• September 22, 2021
 Op-Ed: Leave it alone…

Op-Ed: Leave it alone…

It might have been Hank Williams Jr. Or it might have been Tom Hanks. Or it may have been Barry Williams of Brady Bunch fame.

Or it might have been a Russian troll somewhere in Büggerglaub, Khakassia.

Who knows.

Who cares.

Whoever wrote it, a whole bunch of Facebook users protested the only way they knew how: they hit “share” all over their social media.

What did they share? For brevity’s sake, let’s call this work “If you are offended.”

Here is the complete text of it:

So of course, Hank Williams Jr. nor Tom Hanks nor Barry Williams of the Brady Bunch wrote this. Chances are, based on the poor grammar, it was written by a Russian troll.

So let us pull this apart a little and see what kind of person would be OKAY sharing this with their Facebook friends:

If you are offended by something then leave it alone.

I bet the British said the very same thing back in December of 1773 to those pesky Revolutionaries. Are you offended by a higher tea tax? Leave it alone. Don’t protest. Get off that ship in Boston Harbor and leave those boxes of tea alone. They don’t belong to you anyway.

Being offended and doing something about it was what this country was founded on. They even wrote this little protest piece called “The Declaration of Independence.” Perhaps you have heard of it? It essentially is a list of things people were offended by and decided not to leave well enough alone.

So this person has little or no knowledge of how or why our country was founded.

And we are off…

Cracker Barrel offends you, then eat somewhere else, but I like it so leave it alone.

Funny how certain eating establishments have an unfriendly attitude towards people that might be “different” in their eyes (and by different we mean LBGQT+ or minority or Muslim). For those of you that are too young to recall, in early 1991, a leaked Cracker Barrel intra-company memo called for employees to be dismissed if they did not display “normal heterosexual values.”

After protests and boycotts, one would have thought, okay, they learned their lesson. But alas, Cracker Barrel achieved the lowest score (15 out of 100) of all rated food and beverage companies in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2008 Corporate Equality Index, a measure of LGBT workplace equality.

One year is an anomaly, two years is a coincidence, three or more is a pattern. 18 years…that is corporate policy. While the number has
changed for the better since then, it was apparent that the company was hostile not only to LGBT employees but also towards minority employees and customers.

In 2004, the Department of Justice found that the same chain had a history of seating whites and blacks separately, and well as serving white customers before black customers, just like in the good old days of Jim Crow and blacks only water fountains.

That is why each restaurant today has to display a non-discrimination statement at its entrances. They have to remind themselves daily how to be human.

The anonymous author of this meme is okay with supporting a businessthat has a history of discrimination towards minorities and the LBGT community.

To this person, discrimination towards “others” is fine and they support it as one as there is tasty meatloaf and mashed potatoes to be had.

A statue offends you then don’t go see it, but I like to see them as my history, so leave them alone.

As we have learned, most Civil War memorial statues were not erected immediately after the Civil War but were built as part of a large-scale effort to keep blacks suppressed during the Jim Crow era in the South.

According to the American Historical Association (AHA), the erection of Confederate monuments during the early 20th century was “part and parcel of the initiation of legally mandated segregation and widespread disenfranchisement across the South.”

Most of these were purposely put in places to remind “those people” that one specific group was in charge and that they better not get too uppity: In front of courthouses, in the busiest traffic intersections, at schools.

People couldn’t “choose” to see them. They were there, in their faces, on purpose. They weren’t “history” they were each day’s reality.

To revel in statues that commemorate and celebrate a traitorous armed uprising against the United States that existed mainly to preserve the institution of slavery (or “States Rights” as conservatives like to call it) and to relish monuments that were purposely erected to suppress those people who were freed is to essentially say “I support traitors and slavery” and “Traitors are part of MY history, and I support those that wanted to keep slavery alive. I may not be a racist, but I support them.”

Don’t like meat then eat vegetables but let me eat what I want to.

As far as I can tell, no one in the United States has been kept from purchasing or eating meat. In 2017 the US meat industry produced:

26.3 billion pounds of beef

25.6 billion pounds of pork

5.9 billion pounds of turkey

80.2 million pounds of veal

150.2 million pounds lamb and mutton

42.2 billion pounds of chicken

and had sales of well over a TRILLION dollars. No one is being kept from eating meat. If you feel a pang of guilt for eating meat, perhaps it is your wife, your BMI, or your clogged left ventricle talking to you and not PETA or some well-meaning vegetarian.

This is complaining about a problem, like many problems on the Right like Mexican Rapists and the Obama’s Tan Suit, that does not exist.

Don’t like Gone With The Wind, then don’t watch it or read the book, but I like them, so leave them alone.

No one has banned the movie (or the book, see below) Gone with the Wind or similar movies that had ethnic stereotypes.

What companies like Disney and HBO+ have done is acknowledge that these old movies and books have outdated never-correct racial stereotypes that might have beenacceptable by a white audience at one time, but are now considered dated and harmful when viewed without context.

These movies were taken out of the rotation and then returned with qualifiers that explained what the viewer was about to watch contained these hurtful and harmful representations.

Does the writer wish to continue perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes by allowing these works to be “left alone?” Is this person okay with people performing in blackface for instance? How about the Frito Bandido?

Are you okay with your kids learning these outdated racist stereotypes as well?

At this point, are you starting to see a trend here? Seems these “complaints” have something in common…

I like worshipping God, but you are offended, so don’t go to church, but let me go.

Like the meat complaint, this is totally imaginary. No one is stopping you (Unless you are a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. Then we have a problem because you are simply mentally unstable and we need to get you some of that delicious socialized ObamaCare free mental health help).

