Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm in the wrong business.

Christmas is coming early to some people. An Oregon attorney who was mistakenly arrested as a suspected "terrorist" and had to endure a whole two weeks of stress has hit a $2 million payday from the FBI, courtesy of our tax dollars.

Likewise, a couple of Lebanese employees of a major corporation were awarded $6 million apiece for having to endure racial slurs in the workplace. Another individual who felt she was the victim of racial harassment and was fired when she kept on about it, recently hit the seven-figure jackpot, too.

I'll grant you that L.A. fireman Tennie "Big Dog" Pierce, the guy who thought hazing was cool when done to everyone but himself, isn't getting the $2.7 million he wanted from the city because his buds got him to unknowingly take a couple bites of Alpo, but his attorney will surely take it to court, and with luck will find a misguided jury who will award him even more.

And of course the "victims" of Michael Richards' stupid racist "comedy" rant expect to take home some dough. Jesse Jackson probably wants of cut of that, too.

I don't hold with racial/ethnic religious slurs -- though I admit to an occasional inability to not laugh when they are genuinely funny (sit stone-faced through a Redd Foxx performance and you're a saint, Jim) -- and I'm all for punishing people who use words to hurt. It has happened to all of us, and it's not a good thing.

On the other hand, I fail to see that giving the "victims" a huge wad of money -- often taxpayers' money -- is any remedy, especially when opportunistic people start claiming that their life has been ruined by an epithet or two.

We have become a nation of thin-skinned whiners, aided and abetted by race-baiting extortionists (do the names Jackson and Sharption come to mind?), needlessly guilt-ridden apologists and juries who don't care about facts as much as they want to Take It To The Man.

I can't get the picture of Tennie Pierce, standing in front of the LA City Council surrounded by grim-faced "civil rights leaders," out of my mind. They all looked as if they were dealing with some hideous act of race-based terrorism, and not a tasteless prank.

So here's my solution: I, out of the goodness of my heart, will be happy to be a stand-in the next time the Oregon shyster gets mistakenly identified as one of Osama's pals. Want to call someone by demeaning names? I'm there and ready to take the hit. Want to say something politically incorrect and insensitive? Say it to me. And the next time the Big Dog wants to strut his macho stuff down at the firehouse, give me a call and I'll chow down on the Ken-L-Ration Casserole in his stead.

What's more, I'll do it for 50% of what all these whimpering "victims" are demanding. Depending on the potential award, maybe less.

Don't think for a moment I'm insensitive to any of this. I've had my share of racial invective hurled at me. Likewise, I once had the unsettling experience of being mistaken for a Swedish terrorist at Frankfurt Airport, and was forced to stare at a bunch of mean-looking dudes in green uniforms pointing nasty little machine guns at me until the mess was sorted out.

At least they apologized, which was more than a French cop did after he decided the bag in which I was carrying my camera's tripod held a weapon instead.

But hey, I'm a realist. I know mistakes are made, know that small-minded people of all races can say nasty things without even knowing who the hell you are. All they know is the color of your skin.

Is that enough to demand a big financial score from The Oppressors?

No, it isn't. It never occurred to me to try for a few D-Marks, yen, francs, pesos or dollars for my uncomfortable moments. It's about time for the whiners, apologists and enablers of victimization to grow the hell up and realize that shit happens.

It's a two-tiered system. Crap on a white male, and it's no big deal. Diss any protected minority, and it's your butt in a sling, baby.

I hate to quote Rodney King, but he did lay down one good line: "can't we all just get along?"

That means all of us.

Until that happens -- and I don't expect to see it in my lifetime, or in the next several lifetimes, not so long as there's political and financial advantage to be gained from continuing the cycle of victimization -- my service is now available.

Just give me a call, okay?


Birdie said...

there's one simple solution: the law should make that the person insulting is put in the slammer for 2 days or so as punishment, the person insulted gets nothing but an apology!! why get cash for being called a name? too many people get away with it and misuse the system... such "rewards" would not be possible over here (though some lawyers are trying to introduce "American conditions"). What were we taught as kids?
"sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me!"

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of this you hurt my feelings has gone somewhat overboard. Or this or that offends someone. Come on some of this stuff is just silly.

HarpO'Fly said...

Good God, in the slammer for two days over an insult? Hell no!!
It is totally pony BS. Look at the rude offensive stuff on TV that people can't get enough of. Hostile discourteous language and behavior is more acceptable than it has ever been, more common, yet people claim injury if the wrong person sneezes in the wrong place at the wrong time.
These people would not even bring it to any authority unless they were looking for unearned cash.
Some of the stuff I endured at the airport would have yielded me millions had I been black and the others white. But the reality was it was only worth a shrug and a temporary grudge.
It's crazy. You are only safe from this stuff if you never say a word to anyone or see another human being.

lowandslow said...

Next we'll have little kids in court claiming they were psychologically maimed for life because they were called "four eyes" or "fatty". Cruel? Sure, but it happens. Always has, always will.

I couldn't agree more with your observations. As a WASP I feel oppressed. Somebody, gimme some dough.

Birdie said...

harpo, of course I only meant if the insult was really valid and bad! I "assume" it must be if the other person can cash in all those millions..... for petty stuff it's stupid! those people wanting that cash should get a life! oh, I forgot, they want the cash just so they can do just that.... high life without having to move their carcass from the couch!

Justfly said...

America is a great country, however, we have taken a few wrong turns along the way.
This whole $$$ is out of control.

Betty said...

And it seems now like Gloria Allred and her clients will be making out like bandits..sigh.