Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Okay, in writing this I'm definitely risking the criticism of a number of ethnic groups, but I want to stress that I strongly oppose senseless hatred in all its forms. Hell, I'm a victim of it myself when I get sent home from work for having a pierced lip. In any case, I want to address a recent news story out of New Jersey in which a high school girl was punished for having a swastika tattooed on her stomach.
Parents and administration were outraged that the girl would permanently inscribe her body with such a "symbol of hatred," and some students were offended by her ink.
Apparently the school has refused to publicly state the nature of the girl's punishment for her...crime?...but it seems that she has not been suspended. One parent stated his belief that whatever the girl's punishment, it is only a "slap on the wrist" in response to her offence.
This whole situation got me thinking about a story that the media has recently pounced on and ravaged until there's just nothing left to tell. The story to which I am referring revolves around a racial slur made by radio talk-show host, Don Imus. For those of you who've been taking ostrich training courses over the past few days, I'll sum up the situation.
Basically, in the course of discussing the Rutgers University women's basketball team's loss in the NCAA women's championship game, Imus happened to refer to the girls as "nappy-headed hos." Now Imus is faced with a team of tall, angry ladies, and of course the Reverend Al Sharpton.
Although Imus has already been given a punishment of two weeks unpaid suspension from his talk show, Sharpton wants the guy fired. In addition, the basketball team claims that Imus' comment robbed them of their moment in the sun, and plan to meet with him to receive a personal apology.

Okay - so - does anyone else feel like all these people are overreacting? I mean, of all the racial slurs that have been made, was an isolated comment in the context of a humorous talk show really worth so much negative attention? It's not like he referred to the girls' intelligence or athletic ability...he was talking about their HAIR! And calling them "hos"? Ummm have you listened to any recent rap albums? The word "ho" is about as common as the word "holla." And in reference to Imus stealing the girls' moment in the sun...if you didn't notice, they lost the game. So in actuality, Imus GAVE them their moment in the sun! These girls have been all over television and radio stations expressing their deep hurt that resulted from three little words. Would anyone have given the losing team half this much attention if not for Imus' slip-up?
Oh yea, and get this. Imus' suspension from the talk-show doesn' t go into effect until Monday because he's hosting a charity telethon to benefit research on sudden infant death syndrome. He's also done charity work in the past to help find a cure for cancer and sickle-cell anemia. What a jerk.
So, the question I'm asking is, is this guy really as bad as people want us to believe? We all make misjudgements in word choice from time to time - he was just unlucky enough to have his broadcast over the airwaves. And do people REALLY need to keep wasting their time and money in trying to get him fired? At this point the guy has no choice but to kneel to all those who were offended by his remark and sheepishly plead for mercy - or else his 30-year dream job is down the shitter.
This brings me back to the swastika situation in New Jersey. Does this girl really deserve such flack for a personal choice? Yea, ok, I would be putting far too much faith in our country's youth by thinking that maybe, just maybe she's familiar with ManWoman and his message about the Gentle Swastika. I also assume that she isn't aware of all the benevolent meanings the swastika held before it was kidnapped and perverted by Adolf Hitler. But doesn't this girl have a right to put whatever she wants on her body regardless of its implications? As a ninth grader, she's obviously a minor who shouldn't have been able to acquire a tattoo at all, but that hasn't stopped hoards of kids that came before her.
Now, I realize that her ink isn't exactly as harmless as a crappy lower back tribal, but what harm did it REALLY do to her teachers and classmates? They were "offended." Okay, fine, you're offended, but if you can be affected by something as simple as a SYMBOL, without even hearing the girl mention anything about hate or genocide, you might wanna think about keeping your tender little ego in check. In terms of "punishment" for the girl, I think that she should be required to keep it covered while on school grounds. Problem solved! There's no need to actually reprimand her...having a big ol' swastika over her privates is sure to give the girl her fair share of troubles in the years to come.
My point is that our country has turned into one big pity party. Everyone's a crybaby! Why don't you take a trip to Darfur and tell me if anything there offends you.
Okay, I needed to rant all that frustration out. I just want people to get on with their lives and not get hung up on such insignificant things as a comment or a tattoo. Be happy! Get modded or somethin...

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