Walter Mencken 1 p.m., May 1
- Community Blog
America, the Easily Offended
This country is beside itself, wringing its hands and worrying about whom it’s going to offend next. Victoria’s Secret recently had to pull its “Sexy Little Geisha” outfit because someone found the outfit tasteless and offensive to the Japanese. The outfit was a teddy with Eastern inspired floral patterns, a matching obi belt, and a fan. Who’s offended by that? It was probably someone who wasn’t even Japanese, someone who had to get insulted for the Japanese. Victoria’s Secret also inspired fury because one of their models wore an American Indian headdress and turquoise jewelry while she strutted on the catwalk. Again, who’s offended by a pretty girl in any revealing getup? I’ll bet if she had been wearing a kilt and tam-o’-shanter, no one would have been asking how dare Victoria’s Secret exploit the proud heritage of the Scottish people, reducing the noble tartan garment and sacred bonnet to objects projected as nothing more than sexual enticements.
Has our country run out of problems so completely that this is what we’ve been reduced to, worrying about lingerie companies offending high-strung minority groups? And, of course there’s always someone eager to be offended by sports teams with names such as the Redskins, the Chiefs, and the Braves. Don’t they have something more substantial to complain about? Child pornography or snuff films, just to name a few. I’m white and Indian (I’m registered on a local reservation’s tribal membership roll) and I’m not even remotely offended by these teams’ names. The names were chosen not because they inspired ridicule and incompetence but because they inspire bravery, skill, and, honor. No. I am not offended by the names of these warriors of the gridiron, but what I am offended by is when people insist that I call myself Native American. I’ve got news for you: if you were born in this country, you’re Native American too. I’m an American first and an Indian second, and, to be honest, if you’re going to call me anything that suggests race, I prefer, Injun.
Now back to the sports teams. Why isn’t anyone raising hell over Notre Dame’s “Fighting Irish” teams? The term implies stereotypical drunken Irish brawls on cobblestone streets in front of Dublin pubs, and the icing on the whole racist cake is that Notre Dame’s sports mascot is even—gasp—a leprechaun! How humiliating. The wee fellow even has his dukes up (undoubtedly, in a state of inebriation) while sporting a Donegal Walking Hat with a three-leaf clover in it. Oh, the shame. I’m surprised there isn’t a shillelagh, pot of gold, or a bowl of Lucky Charms at his feet to boot. So, the question remains, do you know why no one’s offended by Notre Dame’s sports teams name? I’ll tell you why. Because the whole idea of actually getting angry over something that was never intended to provoke anger in the first place is categorically stupid and childish. If we had been brought up to not be offended by such trivialities we wouldn’t be, but since we are … well, that’s why our country is going in the direction that it is, and, mark my words, it’s only going to get worse, not better. Perhaps in ten or fifteen years, Notre Dame will be forced to change their teams’ name to something more appropriate that truly reflects the climate of our increasingly sensitive and delicate country, something like the Accommodating Irish or the Courteous Irish, these names will be sure to not intimidate their rivals, but, of course, it won’t really matter because their rivals will have equally as preposterous names, if not worse, perhaps the Washington Whiners or the Miami Milksops.
We’re slowly but surely turning into a society of unmitigated pussies. The American men who fought in World War II and are still alive must wonder: What the hell is wrong with the younger generations? They’re just a bunch of bitching crybabies that blame everybody else for their problems.
Grow up America and, for God’s sake, act like you’ve got a pair and stop playing the perpetual victim.
If this offends anyone, don’t bother posting any of your rhetoric telling me how hurt your feelings are and how wrong you think I am, because I don’t care. If I respond, I know it will only aggravate your imagined wound and encourage you to write more self-righteous crap as well as reinforce your lifelong commitment to feeling persecuted by a callous society. If you’re determined to go through life with a huge delusional chip on your shoulder, you’re going to have to do it alone.