Saturday, May 08, 2021

White folks are such fragile critters ....

I spent some time this morning looking at various reports on Iowa's racial mix and as nearly as I can tell the latest estimates place the percentage of white Iowans at 90.6; black, 4.1; and Asian, 2.7; with smaller numbers of mixed race, native and "other." Hispanic or Latino origin is not a racial category, but an estimated 6.3 percent of all the above share that background.

Of all the racial categories, white folks tend to be the most fragile --- so it's easy to understand why Republicans in the Legislature have approved and sent to the governor legislation limiting what can be taught in Iowa classrooms about race-related issues, both historical and contemporary, and/or during mandatory diversity training sessions for public employees. You can read more in this report from today's Des Moines Register.

Lawmakers are quick to point out that the legislation does not outlaw entirely discussion of topics they consider controversial --- if the right questions are asked; nor does it ban the topics entirely from public instruction. But especially for the latter, it muddies the water to the point that school districts (and public universities) must balance their need for public funding against the white Republican worldview when deciding what to teach and/or discuss and how to do it.

The next great threat facing the Legislature is how to deal with the hordes of transgender girls intent on competing against other girls in gymnasiums and on playing fields. Gov. Reynolds is hoping for legislation to address that non-issue before the session ends.

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