Time for Consensus on Coarseness – The National Center

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The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.

Source: Time for Consensus on Coarseness – The National Center

Reminders on #MemorialDay / Reminder From @KSPrior

Today, Monday, May 28, 2018, is observed as Memorial Day for Americans. While today is that for me , it is also the day that my daughter becomes just 7 days old. While I remember to observe Memorial Day for those precious lives lost serving in the United States Armed Forces protecting my freedoms, I am also observing a beautiful newborn who has just begun a precious life (outside of the womb that is) all her own. Although I am ever grateful for the men and women who made an ultimate sacrifice for this country, of which I am a proud citizen of, I am even more so grateful that my Creator desired to bless me with this little bundle of joy.

You see, she is a reminder of how my plans mean nothing when in comparison to the Will of God.

Years ago, I had made a few decisions, quietly to myself, concerning how my life would end up. I had determined to not get married, never have kids, and especially never have 2 kids. Older people, with a bit more wisdom under their belt, would lovingly lean over to me and say things like: “If you want to make God laugh, then tell Him your plans.” However, I would typically dismiss this little proverb as a joke or an old wives’ tale. Seriously, I thought that God knew my plans regardless of me saying it out loud. Plus, would God find my ideas that amusing?

I doubted it. Still do to some degree. I don’t see Him as a Person that would casually laugh at my personal goals, no matter how foolish they are. At the same time, God gave laughter to His creation, which would make it, at least, possible (maybe plausible) that this physical way of showing joy or happiness is a part of His Being as well. It is, possibly, not foreign to Him.

Nevertheless, I took in what they said in one ear, then let it drift right out of my other ear (and mind) as I left their presence. Not knowing that God would surely be revealing to me His plans for my life in due time.

In His Way and Will, God has an amazing way to extend to His child an unspeakable joy that they did not even think possible. And, since I did not think of having a family as providing anything close to joy, I did not seek it out for my own life’s journey.

But God!

Where I had determined one way of life, He guaranteed something wholly different than what my mind could have ever calculated. My second bundle of joy has reminded me that God’s Way is always Right, even when it seems wrong. God’s Way does bring joy, even while it allows for pain. He may not completely eradicate darkness from any individual’s existence (whether it comes in the form of the inability to pay off debt or bills on time, constant illness, etc.); however, He, as only He can, provides His Light, His Joy, and His Hand for those difficult times and events He allows us to face.

I still wonder what the future holds. Will my family have each other for years to come? Will I become an old man and see my children make something of themselves? Or will one of the four of us have a shortened lifespan? Obviously, I can never know the answers to these questions. That unnerves me a bit. Then, I think of Whom it is that I believe and hold to the belief that He holds all things in His hand. Long life and short life. As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, when he was near the very day that he would be assassinated, and possibly feeling his mortality all the more: “….longevity has its place. I just want to do God’s Will!”

Well, that is my desire too: to do God’s Will. Simultaneously, I find it quite interesting that even when I am not onboard with His Will, He moves forward with it and I end up being thankful for His Will and disgusted with my own plans.

His Will had my family. How could I have ever thought that an existence without them would be worth having?

Thank God that He does not bless foolishness, but He, possibly, allows for it. My foolishness, and your foolishness, will not thwart His plans.

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On another note, I am also reminded of how a lover of the Lord should go about facing pain in this life. Dr. Karen Swallow Prior, a Liberty University professor and an author of works, such as Booked and Fierce Convictions, was hit by a bus while in Nashville recently. She received broken ribs and a collapsed lung, while still doing her best to joke with friends and supporters about her situation.

Sometimes, one may ask why would such a godly woman have to experience such a painful ordeal. We (or she) may never receive that answer in this life. Nevertheless, Prior gives an example of how the Christian can still choose to put their best foot forward, all for community support, and love her Lord, even in the face of such a trial.

Even with this painful ordeal that has touched the life of a woman who continues to influence, I am given other reminders: pray without ceasing, love those around you that much more, be a part of a community that will encourage you through trials and tribulations, and remember the God whom you serve.

Life will have its ups and downs, but it is about having the right perspective that will get you through them with unspeakable joy.

