Comment Of The Day: “Don’t Cheer Mississippi’s Westboro Baptist Tactics Too Loudly: You Never Know Who Might Hear You”

An Ethics Alarms commenter with the evocative screen name of Fuck you, who is a bit behind on his surfing, or perhaps a really, really slow reader, was moved to author today’s Comment of the Day on a post from seven years ago regarding the tactics used by Mississippi law enforcement to foil a legal demonstration by Fred Phelps’ merry band of homophobes.

Why is this a Comment of the Day? It perfectly embodies the rudimentary, lizard-brain level of ethical analysis that predominates in the public, in much of the media, and among our elected officials. It is helpful, to me at least, to read such comments, for this is exactly the find of gut-level, emotion-based, legally and ethically ignorant reaction that my work exists to overcome. I’ll have more to say after the Fuck You has his say.

As an aside, it was nostalgic reading the names of the commenters on the original post. There, for example, fighting as usual, were liberal logic-cop tgt and uber-conservative Stephen Mark Pilling. Ah, those were the days…

Here is Fuck You’s Comment of the Day on the post, Don’t Cheer Mississippi’s Westboro Baptist Tactics Too Loudly: You Never Know Who Might Hear You—I’ll be back at the end:

Fuck you for this comparison. I know I’m coming in years later with this and I hope that others have already expressed a similar sentiment. I also understand the point you are trying to make. But still FUCK YOU. I sincerely hope that if you ever lose someone dear to you, these fucking hatemongers show up and protest that person’s funeral. FUCK YOU. Yes they have a right to protest but this type of shit should definitely qualify as a reasonable restriction, like yelling fire in a crowed theater.

FUCK YOU. This comparison is not only an insult to the Marine in question but also to the civil rights activists from decades ago that you just compared to the fucking WBC. FUCK YOU.

Once again Fuck you, you goddamn scum ass mother fucker. Oh, and FUCK YOU.

Continue reading

File This In The Niggardly Principles Files: The Family That Helped Build Portland’s Public School System Is Condemned To Oblivion Because The Schools Are Afraid To Teach

I really hate this story, and all stories like it. I hope you do too.

In a perfect and perfectly disgraceful breach of the First Niggardly Principle, the Centennial School District in southeast Portland will be excising “Lynch” from three schools before the beginning of this school year: Lynch Meadows, Lynch Wood, and Lynch View elementary schools. The schools were named to honor the family that originally  donated land for the the  schools to be built upon over a century ago. What, however, is the obligation to appreciate and honor those who selflessly seek to assist public education, compared to the need to cater to those whose education was inadequate? Nothing, apparently.   Superintendent Paul Coakley explains that “many newer families coming into the district associate the name with America’s violent racial history.”

Well, that should settle it, then! Why burden these narrow-minded and easily-triggered products of the victim culture with facts, knowledge and perspective?

More from Coakley: “There were an increasing amount of questions and some complaints from families of color around the name…there is no connection between the Lynch family and the practice associated with the term” but the name has still “been a disruption for some students.”

Here’s a creative alternative solution: educate them. How about that? Is that too challenging for the students? For Portland’s schools? From Wordorigins.com: Continue reading

How Dangerous Lies Become Accepted Truth: D.C. Theater Embraces The False Emmett Till-Trayvon Martin Comparison

If we want it to be true, then it will be true...

If we want it to be true, then it will be true…

I awoke to find this in my Washington Post Style Section this morning, in the column devoted to notable events in D.C. theater. My personal Facebook page is fairly well linked to the Washington , D.C. theater community, so I decided to register my disgust there. I’m continuing it here, and in the interest of economy, will simply repeat what I just posted on Facebook.

I will just add this: I foolishly assumed that the irresponsible, and either ignorant or malign attempts to equate the killings of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin were isolated examples of race-baiting excesses, and would be widely rejected and debunked by more responsible figures and authorities. Not only did this not happen, but that indefensible comparison, and the damaging falsehoods it is intended to plant, like a deadly virus,  in our national fabric, is beginning to take hold as truth.

Anyone, regardless of race and political or ideological belief should be able see how intolerable this is. Everyone has an obligation to do what they can to stop it.

