Saturday, October 15


Ridiculous and revealing.

Seven or eight years ago I directed a fundraising video for the Dallas Women's Foundation that included a segment on Girls, Inc. It was the most affecting part of the film. The facility I filmed stood poignantly in the shadows of the West Dallas Projects, one of the nation's poorest neighborhoods, called a "gigantic monument to segregation and neglect." Ironically, the outdoor play area provided one of the best and most beautiful views of the city of Dallas in the area. Standing metaphorically between the girls' view of the promise of the city and the reality of their lives on the outskirts stood a rusty chain-link fence.

The building and services Girls, Inc. provided its neighborhood included a few computers and devoted volunteers who taught the children basic computer skills, dance classes, table manners, help with homework, self-esteem, good decision-making, grooming, and other lessons to help them fit into a society they were ill-equipped by poverty and neglect to join. Clearly subversive and anti-values efforts that deserve the scorn of fanatical conservatives!

I am incensed by so-called "family values" associations that attack organizations that are trying to close the opportunities gap between those who take their privileges for granted and those who have never known any. Their efforts seemed based upon a belief that it is better for young minority women to stumble ignorantly into disadvantaged sexual relations and breed babies they're ill equipped to support (and who are then attacked by the same people for being "welfare queens") than to be taught that they have a right to choose their own destiny. Is Girls, Inc. "pro-abortion" and "pro-lesbianism"? Absurd. They're merely pro-girl.

UPDATE: Incidentally, the Dallas Women's Foundation does not fund organizations that actively promote abortion. The organization is made up of women both Republican (a majority) and Democrat who are enlightened enough to recognize that helping girls and women to become self-sufficient and self-determining is good for all of society. My former boss -- an unwavering Republican -- is actually a member of the board of Girls, Inc. and one of its most fervent supporters.


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