Carol Platt Liebau: A Message That's Being Overlooked

Friday, April 13, 2007

A Message That's Being Overlooked

Clarence Page has some very kind things to say about Rutgers' women's basketball team -- and no doubt the accolades are well deserved.

But I wish that someone who has credibility with these girls would remind them that, although what Don Imus said was terribly offensive and wrong (and now well-punished), what he said has no power to hurt them -- except what they give it. One ignorant, ugly and bigoted comment from a shock jock, or anyone for that matter, does nothing to change who they are, what they've done, and what they're about -- and the proper response isn't deep hurt, anger, sorrow, humiliation, but rather, a disgusted shrug of the shoulders that dismisses Imus' comment with the contempt it richly deserves.

It's not hard to muster great indignation at the comments themselves, but it's important to communicate to young people of all races that the outrage springs not from a sense that the comments themselves have the ability to affect them in any meaningful way, but rather from a collective sense that community standards have been unacceptably violated. And our sympathy for the innocent victims of an ugly smear shouldn't tempt us to pander to the sense of victimization that far too many race-panderers are eager to cultivate.

I don't admire much of anything Hillary Clinton says, but she did muster my grudging respect for this exchange with a reporter from USA Today:

Contemplating possible slings and arrows on the campaign trail, she said, "So what, people are going to say something bad about me?" She burst out laughing. "I mean really. I mean look. I understand how contentious American politics is. And why? Because there are big things at stake."

Clinton said she doesn't take attacks personally or lie awake fretting. "I'm sorry to tell you this, I do not … Maybe because I've been at it for so long.


That's the kind of attitude that makes women strong -- not the kind of victimization piffle that National Organization for Women (ha!) President Kim Gandy peddles when she whined to the LA Times about Imus' comments:

We made it clear that these were not mere words, that they had an impact and changed people's lives.

Hillary Clinton is speaking at Rutgers. Will she have the guts to help the young women build the kind of strength she obviously have -- or, a la Kim Gandy, will she succumb to the condescending temptation to pander to young women of another race, thereby helping dig them into a pit of victimization?

5 Comments:

Blogger robert said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_q8LxO4wnCQ

Check out "chris rock racism" on youtube

5:14 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

But I wish that someone who has credibility with these girls would remind them that, although what Don Imus said was terribly offensive and wrong (and now well-punished), what he said has no power to hurt them -- except what they give it. One ignorant, ugly and bigoted comment from a shock jock, or anyone for that matter, does nothing to change who they are, what they've done, and what they're about -- and the proper response isn't deep hurt, anger, sorrow, humiliation, but rather, a disgusted shrug of the shoulders that dismisses Imus' comment with the contempt it richly deserves.

Okay. So let me see. If I say that America is the cause of all evil in the world and I'm happy whenever American troops die in Iraq and other completely ridiculous insults - are you saying that you'll just shrug your shoulders or will you be offended?

10:36 PM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Obviously, I do the former or you wuold long have been banned from this blog. :)

9:05 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

OSO,

You seem to miss the distinction between being offended and pointing out a fool. Your silly example has been, in not so many words, put forth by others elsewhere. Responding on a blog, in newspapers, on call-in shows, these are simply people attempting to correct misconceptions and down-right distortions. Now if your example is true of you, it would evoke more the emotions of pity sadness that anyone would be so...select your adjective. But offended? Not likely when the source is considered.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Smack down!

7:41 AM  

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