Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bryan Gumbel's Clubhouse

Bryan Gumbel, political bigot. "The winter olympics look like a GOP convention." My friend at work today said there may be situations in which what BG said would not be so ridiculous or egregious. I don't believe national television qualifies. Until I realized I’d misunderstood him, it sounded like he was arguing for a morality based on context. There may be contexts where bigoted slurs are less egregious, greeted with backslapping and chuckles, but they are still wrong. Asked another way, if context neutralizes bigotry, what other sins are similarly absolved? Is there a context, which excuses murder? And I distinguish war from murder. War is murderous, but not of necessity murder. Recall Clausewitz’ phrase, “War is politics by other means.” Who would submit to a murderous politics rather than go to war to preserve their own society, culture, and civilization? Asked again another way, is evil committed among friends acceptable? “ We’re all just good ol’ boys and liberal media folks here. Those GOP’ers hate the Negra’s; we all know that.” Yuck, yuck.

A context in which bigoted remarks are approved by general murmurs and nodding of heads is not a club I want to belong to. Why is Gumbel so certain that a different political class is entirely made up of bigots and segregationists acceptable?

Bryan, it’s only fair to keep blacks out of the Olympics. After all, the NBA doesn’t allow white gangs onto the basketball courts. Right…? Besides, Clarence and Condi were too busy with other things to try out for free-style skiing or skeleton luge. And everyone knows the real reason blacks don’t show up in the winter Olympics in larger numbers is the Italian cooking. Those mafia chefs in Turin make terrible fried chicken.

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