Archive for the ‘ACLU’ Category

WHAT!?!  HOW CAN YOU SAY SUCH A THING!???!  RACIST!!  HATER!!!1!1!

Wait.  It get’s better.  DON’T ELECT A WHITE MAN EITHER!  Don’t elect a woman.  Don’t elect a hispanic, or a lesbian, or Jew.  Don’t elect a Mormon or a Christian or a Buddhist.

Next time…Elect. A. PRESIDENT.

The criteria used to select the qualifications of those who serve in the highest offices of our lands, of those who will help frame and craft our laws, who we elect to guide the country forward and make the difficult decisions required of leaders in this day and age should have NOTHING to do with their skin color, their gender, their religion or their “cultural heritage.”

ObamaHalo2I propose that we are in the mess we are in right now because we elected a black man. Not because Barack Obama is black, but because we as a voting populace became so enamored of the idea of electing an African-American as President, became soooo fixated on the sense of accomplishment we could collectively feel at breaking through this cultural barrier into a new, undiscovered “enlightenment” that we allowed ourselves to be swayed.  We turned a blind eye to what should have been some very real concerns about this individual’s (lack of) qualifications, experiences, questionable associations and storied background, and allowed ourselves to be swept along on a carefully manipulated wave of euphoric idealism.

And so we elected a black man.  Because it made us feel good to do it.  Not because he was in any way the most qualified, not because he had any demonstrated talent or ability for the position, not because he would best be able to represent the interests of the United States on the global stage…but because he was an icon we wanted.  More than anything, I think voting for Barack Obama became a sort of social statement about our ability to somehow atone for a shameful past. {Cue Music: “We are marching to Pre-torrrria….}

There aren’t enough of any one particular minority demographic in the United States to elect a President.  Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Amerian Indians, Asians, young, old, rich, poor…we aaaalll had to play a part.  It became part of a collective social consciousness.  For some it was a chance to speak out, to elect someone they hoped would “represent their interests” better than an establishment white guy might.  For some it was, I think, a chance to show how enlightened, how tolerant, how progressive they were in bucking the existing paradigm.  Many perhaps voted for Barack Obama out of some vague sense of racial or social guilt which they felt might be assuaged or expunged if they participated in this great social awakening.  Of course, many just bought into the class warfare schtick he was selling and wanted the free stuff he was offering.

NONE of which is a very solid foundation for picking a candidate for the office of the President of the United States.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve got absolutely no problem with either the idea or the practical reality of someone who is black becoming president.  You put a Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas or an Alan West or maybe even a a Condolleza Rice in there and hey, they’ve got my vote.  Why?  Because I like their politics.  Their personal philosophy resonates with me. I can look at a record of accomplishments which suggest to me a level of overall professional competence which grants me a sense of confidence in their ability to handle the demands of the position.

Not because of, or in spite of their skin color.  Or their gender.  Or their religious beliefs.  Because I think they are the most qualified, and so that other stuff SHOULDN’T MATTER. Right?  Isn’t that what true equality is really all about?  Shouldn’t THAT be considered the truly “enlightened” approach?

So, I hope we’ve learned our lesson.  As we sit mired in double digit unemployment, as our national debt continues to skyrocket, after six years with no signed federal budget and a sequestration which imposes daily pain on the infrastructure of this nation while the President golfs and vacations, I hope our euphoria has faded.  I hope our guilt-motivated idealism has moderated a bit.  I hope that when the times comes again, whether on the local or national stage, we don’t elect a black man, or a white man, or a woman, or a {fill in the blank}.

I hope we wise up and elect the people MOST QUALIFIED to lead this country, regardless of how their chormosomes are configured.

Listening to the radio on the way to work this morning, I heard something that chilled me to my very core.  I literally got a chill down my spine.  I quite literally spoke out loud, “Oh, shit.”

It was a “top of the hour” news blurb about how the push for Hate Crimes legislation is gaining steam, being pushed through Congress to bring harsher penalties to those who commit crimes motivated by hate.  You know, rather than the much nobler greed, anger, disinterest, or predatory exploitation.  It’s HATE that we have to watch out for, right?  I mean, in addition to all those “love crimes” we’ve got on the books.  But I digress.

What really rocked me back on my heels was one sentence that came across towards the end of the sound bite.  Some mouthpiece promoting the legislation spoke of trying to keep better track of “bias motivated events.”

Bias. Motivated. Events.  Think about that fer just a sec.

