Saturday, December 28, 2013

Big Difference

In 2011, a contributor on a blog called blasts as "political correctness" five things: "photographic diversity, the firing of Juan Williams, trying not to hurt the feelings of people who probably have more important things to worry about; even more name changing; coddling the children."

A common threat of disdain among conservatives for what they deride as "political correctness" (or "pc" for short) is that that it exhibits an excess of sensitivity.  However, a recent outburst in New Mexico demonstrates that a lack of insensitivity can manifest- to the difference between ongoing behavior and a single incident-can precipitate a foolish overreaction.

On December 27, Think Progress' Travis Waldron wrote

Colorado State University suspended its defensive line coach, Greg Lupfer, after the coach used a gay slur during the team’s New Mexico Bowl win over the Washington State University.

When Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday came toward Colorado State’s sideline after throwing a touchdown pass in the first quarter, Lupfer called him a “faggot.” The incident was caught by a sideline camera. Colorado State investigated it after the game and suspended Lupfer for two weeks without pay. He will also undergo educational training centered on LGBT issues.

“I accept these consequences – two weeks without pay and the training programs – and I am thankful for this second chance to continue coaching at Colorado State and be a part of the Ram Family,” Lupfer said in a statement after the suspension was announced. “I am deeply sorry for my behavior, which does not represent who I am or my values. I embrace the opportunity to participate in anger management and diversity sensitivity training. I was angry and careless with my words, and my words hurt many people. I sincerely apologize to the GLBTQ community for causing pain by using a slur without considering its meaning. I take ownership of my words and fully understand why people are very upset.”

Lupfer is probably lucky to keep his job after resorting to gay slurs. Rutgers fired basketball coach Mike Rice in April after video surfaced of him physically and verbally abusing players — he also used gay slurs and went through training programs upon losing his job. Eastern Michigan football coach Ron English used a similar slur while yelling at his team during the 2013 season and was fired.

Well, no. Greg Lupfer is not lucky to keep his job "after resorting to gay slurs" in light of the dismissal of Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice Jr. for continually, as ESPN reported it the time, "shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players and using gay slurs during practice" (video  below). Greg Lupfer needed to be disciplined for the episode (video further below),  in which

it appears the two may have made contact, but it wasn't initiated by Lupfer. It also shows Lupfer never grabbed Halliday, but another coach, assistant strength and assistant coach Rashad Harris, does touch Halliday in an attempt to separate the two and get Halliday moving back toward the field and away from the CSU sideline.

There is a huge difference between hurling gay slurs at an opposing player who approaches one's sideline and practicing physically abusive behavior over what appeared to be a period of months or, as in this description, "verbally and physically abusing college players, pushing, kicking and throwing balls at his team and calling them, among other things, 'cunts,' 'fairies,' and 'faggots.'"   Pernetti was fired, whereupon he began coaching an AAU basketball team of 12-year-old girls near his home, some 20-30 miles from Rutgers. There, he reportedly continued the approach which ended his relationship with Rutgers University.

Greg Lupfer blew up obnoxiously and irresponsibly at an opposing player; Mike Rice continually berated and assaulted his players.  There is a phenomenon of" political correctness" which needs to be ridiculed.  But while conservatives wail that it is characterized by exquisite sensitivity toward minorities (ethnic, sexual, or otherwise), the disturbing aspect is that it often makes no distinction between speech and behavior.


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