Should We Promote Commenting?
At our annual state-of-the-blog lunch at this year’s AALS meeting, members of CoOp discussed whether, and how, to develop the blog’s interactive side. I generally have supported interactive content generation, as a part of a bigger project to solve the flat legal blogosophere problem. But we haven’t done much in this direction, cautioned, I think, by our lacking a unified vision of what legal blogs should do, and should look like, in the future.
Reading the comments to a recent post by Orin Kerr at Volokh, I think I can appreciate the arguments against encouraging audience participation at a more visceral level. Orin posted a video of MLJ’s “I Have a Dream” speech without further comment. The thread (very quickly) moved into a discussion of affirmative action. Here are a few examples of the anti- side:
The prejudice and stereotype in this case [a hypothetical "resume with a stereotypically black name on it is vastly less likely to get a call for an interview than an identical resume with a name few black people"] is that the probably-black candidate is likely to be a total incompetent who’s been scocially promoted” his whole life by organizations who need to keep their AA numbers up.
Many posters here will be fighting to keep my children out of the best schools bacause of their race over the next two decades. I believe many will continue to call my children racist for wanting fair treatment. The race hucksters of today differ little from those who enacted Jim Crow.
What frustrates me as an academic is that there is a marked tendency for college faculty to decide their department needs a black person. So they add an AA line. Which is fine.
Implicit in today’s affirmative action is the notion that the Black man isn’t equal to the White man so we have to have different standards for him. The proponents of AA also see it as necessary to demonize an entire race as born oppressors. It would be interesting to run psychological tests on this group similar to the ones done on Black children back in the 50s who were subject to Jim Crow.
All that shows that the process of creating the holiday was deceitful, and we shouldn’t have a holiday for him at all. The supposed reason for creating the holiday was to honor his opposition to racism, not his adherence to left-wing causes. We’re better off *without* a holiday used to promote raising taxes and opposing the military. If those things are such an inseparable part of his legacy that it’s impossible to honor him without promoting those causes, then his legacy is a horrible one and neither he nor it deserve to be honored.
Such disparate reactions to King’s speech are as predictable as they are sad. But they don’t suggest to me that encouraging more comments on our threads, or more generally moving toward a diary-based system, would necessarily lead to better content.