Well it looks like I’m coming out of the closet.
Oh no honey not that, although you all know I frequent gay bars but it’s because I’m a hag not a participant. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, to quote Jerry Seinfeld.
Ok anyway, I’m coming out as a proponent of free speech.
See, I come from a long line of wildly rabid Kennedy Democrats. Yes, I am a bit left-leaning. In my youth I was much more so, now as I’ve gotten older I’m a little more moderate. Back in the day, I hated Ronald Reagan with a passion, nowadays… I still kind of hate him but with less fervor. :)
Anyway, today a local radio morning show team was fired because they went on a rant the other day about the new City of Rochester policy to cover essentially “sex change operations” and related services under the city employees health insurance. These two brain trusts went on a rant about how these people were nutjobs and they made dick jokes and such. Backlash ensued, at first they were suspended, now canned. Read about it here:
Now, I am ridiculously sensitive about letting people live and let live, I wish the world didn’t see color, religion, or sexual preference. Granted I trash talk some people now and again but I try not to demean their whole being. I will talk about what they do was stupid. But what they said was just insensitive and sophomoric. Especially talking about a local transgender high school kid on a softball team and his “extra bat”. Just dumb.
However… I fear our country has been venturing into dangerous territory. Every time I turn around there is some other public figure putting their foot in their mouth and people are demanding for their head on a platter. I just think it’s getting a little out of hand.
Now hear my out. I loathe racists and biggots. I used to hate on them back, which isn’t any better than what they do quite frankly. Well I feel, anyway. Now I just shake my head and hope they see the light someday. If I am in the presence of someone making a biggoted remark, I try to fight for the cause by saying, “Well that’s not a very nice thing to say. Why would you say that?” Not to jump all over their shit but to let them know it’s not cool.
Take the whole Donald Sterling thing. You know, the Magic-Johnson-hating owner of the Clippers? Yes, he’s an asshole, no I’m not condoning him. And tell me you didn’t know about 5 Dads on your block when you were growing up who spoke just like him. No, it doesn’t make it right but don’t people have a right to be assholes in America? I mean… ok bad example, if he is jacking up people’s livelihoods by being racist then yea, he deserves to have his team taken away. Need to do more homework on that.
But like entertainers. The sportscaster that made the remark about the “chink” in the armor in the same paragraph as a story about Jeremy Lin the Asian basketball player who was on a hot streak a while ago. He got canned. Really? Poor taste, maybe. I personally think the remark was a stretch in being related. The network didn’t even think about it until the public started calling for his head.
See, that’s my problem. All these people in an uproar whenever they hear something they don’t like. It doesn’t make it right, but the world is filled with shit you don’t want to hear. It’s like that kid that runs around to all the adults “Jimmy said a bad word!” Many of these people are put on the air or become public figures because of their words and opinions. Let them use their words even if they attempt to make a tasteless joke. It might educate us on what a tasteless joke is and how hurtful it can be… and how dumb you look when you say it. Now if people are calling for you to go kill or hurt somebody, that’s another thing.
I read this great article here:
It’s regarding the recent rash of schools cancelling commencement speakers because of pressure from the student body over something they didn’t like about the speaker. You know, I used to be one of these kids who would say “I don’t want that guy speaking at our school, he’s an asshole and he supported the war!” Now I agree, you might learn something new by listening to someone you don’t agree with. I mean, I’d still be probably sitting there stewing about how much the person irritates me but I’ll listen. Hey, just being honest. I just think we’re getting into a bad habit of trying to silence people we don’t agree with.
Yes, it’s a slippery slope. No, I don’t want to hear the leader of the KKK speak at a commencement. But ya’ know what… maybe I would. I would love to hear what the hell his problem is. I would be interested to see what makes him tick. Some would argue, “Don’t give him a platform!” I say, let’s see if maybe he’ll see the error of his ways. (naive, I know) I would love to see the Grand Wizard of the KKK forced to speak at the Howard University commencement. I would love for him to face a sea of successful and smart African Americans. I’m sure most people would want to jump up and rip him to pieces, literally. But, it’s an interesting thought.
I just hate this entitlement thing we’re headed toward. The “I don’t have to listen to anything I don’t want to” thing. It’s fine if you don’t want to, just don’t go, turn the channel, or don’t read. It’s not your God-given right to dictate what everyone else should hear, read, or watch. Will we get to the point where your co-workers go to your boss and tell him to fire you because you listen to Dave Matthews in your cubicle because they find it offensive? Personally I find DMB offensive to my ears, but I will defend your right to listen to annoying music.
I’ll probably get my Democrat card taken away, but I just believe that a democracy includes free speech. I’m not gonna’ go out and donate to the ACLU or anything. I just believe that assholes will get what’s coming to them, I don’t believe we need a public lynching for being rude, crass, or insensitive.