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Proviso Probe

Friday, February 10, 2006

MEDIA, rudeness serves a function [WSJ]

I usually avoid disagreeing with my fellow columnists. I get my say, so they ought to get their say. But I’m going to make an exception for the banal drivel turned-out by Roland Martin in West Suburban Journal (on newsstands now).

Martin is the executive editor of Chicago Defender and the founder of BlackAmericaToday.com.

Martin wrote a column about the lack of manners in society. Ostensibly it’s about the year 2006, but with discussions about men holding the door for women and using the term “women’s lib”—seriously, when was the last time you heard someone use “women’s lib” in regular conversation?—the piece could have been a reprint from 30 years ago.

I could say that Martin is wasting valuable newspaper space writing about something trivial. But he deserves a stronger rebuke.

The problem with society isn’t that there’s too much rudeness, but that there is too little rudeness directed at society’s powerful. While being Chicago Defender’s executive editor isn’t exactly the kind of power wielded by Bill Gates or George Bush, Martin is misusing the power he does have.

Society has major problems and is facing a grim future if we don’t take action. Martin is a fool. He either lacks the sophistication to grasp the real problems faced by society. Or he’s a bootlicker for the powerful. He figures if he’s dutiful Negro telling Blacks to behave he’ll be taken care of.

What are the major problems facing society?
1. We have an international resurgence in religious fanaticism that embraces holy war. It’s not just Muslims; it’s Christians, Jews and Hindus too.
2. Our international economic system isn’t a rising tide that lifts all boats. Some get rich while the majority loses ground.
3. The United States is spending way more money than it has. This is untenable.
4. The media lies about and distorts the big issues.
5. The Iraq War is a no-win situation and speaking this truth has been forbidden by the elites.
6. Real wages for average households are going down steeply while upper income households are seeing their salaries increase. Compounding this bifurcation federal income tax is going down on the rich while middleclass homeowners are getting jammed on property taxes.
7. Our government is corrupt and inefficient. Our schools deliver a disgraceful baseline education if you are poor and Black. But at the end of the year, all those government bureaucrats who delivered crappy service get pay increases.

But Martin spends his energy scolding people for not saying “thank you” and “excuse me”.

Here’s another problem with our society. To get promoted in life you have to pretend the bullshit isn’t bullshit. We’re a society of bureaucrats who fantasize about being frontiersmen in our car commercials. Martin is just one more example of another bureaucrat who got ahead by not rocking the boat.


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