Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Selective Outrage

Big news was made this week. An owner of a large sports franchise was banned and fined for using racist remarks which were caught on tape. (I’m going to leave out names because I don’t want to get sued.)

In reading about this story, I, personally, was dismayed that the owner would tell his girlfriend not to take pictures with black people and post them on social media. He also told her not to bring black people to the games.

I applaud that people collectively stood up and said, “This isn’t right. How dare this man make a decision to do something (in this case make racist remarks) that is insensitive to people.”

As more and more people chimed in, it was clear that this owner had crossed a line which our society has determined is wrong. And we, as a society were not going to accept it.

Yet, as I read about this story, I am also dismayed at an aspect which seems to be accepted by the media at large and didn’t cause an outcry.

Keep in mind that the recording that got the owner in trouble was of a conversation between him and his girlfriend. (She’s referred to as his girlfriend in story after story.) And that’s the part of the story that hasn’t generated anywhere close to the amount of outrage as the racist remarks. But why should it?

Simple. The owner is married, and has been married to the same lady for a lot of years.

So, what’s the difference? As far as I know, making racist remarks isn’t illegal. In fact, it is protected under “freedom of speech.” However, the people who became outraged at the owner’s remarks did so because the comments were morally and ethically wrong. And I agree 100%. Racist remarks may be protected by the law, but it doesn’t make them okay.

Cheating on your wife? From what I could find on the subject, adultery is illegal in roughly 20 states in the USA. But more than that, when people get married they make vows to be faithful. I would say that breaking those vows is also morally and ethically wrong.

In the end, I find it interesting, and somewhat disturbing, 
how society is selective in its outrage.

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