' Marianne M. Jennings
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Jewish World Review Oct. 14, 1999/ 4 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Inequality and injustice: It's the big one

http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- BACK IN THE DAYS when television was racist with only the likes of Bill Cosby (I Spy and The Bill Cosby Show), Freddie Prinze (Chico and the Man), Ron Glass (Barney Miller), Robert Guillaume (Soap and Benson), Flip Wilson (The Flip Wilson Show), Bill Dana (Jose Jimenez of The Bill Dana Show), Clarence Williams III (Mod Squad), the whole cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, Fred Sanford, played by Red Foxx in Sanford & Sons, used to grab his chest when he was shocked and say, "It's the big one, Elizabeth. I'm coming home." The pounding din of illogical whines about fairness and quotas is like the slow torture of being caught in a physician's waiting room with the television tuned to Regis and Kathie Lee.

Each moment brings something more inane but you bite your tongue until the pressure builds and you stand on the arms of a waiting room chair in full view of patients, the nurse behind the glass and Blue Cross/Blue Shield shouting, "I don't blame Frank for messing around. Run for Senate or something, Kathie Lee, and let us all alone."

The big one approaches each time the quota/fairness/hate police speak. These are the knuckleheads who wouldn't surprise me if they found offense in Little Friskies cat food. They found moral outrage in excluding divorcees and abortionists from Miss America. Each day their complaints are covered as if these malcontents had discovered a cure for mental illness, which, by the way, is unjust and one of the more popular whining topics. Their notions of fairness and justice have Lucy Ricardo logic. For example, studies show that you're less likely to die if you have an accident in an SUV vehicle, but more likely to die if you're in a smaller vehicle hit by an SUV. So, what do the whiners want? To ban the safe SUV! Elizabeth, I'm coming home.

In order to avoid the big one, we need heretofore missing appropriate responses to the illogical who dominate the national conversation with their complaints. Some examples follow.

Romanian students walked from their schools in protest on September 22, 1999 with signs reading, "We want justice, not math exams." Math is going to be a pretty important part of life. Just ask the NASA engineers who blew up a billion dollar project because they forgot metric is different from inches and such.

Bill Bean whines because he was forced to play six years in the major leagues without revealing he was gay and explains, "I felt as though I had one foot in the major leagues and one on a banana peel." Billy: Does it ever dawn on you and others with self-obsession that we really don't care if you're gay? I've been at the same job for 23 years and never once discussed my sex life with anyone at work. Call me wacky, but I don't think it's a good idea to have folks at work discussing my sexual activities. Work makes for a sparkling conversation topic at work. Bill, batting averages and RBI might be good alternatives.

"New infections with H.I.V. were 'dangerously high' . . . among gay men and heterosexual women, particularly blacks and members of other minorities." Well, get me the manager! Isn't AIDS in violation of Title VII? Here's an important safety tip: AIDS is completely preventable with abstinence, monogamy, no drug use, regardless of sexual preference or race.

Julie Malveaux of USA Today reports that lenders don't lend money to blacks as often and labels it "bad policy." She wonders how, with so many credit offers available, someone of color could not have credit. Julie, a possible explanation: deadbeat? Maybe banks, like most businesses, choose to put their business where there's some prospect of a return. Banks lending money on the basis of credit worthiness won't necessarily lead to anarchy.

Judith Hansel of Toronto wrote to the Canadian Broadcast Council and demanded the demise of The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show because Bugs transformed a witch into a lovely female rabbit and then added, "Ah, sure, I know! But aren't they all witches inside?" The council, instead of wasting its time, should have said to Ms. Hansel, "Bugs rests his case with you."

The great equalizers are the worst kind of social reformers: humorless. They take from us one of life's great coping mechanisms. Last week, Mr. Clinton found himself in more hot water than even Monica and his wench mother and battling grandma got him into when he compared the warring Irish factions to two drunks in a bar. As someone who is part Irish I was offended, "What makes him think Irish folk in a bar could limit the fight to two drunks?"

For whining social reformists, there is no explanation beyond racism, gender bias or generic inequality. Complete definition along these lines and Balkanization are their goals. Television's prime list above didn't have minorities, it had performers whose excellence, not quotas, yielded careers and shows. Perhaps today quality performers have the good sense to stay away from the writers and producers who have given us South Park and Beavis and Butt-Head. Imagine complaining about exclusion from such excellence. Elizabeth, the big one is nigh.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Mr. Cantoni is a former HR executive and the president of Capstone Consulting in Scottsdale, AZ. Send your comments by clicking here.


10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

©1999, Marianne M. Jennings