfer station.

Here’s my simple-minded opinion: This country is divided enough, and our political leaders on both sides are making it worse. Politics is destroying families and friendships. Do we want it to destroy education too? And we certainly don’t want our students to end up like those so-called brainwashed Catholics.

It took a while for me to learn not to judge people by their politics, their faith, their age or anything else, because if I did that, I wouldn’t have any family or friends left. Honestly, I’d miss the liberals ... and the conservatives.

When I’m in the classroom, I don’t want to be a propagandist for any political agenda, so my introductory soliloquy goes something like this:

ME: “Hello, students. I’m not here to tell you how to vote or how not to vote. I’m here to teach you how to use commas, to stop you from using semicolons ... and to encourage you to report the news fairly by getting BOTH sides of a story. Leave your opinions out. Readers want journalists who are fair and strive to be unbiased. Any questions?”

THEM: Dead silence.

ME: “I’m not here to politicize or evangelize or proselytize or fraternize or homogenize. Any questions?”

THEM: Dead silence.

ME: “Hmmm, how can you be reporters if you don’t ask questions?”

Most of my students have a few simple goals, which I’d like to help them achieve: To get a degree, to have a successful career, and to make their families proud, because many of them are the first generation to attend college. Just as important, I want them to think for themselves in a world where everyone is trying to “brainwash” them.

Former Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time Editor Joe Pisani can be reached at joefpisani@yahoo.com.