Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When government becomes a tawdry mess.

Two side notes:

The complaint of one of those suing includes the description, “Plaintiff Deborah Edgerly is an African-American woman. . . .” But she alleges gender discrimination, not racial discrimination. How is her ethnicity relevant? Would her position be weaker were she not black?

The story, especially the difficulty of firing a government bureaucrat and the claim of discrimination, reminded me of this 2007 item from John Derbyshire about a Long Island high-school principal:
Some parents and school board members recently tried to dislodge Ms. Leonardi, apparently believing that she showed interest in, and concern for, only the Hispanic students. The pot boiled over when Ms. Leonardi began providing translation services into Spanish at parents' meetings. Fighting against dismissal, Ms. Leonardi played the race card, threatening litigation via federal "discrimination" laws. The school board backed down. A big fat federal lawsuit would be a disaster for a small school district like this one, so it looks as though we're stuck with Ms. Leonardi. . . .

Thus federal laws originally passed in a spirit of atonement for slavery and Jim Crow are used as weapons in a conflict that has nothing to do with either issue. . . . Thus do our freedoms—freedoms to work out our own problems at the local level, citizen to citizen—disappear into the insatiable maw of federal government power, all under the banner of "fairness," "diversity," and "anti-racism," against which none dares stand.

(First link via Newmark's Door.)