In one swift and subtle movement, we knocked the edges off the definition of “hate crime” and squishy-coated it down into “bias motivated events.”

Can you see the inherent, insidious danger here?

If someone mugs a pedestrian, say, man dressed up in women’s clothes, does this constitute a hate crime?  What is the burden of proof to say that the alleged criminal  didn’t target this person because of their “lifestyle”.  What if the crook took the dude’s predilections for frills and lace to suggest he might be an easy target.  Not because the crook hated the tranny, but because he figured he/she might be an easy mark.  Too effeminate to fight back, who knows?

Instead of 6 months, suspended, for attempted robbery, our felon gets 5 years because it’s a “hate crime.”

But wait.  This goes back to prosecuting intent, rather than actions.  If I further dumb this down to say that any “bias-motivated event” can be prosecuted, ANYTHING I DO that is motivated by my personal bias or worldview, can now become prosecutable.

Anything.

Say a church decides that since Sally has decided to become Sam, that maybe we don’t want him/her teaching Sunday School anymore.  Is that my right as a private institution, or is it now a hate crime, because it was motivated by a religious bias against Transgendereds?  Not that we hate them, but just that we don’t want them teaching our sunday school class.  That’s not hate, it’s bias.  Instead of just being unfaaaaaaaair, is it now also a hate crime?

If I choose not to rent to a couple of guys because they look, act, and sound like belligerent gang bangers, can I be prosecuted for my “bias” against thugs who will likely wreck my rental?

If a pastor speaks out against men preying on boys for sexual exploitation, can I be prosecuted for a hate crime because of my BIAS?

This is an incredibly dangerous area, a slippery slope that, in the name of protecting rights, will end up destroying them.  I mean, short of a diary, a blog post, or a text message, etc., how can you prove INTENT behind an individual’s action?  Do gays, or blacks, or hispanics have special protections against crimes that others don’t?  Shouldn’t all be equal under the law?

Robbery, murder, rape, arson.  They are crimes.  They are illegal.  They shouldn’t be MORE illegal because of who the victim is.  WHY I committed the crime might make me an asshole, a reporbate, a truly descpicable human being.  Sadly, or thankfully, there’s no law (yet) against being an asshole.  It is only the CRIME I commit which makes me a criminal, regardless of my motivations for it.

Isn’t that what this trend in hate crimes suggests?  That eventually, what you THINK about a situation will have as much legal weight as what you actually DID about it?

Scary stuff.  Beyond even 1984.  Madness.

So, I have determined that it is only appropriate to focus on a person’s race or gender if you are “heralding” it.  Judge Sonomayor is being “heralded” as the first hispanic Supreme Court Justice.  Barack Obama is “heralded” as the first black president.  Every month is some sort of minority appreciation month where we “herald” the contributions of blacks, pacific islanders, native americans, women, children, those with a cleft palate, the tone deaf and wiccan transgendered performance artists.  Okay, I might have made up those last few.

So, lemme get this straight.  Basing your decision on whether or not to pull someone over for a traffic stop or to give them “extra screening” at the airport based on their race or gender is BAD, profiling, ptooie, but basing your decision on whether or not someone should sit on the Supreme Court of the United States in large measure because of their race and gender is GOOD?  Hoookayyyy….

If you believe that, by nature  of her gender or her ethnicity, Judge Sonia Sonomayor has some unique and/or unmatchable ability to perform her job as Supreme court justice, you are a racialist.  She certainly seems to think so, as per her much quoted sentiment:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Did she mean in general, or merely with respect to women’s issues, or Latino issues?  Which, of course, then begs the question, why do we need a special set of rules or a unique viewpoint to properly and impartially apply the law to women and/or Latinos?  How is suggesting that a latino woman is somehow inherently more capable of making the correct decision than a white man at its core any different from barring blacks from military service because they aren’t “smart enough?”

Answer:  No difference whatsoever.

There is of course that touchy-feely, squishy-guishy idea that a minority woman should be cherished and protected because of her unique perspective based on her upbringing and challenges.  Bollocks.  That’s called “coddling,” and it promotes all sorts of enabling behaviors that cause us to overlook clear and present concerns with the performance and methods of an individual or group out of some misguided sense that we should not “quell their voice.”  

Sure, let ‘em talk.  Just don’t let them make “policy” from the bench!

