You see a certain radio show commenter--and I refuse to place his name on my blog--has sexually labeled a law student as a "slut." Why? Because she supports a certain contraception policy. Do I accept that policy? Do I think you should accept that policy? That's not the issue here. Politics, viewpoints, philosophies are personal. We each have a right to our own. I don't have any more right to tell you what to think than you have to tell me what I should think. But I do have a right to ask some questions and express my opinion--and so I will.
My daddy always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." I was never quite that noble, but I did try to think of the person's feelings before I opened my mouth. Words wound. And sadly I have a few regrets for wounding people with mine, usually those whom I hold most dear. Even so, I strive to temper my thoughts before they tumble from my big mouth as verbal insults. Now that you know where I'm coming from, I'll move forward.
Somewhere along the line, we Americans morphed from everyone having a right to his or her opinion to "if you don't think the way I do or belong to the same party I do or believe in this law I want passed, then you aren't a patriotic American." Whoa!!! Excuse me? I'm the 8th generation of one of George Washington's personal guards, a man who fought in the Revolutionary War so he and his family would have "unalienable rights." So don't tread on mine.
I'll think what I want.
I'll support whomever and whatever I want.
I'll also express my viewpoints through civil discourse.
You see, I can do that without insulting you. It's all part of the mastery of the English language. I don't need to spew hatred or insults. I can chose my words wisely and effectively to get my point across without debasing you.
Unfortunately, politicians and radio and TV announcers can't. And, frankly, I'm sick of it.
The news is no longer the news. It's a running editorial with words chosen and inflections of the voice used to taint our perspective of events. One well-known channel is pro-left. One is pro-right. Please, just give me the facts, because--guess what?--I can make up my own mind. I don't need your extremist rantings no matter which direction they come from. Pro-right. Pro-left. Pro-Christian. Pro-business. Pro-shopping network. Just give me the facts, people. I'm intelligent enough to formulate my own thoughts and viewpoints, thank you very much.
So that brings me back to this radio announcer's insults of a woman he doesn't even know. Why would he maliciously wound someone like that? Well, ratings of course. This man is the most listened to radio personality in the US, which frightens the cellulite outta my thighs. So when he spreads hate--and he does, when he spews insults--and he does, people are influenced.
Haven't we had enough of this?
A female law student's remarks or viewpoints are not the issue of my rant. What I object to is the blatant insults this announcer delights in to get his point across. "Slut?" Oh, make no mistake about it, if this were my daughter or granddaughter he so callously maligned, I'd be out for blood. T'ain't no one as dangerous as a pissed off grandma.
But shouldn't we all be pissed off? If we are all members of the human race and all concerned about human rights, then this man--and so many others--should be the subject of our ire. Would I invite a loud, obnoxious, opinionated, narrow-minded person to my home for a quiet dinner? Simply put, hell no! So why would I invite such a person into my mind by listening to his or her TV or radio show?
When my children called another person a name, I sent them to their room to think about their unacceptable behavior and if they could express the same thought without the name calling. I think it's time we sent this radio announcer to his room--and locked the door. Enough with the name calling. The personal bashing. The hate spewing. I ask you, where's the civility?