May 27, 2006

PC holiday weekend

For your funny bone this Memorial Day weekend, it's the latest PC follies!

For starters, Matt Rosenberg notes the latest in the "World ends, minorities & women hardest hit, etc." line of reporting. This time, it's obesity:

Lower-income older U.S. teens are suffering obesity at higher rates than their counterparts from wealthier households, according to a new study led by a Johns Hopkins University researcher. Causal factors identified in the above-linked Baltimore Sun article include unsafe streets, lack of organized sports and other physical activity, plus few nearby grocery stores selling healthy food. Soft drinks, junk-food snacks and fast-food thus come to dominate the diet for many older low-income teens.

And so....presto vivace: the Associated Press asserts that the research "seems to underscore the unequal burden of obesity on the nation's poor."

To which Matt offers:

Whom are we supposed to believe is actually imposing this burden on the poor? Dare one mention the role of parents in setting an example with their own diet, in setting dietary rules for their children and packing healthy lunches for school, in shopping at produce markets, and in making an extra effort to arrange physical activities for their children? And speaking of inconvenient and unmentionable.....what about getting out of poverty to begin with? Whose job is that? Oh, never mind. Really, who wants to go there?

Matt, you cold, heartless, evil cad, you. Those questions are just MEAN!!

Mat also notes a "diversity summit" that discussed tobacco's deadly impact on the minority community. The conference highlighted "critical tobacco control issues for the African, African American, American Indian, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Chicano and Latino and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities in Minnesota." Wow, that's some list, eh? The usual suspects, as it were. One quote struck me as ironic:

"The tobacco industry has a long and sordid history of targeting diverse communities with their deadly products," said Rod Lew, Project Director for LAAMPP and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership.

Wow, that's quite a title you have there, first of all, Mr. Lew! But just consider -- when an industry is perceived as not advertising to the "minority community," there's yelling and complaining then, too. If cigarettes were difficult to find in the "minority community," advocates would complain that "racism is to blame for the belief that minorities cannot make their own choices. Why can't the minority community decide if they want to smoke or not? Who is white America to decide for us?" The same would apply to grocery stores selling healthier foods in nearby markets. Then, it would be, "Why can't we be trusted to make our own dietary decisions like the white community?"

Next, the ever-alert John Rosenberg notes that Toledo, Ohio's "Office of Affirmative Action is proposing a new method of avoiding the controversy and divisiveness associated with 'affirmative action': change the name.

The concept of affirmative action has become controversial, and now a plan to call it something else also is attracting some controversy. The city’s Office of Affirmative Action is proposing that its name be changed to the Department of Workplace Equity.

The executive director says there’s a misunderstanding that affirmative action applies only to African-Americans. She says the office is concerned about fairness for all Toledo city employees.

A former president of the Toledo NAACP complains that the change appears to be aimed at watering down the agency’s mission. The city council has asked for a study of whether other cities or companies have stopped using the term “affirmative action.”

David Beito over at Liberty and Power is back with the latest on guilt-tripper Glenn Singleton:

Forty years ago, state-supported bullies in China publicly humiliated dissenters by having them wear signs around their necks expressing shame for their "incorrect thoughts." Although China remained Communist, the government eventually apologized to the victims.

Unfortunately, methods of this type, now rejected as barbaric in China, have become standard practice in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools of North Carolina:

In an exercise called "The Color Line," they [teachers] answer 26 questions on a 0 to 5 scale, such as:

"When I am told about our national heritage or 'civilization,' I am shown that people of my race made it what it is."

Or "I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of race."

Teachers who feel situations are "often true" put down fives. Threes are for "sometimes true" and zeroes are for "seldom true."

After tallying their scores, teachers write the number down, wear them around their necks and line up from highest to lowest.

Beito sums up this ... stuff ... perfectly with the following:

"... the same government schools and colleges that are wasting funds and time on this nonsense continue to dumb down standards and preside over the tyranny of low expectations for all students, black and white."

Posted by Felix at May 27, 2006 09:52 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Well, the obvious problem is that we, as a country, give too much pulic assistance to the poor. Cut these programs profoundly -- after all, they are contributing to obesity, and we cannot impose that burden upon them.

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at May 27, 2006 10:50 AM

Rhymie, you so bad.

Posted by: Bully Pulpit at May 27, 2006 01:29 PM

As someone pointed out once, poverty in American can't be that bad; we're the only country in world where the poor are fat.

Posted by: Paul Smith at May 27, 2006 01:38 PM

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