- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
To the Editor: ‘Do whatever it takes’ poses ethical problems
Today in every sphere, we fail our young people so bad, it’s almost as if we intended to. Once, however, the ubiquity as well as the iniquity of letting the inmates run the asylum is taken into account, one sees there’s no “almost” about it: our setting them up for failure is quite deliberate.
It’s only because we insist, always and everywhere, on the lowest common denominator that we so often get it. Take President Barack Obama. (Insert your own joke here.) In a public-service announcement on the radio, meant to tackle the nation’s horrific high-school dropout problem, Obama concludes tersely:
“DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO HELP THEM MAKE IT THROUGH!” Please note, he isn’t saying, “Help in any way you can,” but rather, essentially, “Do whatever it takes to help them do whatever it takes to make it through.” Striving for urgency, he instead strikes desperation.
Worse, he appears to be endorsing unethical behavior: “whatever it takes.” No, no, no. We should just do “what” it takes, and the kids likewise–nothing more, nothing less. Let’s remember to respect anyone who wants to be able to be proud of himself when he walks across that stage, for having climbed all the way to the summit, himself.
And anyway, Mr. President, alluding to helicopter rides or other shortcuts is preaching to the choir.
From the May 5-11, 2010 issue