Nike came out with a new commercial that will, ironically, air during the opening of the NFL season featuring the controversial figure of Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has caused a stir by protesting racism in America by kneeling during the national anthem. How dare he! Hear my thoughts on it in this hour-long podcast below!
We live in a politically correct society where we are not allowed to say what we really feel because it would be offensive. This is one of many reasons why Trump is President today. First because he doesn’t follow the politically correct way of behaving, he says whatever he feels like and when he is challenged on it he usually doubles down and restates it! I hate Trump more than anyone, I really do, but I can appreciate this quality because at least he owns his biggoted-ness. Secondly, Trump is president because people are sick of living in the shadows. In my Black Lives Matter post I said that everyone has racist thoughts, even if we are reasonable enough to know they aren’t true we still have them, but we can’t talk about them. We have shut down conversation by being politically correct and this election has proved that people are sick of it! And post-election has proved how deep these tensions go (see the above picture).
Wouldn’t the world be a better place if you know your neighbor Jim hates Muslims? If he went on rants in public about how much he hates Muslims then you could maybe talk some sense into him. Instead what happens is that Jim hates Muslims, but he can never talk about it because if he does he will get yelled at and called names by someone more rational… or what Americans call “Liberal”. The troublesome thing is that people who berate Jim, don’t even know what they are saying. They usually don’t have an opinion based on thoughtful contemplation but just on regurgitating what someone else said. They are just as ignorant as Jim, only in the other direction. They spout their hate in the opposite direction, but in the end it is still just ignorant hate.
A person could respond with an explanation of how the Muslim religion cannot be represented by a few bad people. A dialogue could begin to try to see the world from a new viewpoint. But both sides are too ignorant and arrogant to have a reasonable disagreement. When someone says something racist, people who disagree don’t say “What makes you feel that way?” they say “Wow, you’re a racist, how can you say something so hateful…. you bigot!” Do you see the hypocrisy in that statement? How can you say something as hate-filled as calling someone a “bigot” (whether it`s true or not) for being hateful? It doesn’t make sense! But it’s politically correct to call someone a bigot.
So everyone ends up feeling this pressure to conform to political correctness. Let’s talk about the word “Nigger”. When you “ban” a word, any word, it has absolutely no effect on people’s thoughts or feelings. The people who would call a black person a nigger, still think of black people as niggers even though they can’t say the word. So by banning the word, all you have done is move their racism into a hidden realm. They are still very much racist, but now they pretend not to be. You could be friends right now with a horribly racist person but you have no way of knowing that. So let racists say “nigger” and let them deal with the consequences of their hate, which hopefully is people (especially white people) standing up, in person against racist and hate-filled people! Change isn’t easy! In the movie/book “The Help” a white girl writes a book and fixes everything… how cute… how unlike real life. We have to fight for values, we might have to actually get dirty because politics and niceties do not fix hatred.
We are seeing outbursts of violence and hatred that we haven’t seen since MLK or the Detroit riots. This is a good thing though, this racial tension has been building in the states for a long time but ignoring it will not change! Protests like Black Lives Matter make a real difference, unlike voting in a corrupt democracy. Healing cannot happen until each side has a chance to speak. The next step will be for both sides to listen, maybe that can happen once the inflammatory anger subsides. I think there has been an illusion that racism doesn’t exist in the U.S., now we are seeing what was veiled behind political correctness. We should allow people to say what they really feel while we condemn their hatred, instead we condemn things that offend us and engage in this hatred back at them!
The point is, I’m glad Donald Trump is president because I hope all the racists and bigots aren’t afraid to say what they want anymore, and it seems they are not! When people are allowed to openly say what they feel that leads to an opportunity to discussion, civil disagreement on a topic, reasonable and logical dialogue about important topics. In the Muslim example, the racist might see how he is overgeneralizing and the Liberal might see that the racism is stemming from a very real post 9/11 fear. Maybe both would end up seeing that they are not so different after all, both are afraid of terrorism and both probably overgeneralize sometimes. That is a much more enlightening conversation than the yelling match that is exemplified perfectly in the American political process.