COMMON SENSE & DISCRIMINATION
Discrimination is natural, Race is a fact and Bigot’s are made, not born. Anyone who says they don’t practice discrimination is a liar or does not understand the meaning. ALL humans discriminate. We, as people, make decisions every day based on a state of mind that has been influenced by past experiences. These range from the simple and mundane to complex and often life influencing. We choose one fruit over another because we have learned that color, smell and feel can usually determine which one will be the better tasting. We may decide if we’ll change jobs and move to another city based on an interview with a prospective employer. The very process of hiring a prospective employee is itself a discrimination process of picking one candidate over another, based on a multitude of points. So, discrimination is not only natural, it is a basic fact of life.
Since discrimination is a natural part of our being, and since we are a society of people that have openly expressed a desire that all should be treated equal, we have tired to define certain aspects of the discrimination process that should not be acceptable; age, sex, and race specifically in the minds of most. That certainly sounds good, and is worthy of everyone’s efforts to practice and apply. However, for as many times as one can apply these rules of equality, one can often times equally apply common sense arguments against doing so. It is when we try to apply common sense to these situations that the blindness of the law process often becomes its own handicap. Laws are supposedly written to be specific and equal in their application to everyone without interpretation. However, since we also realize that circumstances in every case may vary, we have established a court system that allow juries and judges to take into account the possibility of any mitigating circumstances and then hopefully exercise and apply common sense to the situation. (Unfortunately, in my opinion, the latter is very rare.)
AGE DISCRIMINATION: There are more “acceptable” age discrimination laws on the books than there are laws for not practicing age discrimination. Age acceptable laws are those prohibiting people from certain things, by age, which we just routinely accept. There’s age discrimination for being able to drive, drink, have sex, fly an airplane, vote, make a contract, get a tattoo, purchase a handgun, run for office, drop out of school, serve in the military, become President….the list is monumental. So, we need to face the fact that at some point in life, we’ve all been discriminated against by our age. We can only hope that such discrimination will continue to be applied with a little common sense and not abused. In other words, I don’t care if a ninety-year old surgeon with shaking hands is still practicing or not, I personally am going to exercise discrimination by not choosing him do my vasectomy!
SEX DISCRIMINATION: Certainly here, common sense MUST rule! Anyone who thinks that men and women are equal, or ever will be, must have come from another planet. I’ll be the very first to stand up and fight for any woman’s rights to be treated equally under the law when it comes to jobs, voting, business, etc., but regardless of how much I might enjoy the view, don’t expect me to go along with letting women walk around topless just because men can! I don’t mind women as firefighters, police officers, jet fighter pilots, or whatever. But I strongly oppose compromising even the slightest qualifications for the job itself. If the physical qualification to be a firefighter is to be able to pick up a 250 pound person, carry them 25’ across a rooftop and then descend a 50’ ladder still carrying that person, then that qualification should stand … with no compromise, ifs, ands, or buts.
People with common sense know that other people will discriminate and pass judgment on anything and anybody that deviates from the straight and narrow. Why, then, are so many gays surprised that they find themselves facing the negative results of their own public professions that they are different from the majority conception of being normal? I can assure you that people who pick their noses in public will be looked down upon and discriminated against by everyone that sees them! So will anyone who publicly says they are a wife-beater, dope-user, child molester, pot-head, crack-head, animal hater, thief, or gay. A person’s sexual preferences and behavior are not for public consumption and regardless of what you personally may believe your rights to be, if you start expressing your views publicly then expect to suffer the consequences of your lack of common sense. Some things are best left in the closet ... where they belong!
RACE DISCRIMINATION: God made people different …. Equal in many ways, but different in others. People need to recognize that years of experience and history automatically make certain people apprehensive of others. Again, this is natural. Race discrimination has existed throughout history and there’s nothing man can do to change it. People of like races and ethnic backgrounds automatically build their own barriers and lines in the sand that discriminate themselves from others. People automatically will choose to live and associate within similarly established communities, comfort zones and social circles of like groups. They will also prefer to do business within that same circle of comfort. Again this is natural and no amount of legislation will ever make it change.
DISCRIMINATION IN GENERAL: So, common sense says that discrimination naturally occurs at a variety of levels and for a variety of reasons. The way one changes the practice or application of discrimination is to change those things about themselves that CAN be changed. You can’t change your skin color, bald head, blue eyes, big feet, large nose, protruding ears, short height, etc. What you CAN change is your education, speech, clothes, hair (assuming you are not bald), attitude, morals, teeth, etc. The big truth, ignored by most, is that these things you CAN change have the power to overcome ALL those things you cannot change.