So, lemme ask.  Whyizzit that a white South African man who emigrated to the US last week is on his own, has to compete in the marketplace just like everybody else, and is lucky if he can avoid paying out-of-state tuition at a college, but a black man whose ancestors came to this country 185 years ago is an “African-American minority” who deserves special consideration in hiring, academic scholarships, and other  quota-based entitlements?   How long until “minorities” are required to just be “Americans,” and compete on an equal and impartial basis with the rest of us genetic misfits, especially when a lot of them would be hard-pressed to find Africa on a map?!

There is NO EQUALITY where there is PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT.

If all men (and women) are created equal with respect to the law, then they MUST be treated equally.   NOT given undue priviledge based on a real or perceived injustice now divorced from their present situation by several generations.

One would hope that the selection for a Supreme Court justice would be completely blind to race, skin color, gender or taste in music.  One would HOPE that we would simply chose the most qualified individual for the job, REGARDLESS of the nature of the adjectives one might ascribe to their appearance!

But no, it would appear that we still have a LONG way to go in the area of equal rights in this country. 

If Sonia Sonomayor is qualified for that seat on the Supreme Court, good on ‘er.   BUT.  She must be qualified because of her experience as a judge, her demonstrated performance as a jurist, and her proven and demonstrable committment to upholding the principles of established Constitutional law.

Not because she’s a latina chic.

There’s a front-page report on the DHS report highlighting the dangers of “right-wing extremists” in today’s Stars & Stripes,  yet strangely I can find nothing about it on their web site.  I wonder if that was an editorial decision to bury the story?  You can’t unprint newspapers, but you can easily delete a link.

There was some speculation that this report was some sort of clever and complex hoax, but Michelle Malkin confirmed it, and the Stars & Stripes has it front page of their print edition, at least here in Germany.

I think this comes under the heading of “boiling the frog slowly.”  They don’t even mention any “credible threat” in the report.  Just a vague sort of “sense” that economic conditions and a black president “might” foment discord by disgruntled right-wingers and disaffected miliatary veterans.

In other words, there are dangerous points of view out there, against which we must be vigilant.   Viewpoints like, illegal immigration is bad, abortion is wrong, or that the President of the United States shouldn’t be running our civilian corporations or determining what content on the Internet is permissible.

What exactly is it that the Left is so afraid of?  So afraid that they have to villify, marginalize, even criminalize conservative viewpoints?  And more importantly, why are we letting them get away with it?

WorldNetDaily had this new article this morning:

Economic stimulus? Feds want your medical records
Electronic database to include lawsuit, mental health, abortion, sexual details

 A little-discussed provision in President Obama’s economic stimulus plan would demand that every American submit to a government program for electronic medical records without a choice to opt out, and it has privacy advocates more than a little alarmed.

A national coordinator to develop a “nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information.”

Except that…Pres. Obama isn’t the first one to come up with this idea.  As a matter of fact, it was Pres. Bush who laid the groundwork for this when he signed an executive order in August, 2006 mandating the creation of a national healthcare database for Federal Agencies.

It is the purpose of this order to ensure that health care programs administered or sponsored by the Federal Government promote quality and efficient delivery of health care through the use of health information technology, transparency regarding health care quality and price, and better incentives for program beneficiaries, enrollees, and providers.

(c) ‘‘Interoperability’’ means the ability to communicate and exchange data accurately, effectively, securely, and consistently with different information technology systems, software applications, and networks in various settings, and exchange data such that clinical or operational purpose and meaning of the data are preserved and unaltered.

(a) Health Information Technology.
(1) For Federal Agencies. As each agency implements, acquires, or upgrades health information technology systems
used for the direct exchange of health information between agencies and with non-Federal entities, it shall utilize, where available, health information technology systems and products that meet recognized interoperability standards. (emphasis mine)

So, the move towards an interconnected network of systems sharing health care information is nothing new.  This is merely the next step towards a nationalized database of every person’s health care information, openly shared between a broad spectrum of health care agencies and providers.  And it’s clearly a “bi-partisan” effort.

Say good-bye to your medical privacy…what little you still have left.

Ya know, I was all set to pen some snarky post about how people just need to get over themselves, highlighting all the manner of mental flatulence surrounding peoples’ bizarre and over-compensating back-bending with regards to political correctness and not “offending” anyone with the grim specter of a baby in a manger.

But then I figured, screw it.  Screw them.  They aren’t worth the trouble.

If you are so insecure in your personal beliefs or religious convictions that the sight of someone else celebrating their faith traditions is just THAT unsettling, then you’ve got a lot bigger problems than just being “offended.”  I’m sure extensive counseling and perhaps an aggressive course of psychotropic medication could be helpful in dealing with your “issuses.”

