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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Articles

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit...

When our forefathers founded this great nation, they set forth an ideal of creation. They set forth that all men were created equal. As the sun sets on another term of the Supreme Court, those ideals stand in jeopardy. In a five to four ruling, the court ruled that considerations for school enrollment based on race are unconstitutional, effectively negating gains in school choice brought about by the Brown v. the Board of Education ruling that ended segregation in schools.

Some are hailing the ruling of the sharply divided court over affirmative action and bussing to bring ethnic equity as a step in the right direction. If the playing field were anywhere near level, I would also applaud the decision. The truth of the matter, however, is that there is great inequity still in America when it comes to race and opportunity. We have not begun to loosen our hold on stereotypes and ignorance as a society to nearly a great enough degree to declare victory over racism. People will sometimes joke that names like “Shaniquah” or “Dontrell” might as well be “Don’t hire me” because they are so closely associated with inner city African Americans. Sadly, the jokes have some basis in reality. When employers look at resumes they do look at the names and make some judgements about the character of people based upon those names alone. These kids have a strike against them before they even get into the batter’s box. When you prevent them from having the opportunity to attend better schools, you have started their one “at-bat” in life with two strikes. If you do the math that means they have one third the opportunity to hit one out of the park that others have. They have to be about three times as good as their more affluent white counterparts to even stand a chance of equal opportunity.

So where does that leave us? We bemoan the crime in the streets but applaud the decisions that virtually ensure an entire segment of the population will have no opportunities in the legitimate working world. Silly isn’t it? How do we fix it? The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. The answer is certainly not to lessen their opportunities and limit their choices. There are systemic problems in our nation that promote stereotypes to the point of making them come true. We are so paranoid about the criminal tendencies of inner city youth that we won’t hire them for legitimate jobs leaving them with nothing but crime to make a living in order to survive. We rail about the ignorance of the people in the inner city because of their substandard schools and then we turn around and vote down every bond measure to improve their schools because we don’t want to pay an extra half-cent sales tax. We tell the parents to become more involved in their kids’ education and then give them poor performance reviews for taking time off to go to their kids’ schools.

Equality does not come from simply saying, “you’re equal”. Equality comes from people closing their eyes to color and ignoring stereotypes. Yes, there is some basis in fact for every stereotype out there. Some person from that group at some time likely exhibited the behaviors or mannerisms in front of someone who foolishly interpreted that to mean that everyone from that group acted that way. Yes there are African American thugs who glorify violence. There are Asian bad drivers. There are also Caucasian bad drivers and thugs named Johnny Smith. We cannot hold on to our divisions like security blankets and then pretend they don’t exist.

The hard-fought gains made by minorities in the arena of school access were undone in one act by five old men who have no concept of the struggles facing the people they just further disenfranchised. The Supreme Court made a huge mistake and the impact of it will likely be felt for years to come. For the children of America that now will be denied the opportunity to have access to the best schools, I am saddened. There is now a generation of potential that will be lost to the ignorance of divided opportunity.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.

The Global War on Terror

Of all the ridiculous, half-baked “wars-on” we have going right now, this one has to be the most annoying. Anyone who has studied history or military strategy knows that this “war” that our men and women are dying on foreign soil to fight cannot be won on a battlefield. There is no army to fight, no nation to topple, no single leader to depose. Even if we deliver Osama bin Laden’s head up on a platter tomorrow for all the world to see, we would face an enemy that will not stop until we either meet their demands or cease to exist.

The problem with declaring war on a phantom enemy is that you don’t know with whom you are fighting. As was evidenced by the recent attempted and successful bombings in England, you never know who your enemy is in a fight like this and sometimes, not only do you let them into your home, you invite them to come. The doctors that it is coming to light were involved in this plot were sought out by England and screened extensively prior to being let into the country. They were thought to be friendly.

The answer to the problem of global terrorism lies in changing foreign policies to stay out of international disputes, quit setting up governments of our choosing and debating dissent as opposed to bombing it out of existence. The U.S. was referred to in a recent article on this page as the 800lb gorilla in the world that throws its weight around a bit too much. That is most certainly true and is at the heart of the hatred we face from people around the world. We use our military might to bend the rest of the world to our will. That is the definition of tyranny. The end result of tyranny historically speaking is the downfall of the tyrant. The big bully always gets their comeuppance in the end.

Some around the world would argue that 9/11 was America getting a bit of comeuppance. I don’t know if I would completely agree with that but I can understand how some would think that. If you look at just civilian casualties in Iraq since the war began in 2003, you would see that from one perspective our military have committed terrorist acts causing the deaths of an estimated 50,000-70,000 Iraqi civilians. That is a minimum of fifteen times the number of people killed in the 9/11 attacks and it has been proven that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. If the world so angered at the deaths of 3,000 U.S. civilians on 9/11/2001 how angry must the world be at 50,000 dead Iraqi civilians in an unprovoked war that does not have the sanction or blessing of the United Nations?

We need to stop and look at our own actions when considering the sources of terrorism. If we don’t think that there will be long term repercussions from this “war on terror” we are a nation of idiots. Our government is steadily pissing off every Muslim on the planet as we march on some new “crusade” that seems to be killing their people disproportionately to any other group. For those who haven’t been paying attention, these are the same people that are killing each other over a 1300 year-old theological disagreement. They can carry a grudge for a good long time. Short of genocide, we will need to come to the bargaining table if we want to “win” this “war on terror”.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article.



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net

 

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