Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rant #1,001: Race to the Finish



Now, to start my next 1,000 Rants ...

You know how every year, there seems to be a fashion craze that hits us, whether it is high heels, the color black, or something else?

Maybe even a movie craze, like disaster flicks?

Well, this summer, the current hot craze has nothing to do with that.

It is race.

Plain and simple, the racial policies of some people who are in the public eye, willingly or unwillingly.

This whole thing started with the Paula Deen case, where the TV chef supposedly said under oath that yes, she has uttered racial epithets during her lifetime.

After this happened, the Food Network cancelled her contract with them, as did just about every other outlet where she had an endorsement deal.

The only thing she still has is her magazine, and without the exposure she gets on the Food Network, that will probably be history before you know it.

People were outraged by what she said--I mean, this is a PC world, isn't it--and she perpetuated this situation by talking about other racial thoughts she had, including those about her fantasy of having a plantation wedding, with blacks dressed to the nines serving her, much like the situation in "Gone With the Wind."

Well, at least she was honest. Her wedding fantasy could have been "The Wizard of Oz" or, heaven forbid, "Deep Throat."

Look, I am not saying that I defend this woman. I have never been a fan of hers to begin with--ask my wife about that--and she appears to be a country bumpkin who hit on something big and became very successful at it.

But you know, can the executives who fired her claim, in clear conscience, that they have never uttered a racial epithet? Can any one of us say the same thing?

I think not.

She is ignorant, a fool, and I don't think she truly understands what she did and what she said, but this public backlash against her has been amazing.

I think lots of other people have said and acted worse in a public forum ... let's see, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's "Hymietown" remark, the Rev. Al Sharpton's Tawana Brawley masquerade, Charles Barkey's rant against Yao Ming, Al Campanis' rant that blacks were inferior to whites ... Paula Deen?

C'mon now.

Then we have the CBS show "Big Brother," not a place for any semblance of humanity, taste, or the least showing of brain power.

For many of us, this show is a summer guilty pleasure, and I admit, and have admitted in the past, that my wife and I have watched the show since its debut several years ago.

Evidently, two of the contestants have uttered questionable things on the show's late night edition, which can only be seen on TV Guide Network. Go try to find that channel on your TV dial.

Anyway, one said something to the effect that she doesn't trust one black contestant because she's black, and she can't see her in the dark, and the other told an Asian contestant to "go make some rice."

People have gotten hysterical over this, and CBS has distanced itself from the whole thing, saying that basically, people will be people, and that being what it is, their prejudices will often come out into the open, and there is nothing they can do about it.

Others have said the two ladies should be removed from the show, but in real life, their actual employers have fired them for their remarks, and the contestants don't know it yet, because they are secluded away from society on the show.

Again, I ask, do their employers solemnly swear that they never uttered a racial epithet in their lives?

Oh, there's more. Another contestant, who is a train conductor, called Hitler something to the effect of a "great orator," but that has fallen by the wayside.

Race appears much more important than anti-Semitic speeches on this show, I guess.

And then we have something much more important than Paula Deen and "Big Brother," the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case, where Zimmerman is trying to prove that he killed the teenager in self defense, and the other side is trying to prove that Zimmerman pulled the trigger in cold blood.

You know, I don't know which side is right here, and I would hate to be on the jury deciding this case.

I don't think Martin was the innocent they made him out to be, but that doesn't mean he should have been shot.

It is clear to me that Zimmerman overstepped his boundaries as basically a security guard, and he should have let the police handle the situation if he believed Martin was doing anything illegal.

So while he is guilty, to a certain extent, I don't know if he will be found guilty by the jury.

I feel for Martin's family, but painting him as something of a choir boy isn't helping matters, nor is the perception that Zimmerman--who comes from a mixed race home--is a racist.

But race sure is topical today.

Look, our President is mixed race, and I hope no one cares about that anymore. I certainly didn't when he was elected, and I don't now.

He is as inept as his white predecessors, as far as I am concerned.

But in this PC world, there seems to be a double standard.

Some people can say some things and get away with it, and do some things and get away with it.

Others simply can't.

Some people can use certain words and get away with it, and others, can't.

The PC police are killing our country, our freedom of speech, our right to say what we want when we want to, within reason.

I am not defending Deen, those idiots on "Big Brother," and either Martin or Zimmerman (these last two really don't belong in what I am going to say below, because this is a real murder case, something very, very real).

But let's lighten up.

We are hurting ourselves by having to watch what we say.

Things slip out, and nobody is saying that these things are right.

But we have lost the ability to laugh at ourselves, and I think that is the worst thing that the PC police have taken away from us.

I remember a number of years ago, Howard Cosell--who whatever you thought of him, he didn't have a racist bone in his body--called a football player who he found to be very athletic "a little monkey," which many thought of as a racist term, since the player was black.

Cosell was taken aback by this, because he simply admired the player's athletic ability. If the player was white, would have there been an uproar?

The situation subsided really quickly, because everyone knew that Cosell meant no harm at all in what he said.

The point is, 30 years ago and today, some people were/are too sensitive about certain things, and they should really lighten up a bit.

In a country that loved a show like "All in the Family," where all of our blemishes were exposed, and laughed at while we learned from these failures, well, things have changed so much that "All in the Family:" would never be permitted on network TV today.

Is that societal progress?

I think not.

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