Academic Straw Man

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

The late James Burnham noted that, “For the Left, the preferred enemy is always on the right.” Academics demonstrate this tendency, even when the cause of the problems they decry may lie on their own side of the political fence.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, we learn that La TaSha B. Levy, 33, a Ph. D. candidate at Northwestern, has decided to do her dissertation on “Strange Bedfellows: The Rise of the New (Black) Right in Post Civil Rights America.” “During the early 2000s, Ms. Levy was working at the University of Virginia as the director of its black cultural center,” Stacey Patton reported in The Chronicle on April 20, 2012. “When she saw students reading books by Star Parker, Shelby Steele, and John McWhorter she grew concerned that they were latching on to arguments that black culture was the only thing that held the race back, and affirmative action.”

Rather than getting annoyed that college students were actually reading books, perhaps Ms. Levy should have perused some of those titles herself to see what they actually were about, starting with the works of Ms. Parker. “Now excuse me for pointing out the irony of hearing from our nation’s first black president a suggestion that America may no longer be a nation where dreams can be realized or where someone can come out of nowhere and make it,” Ms. Parker wrote in a recent column. “But Obama probably would explain his unlikely success in this unfair nation as the result of his being an exceptional and extraordinary individual.”

“Which is why, I would assume in his thinking, we ordinary folk should turn our lives over to him to determine who should have what.” Parker heads the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE).

“Ironically, I would say that if America is unfair today, it is because politicians and government have the power to do exactly what it is that Obama wants to do: Seize control of the wealth of some and redistribute it to whomever they choose,” Parker argues. “The Bible that I read every day calls this theft.”

“The president seeks to gain political support for this redistribution of wealth by tapping into the widespread dissatisfaction with our most disappointing economy.”

Parker goes on to note that the characterization of fairness is not even accurate, at least in the manner that the president makes it. “But according to the National Taxpayers Union, in 2009 the top 5 percent of income earners paid almost 59 percent of the funds raised by the federal personal income tax and the bottom 50 percent paid about 2.25 percent,” Parker notes. “Yet, in the president’s remarks in Florida, he defined fairness as everybody playing by ‘the same set of rules.’”

“Not only are the tax rules not fair by the president’s own definition, in the name of alleged fairness he wants to make them even more unfair.” Additionally, Parker brings up some inconvenient memories of promises made by the president and not quite fulfilled.

“He told us that the almost $900 billion in stimulus spending passed in 2009 would revive our economy and reduce unemployment to 6 percent,” Parker reminds her readers. “Three years later, unemployment stands at 8.2 percent.”

“There is no evidence that our president has a clue about why we are not on the path to recovery. But, unfortunately, he does have a clue about how to tap into the worst instincts of people to garner political support. Inspiring blame and envy, sadly, pays political dividends.”

“The fairness the president obsesses about has nothing to do with fairness, nor does it have anything to do with fixing our economy. If he really wants guidance on a fair and moral tax system, he might turn to his Bible instead of his campaign spin machine.”

“He can learn there that the 10 percent tithe on income applies to everyone.” Come to think of it, that’s another reference Levy could check out.

Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.

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