Tuesday, February 03, 2009

MisRepresentation

Georgia state lawmaker outraged that taxes support public colleges.

At least one Republican lawmaker doesn’t want Georgia tax dollars to support the public education system. He claimed to be “personally outraged that our taxpayer money is supporting professors.” The representative from Canton aimed most of his ire toward the Georgia State University sociology department, specifically two professors whose academic research is concentrated on the interactions of human health issues with teen psychology and male psychology. The Republican representative to a Republican majority legislature has decided that now is the time to look closely at the state budget of Georgia, and find the most socially divisive ways to make cuts. He wants sociology professors fired from their jobs partly because he feels sociology and psychology are issues most effectively addressed in the Bible, and partly because he wants to appear fiscally and socially conservative at the same time. Creating a controversy is one of the easiest ways to do such a thing in the current economic and political climate.

Ok, ok. All that may not actually be true, it all might be misrepresentation on my part. Saying loaded things to get your interest, sprinkling in a little truth for credibility, feed a narrative while I'm at it and only then investigate what is really going on. But I’m not a representative to a state government, and I’m not being quoted in a paper, so my misrepresentation is only a small one, possibly a misunderstanding of the situation.

Who knows? This representative may only have problems determining the difference between a professor’s biography and a college course catalog. He may not understand the difference between a professor conducting academic studies on certain sexual behaviors and offering classes on certain sexual behaviors. But should someone who can’t look at information and tell such differences be voting on how the State of Georgia structures its budget?


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