As we all know, we’re going through some truly unique times. Never in the history of the world, has there been a time like this. Sure, there have been pandemics, and yes, there have been protests. But never have we had both at the same time, while being fueled by social media.
Combine all these factors and we have a perfect storm of some inexplicable events and actions. I can understand the anger, and public outcry for change, and even the protests. But, we’re seeing things happening, that seem to defy logic, and honestly, I just don’t understand. So, I’ve compiled a short list of some of what I think are the most perplexing happenings.
• I don’t understand why is it wrong to stand up for our flag, and honor our grandparents who risked their lives to protect our country. NFL quarterback Drew Brees did just that and became the target of a social media firestorm, including a teammate who told Brees he was extremely self-centered and to “Shut the f-up.” I feel sorry that Brees felt he had to apologize for his comments.
• Why is is wrong to say “All Lives Matter?” Grant Napear, for 32 years, the TV voice of the Sacramento Kings, when tweeted a question about his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, had the audacity to make the comment that he thought all lives matter. Well, apparently that branded him as a racist, and he is now out of a job.
• It doesn’t make sense to me that a restaurant should have to shut down because of a menu item. An Omaha restaurant recently faced protests because of a tweet from the owners’ son that protestors didn’t like and the fact that the restaurant had a breakfast item on their menu named the Robert E. Lee. Even after agreeing to take the item off the menu, the family continued to be harassed to the point that the owner was threatened with having his skull bashed in with a bat. After 40 years in business, the owner had enough and closed the business for good.
• Why do protestors think that tearing down statues will make things better? It sure doesn’t change history. Eleven of our first 17 presidents owned slaves, including George Washington who owned over 300. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a movement to erase everything with Washington’s name. And, Mount Rushmore has already become a target. Wouldn’t it make more sense to leave these statues up and place signs about the good and the bad that these men did. Leave it up to each individual whether to honor or despise them. Or understand that times were different 200 years ago.
• I don’t understand the one-way signs on the floors of grocery stores and other businesses. I haven’t figured out how that actually keeps us any safer, especially when the majority of the time when I turn to travel those aisles, I’m the only one there. Although well intended, let’s pull those stickers up and just do our best to keep our 6-foot distance from other shoppers.
• I don’t get how sitting shoulder to shoulder now at a bar with no mask is less dangerous than getting a hair cut, which requires a mask. I understand that you’re in close quarters to your barber/stylist for quite some time — in my case, it’s less than 10 minutes — and probably a good idea to be wearing masks. But, sitting on a bar stool, having drinks will lead to less and less concern for safety as the night wears on. And for some people, they’ll get to the point that they could care less about this virus thing.
• And finally, why is it, if you disagree with someone, you’re an “idiot.” Whether you’re on the right, the left, black or white, there seems to be very little tolerance for some good old fashioned back and forth discussion. I really don’t understand why people can’t open their eyes at least a little bit and see the other persons point of view. That doesn’t mean you have to agree, but at least open your mind a bit and look into their world. You never know, you might just discover they have a good point.
Mark Rhoades is publisher of Enterprise Media Group.