Thank you, Dr. Prior, for your example!

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Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For any inquiries, please contact me at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

Comedienne Michelle Wolf’s Words at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner Were a Success (Even If They Weren’t Funny)

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The White House Correspondents Association Dinner, held back in April, was the annual shindig, where a specially selected performer – typically a comedian – gets to ‘roast’ the president and anything or anyone associated with them. Now, the success of the performance of the ‘roaster’ is always relative to the political leanings of any individual or audience. It should go without saying that the Left will support their own and those on the Right will do exactly the same.  So, a performance, like the one given by Michelle Wolf at the dinner, can simultaneously spark love and hate, laughter and repudiation, looks of elation and expressions of discomfort, all in the same room.  Comedy really is similar to beauty: it is in the eye of the beholder.

For any audience member (fan or not), it is somewhat difficult to just observe and enjoy humor objectively when you feel that you, your political side, and/or worldview are being used as subject matter to elicit a particular response.  Some comedians even make it their shtick to make fun of an audience members’s personal appearance, which may cause that particular individual to be uncomfortable, but if it gets laughs from others in the room, then it may be a mission accomplished for the humorist.

With all of this in mind, comedienne Michelle Wolf’s recent performance succeeded in the world of comedy (apparently, she is also proud of what she said at the event per her NPR interview) or by a comic’s standards.

Michelle Wolf: I mean, I’m honestly – I wouldn’t change a single word that I said. I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns.

She appeared to have given her routine without any awkward pauses or hiccups in the punchlines and she got laughs throughout her stand-up.  Plus, now, because of the controversy that resulted from her bit on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, she has gotten even more attention and notoriety, which may lead to infamy that could pay huge dividends for her monetarily in the future.  Still, in spite of what seemed like a triumphant comedic act, it still fail to make believers out of everyone in the room, which is not to say was Wolf’s goal or even a real possibility in the world of comedy anyway.

For example, American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp and his wife apparently left the event after not being happy with the comedienne’s material for the event.  There have been reporters who were not supportive of Wolf’s style as well and even a Washington-based publication will be dropping out of future White House Correspondent’s Association dinner events, due to the vulgarity that took place at the event.  Furthermore, the White House Correspondents Association actually released a statement affirming that the comic’s routine was not in the spirit of the association’s mission.

While some conservatives may feel as if the entertainer deserves some sort of comeuppance for her remarks, one must remember that comedy of this kind is not new.  This brand of comedy is never civil because it has always been about delivering cringe-worthy observations for reactions.  If the association really wanted ‘civil comedy’ to have been displayed, then they should have researched Wolf’s work beforehand or given her or any comic a list of standards to adhere to.

At the same time, some conservatives are reminding others on the Right to remember that even our own president has spoken in unpleasant terms.  Many may not want to hear this response to their disappointment in Wolf’s words, but it is vitally important that we remain consistent when dealing with any kind of behavior.  Why be mad about inappropriate words this time while not being bothered by some of Trump’s past statements about people and/or their spouses?

In the end, Wolf’s set successfully won her supporters and critics.  Her words brought on a small controversy, which has garnered her more attention than she would have even thought.  Her name is everywhere and how can that be bad for her?  It has been said before that controversy is good for business.  Well, for Ms. Wolf, this kind of controversy may have just given her even more of a platform to have longevity in the business of comedy.

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research.  Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary.  For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website.  For any inquiries, please contact me at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

White Male Desires to Identify as Filipino Opens the Door for a Lot of Questions (from November 28, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv = Is This Old Story an Example of #WhitePrivilege?)

 

(Photo via 10News WTSP)

 

Many people find that their race and/or culture (among other things, such as religion and career) gives their life meaning and rightfully so. One may take pride in the beliefs, art, and/or cuisine that they have learned and enjoy sharing with others. It is quite possible that these things have been passed down and maintaining certain customs keeps one generation feeling connected to a previous generation.

The retelling and sharing of particular traditions and practices throughout history can be beneficial as long as they essentially do not cause anyone harm. However, it should be remembered that race is not always directly linked to a specific culture and accepting a specific culture does not make one automatically connected with the ethnic group that is closely associated with that culture.

