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Opinions are fun. My friends tell me I am someone with lots of opinions and that's fine since I don't get mad at others when they disagree with me. In this same spirit I am interested in hearing yours views as long as you are able to share your views without boiling over. I look forward to hearing from you. I tend to write in the form of short essays most of the time, but contributions do not need to be in this same format or size. Some of the content here will date itself pretty quickly, other content may be virtually timeless, this is for the reader to judge.


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Is that what you call news?                                                                                     Print this essay

Posted at: Apr/22/2021 : Posted by: mel

Related Category: Society, Watching America,

I know that when I was in my teens and early twenties I thought many older adults were totally out of touch with reality. The things that seemed to matter to that generation just didn’t strike a nerve with me. I can remember someone coming into a diner with a sleeveless shirt on and sandals, my father could no longer focus on our conversation and finally insisted that we leave our meals half eaten and leave. I thought his sense of respect and disrespect for other diners was overly sensitive, but he was paying and I wanted to respect him so we left without a protest or question on my part. It has been more than 45 years since that diner incident and now I am looking out the window at the world around me and feeling that I am the one who is out of touch with the current form of reality.

I was channel surfing the other day in a quest for “NEWS”. I know, definitions vary greatly. My spur of the moment definition would be something like: “the timely distribution of information that may or should be meaningful in my life.” In my exploration I learned all about a middle-aged professional golfer who seriously hurt his leg in a car accident. I also found wall to wall reporting on some former actress, turned Duchess, turned Los Angeles paparazzi target who apparently gave a boring interview to Oprah.

It would be nice to believe it was a slow news day and this was really all there was to talk about. Just to be sure I checked a number of the other American based news outlets and saw the same headlines throughout. Just to satisfy my obsessive nature I visited the website of that national news service that is partially funded by tax dollars. The good news is that they also featured the same headlines. If that is really all that is going on, that Miss Universe contestant who asked for “world peace” must have had her wish granted. Unfortunately, the cynic in me suspected otherwise so I visited a couple of the international news services including the BBC and Reuters to find out what was going on. It turns out that there was a bombing in Syria and the French President imposed more lockdowns in response to COVID-19. Here in America two Democratic Senators vowed to deny a person a job based on skin color. That’s right; to find out what’s going on in the United States I needed to go to an international news service.

What I learned was that Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii publicly informed the White House that until the Biden administration puts more people they like in powerful jobs, they will refuse to confirm White nominees. "I am a no vote on the floor on all non-diversity nominees," Duckworth said, out loud, with cameras rolling. "I will vote for racial minorities and I will vote for LGBTQ, but anybody else, I’m not voting for."

In case you did not recognize this, it is called “discrimination” and is a pretty straight forward violation of the entire foundation of American Civil Rights Law. Much of the protests and violence of the past year have been focused on ending discrimination in whatever form it still exists.

The International press picked up on this because Americans loves to brag that we are the leading edge of everything that represents freedom and human rights. Since the legendary “shot heard round the world,” the world has watched us as an example of how self-governance and basic freedoms and liberty are supposed to work. It appears that getting elected to the Senate has nothing to do with knowing and upholding our laws, only about fundraising.

I am pretty sure that Senator Chuck Schumer, the ranking Democratic Senator heard this. Senator Schumer has a long history of showing that he misses nothing. There was no apology, no re-phrasing, no anything. Chuck Schumer has spent much of his long political career telling us at high volume that racial discrimination is wrong, which obviously it is. Then, this week, two of his colleagues went on television to demand racial discrimination and the rest of the Democratic Party was silent.

Just as a quick refresher: All Americans have an inalienable right, given by God and guaranteed by the Constitution, to be judged solely and exclusively on the basis of what they do and of what they choose. Not on the basis of their race, or their genes or who their parents were. That is the entire promise of the country. It’s why we’re different. It’s why people move here from other countries. It’s why we’re a self-governing republic, because everyone is equal, or is supposed to be equal. We have obviously struggled through our history to actually accomplish this. America is a work in progress and we are supposed to be getting better at this which sometimes means airing the dirty laundry.

To sound like a civil right advocate Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act opens this way, "No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." While therefore against the law in general terms, you can very specifically not deny an American a federal job because of his race. That is against the law, and has been for nearly 60 years.

So here you have two actual U.S. Senators announcing in public they will deny jobs to people who have the wrong skin color. They are proposing behavior that is openly against the law of the land and I had to read about it in an International news service. In defense of senators Duckworth and Hirono they eventually walked this back, likely on the advice of a staffer who knew they were encouraging something less than legal.

I suppose what is really happening is an implementation of “Critical Race Theory.” Fundamentally, this is the idea that many aspects of our society should be examined and explained by blaming one race for taking advantage of another. While there are many important lessons to be learned through our Nation’s abuse of race for a basis of inequality over time, the modern application of this theory tends to create more rather than less hatred.

The United States of America is a collection of 330-350 million people with a wide variety of skin colors. Our society is enormous, complex and diverse, making it critical that we focus on respecting each for who we are and what we do and not how we look. Trying at every opportunity to point out differences only turns us into warring tribes. You have to guarantee every American identical opportunities to work and live and go to school, as well as identical judgement under the law.

Equality under the law is what the Civil Rights Act is supposed to be about.

If our leaders want to announce that preference for certain jobs is and should be based solely on race or sexual preference we are marching backwards. If you do that, things will tend to fall apart very quickly. Blaming anything that does not go “your” way on racial discrimination in general, or “whiteness” more specifically, will only speed up the country’s backward slide into more, not less perceived discrimination.

It is really confusing why I had to learn about my country by reading an international news service. I suggested this frustration to a friend and they pointed out that I am looking at the result and not the cause. I was reminded that our modern journalist have attended all the same universities as our current wave of politicians. Clearly, only one way of thinking is being taught any more at many of our centers of higher education.

Now I am back to feeling old and obsolete. There was a time long ago when I noted that my father appeared to fixate on things that just did not seem important to me. Am I really that much of a dinosaur that caring about the Constitution, Equality and laws like the Civil Rights Act is behavior no longer valued? I just don’t see the exploits of an out of former actress who married a duke and a one-time Phenom of the golf world being worthy of large face headlines when senators are openly flaunting the law.

Then again: Someone once said “Journalism is about covering important stories-with a pillow, until they stop moving.”

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Robert Lewis
Trying to find information on the Internet is like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant.
 
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