Racism- It Becomes Too Common

Racism Has Become Numbing

Racism-We are getting immune to it. We watch the nightly news and it is like a fill-in the blanks.

I am sure almost everyone saw the video of the deputy dragging a black female from her desk and then subsequently throwing her to the ground. Were you shocked or were you numb and immune? But the thing is, most people have just become used to it.

News Cycle Keeps it Going

In the last few years in particular, I have watched so many similar incidents draw national attention before gradually subsiding in the face of a newer, more gripping tragedy. Names, faces and stories have grown increasingly muddled and vague over time. A man, woman, child, student, veteran, disabled person, homeless man was shot, stabbed, assaulted, ambushed, belittled by a police officer, store owner, teacher, neighbor, sociopath.


Then the news cycle takes over the jumps into the victim’s families faces and drudge up old pictures and scene until after the funeral. Then we have another victim and we start all over again. We have become accustomed to people suffering and it has become the norm. Which is sad.

Do not allow yourself to forget that this is happening, because even as the relevance of the story wanes in the media, its impact is still very real and profound.


Racism shows no love, unity, harmony or peace. It is ignorant. It incites hatred, anger, fear, guilt, low self-esteem, superiority, inferiority, terrorism and other crimes. It has to be faced head on to be dealt with and not simply shoved under the rug, because people in general do not want to address this issue. Racism has no place in a civilized society.

I Peter 4:17: For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Diversity and My Grandchildren


I have been thinking a lot about the word diversity ever since my son and his family have made a decision to move to another part of the United States that will be rich in diversity. I looked back at their past (and mine) and sensed that it is sorely lacking in the current status.

Now there is nothing wrong with where they (or I) are at, but in my words, it is very vanilla. They will be given many opportunities and experiences in the future that they wouldn’t have gotten. I endorse this for them as it will make all of them (adults and children) better people when surrounded by diversity.

What is Diversity?

Diversity refers to human qualities that are different from our own and those of groups to which we belong, but are manifested in other individuals and groups. Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital or partner status, military experience, parental status, religious beliefs, work experience and job classification.

Why is Diversity Important?

Diversity provides a lesson for each of us to be okay with and open to those things that set us apart and understanding and accepting of people for who they are.

Cultural Awareness

Being culturally aware provides an opportunity to stand back and consider that there are certain backgrounds, personal values, beliefs and upbringings that shape the things we all do. Something that is considered inappropriate behavior in one culture may be perfectly appropriate in another.

The Opportunities for my Grandchildren

Learning about other cultures helps us relate to one another and be okay with different perspectives. Think about my grandchildren in school! They have some unique chances to experience more of the world and never leave their classroom.

With the support of research, theorists and experience, the inclusion of multiculturalism within classrooms just makes perfect sense! Think of it…providing young children with endless opportunities and exposure to beautiful traditions, music and rhythms, instruments, celebrations, books, people, homes, art; and that is just to name a few!


I have been thinking a lot about diversity and my grandchildren.


“Diversity is the one true thing we have in common.”





First of all, the article written below was NOT written by me. It is from a very good blog called everysquareinch.net and it features some outstanding articles about Christianity. I found it when someone re-posted an article about Colby Rasmus and how he has discovered the Lord. Being a Cardinals fan and blogger (CardinalsGM) I was drawn to it and enjoyed the article.

I began searching other articles and the more and more I delved in, I found several that piqued my interest. This one hits home for parents and even grandparents. Many, many times the traveling teams and/or AAU type teams scheduled tournaments that are played on Sunday mornings. This creates a quandry for the family AND within the family. Many times it is also a Wednesday night issue. Please take time to read this article and look around for others.

I was given permission by the author to reprint this article here.




Christine and I are out of town for a few days celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Here’s a post from a year ago that was popular.

Some topics are just too controversial for a pastor to go near. But, at great risk, I am going to write about one even though I might unintentionally offend you or make you angry. What’s the topic? Is it abortion or same sex marriage or politics? No, it is far more personal and therefore, for many, far more dangerous territory. It’s kids sports.

