Madison County Opinion...

MAY 28, 2003


Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
May 28, 2003

Frankly Speaking
Diversity movement is for ‘politically correct’
The new word for left wing social projects is “diversity.” It takes its place along with “affirmative action” and “politically correct” as a way of determining who deserves to sip from the government’s cup of plenty.
In order to qualify under the diversity rules, any organization must consist of blacks, Latinos, Asians, women of all color, every religion but Christian and every culture except for the American South. Please take note of the exceptions. They make clear the purpose of the rules.
In the name of “diversity,” Americans are being sorted out and assigned to specific groups. All members of each group are expected to look the same, dress the same, speak, pray and sing the same. You cannot be part of the diversity movement unless you clearly fit into one of the recognized “politically correct” groups. That is one of the chief absurdities of the diversity movement.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of Georgia does not fit into the diversity program. It does not matter that he is the only black member of the Supreme Court, he is a conservative, and blacks are required by the diversity program to be liberal. He also disqualified himself last week when he told a D.C. high school class that true diversity is a personal matter. While the class was mostly black, he saw people who would one day be business leaders, research scientist, members of the military, teachers, even politicians. He argued that the class was highly diverse even though they all had dark faces.
Judge Thomas was right. We are, every one of us, unique individuals. Our identity is a combination of thousands of genetic, cultural, social and religious factors. The color of our skin, or the region of the world from which we emerged are only tiny parts of the overall factors that generate our unique being. Even the members of a family are often far more diverse than their superficial similarities would lead you to believe.
One of the purposes for establishing these United States was to allow us to develop and express our individual uniqueness. That is what makes us great as a people and as a nation. No two Americans are the same. We each have strengths and weaknesses. Whatever any one of us is missing in ability, a friend or relative can supply just as we help meet the needs of our neighbors.
The same is, or was, true of the several states that make up our nation. Each state has a unique set of resources, both natural and human, that sets it apart from the remainder of the nation. We became a world leader because we were able to call on each state to provide its best assets to the national whole.
This “diversity” program will destroy all that. The goal is to force each of us into some uniform group, then force each city, state, school or other organization to accept into its structure members of each group. The results will be the loss of our greatest strength.
We are each unique, special and irreplaceable. We each have our own place in society. We are a great society as long as we are allowed to find for ourselves our own special place in it. That is what “freedom” and “liberty” are all about. But if we are forced to conform to the leftist version of “diversity,” our nation will quickly devolve into just another third world country. Sometimes I think that is exactly what they want.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at www.mcga.net. His e-mail address is frankg@mcga.net.

Column
By Zach Mitcham
The Madison County Journal
May 28, 2003

From the Editor's Desk
On getting married
My best friend from high school gave me some advice the other day about mine and Jana’s wedding vows this Sunday.
“Make sure to tell your preacher to speak slowly,” Dean said.
I had forgotten his mishap in his wedding several years ago. The preacher recited the vows and waited for Dean to repeat them. But Dean was nervous or distracted and couldn’t remember the words. “Whatever” was all he could muster, and the crowd laughed as the preacher put his arm around Dean in a sympathetic hug.
I don’t tell this to make fun of my friend, because I can relate to his nervousness as my own wedding draws near.
I feel a slight shiver of nerves whenever I hear the particulars of what someone will wear Sunday, or consider what will be served at the reception, or think of any other number of details, knowing that so much preparation is going into the formality of our day.
I think of weddings I’ve participated in, particularly my friend Clint’s. I remember standing near the bride and groom and looking up in horror to see that one of the candles I lit before the ceremony had caught some leaves on fire. Clint’s brother rushed up the altar steps and frantically blew out the flames with his breath.
I think of other ceremonies involving the unexpected, such as my cousin’s, in which the young flower girl stood behind the bride and groom, dancing and tumbling.
“I’d give her a 10 for the dismount,” my father joked later.
There is an understandable fear that surely everyone faces when they anticipate their wedding, because all want it to be perfect.
But I recognize too that the ceremony is merely a start. And any imperfections of that day become the fond recollections of a loving couple as they age together.
I think of my parents’ wedding day photo from 33 years ago, how my mother was very beautiful, but my father looked strangely awkward in his thick, black-rimmed glasses and pants suited more for an impending flood than a wedding. I think of my mother’s smile as she looks at that photo, recognizing that yes, those pants were mighty short and those glasses were awfully thick. But when she closes that photo album, I know that’s not what she’s thinking.
I think of other photos too. This newspaper often runs pictures of couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. I often find myself studying their faces. I do find a certain kindness in those pictures that I like. I hope Jana and I will pose for one of those pictures one day.
First, of course, we’ll pose for plenty of pictures Sunday.
We’ll battle our nerves, we surely will.
And yes, I will ask the preacher to please speak slowly.
But I feel good, knowing that I will watch Jana walk towards me.
And I will know that I am fortunate and loved.
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal.

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