Dylan Ratigan's "Daily Rant" segment was a treasure trove of controversial statements today. You be the judge of which statement rates higher on the controversy-meter:
- Ratigan's claim that the "default position" in the USA is to incarcerate black men rather than educate them; or
- Blogger Keli Goff's suggestion that to end the cycle of poverty among African-Americans, and to avoid burdening taxpayers, kids should be taught in school that not everyone should have children.
Ratigan's rather-imprison-than-educate African-Americans accusation is refuted by the facts, starting with the fact
that the school district that spends more per pupil than any other in the USA is . . . that of the federally-funded District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly African-American.
As for the suggestion from Keli Goff
[a youthful veteran of various Dem political campaigns], can you imagine the outrage and the accusations of eugenics if a conservative blogger, particularly one of pallor, proposed that kids be taught not to have children as a solution, among other things, for reducing the burden of African-Americans on taxpayers?
Goff was responding to a Bob Herbert column
noting the low high-school graduation rate among African-American males.
KELI GOFF: . . . One high-school dropout ends up costing taxpayers more than $200,000 over his lifetime. And yet African-Americans and religious black Americans in particular, still have a tough time tackling the issues of family planning and birth control . . . So what's the solution? Well, I think it's simple. I think we should start by putting the "plan" back in "family planning." No, I'm not advocating that we start throwing condoms at five-year olds. I'm actually suggesting something much more revolutionary. For starters, what if in childhood health classes we taught the idea that just as every person isn't meant to grow up to become an astronaut, not every person is meant to grow up to become a parent?
. . .
DYLAN RATIGAN: How much of [the cycle of poverty] in your opinion is family-planning driven, how much of that is a function of systematic racism in our country and laws that are enforced to basically pick-up, harvest and incarcerate young black men, particularly in New York with the Rockefeller laws, and how much of it is a complete abandonment of education as a value system period in this country unless you're rich?
GOFF: Well first of all you can't discount any of those issues, and a lot of them are intertwined, but we do have systematic racism in this country, we have a history in this country that has helped handicap --
RATIGAN: Particularly for incarcerating black men!
GOFF: Right, which has helped handicap our community.
RATIGAN: Because in my opinion, has been a default position to incarcerate black men as opposed to educate and integrate black men into our economy!