Apparently, these distinctions have not been made apparent to some, especially a particular Floridian, who appears to be one race but yearns to be another.

The recent story of a Caucasian male from Florida desiring to identify as a Filipino person opens the door for questions about his mental health and perception of reality as well as accusations of cultural appropriation on his part. Adam, or Ja Du (as he may prefer to be known as), is a young man that has immersed himself into some of Filipino culture, if that is what can be said of his love for Filipino food, events, and driving a Tuk Tuk (an Asian-derived vehicle used for public transit in the Philippines supposedly). Oddly enough, it is not said if he knew how to speak and/or write any Filipino or the other 19 official auxiliary languages. Then again, he may be able to bypass this hurdle, due to English being an official language of the Philippines as well.

This racial identity case with Ja Du may cause people to think back to the story of Rachel Dolezal that brought the idea of a person transitioning from one race to another into public knowledge. Dolezal had been the president of a Spokane, Washington branch of the NAACP, but stepped down after controversy surrounded her because of the revelation that she been born Caucasian.

Although ‘transracial’ is nothing new, it still prompts others to be skeptical of the individual’s motives. They are suspected of trying to ‘use’ another race/identity to gain something. Ja Du wanted to dispel this idea and really just wants to be happy with himself. In the 10News WTSP (out of Tampa, Florida) post, under the section titled, “Preventing Fraud,” Ja Du says, “I believe people will [take advantage] just like other people have taken advantage of their identity to get their way, but the difference between me and them [Garin] is that I don’t want that. I think that we all have the freedoms to pursue happiness in our own ways.”

Of course, it is hard to just take someone’s word for it that you do not know. Plus, it still may cause many of us to ponder of his need or Dolezal’s (or anyone in his Facebook group with similar inclinations for that matter) to completely identify as being something (or like someone) that does not match the color of their skin nor is a part of their cultural make-up. Is race really something that is fluid? Can we become someone new out of a feeling? Where does it start and where does it end? Can we completely identify as another group of people by taking some or even all of their customs and/or beliefs? Is this realistic?

These kinds of questions can be placed under issues with transgenderism as well. But, for some individuals on the left, to speak of ‘transracial’ as being akin to someone identifying as ‘transgender’ would be a falsehood. Zach Ford, LGBTQ Editor at ThinkProgress.org, wrote a piece over two years ago that tried to dispel this notion, while at the same time giving a definition to ‘transracial’ that dealt more with individuals that have been called transracial adoptees (children of one race being adopted by a family of another race).

It is interesting that in the aforementioned ThinkProgress.org piece, one individual, Andy Marra, an author and a transgender woman, questioned Dolezal’s authenticity. She said: “I am open, honest, and proud to claim the various traits and experiences that made me who I am today. And there’s a lot to me too — I am a Korean American, a transracial (and transnational) adoptee, a transgender woman, and a person of color. Who I am today hasn’t been actively determined by disingenuous actions. I don’t have to lie or pretend about who I am. There is no deliberate effort to conceal my background. And I’m not following a script or abiding to a rulebook of what it means for me to be authentic.”

This questioning of Dolezal and the social media responses towards Ja Du from those who are presumably progressive seems to be permissible only when you are seeing it all through the right social philosophical lens. If these individuals had been conservative in their views about Dolezal as well as, say Caitlin Jenner, then they would be seen as only bigoted and not just being dubious about a person’s beliefs or ‘transitioning’. Maybe this skepticism works best when you are progressive enough about LGBTQ issues and exist as a social justice warrior.

Nevertheless, whatever Ja Du may be defined or identified as (since ‘transracial’ may have two definitions that is unknown to many people), he is a person that will have a lot of questions to answer for himself. Then, society will have a number more conundrums on its hands, such as how to handle cases like Ja Du’s and Dolezal’s (especially as they grow) and should it be accepted as normal, among many others that would be legitimate.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – November 28, 2017

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

Donna Brazile’s Politico Piece Speaks of Rigging (from November 4, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Donna Brazile By Tim Pierce from Berlin, MA, USA (Donna Brazile) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By now, you might have heard about or read the explosive piece on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in Politico a few days ago. It was actually an excerpt from Donna Brazile’s new book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, which details the events surrounding the hacking of the DNC’s emails and the Clinton campaign that supposedly led to a Trump presidency.