See, me, I don’t understand how the sight of cross around a neck is something to be avoided as being potentially “offensive,” but the sight of a traditional head scarf or a penitent on a prayer rug facing Mecca is just something I’m supposed to embrace as diversity.  Why I can celebrate Earth day in honor of defending Mother Gaia, but a jolly man in a red suit and a bunch of reindeer is of such deep concern because of the clear religious “undertones.”  Heaven forbid we have “undertones.”

Ah heck.  Here I’ve gone and done it.  That snarky post I was trying to avoid.

I just have a hard time taking seriously some twittering, hand-wringing Prog busy-body with nothing better to do with her time than worry about who might be offended by the idea of a Savior sent to earth by a loving God. 

Perhaps it is the overall disregard with which this crowd holds babies in the first place.  I’m sorry, I meant to say “unwanted fetus” there.  Of course, we have to realize that these are people that bring their kids to a pro-abortion rally.  Wrap your head around that one.

Because, you see, I really do understand.  I understand that this is not about preserving anything, it’s not about protecting anyone’s china-glass sensitivies or tender wittle feelings.  It can’t be.  It’s simply too preposterous to lend any credence whatsoever to the idea that someone is “offended” by Christmas. 

I’m offended by human sacrifice, genital mutilation, gassing the Kurds, grown men having sex with pre-teen boys, mass graves, car bombings, biological weapons, concentration camps, dumbass rioters burning cars, human trafficking, child prostitution, drug dealers and gang bangers.

I am NOT, however, offended by Christmas.  I’m not offended by Kwanza; amused perhaps, but certainly not offended.  I am not “offended” by Hanukkah or Eid al-Adha or Ramadan. 

To me, this isn’t about preserving anyone’s views…it’s about quietly, inexorably silencing one.

Let’s keep this in perspective, shall we folks?  And to help you all keep it in perspective, I’m going to engage in a little civil disobedience.  I’m going to wish you a Merry Christmas, and if you get all frothed up and offended, well, I’m just going to let that be your problem, not mine.  I’m going to wear my cross over the top of my green and red Christmas sweater when I go shopping at the “Holiday” sales at the mall.  I’m going to send out Christmas cards with a manger scene and angels and all that other chest-clutchingly disturbing religious imagery, and if it bothers you that much, you can throw the card away.

Cuz you see, my problem is that I expect people to act like grown-ups.  I expect people to learn to get along, and not required that I be censored and discriminated against just so they don’t get a bad case of the vapors when their precious little world view isn’t all coddled and stroked and cooed over.

I’m just wierd that way.  So, please.  Have a Merry Christmas.  Or don’t.  It’s a free country.

UPDATE:

Here’s last years post.  Jeez, I’m predictable. 

Merry Christmas…except for YOU!

Get over yourself.  I don’t require you to celebrate Christmas.  I DO require you to let ME celebrate Christmas.  That’s not called intolerance.  It’s called f-r-e-e-d-o-m.

Update:  I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Resistance is futile?

Coming from the demographic that has historically been the most vein-in-the-forehead, screechingly, spittle-fleckingly opposed to a draft for the military, one has to wonder why the new standard bearer for the Progressive Utopian VisionTM is now marketing the idea of compulsory service as a core patriotic duty?

Hitler Jugend

Hitler Jugend

And just why do you suppose that it’s targeted at our high school and college age youth?  Via Wikipedia:

The HJ was organized into corps under adult leaders, and the general membership comprised boys aged fourteen to eighteen. From 1936, membership of the HJ was compulsory for all young German men.

The HJ was organized into local cells on a community level.

For example, many HJ activities closely resembled military training, with weapons training, assault course circuits and basic strategy.

Me, I’m wondering why we need a civil defense service. We have the Civil Air Patrol, the Boy Scouts, the Explorer program. Against what are we defending? As well funded as the military? Isn’t that called the National Guard?  The Police? EMS?

There is only one reason you need an organized civilian “militia” made up primarily of young, energetic, and quite impressionable youth.

The HJ maintained training academies comparable to preparatory schools. They were designed to nurture future Nazi Party leaders, and only the most radical and devoted HJ members could expect to attend.

Another branch of the HJ was the Deutsche Arbeiter Jugend – HJ (German Worker Youth – HY). This organization within the Hitler Youth was a training ground for future labor leaders and technicians.

