Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life Imitates The Onion

James Taranto, in his Best of the Web Today series, often has a segment titled, “Life Imitates The Onion.”  It is meant to poke fun at news stories that have a spooky resemblance to parodies published in The Onion.

One that came up recently is our government’s desire to evaluate school discipline in the context of skin tone.  President Obama issued an Executive Order on July 26, 2012 to create a special panel within the federal government.

The title of the order is “White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.”  It creates a commission of up to 25 presidential appointees to improve educational outcomes for students with dark skin tone.  One of the functions of the commission is to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”

In 2009, I wrote “The Cat in the Bag” (available for $0.99 on Kindle).  It looks at how the Democratic Party has become a political movement, and includes a couple of chapters as a spoof.

One of those chapters is titled, “Human Rights Come to America” and suggests that our criminal justice system could be improved if we tied punishment to skin tone.  The idea is that the darker your skin, the more lenient would be the extent of any punishment.  If people of pallor end up staying in prison much longer than people with dark skin tone, our justice system would appear to be more “just.”

My hope in advancing such a concept was that people would appreciate the genius of our “equal protection under the law” constitutional framework.  I also wanted to poke fun at the Democratic Party for wanting to grant special treatment to an identity group that tends to always vote with it.

Self-promotion in the name of “equality” needs to be spoofed.

Now comes our President’s executive order, with its provision to monitor school discipline based on skin tone.  Why not take it one step further, as was done in “The Cat in the Bag?”

At some point, people begin to recognize the absurdity and appreciate the elegance of Chief Justice Roberts’ point: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

UPDATE 10/15/2012:
Things are not getting better.

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