Friday, January 27, 2012

We don't put civil rights on the ballot: Newark Mayor Booker

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark NJ: thank you.. Great response on the Governor's proposal to vote on equality in NJ.

 incidentally NJ Gov Christie thinks that if black civil rights had been put on the ballot, that would have worked just fine. "Segregation now, segregation forever...."? More here:
As James Madison put it in Federalist Paper 51: “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. If a majority can be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.”


Counterlight said...


dr.primrose said...

Thought-provoking column by N.Y. Times's David Brooks on the divide in American culture -- The Great Divorce.

"I’ll be shocked if there's another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s 'Coming Apart.' I'll be shocked if there's another book that so compellingly describes the most important trends in American society.

"Murray's basic argument is not new, that America is dividing into a two-caste society. What's impressive is the incredible data he produces to illustrate that trend and deepen our understanding of it.

"His story starts in 1963. There was a gap between rich and poor then, but it wasn't that big. ...

"More important, the income gaps did not lead to big behavior gaps. ...

"Since then, America has polarized. The word 'class' doesn't even capture the divide Murray describes. You might say the country has bifurcated into different social tribes, with a tenuous common culture linking them.

"The upper tribe is now segregated from the lower tribe. ...

"Worse, there are vast behavioral gaps between the educated upper tribe (20 percent of the country) and the lower tribe (30 percent of the country). This is where Murray is at his best, and he's mostly using data on white Americans, so the effects of race and other complicating factors don't come into play.

"Roughly 7 percent of the white kids in the upper tribe are born out of wedlock, compared with roughly 45 percent of the kids in the lower tribe. In the upper tribe, nearly every man aged 30 to 49 is in the labor force. In the lower tribe, men in their prime working ages have been steadily dropping out of the labor force, in good times and bad.

"People in the lower tribe are much less likely to get married, less likely to go to church, less likely to be active in their communities, more likely to watch TV excessively, more likely to be obese.

"Murray's story contradicts the ideologies of both parties. Republicans claim that America is threatened by a decadent cultural elite that corrupts regular Americans, who love God, country and traditional values. That story is false. The cultural elites live more conservative, traditionalist lives than the cultural masses.

"Democrats claim America is threatened by the financial elite, who hog society's resources. But that's a distraction. The real social gap is between the top 20 percent and the lower 30 percent. The liberal members of the upper tribe latch onto this top 1 percent narrative because it excuses them from the central role they themselves are playing in driving inequality and unfairness."

His solution to this problem is the creation of a national service corps to mix everyone together at least for a few years.

I rarely agree with Brooks and I don't know if I agree with his solution. But he's certainly bared a real problem in this country.