Friday leftovers

1. The perfect game that wasn’t. You can’t say enough about the class displayed by Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and ump Jim Joyce. I’ll repeat what I heard someone on TV opine earlier: It’s refreshing to see adults acting like adults.

I’m reminded of the night then-Blazers coach Mo Cheeks bailed out a frightened young anthem singer:

2. The Gaza flotilla. I’m not one of those who thinks Israel is always right, and it’s clear they played into the hands of their enemy. But any group that counts Cynthia McKinney as a member is bound to be anti-Semitic — hell, they don’t even bother to hide it.

This is not a black and white situation, where one side is totally blameless and the other completely at fault. Though Israeli soldiers clearly overreacted, I’m apt to side with the society that at least strives to treat all its members fairly. Hamas has no such aspirations.

Crimes against women accelerated during 2007. Cases of women being beaten are common in the Gaza strip. Women murdered for “family honor” are seldom reported. Most women who are murdered are buried by members of their family in secret, and their deaths are not reported to any official body. The Palestinian media also refrain from reporting on this, for the sake of “family honor.”

Israeli officials say Hamas in the Gaza Strip has established hard-line Islamic courts and created the Hamas Anti-Corruption Group, which is described as a kind of “morality police” operating within Hamas’ organization. Hamas has denied the existence of the anti-corruption group, but it was recently reported to have carried out a high-profile “honor killing” widely covered by the Palestinian media.

And forget being openly gay.

Dr Mahmoud Zahar, the [Hamas] leader in Gaza, in an article on an Arabic website condemned the rights that gays have in Israel and made it clear that he thinks that gays are perverts. “Are these the laws for which the Palestinian street is waiting? For us to give rights to homosexuals and to lesbians, a minority of perverts and the mentally and morally sick?” He asked on the Elaph website.

Similarly, he said that if his group won the parliamentary elections he would seek to turn the secular authority, which has Christian, Atheist and Jewish citizens in addition to Muslims, into an Islamic Republic.

Again, I’m no Sarah Palin — reflexively pro-Israel regardless of the situation. The building of settlements should cease and Netanyahu should remember that the U.S. is Israel’s greatest benefactor. But the Jewish state has a right to feel threatened, and activists like McKinney and, most likely, many of those on the doomed flotilla serve as nothing but useful idiots to the fundamentalist thugs who rule Hamas. Perhaps Helen Thomas will enlist in the cause.

3. The tyranny of sensitivity. One teacher acts without thinking and now all of her colleagues must undergo “sensitivity training.”

Forget intent. By all accounts the history teacher who had some of her students don Ku Klux Klan outfits as part of a film project is not a racist, just naive. A sincere apology should have sufficed.

And why are all the teachers at Lumpkin County High School required to undergo sensitivity training (an Orwellian phrase if ever there was one)? Are we to assume anyone who hasn’t yet endured mandated tolerance seminars is a bigot?

Some people seem to believe that we’re all, deep down, at least a little racist. Bullshit. I wasn’t raised to discriminate and, unlike many childhood lessons I received, this one stuck.

One last thing: Who are these sensitivity tutors? How are they trained? I’m guessing they’re not instructed to point out such subtleties as intent.

Sometimes it’s wise to judge people by what they meant to do or say, not what they said or did. In this case the teacher’s intent was not to offend, but to educate. And for that she’s punished by some self-appointed tolerance enforcers.

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2 thoughts on “Friday leftovers

  1. 1. Thank you for that clip of Cheeks. That indeed is a real gentleman.

    2. Israel has been attacked since, literally, the day of its founding. Their every response has been condemned by an anti-semitic European media as “disproportionate”. As Jonah Goldberg points out, if Israel is hell-bent on murder, massacres and genocide, why are they so bad at it? No country in the world really is doing anything to assist in slowing down, much less stopping, Iran’s military and financial support for Hamas and Hezbollah. Nearly all of the aid Palestine has received over the decades either was stolen by Arafat, or used to buy weapons. In the U.S., a large, well-organized group is in place raising funds for Hezbollah, either through “charities”, or gangsterism. I am consistently amazed at the restraint Israel shows. I also am very worried at the current U.S. policy toward Israel.

    3. On your last point, I do believe there is a natural tendency in people to prefer the company of other people who look like them. It does not have to take the form of discrimination. But it is there. The term “racist” is far too broad to encompass the infinite array of feelings, emotions and attitudes people hold. The Japanese are some of the most “racist” people on earth, but no one suggests that we cease to do business with them, as has been suggested of Arizona for the immigration law.
    I was raised differently from you. When I was 5, my father hit me – hard – in the face – for saying “Sir”, to a black gas station attendant. (It pained him, I am sure, that my first sports hero was a black man, Henry Aaron; I had a poster and other pictures on the wall in my room). That does not make me inferior to anyone else.

  2. I din’t say anyone was inferior. I said it was inappropriate to assume everyone is a racist. Regardless, sensitivity training for all is an inappropriate waste of time and resources.

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