Here is my Facebook post. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce, Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck Division (Yes, It’s Still Rolling!): Oprah Winfrey

oprah

Oprah, Sharpton…Sharpton, Oprah. At this point, not much difference. A lot less than between, say, Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till…

At this point, Oprah’s not just a passenger on the Train Wreck, but doing her best to be its engineer.

Last week, in an interview, Oprah thoroughly debased herself by opining, in defiance of history, facts and fairness, that the death of Trayvon Martin and the torture and lynching of Emmett Till  were equivalent episodes. “Let me just tell you: in my mind, same thing,” Winfrey said.  About the same time The New York Daily News ran this despicable inflammatory front page:

Daily News Emmett Till

I decided to let it go. I had already written about how untrue,  dishonest and intentionally divisive comparisons of the Martin case to Till were, and frankly, I would rather write about something other than the most revolting and damaging episode of society-wide race-baiting within my lifetime. I had already scolded Oprah for one race-related ethics foul this month, and she is only one among many offenders in these depressingly divisive times. (Full Disclosure: I was once employed as an ethics expert for a regular feature in “O” Magazine) Oprah, however, is making the rounds promoting “The Butler,” and she doubled down on this irresponsible position while talking to Anderson Cooper. From Mediaite: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: Oprah Winfrey

 “I always think of the millions of people who heard that as their last word as they were hanging from a tree.”

Oprah Winfrey, in an interview with Parade Magazine, discussing race in America, the use of the word “nigger,” and how young people in the U.S. don’t know “diddly squat” about the civil rights movement.

Yes, Parade Readers, it's true, whites tried to wipe us off the face of the map.

Yes, Parade peaders, it’s true, whites tried to wipe us off the face of the map.

Now, thanks to Oprah, those young people think they know that “millions” of blacks were lynched in the United States.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most admired, respected and trusted public figures in the nation, decided to join the recent concerted effort to magnify racial hate and fear, this time by grossly misrepresenting U.S.history. Not only that, but she did so in the context of representing herself as knowledgeable about the history of race relations in America, while others know “diddly-squat.” The recklessness, lack of responsibility, and ignorance that Winfrey’s statement represents is staggering. Continue reading

Group Bigotry: Is This The Way It’s Going To Be? AGAIN?

I'm a fan of women's curves, but I expected their learning curve to be better than this.

I already covered this topic when Christiane Amanpour held an unrestrained “males are inferior managers because all the blood rushes to their penises” session on ABC’s “This Week” a few Sundays ago, but since it is becoming clear that the outbreak of gender bigotry in the media is more widespread than ABC, a second alarm is warranted.

This week’s Time magazine has a column by Meredith Melnick entitled “Why Women Are Better at Everything.” Among its contents:

•    “Recently in the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch columnist David Weidner noted that women ‘do almost everything better’ than men — from politics to corporate management to investing.”

•    “What’s the problem with men? ‘There’s been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they’re doing, even when they really don’t know what they’re doing,’ John Ameriks, the author of the Vanguard study, told the New York Times.”

•    “Women, who have only 10% of the testosterone that men have, seem inured to the phenomenon, according to Coates.”

•    “So, basically, the more women around, the better, as the Journal’s Wiedner said. His column referred to a recent book by Dan Abrams called Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else.”

•    “…women are better soldiers because they complain about pain less. They’re less likely to be hit by lightning because they’re not stupid enough to stand outside in a storm. They remember words and faces better. They’re better spies because they’re better at getting people to talk candidly.”

•    “Of course, to most women none of this is much of a revelation.” Continue reading

Don’t Cheer Mississippi’s Westboro Baptist Tactics Too Loudly: You Never Know Who Might Hear You

"Demonstrators? Just leave them to us."

Sgt. Jason Rogers, who was killed in action in Afghanistan, was buried two weeks ago in Brandon, Mississippi. As is its custom, the Westboro Baptist Church, fresh from U.S. Supreme Court-confirmed constitutional protection, was prepared to sully Sgt. Rogers’ funeral with its usual hateful chants about how God kills our soldiers to punish our sinful, homosexual-loving ways. Its plans were foiled, however, by a little bit of traditional Mississippi social control ingenuity.

A couple of days before the funeral, one of Fred Phelps’ vile cultists boasted about the upcoming protest while visiting a Brandon gas station, and the good citizenry on the scene gave him the sound beating they felt his sentiments warranted. Continue reading