For what may be the first time that we've seen, one liberal organization's paternalism has clashed with the obsessive desire of many on the Left to see as much money as possible get sent to the government. Their argument for this particular puritanical outing, sadly, is unlikely to surprise anyone with even a basic understanding of what George W. Bush called the "soft bigotry of low expectations."
The Dallas, Texas, chapter of the NAACP has something of a problem - they don't particularly like the Texas lottery. Why? Because they think it's a regressive institution that offers a minuscule chance of financial success in exchange for taking gigantic amounts of money from "vulnerable populations" every year. Presumably, they would rather that Texas make up the revenue it gets through the lottery with higher taxes on the rich. KDAF-TV has the details:
It is always a thrill when a Lotto ticket is printed and you dream of what you are going to buy with the millions of dollars. But Juanita Wallace, the president of the NAACP Dallas Chapter, said those who do the most dreaming in Texas were also the most vulnerable.
"It's the poor people, the uneducated people who spend the most money on the Lottery and it's not going for [them] the way they thought it was going to go,” said Wallace.
That's why the NAACP Dallas Chapter voted unanimously to call on state officials to drop the Texas Lotto program.
Wallace said there were also concerns with how much of the proceeds were going toward public education.[...]
Texas Lottery officials, in a statement, disagreed.
Watch a full video report on the controversy, also courtesy of KDAF, here:
Unsurprisingly, we don't find this particular outing into racial victimhood persuasive, and not just because it has a snowball's chance in the eruption of Mount St. Helen's of ever being successful at its objective. But it raises a few questions. For one thing, while we can't speak to Texas' public school system specifically (but based on the increasingly grim state of public education generally), might investing money in the lottery be a more reliable route toward upward mobility?
Moreover, on a less flippant note, what is the lottery if not a symbol of the risk inherent in upward mobility? It's not as though no one ever wins the thing -- in fact, it's often quite a big news story when they do. How exactly is it hurting "vulnerable populations" to let them have a little hope, even if it is thin hope?
Also, does the Dallas NAACP really think these "vulnerable" populations are so incapable of impulse control that they'll spend themselves into oblivion on the lottery? And how would those "vulnerable populations" feel if the NAACP does? In fact, might the answer to this last question call the non-racist credentials of the Dallas NAACP into doubt?
With so many questions floating around the proposal, perhaps the only vulnerable population the Texas NAACP should be looking out for are their own arguments.