One can only imagine the screeching, flailing flame wars that would ensue where a Republican President to suggest this.  Do you thing that the Nazi analogies wouldn’t be flying thick then?!

Remember towards the end of “The Sound of Music?” All the eager young men in their bright new uniforms, “watching” for “criminal” elements, as in, those who won’t get on board with the program?  It won’t be a neighborhood watch…it will be your neighbors watching YOU.

200px-pioneers_member_pinYou can invoke Godwin’s law all you want, but there’s a reason the Brown Shirt analogy keeps popping up.  Or perhaps, the Young Pioneers in Soviet Russia.

Because it looks and sounds exactly the same. Does anyone really believe that this will just be a domestic peace corps, going around cleaning up graffiti and picking up trash?

Then why is it called a “defense” force? It just fits all too neatly into this grand new socialist paradigm B.O. is preaching.  Expect that this will not go away.  It is an essential element of ground-roots social re-engineering.  Otherwise known as Change©.

It’s in the freakin’ manual. Get the youth first. 1960’s ringing any bells?

Once in power, communist leaders made the transformation of the younger generation central to the attempt to create new communist societies. Because young people lacked prior political experience and were considered more malleable than adults, communist leaders believed they could be transformed into ardent supporters of communism and builders of new socialist societies.

obama_biden_forward_poster_print-p228824279734048682td2a_210Watch as this idea, this program, is steadily retooled, renamed, reinvent and remarketed over time,all to make it sound more palatable and to respond to its detractors.  The words and labels will shift and change to counter opposing rhetoric by making the critics look increasingly petty and confrontational.   The consensus process will be brought to bear to marginalize dissent and encourage conformity through the use of emotion-laden catch phrases and rhetorical questions like, “Surely you care about X” or “You wouldn’t want Y to happen, would you?”  Just like it has with global warming, gay rights, radical environmentalism, and every other Progressive pet program.

It is not paranoia, political partisanship, racism, or ODS to look at the examples history gives us of “boiling the frog slowly,” to draw parallels to today’s burgeoning political trends, and then be watching and prepared for the next steps.  It is simply discernment and prudence.

And yeah, what she said.  Cuba’s “Committee for the Defense of the Revolution

The concept behind the CDRs was to create a citizen force that would reinforce the dictates of Cuba’s government, establishing a kind of omnipresent peer pressure network among next-door neighbors. Leaders of CDRs could put Castro’s every public thought directly and rapidly into the hands of every Cuban, so the government would not have to rely solely on mass media.

So, essentially, yeah.  That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying B.O.’s new militia will become.

You know how a weak US dollar is good for the economy?  TOURISM.   I’ve just been through San Francisco, at Fisherman’s Wharf, followed by the San Diego ZOO and Sea World (not all in the same day, of course).  We kept track, and I heard no less than seven different languages in San Francisico.   One Euro is running at about 1.5 US dollars these days.  So a whole lot of our European brethren are over here taking advantage of the great exchange rate.

And you know what?  There were no bombings.  No shootings or assasinations.  No race riots or hate crimes to speak of.  Everyone ran around, walked around, bustled and hustled and stumbled and jostled and…somehow miraculously managed to get along just fine.  I’m not saying it was all kumbaya and happy smiles, but everybody coexisted.  They blended, and had fun!

I’ve been to a great many countries in this world, and MOST other countries are almost exclusively ethnically homogenous.  Korea, Thailand, Japan.  They are very race pure.  They have a strong ethnic identity, and are in many respects fairly xenophobic.  Most still look down very strongly on inter-racial marriages.  Even Australia and New Zealand are almost exclusive Anglo, with only a relatively small aboriginal population.

And yet, when I was stationed overseas, I could walk into the Food Court at the PX on base, and instantly I would see a whole spectrum of skin colors and ethnic backgrounds.  While Palestinians are blowing up Israelis, and vice versa, while the Tutsis and Hutus are slaughtering each other in Ruwanda, in a little enclave of US-ness, you’ve got a black family getting ice cream at Baskin Robbins, while the asian family is getting Subway, and the plain ol’ white folks are getting General Tso’s chicken at China Express.  No hostility, no fear.  Because we are used to it.  It’s just the way we are.

I once had a counterpart from the Aussie Army ask, as we sat around our field rations one night, what an American looked like?  I thought for a minute, and said that there wasn’t really any ONE look for an American.  Blacks, indians, chinese, whites…anybody could be an American citizen.  He just shook his head.  Not because he thought it was a bad idea, it was just a foreign concept to him.