What we need to strive for is a common sense approach that says we acknowledge there are many different races of people and that each race will have certain differences that make them both unique as well as special. Reverse discrimination is just as wrong as discrimination. Can you imagine the affirmative action program being applied to sports? Try taking some of the nation’s top professional sports and establishing a quota to incorporate every ethnicity in America? Would some very promising professional athletes be just a little upset to learn they were being dropped from the team in order to meet some racial quota regardless of their replacement’s abilities? It would be absolutely stupid to expect a team owner, or coach, to build a team while trying to meet some racial quota that had no bearing on performance. It does not take a PhD to look at professional sports and KNOW that blacks, in general, are better athletes than whites. However, if someone told you that you had a brain tumor and that you needed some very delicate surgery in order to live, which would you choose, a young white male surgeon just out of school or the older female black resident surgeon who taught that white student how to do the procedure in the first place? Does ANYONE have to think about this? It’s a common sense decision. So, a simple common sense approach to discrimination on ANY level would be: Any kind of discrimination against a person, on whatever level they are being considered, that falls OUTSIDE the actual parameters necessary for the job itself, is wrong. It matters not color, ethnic origin, sex, age, of preference in mouthwash. It’s simply who can do the task at hand best!
I’ll have to admit to a certain level of truth in the often made accusation that a white person would have no way of knowing what it might be like to be black. I would imagine it is like I have pointed out elswhere in my writings, that our own legislators can’t relate to any common constituents anymore. It is difficult to relate to that which you have never actually witnessed or experienced first hand yourself. However, I do feel that I’m a pretty good in the observation department. And I’ve tried, especially as I get older, to LEARN from the bloody noses of others rather than getting them myself. I’m also fully aware that racial discrimination is still occurring ... it is wrong ... and I am against it. However, that said, I don’t see the situation improving greatly in the future until blacks in America get some new roll models and leaders. People like Colin Powell, Oprah Winfrey, Willie E. Gary (Attorney) and the late Perry Reece (High School Athletic Program Coach) who coached the Berlin Ohio Hawks. These are just a few, but there are millions more blacks who have also become successful through education, hard work, and diligence who can also be role models. Unfortunately, many blacks will say these people are being like “whitey” in order to detract from the fact that these people WORKED to get where they are today. It was not legislated or given to them. They were not born into it! They started out with all the same things against them, and in most cases even more barriers than their white counterpart. Yet they worked themselves to the top of their professions. They have my deepest admiration and I can assure you that I would feel great reverence just to be in the mere presence of any one of these people.
Through the past 20 – 30 years, it would seem that black parents have never told their children the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” Otherwise, they would not be playing the race card so often. Current black leaders have become their own worst enemy in the past few years by hollering “discrimination” regardless of the truth or circumstances, to the point that their cries are becoming summarily rejected by more and more people. People like Jesse Jackson showing up in a city, not his own, to lobby for a bunch of unruly young men who were instrumental in a brawl at a sporting event, is not the roll model blacks need. These kids were being charged for their actions at an event in which they participated, not because color had anything to do with it. I find myself becoming more and more offended by the dual standard blacks themselves promote. Blacks seem to think that it’s OK to have the Black Entertainment Network, the Black Miss America Pageant, the Black Airline Pilots Association, the Black Caucus, Black History Month, etc. etc. and that there are no consequences for having such totally racial events or organizations. For years blacks have been represented in the Miss America Pageant …. yet, they see no wrong in promoting and having their own pageant which by its very name excludes whites and is certainly racially oriented. In other words, it’s OK for blacks to have something ONLY for blacks, that which by name, separates them from whites, but they would be offended it were the other way around. What these people are actually doing is undermining everyone’s efforts to establish or achieve racial equality, by furthering and promoting events and groups that are themslves racially exclusive!
It seems every time one turns around, the media, or someone, is constantly pointing out some person as the “first black” in a particular position or to have accomplished some level of recognition. Yet, every time the word “black” is associated with the person, it automatically separates them from white. We’re never going to get rid of race in this country until people, both black and white, stop pointing out “black”. I say “black” here simply because you don’t ever hear anyone pointing out that some person is “white”. Every time anyone uses the term “African” or “black” in association with a person, they have just pointed out that a racial difference is present when in truth, if we want to begin eliminating the race factor from our psyche, it should not merit mention at all! Let’s start looking at people for their accomplishments and who they are, and let the color factor be a surprise. Being black is so visibly obvious, why do the media and so many people keep bringing it up for reason of discussion. I have yet to have anyone specifically point out or mention in conversation that some person is “white”.