Before I wade in, maybe it would help if I told you that I love sports. ESPN is my favorite channel. I spent August worrying about whether DIRECTV would get the SEC Network and am very excited about the beginning of the NFL season tonight. My family has season tickets to both Mizzou basketball and football games. I grew up playing sports where I learned some incredibly valuable life lessons…many of which I still benefit from today. Lastly, all four of my kids play(ed) sports beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school.

Maybe I should also add that I don’t think that being a Christian can be reduced to church attendance. There’s much more to following Jesus than being in church on Sunday mornings. And, at least for my family, it’s not necessary to eat dinner together every night of the week. Practices and games often prevent that, and, to some extent, that’s okay. Sports, like school and other worthwhile endeavors, take time.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig in a little. A study that came out last year and was reported in Christianity Today shows that one of the biggest obstacles to families coming to church is sports. I get that occasionally a family might miss church because of a sporting event. The problem is that it’s becoming the norm instead of the exception. The message seems to be: Church involvement (worshipping, learning, serving) is not as important as sports. Let’s go to church but if there’s sports on Sunday morning, well then sports win.

And the same goes for family time. It’s not uncommon for a kid, involved simultaneously in two sports, to have either a practice, game, or tournament every day of the week. And that’s just ONE kid. What if the family is crazy enough to have more than one child?

More and more parents are rebelling against the reality that there’s not time for a weekend away as a family or even dinner together because sports trumps all. Mission trip or family vacation or going to see grandparents or parents being involved in a small group? No way because there’s always tryouts or a practice or a game or a tournament. In addition, more and more families are divided too many evenings and weekends as they go their separate ways to accomplish all their sports activities. This all leads to this line in a recent article in the New York Times…

Try saying this out loud: “Family and academics are more important than sports, until sports conflict, then sports win.”

I know that a lot of parents feel like they would be doing their child a disservice by not allowing them to take part in all the sports they would like to try. I know that most parents are trying to do the right thing by teaching their child that you have to be dedicated and go to practice and stick with something to be good at it. All the moms and dads I know desperately want to be good parents. I’d love to hear from you as you try to find and stay on the right course. How do you decide what is the right amount of kids sports (and other activities) and what’s too much? No one has got this all figured out.

But here’s my question for now: Is it worth it? Is our investment in sports worth giving up real church involvement? Is it worth giving up family time? I can’t help but thinking of Jesus’ words inMark 8:36: What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

What good is it if your child excels at sports but their spiritual and family life are significantly diminished? For the vast, vast, vast majority of these kids their sports career ends before or after high school. For a very small percentage it will continue through college. And almost zero will go beyond that. Let’s face it, your kids (for sure my kids) aren’t going to the NFL or the Majors or the MLS or the Olympics. They’ll end up like me–watching sports on television and attending games as a fan.

But what every single one of our children will need is a good relationship with mom and dad and brother and sister. What they’ll need when they’re 40 is a strong, connected family that knows each other on a deeper level than can be obtained from driving to and from practices and tournaments.

Very few kids (probably none of our kids) will end up making a career out of playing sports. But every single one of them will have to stand before Jesus. On that day it won’t matter much whether you made varsity or were “All State”. But it will matter for all eternity whether you walked with God.

Let’s play sports. But when sports collide with family and church, let’s make sure that the most important one wins that game.

Posted by everysquareinch


Back in 1986, the Chicago Tribune’s David Ibata described the history of the Cubs’ journey around Chicago, playing in a variety of ballparks before settling on Wrigley Field. He wrote about how the one-time site of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary became Weeghman Park and then Wrigley Field:

The Federal [League]s’ Chicago franchise went to Charles Weeghman, known as the “Lunchroom King” for his chain of low-cost eateries. Weeghman named his team the Whales and selected a site in the North Side neighborhood of Lakeview for his new ballpark. The site, at 1060 W. Addison St. on the northeast corner of Addison and Clark Streets, one day would be “Wrigley Field.”

When Weeghman leased the land from a certain Edmund J. Archambault, though, it was anything but beautiful.

The Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary occupied the land from 1891 until 1910, giving Seminary Avenue west of the ballpark its name. Then the school moved to Maywood. It came back to the city, to 1100 E. 55th St., in 1967. Today it’s the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

The school produced this letter from its archives to explain the move from Lakeview:

The writer, Marjory R. Wing, says the seminarians were escaping “the smoke, dust, grime, soot, dirt (and) foul gases; railroading by night and day; whistles, ding-donging of bells late and early and in between times, and the ceaselessness of undesirable traffic incidental thereto that is growing more unbearable every week.”

Wing referred to a rail line that skirted the west side of Wrigley Field and ran up the middle of Seminary Avenue to a private right-of-way north of Irving Park Road. It was built in the late 19th Century by the Chicago & Evanston, a steam-powered freight and commuter railroad. The Milwaukee Road acquired the C&E around the turn-of-the-century. By 1910, Addison Street had become a key way station on the line.

Wing wrote of “coal yards, gravel yards, sand yards, ice stations and milk stations” that received freight trains and wagon teams “with the unsanctified men in charge sending the unsterilized particles, odors and speech into the homes, eyes and ears of the seminary habitants.”

The late Bill Veeck, whose father was president of the Cubs, was born in 1914, the year Weegham built his stadium; and attended his first baseball game there in 1920, when he was 6 years old. In an interview before he died, Veeck said Weeghman built the stadium where he did “to get away from the White Sox and the Cubs. He was opening up new territory on the North Side.

“I also have to think (Weeghman) was able to get a piece of land he could afford,” Veeck said. “Bear in mind, one wouldn’t put a ballpark next to a coal yard by choice.

“The requirements for a ballpark in those days were quite different than now,” Veeck said. “You wanted public transportation, because there weren’t any automobiles to speak of. You had to get people there, and they wouldn’t all be from the neighborhood. Clark and Addison was an ideal location because the streetcar and elevated lines were nearby.”

Weeghman Park was designed by architect Zachary Taylor Davis, who four years earlier had designed Comiskey Park on the South Side for the White Sox. The North Side stadium had a single-level grandstand and left and right field bleachers totaling 14,000 seats. To build it required 500 tradesmen, 4,000 yards of earth, four acres of bluegrass and $250,000.
Led by Joe Tinker–of “Tinkers to Ever to Chance” fame–the Whales captured the Federal League pennant in 1915. Then the league folded.

With the National League’s blessing, Weeghman put together a 10-man syndicate to buy the Cubs from the Tafts and move the team to his North Side park. One of those investors was the Chicago chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley Jr.

The deal was closed on Jan. 20, 1916, and the team played its first game at Weeghman Park on April 20


Press “1” for English


I recently viewed an image that someone shared on Facebook that really got me thinking. I probably have changed my mind some over the years as I wasn’t the most tolerant to people here in the United States that didn’t speak English.

The image depicted a woman holding a phone receiver away from her face and looking outraged, with red text superimposed on it that said, “IM IN AMERICA, WHY DO I HAVE TO PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH!” When I looked at the image’s original page, it was full of other images lamenting the destruction of American values.

While I could write forever on what the incorrect use of punctuation and obnoxious style will lead me to believe about the intellect of whoever holds this viewpoint, I’ll save that for another day. I could also write a piece reminding readers that the United States of America does not have and has never had an official national language. And that even if it did, democratic countries with a national language do not require all citizens to speak that language.

Instead, I’m going to focus on how difficult it is to simply “learn English.”

While experts love to squabble about which languages are the most difficult to learn, English is generally regarded as one of the most difficult. English is a Germanic language with significant influences from Latin, French and Greek. This means that unlike French, German or Mandarin, where letters are normally pronounced the same way in every word, pronunciation in English is a crapshoot.

For instance, take the phrase “through tough thorough thought, though.” Much of English pronunciation is memorization, and luckily for native English speakers, we memorized common words when we were young. English language learners have to learn the finicky rules of English pronunciation, then quickly learn all the exceptions to those rules.

