Thursday, April 20, 2006

"Of course we officially discourage...

the despicable practice of consuming alcohol..." (I may be misremembering a word or two.)

...was the old disclaimer on The Onion's old "Drunk of the Week" feature that was roundly admired by the high school population of Champaign-Urbana when I was a little kid.

This week, after a Santa Cruz anti-war group sent a press release that found its way to the talons of Michelle Malkin, Malkin chose to violate the Society of Professional Journalists' "Code of Ethics" by neglecting to cut the contact names and numbers for the release when she published the piece.

As someone who is so hatefully anti-anti-war, it's pretty clear that her main motivation for publishing the release at all was to direct hate toward the group, which then received a number of death threats.

At Orcnius blog, the author has documented the similarities between Malkin and others' tactics and those employed in Rwanda to lead genocidal actions. The intent by Malkin is the same, it is merely that she doesn't at this stage have the zealous following willing to "cleanse" those who she disagrees with.

Also see a "right-wing blogger"'s response (a must read): Jon Swift blog

When this was decried, she then responded:
The unhinged lefty bloggers who did and said nothing to condemn the violent tactics of the UC Santa Cruz thugs are treating me like I'm the terrorist. I'm not going to bother linking. You can find their trash easily enough on any search engine. While they whine about the death threats that SAW organizers allegedly received, you should see the filth and threats against my family that their minions are sending. Here's an uncensored sample (and by the way, the disclaimer on my contact page makes clear, "All e-mail is subject to print, including your name. If you don't want me to publish your e-mail, or if you would like to remain anonymous, just let me know."):

(Bold added)

I love the implication that people who respond to death threats who aren't named "Michelle Malkin" are "whining" and how left-wing bloggers are somehow responsible for everyone who sends emails to Ms. Malkin.

Let's get this straight: Sending Malkin or anyone, racist death threats is horrendous and stupid and please stop doing it.

If we have to compare though, one group sent out a press release based on their political agenda which was non-hateful, and according to her and her supporters on this issue, they deserve death threats. However Malkin posts people's contact information, against the principles of journalism, which as a longtime journalist, she is well acquainted with, in order to try to surpress their voices with hatred and violence, and she does not deserve the same treatment.

Michelle Malkin is likely one of those people who heard the McDonald's story, snickered with glee and then proclaimed that anyone who ever spills anything on their lap deserved to have their sexual organs liquified.

I admire those who despise my political beliefs and are able to still see me as a human being. I think the current recruitment techniques of the armed forces involve trying to compensate for a lack of interest in enlisting by lying to young impressionable citizens to fool them into the armed forces. We shouldn't need to do that.

But if you disagree, fine--speak your mind. Just don't encourage violence upon my person and then say that I "brought it on myself" if you don't like my beliefs.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Building segregation in 2006

Kenneth Harney writes up a two-year study by the federal government on the actions of real estate agents.

The study sent two teams to each realtor, one Caucasian American and one either Latina/o or African American and then documented the results.

In total, they tested 73 realtors in a dozen metropolitan areas. The minority testers were given better financial qualifications than their white counterparts.

The tests found that white shoppers were steered toward nearly exclusively white neighborhoods, while minority candidates were steered to predominantly minority neighborhoods. This steering took place at an 87 percent clip!

They found that the white testers were on the whole given much better service--shown more houses, while the minority testers were often told to "look in the newspaper or on the internet."

Minority testers were often forced to provide financial information before they would even be shown any homes, while white testers were given incentives and discounts on their closing costs or lower loan rates.

Even at 10%, steering would have a noticeable effect on creating segregation. We are talking about 87%--nearly every single agency was guilty of the practice.

Owning their own home is a major portion of most Americans' life dreams. Should we take pride in the fact that people are having their dreams shrunk by the people they depend on to lead them on this dream simply because of the color of their skin?

This is not a case of white racism--I'd be very surprised if all of the agents were white. It's a case of institutional racism that restricts everyone's freedom--minorities moreso than others, but whites were being steered away from their dream homes as well in order to reinforce the segregated society.

So what are you going to do about it? When you buy your house are you just going to take this? Are you going to support this system of racism? Or are you going to research and support the 13% of realtors who are not engaged in this despicable practice?
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