Brazile Writes About System Being Rigged Against Sanders

Brazile reveals quite a few astonishing details in the piece, but one that stood out is the idea that the 2016 Democratic Party primary was ‘rigged’ against Senator Bernie Sanders and favored Secretary Hillary Clinton. The proof, for her, was the “Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.” The agreement discloses information on the level of control that Clinton actually had when it came to items ranging from the party’s finances and staffing decisions.

One journalist, Hadley Freeman, columnist and features writer for The Guardian, posted: “I’m confused — wasn’t this reported ages ago, tho?

She is right; it was reported before. As a matter of fact, there is a particular quote from former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that shares what the agreement was designed to do. In the Politico piece, she states: “Through this agreement and others we will sign with our party’s candidates, we are building the organization we will need now to make sure that whoever our nominee is, they are in the best possible position to win next November.”

After Brazile’s confession of the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement’s giving a considerable amount of control over to Clinton, it would seem that the nominee with “the best possible position to win” was believed to be Clinton, since she was being given the amount of power that she received, per the agreement. Obviously, this is not necessarily illegal, but it can be deemed unethical as it would stack far more chips in Clinton’s hands as she ran to be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee. Plus, after reading more of the actual agreement, it is clear that the agreement was for the general election, but, as Alex Seitz-Wald pointed out, Clinton still had more influence in the primaries.

Plus, with the help of leaked emails divulging statements made by people like Wasserman Schultz, the inappropriate support that Clinton received and the bias towards Sanders and his campaign was laid bare. These emails also eventually led to the former DNC chair resigning from her position.

Warren Agrees That the DNC System was Rigged

After Brazile’s piece in PoliticoSen. Elizabeth Warren was asked about her thoughts today on CNN by Jake Tapper. Initially, Warren gave a real political answer and spoke about the revelations as being “a test for Tom Perez,” the current chair of the Democratic National Committee.

But Tapper pushed again with the question and made it known that there was not much time in the segment. One can imagine that he was looking for a one-word response: either “yes” or “no”. Warren affirmed that the system was rigged against Sanders.

Of course, another question then arises out of Brazile’s startling revelations and Warren’s confirmation of it. The question becomes: what is to be done to make sure that this kind of rigging does not take place again? It is quite apparent that it is not enough to have knowledge of unethical behavior happening in your party; something must be done to level the playing field for all candidates involved.

How ironic it is that Clinton, as Brazile points out, had “made campaign finance reform part of her platform,” but she may actually be part of the reason that it needs to be reformed.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – November 4, 2017

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

Kellogg’s Corn Pops Illustration Brings a Charge of Racism (from October 27, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

(Photo via Saladin Ahmed)

There are times when we all have the ability to be overly sensitive. We can let our emotions run away from us, while leaving the actual logic that it takes to operate in reality and move forward with expressing asinine conjecture like it is a revealing truth. Furthermore, social media has its own reality, where such conjecture may be arrogantly expressed, at times, with impunity and other times with a heavy-handed criticism.

Writer Saladin Ahmed saw an illustration on a cereal box and must have felt the need for a little righteous indignation. He made the decision to point outthat one corn pop was actually darker than the others and that he was apparently the only one that was a custodian. Ahmed even went as far as to say that this image would teach children racism.

The problem is Ahmed had no actual evidence (as far as we know) that this small mistake was done with any bigoted motive behind it. One can imagine that he had not checked with the company or did any background research to be sure if Kellogg had any white supremacists working in their marketing or illustration department.

Plus, he made his thoughts public to the company’s twitter account and they responded quicker than even he thought they would. It does not take a genius to figure out how much an allegation of this proportion could land them in hot water and have a major impact on the sales.