For someone who does not speak English at home, constructions like adding an “e” to change the sound of an “o” can be the epitome of confusion. For proof of this, think about the difference in pronunciation between “some,” “one,” “home,” and “epitome.”

Many aspects of our grammar present difficulties, too. English syntax critically important, and yet often the distinction between two different sentences is that the order of the correct one “just sounds right.” Just as I, someone with an untrained musical ear, am unable to immediately harmonize with a note someone is playing, an English learner will struggle to tell you why my ear is an “untrained musical ear” rather than a “musical untrained ear.”

English also has these ridiculous things called “verbal phrases,” which are two-word phrases that change the meaning of a verb, like “ask out,” or “ask around.” Verbal phrases are difficult enough on their own for an English learner. But imagine trying to breakdown your thought process so you can speak properly during a stressful situation, like when you have a broken down car, are going through a break up or have a nasty acne break out. It’s enough for anyone to have a mental breakdown.

Learning another language is an extremely difficult task that requires you to change the way your brain processes and produces information. Foreign language professors will tell you that in order to learn a new language, you have to make mistakes. Mistakes are how language learners reach beyond the basics and learn what exactly they are doing wrong so they can correct it. But when English learners in the United States make mistakes, they are often assumed to be stupid, made fun of or told to try harder. Many ESL learners, discouraged by all this, are driven into silence.

Pressing “1” for English when calling somewhere is not a sign of the destruction of American values. Rather, it is an extraordinary example of many of the values on which America was founded and is supposed to embody — inclusiveness, aide to the underdog and equal opportunity. Most phone calls that give a language option are phone calls that require spoken clarity and total understanding, like calls to your bank or electric company. Allowing people who struggle (understandably so) with English, or are at a stage in learning where they need to make mistakes, to conduct their business in the language they feel most comfortable is not unAmerican. It’s one of the most American things you can do.

Don’t get upset with Press “1” for English but embrace the diversity of this great nation.

Media… Article from the Daily Vidette (ISU)



The following article was written by the Editorial Board of the Daily Vidette at Illinois State University.

I didn’t write this but fully agree with their thoughts.



People who are passionate about any current event, social issue or government policy would likely claim to have unique views and insights about the topic in question. There is no doubt that people get concerned about public issues for good reasons, but do people really choose what to be interested in? For most Americans, their interest on an issue depends almost completely on how much media attention it receives.

The fact that mass media can control people’s interests and concerns is troubling. There is a direct correlation between how much media coverage a topic gets and the amount of public interest for related issues. People may also base their opinions on very little information. Sound bites are shorter than ever, people trust Buzzfeed for news and many get their news from Twitter headlines (neglecting to click the link to the full article).

When the media has so much influence over the public’s opinions and concerns, it is disturbing just how biased news outlets can be. People often go to the news outlet that will reinforce their way of thinking, raising public polarization of opinion. When biased news organizations like MSNBC and Fox News use their influence to focus public interest on certain issues and back them up with unfair reporting, it erodes the public’s ability to make their own judgments. These news outlets don’t trust our ability to make decisions; if they did, they would provide us with fair and unbiased reporting.

At least when the media is covering political and social issues, people pay attention to things that matter. In recent years, however, news organizations that are taken seriously often stray from hard news and focus on entertainment. This creates an entirely new problem where the media shifts the public’s attention away from the pressing subjects of the day. This may be why many people know more about Kanye West’s 2020 platform than those of the current 2016 presidential candidates. A great example is the now famous incident where MSNBC cut into an interview about the NSA to cover Justin Bieber’s arrest.

When the media controls interest on important issues and events, key topics do not get attention for long enough. The model of many major news outlets is to keep the new material coming before people get bored and lose interest. This creates an uninformed public with short attention spans. There is often not enough time for people to fully digest an issue and make an informed opinion of it before moving on to the next one.

We need to be careful where we get our news. We need to pay attention to make sure we are receiving news that is unbiased, thoughtful and in-depth. In a world where the media controls public interest, we must make sure we are receiving the best information.


