My wife and friends often find it bizarre that I answer every e-mail I receive from my readers, including those who merely write to insult me. On occasion, even I, not being a masochist, have asked myself why I do it. There are a couple of reasons. The first is common courtesy. I figure if someone has taken the time to write, the least I can do is respond. I do permit myself to cut off communication if by the third exchange I haven’t persuaded them to stop calling me a racist, a fascist or a moron. Insulting me is one thing, but boring me is quite another.
My second reason, though, isn’t even slightly altruistic. I have found, at least once in a great while, that in the process of trying to explain my position on a specific issue to a really stupid person, I am compelled to clarify my own thinking. And when I say a really stupid person, I am naturally referring to a typical liberal.
So it was the other week when a reader, a black woman we’ll call Ms. D, took me to task for an article in which I not only shared my uncensored feelings about the Obamas, but also took the opportunity to attack Affirmative Action.
She opened with a question: “Why do you assume that any acceptance of non-whites into educational institutions is due to Affirmative Action? What you’re saying by making that assumption is that non-whites couldn’t possibly have gotten into Ivy League schools on their own merits. Some non-whites don’t even indicate their ethnicity for this very reason. Even if one is accepted because of A.A., he/she has to work twice as hard to prove himself. Nor can A.A. be credited for non-whites who successfully complete their academic careers.”
I replied: “I wish you would just say blacks instead of non-whites. After all, Asians are non-whites and they don’t receive Affirmative Action. Next, I never said that blacks never get into good schools on their own merits. It’s liberals who say that and believe it. Otherwise, there would be no such policy. You don’t see it in play for Asians. But, then, 50% of Asians don’t drop out of college without getting their diplomas.”
“When,” Ms. D went on, “did Mrs. Obama ever say that America was a mean country, as you claimed she did?”
“She said it in one of her speeches during the campaign. It was around the same time that she admitted that until her husband ran for president she’d never been proud of our country.”