Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"Hate" speech

People who indulge in hate speech apparently feel they must to camouflage the lack of credible information or evidence to make their point - not to mention their logic is MIA.

They try to get us all wound up, irate and generally pissed off at someone rather than inform or empower us.

They also indulge in a lot of nasty name-calling, trying to incite us to hate whom they hate.

I've only listened to Rush Limbaugh once - and that was enough. He called - at the time - First Lady Hillary Clinton all sorts of hideously disrespectful, scathing, needlessly mean names. I'd never heard a First Lady ever called such reprehensible names, and he gave not even one sound reason for his personal attack.

I had a feeling his listeners who were addled by his emotional manipulation probably felt by the end of his tirade they hated her, too.

I'm always suspicious of people who want to - or try to - influence me to hate people. Why would they? Why should I waste any of my life's time hating? I don't want to live that way, and I guess I believe there's always something I can do about something that makes me angry.

I think people who hate feel powerless. And take their bitterness over feeling powerless out on others.

I understand how information can provoke anger, espeically if I feel helpless to do anything about what I'm hearing. It can also move me to want to take action or seek more information so I can figure out something to stop feeling helpless about whatever is upsetting me.

That's why I include so many links here - so you can find more facts for yourself, do your own research, make up your own mind and take action if you're moved to do something.

I think in many cases truth is in the mind of the beholder, but when people choose to lie and manipulate over and over in order to wield power and mold opinion based on an ideology, false promises and outright lies, it becomes a great concern for me.

Especially when they lie so cavalierly, as if no one will ever hold them accountable for their actions as they exploit innocent people and finagle the "system." These folks generally believe they are above the law - and tend to get away with a lot for a long time until karma - and their own hubris catch up with them.

Making a game of toying with the minds, hearts and lives of others is a symptom of such extraordinary dysfunctional, controlling personalities.

Unfortunately, those who accept what those ill-willed manipulaters say at face value are later horrified they ever believed them to begin with. All because they believed people who did not deserve their trust.

And those who act as henchmen for those haters are usually the very people who end up bitter and angry when the truth comes out and they are exposed and remembered for the liars and criminals they really are.

There will always be some who want to walk in lock step with those who foment hatred for any reason, be it bigotry, political gain, money, profit, power, control, or some gain that is not earned but stolen.

Those who do that work from a basis of fear. They are frightened little people, terrified someone will discover who they really are inside - and what motivates them.

They are frequently blinded by some sort of greed - be it fame, money, power, an ideology. They snort and carry on, usually loudly, bullying others to distract anyone from getting personal or close enough to discover who they really are. Scared. Pathetic. Sad.

I'd feel badly for them if they weren't so incredibly destructive - whether they're the out of control temperamental bosses or the shock jocks who need to dominate others to feel powerful.

History is full of them - and all it takes to stop them is someone standing up to them.

Asking them why they yell.

Why they have the need to hurt and hate.

Senator Joseph McCarthy is a good example. A drinking alcoholic throughout his years in congress, he died hopelessly alcoholic after wrecking havoc in the lives of thousands upon thousands of innocent Americans because he had the innate need to feel powerful by inciting fear and hatred instead of seeking truth and justice.

Some history re-writers and politcal manipulaters trying to create hate have actually "found the light" - by being exposed or because they found they could not live with themselves and written books in which they confessed their illegal or (very) dirty politics.

In the end, it is perhaps not so much the hate monger but the stander-by who allows these campaigns to get out of hand.

Martin Luther King Jr. said that it would not be the enemies who foster hatred we remember with regret, but all those who stood at the sidelines in the presence of injustice and did nothing.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus: "I need to grow up"

Two days after commenting on the final game of the women's NCAA basketball tournament between Rutgers and Tennessee (The Lady Vols won), radio and TV talk show host Don Imus admitted he did something wrong.

When talking about the nation's top two women's basketball teams duking it out for the championship - he overlooked their skills and abilities, which got them college scholarships for bringing their talent and gift of athleticism to each school, not to mention the the sacrifice and dedication of the women to their sport and academic achievements.

It was clear he had no respect for them as people, as women or as athletes, let alone champions.

For some reason, Imus felt compelled to evaluate the Rutgers women.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they've got tattoos." he said.

His executive producer Bernard McGuirk added, "Some hard-core ho's."

Imus concluded, "That's some nappy-headed ho's there. I'm going to tell you that now."

To say Rutgers - and the world - were shocked by his bigoted, hurtful, degrading and infantile remarks is an understatement.

A tsunami of outrage poured in from even the most reasoned, docile sports fan and listener. They refused to sit by and tolerate the verbal atrocity.

I have a feeling perhaps the person most amazed by the response is Don Imus himself.

I've heard him defended by people who said we should remember him for his 40 years of work rather than this one absusive racist, sexist incident.

If it had been just this one incident?

I would say right. Destructive speech like this is a good lesson for everyone because of all the discussion it creates, and therefore education it brings about.

I'm all for the First Amendment and freedom of speech and don't want to see people fired for a single speech offense - even though several media personalities have been terminated in the past for saying much less offensive things.

But it wasn't just this one incident.

I won't repeat them on my blog because they are grieviously offensive - but this linked Chicago Sun-Times column by Jesse Jackson does. And after discovering all the other times Imus and his executive producer have said outrageously cruel racist and sexist comments over the years?

I say enough.

After apologizing many times, including on Al Sharpton's radio program, it's reported that Imus critics don't believe he understands why people are so angry at him - he's more concerned that he became the target of such volatile anger.

"I'm a good person," he has repeated, "who said a very bad thing."

But reports of his past extreme offenses over the years reveals a pattern of belief and behavior for which he has never done more than apologize - and apparently insincerely because he continued to do the same thing over again.

Imus has been suspended from his CBS radio/MSNBC-TV simulcast talk show for two weeks beginning this coming Monday. But indeed, CBS and MSNBC are partly to blame for not taking action much earlier, since his pattern of behavior has been established much earlier than this.

He says that the content of his show will be redirected because of this lesson. The question is whether his audience willingly listens to such things, and the audience has spoken loudly.

My problem is that he's had a million chances to change after being caught all the other times when he claimed he *knew* he said something "bad" then went on to continue to say things similar and worse.

Further it took him TWO DAYS to apologize for his comments - apparently having no idea after he said them that he had done something hideously wrong.

The only way his program will change is for him to go through the painful metamorphasis we all have to in order to deal with any bigoted ideas, beliefs and actions we've held in the past or may currently harbor.

Unfortunately, media usually totally screw this sort of dilemma up with their programming solutions.

They suddenly feature as guests a rash of visible minorities, gender/racial bias activists or politicians who want to make points by proclaiming their anti-racist, anti-sexist points of view or others whose rap we not only know but aren't really interested to hear again.

The program loses the personality of the host, which is why people tune in.

The whole point of redemption is to keep on doing his program "his way," but without racist, sexist comments. The question is whether "his way" necessarily includes racist or sexist comments.

He said it himself: "I have to grow up."

Again, the question is why he waited until he is 66 years old to decide to deal with his maturity.

Meanwhile, I'm sure one person laughing at all this falderal, someone who gets away with needlessly cruel, abusive, negative, racist and sexist remarks all the time is master lout and former drug addict Rush Limbaugh.

As odious as this man's words are, no one's talking about pulling his chain or his microphone plug.

Maybe that's because fewer people are listening.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,