Urbin Report

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bigotry rears its ugly head...

...in the bluest part of the blue state of California, San Francisco.
Jeff Jacoby details the Anti-Military Bigotry of the San Francisco school board.
Here are some of the highlights:

"IN THE FIRST place God made idiots," observed Mark Twain. "This was for practice. Then he made school boards." The San Francisco Board of Education's 4-2 vote last week to abolish the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program, which has been active in the city's high schools for 90 years, tends to support his view.

Why is JROTC being done away with? It isn't for lack of interest. More than 1,600 San Francisco students currently take part in its voluntary activities. "Kids love this program as if it's family," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. It is "a program that students and their parents wholeheartedly support."

Finances aren't the problem either. Operating JROTC costs the city less than $1 million out of an annual school budget of $356 million.

Nor is the problem bad management. The Chronicle reports that "no one has offered an alternative as coherent and well-run as JROTC."

Safety? Also not a problem. Though cadets have uniforms, they carry no weapons; the nonviolent programs emphasize leadership, self-discipline, citizenship, and teamwork. "This is where the kids feel safe," says one JROTC instructor, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Powell.

And the problem certainly isn't an absence of diversity. In a story on JROTC cadets at Galileo High School, Chronicle reporter Jill Tucker writes: "These students are 4-foot-10 to 6-foot-4. Athletic and disabled. College-bound and barely graduating. Gay and straight. White, black, and brown. Some leave school for large homes with ocean views. Others board buses for Bayview-Hunters Point." Several of the students come from immigrant families. At least one is autistic.

So what is the problem with JROTC? There isn't one. The problem is with the anti military bigotry of the school board majority and the "peace" activists who lobbied against the program on the grounds that San Francisco's schools should not be sullied by an association with the US armed forces.


There is some sanity in the city of the newly elected Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
To his credit, Mayor Gavin Newsom excoriated the school board last week for "disrespecting the sacrifice of men and women in uniform" and warned that killing JROTC would only accelerate the flight of city residents from the public schools. "You think this is going to help keep families in San Francisco?" he asked. "No. It's going to hurt."

Going to? For 1,600 kids now faced with the death of a program that infused their lives with purpose, camaraderie, and self-respect, the hurt has already begun.


It's pretty damn obvious that the San Francisco School Board does not support Americans in the Military uniforms of the United States of America.