Monday, April 19, 2004

Race, Class, Gender,Race, Class, Gender, Race, Class, Gender...

Sometimes as I flip through the San Francisco Chronicle, I glance at each news story they chose to report and classify them under Race, Class or Gender. Its astonishing how many stories fall into these three categories. They are the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of Liberalism. The Holy Trinity.

New York's Democrat representative, Charles Rangel who is getting increasingly obnoxious in his efforts to undermine the American war effort in Iraq, reminded me of this yesterday. The Associated Press reports from Washington on his latest harangue:

Speaking of military personnel serving in Iraq, Rangel said: "Where they're going, what a heavy tax is paid on their lives. . . . The real death tax is a tax on the poor."

The congressman said about a quarter of those killed in action so far have been black or Hispanic, and are drawn to the military as a way out of economic hardship.

According to the 2000 census, Hispanics make up 12.5% of the population and non-Hispanic blacks 12.1%, for a total of 24.6%. If about a quarter of the soldiers killed in Iraq belonged to one of these groups, that means blacks and Hispanics are dying at almost precisely proportionate numbers to their share of the population.

This was also a popular myth of the Vietnam War.

I also suspect there's a certain amount of what psychologists call "projection" in his mis-characterization of what motivates young people to volunteer. Interesting that a United States Congressman cannot imagine that our soldiers may have wanted to merely serve their country. Which party was he with again?

Congressman Rengal made no comment on the disproportionate number of male casualties to female.


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