The Discrimination Game – “Who’s on First?”
It is a distressing observation that the amount of prejudice in the world never decreases. The acceptable target simply moves about, giving the appearance of diminution. Groups that once were at the forefront of the discrimination game are now protected to the extent that even innocent comments are purported to be hate speech. At the same time new groups have been pushed forward until today it is impossible to be deemed a bigot when the object of discrimination is a current target, and those who wield the power designate the target.
Current acceptable targets are white people, southerners, the fat, the elderly, the religious (with the exception of Muslims who cannot be discriminated against) conservatives, Republicans who do not vote with Democrats most of the time, and scientists and other folks who do not believe that the words “global warming” should be capitalized, and those who believe the concept of irreducible complexity points to a designer of the universe. Anyone in these categories is an acceptable target, and no matter how vitriolic the attack may be, the attacker cannot be considered a bigot.
A look back in history shows that the first up at the discrimination game were the Indians, a name now forbidden and replaced with Native Americans. They were indeed here already, waiting to be offended, and the settlers readily obliged. Nothing stokes the discrimination fire like scalping.
Next in line were the Negroes, a name now also forbidden, but originally used merely as a description, not a pejorative. This was followed by a procession of names deemed acceptable at one time or another. The language moved from “Darkies,” to “Colored,” to “People of Color,” to “Blacks,” currently resting on “African-American.” It seems the degree of grievance felt by a group is directly proportional to the number of names used to describe them.
The Jews followed on the discrimination list, but the intolerance never caught on much except in a few Northeastern cities, due to the fact that the majority of Jewish people aligned themselves totally with the liberals who could not then discriminate against themselves.
The Mexicans faced regional discrimination in the Southwest which for many years was the only area in which they settled in any great numbers. The way they refer to themselves is still in a state of flux, having moved from “Mexican,” to “Chicanos,” to “Latinos,” resting somewhat uneasily on “Hispanics.”
The Chinese, who came in great numbers to help build the railroads, were next in line. Today, they prefer to be called “Asians,” even though that aligns them with non-Chinese Orientals, many of whom they themselves avoid.
Next up at the discrimination bat were the Irish, who have the distinction of being one of the last large groups on the ethnic discrimination list. They have now moved so far from the list that even Americans of English and Scottish descent claim to be Irish.
It would be a step forward if all of us could just agree that there are only two types of people in the world: honorable and dishonorable, and both come in all races and religions.
“No,” the liberal media would scream, “Why should we discriminate against the dishonorable? They should be respected just like anyone else.”
In discrimination, as in comedy, timing is everything.