Ahmed clearly is showing an example of being oversensitive about this picture and I am glad that I am not the only one to see this.

https://twitter.com/StefanMolyneux/status/923259198686801928

https://twitter.com/jeiceyo/status/923331310587916288

It is not only unfair to charge a company with being racist before you are sure that it is the case; it is illogical to try to make the case when it is actually plausible that it could easily have been an oversight. Next time Mr. Ahmed should build a case against the company, any company, with actual evidence, then present the evidence with a rock-solid argument to win us over.

If the “facts” are not there and do not fit, then an allegation of racism, you must dismiss! Feeling something as racist does not equate to actual racism. As Ben Shapiro has been known to say: “Facts don’t care about your feelings!”

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – October 27, 2017

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

The Harvey Weinstein Scandal Reveals Inconsistency and Heightened Sensitivity (from October 15, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Harvey Weinstein 2011 By David Shankbone (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Every since a report from the New York Times came out October 5th detailing the alleged sexual assaults by Harvey Weinstein, the story keeps getting bigger as more stars have come out with their own testimonials of dealings with the Hollywood movie industry giant. What makes it even more tragic is the strong possibility that Weinstein’s disgusting behavior has been known about for a long time (watch an old Seth MacFarlane joke) in Hollywood without him having met his current consequences, such as the deterioration of his marriage and the need for therapy, decades ago.

In addition to everything in Weinstein’s closet being laid out in the open, now, it has been revealed that this information could have been leaked earlier.

Ronan Farrow, an investigative reporter for NBC, had written a piece in The New Yorker telling the stories of some of Weinstein’s victims. He was also asked by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about NBC not supporting the piece that he wrote. Plus, journalist Sharon Waxman wrote of how she reported a story in 2004, but the New York Times never ran with it. These are clear symptoms of a much deeper issue: there were “enablers” to Weinstein’s behavior.

The Inconsistency of Hollywood Elite

Another problem is with the lack of consistency in Hollywood about those who are actually guilty of sexual abuse and to those that have had received accusations of alleged sexual misconduct. For example, Kate Winslet is just one of the growing number of stars making statements against Weinstein’s evil deeds. However, this is inconsistent with her answer to a question about working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.

Yes, they are allegations that were made about Allen, but Polanski ran from facing punishment from being convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. It is public knowledge what Polanski has done and yet, Winslet and many other actors/actresses/Hollywood insiders continued to work with the famous director. This inconsistency in Hollywood matched with the silence of some politicians may give an inkling to why sexual abuse may continue in Hollywood in secret.

The Delicate Persons of Social Media Take Issue with “Father of Daughters” Phrase

Unfortunately, while people were trying to be supportive and encouraging to the ladies who had been through an ordeal with Weinstein, many on social media found another reason to be upset with men who responded in a certain fashion.

Apparently, whenever males used the phrase — ‘as a father of daughters’ or something similar to it, this prompted some to feel as if the statements were cop outs and was the only way for those men to understand what women who have been sexually assaulted or harassed go through. One lady wrote: “Dear Men, Please remove the phrase “as a husband and/or a father of daughters” from your vocabulary. Women exist outside your bubble.” I guess she believes that many men (maybe even all men) need to be reminded that everything, especially women, do not revolve around them.

Another person wrote: “Actors currently drafting your Weinstein statements: Keep in mind that women are not only “wives” and “daughters” but also, in fact, people.” This gentleman must believe that men cannot see their wives and daughters as people. Does he really think that these actors just see the women in their life as ‘things’ to please them or boost their self-esteem?

https://twitter.com/samlansky/status/917864722178772992?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthedailynerv.com%2Fmedia%2F4537d5c56a39d791c0b7c6feeb30ab7f%3FpostId%3D28cfd529d7d6

As actors, James Van Der Beek and Terry Crews, gave their own personal sexual assault stories to show empathy with the victims of Weinstein, other men, who have not been victims, try to show support in other ways. They may not ever know what it is like to feel powerless in the hands of someone abusing them. So, the way they may connect to these ladies (in some very small way) is knowing that these ladies deserved to be respected as they believe in their wives and daughters having value and deserving to be respect. They would not want the ladies in their life to ever experience what an Ashley Judd or a Rose McGowan went through.

