Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A Conservative Moron at AU Law

I happened to be at the AU Law library because our library was closed for the weekend. The law school student magazine, which is good from what I have seen in the past, has an opinion piece by Tom Burrell, which to put mildly, is high school writing at best. I realize it is an opinion piece, but if he is going to footnote some things, than he should make more of an effort on his more outrageous claims.

The piece is full of cheap shots, bits of stories taken out of context, and without any citations there is no real way of seeing the full story. The opening paragraph give some idea of what upsets Mr. Burrell:

Current views on diversity, race, gender, and homosexuality are hypocritical and fail to address key points. Institutional forces including higher education, the media, and other organizations have an agenda to promote one narrow view at the expense of traditional values, males, whites, and religions.

Most of the article is about his displeasure with the gay rights movement. I suspect Mr. Burrell is worried that because he goes to AU, a generally liberal school, he won't be accepted into the dominate conservative movement. To counter any misconceptions of his proud conservative nature, he has penned this rant against "Hollywood and the liberal elites."

To "celebrate diversity," K-12 schools force-feed homosexuality, with or without the parents' approval, in sex ed. classes; have a national "coming out day"; promote gay and lesbian studies; conduct homosexual teach-ins, homosexual assemblies, etc. During a school's "diversity ceremony," the local 7th graders are told to ignore their family members and community members when those "unenlightened haters" speak against homosexuality.
The ACLU, in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, continues its reign of moral terror and chaos around the nation. A California School District was forced to pay $1.1 million for failure to protect homosexual students from "harassment" (read: potential discomfort) in 1998.

The article is full of these little anecdotes, with his petty commentary throughout. Then the article gets into some story of 13 year-old boy who was murdered. Apparently the story did not get a lot of press, unlike the Matthew Shepard story, so Mr. Burrell includes a lengthy portion of an affidavit from the case in all it gory details.

Then for some reason Mr. Burrell gets into the issue of the use of the word nigger:

One would decipher from the media, legislature, and other institutional forces at work that there is a mutual and beneficial maxim that all civilized members of society should eradicate N-word hate speech (or, if you're white, words that may have similar sounds to potential hate speech). At least in enforcement, if not in concept, I think the PC police forgot the African Americans in this epithet rehabilitation. A survey of rap music, without a doubt the most popular form of so-called music among persons of color, suggests that African Americans are not too concerned about hate speech after all.

Burrell provides quotes from several rap songs that have violent language. I am still not sure how this ties into the rest of the article, which is mostly about how he does not much like the concept of gay rights. But to conclude his article, Burrell just points to the stupidity of some rap music.

As a whole, the lyrics reveal the violence, profanity, and inhumane behavior of rap music. Admittedly my opinion is just one of many. Some commentators feel that the violent lyrics are determined by youth, masculinity, blackness, and poverty, and that Americans should applaud the young rap artists for taking the time to express their anger. Still others feel that white America deserves violence and mayhem for 400 years of oppression. You decide.

Now I know as a law student things can be very busy, and it takes time to write a good article. But if you are going to make the effort, it should at least make sense. Some of what Mr. Burrell is saying might be valid, but he makes such a mess of it all, he comes across as an ignorant racist homophobe. But maybe that is what he was aiming for.

Comfort, Hypocrisy, and Morality - American Jurist - Perspectives

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