Paying for what you Believe

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Military College Recruiting yesterday. The issue, described in the articles, centers on law schools and other colleges being required to give Military recruiters the same prominence and support as private employers if they accept Federal Aid. This sounds like nothing new. We see similar things happening with No Child Left Behind.

There is no such thing as free ANYTHING, especially not money, extra especially not FEDERAL money. One day, people will understand that. Until then, expect the ignorant to be continually fleeced, but I digress from this until some future post.

What is interesting about the college recruitment case is the argument that schools are using to argue against this practice. Part of what they are arguing that since the military has its “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, it is at odds with the college’s practice of not discriminating against openly gay students. They don’t want to be associated directly with the military because of this as it gives the impression that they are compromising on their position of support for openly gay men and women.

That is total B.S. News Hour with Jim Lehrer sums that up with one line, taken from the audio of the hearing, which I will now paraphrase:

“If they have such a problem, why are they accepting the money?”

This is the age-old question that can be applied to many of life’s situations, including but not limited to:

“If you believe in unionization, why do you shop at Wal-Mart?”
“If you can’t stand him, why do you let him buy you dinner?”

There is sacrifice involved with believing in something. Can instant-gratification-driven consumer culture thwart our desire to actually ACT on principle? The colleges obviously are not able to do this; the money is too important. Can we do it individually? We can’t expect change to happen on that level until it happens on a personal level.

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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