And yet we continue to hear so much about how we need to “open a dialogue” about instituional racism in America.  We need to cleanse the wounds, heal the past, etc., yada, ad nauseum.   I’ve noticed that Obama has toned down his racial rhetoric a bit of late.  I can imagine that the two extremely affluent, ivy-league educated people “of-color” may have finally realized the strange dissonance is running for President of the United States on a platform of overcoming racial inequality.   Seems to me like they done overcome it pretty well.

What I see is a lot of manufactured drama carefully spun out and woven into a well-polished and premeditatively emotional package designed to influence black (and white) voters to “vote for the black guy.”  Not necessarily the most qualified candidate.  The Black Guy. 

You see it on a lot of the Prog blogs.  You hear it in the righteous indignation of Democrat shills and sycophants who insist that you’d only vote against Obama if you’re racist.  This, ladies and germs, is what they call an oxymoron.  Or perhaps, circular logic.  Also know as the self-defeating argument.  I have to vote for the black guy to prove I’m not racist.  So I’m voting based solely on race.  How is that not racism?  Perhaps it is better described as racialism.  If I vote for McCain, I’m not actually voting for McCain, but against the black guy. 

If I cannot vote against Barak Obama for any other reason than he is black, then the very groups who are so vehemently decrying racism are also requiring that I ignore his qualifications and focus solely on the color of his skin.

In other words, racism.

I’m here to tell you, we may have our problems, but the US is probably one of the LEAST RACIST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.  Even the much vaunted European countries are very ethno-centric.  Our greatest struggle with racism is that we seem totally incapable of just letting it die.  We take such immense pains and troubles to show how “sensitive” we are to racial issues that we end up constantly keeping it in the very forefront of the social consciousness.  You can’t heal from something if you keep tearing at the wound while screaming, “LOOK! I’M BLEEDING!”

What if maybe, just maybe that guy is not a racist; maybe he’s just an asshole.  Maybe the system isn’t really out to get black people; maybe poor, uneducated black people are committing a greater proportion of the crime.  And maybe that means that there’s a larger issue at work here than vigilante white judges stickin’ it to the poor black man.  You know, just because they can.  And most of us whiteys is just haters.  Or something equally as vapid and emotion-based.

The worst thing in the world for this country is for us to just vote for a black man.  Instead, we should vote for the most qualified man or woman, regardless of the skin color.  As long as we continue to make race a pivotal issue…it will remain a pivotal issue.  Let’s put it to rest, and get back to dealing with people as people, not as members of some elite, untouchable poor disenfranchised special interest group.

I Have a Dream

Posted: March 14, 2008 in ACLU, Celebrating Diversity, Racism

As a follow-on to this post by DANEgerous, I must admit that I’m starting to think that {{shocked gasp}} it just might be quite entirely possible that {{hushed whispers}} blacks are more responsible for maintaining and sustaining modern racism than whites.

But then, saying that probably makes me racist.

How is it that we can have a black candidate for President, with a very real and viable shot at it, a black Secretary of State, black Supreme Court justices, black Generals, CEOs, and Governors all over the country…but we are somehow still “struggling” under the burdensome yoke of racism, and the legacy of slavery, etc, etc, blah blah blah?

How long do you suppose is a reasonable length of time before the condition of the black community and culture can no longer be seen as a “legacy of slavery?” Is it time-driven, or success driven? I mean, is it only when X percentage of the black population has reached a Y standard of living that we say they’ve “finally” shaken off the chains of slavery? And that being said, if year after year passes, and that level is not reached, will it still remain the responsibility/blame of an intransigent, “white-dominated” culture that won’t “let” them succeed?

How is it that shrill, caustic mouthpieces like Obama’s pastor still manage to find purchase in the public psyche with their retooled brand of supremacist rhetoric? Guys like this don’t want to level the playing field, they want to turn the tables. The don’t want equality, they want retribution.

The rallying cry of the Obamaniacs is CHANGE! The clear implication being that this country is still ALLLLL kinds of fucked up, and it’s up to a great visionary like Obaaamaaaaa {{obligatory fawning swoon, spontaneous vaginal orgasms, etc.}} to sweep in and right all the wrongs left to fester by heartless Rethuglicans…wrongs somehow which remainined miraculously un-righted during the eight years of the Clintonian era.

We’ve got fair hiring laws, fair housing laws, voting rights laws, affirmative action hiring quotas and admission/scholarship preferences in colleges which squeeze out non-minority candidates in favor of blacks and asians.

