THE P.C. Police are at it again....

Discussion in 'Free Speech Alley' started by bayareatiger, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. bayareatiger

    bayareatiger If it's too loud YOU'RE TOO OLD

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    From today's SF Chronicle:

    More buffoonery from the PC crowd:

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/07/02/SPGEE7FRAQ1.DTL

    Needed lesson in diversity for 49ers

    by Gwen Knapp

    Randee Drew met Ronnie Heard, a fellow defensive back on the 49ers, and assumed that they had a lot in common. They were both young African- American males in the NFL, so they must have grown up the same way.

    "I didn't know Ronnie, and he said he came from a nice house in the suburbs,'' said Drew, a rookie who was reared in a Milwaukee housing project. "I kind of assumed that most black athletes that are on this level came from nothing.''

    He learned otherwise during a diversity workshop the 49ers held for all their players a few weeks ago. Every member of the team was required to attend, for roughly 2 1/2 hours after a minicamp practice. As you can imagine, the enthusiasm level was low. They expected lectures, platitudes and a hard time staying awake.

    "It ended up being really interesting,'' Heard said. "I think all of us were surprised. It really gave us a chance to get know each other better, and see what we had in common.''

    Heard and Drew discovered that they both attended schools with very few other African Americans -- Heard in his suburban Houston neighborhood, Drew in a special program that placed him in a predominantly white school outside Milwaukee. Both have brothers who require extra guidance from them every now and then, and both heard the same ridiculous comments when they signed to play in America's gay capital.

    "Be careful out there,'' Drew said, mimicking and rolling his eyes. "Make sure you don't end up with the wrong person. Check for the Adam's apple.''

    He went on a bit longer, drolly mocking homophobia with a lot more sophistication than most people might expect to find in NFL rookies.

    The team decided to hold its diversity seminar after two episodes that portrayed the club as hostile to gays: running back Garrison Hearst's public comments two seasons ago about never being able to accept a gay teammate, for which he later apologized, and a recent ESPN article about retired trainer Lindsy McLean, who talked about abuse he faced as a gay man working with pro athletes.

    Hearst later apologized for his remarks, as did the team's front office, and McLean described happy moments in his career, when enlightenment trumped ignorance. But the impression still remained: Homophobia was more protected in an NFL locker room, even in San Francisco, than the dignity of people who didn't match rigid standards of masculinity, or whatever else modern football players expect from each other.

    At least one group of community activists contacted the team after the article on McLean and asked what management planned to do to educate its players. Plans for the diversity workshop took shape shortly after that.

    "The idea wasn't to try to change people's minds or focusing on one thing, '' said Guy McIntyre, a former 49ers offensive lineman who is now the club's director of player programs. "It was about changing our understanding, honestly studying what diversity means in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and background and a lot of other parts of our lives.''

    Charles Whitcomb, a vice provost at San Jose State and former Washington State football player, conducted the session. He has run similar seminars for other organizations, but only one other sports team, the Kansas City Royals.

    The players saw a 12-minute clip from a film called "Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes,'' which shows a teacher breaking a classroom into groups, designating one as superior based on eye color. The film has been used extensively, from corporate headquarters to the "Oprah Winfrey Show," to reveal how easily people accept what they are told about group identity.

    Then the players were asked to list five prominent white Americans, black Americans, gay Americans, Latino and Native Americans. They were asked to include women.

    Heard and Drew said everyone was able to shout out names in the first two groups, but they got stuck pretty quickly after that. They laughed as they described their feeble attempts to name prominent gay, Latino and Native American women.

    "Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres.'' "Jennifer Lopez.'' "Pocahontas.''

    "I thought I knew more than that,'' Heard said.

    "I felt like I needed to go read a book,'' Drew said.


    The moderators pointed out to them that they were partly limited by definitions of prominence. Who taught them what that meant, and why?

    In the next stage, they broke down into groups of four, talking about their backgrounds. That was where Drew learned that Heard didn't fit his stereotype of a black pro athlete.

    As the two of them talked about the seminar, they seemed loose, comfortable. They brought up homophobia very early. I assumed, unfairly, that they would try to duck the topic. I asked whether either of them had been worried about doing an interview on subjects that often get athletes into trouble.

    "I didn't even know I was going to be doing an interview,'' Drew said. "I was waiting for him to drive me to get a haircut.''

    The seminar told them a lot of things they already knew, but it did reveal how ignorance of diversity can undercut team unity.

    "Someone might make a stupid comment about homosexuals in the locker room, '' Heard said, "and you have no idea who is hearing it. You don't know who is gay, or who has a family member who's gay. Nobody says anything, and then you go out on the practice field, and this person's still mad, and he goes after the other guy. Now, you've got a fight, and nobody knows why.''

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is getting RIDICULOUS. OK, name me a prominent Polish-American. Or how about a prominent Chinese-American. (Yes, Wen Ho Lee and Vera Wang count). Or, what about a famous polygamist?

    The reason why we don't know people of a specific "group" is because they haven't done anything of note, OR they just consider themselves "Americans" and don't feel that its everyone's right to know what their sexual preference is.

    PERIOD.

    Why do we have to know anybody of ANY particular heritage, sexual preference, etc. if they have made no prominent contributions to society & mankind?

    And wasn't the point of all of these PC folks to make everybody "the same" with the "same rights"? If so, why do we NOW have to know that they are different? It wasn't important what ethnic backgrounds or sexual preference because they ALL WANTED TO BE EQUAL then WHY is it being made such a big deal in programs like this now???

    We want to be equals...BUT LET US CELEBRATE OUR DIVERSITY IN YOUR FACE and let us show YOUR culture why OURS is better...because YOUR culture doesn't understand OR appreciate OUR culture....

    You CAN'T have it both ways, folks...

    Unless you want to make yourselves look AWFULLY foolish...

    Which is what PC does BEST, in my estimation....
    :dis: :dis: :dis:
     
  2. Bengal B

    Bengal B Founding Member

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    Not only do the 69ers have to worry about their football team, they have to do it in a way that dosen't hurt the sniveling feelings of anybody in the Gay Bay area. What the hell is the NFL coming too?
     

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