Years and years ago, the brilliant writers of Seinfeld wrote an episode of TV that is shockingly prescient of today’s cultural climate. In it Jerry has an argument with Elaine, his close friend. In an attempt to make amends, he buys her an enormous cigar-store Indian.
An odd gift, sure, but it’s the thought that counts.
Jerry’s big mistake comes when he delivers the statue to Elaine’s apartment while she’s having a girl’s poker night. The problem? One of her friends is Native American. Oops.
In his clumsy attempts to, make amends with the woman, Jerry convinces the young lady to go out with him for Chinese food. When he asks a postal worker, who happens to be Chinese, where a nearby Chinese restaurant is, the man flies off the handle.
I’m sure if you’re over the age of twenty, you’ve probably seen this episode. Numerous times. Later on, while talking to George, Jerry complains. “I can’t ask a Chinese person where a Chinese restaurant is? Aren’t we becoming a bit too sensitive? If someone asks me where’s Israel, I don’t fly off the handle!”
It’s amazing to see that, way back in the 90’s, the writers of this show were commenting on a race problem that still plagues us today. At the time, they were making an astute comment on how overly sensitive people were becoming. Even back then. They were basically saying, “Hey everyone, let’s try to calm down. Most people mean well and aren’t trying to be insensitive. Let’s cut each other some slack.”
I guess our society hasn’t bothered to learn from this show. Today we are so obsessed with race, so terrified of offending someone over nothing, that the issue is boiling over to the point of madness.
I’ve already written about the events of Charlottesville. I’ve discussed how the tearing down of statues is the wrong approach, although acknowledging how black Americans must feel about the issue. The violence and rioting that occurred was shocking, but not surprising—given our nation’s history.
But one terrible event in our history should not shape our policy. It should not determine how we treat each other or how groups, companies, or governments should make decisions. We can learn from it, sure. We can all vow to treat each other better, in light of such a disaster. But we should take advice from Seinfeld, step back and breathe, and give each other a little bit of slack.
We should not be like ESPN, a network so stupid and tone deaf, it makes the comical moments from a sitcom seem reasonable by comparison.
An editorial piece by former ESPN Vice President Roxanne Jones claims the decision to remove Asian broadcaster Robert Lee from covering a University of Virginia football game because of his name is “not unreasonable in today’s America.”
“We want to pretend that sports are a safe sanctuary from the world’s ugly problems, but that has always been a farce,” Jones wrote on CNN. “Truth is, not even the glorious game of football can keep America’s toxic culture of bigotry, hate and violence at bay. It’s just too heavy a burden.”
Her comments follow the decision to remove Robert Lee, the broadcaster, from covering the William and Mary College vs. University of Virginia football game because he has the same name as a Confederate general. (Milo)
Eh, wat? You remove a sportscaster from a game because his name was Robert Lee?? The man’s Asian. I’m pretty sure he had nothing to do with the Civil War. If you ask him, I’m sure he has a very high opinion of black people. Yet ESPN shows its colors as a pathetic, spineless, cowardly corporate den of frauds by doing the most laughably embarrassing move in the history of sports coverage.
Did they really think that someone would be watching the game, see the name “Robert Lee” on the screen, and have a meltdown? Does EPSN think their viewers are so stupid, they would confuse the name of a living man in 2017, with someone who died 1870? I mean, sure. There are a few people whose knowledge of history is a bit fuzzy. But I’m willing to guess that most viewers understand that the leader of the Confederate Army is not calling games on TV.
This is political correctness gone way out of control. And it shows how idiotic, shifting, and dishonest a network like ESPN really is. If they had a shred of decency—or common sense—they’d trust their audience enough to know they can separate the events of Charlottesville from a football game. Their move to remove this man from the game is not a sign of respect for Americans, but an act of cowardice. They were more afraid of angry tweets and phone calls, than standing behind one of their employees. An employee, again, who had nothing to do with the Civil War.
I guarantee the decision to pull Lee was made by some sniveling, back-biting lawyer type. The kind who probably wouldn’t know the difference between a football and a jockstrap. Someone who pushes pencils or papers or something in between. The kind of person that generally makes life unnecessarily miserable for everyone else.
The kind of person who shouldn’t be making decisions, or having that much say in a large TV network.
ESPN is owned by ABC, which is owned by Disney, right? So basically we can assume that this large media corporation is so afraid of a little bit of inane backlash (which never came), that they’d embarrass themselves with this display. But what else would you expect? This is a company whose mascot is a cartoon mouse that sounds like it’s balls have been cut off.
The real hilarity of it all is that, despite all the noise generated by the mainstream media over these dastardly Confederates, a majority of Americans just don’t care.
A new poll suggests, despite the growing push to destroy monuments of history, the majority of Americans believe Confederate statues should remain in public places.
An opinion poll conducted by The Reuters/Ipsos found that 54 percent of adults believe Confederate monuments “should remain in all public spaces.”
27 percent of adults, by contrast, believe that Confederate monuments “should be removed from all public spaces.”
19 percent of adults said they “don’t know.” (Milo)
Want to know why a majority don’t want them torn down? Because they understand our history needs to be remembered. You might not love Robert E. Lee, but his role in our country’s development matters. We need to remember the Civil War, it’s players and its outcome, to better understand who we are as people.
Sure, some pansy, limp-wristed folks want us to forget. They’d rather us live in a country-sized safe space, where nothing offensive or upsetting can occur. Good luck with that.
As Americans, as grownups, we need to deal with the ugly realities of life. America has had its dark moments. It’s committed sins that cannot be forgotten, nor should they. They are reminders that even the best of us fall. But all of us can get up and soldier on.
Have we become so childish, so petty, so cowardly, that we can’t look at the name “Robert Lee,” the name of an innocent newscaster, without pitching a fit?
