Friday, March 17, 2017

"An Excellent Opportunity"

Sports fans have likely heard the clip from ESPN’s Max Kellerman over the last few days, comparing the Ezekiel Elliot incident to an earlier Rob Gronkowski incident. Kellerman seems to be a smart-enough guy, but his little speech is notable for the number of times he says - the two incidents aren’t really comparable, the facts don’t “map” on each other (I think I know what that means), this isn’t a good example but I want to talk about it anyway. We’ve seen this before. Is it mainly on college campuses or are those just the incidents I have run across? I think we need to talk about x. This is a really good opportunity to talk about x, not because it’s actually a good example, but because it’s in the news, and more people will hear it.

 I grant that human beings have this tendency to try and bring the conversation around to what they want to talk about, and often have reflexive things to say on a topic that they bring out whenever others get within fifty meters of it. Yet doesn’t it seem that this usually comes up in the context of racism or sexism? Even among liberals there are other issues, such as LGTB rights, wealth transfer to the 1%, and gun control. Those are subject to the reflexiveness noted above, but somehow don’t attract the same “This should be an excellent opportunity to discuss (whatever) on campus and how that impacts our whole society.”

1 comment:

jaed said...

Not sure about that. It seems to me that every time there's a widely-publicized shooting—or even a terrorist attack where the mode of attack didn't involve any shooting—we hear a chorus of "This is a teachable moment to talk about the role of guns in our society and the need for common-sense gun control." I think it happens because it's a sudden incident that gets public attention rather than because of the specific issue.

LGBT rights and the 1% are less incident-related issues—that is, we don't see as many shocking, attention-getting, widely publicized incidents related to them. I think that's why they don't get this way of thinking. (Although I notice that the attack on the Pulse dance club—which was sudden, shocking, and widely publicized—got a fair amount of "This happened because of Republican hate" talk, despite the attacker not being a Republican. I think it's a spinal reflex.)