On the 29th of December I was listening to Sirius Left in the morning… the sub for Bill Press, from the “oddly” named Bill Press Show. The subject: Michael Vick. Caller: seems obviously Black with a twinge of preacher to his voice. A semi-chronic: one who calls somewhat frequently. The caller was going on with the usual “in God’s eyes, all are sinners” and “paid his debt…” well, I’m sure you know the usual drift to those kind of religious driven talking points. My only point here is I swear I heard this same semi-chronic caller ranting a while ago about how some white guy should never be forgiven.
Sandwiched between that call several white guys, some of them chronics, ranting about how Vick will never be reformed. Some who in the past who have called when the topic was a white offender, or a (either) Right/Left offender, who used the same “forgiven” talking points.
I need to make a New Year’s resolution: try to make sure I don’t do that. As they say with that annoying twang in the South, “Do what?”
Make sure my own rants, my columns, aren’t so obviously based on my personal dislike for whomever the target might be: racially, politically, religiously, socially. And I fail to understand why I have heard squat about this from all the talking heads on any side of the partisan spectrum. I would never claim to be the sharpest knife in the intellectual talking head drawer.
So why is it that all these brilliant folks aren’t gabbing about this? Well, maybe because, unlike me, they make damn good money doing all they can to demonize “enemies” of convenience, turn them into Boris and Natasha like cartoon characters where every motive for anything they do is evil, stupid, self serving… After all, how long would Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck last if they stopped demonizing and tried to be fair to those “‘enemies’ of convenience?”
That’s where the money is, folks, unfortunately.
Now, as far as Vick goes, let me try to show you how my conclusion is a bit different, less partisan driven, and not what I would personally prefer.
Personally? I’m a giant dog fan. For more than half a century I have to think hard to find a time I didn’t have some four footed beast gazing up at me, expectantly… almost always canine, almost always: collie. To me Vick’s punishment wasn’t strong enough, not because he’s Black, or a privileged sports star, but because I think all who brutally abuse dogs should suffer severe punishment and we need to make damn sure they’re reformed. I think those who make the excuse, “But remember, these are just dogs, not humans,” have a sickness that desperately needs a cure. Often they’re the same people who think tormenting those accused of maybe knowing something, or having something to do with, terrorism, is just dandy too.
They have mental issues.
But Michael, like it or not, did serve his time and has made efforts. OJ was found innocent. That is the system we live under, what we have decided collectively. I believe we should live by the rules we make: not adjust them because someone’s a sports star, opposes us politically, of a different or no faith, an entertainer, poor, annoying, unsavory. Or because, personally, we don’t like them.
Personally I loath Rush Limbaugh. I think he got off far too lightly when it comes to his drug shopping. The ACLU defended him, but I think they took a principled stand: a stand in his case I felt may not have been right, but I respect that. And I respect Limbaugh’s willingness to work with the ACLU despite his vile rants and raves regarding the ACLU.
Of course my respect evaporated when he returned to bashing the ACLU without an ounce of variation in that vile spew.
But, again, hey… that’s where the money was, and is. Of course “where the money is” validates nothing. It’s like an AIDs infected hooker continuing to hook, unprotected because…
“Hey, that’s where the money is.”
Gordon Liddy, as a talk show host, had liberal guests and callers. He always treated them with respect. And I respect him for that. Now are there other things he’s done as a host I have far less respect for?
Yup. Damn straight.
You know you’ve got a problem when you make excuses or refuse to even consider charges for pretty much everyone who agrees with you on any topic, or are eager and ready to believe even the most out there accusation regarding those you disagree with or dislike. There isn’t a single damn one of us, me included, that is a perfect judge of character. Not one of us reads minds, or lives inside the mind of another.
That’s why I get annoyed when a rant starts out, “What Liberals really think,” because the speaker or writer is lying. They have no way of knowing what every Liberal, or Conservative, or… thinks. But they personally have every stupid, arrogant, self-serving reason to make such broad claims.
Look folks, I think it’s obvious which side I’m closest to, politically, even if this is your first read of one of my columns. Yet, no matter how our politics, which way our religion, skews… no matter what our race or ethnicity, I think we all need to take a step back when we comment about others and make sure our viewpoints and our personal prejudices don’t color such assessments as much as they seem to these days.
Then, like me, maybe you’ll make a New Year’s resolution too. If someone is Black that doesn’t make them more or less worthy of absolution, or excuses for what they have done. That’s true: Conservative, Liberal, Atheist, Theist or even just down right quirky.
Open up you heart.
Open up your mind.
You’ll be a better person.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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