I’m having a hard to time figuring out just what exactly it is that is still such a stain on our national and cultural soul that I’m supposed to feel all this racial guilt about?

I’m just not sure how you campaign for the office of the President of the United Fahreakin’ States, as a front runner in a dead heat with a white woman, all on the platform of overcoming racial inequality!?!?

As long as the Condi Rices and Colin Powells of this world are presented as nothing more than token hires or appointments, by the black extremists no less, then the perception of racism will continue to be fostered, by black extremists. When having a black supreme court justice is presented as some sort of fluke, a token affirmative action appointment by a “white” administration to placate black activists, rather than an acknowledgement of black achievement and the individual’s own noble, hard-fought accomplishments, then it will continue to be about racism.

I have a dream. A dream of the day when we won’t need a “Black History” month, and it will all just be “American History.” When we won’t have to dedicate a month to highlighting women of note in American history, and instead will simply acknowledge the achievements of Americans who just happened to be women.

I also long for the day when a black woman cannot stand on a stage, in her $80 shoes and $200 dress, with her $60 manicure and $150 hairdo, and lament the plight of black people at the hands of crushing economic inequality. That she cannot stand on a stage with her husband, as he campaigns for President, and lament the lack of opportunities for blacks.

At least, not without getting booed and laughed off the stage.

A few selected passage by Martin Luther King:

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Obama continues to preach the same sermon. Black preachers and activists continue preach the same sermon. Have we really done so little in the last 45 years? Have not great swaths of MLK’s vision come to pass?

If vocal black leaders continually refuse to acknowledge the great strides this nation has made in addressing these historical inequalities, if they continue to beat the same downtrodden drum despite all the amazing progress of the last half century, do they not devalue and negate all the achievements and contributions of those who have come before?

As long as we spend so more energy highlighting the few remaining inequities than in celebrating the many ways in which we have succeeded in bring people together, the rhetoric will always be one of failure instead of victory.

And so, we must ask, who ultimately bears the greater burden at this time to bring about further change? How much longer will it remain the fault of other people, of other races, of the “establishment” or the “government” or capitalism or whatever other handy bogeyman presents itself?

When can America finally say, “We have truly given you, like so many others, all the same opportunities, all the same possibilities for hope and progress that any other American enjoys. What happens now is YOUR responsibility, not MY fault!

{{Cros-posted at 4rwws}}

If you haven’t heard of it, which you just might not have, since when I “Googled” it I didn’t get a single hit from a major media outlet, SB 777 is an amendment to the State of California’s Education Code which, among other things, removes the following definition in the original:

“Sex” means the biological condition or quality of being a male or female human being,” 

and replaces it with:

“Gender” means sex, and includes a person’s gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.

Now this has got the Religious Right all in a tizzy about what it will mean for our school children, to be exposed to all those icky, gender-confused GLBT types who can’t seem to figure out which symbol on the bathroom door applies to them, yada yada yada.  As usual, they are fighting the wrong fight.
 
The essence of this amendment, which was passed and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger on Oct 12th of 2007, is to expand the definitions of the types of minority and special interest groups to be protected under the “hate crime” umbrella (committing a “hate crime” is a felony in California).  More than that, it moves beyond the quantifiable aspects into the realms of perception and feelings.  It includes people who might be “perceived” as being a member of a certain type of group, or even one who “associates” with a certain demographic.  In other words, it’s not even so much about what you actually did or said, but rather it’s about how your actions or words were perceived by the other person.  
 
While the implications of the removal of the distinctions between the sexes, and the permitting of individuals to “self-identify” their sexuality or gender regardless of physiology are troubling, they are far and away minor and tertirary issues when compared to the real core of what is contained in this legislation.
 
The Bottom Line Up Front is this:  This amendment codifies into law the increasingly widespread practice of denying access to public facilities to groups which hold “discriminatory” views.  The Boy Scouts, for example, have been under fire the past few years for their policy of not allowing avowed homosexuals to be Scout masters.  This stance has resulted in the loss of access to facilities to which the Boy Scouts have historically had longstanding relationships.
 
SB 777 mandates that public/government funds cannot be given to or used for any group or organization which does not hold to the tenets of Sec. 200 of the Education Code, which states:

“It is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state.”

This becomes important farther down in the bill where it states:  “

51500. No teacher shall give instruction nor shall a school district sponsor any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias because of a characteristic listed in Section 220.” 

