Help Me See, Make Me Think, But Don’t Make Me Cringe!
I'm cringing. I don't like cringing. If I'm cringing it means somebody has said or written something really silly, simplistic, clueless, stupid, mean or insensitive that didn't have to be said. As a radio talk show host I'm sure I have said a lot of stuff over the last 20 years that has probably made some people cringe, but I can assure you that I consciously try hard every single day to avoid being cringe-worthy.
Today's Cringe #1 Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia apologized yesterday for her recent comparison of members of Congress being required to wear face masks in the House to the Jewish Holocaust. Think about that for a moment. In the most simplistic and clueless comparison, the House members were told they had to wear masks while Greene compared that to, "a time and history where people were told to wear a gold star."
Supposedly, (I say supposedly because it was Speaker Pelosi and can you take anything she says at face value?) but supposedly the mask mandate was intended to stop the Coronavirus and to help keep House members alive -- while the gold star singled out the Jews and marked them for extermination at death camps.
Somebody with a greater ability to read a room than she, must have gotten through to her because her apology was clear and even seemed sincere "I’m truly sorry for offending people with remarks about the Holocaust. There’s no comparison and there never ever will be." Yah think? People make mistakes. This seems more than that ....(sigh)....but it certainly qualifies as cringe-worthy.
Today's Cringe #2 My response to this may make you cringe yourself. That's OK, I will knowingly take that risk. Cringe two is the editorial in today's (6/15/21) Yakima Herald Republic (YHR) titled - Why Would A Rainbow On A Flag Threaten You?
In my opinion (isn't that what editorials are?) the editorial misses the mark about some people's reaction to the City Council voting to fly the gay pride rainbow flag --on the same pole as the American Flag or even to fly it all. Let me be clear. I am offended, not threatened.
The opening sentence of the YHR editorial reads - "You have to wonder how a simple rectangular cloth elicits such visceral reactions."
You do? You have to wonder? What about the American flag flying above the pride flag? It's a rectangular piece of cloth too. Do you wonder about the emotions that flag engenders too? I'm gonna guess that the two flags are interchangeable in value as far as the editorial board is concerned and that's too bad and part of the reason why they "have to wonder" about other people's reactions.
YHR- "It doesn't have any letters, stars, skulls, sickles, slogans or menacing-looking snakes. Just some bright stripes--the colors of the rainbow."
That's simplistic and naive. So it's the images on the flag that are somehow the problem? People don't react to the coiled timber rattlesnake on the Gadsden "Don't Tread On Me flag". Ophidiophobia is not what's in play. The message is not "Watch Out For Snakes." The message is you better watch yourself. The message is back off.
Besides words or snakes or whatever the image, flags do carry a message and the decision whether to deploy a flag also carries a message. The Council said let's put this flag up and let's put it right here. They are showing their colors in posting those colors, but like the Whitehouse, City Hall is the people's house, not the residence of the council and a blank canvass for expressing personal opinions about social issues. The American Flag is our national emblem. The gay pride flag is a collection of colors chosen by a coalition of individuals with multiple varying sexual lifestyle choices. See a difference?
"The level of vitriol is hard to grasp." writes the editorialists. After all, it's just the colors of a rainbow, applied in this context for the past 40+ years. Some of us grasp it just fine...kind of along the lines of grasping the tone deaf, lunacy and insanity of comparing protective health masks to the markers for death of more than 6 million innocent human beings.
As recently as 2004 President Obama opposed same sex-marriage. Public polling in support of same sex marriage didn't reach 50% until 2011. And in case the YHR hadn't noticed, there is a big difference between allowing for the legality of same sex marriage and full on support for all the LGBTQ lifestyles entail today.
A lot of people who oppose that prominent placement of the rainbow pride flag do so for deeply held personal religious beliefs. I don't suppose the YHR editorial board finds that easy to grasp either?
The bottom line comes at the bottom of the editorial." No one wants anyone telling us who we can or can't be with. And within obvious limits, how your neighbors--whatever their sexual orientation--express their love isn't anybody else's business either."
You are right YHR, it isn't any of my business, and I don't want it to be, so why do I have to daily witness the flag that you wrote represents "in honor of ...commemorating" the sexual nature of others, which you agree is none of my business? Where is the logic in that? It is a private matter and I will proudly yell that from the rooftops?? C'mon man.
Why celebrate something that is none of anyone else's business? If pride flags are acceptable, what about any and all other alternative lifestyle flags? Where is the cannibal flag, The nambla flag? Remember today's taboo is tomorrow's next new flag. Oh and by the way, where is the "I'm proud of the overwhelming majority of heterosexual people's" flag? Where's that flag flying? I thought equity was a thing now?
Let's not kid ourselves, the pride in "pride month" isn't about taking pride in being a good person, keeping a nice lawn or helping out at the food bank. It is about sexuality and the last time I looked, this is still the Yakima Valley, not Amsterdam.
So be with whomever you want. You won't get any hassle about it from people like me. You don't have to stay in the closet on our account but you do need to accept and respect our opinions as much as you want us to accept and respect yours. So let's agree to this -- We won't put up the "pro-hetero-handbills" and you take down your rainbow flag from the pole hanging right next to Old Glory. Fly it at your place if you must make a declaration about that which is nobody's business but your own.
Yah, I'm cringing.
You are right YHR, "We do all enjoy a good rainbow". For some, it's a symbol of victory over a couple thousand years of religious teachings and society norms and values.
For others, like me, seeing the rainbow means God is once again true to his word in Genesis 9:8–17 and the physical storm is over and earths future is secure
Our government says we can't fly the rainbow flag with that meaning of heavenly reassurance on the pole next to the stars and stripes. So why should the rainbow flag celebrating alternate sexuality be allowed to fly there instead? Can you grasp the frustration in that YHR?
And yes, we caught the dig about any flag symbolizing support for causes or groups attempting to overthrow the United States. That's a cringe for another day.