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Friday, March 20, 2009

President Obama Bowls

When President Obama appeared on The Tonight Show Thursday, he told host Jay Leno about practicing at the White House's bowling alley. He said he wasn't happy with his score of 129. Then, he added, "It was like the Special Olympics or something." Of course in 2007, Don Imus eventually lost his CBS radio show and its MSNBC simulcast for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” on the air. Also in 2007, Al Sharpton made this remark concerning presidential candidate Mitt Romney: "As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation." And, who can forget when, in 2006, Seinfeld actor and comedian Michael Richards lost his temper and issued a racial tirade during a performance at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. President Obama, Imus, Sharpton, and Richards all apologized for their comments to various organizations and individuals that they may have offended. Yet, in varying degrees, the damage had already been done. One would think they would have known better before delivering their distasteful utterances. Whether done unintentionally or intentionally, using improper, inconsiderate language in public gets people into trouble. Now, society, in general, has a critical ear tuned to celebrities and anyone else in the public arena. The media is quick to react to any faux pas and even quicker to inflate such a blunder to stir interest. When is too much control, too much? Granted, the question may be "Are we becoming too politically correct?" For example, groups have expressed their disapproval of wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" during the holidays. Are we in danger of losing Christmas trees and decorations as well as Nativity scenes. After all, didn't Rev. Jesse Jackson, President Bush and others admonish us not to use the term "refugee" when describing the New Orleans citizens who fled their homes during Hurricane Katrina? They said or implied the term is "racially insensitive." Maybe, the phrase "anything you say can and will be used against you" applies to more than just a reading of legal rights during arrest.
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