72014. No funds under the control of a community college district shall ever be used for membership or for any participation involving a financial payment or contribution, on behalf of the district or any individual employed by or associated therewith, in any private organization whose membership practices are discriminatory on the basis of the characteristics listed in Section 66270.

This is significant in that providing discounted access to facilities to groups such as the Boy Scouts can be and is interpreted to equate to financial benefit or largesse.   Thus, under the terms of this statute, since the Boy Scouts portray homosexuality in a “negative” light (by failing to promote or encourage it), they are now BY LAW prohibited from receiving any financial assistance or benefit from State educational institutions.

The rub will come when the kind of great legal minds that found Roe V. Wade in the Fourth Amendment determine that providing “free” access to conference rooms or classrooms to groups who don’t toe the correct ideological line, is in effect helping these groups avoid paying rent anywhere else, and so are providing an indirect financial benefit, which, of course, will be determined to be in violation of this statute.  Don’t think so?  Google “9th Circuit Court of Appeals” and get back to me.

Inevitably, it will be taken one step further.  Student organizations on a college campus which receive any money in the form of operating expenses, a budge for office supplies, or again, free access to university facilities, will now have to “qualify” for these benefits by signing some form, as a part of their charter, that states that they are in compliance with section 72014 of the California Education Code.

Also of note, teachers cannot present any curriculim which portrays any of the groups mentioned in a negative light.  By reading the tone and phrasing of this amendment, portaying a group negatively equates to failing to portray them positively.  Nor can teachers include in their syllabus any materials which might promote one lifestyle over another, as this “portrays negatively” competing views.  Homosexual couples must be placed on an equal footing with hetrosexual couples, and will undoubtedly be required to receive equal amounts of exposure.  Read 72014 again.  “…any activity that promotes a discriminatory bias.”  Not just “discriminates against,” but “promotes a bias.”  In other words, ANYTHING which might ultimately lead to a certain group or culture being viewed in a negative light by someone cannot be presented in a classroom, in an assembly, or by a guest speaker.

Ultimately, at the quantum level, what this means is that you cannot prohibit or condemn anything.  All viewpoints are equal, there is no right or wrong, there is only how I chose to be perceived, and that has to be okay, no matter what.  By trying to prevent someone from “expressing their sexuality” or ” expressing their cultural identity” or “exploring their unique gender identity” you would be expressing a negative stereotype.

On the plus side, under section 212.3:

” ‘Religion’ includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice and includes agnosticism and atheism.” 

So, for all the the rabid atheists out there who are tempted to refer to “those religious people” in a negative light, Atheism and agnosticism are ALSO defined as religious views.  On the down side, read that again verrry carefully.  “ALL ASPECTS of religious belief, observance and practice.”  You cannot, by law, discriminate against a person because of any religious belief, which, like their sexuality, can be totally self-defined.  Thus, anything goes.  “It’s part of my religion” can readily becomes a justification for all manner of behaviors.  “It’s part of my sexuality,” immediately limits what actions can be taken by a school administrator for any manner of activities.  And of course, the always popular, “It’s just part of my cultcha.”

This law or amendment removes almost every traditional boundary, limit or restriction on personal behavior in our schools.  As the list of the protected classes grows, the resources that you have left to maintain discipline and order in your schools declines exponentially.  However, the true significance of this is not that boys might get to use the girls’ bathroom, but that it ties the concepts of “thought crimes” and “hate speech” more strongly than ever before into the State’s felony “hate crimes” statutes.

This is a dead win for the “moral relativity” crowd.  All views are equal, there is no truth but what I decide it to be, and you have to respect MY definition or be branded a bigot and a hater.  And now, more than ever before, you can lose your job and/or go to jail if you don’t. 

While on the surface it may sound great — “Hey, what’s the big deal, this means nobody get’s discriminated against!”  — the primary groups which traditionally have sought to espouse moral restraint or the drawing of clear behavioral limits and boundaries are the conservative religious ones.  Thus, the groups most likely to run afoul of this revised code are those who hold “traditional” values and are reluctant to permit or encourage behaviors contrary to their faith and bylaws.  So while at first glance you might think, “Great!  This means liberal teachers can’t bad-mouth Christians or conservative groups anymore!” historical precedent suggests that this isn’t how the statute is likely to be enforced at all.

In other words, it’s not that no one gets discriminated against…just those who won’t get on board with a moral or spiritual free for all.  And by law –in California at least — this type of discrimination is now not only permitted but required.