(NOTE: I originally posted this in June 2017)
I’ve written often about the “thought police” – the people who dig for anything that might be the slightest bit “offensive” to anyone or anything, and demand it be banned from existence. Back in the 1990s, we had a radio personality here in Charlotte that began referring to this country as the “United States of the Offended” because everything was being scrutinized for offense. This radio personality has since passed away, and that might be a blessing for him. He would be amazed at how the search for offense today makes the 1990s look like Romper Room or Sesame Street.
Easily-offended people beg to be mocked. And actually, they enjoy it too. When you say something “offensive,” notice the captains of the thought police as they launch into their tirades on how offensive you are. You can see their necks stiffen, chests swell, and blood rushing through the veins in their face as they revel in their self-righteousness, being so certain they are a higher life form than you and vociferously declaring that if you don’t change and agree with them, then you are a backward, ignorant, knuckle-dragging baboon that will never survive without them “educating” you.
I look at it this way: At age 49, there’s a really good chance that more of my human existence is in the past than what is in the future. I refuse to spend whatever time I have left worrying about what others think of me, and I absolutely refuse to give up humor. There is very little in this world more entertaining than people who have no sense of humor. These self-appointed policemen who believe it is their sworn duty to tell everyone else how to think are among the most humorless. And I just love to mess with them.
Let’s not get things confused. I am very adept at being professional and I never seek to intentionally demean any particular segment of the human population. When I see someone advocating violence or harassment of anyone, I find that repulsive and quickly move to tell the agitator how wrong that is. Just because you disagree with someone on any subject – lifestyle, diet, orientation, religion, political opinion, or anything else – you don’t have the right to interfere with their lives or how they live. I’m talking about the people that are just wound so tight that when life takes the slightest deviation from what they perceive to be the perfect reality, they throw themselves into drama, histrionics and over-expression – those are the people I refer to as “begging to be mocked.”
I know several gay people. Most of them are just regular people, not prone to drama, easy to get along with. There’s this one, though… lots of drama and extreme declarations. Here’s an example: A group of us were trying to get together for dinner. Someone suggested Cracker Barrel. Everyone else said yes – except you-know-who. Turns out he had a bad experience at a Cracker Barrel, which he was convinced was because of his orientation. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say he is mistaken. But this bad experience means Cracker Barrel as a company is anti-gay, and he will never eat there again at any location. One of us asked, “Hey, you think maybe you just had one bad server or you were at one bad location? This one we’re talking about going to wasn’t the one where you had this experience.” No, was the emphatic response. “Cracker Barrel discriminates based on orientation, and if y’all are going to meet there, I won’t be joining you.” We met there anyway, and poked fun at the person that wasn’t there to defend himself. We made our own fake drama. My beverage was the last to arrive. “Whadaya think,” I wondered aloud. “Does Cracker Barrel hate albinism or do they hate disabled people?” Then, to the one non-US person in the group, I cautioned,” Watch out – if your food comes out last, you know that means they hate non-Americans in here.”
I’ve written before about the stereotypes and discrimination I have experienced as a person with a disability as well as having this specific genetic combination that produces albinism. The best advice I ever received was from my mother, who offered a very simple solution when I complained as a child about being mistreated: “There are two things you can do – sit there and make excuses, or you can take what you have and do something about it, making the most of what you have.” That has proven to be valuable advice. It put the onus on me to create my own journey without being dependent on any other person or entity, which gave me a great deal of determination. It also enabled me to get a kick out of people whose very first reaction to anything that goes wrong is to claim victimhood and scream and yell and get angry at absolutely everyone and everything.
To sum up, when you see a true injustice, take a stand against it and do whatever you can to correct it. When you see unnecessary drama, have some fun with it.