Have we always been a country of whiners and complainers? Follow along with me as I try and navigate the tremendous horror of some of what people have deemed the biggest stories dominating the news headline in the last week. Each topic different but they all have one common denominator, BIGOTRY & HATE! I have written about this topic before and seems as though I need to continue writing about it, maybe the more I write the better the chance of someone will actually take time to let it sink in.
I suppose I'll start with none other than Donald Sterling. Personally, I would love to know every racist person standing next to me, or sitting next to me on the subway, or in the offices that I work in. That way I can better armor myself for battle. I wasn't at all surprised by the things that he said. Donald Sterling is a white man of a certain age who lived during a time when he and people like him where the only people who mattered. Some people might call that "privilege" but I won't go there because that's another article altogether, one that would have to include Tal Fortgang, the college student who wrote a piece saying he's not sorry for being white and privileged.
Anyway, getting back on topic, as the days went on Donald Sterling continued to put his foot in his mouth. He lashed out at Magic Johnson and for what reason. His interview with Anderson Cooper really didn't do much in his attempt to apologize for the things he said. Now there are people who say this is America and we as Americans have the freedom of speech. I don't disagree. What you say in the privacy of your own home is your business but come on people you have to understand that when those things come to light people are going to have reaction about it.
Then there's this, Michael Sam the American college football player, turned NFL draft pick and, oh yeah, he happens to be a gay, black man. People were up in arms as ESPN showed his history making moment of getting drafted. The cameras captured the phone call, the emotion during and after, his kiss on national television with his boyfriend and then there was the cake to the face. People went wild flooding social media sites with their own commentary on the matter. I saw people using words like disgusting and gross when referring to Sam and his special moment.
As I said, plenty of people had lots to say but it was the reaction of one TV host for a lifestyle show in Dallas that really stood out. The show is called "The Broadcast" and it can be seen on Dallas local station KTXD-TV. The host started the show by talking about the Michael Sam kiss and boy did things heat up fast. One of the hosts, Amy Kushnir got so visibly upset by the conversation that she stormed off set. I don't personally know Amy Kushnir but in watching the clip she was so annoyed and felt extremely awkward by the conversation that her storming off did little to progress the conversation. The station later said that it was because she felt like she couldn't get her views across. Well I say to that station I would love to serve as guest host on that show for a week. That's one why you can better serve your "community." If you're wondering what those views were, mostly it was "I should have had a choice in if I wanted to watch two men kissing on my television." She isn't the only one with those feelings and again we as Americans have certain rights and freedoms. She is perfectly fine to feel what she wants.
Now here's my commentary. People should be mindful of the things that they say because you never know when and how it will be used against you. It's very safe for me to admit that we have become a people of extreme sensitivity. Everything anyone says is offensive and it more than likely will offend someone. Yes I understand that. I understand that Donald Sterling is able to feel and express whatever he wants. I also understand that the people jumping around so sick and disgusted by two men kissing on a sports channel are entitled to their opinions. But here is the deal, we live in 2014. We don't live in a pre-1960s country when people owned others as property, Donald Sterling. I did say this is 2014 right? Which means we also don't live in a country where two men can't kiss on television. Let's reflect on all of those times ESPN has kept the cameras rolling when a heterosexual couple has embraced in public displays of affection on television. Don't be a hypocrite I say. To that TV host in Dallas and all the people who had such as issue with Michael Sam and his public display of affection of television I say mind your own business.
I've also heard many of the same people say that they would have had the same reaction if it was another player drafted and he kissed his wife or girlfriend as Michael Sam did on television. To that I say you really should stop lying to yourself. For example, have you ever gone to a wedding or a wedding reception? Well I have and there's a point in the program where the bride and groom kiss, some longer and with more tongue than others. Are you up in arms at that point? My guess is no you're not.
Then there's the ever-present cop out of what do I say to my children. Well here is what you say, you tell your children that we live in a country full of different people. You tell your children that it's okay be who you want to be and do the things that you want to do in life. You tell your children that it is never okay to hate another person because he or she is white or black or Asian or any other race not like yours. You tell your children that we should all be tolerant of other people and their views. Most importantly you tell your children the wise old saying that if you don't have anything nice to say then you shouldn't say anything at all. Allow people to live their lives the way that they see fit. But if my political correctness is too bright for you to comprehend. Then I'll leave you with this: just SHUT UP!
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