Red/Blue, Left/Right, Urban/Rural, Right/Wrong, Elite/Common, Smart/Dumb, Progressive/Backward
January 28, 2008
These lines have been drawn in the sand many times, probably since the beginning of time but I think today those drawing the lines are being more vocal about it and the lines are getting deeper and bolder. These days we dare not “profile”, once referred to as stereotyping, because it is deemed politically incorrect or socially unacceptable by the PC police. The trouble we get into when profiling other people isn’t so much that we are perhaps helping to define that person or group of persons but that we begin to look down our noses at them because they are different. My, we’ve come a long way haven’t we.
I’m a hunter and a strong supporter of gun rights. I fish and I love the outdoors. I grew up poor in a rural area of Western Maine. So what does that make me? Am I from a red or blue state? Am I left or right? Right or wrong? Am I common folk or a member of the elite? Progressive or relegated to always being backward? Am I smart or dumb? And what determines that? Or more accurately, who?
In all honesty, I could care less what people say and think about me. As a matter of fact, I sort of pride myself in keeping people guessing. I have no problem talking with a country boy from Maine or the head of the United Nations. They’re just people.
So why is it that we, the human, not all but some, have a need to label and profile, done in a way that demeans, criticizes, ridicules and belittles others?
Most of you probably have already heard the supposed comment that was overheard in an elevator coming from the mouth of Sen. Richard Saslaw, D-Fairfax, Virginia concerning a congressional debate over gun issues.
You can tell we’re debating a gun bill today. Half the cast of “Deliverance” is in town,
I suppose there are those who are not familiar with the movie “Deliverance”. The movie is based on a novel by James Dickey in which some businessmen from Atlanta go on a canoe trip in the northern part of Georgia and have an encounter with the likes of some “backwards”, “backwoods” people in which murder and rape ensues.
Obviously, a pretty dumb thing to say if you are a politician hoping to keep your job. Frankly, I’d get a kick out of it and if I had gotten on the same elevator with Saslaw, I’d of had him thinking he was in the back hills of Northern Georgia. Probably wouldn’t take much to scare the prejudiced be-jeepers out of him.
Now everyone is tap dancing around the issue scared to death to say or write the wrong thing about the comments. This same article linked to above says that the Washington Post published a comment later made by Saslaw.
“How do they know I was referring to them and not the other side? … Some of those people must have one hell of an inferiority complex.”
Saslaw really does believe that not only are those in support of gun rights ignorant and backwards but so are those in support of gun control. Who’s side is he on? This response is typical of today’s society never able to assume responsibility but turn the blame around. He says that if I take offense to his comment, I have an inferiority complex. Nice! What do you expect from a moron gun toter?
Even a spokesman for the Virginia republican party doesn’t want to admit that the whole world knows what Saslaw meant by his comment.
“When a member of the Virginia General Assembly makes a comment like that, I thought that it would be appropriate for him to explain himself,” spokesman Josh Noland said in an interview.
“Is he meaning the supporters of these stricter [gun] laws are like the cast of ‘Deliverance’ or the people that want to protect gun rights are like the cast of ‘Deliverance,’ and what did he mean by that?”
Are you kidding me? It makes a difference? And, “what did he mean by that?” Please. It’s clear what he meant by his comment. He believes that supporters of our Second Amendment are back woods hicks – all of us! That’s what he meant. Why pretend we don’t understand? If Saslaw isn’t careful, some of those in the halls of the Virginia Congress may grab him and tie him up and make him start squealing like a pig. That’s all we know isn’t it?
The other question I have to ask is if Josh Noland, spokesman for the Virginia republican party, was actually serious when he asked to which side of the debate was the Deliverance comment directed?
But this kind of stereotyping isn’t relegated to the state of Virginia and its politicians. Over the weekend I was reading an article in The Olympian about Montana sportsmen who were speaking up against the business practices of Cabela’s, one of this nations biggest outdoor equipment suppliers.
Some sportsmen are angry because Cabela’s has branched off into the real estate business and some think their sales practices are taking away the land access they use for hunting, fishing, etc.
In the article, it begins by setting the tone as to what the newspaper must think of Montana sportsmen. (They probably don’t care because they think Montana hunters can’t read.)
It’s a lot like a David vs. Goliath story, except that in the case of Montana sportsmen vs. Cabela’s, the underdog isn’t aiming to kill.
After all, the Cabela’s catalog might be the only “book” many of the sportsmen have read this year, and it cost them significantly more than a library card.
In case you didn’t catch that, Montana sportsmen, at least those who frequent Cabela’s, are illiterate. Now I know why Cabela’s and other hunting and fishing retailers put pictures in their catalogs.
And we can’t forget the recent rant that took place between Chris Matthews of MSNBC and NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell. This display of love and tolerance was about presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee going on a pheasant hunt in Iowa prior to the caucuses.
Matthews has probably never been out of his cement-walled office and discovered that illiterate, Deliverance-type, manhood proving, backward, common, rural, dumb people hunt. Gasp! Once he finishes his rant about republicans having to prove their manhood and pointing out that now republicans believe you have to show that you have a big gun to become president, he asked Andrea Mitchell if she is upset by this.
“Absolutely. You don’t see any women out there with a gun.”
So, to that list I created in the title to this piece, we should add Man/Woman because we now see that women are far above the red, right, rural, wrong, common, dumb, backward men who use guns.
Maybe I’m just too sensitive!