September 29, 2005

Some stories that caught my eye today

John Rosenberg had a couple good posts today that made me either shake my head or chuckle. First, he details how a [white] Tennessee lawmaker was called "racist" because he caused a minor ruckus when he was excluded from the state's Black Legislative Caucus. Rep. Stacey Campfield later, on his blog, used excerpts from Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech -- which were responded to with death threats! And no wonder:

Experts on race and hate groups said Campfield hit a nerve when he used King's words to take on a black institution. It's the same tactic white separatists often use, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

"Very typically these days we see white supremacists, hate groups, trying to use the words of King and other civil rights leaders to try to advance their agendas," Potok said.


In another thought-provoking post, John reports on the controversy surrounding requiring photo IDs in order to be able to vote. Recently, the "bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report recommending that all voters nationwide present photo IDs by the year 2010," but this doesn't sit well with, um, "activists":

"If the court says this [Georgia] law is constitutional, there is no doubt in my mind that other states across the South will follow suit . . . .[T]his would be returning to the Jim Crow era," said Georgia state Representative Tyrone Brooks, president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, one of the plaintiffs in the suit.

Georgia has what many consider to the strictest photo ID law (for voting) in the country. I had opined many, many times what the Commission has recommended. If the Left, in particular, is so distressed about voter fraud, you'd think requiring ID would be a good thing to do. But, in reality, the Left isn't distressed about it. They only get worked up over electoral conspiracy theories where electronic voting machines somehow "add votes" in Ohio for the candidate they don't want elected.

On the education scene, Kim Swygert brings us a story that will only serve to further lessen the public's view of public education:

Students say they hear a lot of profanity on television, and a high school easing its penalties for swearing now says television is where they should look for model language. Boca Raton Community High School students used to be suspended from school for cursing. But school administrators found that last year, some of their best students were getting suspended, sullying otherwise clean records.

This year, Principal Geoff McKee said students caught swearing would get a less severe penalty...Students have been told to model their choice of words on television newscasts. The newscasters improvise without using profanity, McKee said.

"It's the only place where they work to have language that's acceptable to all," McKee said.

Amazing how Kim has to point out what a friggin' principal (who probably makes close to -- or over -- $100K) can't (or won't):

Simply amazing that McKee doesn't suggest students model their language habits on their home life. This makes one of several assumptions, all of them ugly: (1) that parents cuss so much nowadays that children are forced to turn to TV to learn proper English, (2) that children don't listen to their parents at all, but will listen to TV, or (3) that children are home so little but glued to the TV so much that newscasters are their best role models.

If the penalties for cursing were essentially abandoned at my school or district, I'd consider it abandoned for me, too: "Where's your f***ing homework, huh?" "Do your god***ed work, NOW!" Or maybe this: "No, 'F' doesn't mean 'fail,' it means 'f***ed up' -- as in what you did on that test!!"

Posted by Hube at September 29, 2005 04:37 PM | TrackBack

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