One of the things I find intriguing about Social Media (capitalized to better make a Ponderous, Plodding Pedantic Point) is that it often allows us to be smarter together than we might otherwise be when by ourselves.
For everyone who has ever taken a picture of her/himself with food about to be eaten (guilty as charged) or who has passed along a “news” story on how Boy George (or the Baby Jesus, I’ve seen it both ways) is giving away gift certificates from Hooters at the local library if you’ll just repost this story, there are very often under-read and overlooked news accounts that get shared sometimes as a ‘hey! Didja see this?’ and other times as a “Deep Breath. WTF?”
This, assuming you can see it through the pay wall, is of the latter category, much to my dismay. I only saw it shared as part of a Facebook posting. I’m not much of a football fan (high school or otherwise) and I don’t have any ties to anyone on either team but, as you’ll agree after reading the column, the concerns have little to do with what we call football and a lot to do with life here on the star-spangled ant farm.
There’s an expression involving one bad apple and a barrel, but, much like high school football, I don’t have a lot to do with apples either (this is a good time to hum a few bars of “Don’t Get Around MuchAnymore”) especially since we have a tendency in this country to beat one another about the head and shoulders with hateful, hurtful, hurled invective.
We’re very facile, too much so, at “for me to look good, you need to look bad” (and then made to feel even worse) and racial epithets are about as low as it goes. I don’t care what was said, or by whom or for whom it was intended. When you wound with a word, you hurt us all. There are no marks, perhaps, but there are abiding scars left from taunts and bad-intentioned comments that do none of us any good.
In this instance words are/were as offensive as the ideas they embody. And the injuries they cause last a lifetime and a generation. You can't oppose intolerance by growing faint in its presence and turning away. You confront it-challenge it and by so doing, eliminate it. The current generation of “Panther Nation” shows us how. Subject to your questions, that concludes the briefing.