Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Anti-Intellectual Detroit Free Press

The liberal Detroit Free Press has an editorial attacking the ban on Michigan's affirmative action policy titled "Prop 2 Sends Divisive Message." It starts out with:

"The passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative on Tuesday leaves the state torn by hard and hardened feelings that will not be easily salved."

Noticed what concerns the Freep, not ideas or facts of reality but "feelings" and notice the veiled threat "that will not be easily salved." Then there's this:

"Although a ban on affirmative action might allow at least half the state to see Michigan as a place with a level playing field or some such cliche, enactment of MCRI paints the state as hostile to minorities."

First, I can't count the times when the Freep has advocated "a level playing field" over the years regarding many different issues. But now that that term is used to support the ban on AA, it is denigrated as "some such cliche." The two-faced hypocrisy of the Freep is astounding.

Secondly, the ban does not "paint the state as hostile to minorities." Racist policies like Affirmative Action are what are hostile to minorities by forever consigning them to the status of lesser beings who can't make it on their own and therefore need the aid of their great white benefactors. That is being hostile to minorities. It continues:

"Now that they've won, Proposal 2 supporters should not continue to pursue divisive challenges. When opponents raised concerns over the viability of gender-based health programs and domestic violence shelters that accommodate only women, MCRI leaders dismissed such arguments as red herrings. They must not now come back and challenge sensible programs."

This is an obvious attempt to silence opposition by smearing it as "divisive." As far as calling certain arguements for Affirmative Action red herrings, they
were red herrings. The supporter of the ban have no intention of challenging other sensible programs. This is just an attempt by the Freep to invoke a sense of fear in their readers' minds. Then this:

"Michigan's playing field, especially in education, remains woefully uneven. {A few paragraphs ago the concept of a "level playing field" was just "some such cliche." But now is a serious and valid concept. Like I said, the hypocrisy of the Freep is astounding.--ME} It will take a fortitude and an investment -- and it's not clear this state has the capacity for either -- to fix the ills that beset poor, largely African-American schools here and give those students an equal chance at success."

The "ills that beset the poor" are the result of a mind crippling curriculum which some richer schools can overcome but poorer ones can't, and a total public school system that needs overhaul. (Preferably, privatization) Looking at peoples' minority status only insures these problems won't get addressed. Another ill beseting these minorities is the perception that they have not earned and cannot earn their own way. With Affirmative Action gone, future minorities will be seen as having earned their status and this will result in an earned respect. There is no other kind. On the other hand, the existence of affirmative action encourages more racist attitudes.

The editorial ends with:

"In the big picture, a ban on affirmative action sends an irreparably unfriendly message to minorities, as well as to the businesses Michigan needs to lure and that need to reach all audiences.

This is hardly progress."

The ban on affirmative action does not send an unfriendly message to minorities. It says in essence "welcome to our world." On the other hand, if guilt-ridden white liberals want to keep minorities in their place, they will try to convince those minorities that such programs as affirmative action are in their interest.

Affirmative Action is a progress killer.

This election has everybody talking about a new political direction. But what is really needed is a new intellectual direction based on reason.

With it's appeals to feelings, smear tactics, fear, and contradictory positions, the Free Press is failing to provide its readers with any intellectual leadership. It should have been editorializing on the real nature of racism--a form of collectivism--and its only true antidote--individualism, which in politics means individual rights. Unfortunately, I don't see the Freep changing its intellectual stripes anytime soon.
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