This morning I made it to the Gym and got a nice mile long swim in. All the lanes of the pool were full, which is not the usual case when I get my swim in, so I am thankful that not everyone gorged themselves yesterday to the point of not being able to do things today. The roads were not too busy, and given that in the US it is Black Friday, I expected them to be crazy. But I guess all the shoppers were already at the stores when they opened up.
The thing that got me this morning, however, was the talk in the locker room, when I had just arrived. The Gym I go to belongs to a major NC public university system. Many of the people who work out there, have a relationship with the university. I know many of the people I swim with on my Sunday morning swim are current and former professors. Anyway, the coversation I heard in the locker room went something like this:
“I guess we can make fun of the handicap now.”
“Yeah, less then 60 days until the PC error is over.”
I was shocked. They didn’t say this as a joke. They were actually happy that they would be able to start making fun of people. People who “in the Political Correct Era” it would have been inappropriate to make fun of. The three men who were talking all were older and college educated.
Last night, after our Thanksgiving dinner, we got to watch the movie “Race“. The story of JC Owens and his historic race in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. One of the storylines had to do with Avery Brundage, who worked with the US Olympic committee (ultimately heading it for 20+ years). He ended up cutting a deal with Joseph Goebbels, the head of Germany’s propaganda machine, to ensure that the US would be at the Olympics. That deal basically was that the US could bring both Jewish and African American athletes to the games, the Germans would hide much of the racists acts against the German Jews, and the US would then show up. Avery Brundage was also rewarded with the building rights for a new German embassy in Washington DC.
The movie and this morning’s comments got me thinking more and more about the underlying hatred, racism, and bigotry that nevery goes away, unless the government and everyday people step up and fight it. I hope that the “gentlemen” in the gym are wrong. I hope our error of respect and tolerence has not ended, and that people will be judged “not by the color of their skin” or other physical manifestations”, but the content of their character”.