Be Careful What the Public Deems Sacred


So much has happened in the news lately in terms of freedom of expression and the abuse of power. As individuals, we look for guidance in leaders and mentors. But when those in power lead us astray, how are we to know?

In my opinion, it is dangerous to leave anything sacred to the public, but it is also dangerous for an individual to leave nothing sacred to themselves.

When a concept is sacred to an individual, it opens the door for necessary contemplation of ethics, morality, and priority. A concept left sacred to the public, however, gives said concept power over the people, a situation that I think is risky enough that it should be avoided.
One of the latest examples of this, of course, was the controversial release of the film, “The Interview”. I’ve heard opinions from both sides of the spectrum, with some saying that Sony never should have prevented the movie from being shown in theaters, and others saying the movie should never have been made in the first place.
I can see the reasoning behind both sides. On one hand, we, as a people who believe in freedom of expression, should never let fear or threats from a governmental power keep us from that freedom. On the other hand, there are people who hold certain things sacred, and we should respect those things.
This is why I believe the concept of sacristy should be held firstly on an individual level. In North Korea, Kim Jong Un and his predecessors have been held on a level of sacredness that prevents them from being ridiculed, overthrown, analyzed, or questioned by their people. And it just so happens that this government does not feed its people the whole truth, or any truth at all. That is a dangerous concept. In the United States, we seem to be on the opposite side. Even on an individual level, many people hold nothing sacred, which I don’t necessarily think is a good idea either, but that is beside the point.

The important thing is that, as a nation, nothing has been allowed to be sacred, and while that may sound dismal, it gives us as a people the opportunity to dissect, debate, and analyze ideas that we as individuals hold dear to our hearts. It keeps institutions from becoming corrupted while they still have power over us. I’m not arguing that all institutions are inherently evil and brainwashing, but I do believe that any institution can become corrupted, and if we as a group hold that institution sacred already, it is much harder to stand up as an individual and break away from that power.
Again, I want to advocate for still keeping things sacred on an individual level. It is people who hold life sacred, and people who hold the power to choose sacred, that debate and pass laws related to abortion. It is people who hold justice sacred that keep our communities safe. It is also people who keep our communities safe that sometimes abuse that power. And if we as a group or community hold our leaders – whether local or national, religious or political – sacred, that abuse is allowed to continue on. We must remember what is sacred to us to give our life purpose and drive, but we must never give our individual convictions the power to control people who don’t want it.

Marketing the 2019 College Graduates- Their View of Things



First, I didn’t write this list. It came from the Beloit College Mindset List.


For marketers, it offers fascinating insights into the next generation of consumers – which makes it must reading for anyone creating a marketing strategy that targets students or young adults.


  1. They have a completely different view of electronic communication than their parents: Email is a “formal” communication while casual communication takes place in texts and tweets.
  2. Online search is a given: Google has always existed in their lifetimes.
  3. Their world is multicultural: CNN has always been available en Español.
  4. Time references are different: “Turn of the century” means the year 2000 to this group, not 1900.
  5. They have a different visual frame of reference for video: TV has always been in HD.
  6. Their own lives have always been recorded on video.
  7. They have grown up expecting access to Wi-Fi.
  8. Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.
  9. Cultural icons instantly recognizable to adults were dead before this class was born, including Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Theresa.
  10. And this one that really hit me as a direct marketer: They’ve never licked a postage stamp.

Here is the complete list (some duplicates):

Students heading into their first year of college this year are mostly 18 and were born in 1997.

Among those who have never been alive in their lifetimes are Princess Diana, Notorious B.I.G., Jacques Cousteau, and Mother Teresa.

Joining them in the world the year they were born were Dolly the sheep, The McCaughey septuplets, and Michael “Prince” Jackson Jr.

