Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Myth of Tolerance; or A Nation of Children

When was the last time you heard anyone on TV hollering about “tolerance”?  You do not hear many calls for “tolerance” for this sort of person or that sort of person anymore, do you?  To the contrary, the 1990s and early 2000s are over and there is a new political narrative in this country to talk about.  Let’s go over some events of the past twelve months:

1) December 2013: Duck Dynasty Controversy (with commentary)

2) April 2014: Mozilla CEO resigns, opposition to gay marriage drew fire | Reuters

Someone from the SFist blog reported on the matter at partly as follows:

Brendan Eich, Mozilla's anti-gay CEO, made the right decision to step down today. He will resign as CEO of the for-profit Mozilla Corporation as well as a board member of the nonprofit Mozilla foundation.

A comment on this last piece: undoubtedly its author, Brock Keeling, has the well-being of Mozilla in mind when he speaks of the “right decision.”  OkCupid’s opposition to Mozilla’s erswhile CEO obviously would have led to job layoffs at Mozilla and in turn led to a condition of hundreds of miserable, starving children of unemployed former employees of Mozilla if Brendan Eich had not stepped down.

“There’s no place in our society for it, and there’s no place in our league. We all get along. We all play with different races of people when you're in sports. That's what makes sports so beautiful. He’s put his own team in a tough situation. So I believe that once Commissioner Silver...does all his due diligence, gets all the information gathered, he’s got to come down hard. He shouldn’t own a team anymore. And he should stand up and say, ‘I don’t want to own a team anymore.’ Especially when you have African Americans renting his apartments, coming to the games, playing for him, coaching for him. This is bad for everybody. This is bad for America.


He's got to give up the team. If he doesn't like African Americans and you're in a league that is over 75% African Americans...When you've got the president of the United States saying that this is bad. You've got fans around the country—different races of people—saying it's bad, it is time for him to exit.”

“No place in our society”?  Even if your White next-door neighbor and his wife have regular, private discussions among themselves about how they think your new Black neighbors down the street have brought down property values in your neighborhood, how is that per se affecting (to say nothing of harming) Magic Johnson or any other Black person?  Meanwhile, Sterling is right about one thing in life: government has no legal right (except in extraordinary circumstances) to force anyone to sell his or her property.  Contrary to Magic Johnson’s assessment of the matter, Sterling does not have to give up anything, unless “got to give up the team” means I want Donald Sterling to give up the team.

4) May 2014: More recently the news broke concerning HGTV’s decision to render the Benham Brothers relatively jobless: CP | Believers Rally After HGTV Cancels Reality Show Starring Christian Twin Brothers Who Oppose Abortion, Homosexuality, Divorce.  This continuation of a trend, as it turns out, was only the first chapter of a larger story: SunTrust Banks recently broke financial ties with the Benham brothers, before quickly reversing their decision in a manner much like that of the Duck Dynasty incident:  CP | SunTrust Banks Reverses Decision to Drop Benham Brothers Following Strong Backlash From Conservative Customers.

5) May 2014: This last one dawned on me after Thursday, May 15 when for various reasons I had to sit and endure the audio of the Katie Couric Show.  “The Week That Was” was a guest-panel segment that ran on Thursday instead of Friday this time around, and one of the life lessons to be learned of the segment is that “sensitivity training” for Don Jones is a good thing: Michael Sam Kiss Cam & Donald Sterling Controversy – Katie Couric.  The background story is here: Miami Dolphins Fine, Suspend Safety Don Jones for Tweet Against Same-Sex Kiss | Christian News Network.

Never forget that training and education are two different things.  Training is what you do to your muscles and muscle groups.  Training is what you do to ensure that your brain recalls certain actions in a proper sequence.  Training is what you do to force certain results of different systems of the human body.  Education, on the other hand, is what you offer to intelligent beings such that they should make an informed decision on what course of action to take, whether right or wrong.  So if anyone thinks that “brainwashing” is a bad thing, then he should know that sensitivity training is no different and know that there are people in the Western World who approve of brainwashing.

Even before all this there was the whole matter of the Chick-Fil-A boycott of 2012, not to mention the continued trend of pseudo-obligatory apologies in national American politics.  What all of this suggests is the sum of two possibilities.  On the one hand, it could be that all the people who rhetorically and by propaganda used to beat people over the head to make them “tolerant” of Arabs, or non-Whites, or homosexuals as such were never interested in global tolerance but only particular tolerance--you know, the kind of Tolerance® that they want people to have or, in other words, tolerance for me but not for thee.  On the other hand, it could be that many of today’s liberals are simply hypocrites or children who forget that tolerance in general means exactly that: that people who believe in general tolerance are not exempt from the requirement to put up with people, deeds and beliefs that they do not like.

And let no one attempt to redefine what these people earlier meant in the use of the word “tolerance.”  For it is clear that in yesteryear “tolerance” meant more than simply restraining an urge to beat gay passers-by with baseball bat, but rather precluded various actions such as demands that certain people be punished with a lack of employment.  Despite whatever the word “tolerance” once meant from the mouths of liberals and the Gay Lobby, what it is now is something that should be considered in the light of both Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm.  Orwell’s cautionary tales were not written for people who live on a planet other than Earth and they were not written precisely for people who already exist within a societies like communist Cuba or the Soviet Union; they were written because of the innate ability within each of us to morph into that which we used to hate and abhor.

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