June 22, 2007
Australia's prime minister announced plans Thursday to ban pornography and alcohol for Aborigines in northern areas and tighten control over their welfare benefits to fight child sex abuse among them.Some Aboriginal leaders have spoken out against the plan, and they point out that the problems result from government behavior:
The plan angered some Aboriginal leaders, who said it was the kind of government behavior that has disenfranchised Aborigines and created the problems in the first place. They also complained they had not been consulted; the government had not previously indicated it was considering such action.Two things stand out. One is that Australia obviously doesn't have the equivalent of a 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection for all citizens. The other is that social engineering invites further social engineering. Once the government undertakes to turn human beings into wards of the state (which they have in Australia), it becomes very easy to rationalize treating them like children and micromanage every detail of their lives.
I certainly hope nothing of the sort ever happens here, but I worry about the people who want to do things like impose selective gun control on urban areas -- especially those who see opposition to gun control as "racist."
If we applied similar logic to alcohol, liquor stores would only be allowed in affluent suburbs. In Seattle, they're moving in that direction:
Sales of "fortified" beer and wine will be banned in certain Seattle neighborhoods as part of a plan to cut homelessness and chronic alcoholism, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported Aug. 31.While these aren't my favorite brands, I'm reminded of a similar mindset to ban my favorite breed of dogs.
I realize some people think discrimination intended to "help" people is fine. I think it's incredibly condescending (as well as unconstitutional) and deserves to be called "nanny racism."
posted by Eric on 06.22.07 at 12:13 PM
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