Since they have been on the planet:

1. Hybrid automobiles have always been mass produced.

2. Google has always been there, in its founding words, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible.”

3. They have never licked a postage stamp.

4. Email has become the new “formal” communication, while texts and tweets remain enclaves for the casual.

5. Four foul-mouthed kids have always been playing in South Park.

6. Hong Kong has always been under Chinese rule.

7. They have grown up treating Wi-Fi as an entitlement.

8. The NCAA has always had a precise means to determine a national champion in college football.

9. The announcement of someone being the “first woman” to hold a position has only impressed their parents.

10. Charlton Heston is recognized for waving a rifle over his head as much as for waving his staff over the Red Sea.

11. Color photos have always adorned the front page of The New York Times.

12. Ellis Island has always been primarily in New Jersey.

13. “No means no” has always been morphing, slowly, into “only yes means yes.”

14. Cell phones have become so ubiquitous in class that teachers don’t know which students are using them to take notes and which ones are planning a party.

15. The Airport in Washington, D.C., has always been Reagan National Airport.

16. Their parents have gone from encouraging them to use the Internet to begging them to get off it.

17. If you say “around the turn of the century,” they may well ask you, “which one?”

18. They have avidly joined Harry Potter, Ron, and Hermione as they built their reading skills through all seven volumes.

19. Attempts at human cloning have never been federally funded but do require FDA approval.

20. “Crosstown Classic” and the “Battle of the Bay” have always been among the most popular interleague rivalries in Major League Baseball.

21. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny has never been the official song of the Virginia Commonwealth.

22. Phish Food has always been available from Ben and Jerry.

23. Kyoto has always symbolized inactivity about global climate change.

24. When they were born, cell phone usage was so expensive that families only used their large phones, usually in cars, for emergencies.

25. The therapeutic use of marijuana has always been legal in a growing number of American states.

26. The eyes of Texas have never looked upon The Houston Oilers.

27. Teachers have always had to insist that term papers employ sources in addition to those found online.

28. In a world of DNA testing, the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington has never included a Vietnam War veteran “known only to God.”

29. Playhouse Disney was a place where they could play growing up.

30. Surgeons have always used “super glue” in the operating room.

31. Fifteen nations have always been constructing the International Space Station.

32. The Lion King has always been on Broadway.

33. Phoenix Lights is a series of UFO sightings, not a filtered cigarette.

34. Scotland and Wales have always had their own parliaments and assemblies.

35. At least Mom and Dad had their new Nintendo 64 to help them get through long nights sitting up with the baby.

36. First Responders have always been heroes.

37. Sir Paul and Sir Elton have always been knights of the same musical roundtable.

38. CNN has always been available en Español.

39. Heaven’s Gate has always been more a trip to Comet Hale-Bopp and less a film flop.

40. Splenda has always been a sweet option in the U.S.

41. The Atlanta Braves have always played at Turner Field.

42. Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have always been members of NATO.

43. Humans have always had the ability to use implanted radio frequency ID chips—slightly larger than a grain of rice.

44. TV has always been in such high definition that they could see the pores of actors and the grimaces of quarterbacks.

45. Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith have always been Men in Black, not their next-door neighbors.

46. The proud parents recorded their first steps on camcorders, mounted on their shoulders like bazookas.

47. They had no idea how fortunate they were to enjoy the final four years of Federal budget surpluses.

48. Amoco gas stations have steadily vanished from the American highway.

49. Vote-by-mail has always been the official way to vote in Oregon.

50. …and there has always been a Beloit College Mindset List.


I find this fascinating as I get older. We don’t think much about how they view the world. If you are in the world of marketing then these facts are some things you need to be paying attention to as you attempt to grab their piece of the pie. Marketing the 2019 College Graduates can be important.

Anger, Domestic Violence and Football- Are they Connected?


Football is awesome, right? We can’t get enough of it in this country. It’s a year-round obsession, even though the regular season is only 16 games spanning three or four months.

Each game is hyped and treated as if they are a can’t miss event featuring some of the best athletes in the world. Those athletes can (and do) put on quite a show on the field on Sundays. Everybody is entertained, the curtain falls and we get back to reality. So do the athletes. And that’s where things have gotten convoluted.

I’m sure that you have heard of the rash of domestic violence incidences plaguing the National Football League over the past year or so. A seemingly endless parade of football players that cannot seem to avoid involvement in one domestic violence issue or another.

