• 66°

Well there goes the idea of a melting pot

Let’s see, how many years have we been attempting to repair the faults of our early history? Way back it was the American Indians that we rousted from their lands. As recently as Teddy Roosevelt it was a &uot;game&uot; to see how many could be eliminated during a day’s raid on territory Indians had &uot;owned&uot; for eons. And the public joined in the fun; there was little outcry against the bloodletting.

Before that there was the matter of slaves being brought to America, humans sold as chattel. Many decades went by before some Americans spoke up about what they always knew was wrong. That encouraged others and suddenly it was pass\u00E9 to determine one’s status by the number of human beings that &uot;worked your farm for food.&uot;

Then followed years of slowly assimilating black citizens into the then considered society…a process that descendents often maintain is far from completed. A Governor of Alabama once stood in a school doorway to prevent people with nonwhite skin from entering for the purposes of education. That is not ancient history.

Now out in Lincoln, Neb.

the &uot;wise&uot; Legislature wants to undo what progress has been made in school integration by dividing the Omaha school system into three districts…one mostly black, one predominantly white, and one largely Hispanic. That &uot;brilliant&uot; stroke would set race relations back many years. It gives minorities control over their own school board to make certain their children are not &uot;shortchanged.&uot; That will not happen in Suffolk although there are those who would favor just such a move.

XXX

As an aid to assist modern parents in gaining control over their children Sprint Nextel brings to market a cell phone service that allows parents to pinpoint their darlings’ exact location. When raising kids we never found that necessary but apparently not all &uot;modern&uot; kids can be trusted to do what mommy says. But why didn’t we think of that, all we would have had to do was jump on the Internet and dial in the kids phone number and let GPS do the walking. Let’s see, that would have been about 1960 and we had just invented television. We did learn later on that our little sweethearts had not always been exactly where we thought they were but there was a lot less to worry about back then.

XXX

Do you remember the story of the New York school-bus driver charged with using electrical tape to tie down a 7-year-old girl he said was acting up. Personally I think duct tape would have worked much better. This hapless driver has been arraigned for unlawful imprisonment and second-degree harassment. If anyone was suffering it was the driver who was lawfully imprisoned on a bus with a thankless mob of unruly kids and was no doubt enduring first-degree harassment. He could face a year in jail if convicted when in fact the kids are generally guilty and should be jailed at home.

XXX

You got the bad news, shorebirds and songbirds will soon be flying in and unpacking their bags in Alaska. Only God knows where they have been or what they have been doing. They should not be allowed to, but everyone knows we have no control over our borders. More than 40 species will be landing shortly and if just one of them has been flirting with a bird carrying Avian Flu, look out, Alaska is not that far away. And they will be flying down the coast of Virginia.

And wouldn’t you know that our Government has already spent $29 million for a surveillance program. Wildlife folks in Alaska intend to deliberately kill and test a sample of 15 to 20 thousand birds as an early warning system. They are not about to pick up a dead one that just fell out of the sky. It must be too cold up there for the S.P.C.A?

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. His email address is robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com.