When Denzell Washington won his Academy Award, the media immediately started pointing out that he was black and using the reference “African American” when asking questions of him. Why? It’s obvious he is black, I think everyone already knows that as being a fact. He is no more “African” than my grand-mother! He was born American and just because he his black does not necessarily guarantee he is of African descent. Could not his heritage just as easily trace back to the Aborigines of Australia? He is an American! The reference to African, Chinese, Asian, Hispanic, etc. etc. should be totally dropped by media when referring to any American, unless someone wants to specifically ask about that person’s ancestral origins.
I lived in a small Georgia town for a while where one day someone from the news media asked the superintendent of education why it was that blacks in the community schools all scored lower on certain tests than did their white counterparts. His response was not only truthful, but made with no malice or discrimination in mind. Basically, he said that although it was unfortunate, the black children were not generally exposed to the same environment on a daily basis as the whites, to include: economics, local childhood associations, neighborhoods, etc. The whites, he went on, are usually exposed to more travel in the summer months and in many cases, their families and daily associations are with people from generally higher educations. The very next morning, the NAACP, instead of addressing the city fathers for help in maybe starting a program that might be able to offset this situation for blacks and any other children from under privileged homes, were on the media demanding this man’s job for making racial statements! If you are applying common sense, you do not kill the messenger.
Why can’t these extremists get the picture? Were their ancestors present when General Custer’s messenger arrived at the fort? “Attention everyone, General Custer is over that next draw and is surrounded by a few thousand Indians and needs us to assemble the troops and come to his aid because if we don’t ….. BANG! (Problem solved?)
I was in the Atlanta airport the other day and noticed that every one of the dozen or more gate personnel for the airline on which I was flying were black. Obviously this airline had an affirmative action program. Unfortunately, as I have already said, affirmative action IS itself discrimination. Anyway, as I sat there, I noticed several things about these attendants. Without going into a lot of specific details, they were rude and short tempered with the customers. They wasted a lot of time talking and horsing around among themselves. They were too lazy to even post new times on the boards for flights that were delayed already over an hour and were still displaying the original departure time. Finally, when they made announcements, they spoke with such a heavy ethnic accent that only the very hip, who speak Ebonics, could make out what they were saying. I maintain that when a company hires people on this level, that the end result is they actually do more harm than good for their associates, and especially those minority employees who are qualified and do have the skills to do a professional job and progress. When a company pushes and supports this kind of incompetence within their ranks, they actually create a general ill feeling toward those many associates who are worthy of promotion and their positions.
In the Presidential election of 2000, there were many complaints about voting improprieties and uncounted or disqualified ballots. When the dust was finally settled in the debacle between lawyers, politicians, judges, and the media; a caucus of blacks in the House of Representatives, during the final process of confirming the election, publicly stated before the assembled body and Vice President Al Gore, “we don’t care about the rules”. That pretty well hits the very heart of the race issue. We have reached a place in society where there are groups of people that feel laws, rules, accountability and responsibility just don’t matter unless they favor that group’s interest. These groups are saying that discrimination is fine as long as the discrimination is in their favor!
Until these minority groups, whether they be Black, Hispanic, Indian, or whatever adopt a policy that embraces the same standards by which the majority expects to be judged and held accountable, the situation is not going to improve. When these groups find leaders who will have the fortitude and values to stand before their piers and measure all people using the same yardstick, maybe then we can begin to turn the corner.
Hopefully some of today’s college graduates will get the message early and will become tomorrow’s newly enlightened leaders and have some degree of common sense. Charlton Heston, in an address to Harvard Law Students in 1999 touched on many of the governmental and social problems of today. His comments are worth sharing because the liberal media has long forgotten … that is if they were even listening in the first place.
Winning The Cultural War - An address given by actor Charlton Heston
Harvard Law School Forum - February 16, 1999
“I remember my son when he was five, explaining to his kindergarten class what his father did for a living. 'My Daddy,' he said, 'pretends to be people.' There have been quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old and New Testaments, a couple of Christian saints, generals of various nationalities and different centuries, several kings, three American presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, including Michelangelo. If you want the ceiling re-painted I'll do my best. There always seem to be a lot of different fellows up here. I'm never sure which one of them gets to talk. Right now, I guess I'm the guy.