Ray Rice, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy, Bruce Miller and others, the list goes on and on. Too many athletes have made headlines for assaulting women, allegedly or otherwise. The recent outcry against this trend (that apparently has been ongoing in the NFL for years) has reached a tipping point loud enough to prompt stricter punishments and policies from the league regarding its players.

But that outcry was sorely misdirected.

Why do we look to these sports leagues for accountability in matters like these? At what point did we have elevate these athletes to such lofty positions that we should look to them to be moral beacons of our society? It’s a contradiction of wants and desires; on the field, we want you to be as competitive and rough and tumble as the rules allow.

Be aggressive. Do whatever you can (within the rules) to win.

But the instant those qualities manifest themselves negatively in their social lives, we collectively wag our morally righteous fingers at them. How could you do such things, we say to them. They should know better. They have a responsibility to the kids that look up to them, that want to be like them.

Since when? Do you know who is actually responsible for being a responsible example for the kids? Their parents. Their teachers. The people that occupy actual positions of authority in their lives. Those athletes don’t have a “responsibility” outside of being a productive member of society, and if they run afoul of the law that governs us all, they should be punished accordingly.

Speaking of which, what confused me most was the lack of outcry against our justice system. Where was it? Why is there no chorus of change being directed at the lawmakers and those charged with upholding laws against domestic violence? It felt like pointing the finger at the NFL was a case of low hanging fruit, whereas addressing the laws against domestic violence is a fight for a day that rarely comes.

That’s what the law is for, to handle people that step out of line. That’s where we need to be directing our desire for change, not these athletes. They don’t owe us anything other than a good performance.


You Have the Right to Speak…and So Do I.


Political correctness is formally known by Oxford Dictionaries as “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” From politicians (or attempted politicians) such as Donald Trump to reality TV stars like Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,”  many claim to have been “victimized” by the “political correctness police.”

Countless people interpret society’s focus on political correctness as an attack on freedom of speech, a cornerstone of our society. Many would argue that no matter how harmful one’s opinions are – whether it be a politician or silly reality TV star – they have the right to say what they feel and shouldn’t have to edit their opinions out of concern for the possible implications of their statements, especially if those views are shared by a significant portion of the general population.

A quote by Voltaire comes to mind in the midst of this debate: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” And I, like Voltaire, will do the same. We, as Americans, and as a free society, should defend our right to speak how we feel without being persecuted by authorities. In America, one absolutely should have the right to express oneself.

We, as human beings capable of rational thought, are more than welcome to hold any viewpoint, no matter how bigoted, racist, sexist, classist or any other “-ist” you can conjure up. We are more than welcome to express those views.

However, as human beings capable of rational thought, when we express those views we must expect a strict review of those thoughts by our peers. You may have the right to say something, but I have the right to challenge it. And this is where the concept of political correctness kicks in.

Look through any newspaper, book or other source of media from 100 years ago.You are practically guaranteed to find rampant examples of any type of “-ism” you can think of. Look through any of sources of media today and you’ll mostly find criticisms of those characteristics. Is it because of the overreaching tyranny of the PC police?

Is it because we as a society have realized that our language has power, and if we rampantly use language that harms marginalized members of our society, we set up a social system that allows verbal abuse, thereby leading to the institutionalized marginalization of racial minorities, women, the LGBT community and the disabled?

Or perhaps it’s because Americans have developed a greater sense of empathy for our fellow peers, and through history, social interaction and media, have realized the pain we inflict on them with the use of harmful language. I personally believe it’s a combination of the latter two influences. I believe we have realized the power of language and developed a larger sense of compassion for our fellow man. Political correctness is the realization that our words are a collective representation of our progress as a society.

While we all have the right to say what we feel, we must be wary of the social repercussions of our words – whether it’s the harm they cause to others or the negative consequences we inflict on ourselves. We must realize that freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence or backlash from our peers. Freedom of speech may guarantee your right to say what you feel, but human nature guarantees that harmful ideologies will be challenged by those who disagree. And while I may fight for your right to speak harmful words, I will fight just as vigorously for my right to speak up as well.