Thursday, March 5, 2015

Live and Die By the Word

So there are a couple of stories in the news where people said stupid fucked up things and have led to serious consequences. One was the release of all those e-mails within the Ferguson MO police department revealing a prevalent culture of racism. A lot of these e-mails were alleged "jokes". The other story is former pro-baseball player Kurt Schilling laying the smack down on two radio DJs who thought they were being funny posting obscene Tweets about Kurt's daughter. People have lost jobs over these two situations. 

A few thoughts on all this:

1) The alleged humor perpetrated by these morons in both cases just wasn't funny. I'm not saying that if these e-mails and messages had been funny, that would make the inherent racism and misogyny in these cases OK. No but being funny or not is a good barometer if there are any problems with what is about to be communicated.  You may think it's funny but will anyone else? You may think your joke about black people is the height of hilarity but would you tell it to the nice black lady who teaches your kids or the black man who just fixed your car? Your tasteless comments about college co-eds may strike you as fall on your ass hilarious. But what if this was said about your daughter? Or your sister? If it would not be funny to the people targeted in the joke, then its probably not a good idea to spread it around. If you're still stupid enough to not see that or even give a damn, then you fuckin' deserve every bad thing that happens to you. Which brings me to...

2) Your employer does not have to put up with this shit. I'm sure someone somewhere is decrying the infringement of our First Amendment rights about free speech. This usually comes from people who challenge President Obama to read the Constitution. Well, if you think this a First Amendment issue, then maybe you need to go back to read the damn thing yourself. The First Amendment protects our free speech from being limited or taken away by the government. Companies and individuals don't have to give you the same leeway as set forth by the First Amendment. People and corporations have every right to protect their integrity in the world or their reputation in the marketplace. Bad press = Bad business. It's called the free market economy, people. 

The involvement of our employers in our lives outside of work may seem overtly intrusive but like it or not, we are the face of the companies and the people we work for. And here's the thing: in a pre-internet age if I voiced sentiments of the those e-mails or Tweets in a different forum, yelling from a street corner or posting an Op-Ed piece in the local paper, guess what? I'm going down. Just because we sit in isolation at our computers typing stuff 'n' junk does not mean we are really isolated. E-mails never truly go away.  And social media is a public forum, just as much as the street corner or the local paper. 

It's like singing in the car and thinking no one can see you. 

Yeah. We can totally bitchin' see you. 

Y'all be good to one another and I'll see you back here tomorrow.

Dave-El
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You 

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