The oddest thing you’ll read this week

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Want to be considered a minority? No problem

By Ben Carlson


Column as I see ’em …

The same organization that oversees the (public) education of your children wrote the following, which would be sort of funny were it not such a serious subject:

“The candidate who wishes to be elected to the school council as a minority representative on the school council must be the minority. However, if a person declares himself/herself a minority, he or she should be considered so for the purpose of fulfilling the requirements of minority council member.”

I’ll give you some background on this in a moment, but first consider what you just read. It says, in summary, that if a person declares him or herself a minority, he or she must be considered a minority, which means, I suppose, anyone who chooses to be a minority is a minority in the eyes of the state education department.

I share this because the high school here apparently now has a minority population of 8 percent or higher, triggering the need for a minority representative on its site-based decision council.

That requirement (KRS 160, if you care) is courtesy of your state legislature, which is keen on passing laws for others that it doesn’t have to follow itself.

Quibble if you will about the thought process required to think that a non-minority cannot represent a minority as well as a minority; I’ll leave that to you.

The “anyone can be a minority” loophole is but one of many questions I had about the law, and I found that definition when I wondered what would happen if a white person adopted a person of color and wanted to run for the site-based council.

It appears the white person could, but so could any other white person should he or she claim to be a minority.

I’m sure that’s not the spirit in which the law was written but is almost certainly the byproduct of thinking that the legislative process is the only means by which fairness can be achieved in society.

Sort of sad, isn’t it?

As for the legislature, perhaps before it concerns itself with legislating morality for everyone else it should first consider the dirt under its own carpet.

Census data show that Kentucky’s African American population stands at just over 8 percent, but of the 138 people serving in the state House and Senate, only eight are African American. That’s only 6 percent of the total, and in using the legislature’s own logic, means the group as a whole is underrepresented, right?

Further, were that logic painted with an even wider brush, the current president couldn’t possibly represent the interests of whites, Hispanics, Asians, Indians or anyone but those with his racial background, right?

Speaking of site-based councils …

I’ve never been a fan of them and here’s why. Those eligible to be elected must have a child in the school. Only those with a child in the school are eligible to vote. Yet the council, which includes teachers and the principal, spends tax dollars paid by everyone who pays school taxes.

Taxpayers without a child in the school have zero say in how their money is spent, and have no way to voice their displeasure at the ballot box.

What’s more, those councils are just one more level of plausible deniability for the school board — “We didn’t hire that principle!” “We didn’t spend the money on that!” — which is the only body that should be in charge of spending tax dollars, including discretionary funds.

Speaking of dollars …

If you’re among the thousands of people planning to attend this year’s haunted house at Eagle Lake and like reading this newspaper, I have a deal for you.

We’ve teamed up with Sheriff Troy Young to promote the haunted house — it’s a fundraiser for Shop With a Cop — and

will give four free VIP tickets to anyone who subscribes or renews through Oct. 31.

That’s a $20 value, which equals more than half the cost of a one-year subscription.

Better yet, they are VIP tickets, meaning you’ll be able to go to the front of what last year were hours-long lines to get in.

You can’t get those tickets anywhere else, so subscribe or renew and enjoy.

Best of all, all proceeds from the event help buy Christmas gifts for children in need.

That’s a deal you just can’t beat.

Speaking of Shop With a Cop …

Our annual burgoo cookoff is Saturday near the stage at Lawrenceburg Green.

If you’ve never been check it out Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The teams are great, the burgoo is great and everyone who donates $2 to Shop With a Cop gets to be a judge.

We have a great lineup of teams ready to blow you away with their burgoo and awesome displays.

Even if you don’t like burgoo, drop a buck or two in our donation box and help needy children have a better Christmas this year — or a Christmas at all.

Reach Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.