Sunday, August 29

Public school demands set-asides; public mystified

The school system in a tiny town (population 2000 or so) in Mississippi enacted a policy that some of the class-officer positions were reserved for black students. The positions thus reserved appear to rotate, and the intent seems to have been to ensure that some blacks were elected class officers.

It's not hard to see both sides of this, because in a town of 2000 people there probably aren't more than 30 kids in each grade, and if they voted by race, blacks would never win an election. And yes, that does seem unfair. After all, no one chooses their race, et cetera.

In any case, a firestorm followed, and within days the school board reversed the policy. End of story. Tempest in a teapot.

The hoot here is in the comments at the link: Seems a lot of folks were just astonished that the school could possibly have come up with this goofy, PC requirement that some offices had to be reserved for a member of a certain minority. Seemed kinda unAmerican.

But look at your federal government, and judicial decisions regarding elections: Ever hear of "gerrymandered districts"? These are bizarrely-shaped congressional districts that zigzag like snakes across a state, specifically to produce a district in which blacks are the majority.

And this isn't just a quirk of a few corrupt state legislatures. Instead, this policy has been approved by federal courts all the way up to the Supremes. Indeed, some federal courts have demanded that "minority-majority" districts be created.

Now, I can see why that could be considered a good idea. But in the long run it seems likely to encourage (and elect) more extreme candidates--both black and white--since they don't have to attract any votes from the opposite race.

Conversely, quality of leadership, ethics and personality comes across instantly, regardless of skin color. My sense of it is that today 90 percent of whites wouldn't have the slightest qualm about voting for a minority candidate who seemed most qualified to lead in an ethical manner.

Short answer: Don't blame the teachers in tiny Nettleton, Mississippi for doing what the federal judiciary has been doing for decades.

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