Friday, May 12, 2006

Today, I learned of an angry e-mail circulating about Andy Rooney's comments on CBS's 60 Minutes. After carefully considering the statements presented in the e-mail, actually, I don't have a seething problem with his comments. It appears Mr. Rooney may be a classic victim of ignorance (definition: lack of knowledge, awareness, and/or experience). However, for the sake of discussion and to answer questions posed from the person who originally sent me the e-mail, I've added periodic comments (my comments in color) after Mr. Rooney's below. Please read on............

Rooney--I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the UnitedCaucasianCollege Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens...Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

AR -- He's absolutely right that Jesse would be knocking down the door. Hopefully Mr. Rooney understands that the basis of forming such focused mediums to cultivate growth in the black community was because historically black people have been oppressed and unable to get assistance, acknowledgement and upliftment from mainstream resources like scholarship programs, Miss America pagaents, and new mediums. Therefore, Blacks had to create their own mediums.

Rooney--Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game.
AR -- agree

Rooney--I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, that is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE?
I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an opinion.
AR -- agree

Rooney--I have the right "NOT" to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.
AR -- agree including not being tolerant of Mr. Rooney

Rooney--When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling, it is the Law of Probability.
AR -- agree except the majority of racial profiling occurrences take place in communities where the percentages are much lower. The reality is the majority of US cities are comprised of much much lower percentages of blacks. This statement also does not account for the underlying pedagogy of white police officers who are often more likely to release a white man on a "warning" with no arrest than to extend the same to a person of color.

Rooney--I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!
AR -- agree. The dominant language in Brazil is Portuguese, Mexico is Spanish, and Japan is Japanese and you are expected to know their respective languages should you decide to visit or become a citizen of their countries.

Rooney--My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.
AR -- this statement seems irrelevant to me. Speaking another language other than the native tongue is not interpreted by me as disrespect.

Rooney--I think the police should have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word "freeze" or "stop" in English, see the above lines.
AR -- disagree. Police should heed to the rule of meeting force with equal force. Meaning a cop should only be using his firearm if the suspect is using a gun or some other deadly weapon of equal force. No cop should be shooting folks who do not display violent behavior.

Rooney--I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.
AR -- agree. The dominant language in Brazil is Portuguese, Mexico is Spanish, and Japan is Japanese and you are expected to know their respective languages should you decide to visit or become a citizen of their countries.

Rooney--We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.
AR -- again irrelevant to me because most often these challenges are coming from Americans, not non-citizens.

Rooney--I don't hate the rich; I don't pity the poor.
AR -- agree.

Rooney--I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them. I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.
AR -- agree. Mr. Gates has no legal responsibility to give $ he has earned legally to anyone. However, I suspect he gives because of a moral sense of responsibility to help another that may not be as fortunate. That's called having a heart.

Rooney--It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say "NO!"
AR -- agree.

Rooney--I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!
AR -- agree.

Rooney--I am sick of "Political Correctness." I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa; so how can they be "African-Americans"? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was from Europe. I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.
AR -- I personally refer to myself as Black, and although Mr. Rooney does not use the term European-American, I am very aware of others who do. I think there's room at the cross for us all.

OK, well those are my comments. Thanks for considering my thoughts.

Muchas gracias!
- Altrivice

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