The mid-week line in post-race America | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The mid-week line in post-race America

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 4:16 PM

The line is open. Some final notes:

* POST-RACE AMERICA: Read this article from the University of Alabama student newspaper and weep. It's about the apparent barring of a young black woman from all-white sorority membership because she is black. Happily, enough students are unhappy about it at enough sororities that a fuss has been made. Alumnae are cited as the root cause of the woman's disapproval. I'm guessing few of the mommas liked Barack Obama much either. None dare suggest some of these same attitudes might exist in the public offices where decisions are made on who gets to vote and otherwise participate in democratic processes.

* MISSOURI LEGISLATURE FAILS TO OVERRIDE VETO OF TAX CUT: Republicans couldn't muster the two-thirds vote necessary to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax cut legislation. I'd written earlier about his effort, in the face of GOP legislative dominance, to beat the override because of its impact on education and health care. There might be a lesson for Arkansas in this if overrides weren't so easy in Arkansas — a simple majority. PS — They did override the governor's veto of the bill to claim superiority over the federal government on guns in the House, but  failed to do so in the Senate. Secessionist sentiment slowed.

* ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAVE KENTUCKY: Where a legislative review panel voted down new science standards for public schools that had been endorsed unanimously by the Kentucky Board of Education, adopted in other states and universally praised by scientists. You can guess the problem. Mix religious fundamentalists with evolution and global warming. Coming soon to Arkansas, no doubt. Which reminds me: I wrote a column this week (it'll be posted soon) about a meeting with a political consultant who makes a living pushing the Billionaire Boys Club education agenda. The Walton junta supports the  tougher common core standards. They apparently need to raise the education standards among their paid footsoldiers. The consultant  (who didn't want to put her child in the Little Rock high school my children once attended) said she'd be OK with teaching evolution as long as creationism was taught at the same time. "Evolution is just a theory," she said. As if she had a clue what theory means in the scientific context. Or ever heard of Bill Overton, the monkey trial and all the rest. UPDATE: The governor of Kentucky is ignoring the legislature's "review" committee (Beebe should try this sometime) and putting the new science rules into effect anyway.

* AND THEN THERE IS SHERIDAN: KATV says it will report tonight on cancellation of a Muslim speaker in Sheridan public schools. Heck, if a Muslim speaker got invited in the first place, that's progress. If they had banned Baptist preachers in my Louisiana high school's assemblies, we wouldn't have had many. Think how I'd have turned out without their counsel. I shouldn't joke about this. Sad story in Sheridan of sheer religious bigotry stifling appearance by a Muslim who wanted to decry terrorism — a neighbor of a teacher. And speaking of people who have prejudices against Muslims: WATCH THIS VIDEO. Two thumbs up!

* HYPOCRISY AT WORK: Republican attorney general candidate Leslie Rutledge praised the 3-2 vote by the state private security guard board today to ignore state law and allow 13 school districts to keep licenses for staff members, including teachers, to carry weapons, even in kindergarten classes. It was, she said, "a victory for local control." I'll let you know if she responds to my simple question:

If you favor local control do you support repeal of the state law that stripped local control from cities on gun laws?

* BY POPULAR DEMAND: ANOTHER ARKANSAS REPRESENTATIVE IN SPOTLIGHT: Rep. Steve Womack's gratuitous putdown of a man who wore a T-shirt bearing a Mexican flag to a meeting in Fort Smith at which Womack spoke is getting circulated widely on the web, here at Crooks and Liars. The man, who said he was Mexican-American, asked why not provide legal status for the people in America working and contributing.

After providing Leonard with a boilerplate Republican response — that this is “a country of laws” and people here “illegally” want him to “walk away [and] just say ‘the law doesn’t count for a day’” — Womack stopped Leonard as he walked back to his seat.

“It does strike me as a bit odd,” Womack said, “that I would get a question as to why we shouldn’t just automatically make it legal for people who didn’t come here in a legal circumstance, with a flag of another country hanging around his neck.”

He counseled the man further on proper dress, a warning to all who might approach the great Womack wearing an emblem of ethnic heritage or solidarity — a beret, a Bavarian hat, a Union jack emblem, an Israeli flag. A golden moment in hypocrisy is how the blog described Womack's various declamations on the rule of law.

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