I cannot think of a single instance where someone was stopped from attending church in the United States unless of course, you count the
people that were gunned down in a Charleston South Carolina church by white supremacist Dylan Roof or the several other instances where a white supremacist shot up a black congregation or burned down a Jewish Synagogue.

Oh yeah, it happened several times.

So I guess this is directed at white supremacists that actually shoot people in churches? Nope. It’s directed at atheists who as far as I know haven’t shot up any churches lately, no wait, ever. But atheists are nice targets of conservatives because they don’t understand the term just as they don’t understand big words like socialism or ideas like Critical Race Theory.

So go to church. I am sure God loves having you on her side.

I read the Bible, but you are an atheist and want Bibles banned. So don’t read it, but don’t say I can’t.

First of all, this person doesn’t read the Bible. If they had, they have completely missed the main theme of loving your fellow man. Atheists do not want “Bibles banned.”

What they DO want is for people to stop using the Bible or supposed “Christianity” as justification for the policy and political decisions, which violates the First Amendment of the Constitution that you haven’t read.

The closest thing to “banning Bibles” came from the Freedom from Religion organization, made up of a wide variety of Americans, which wanted to ban Bibles from rooms at publicly funded university hotels, again citing the First Amendment.

According to the American Library Association, the Bible isn’t even in the top 10 of banned books in 2020. The top ten were:

George by Alex Gino
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard,
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

At least 6 of these were banned because the folks that are all against “Cancel Culture” cancelled the books because they didn’t like the theme, had gay sex in them, or felt they were “anti-police.”

(As a side note, research has shown that atheists have a greater knowledge of Biblical content than the average “Christian.” They actually
DO read the Bible. Perhaps that is why they are atheists.)

You don’t like the names of military bases, but I do, so leave them alone and stay away from them.

Many post-WWI-era US military bases were named after Civil War (remember those treasonous slave-loving racists?) “heroes” to get rural southern white men to enlist.

Consider Ft. Hood in east Texas, named after traitorous Confederate General John Bell Hood who described “negroes” as an inferior race in a letter to General William T. Sherman.

Maybe it isn’t about ME not liking the names of bases that pay tribute to traitors and bigots, but to the one out of five American soldiers that are African American and have to live and work on the bases, not counting the support personnel that also have to work there. Shouldn’t THEY have a say? Or is it just about you? Do you support all soldiers or just white soldiers?

Or, do you support, like you did those statues, celebrating traitors to the United States?

Germany doesn’t have a Himmler Air Base and Viet Nam doesn’t have a Robert McNamara Army Base. Other countries do not celebrate
their enemies with celebratory statues and certainly not with military base namings. Neither should we.

You don’t like the police force then don’t call them when you are in trouble, but leave them alone so I feel safer having them.

A police force isn’t something to like or dislike. Police, like libraries and roads, are services provided to the taxpayers of a municipality or state. And like any municipal service, the service should be judged on how well the service is delivered.

Perhaps respected is a better word to use here. Do you RESPECT the police in your city? Are these public servants doing their jobs correctly?

Respect is something, we have been told since we were children, that is earned. I suspect that is hard for many people in our country, especially those of color, to respect organizations that, as we are seeing more and more, are quickly triggered to kill young black men and women even for the most minor of infractions, or worse yet no infraction at all.

Selling cigarettes? That’s a killing.

Turn light burned out? That’s a killing.

Spoke in a disrespectful way? That’s an arresting, and then a killing.

Smash in your doors and have the wrong address? Oops. Sorry. That’s a killing as well.

The list goes on and on and on. Planted evidence. Ignored evidence. Wrongful convictions. The not-Hank-Williams-Jr. author probably belongs to an ethnic group that doesn’t have to worry whether or not a call to the police when they are in trouble will end up being instead a call to some white supremacist cowboy cop that thinks that kid in the hoodie makes for good target practice or that thought that black guy was big, so his throat should be able to withstand 9 minutes of having a knee on it.

It is hard to respect someone that just killed your kid just because they didn’t look the right way or was playing with a toy gun at a park. Is the service of policing being done the same for everyone, or are some people getting better “service” than others?

Why are the things you want so much more important than the things I want?

Whoever wrote this seems to support some of the worst things we as a nation have: White supremacy, bigotry, illiteracy, little or no knowledge of how our nation was founded, misinformation, the suppression of others’ ideas all warmly wrapped in the dual blankets of false patriotism and misunderstood religion.

We should not believe that ALL opinions and beliefs should be tolerated in a “free society.” There are no absolutes guaranteed to you.

No thinking human being in the 21st century on this planet should have to “tolerate” the opinions of Klan members or worry about hurting the feelings of American Nazi party members. Yet, here we are.

This is clearly a racist meme, meant to stir the fires of bigotry and pit people that are inclined to view one group as superior to another group against groups they feel are inferior.

The things “you want” in this meme are not good things. They are horrible things. They belong in the dustbin of history things, they are not supposed to be of equal value. Vile bigotry should not have an equal place setting at the dinner table of America next to justice and equality.

If you posted this on Facebook or other social media, you either didn’t think about what you shared, or you support the racist ideas that this meme echoes. Either way, it should be taken down.

If you keep it posted, we know what kind of person you are.

Hit share. Enough already people!

Author: Tim Holt

Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment, over at his site.  Read his previous columns here.

***

The El Paso Herald-Post welcomes guest columns, open letters, letters to the Editor and analysis pieces for publication, to submit a piece or for questions regarding guidelines, please email us at news@epheraldpost.com

Tim Holt

http://holtthink.tumblr.com/

Tim Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback.

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