Monday, December 9, 2013

and here's what I'm doing with it!

Yesterday our Sunday school lesson was about the government, and how it's important for us to be good citizens and be involved in our government to protect our rights and those of others, and as the conversation progressed of course there were people complaining, but thankfully nobody referred to the president as the Antichrist (which has happened in the past).  However, one man did bring up how "all these minorities" keep agitating for changes to be made, even though the general population doesn't feel that way, and as a result our rights are threatened.  He referenced the kerfuffle over the Washington Redskins, and said that when a group of Navajos went to the national capitol to be recognized for the role their language played in sending encrypted messages during WWII, "they were all wearing Redskins jackets!"  Pause for effect, look around the class for recognition of his insight.  Essentially invoking the "but I have black friends!" racism defense--some Native Americans are okay with the name, ergo no Native Americans get to complain about it.  There are a number of things that bother me about this reasoning, one of which is that naming your sports team a racial slur is not really a right.  I mean, I guess it's part of free speech, but free speech in the form of protests is also going to come into play here.  You have the right to say and do what you want, but not the right to escape the consequences of your tacky behavior.  And your opinion about the offensiveness or lack thereof of the name is worth a lot less than the opinion of the group of people in reference to whom the slur was created.  Secondly, as people in Utah tend to forget fairly constantly, MORMONS ARE MINORITIES.  The reason we're able to worship the way we want to is because of the protections granted to us by the unique form of government that we have in America, which, when properly implemented, allows the needs of both the many and the few to be addressed.  The sheer hypocrisy of it. . . it's like on Seinfeld when George gets that toupee and is mad that Kramer set him up with a bald woman, and Elaine shouts at him "YOU'RE BALD!"  That's what I'm going to start saying anytime people start whining about loud minorities. Thirdly, shut up, middle class white male, about the oppression you are dealing with by someone having to rename a sports team that's not even from your state.  I mean, could there be a gripe with less merit than this? 

Anyhoo, I raised my hand to voice opposition, and we continued our discussion with no harm done, which in itself is a miracle.  As our friend Brian said during one of his comments, this is an area that's difficult for a lot of grownups to discuss without causing a lot of argument and hurt feelings.  We all conflate truth with opinion a little too much. 


beckster said...

Layne, you should start a Super PAC for those of us that worship reason and logic. I would contribute!

Marsha said...

I am enormously cheered by this post on the possibility of civility in public discourse - thanks for sharing your experience!

tipsybaker said...

I second beckster and Marsha both.

Layne said...

I think the super PAC is a terrific idea, and we should definitely do it, but we're going to want to be very hush-hush about my little "afraid of sharks in swimming pools" neurosis.