Monthly Archives: July 2015

PC in the USA

A black guy, a Mexican, a redneck, an attorney, a guy in a wheelchair, a guy who likes to party, and I walk into a bar…..

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  While it sounds like the beginning of a very complicated joke, it’s actually a description of “The Brethren,” a group of guys I hang with on Thursdays drinking craft beer.  I love these guys like brothers.  Great people.  Great friends.

And unbelievably politically incorrect.  We target everyone, especially each other.  Black jokes.  White jokes.  Hispanic jokes.  Handicapped jokes.  Hell, the best ones usually come from the person you think would be offended.  Yes, sometimes we can take it a little too far.  But it also shows how comfortable we are with each other.

And miraculously, after all the drinks, all the jokes, and all the laughs, none of us ever end the night in handcuffs, arrested by the “PC police.”  In the last couple months, their “Quit it or ticket” political correctness campaign nabbed several high-profile criminals. They caught comedian Amy Schumer telling racist jokes.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hates Mexicans.  A college student wrote an op-ed teaching notorious shitstorm stirrer Jerry Seinfeld how to do comedy after Seinfeld complained college campuses were too “pc.”  Seinfeld….think about that.

South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill to stop flying the Confederate flag at the statehouse after a racially-motivated shooting at a Charleston church, a move I wholeheartedly agree with.  However, the “PC police” now want to make it a hate crime to fly the flag, much like the swastika in Europe.  There’s a warrant out for Kid Rock’s arrest because he uses a Confederate flag in his shows.  Oh, wait.  He hasn’t used it in five years.  Never mind.  Obviously, the 1st Amendment right to free speech clearly means “If you can’t say something nice, we won’t allow you to say anything at all.”

Let’s cut through the confusion with these visual aids, shall we?

Pretty simple, right?  And that doesn’t include Muslims, illegal immigrants, and overweight people.  The “PC police” dragnet ensnares more and more offenders, so much so two libertarian authors recently published this book calling out liberals :

endofdiscussion

That’s right, libs.  They blame you for this.  And I agree with much of what they say.  Look, I’m all for political correctness when it involves ending the use of hateful words and derogatory stereotypes.  But somehow, it evolved into outrage over anything that hurts anyone.  Saying or doing something someone finds “offensive” must be followed with an apology.  Your right never to be offended now trumps my right to offend.

But I disagree with putting the blame ENTIRELY on the “Left.”  Those of you on the “Right” need to admit you suffer from your own “PC police” problem.  It also involves a flag, outrage, and apologies.  I call it “patriotic correctness.”

I touched on it in my February blog after former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioned whether President Barack Obama “loves America” because he criticizes it.  Last week, the Right’s “PC police” began a manhunt (Is that politically correct?) for pop singer Ariana Grande after security footage from a doughnut shop caught her saying “I hate America.”  Yes, that same video showed her licking the shop’s doughnuts.  But we must denounce Grande for her anti-American sentiment before someone takes her seriously!  A North Carolina pastor and former Army Ranger raised a Christian flag above an American one, and the “PC police” hauled him into Fox News court for judgement by a jury of his peers.

And it happens time after time after time.  Remember this:

muhammad

The organizer of this event claimed there’s a “violent assault on free speech” after a Texas traffic cop killed two gunman trying to stop the event.  And she’s right.  Because if you do this–

Flag_challenge

You receive death threats from Americans.  I’ve seen some of my Facebook friends, people I respect, people of intelligence, post those threats.

Singer Ted Nugent said this about President Obama:

Nugent also said he would either be “dead or in jail” if President Obama won re-election in 2012.  The outpouring of strong comments like “I don’t agree” from the likes of Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rick Perry forced Nugent to apologize.  Compare that to the 2004 Dixie Chicks comments about President George W. Bush:

Man, after saying that, I completely understand all the death threats, and yells of “traitors” they received.  Much like a Virginia photographer who posted this photo on her Facebook page in March:

And let’s not forget the reaction to Coca-Cola’s multilingual “America, the Beautiful” commercial aired during the 2014 Super Bowl:

cokesongcokesong1

That wasn’t the only tweet accusing Coke of changing the “national anthem.”  I’m sure some of those people lick doughnuts too.

After seeing these reactions, I think you can understand the need for a real political conversation in this country.  These type of emotional reactions not only “shut down debate,” as the book above says.  They give power.  Think about the Confederate flag.  The Civil War began after the election of President Abraham Lincoln out of fear Lincoln would abolish slavery.  Many historians believe the turning point of the war came when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  It’s power is that it did not abolish slavery.  It made all slaves in rebellious territories FREE.  It didn’t take away someone’s right.  It GAVE a right to those who did not have it.  And now, those calling for an end to flying the “Stars and Bars” only emboldens the people who want to fly it.  You see it time and again historically.  The Temperance Movement.  Gay marriage.  Civil rights.  Women’s rights.  Change and compromise can only occur by giving something, not by taking something away.

