Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cadmium Yellow . . .

The colour of disappointment, according to Stephen Colbert. (After a two week hiatus, TDS and the Report are back and good as ever.)

It has been a while since I web logged, and I thought I would indulge my faithful readers with something new.

I have a "quote-a-day" calendar that doesn't have the day of the week, just the date, which is great because I can use it year after year (which I have for the past two and a half.) My quote today was:

Remember,your tongue is in a wet place: It's likely to slip.

With football season starting, NFL and college coaches and players have regular press conferences, in addition to radio, in-game, and newspaper interviews. This is a lot of talking, and with the tongue being in such a wet place, there are many opportunities for slippage.

I have a plan if ever given (or earning) a measure of celebrity that includes people caring what I have to say. I would like to have a mission statement at the beginning that says: I'm going to say stupid things that might offend people, but I'm not really sorry. If you take offense at what I have to say, you really need to put my words in perspective and realize that my words and thoughts aren't that harmful.

I feel this way because I've never understood the damage done by racist or politically incorrect statements. How does the late ordained Minister of Defense, Reggie White, affect the Asian community by commending them for their ability to put a computer into a watch, or the Hispanic community for their great family structure? How does stereotyping through words hurt people? I can understand that a comment like Fuzzy Zoeller's about Tiger Woods choosing fried chicken for the opening Masters Tournament dinner (the previous year's winner chooses the menu) reveals a prejudice that may affect decisions and actions. But judge, if you must, based on actions, not thoughts. Personally, I am honest with myself and recognize my racial prejudices, but I don't run around committing "hate" crimes (This is a whole nother web log. Let's just say I agree with South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.). I think that I treat my coworkers based on their performance and not their racial or cultural identities. I'm curious what you think. Thank you for reading to the end.

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At September 16, 2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Michael Covarrubias said...

My quote of the day: The line between Whites and Blacks is Fuzzy.

Wow Daniel. You've forsworn quite a responsibility. I agree with you that there is often a hyper-reaction to silly comments. and I agree that there is a difference between words and actions.

I don't however think it's a clear enough difference to say that there is possible danger in an act and there is no danger in a word. Even you admit that words influence -- I guess that's where the line becomes hazy. I think I can see your point that until something is an act no harm is done.

But should there be some vigilance regarding those precursors to "acts" that have proved inciteful in the past? Think of those words that are speech-acts. "I forbid you...I accept you...I apologise...I blame/forgive/appeal to you..."? A lot is done with these.


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