Saturday, January 19, 2008

A petition not worth signing

Yesterday, while heading into my local public library, I passed an activist-looking guy with a big stack of papers. A voter-registration drive, I thought. As a hippie-looking girl signed one of the guy's papers, he yelled out to me:

"Hi! Are you registered to vote in Greene County?"

"Yeah," I replied.

"Good. We're looking to get college students registered," the guy said. He looked my age. Apparently, I don't look mine. I nodded approvingly and began to walk away. But he wasn't done.

"We have a petition to get this measure on the next ballot."

I'm game. These people don't look evil. In fact, maybe we could chat politics and--

"It would outlaw special preferences based on race."

Wait, what?

"We want to put an amendment on the ballot getting rid of race-based preferential treatment in Missouri. Access should be tailored only to financial need. We went equal rights for all, special rights for none."

Up to that point, I had been reading the petition (which boasted numerous signatures). But then my eyes froze. "Racial preference" is a term in the "pro-death" mold of making things sound much worse than they are. Moreover, "Equal rights for all, special rights for none" is the mantra for those who wish to deny gays and minorities rights that everyone else has. This was getting sicker by the second. I handed him back his tablet, unsigned.

"Thanks, but I personally don't agree with this." I didn't go into detail about friends of mine who benefited from these programs; nor did I tell him that I grew up in the south and know how much the deck is still stacked against perfectly qualified minorities who face lingering prejudice from some employers. I certainly didn't bring up New Orleans and the ongoing national indifference to the plight of exiled Ninth Ward residents.

"Are you sure? Do you want uneducated African-Americans performing surgery on you?" he asked, sweeping his fingertips down his chest for dramatic effect. "Channeling G. Gordon Liddy almost word-for-word now," I thought as I walked off.

"Do you know who Ward Connerly is?" he called back to me.

"Yes, I know about Ward Connerly." Not a huge fan.

"He's the black man who started this movement! Google Ward Connerly! Have a nice day!"

Too late for that now.


rhonda said...

well, gee golly. i guess i wouldn't want any "uneducated african-americans" performing surgery on me, but stupid white people or retards from any other walk of life
are free to slice me like sashimi.


Carinthia said...

Funny how Southern whites don't see the "Racial Preference" they've enjoyed throughout American history. Oh, yes, getting rid of Affirmative Action programs is a great idea, considering how well we "fairly" handed out admissions, scholarship money, and contracts before it's enactment. These people are absolutely delusional.

Good to see Louisiana represented by someone who isn't a racist. Keep up the good work!

Check out my Louisiana political blog, "The Paradox of Vision" at