Friday, February 14, 2014
The Pursuit of Happiness
You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You're the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy's welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they're welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We're comfortable with that.
You have probably seen this. I understand it is all over Facebook. Maybe you have seen the hateful and supportive comments all over the place as well. In a weird way, I get how so many people despise Michael Sam. They don't want to be aware that gays exist. They certainly don't want them out there in the open. I can't copy many of the responses here. Too graphic. Too hateful.
Hate exists. Humans hang on to our prejudice desperately, clinging as if we let go we will fall into the depths of despair. That the world will change. That our children will grow up in a vastly different world from ours.
Think of the hate and prejudice that we seem to have let go. SLAVERY. Although there are probably some who think it was a pretty good system and that the Blacks under slavery probably liked it that way, appreciated the room and board and the fact that they really didn't need to worry about anything and that Master took pretty good care of them and, and, and THE SOUTH IS GONNA RISE AGAIN! So, race. Don't think we have let go of that bias. Look at how minorities are over represented in our prisons and in the unemployment numbers. But look at the progress we've made.
Age. Try being middle age and looking for a job. Look through print ads or TV ads and find a middle aged person who is supposed to be energetic or sexy or beautiful. Unless you recognize them from their earlier days - older folks are never seen as models.
Religion. Watch the way people look at a woman in a burka.
Gender. Still huge gaps in wage earning power. Consider that American women couldn't vote until 1913 - just over a hundred years ago.
There are many ways we discriminate. I suppose there always will be. The human condition. But look how we have changed. Still a work in progress, don't get me wrong. When we look back at segregation we (most of us) see how narrow-minded it was to victimize based on color. When we think how recently women were allowed to own property and to vote (to most of us), it was simply ridiculous. What were we thinking?!
It is obvious that the same will be true concerning bias against LGBT rights. We WILL look back and say, "What were we thinking?"
Michael Sam isn't celebrating his sexuality the way many of the haters are making out. He just wants to be who he is. If he wants to celebrate anything, it is the freedom to be himself. We live in a free country. I thank God for that.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - The Declaration of Independence