As I pondered our visit tonight, it struck me: If my Creator gave me the gift to connect you with the hearts and minds of those great men, then I want to use that same gift now to re-connect you with your own sense of liberty … your own freedom of thought ... your own compass for what is right.
Dedicating the memorial at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of America, 'We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.' Those words are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war, a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to think and say what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you ... the stuff that made this country rise from wilderness into the miracle that it is.
Let me back up. About a year ago I became president of the National Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I ran for office, I was elected, and now I serve ... I serve as a moving target for the media who've called me everything from 'ridiculous' and 'duped' to a 'brain-injured, senile, crazy old man'. I know ... I'm pretty old ... but I sure thank the Lord (I) ain't senile.
As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that. I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.
For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 – long before Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist. I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe. I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite. Everyone I know, knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But, when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.
From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, 'Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language not authorized for public consumption!' But, I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boy-subjects bound to the British Crown.
In his book, 'The End of Sanity,' Martin Gross writes that 'blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every direction. Underneath, the nation is boiling. Americans know something, without a name is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it.'
Let me read a few examples. At Antioch college in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation ... all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive.
In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDS -- the state commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not ... need not ... tell their patients that they are infected!
At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team 'The Tribe' because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name.
In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.
In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their last names sound Hispanic.
At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students.
Yeah, I know ... that's out of bounds now. Dr. King said 'Negroes.' Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said 'black.' But it's a no-no now.
For me, hyphenated identities are awkward ... particularly 'Native-American.' I'm a Native American, for God's sake. I also happen to be a blood-initiated brother of the Miniconjou Sioux. On my wife's side, my grandson is a thirteenth generation Native American ... with a capital letter on 'American.'
Finally, just last month ... David Howard, head of the Washington D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word 'niggardly' while talking to colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, 'niggardly' means stingy or scanty. But within days, Howard was forced to publicly apologize and resign. As columnist Tony Snow wrote: 'David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of niggardly,' (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance.'
What does all of this mean? It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what to say. So, telling us what to do can't be far behind. Before you claim to be a champion of free thought, tell me: Why did political correctness originate on America's campuses? And why do you continue to tolerate it? Why do you, who're supposed to debate ideas, surrender to their suppression?
Let's be honest. Who here thinks your professors can say what they really believe? It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.
You are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge.
And as long as you validate that ... and abide it ... you are, by your grandfathers' standards, cowards. Here's another example. Right now at more than one major university, Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Why? Because their research findings would undermine big-city mayor's pending lawsuits that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufacturers.
I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not shocked at that, I am shocked at you. Who will guard the raw material of unfettered ideas, if not you? Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, 'Don't shoot me.'
If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.
Don't let America's universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism. But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation?
The answer's been here all along. I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people. You simply ... disobey. Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely. But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom. I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King ... who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might. Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Viet Nam.
In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous law that weaken personal freedom. But be careful ... it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies. You must be willing to be humiliated ... to endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water Cannons at Selma. You must be willing to experience discomfort. I'm not Complaining, but my own decades of social activism have taken their toll on me. Let me tell you a story.
A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called 'Cop Killer', celebrating the ambushing and murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world. Police across the country were outraged. Rightfully so - at least one had been murdered. But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black. I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned some shares at the time, so I decided to attend.
What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of 'Cop Killer'- every vicious, vulgar, instructional word.
I GOT MY 12 GAUGE SAWED OFF. I GOT MY HEADLIGHTS TURNED OFF. I'M ABOUT TO BUST SOME SHOTS OFF. I'M ABOUT TO DUST SOME COPS OFF...
It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that. Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old nieces Of Al and Tipper Gore.
SHE PUSHED HER BUTT AGAINST MY ....'
Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps, one of them said, 'We can't print that.' 'I know,' I replied, 'but Time/Warner ís selling it.' Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warners, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.
When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself ... jam the switchboard of the district attorney's office. When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the students graduate with honors ... choke the halls of the board of regents. When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets hauled into court for sexual harassment ... march on that school and block its doorways. When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays you ... petition them, oust them, banish them. When Time magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians holding a cross as it did last month ... boycott their magazine and the products it advertises.
So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country.
If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.