History repeating itself

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pageant

A long, long time ago when I was in college, a group of us were rushing around getting ready to go out. I think we were dolling up for a semi-formal or some other like event.

Anyway, someone turned on a tv and one of the beauty pageants was on. As we took turns running to the bathroom down the hall and stopping in one another’s rooms, the pageant was winding down with the all-important questions.

Miss Louisiana, a stunning girl with long dark hair and a beautiful face, stepped up to the microphone. One of the judges asked for her opinion on affirmative action. She stood there under the bright lights and asked him to repeat the question. By this point a group of us had circled around the television set and I had a feeling something special was coming up. Her answer went something like this……

“Well,” she said. “I believe in optimism and living my life affirmatively. I think everyone has the right to choose to live an affirmative life. Affirmative action is a positive force.”

Miss Louisiana stood at that microphone with the brightest smile on her face. And there was silence. The panel of judges all sat there with their jaws dropped. We all stood there wondering how the pageant princess could have no idea of what affirmative action was. And finally, finally, a row in the audience burst out in applause and hoots of “great answer,” “good job”.

And apparently it happened again!

I must be living under a rock because the first I heard of this was Matt Lauer’s interview with Caitlin Upton this morning. I’m sorry – but she was “caught off guard” and “overwhelmed?” Look at this travesty of an answer:

“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as, uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

What does this say about the state of education in South Carolina?

Let’s see you take this one for a whirl — “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?”

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One thought on “History repeating itself

  1. Oh man, that was PAINFUL to watch. Maybe Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map because our education system has failed us, or because that’s not one of the questions on the standardized test used to tie school performance to funding, or because we’re so arrogantly nationalistic that we don’t teach kids about other parts of the world.

    Or, hell, maybe she’s right and it’s because there are no maps in South Africa.

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