In conclusion, it is because men value the women and girls in their lives as people (and people with their own autonomy) that they refer to them in situations like this one. They never want them to ever be devalued in such an evil and despicable way. Now, if you cannot accept this logic, then just hold on to some truth from one John Podhoretz: “As a father of daughters, let me just say that I’ve paid enough in tuition to refer to myself as a father of daughters any damn time I want.

https://twitter.com/SethAMandel/status/918183850869776386

Originally published by The Daily Nerv – on October 15, 2017

Jerome Danner is a member of Project 21, an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook for more of his thoughts and commentary. For more of Jerome’s writing, please check out his website. Jerome accepts email at jadanner1@yahoo.com.

 

Cam Newton’s Blunder Is a Prime Example of Why You Should Think Before You Speak (from October 10, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Cam Newton 2016 Preseason By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, made a gaffe that he probably wishes he could take back. Jourdan Rodrigue, a sports beat writer for The Charlotte Observer, was asking a question to the NFL superstar about the physicality of running routes, when he said aloud: “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes.”

Although Newton may have thought it to have been funny, which gave cause for him to audibly express what was on his mind, the cringe-worthy opinion was best left unsaid. He may have gotten away with it later on, around friends, while having some locker room talk.

It is possible that Newton may have meant to be more tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless, in this “everything can be sensationalized” climate that we live in, the superstar quarterback made it easy to provoke the ire of Rodrigue and many others.

This one statement has been deemed sexist and it has now cost him a sponsor.

As much as his remark might lean toward or appear to be an example of male chauvinism, it may be more that he has not been encouraged to be more thoughtful in his answers during press conferences. Any person can say what they want, but every person (especially our more famous citizens) better comprehend that you may have to pay for being blunt or flippant with any comment that you make.

Another point that makes the remark foolish is that it seems to show Newton presuming that women would not have any clue about the X’s and O’s of his sport. If he honestly holds this actual belief, then he should think back to the number of women that are not only in sports, but are analysts and reporters. One could easily think back through his career and ponder if he has never had any interaction with one of the opposite sex about football.

It would be highly doubtful for this kind of scenario to never have happened in his career prior to this moment. (In this case, there are pictures that show Newton with ladies before: Pic 1 & Pic 2)

But, if nothing else, he should have just considered the fact that Rodrigue asked the question. Therefore, any individual would assume she must have some idea of what she is talking about in order to actually pose the question as she did. Why would a person be asking you any question, sitting in a press conference presumably around other sports writers, and not have an inkling of what they are there to do? It just does not make logical sense.

One analyst made the point that he should have made “an early, sincere apology” to keep things from escalating as they have done in the last 24 hours. Again, in the times in which we live, anything and everything can become scandalous in a matter of moments, especially with how people can get carried away with their opinions on social media. Any utterance or action can become viral. So, if any expression you make is not within the current consensus of opinion regarding any particular issue, especially in the realm of politics, religion, or culture, you may have to pay the piper.

Free speech is a grand thing; however, free speech as a right does not mean you get to leave without emptying your pockets every time.

So, is Newton actually guilty of sexism or is just lacking the thoughtfulness that it takes to manage press conferences as a mature professional? I don’t know. However, if I had to guess, the loss of money will surely bring helpful reminders for future run-ins with female professionals. Or it should.

Editor’s note: Fortunately, during the evening of October 5, 2017, Cam Newton gave this apology.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – October 10, 2017

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Be Careful Using a Tragedy as a Chess Piece for Politics (from October 3, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Night aerial view, Las Vegas, Nevada by Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As news poured in about the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas this past Sunday night, what initially looked to be a sad situation has turned out to be one of the most heartbreaking tragedies that our country has ever faced. After the devastating events that took place in Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Orlando, amongst others, most of us would hope and pray that no community would ever have to deal with such evil again.

In addition to having to process the emotions one may go through when hearing of a tragedy, or the loss of a loved one, all kinds of introspection takes place about the evil person whose unfathomable actions caused such pain and suffering. Understandably, those mourning have questions and they need something that typically will never come and eludes them — closure.

