Just a thought… Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. [Maya Angelou]
My friend Lisa posted a link to an amazing blog by John Pavlovitz last week. It was about the hypocrisy of white evangelicals who keep giving the serial liar and cheater in office a “mulligan” (golf term for a do-over) where they lambasted and targetted with hatred their previous Commander in Chief seemingly for simply existing. They called into question Barack Obama’s religious beliefs, his motives and even – and most loudly – his citizenship.
The vast contrast is visible between the highest-placed religious leaders (Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson, to name two) and the way they revere the man in office now as having been chosen and placed there by God, and the way they constantly kicked and accused the man who actually won his way into office in both popular votes and the Electoral College. It’s enough to make your blood run cold.
Captivated by the tone of this pastor’s column, I scrolled down and once again his words – this time on a different topic – resonated loudly and clearly.
You’ve by now heard that after 71 years, the Cleveland Indians baseball team is finally putting to rest the cartoonish caricature of a red-skinned, buck-toothed brave in a headdress as their mascot. They’re taking a year to do it (presumably so everyone who wants their Chief Wahoo garbage will get it) and then he’s put away wherever the Confederate Flag hangs pinned up in rec rooms and garages among those who rant and whine about how “politically correct” we’ve become and how those libs – or more commonly, “libtards” – are ruining everything!
“Politically Correct.” That’s a phrase I really have trouble with, because blaming it for a change in attitudes, and the way we see what may hurt some groups of people, misses the entire point of why those things were painful to begin with. Pavlovitz writes about people rejoicing that under Trump they no longer have to be PC! But what they’re actually claiming is that they’re tired of filtering the things they say in public that they know could offend others who hear it. They are, as Pavlovitz puts it, voicing their outrage at “being asked to participate more fully in civilized humanity.”
Instead of wondering where the world’s gone wrong and blaming political correctness, perhaps the future is about evolving, so that one doesn’t have to be called out for the subtle or even overt racist comments that they used to get away with. The ones that make people look down awkwardly during a conversation or to which no one responds when something is blurted out at work in earshot of co-workers who don’t have a pay cheque big enough to call out its inappropriateness.
As Pavlovitz says, it’s not about not being able to “speak the truth” anymore; it’s about having to be accountable for the feelings that lie beneath that so-called truth. It’s about showing every human being the decency you expect, and that they deserve.
Good riddance, Chief Wahoo. It’s about time.