Archive for South Carolina

More than just politically incorrect

Posted in politics with tags , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by klysha

I was going to post about something totally different today but I just had to say something about the statements made by South Carolina’s Lt. Governor, Andre Bauer, regarding giving

"underpriviledged kids, stray racoons....same thing"

out free lunches to underpriviledged children.

“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

– Andre Bauer, lieutenant governor of South Carolina
and candidate for S.C. governor

So is he saying that if you feed poor children they will continue to breed? Or is he saying that if you starve poor children they’ll learn to not be poor? I’m confused. 

You just can’t make that kind of brilliance up. Don’t believe a Lt. Governor actually said that, here’s the actual audio so you don’t think I’m just taking a random statement out of context. It’s even better when it’s placed in context.

Now lets just take the political  incorectness of comparing underpriviledged children to stray animal out of the equation. I’m not a fan of masking the truth in political correctness either. (Although I am a fan of tact and there’s clearly none of that present in this statement either but for the sake of argument we’ll ignore that too)

He goes on to point out that if you look at the districts where they give out the most free lunches you’ll see the lowest achievement scores.  So based on his logic it’s clear that giving out free lunch is the problem. 

Mmm kay… let us just reflect for a moment here. Yes it may be true that the districts that give out the most free lunches also have the lowest achievement scores, but it’s also true that regions that spend more on snow removal tend to have more snow storms.  So  of course if you stop spending on snow removal it would help curb the snow storms right???? Or here’s another one, it’s probably also true that in regions where they give out the most free lunches they have the fewest water polo and lacrosse injuries.  So serving free lunch might also be correlated to water polo safety. Bauer should probably get a staff member on top of that right away.

Okay so there’s a good chance that critical thinking was not among the pearls bestowed upon Bauer by his dear grandmom.  

The plan that Bauer is suggesting is to require parents who’s children receive free lunch to attend parent teacher conferences. I actually admire the intent because I think all parents should be involved in their childrens education.  However this ignores the complex reasons that some of these kids are underpriviledged, and unfairly punishes the innocent victims some of whom are are already suffering enough.  What if the parents won’t come to the conferences, do the kids have to go hungry? How will hunger pains help improve their achievement scores?

Now I don’t live in South Carolina but I’ve lived in a place with a lot of poor people before. I remember being one of the few kids in my class who didn’t get free or reduced lunch when I was at my first elementary school. And even when I was in elementary school I had the common sense to know that it wasn’t the kids fault that they qualified for free lunch.  (Just like it might not be Bauer’s fault that the most valuable piece of wisdom he got from his grandmom is don’t feed stray animals) And while both of my parents worked hard,  for all I know we could have been a pink slip away from free lunch at any given moment ourselves.  At some point while I was still I child I learned that it’s important to have empathy, another thing Bauer’s grandmom must have forgotten to pass on to him.

I guess the points I’m trying to make here are:

1) Giving away free stuff doesn’t create poverty.  Poverty was here before free lunch programs were created.

2) Selfishness and a lack of empathy can sometimes make you look stupid.

3) Republicans make me itch.

Want to learn more about South Carolina’s hardest working politician (I got that from his website) go here. This is the guy who wants to replace their former governor Mark Sanford,  you know the one who kept us all entertained with the steamy details of his love affair with an Argentinian woman. It must be something to live in South Carolina.