Monday, July 17, 2006

Phony Allen Baloney

After reading a Washington Post article yesterday morning about how the youth vote could be the deciding factor in this year’s fall election, Howling Latina had a duh moment when she glanced at a Daily Press story about Sen. George Felix Allen’s sudden interest in students, or at least their parents.

That’s right, inspired by Virginia’s rich history, Allen kicked off a high-school writing contest with all the hype and backdrop equal only to Dubya’s "Mission Accomplished" dissembling of three years ago.

The Daily Progress writes:
Allen was the center of attention Saturday as he stood in front of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home and kicked off an essay and poetry contest aimed at energizing high school students to learn more about their Virginia heritage.
The catchy phrased 'Know Your History, Know Your Story' essay and poetry contest asks students to talk about past Virginia presidents or historic locations and what they mean to them in relationship to their ethnic background and core “principles and doctrines.”

“Some of the folks who have been here, though, even on these grounds here at Monticello, have been forgotten. … These folks are going to be rediscovered …and the story of their lives will be retold again.”
Let us hope more than a few brave souls dare express in prose the pain and sorrow linked to Virginia's unheroic and shameful Dixie past; and yes, this should include the torment some students may have felt in more recent history when faced with stubborn remnants of good ol' Jim Crow.

Allen apparently hopes minorities forget how he opposed the Martin Luther King Holiday; and his days as governor where the Confederate flag draped his office; and oh, his lovely noose. But never mind, forget his bigoted past. Allen is a born-again civil-rights bleeding-heart.
“We ought to respectfully acknowledge the contributions of many African-Americans who lived and worked here [at Monticello] and also in the nearby communities,” he said. “Their labor, and indeed their lives, were vital to the creation and the building and the survival of Virginia and America. Their story has not often been told because it has been in many ways a painful story. … But it is the story of survival, of personal perseverance.”
Providentially, the contest is sponsored by Soul of Virginia magazine, not the phony cowboy senator with fake guilt whose goal is to wipe out any memory of past sins. The contest sponsors hope to bring "diverse voices" to the dialogue of Virginia's history.

In that spirit, those who represent Soul of Virginia magazine hope to generate a cross-section of essays and poems from students of many different backgrounds throughout the state.

“I think it’s almost a history of omission,” said Russell Hopson, a former public-school teacher in Yorktown who will be a judge in the contest. “Black people need to know they are co-equals in this history. This conversation needs to take place.”

Well, maybe Allen has had a change of heart and at long last discarded his precious Confederate flag lapel from his rebel high school days.

In the meantime back in our reality based universe, dear senator, can you please explain to Virginians why you voted to increase the cost of higher education for poor students while backing humongous tax cuts for the insanely rich?!?

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