But this is a growing cancer in our society, one that is bred and fostered in our college campuses. Whiney, pathetic children complain that there are people out there with different viewpoints. They complain that they can’t succeed, because someone else different from them are succeeding. Anyone they don’t like is either a white supremacist, racist, or some other form of bigot. And while there are a few people out there that are bigots, the vast majority of people in our society aren’t.
Yet this is the knee-jerk culture we live in. This fear of saying or doing anything that might offend, is really just a cover to protect the incompetent, the talentless, and the failures of our society.
Far too often I encounter would-be writers who blame other people for their failures. They claim because our society loves white, masculine personas, they cannot succeed. They seem to ignore the many non-white, non-male writers, creators, poets, musicians, actors that have seen great influence and success in our society. They seem to be fixated on this one pathetic excuse: that our society is dominated by evil, white men. Therefore they cannot thrive in their own way.
As claimed by Sarah Cadorette of The Daily Cailfornian:
“Writing from the perspective of someone I had never been was much easier than writing from, say, a young queer female perspective, because it was considered the norm. Writing my own thoughts was, and continues to be, a struggle. My voice is systematically devalued by the whiskey-dripping, ego-tripping adventures and glorified failures of men.”
She claims she cannot write from her own experiences, because of men. Apparently, all of us white guys are “whiskey-dripping,” egotists.
Except, that’s not the case at all. Sorry Sarah, maybe you suck as a writer. Or maybe, just maybe, people aren’t interested in your narrow “young queer female perspective.” Perhaps a few people out there might get a kick out of it. But if it doesn’t thrive in a market as competitive as the literary industry, you just have to deal with it. It’s not because we all want to read Hemingway. Your stuff might just suck.
This entitled, hate-driven attitude, fanned into flame by irresponsible media outlets, colleges, and many political and activist groups, has led to our over-sensitive climate. We have been programed to view everything from the perspective of gender or race. A new movie comes out starring a mostly-white cast? They’re racists! A book features a male lead that is rescuing the woman he loves? Sexist!
It’s a front to protect people who just aren’t that good. Our society is built on capitalism. Not an imaginary “patriarchy” that’s trying to keep people down. If you’re good at what you do, if you stick with it and work harder than anyone else, you’re going to succeed. Maybe not in the way you originally envisioned, but fortune will come one way or another.
But we’ve taught entire generations that it’s somebody else’s fault when they fail. That they should point the finger to some nebulous issue, if they don’t get into a college they want, don’t get the choice job, or even lose at a contest.
It’s conditioned our media—the biggest cowards in our culture—to pussyfoot around, afraid of the eventual backlash from Twitter or whatever pointless social network is popular, should they say the “wrong” thing.
Here’s the rub though: you will never win, if you play that game. You will eventually say the wrong thing, go to the wrong place, or make the deadly mistake. Death comes to all of us. And there is not a person on the planet who hasn’t done or said something that—should it be broadcast to the world—would brand them as a bigot, racist, sexist, etc.
Does that mean we should embrace bigotry or hate? Of course not. But it means we cannot live in a society so tender, so artificial, that we have to take drastic steps to avoid offense. We cannot cover the world in bubble wrap; nor should we. We need to acknowledge our problems, take our lumps, and move on.
Everyone is going to say something offensive. Whether we want to or not. Today’s anemic culture makes taking a stand immediately offensive to someone. When that happens, we should just deal with it. If we are in the wrong, we apologize and move on. If it’s a case of someone being too sensitive, we tell them to get over it.
That’s not something the babies at ESPN, CNN, New York Times, or HuffPo are willing to do. In their cultivated, fake world, everything can be perfect. You can craft a society where nobody does anything wrong. Where thought and speech is monitored to the point where you cannot offend, even if you tried. Those that break the rules will be corrected using the most severe methods.
They’ve already written about a world like that. You can read it here.
The silver lining, if there is one, is that most Americans don’t seem to truck with this ideology. Not really. When asked if they prefer political correctness over offensive freedom, most pick the freedom.
Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans think freedom of speech is more important than political correctness, and 73% say they'd defend free speech to their deaths, a new poll shows.
Just 8% think it's most important to "make sure no one gets offended," the Rasmussen Reports poll released Wednesday found.
Some 85% agreed that "giving people the right to free speech is more important than making sure no one is offended by what others say." (Daily Wire)
According to the poll, most Americans agree with the classic saying “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” That’s good news. Despite the toxic programming from cowardly media outlets and limp-wristed colleges, most Americans understand the vital need for free speech.
More than that, they understand speech can be offensive. And that’s okay. Freedom, any form of freedom, means the chance that someone will abuse their freedom. It means that if you are free to say anything you want, that means someone, somewhere, will say something you don’t like. In fact, that’s almost inevitable.
Considering America’s history, I’ll wager to say most people aren’t racist. Sure, you libs can claim people who shout “Build that Wall” hate Mexicans. But even you have to admit there’s more to that issue than race. Most Americans work very hard to get along with their neighbors, despite their race or skin color. And they’re smart enough to know that if they see the name “Robert Lee” during a sports cast, accompanied by footage of a smiling Asian man, they are not watching a Civil War documentary.
The problem comes when we bow to the raging lunatics. The cowards who want to censor everything, out of fear of backlash or outright hate. We cannot give madness a foothold in our lives. Even if that means we become more offensive than we’d like. To keep our freedoms sometimes means pushing against the boundaries. Because boundaries have a way of closing in on us, if we don’t push back from time to time.
You don’t have to like everything everyone says. In fact, you don’t even have to listen to them. But having the courage to embrace freedom—and offense—is what separates us from the path of tyranny and destruction.
Otherwise, what are we fighting for?