Monday, April 24, 2006

Public TV Trademarks Minorities

Welcome to the world of cyberspace, where things might not always be what they seem. At least I hope that's the case with a comment that I received on this post from last Friday.

The post, entitled "MPS Boys Score #1 in Nation on Female Anatomy Tests," was an attempt to poke fun at the ridiculous new program in Milwaukee Public Schools that will provide free wireless internet to students and teachers in their homes. The picture accompanying the post featured two African-American boys doing what young boys of any color would do with free internet - looking at salacious websites.

It appears that "Art Hackett" had a problem with the post. In his comment, he wrote:
Warning: Severe rant ahead.

In my home state of Texas a dummied up photo like this would be the product of someone else who remained anonymous. Except they would hide under a pointy white hood instead of a sock puppet. The goal in that case would have been to get these two boys lynched. I presume your target is a school board member, the head of the state teacher's union, or maybe some education professor. Lord knows the Milwaukee Public Schools have problems. But people of all political stripes have been trying to fix those problems with some success. But I've been looking at this photo for three days now and I just couldn't stomach it any longer.

Art Hackett 04.23.06 - 6:05 pm #

Art Hackett, as none of you know, is a "reporter" who has worked for Wisconsin Public Television for 24 years, according to his bio. Now this being the internet, I have no idea whether it was actually Art Hackett who posted that comment or not. It's perfectly possible that it's someone with a grudge against Hackett trying to provoke me into going nuclear on him. I don't really know, but I'm actually willing to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't post something so offensively stupid.

But for argument's sake, let's say Art Hackett really is that detached from reality. Let's say that he thinks coming after me for a completely inoffensive, race-neutral joke post is more important than actually taking on the difficult issues that are killing MPS, like fatherless homes and gang violence.

First of all, someone needs to tell Hackett that MPS is 60% African-American, 20% Hispanic, and only about 16% caucasian. If he ever drove his little Prius to Milwaukee, he might know that. The truly strange thing would have been if I tried to represent typical MPS boys by using a picture of white kids, which apparently would have been just okay with him. How dare I ascribe the same characteristics to black kids that are inherent in every white kid? (I used to be a white kid; I know.)

Secondly, the post itself makes no mention of race, and ridicules the policy, not the students. When an idiotic policy to spend a half a million dollars in MPS to give students free internet, it doesn't hurt white kids. It hurts minority kids, who, given the abysmal graduation rate in MPS, seem to need all the classroom resources they can get. But I guess the fact that I was advocating for a change to help African-American kids get a better hands-on education seems to Hackett that I was advocating their "lynching."

Hackett, of course, is one of these lefties who is all for an honest debate on race until an honest debate actually occurs, in which case you're a KKK member if you're not on his side. He's the type of guy who advocates for a color blind society, but sees race in everything. It makes him sleep better on his little publicly-funded pillow when he thinks he has the answers to racial inequity, when centuries of our best thinkers haven't been able to come up with workable solutions. Isn't it funny that you can be fired for being a racist, but get to keep your cozy public job when you go around falsely accusing people of being racists?

So I apologize if Hackett can't "stomach" pictures of black people. Surely, he sent an angry e-mail to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel just today when they chose to run a picture of a 9-year old African-American student in an article about school choice.

That is, of course, if it is Art Hackett. I guess we'll soon find out.

In the interest of helping Hackett overcome his fear of pictures of black people, I have decided to perform a public service and post a sample photo of one of my favorites.



UPDATE: It appears that Xoff has bought into this nonsense, too. Let's just give all the lefties their sensitivity award and be done with it.

I also appreciate Dan Knauss' spirited opposition to interracial relationships, as he is aware of "the history of fear and violence among white people incensed by any remotely sexual interest a black male might have in a white female." I should probably call my African-American brother in law and tell him that he and my sister shouldn't go out in public together because it might feed into a stereotype of dominant black sexuality. Maybe I should tell my biracial nephew that he's the product of a relationship that offends sensitive liberals and feeds the hatred of bigots.

Of course, my choice of picture was completely arbitrary. Had I chosen a black woman, I would be accused of portraying black women in a negative light. Of course, he didn't think my post about Russ Feingold boning Geena Davis was all that objectionable when he linked to it a couple of months ago (an it was, by any standard, more objectionable.)