Monday, August 23, 2010

Polite Re-Segregation

Maybe we can turn the clock back on our own society; maybe we can kneecap the spirit of the Constitution, if we just ask nicely. "No, we're not bigots," we can say, "our society just singles out specific groups and assigns collective blame for crimes they didn't commit because of our feelings." Or maybe we can just admit to a wholesale surrender to emotion, xenophobia and fear over reason and intellect.

It is like telling blacks or Jews that they have every right to move into the neighborhood, but wouldn't they really be happier in some other neighborhood, not too far away, where the neighbors' sensistivities won't be offended? And--as Charles mentioned in both columns and obviously feels is important--the governor will even help you find one. That's how badly people don't want you around.

No offense.

But remember what happens when we take steps to appease the oversensitive. Especially when those individuals are plainly wrong in substance and rhetoric. Even if you do abandon your plans to excercise your Constitutional and property rights to "keep peace" in the neighborhood, don't expect the same resale value on your home. Because if you do, there's nothing you can do about it on the back end.

There's a reason "seperate" was called out as "inherently unequal." In my America, we used to celebrate that decision as one of our civilization's greatest triumphs over the failings of the past. Those who argued against that decision were considered a fringe element that would come around in time. Now they've taken over the debate.

Those easily offended people who wish to convince us that we can politely resegregate will appreciate your gesture if you do what they say. They asked nicely, after all. Didn't they?

And once we surrender to their demands, and they have what they asked for, we will never have to feel threatened by them again. Will we?

This is about far more than the hallowed ground of a Burlington Coat Factory. This about far more than a zoning issue in lower Manhattan. I remain appalled at how many people I know and respect who have ended up on the absolute wrong side of this conversation.

Because make no mistake, there is a wrong side. There is no moral equivalency here. And the folks on that wrong side are going to keep hearing about how wrong they are every chance I get.

(HT's: The Daily Dish)



DADvocate said...

I'd like to expand this to all those other people who are offended by off-color jokes, imagined insults (such as the use of the word niggardly), statements taken out of context, the belief that a statement is racist, sexually harassing because someone was offended, etc. It is all too common for the Constitution to be kneecapped by PC people being offended. Many liberals are all to eager to kneecap the Constitution because someone was offended.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Our society definitely needs a better sense of both professional behavior and thicker skin. Because there are a whole lot of folks who need to realize there is a difference between what behavior is acceptable in the workplace and what is acceptable with the boys at the weekly card game. They ain't the same thing.

In my personal experience, I've seen people tolerate far more offensive language and bullying than should be reasonable, especially in the workplace. No one should have to deal with that crap.

One problem in our attention seeking culture, however, is that so many trivial matters are overblown, while real harassment and racism is systematically ignored. Dr. Laura and Don Imus may be dumbasses on radio shows I don't listen to, but every city I've lived in is crippled by unequal funding and managment of education.

Then there will be "groups" who express "outrage" at something said, while they continue to ignore the fact that their local schools don't even put toilet paper in the bathrooms of the "black" schools.

Our. Cultural. Priorities. Suck.

Part of it is also personal. People in positions of respect and authority need to step up with some accountability and instruct those wayward individuals about how to behave. Especially men who know better.

dsb said...

False equivalence alert. Scolding the person who tells an off color joke isn't a violation of the joke teller's constitutional rights. If you want to argue that hate speech laws are an infringement of one's First Amendment rights (which is about the only thing I can think of that could be perceived as "the Constitution" being "kneecapped by PC people"), have at it, go to court, etc., but there's no way to prevent people from taking offense. It's simply their prerogative. It's when the offended party tries to infringe on the offender's rights--as is the case with the Cordoba House controversy--that things have gone too far. Get used to being offended by those who find you offensive, DADvocate, even if they're just plain wrong.

Dante said...

"It is like telling blacks or Jews that they have every right to move into the neighborhood, but wouldn't they really be happier in some other neighborhood, not too far away, where the neighbors' sensistivities won't be offended?"

This is getting kind of old, Pat, but I do feel compelled to respond because I grew up there. Forsyth County Georgia earned itself a reputation it didn't give up for a good 80 or so years by doing exactly that sort of thing.

Last I checked though, being an asshat and having the gall to ask someone to build elsewhere instead of in your neighborhood isn't violating anyone's rights, even if you are the governor. It's not right. It's far from right. But it is generally legal as long as you don't go overboard with "persuasion."

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

If you think this is getting old, I invite you to direct your complaints to Newt, Palin, Giuliani, the GOP candidates for New York governor, the Tea Party Express and all the other interested parties who manufactured this controversy in an election year and won't let it die. They deserve public shame for their actions, as do all the weak-kneed Democratic politicans who either agree with them or let them get away with it.

You can tell them "don't start no shit won't be no shit." Naked demoagougery gets no pass.

One of the only saving graces of this whole "conversation" is that even though 70% of Americans don't want this sacred Burlington Coat Factory to be renovated, nearly the same amount of Americans realize the building's owners are completely within their Constitutional rights to do so.

Good. I'm glad we have near consensus on that.

Because the same rights that protect the folks renovating a non-descript building in lower Manhattan protect other people's rights to be very wrong, ignorant and xenophobic, and to display those very character flaws in public to every television camera that comes by.

Just as it is my right to point out how very wrong, ignorant and xenophobic these asshats are being. I'm not questioning their right to be dipshits. I will, however, counter their dipshit "arguments" and irrational, overemotional reasoning each time they open up their dipshit mouths and submit their dipshit articles to the publications too cowardly to call bullshit on bullshit.

As a matter of fact, with so many people being so very wrong, and with so many people defending these deplorable behaviors and beliefs, and so many people being silent to appease these bullying, manipulative dipshits, I feel it is my sacred American duty, indeed my Southern and Catholic heritage, to call these fools out as the fools that they are.

Because I live in the land that demagougery has destroyed. I have no intention of letting it go unchecked at a national level.

And if so many folks I respect are just going to give these clowns a pass, the responsibility falls on me to keep it real. I will continue to do so as long as those people chose to open their ignorant mouths to defend the indefensible and rationalize the irrational. I've said it before: funny time is over.

DADvocate said...

Get used to being offended by those who find you offensive, DADvocate, even if they're just plain wrong.

Oh, it doesn't bother me. It bothers me when they try to ruin your career, take away your job, an all that, which technically may not be violating your constitutional rights but is sure in violation of the spirit of free speech. But, there are plenty of state run universities who do have speech and behavior codes that do violate constitutional rights. Here's one example that combines ignorance and being offended at a level rarely seen.