That’s why I fight for the right to offend.  So I leave you with my favorite joke–“What do you call a black person who flies an airplane? ”

“A pilot, you fucking racist!”

It makes me laugh every time.  Why?  Think about it.

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Mexican Standoff

I suffer from a Game of Thrones hangover.  My wife and I love the show.  I read all the books.  And now, with season 5 ending last month, I flip through television channels aimlessly looking for something to fill the void.  A little True Detective.  Some Penny Dreadful.  Lots of political shows. And in doing so, I realized I’m watching a real life GoT right now.  Every day, we see another person enter the ring, vying to sit on the “Iron Throne” in the Oval Office.  Homosexuality continues to be a contentious religious debate.  Everybody hates the rich family.

And of course, Winter is coming.  And the wildlings need to move south.  Or in our case, winter is a few months away.  And the illegal immigrants keep pouring in from all directions.  Some of you, including most Republicans, believe we need to close the southern border with Mexico, like the Night’s Watch protecting the Wall keeping the wildlings out.  Of course, it didn’t really work on the show.  But….still.  Others, like most Democrats, side with the Chamber of Commerce, believing any reform must offer amnesty for the nearly 12 million illegals already here.  Yes, liberals are teaming up with the arch-enemy of unions.  It’s like Sansa Stark saying, “Look, I know the Lannisters cut off my father’s head, paid the Boltons to kill my mother and brother, and left my other brother paralyzed by throwing him out a window.  But I really think they are the best choice to lead Westeros.”

This is why Congress can’t seem to agree on a reform bill.  At least, that’s what it looks like on television.  However, a recent Pew Research Center poll shows 72% of us think reform should allow illegals to stay legally.  Nearly 50% want a path to citizenship.  And a little over 50% think “a lot” more can be done to improve border security.  In other words, we’re the Season 5 cliffhanger–let the wildings in, put more “Crows ” on the Wall, and prepare for a White Walker attack.  Easy compromise, right?

Not when we don’t treat ALL illegal immigrants the same.  Just compare the two largest groups–Mexicans and Asians.  As of 2012, 11.2 million illegal immigrants lived in the United States. Mexicans make up about 52% while Asians about 12%.  Spanish ranks as the second most spoken language in the United States with Chinese third.  While immigration from Mexico remains high, deportations keep their numbers flat.  But the Asian invasion continues, making it the fastest-growing immigrant group in the country.

Yet, you don’t hear cries for a wall at Los Angeles airports.  No one yells at them to “Speak American!”  They’re Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid films.  Intelligent, quiet, hard-working people with small families who run dojos out of their homes.  Over 50% graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, the highest percentage of any ethnic group in the United States. They bring in a median household income of a little less than $71,000 a year, higher than any other race, including whites. Our interactions with them usually involve dry cleaning our clothes, making our sushi and Thai food, and giving us mani-pedis.  “Wax on.  Wax off.”

But Mexicans are Cousin Eddie from the Vacation movies, right down to the white, patent leather shoes.  An uninsured Hispanic illegal once hit my wife’s car.  Turned out the woman just left a store after a quick shoplifting trip.  Our Mexican neighbors like to spend their weekends with 30 of their closest friends and family eating, drinking and singing Spanish songs with a live mariachi band until the wee hours of the morning.  We look at them like the rednecks of Hispanic immigrants.  Loud, obnoxious people who sneak into the country.  Many are Catholic and don’t believe in birth control, leading to large families.  Only six percent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree or higher, meaning most come here dirt poor. Once here, they earn a median household income of less than $37,000 a year. Mexicans steal from us, literally as criminals, or figuratively, taking jobs and government benefits.  They like tiger and leopard prints.  They set off fireworks to celebrate EVERYTHING. “Shitter was full!”

These personal experiences not only shape our beliefs, they shape the entire immigration debate.  That’s why you can’t turn on the television right now without hearing about Mexicans.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump blasts them as criminals and not only gets air time, but goes UP in the polls.  National networks play up and dissect last week’s story about a Mexican illegal, deported five times, who shot a 32 year old woman in San Francisco.  Every immigration reform story starts and ends with the southern border.  Asians are boring.  If you want viewers and votes, it’s all about the Mexicans, baby!

These beliefs cloud our judgement and create a literal Mexican standoff on immigration.  By definition, it can only end when “an outside event makes it possible to resolve it.”  In my next blog, I’ll explain why that outside event needs to be a change in all of us.  Because, in the immortal words of the wildling Ygritte–

“You know nothing, Jon Snow.”