« Another crackdown on soldier bloggers | Main | Vermont YouTube of the Day »

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Weekly Post

This one was actually posted on Sunday, April 22. From Jim Blynt at Disquisitions and Revolutions:

Last Monday a deeply isolated and troubled young man committed an act of great violence and tragedy, one that speaks to many problems in our nation and our human society.

In an unrelated article, the New York Times reported on Saturday that 33-year-old Kelly Lawson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, said, in reaction to having a Buddhist temple near her home, "I can't stand them. It is strange to us, so we don't like it." In the same article, Donna Davis, 56, also of Fort Wayne, said, "If they want to live here, why can't they start acting like Americans?"

Thanks, Kelly and Donna! You're sure doing your part! The nation is grateful to you both for your truly brilliant insight!

Please, someone tell me, if I do have to start acting like an American, that I don't have to act like the people in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Jim's got another interesting post up today, about racist and homophobic UVM students. He writes:

A Frat Boy recently moved into our little apartment house. His presence is jarring. Most tenants, renting modest apartments in a downtrodden part of town, just try to make ends meet. Frat Boy is annoyingly incongruous. He drives a sparkling new SUV, roughly the size of our living room (he never walks, even a few blocks). He wears the requisite Abercrombie and Fitch wardrobe. A woman who is either his maid or his mother pulls up from time to time with bags of groceries or a laundry basket of neatly folded clothes. A giggling bevy of bar sluts skitters through on a fairly regular basis.

When did so many students become so rich, so arrogant, and so intolerant, and why is it happening at UVM? I know from experience this isn’t the case with students at some of the city’s smaller colleges, which seem to dovetail more appropriately with Burlington’s atmosphere. How did life become so privileged for so few, and when did the rest of us in Burlington become fair game for their rude, racist, homophobic, and completely inappropriate public utterances?


May 2, 2007 at 02:07 PM in The Weekly Post | Permalink


Hey now... take it easy on the Summit City... I grew up in Fort Wayne. There are some lovely people there.

At the same time, these folks voted Dan Quayle into the U.S. House and Senate for a decade or two before he became VP. And neighboring Huntington used to be the northern HQ for the KKK. I remember the high school wrestling coach there had a last name of Hitler... literally... no need to change it. Oh yeah, and someone tried to assassinate Vernon Jordan, then head of the NAACP I think, sniping from Fort Wayne's own grassy knoll when he was in town to give a speech in the 1970s.

But other than that...

Actually, the "Take Vermont Backwards" campaign a few years ago was powered by similar sentiment. Fort Wayne doesn't have the market cornered on this kind of world view.

Posted by: Michael Wood-Lewis | May 2, 2007 3:31:56 PM

Two weeks ago, I posted on my blog, “Disquisitions and Revolutions,” a brief piece about the ignorant comments made by two women in Fort Wayne, Indiana, comments that seemed especially unfortunate, given that they were directed against a group well known for compassion and tolerance, Buddhist monks. The question arises, naturally, as to whether such comments are an aberration or representative of a broader ignorance now spreading throughout the land. I wish I could say I think it is an aberration, but the evidence does not support that point. Thomas Franks rightly pointed out in his book What’s the Matter With Kansas that the intolerance expressed by the people of Fort Wayne Indiana is now characteristic of the Midwest and not at all exceptional. Last month, CNN reported on a teacher whose job was in jeopardy because she approved a student article in the school newspaper. The student committed what is, in the eyes of the Midwest, a most un-American act: She advocated tolerance, in particular tolerance towards gay people (a friend of hers had recently come out to her). Instead of reaping praise and commendation for her courage, intelligence, and compassion, she and her teacher, found themselves under attack by the ignorant, conservative dunces of Indiana. You can read more about the incident at http://edition.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04/22/school.newspaper.flap.ap/index.html.
Whatever you happen to think about the values, politics, and world view of the Midwest, the one thing you cannot conclude is that all is well in the American Heartland (Homeland? Fatherland?). Anyone who thinks that bullies and dunces continue to call the shots in much of this nation is fooling themselves.

Posted by: Jim | May 7, 2007 9:44:15 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.