Now, processing the anger, the hurt, and the sadness that may come with the catastrophe in Nevada is justifiable. From the actual person’s pain to their close friend’s and family’s to public figures speaking about the event, the innate right is theirs to feel downcast about a devastating situation, even when it does not directly affect them.

However, what is genuinely unhelpful is politicizing a tragedy soon after it happens.

People have not even completely mourned their loss and gained some kind of healing before some of our more famous citizens threw their opinion out in the open. Hillary Clinton jumped on the bandwagon quickly, but others were just as quick to respond to her false statements. It never looks good to politicize an issue that you are either completely clueless on or just not as experienced with the specifics of the hotly debated topic.

Late night television host Jimmy Kimmel was quite emotional about the recent events and felt the need to call out politicians (specifically Republicans) about their possible connections with the National Rifle Association of America. Of course, he was commended by many for his honesty and his calling out of politicians who seem to be against any form of gun control.

I do wonder if he actually reached out to any of these individuals to get their thoughts on why or why not they did not back certain policies dealing with gun control.

One musician that was there at the concert shared that he changed his thoughts on the gun control issue because of the tragic murders that he witnessed. All respect is due him for his honesty and he should not be denigrated by anyone for changing his views because that is his right.

What becomes problematic is when individuals decide to change their views immediately on having been a part of such a dreadful moment in their life. One must be careful to balance their emotion with rational thinking after much introspection and not during the heat of the moment.

Washington Post article perhaps had the best take on this issue: “There is a right way to “politicize” mass shootings, and there is a wrong way to politicize them.” I would argue that timing is much more important in this case. We all may politicize an issue, but we all should think about when we do it and are we doing it with clearness of thought.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – August 16, 2017

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Free Speech is Great, But We Should Encourage More Civil Discourse (from September 28, 2017 – for The Daily Nerv)

Recent news has made it urgent to encourage and explain to the masses why free speech is a great freedom and right to have and express. The issue is a topic of high-priority because of what we have seen play out on our television screens as of late, from “protesting” (if it can really be called that) to rallying by one group against another group of people who hold an opposing view.

From Berkeley to Boston to Charlottesville, we have seen what really can occur when people desire to protest against the rights of others whose only desire is to speak freely and voice their opinions about a variety of controversial subjects in public.

It only makes sense that those of us who believe in free speech, can see how things could take a terrible turn for the worse and continue to be vocal about its importance in our current society. We hate the very idea of our nation ending up emulating an aspect of fascism, which would be the forcible suppression of opposition. Imagine how these United States would then look if everyone with an opposing view to those in power were forcibly made to adhere to another person’s beliefs. Well, we would then cease to exist as the great constitutional republic that our country was meant to be and has become (despite her imperfections).

Recently, Katherine Timpf, a Fox News host, wrote about her desiring to defend even hate speech as free speech. She wrote: “People have directed vile things at me, but they must have the right to say them.” Ms. Timpf deserves some commending because she wrote the aforementioned piece after being assaulted and giving details about the experience through social media.

Though Ms. Timpf’s opinion (and many others’ belief) about the freedom of speech, even hate speech, should be lauded, it is vital to the discussion to reiterate the necessity of civility in any form of discourse.

We have too many people, especially the young, that desire to discard free speech (or any speech that offends them in some way) and are willing to shut down anyone who does not support their narrative in its totality immediately. Nevertheless, the problem is not just the denial of free speech alone; enough people seem not to encourage free speech practiced in an affable manner. People seem to forget that correction done chivalrously will go much further than loudly voicing an opinion aggressively just to be heard.

In addition to being courteous with whomever one is having a dispute with, giving an open-minded ear to their thoughts would be all the more beneficial to the conversation. For civil discourse to take place, it needs for its interlocutors to be thoughtful when engaging one another, as unbiased as possible when listening, and ultimately having the objective of seeking the untarnished truth of the matter. These things, whenever done right, can and should move a conversation forward between two or more rational human beings.

Yes, free speech needs to be defended, but it being expressed in a manner of civility should be modeled and defended just as much.

Originally published on The Daily Nerv – August 16, 2017

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