It’s odd, really, that we just got through celebration of the veto of Arizona’s anti-gay legislation that would have allowed business owners to refuse service on the basis of sexual orientation – if they could show they are acting upon a sincerely held religious belief. That was Wednesday. Now on Thursday the government itself wants to exclude at-risk boys who don’t meet the racial and ethnic requirements of the program. (If it was focused on only “straight” youth, would the left be up in arms?)
Now, it is refreshing that the administration has paused from its “war on women” rhetoric to take notice that it really has been men who were hurt more than women in the recession, have worse educational outcomes than women and seem to be more affected by the absence of a father in their lives.
The problem with hyping gender and racial differences is not simply the increased resentment and divisiveness it creates but also that it uses victimhood as a political weapon. Pretty soon words like “discrimination” lose meaning. It seems you are either for an inclusive society – devoted to diminishing racial, ethnic, religious and other distinctions — or you’re not.
Like the Arizona anti-gay law, no good can come from a program that divides up the population by these categories.
Rubin actually compares the program to Arizona's anti-gay laws because Liberals Are The Only Real Racists(tm). This is, quite literally a "Why do we even have your divisive 'Black History Month' anyway for you people?" rant dressed up nicely as "I'm the voice of the moderate middle/both sides do it" pablum. It's as stupid as asking why the government sanctions May as Jewish American Heritage Month. Congress passed that in 2006 and rightfully so.
It's vile and stupid, but then again, this is Jen Rubin we're talking about. By the way, the program itself seems badly necessary.
Under Obama's initiative, businesses, foundations and community groups would coordinate their investments to come up with, or support, programs that keep youths in school and out of the criminal justice system, while improving their access to higher education. Several foundations pledged at least $200 million over five years to promote that goal.
Meanwhile, Obama signed a presidential memorandum creating a government-wide task force to evaluate the effectiveness of various approaches, so that federal and local governments, community groups and businesses will have best practices to follow in the future. An online "What Works" portal will provide public access to data about programs that improve outcomes for young minority men.
We could pretend like the bulk of the school to prison pipeline in this country isn't stuffed full of black and Latino boys I guess, but bravo for the President to name the slouching beast in the room. This is exactly the kind of "compassionate conservatism" stuff that Bush would have gotten a spot on Mt. Rushmore for.
The White House listed a litany of facts showing the need for the effort: The unemployment rate for African-American men over the age of 20 was 12 percent last month, compared with 5.4 percent for white men. Hispanic men over the age of 20 faced an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau showed a poverty rate of 27.2 percent in black households and 25.6 percent for Hispanic households in 2012, compared with 12.7 percent in white and 11.7 percent in Asian households.
But let's pretend like race doesn't matter in America, because admitting it does upsets Jennifer so.