Monday, December 06, 2010

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

Breitbart posted this video of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn to highlight her assertion that free internet is a civil right for "every nappy headed child". It sort of doesn't sit right that race seems to be a factor in how she performs her federal job. But really, who cares? She can't have different policies for white citizens vs. black citizens. She can't mandate free internet for black customers. But yeah, her statements don't inspire confidence.

Regardless, it was her race story that didn't scan for me. She tells of how, when she was 9-years old, a "Miss Alice" would drive up to her grandma's house with a box of hand-me-down shoes. And that the shoes didn't fit, and that Miss Alice was disrespectful to her grandma.

Now I can't say the story is untrue. But Mignon Clyburn was 9 in 1971. And that was the year he father joined the staff of South Carolina Governor John C. West. Clyburn, at age 31, had just made an unsuccessful run for the South Carolina General Assembly, and had worked as a high school teacher since getting his bachelor's degree in history.

It may be that Jim Clyburn was doing much better than his parents, or possibly it was the maternal grandma of Mignon's, but I have trouble seeing it as the story of privation that Mignon remembers. Her story at least has the flavor of dreary hardship. Really? Because a white woman brought by hand-me-downs? Mignon claims that this was the best Miss Alice could do for her grandma. But I wonder if the 9 year old really had a handle on the relationship between Miss Alice and her grandma. As stories of oppression go, I'm underwhelmed.

I suppose she just wants to be sure no "Miss Alice" shows up in the driveway of her grandchildren's grandma toting a box of used internet that doesn't fit.


I guess my I-don't-care-if-she-did-make-up-her-victimization-story attitude is conditional: I don't care so long as crap like this doesn't gain traction. It shouldn't. Not unless they burn the constitution:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.

Barton was reacting to a proposal made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who in a speech suggested that broadcasters be subject to a new "public values test" every four years.

"I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume,” Barton wrote Monday in a letter to Copps.