Special Olympics and Double Standards

OK, I’m not too interested in getting into a big discussion of Obama’s Special Olympics comment on Jay Leno the other night. But for the short time that this story will be out there, it’s worth putting in my two cents.

When Bill Clinton made his South Carolina gaff; when Geraldine Ferraro made her gaff on The Today Show; when locally, Bob Lonsberry has made his many comments on the radio, I’ve always said that it’s not about whether you find the comment offensive as the speaker, but whether the listener finds the comments offensive. The same is true for Barack Obama, and irrespective of how many people are saying “come on, let’s get over it,” clearly some people found it offensive.

The Obama people are making statements of contrition, which is more than I can say for any of the aforementioned politicos. But this isn’t one of those “have my people call your people” situations: he’s going to need to just come out and put this one to bed with a heart-felt apology.

I know his handlers will say that this will “feed the beast.” I say fine: feed the beast. And at the end of this very short story, let the record show that our president had the courage to be a decent person and simply apologize for a simple mistake.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

4 replies on “Special Olympics and Double Standards”

President Obama was wrong, I agree needs to more straight-forwardly apologize, but funny thing how absolutely no attention has been paid to Mr Leno’s preceding comment when he asked President Obama, (on the assumption the President might be thoroughly disgruntled with his bowling ability), if he had “burned and torn down,” the bowling lanes yet.

So Mr Leno’s stereotypical racial slur is entirely ignored because we all know that the presumed first reaction of a possibly angry black man would be to torch the object of his anger.

Is this an example of liberal bias in the press?

That’s an interesting perspective, dadofone, I hadn’t thought of that. It did cross my mind that there was some odd assumption made about why Obama would need to burn down the bowling alley, but it didn’t linger long.

My real point being that every one of us says stupid things, I’m sure, more frequently that any of us would like to admit.

Totally agree with that. That’s been my point with all the instances I pointed to in the original article. I made the point then and I’ve made it again: it’s not up to the person who spoke to decide whose been offended, but it’s not the end of the world either. Saying something racist, as one example, doesn’t make you a racist. Mistakes happen every single day. Just say you’re sorry and let it go.

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