I’ll just leap out here and say it: Who cares? Does the media really have nothing better to talk about than an old dude with a basketball team who has attitudes dating back to when he was born? Is this truly more important than all of the real news?
There’s a part of me that wants to stand on a desk and ask why you care about what an old guy who owns a business said in his own home last week. I really don’t care what you say in yours. Truly. I care more about how you act in public.
Yes, I’m endorsing phony-baloneyism. Be nice to others in public, think what you want in private. Harrumph.
But since some of you have triggered this response with your Facebook posts, may I remind you that each time I see something on your page that reinforces a racial stereotype I cringe? Or that says, “All young black men should watch this!” – etc. You, in your own special way, are as evil and stupid as the elderly man in Southern California who ran his mouth and was surreptitiously recorded by his mistress (which is probably a really good indicator of how much moral and personal influence he has with me as of this moment.) Each and every one of you is just as guilty with your posts about how awful straight people are to deal with on the topic of marriage. And Christians. Boy, those people must be awful based on what I’ve read in some of the groups I belong to on Facebook.
You see, I like you even though you don’t like me, what I stand for, who I descended from, and who I married. I kind of hope you feel the same way about me deep in your heart. But when you throw it out there for all to see, you eliminate the doubt on the topic.
Here’s an idea that I want to run by all of you. So please put the tar and feathers down for a few minutes and read along before you pry up the rail you’re going to lash me up on tonight. Ready?
We’re all flawed. Fundamentally flawed from the moment Adam and Eve blew it in the Garden of Eden. All of us – and I do mean every one of you out there – have harbored irrational hatred and anger in our hearts toward someone else based on ethnicity, skin color, religion, accents, regional dialect, choice of beverage, or the automobile you prefer (That’s for Micheal Demo – he knows who he is…)
I get it: we’re not happy when others act badly. But let’s just put a stop to the mob with the torches and think about this for a minute or two. Here’s where you have to be completely honest with yourself, and then proceed accordingly. Do think that you could withstand the scrutiny the old man is getting if your life had been recorded 24×7 for the last year? Could you honestly say that you never, in that entire year, said anything bad about another person, group, food, car, etc., that could be interpreted to insult another culture in some way? I bet that made you squirm just thinking about it, didn’t it.
Let’s throw another caveat in here – because it’s been used to tear people down before: could you honestly say that you’d verbally objected to everyone within your circle saying/doing/thinking those same evil thoughts in your presence? Did you turn to your brother-in-law and say, “Gerry, that’s wrong and you’re a racist!” when he said some off color thing? Did you chastise your spouse for not defending some group quickly enough? Did you turn to the woman in the restaurant one booth over and correct her bad attitude?
I don’t even have to answer those for you – your answers are your own. That’s the point I’m trying to make. If you say something really stupid in public, you’re fair game for correction. Not taking your business away, not getting fired, not being shunned from society, but being despised. Yup, sometimes that’s all that’s appropriate. Or, perhaps pitied. Maybe, just maybe, forgiven and prayed for by those you offended.
See, that’s what God would like us to do with those situations. Present a noble example, work on ourselves in private, and guide others with love.
I’d better clear the air here before I go. I know that one day I will again say something that bothers someone to some extent and I will be accused of being flawed and judgmental, racist, homophobic, sexist, statist, speciest (is that a word?) or some other form of anguish causing buffoonery.
Here goes: I have, at one time or another in my life, made jokes, stereotypical statements, slurs, slanders, obnoxious statements, and offensive remarks about everyone and everything. I have maligned wearers of dreadlocks, mullets, high-and-tights, shaved heads, curly haired gingers, and people with alopecia. I have criticized every linguistic group I knew of, and often mocked them in bad accents (including Fargo, my native accent.) I have picked at and not eaten some foods just because they were weird, and anyone that would cook them or eat them was weird as well. I have mocked peoples choices in clothes (ethnic and Walmart) as well as their pets. I have scorned and abused them in private for their chosen lovers and friends of every sexual orientation possible – and a few that really aren’t but made the joke that much more pungent. I will answer to God for all of this, and more, upon arrival to judgment.
But I try. I am working on improving myself every day. I will fall again. I will get up and try again. And you will as well.
In the meantime, leave the old man alone. He knows what he said. But I have to wonder why we know, and why we care. Something about a plank in our own eye comes to mind.