Here’s an exercise. When something happens, first ask yourself, “What do you want to believe happened?”
Once you have an answer, toss it in the garbage. Because that’s your bias. That’s the thing that makes you look dumb on Facebook and Twitter or talking in front of your friends. You’re just talking out of your ass. Instead, wait for some real information. Or go find it. And don’t go looking for information in the places that confirm what you want to believe.
Last night, some Pioneer students were upset with the Saline freshman float at the homecoming game.
The float portrays a mechanical arm that pulls toys out of a machine at a carnival. It was apparently inspired by a scene from the movie, Toy Story. On the float, the arm pulls up the lifeless body of a Pioneer football player.
A little grisly to be sure. But beating up and maiming dummies of opposing team is the stuff of high school homecoming floats. It always has been. Maybe Pioneer doesn’t do homecoming floats anymore. I’m not sure.
According to Mlive, which rarely misses a chance to turn something innocuous into a story that generates 500 of the ugliest comments you’ve ever read, Pioneer football players and fans thought this was racist.
It’s a stretch. Sure, I’m a white guy. But it’s a stretch. Once explained, I don’t see how anyone could possibly believe a group of Saline freshman and teachers conspired to build a racist float.
I’m not sure why Mlive thought it was a good idea to interview the Pioneer quarterback about this. In my judgment, you don’t exploit a high school kid’s comments for clicks over such a ridiculous issue. But I understand the pressures of journalism in the modern age. You’ve got to produce for your metrics-infatuated bosses.
According to several sources, the Pioneer fans began chanting “Saline is racist.” I didn’t spend much time in the first half on that side of the field, so I can’t say for sure. And the fans were mostly gone by the second half. Several Pioneer students tweeted about the issue.
It’s one thing for students or parents to go off about an emotional issue after a frustrating loss. But this generated a call from the Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent to the Saline Superintendent Scot Graden.
Is anyone sick and tired of the whining yet?
Now look in the mirror.
Some Saline parents and school officials were upset because Pioneer didn’t come out for the national anthem.
It’s time to stop getting angry and upset at other people’s actions – especially if we don’t understand them. It’s time for all of us to focus our criticisms on ourselves.
What can I can do to make myself better? What can I do to make America a country where people come out of the locker rooms and stand to honor America? What can I do to convince my friends in Wonder Bread Saline to lay off the criticism of minorities. You’ve never walked in their shoes. I haven’t either. Let’s have a heart.
On the other hand, we need to change the dynamic of the American conversation. Liberals and minorities can’t look at every instance as an example of racism or sexism or homophobia. Christians and conservatives need to stop whining about Christmas and gays. We need to put an end to the culture war.
Tolerance is a two-way street.
We all need to toughen up, thicken our skins, stop whining and start working to stitch America together again.