Monday, April 16, 2007

Some Final Thoughts


Toon Credit: Gorrell

I'm sure people are getting tired of both Don Imus and The Duke LaCrosse case but I think there is a lot to be learned from both cases. As I've thought about both cases I pondered on several issues and had some final thoughts.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

The first issue as related to Don Imus is one's right to free speech. How come liberals who are supposed to be against censorship seem to be the ones most in favorite of it? Go here to see a perfect example. I think conservatives have been told so long by the PC police what they are and aren't allowed to say that we are less inclined to shut people up, whether we like what they have to say or not. I despise Howard Stern, most Stand up Comedians' routines, a lot of Rap music and Rosie O'Donnell. I refuse to listen to them and I protect my children from their influence. Yet, you won't see me calling for them to be fired. When our society gets sick enough of the verbal pornography, racist, sexist comments and the conspiracy wackos they'll stop listening or stop watching and those people will lose their audiences.

In the meantime I'm not in favor of pulling people for offensive comments or lapses in judgment. Use the power you have to not give them an audience and to not let them dictate how you view yourself or your world. Otherwise, who is going to decide what is and isn't allowed to be said? Sharpton's witch hunt should concern liberals and conservatives alike. You want to know why Bill Maher and Ann Coulter are friends? They both respect the other person's outspokenness and neither of them are going to deny the other person's right to freedom of speech, and thats how it should be.


Toon Credit: Michael Ramirez

JUSTICE FOR ALL?

According to Terry Moran (that last name is just too perfect for him) we aren't supposed to be concerned about the lack of justice in the Duke LaCrosse case. Why? Because rich, white boys were the victims. I've noticed that a lot of people seem to have this mentality and I have to say this troubles me. I'm a big justice person and I'm upset whenever an injustice is committed against anyone no matter what the race, gender or economic status is of the victim.

This is what was so troubling about the OJ Simpson case. Why was OJ Simpson acquitted? Because the members on the jury were upset about years of racism and decided that Nicole Brown Simpson & Ron Goldman didn't deserve justice. Why? Because they were white, and they were rich.

I say we champion justice for everyone, because the next time it could be you. You wouldn't want someone deciding you didn't deserve justice because of the color of your skin or how much money you happen to make. As Whitlock said in the CNN interview, "You must maintain the moral high ground, you must have some consistency about you, injustice for one, is injustice for all."


Toon Credit: Glenn McCoy

SOME GOOD COMING OUT OF THE IMUS DEBATE?

While the Don Imus debate is heating up we are seeing some great people coming forward and speaking out. Jason Whitlock (who is going to be on Oprah today) and now Joe R. Hicks (former leader of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference) are coming to the forefront. Hicks wrote a great piece for the Washington Post entitled, Drop the Race Card. Here is an excerpt:
"What remains of the once-proud civil rights movement justifies its existence by contending -- despite widespread progress -- that black people continue to live marginalized and victimized lives. This oft-repeated theme was the base for the ugly stew that was the reaction to Imus's slur, and it was the operating theme for Nifong as he set about attempting to ruin the lives of three innocent men.

Several decades ago, when I was head of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, I would have joined with Jackson and Sharpton with little reservation to call for Imus's demise. But somewhere along the way since then, reality intervened and I began to reject the view that America is a racist, hostile environment for people with my skin color. Further, I began engaging in the unforgivable sin -- rejecting the orthodox civil rights view of blacks as victims.

Another one:
"This is more than just a double standard; it is an agenda of racial opportunism that promotes the view that blacks are powerless victims of white racism. In this view, blacks are always in need of government intervention to save them from white hostility. This is the view that Nifong exploited in his narrow quest for political survival."

And another one:
"While justice was finally served in the Duke case, what was accomplished by Imus's firing? Jackson and Sharpton may have gained another notch on their civil rights belts, and an over-the-hill shock jock is standing in the unemployment line, but the plight of black urban communities remains untouched. Poor parenting is still taking place, cultural rot is still afflicting the lives of black urban dwellers, disproportionate fatherlessness is still a reality, and bad schools as well as high levels of crime are still facts of black urban life everywhere.

It's easy to tackle a doddering old radio show host who has said something patently stupid. But it's far more challenging to address things that are real problems for real people. Most urban dwellers couldn't have picked Imus out of a lineup if their life depended on it. It's no wonder that some critics, like me, argue that figures such as Jackson and Sharpton, among others of their ilk, are dinosaurs fighting only to maintain a patina of relevance.

As comedian Bill Cosby has observed: "There are people that want you to remain in a hole, and they rejoice in your hopelessness because they have jobs mismanaging you. However, your job is not becoming victims. We have to rise up and fight on all levels to succeed." Amen, brother Cosby."
Take the time to read the whole article, its worth your time.

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