It’s been one of those days people. One of those days. I did manage to celebrate Mardi Gras by getting some beignets and strong coffee down at Bayou Bakery in between things. And now I’m having a beer and eating dirty rice with andouille sausage before getting back to my friend Lisa’s book “Finding Mr. Righteous.” I’m hoping to write a review of it — maybe just in this space but possibly elsewhere…in any event, I’m going to try to explain my day and then never speak of it again. Because that’s what happens when people intimidate you out of discussing the hard topics by accusing you of being hateful to satisfy their need to be outraged: you stop talking. And that’s a shame man because that just widens the divide.
Things started like this: a pack of 11 year old girls walked past me in the metro this morning and one of them reached out and pulled my hair. Just grabbed a handful and pulled, not crazy hard, but enough to notice. So I stopped, turned around and said, “Okay ladies, which one of you pulled my hair?” and the smallest one, who had a mouth on her like nothing I’ve ever heard, said “It was me. I hate your hair.” Now, having been an 11 year old girl, I know the opposite is actually probably closer to the truth. So I said, “Okay girls, here’s the problem with that: Some people aren’t nice and you may find yourself knocked to the ground or with your own hair separated from your head.” They laughed, I think genuinely, so maybe I got through. But it set the tone.
Because then I posted about the mental gymnastics it takes to make this story make sense coming from a guy who recently declared that the word “thug” is the new epitaph of the racist. I mean look, I get that the N-word (sigh) is used with affection between black guys and I get where Sherman is coming from saying the idea isn’t a good one. It’d be hard to “enforce”. I even get where he’s coming from bristling at the word “thug.” But, and I’m just going to say this one time, NOT EVERYTHING IS RACIST. And if you see everything as racist you have a chip on your shoulder that does not serve you well. My conversation on the subject via social media was basically 1) Sherman could stand to lighten up a bit and 2) the N-word has offended many people over many years and I’m not sure that Sherman is the arbiter of what’s offensive and what’s not and can just unilaterally decide that one word offends while another no longer does. Also, I’m pretty sure the NFL isn’t trying to be racist on this one. And again, how is Richard Sherman the expert on all this? Because he threw a temper tantrum not long ago and made the news? I made the point that I had zero problem with the kid, that he was young and figuring things out, and that, my friends, apparently made me privileged, condescending and — pretty sure this was the implication — maybe just maybe a little bit insensitive to racial problems. Man, I just can’t deal with that kind of dangerous need to be a victim anymore, from any of the perpetually outraged. The other day this feminist lady suggested to two of my male friends — good, decent, smart men with strong minds and in loving relationships with women — that they were not to have opinions on the subject of abortion BECAUSE THEY WERE MEN. I. Just. Can’t.
Anyway, it bummed me out and I deleted the conversation, something I rarely do because it feels like acquiescence to bad behavior. But I chatted with my Pops about it and he said that you can’t get past some people’s walls using love or logic and it would serve me well to recognize that and, perhaps, steer clear of those topics in future. And that’s good advice. But also, as I said in the beginning, an almost crying shame because it stops conversation about things we should be talking about. Not sure what happens after those conversations stop…
Okay other stuff. I have to read.
This is a good piece. Concise and to the point. There’s room for vagaries of opinion on these things, of course. But the problem comes in the gray area between academic and real-life.
Blergh. I’d be mad that half of my kid’s genetic material was made of chromosomes from such a certifiable coward.
Here’s the thing about Israel that I’ve always respected: we may give up on them, the world may give up on them, but they do not ever give up on themselves. Don’t look for them to.
Sure it’s good it’s getting some attention but then I sort of like the idea of keeping out interest in the electromagnetic spectrum a little hush-hush.
This just makes me see red. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed and have an antiquated system but your answer shouldn’t be to purge requests unless you know they can reasonably be closed. It violates so many rules we have about care for the infirm, care for our veterans, the continuing goal of efficiency, etc.
This was cute. He was never going to get the job but I’m sure he had a great time. And sometimes that’s just as good.
Aaaaah, I’m gonna break and get another dog at some point…I’m just not that strong.