Category Archives: Jerks

Does the “N” Word have an Equivalent?, Part I

If you are a regular of my Blog, then you will recall a few posts I have had under the title “When “Ocho” is a “No No”  If you haven’t read them  – go do it now. 

Interestingly enough I actually started this post BEFORE the whole “Ocho Incident”.  This has just taken some time for me to complete because it is such a sensitive subject I have wanted to be clear on my message and get it right.  What I have found is there may be no “right” on this topic. 

I decided to put this out there, unfinished, and solicit thoughts, comments form you…..

I had a an interesting conversation via Instant Messenger the other night with my 18 year old daughter.  She is a freshman at a large university in the south and while she certainly hasn’t lived a sheltered life, she has been surprised at some of the “experiences” she has had there already.

I am not referring to drinking or the parties or even the way people act at SEC football games although the latter was eye opening for her and the former, I hope, was not something she has gotten *too* involved in.

No, I am talking about people’s attitudes toward race. 

The town we live in – the same town she grew up in –  is not very diverse even though we live within commuting distance of two moderate sized metropolitan cities.  Even so, I believe my kids have had many experiences with people who do not look like them or do not talk like them or who believe differently than they do so as not to see people’s differences as a bad thing.  Instead, I believe my wife and I have raised them to understand that these differences between people,  be it color, religion, Coke drinker v. Pepsi drinker, or whatever, are what make us all interesting and worth getting to know.  While my children are certainly not “color blind” they do not let a difference like that stop them from being humans.

But, sadly, this is not the case where my daughter goes to school.  There are still people who openly use the “N” word.  Inter-racial dating is heavily frowned upon. Minorities even practice “segregation by choice.”  Again, my daughter is no more naive than any young adult (her college room mate is black and one her best friends and prom date this year is black) but given her attitudes toward race it is shocking to her to see these things are practiced so openly.

As my IM session with my daughter continued I started asking her questions about her room mate.  A young girl from a small town in the south who was randomly put together with my daughter. All we knew about her when we took our daughter to school, was her name, where she was from, that she was salutatorian of her high school class, planning to major in chemistry and that she was black (our daughter had found a picture of her on the Internet.)

Since my daughter had mentioned how shocked she was that people used the “N” word so commonly, I asked her if she had considered asking her room mate what she thought of the word. We have all heard one black person call another this word but in reality how do black people really feel about the word?  What does it mean to a black person? And, how is it different if a non-black uses it in the same way as a black person does?

This led to my then suggesting she ask her what slang for white people do black people consider to be truly offensive in the same way that white people view the “N” word?  As I thought about what it might be (honky, cracker, red neck, whitey, bubba, ice mutant, casper) nothing really came to mind that really equaled the offensiveness of the “N” word.

So why is this? 


When “Ocho” Is A “No No”, Part II

UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLE.  That is the only way I can describe what has transpired in the past week around this.

For those who did not read “When “Ocho” Is A “No No”, and are too lazy to go back and read it, briefly here is what happened.  My son’s football team has a phenomenal football player who wears #8 and is Hispanic.  A coach on the opposing team at my son’s game last week had put in a defensive play/formation, which they called “Ocho”.  There were several cheap and late hits taken by our #8 during the game from players of the other team.  I raised my concerns that the opposing coaches choice of using “ocho” as key word sent the wrong message to the kids on thier team which led to their “unsportsmanlike” play.  When we left off I had anticipated that the Commissioner of the League would be contacted by now….

Our coach did talk with our #8 to get his perception on the other team using the term “ocho” to indicate a play clearly aimed at stopping him.  He said yes, he noticed it  and that his family noticed it too.  While it upset him and his family, they were not going to make a Federal case of it.  I told you this kid is a class act.

Our coach then told the Program Director of our league who said he would bring it up to the Commissioner of the League at the next meeting which was scheduled for this past Thursday.

On Friday evening I heard from our coach that our PD had not brought it up at the meeting.  I couldn’t believe it.  (Actually I could, as our PD has shown he has no backbone on previous issues and is more interested in being part of the “Boy’s Club” than doing his job the right way.)

I decided it was appropriate for me, as a parent, to go directly to the League Commissioner and make him aware of what had taken place in the game.  Unfortunately, the only number listed for the Commissioner was his work number and it being Saturday I was only able to reach his voice mail.  I left him a brief message, not mentioning anything about the “ocho incident” as I now refer to it but just saying I was parent of a player who had concerns regarding some things that took place at my son’s game last week and would appreciate it if he would call me.

Following this I felt it only fair to contact our PD so as to give him a head’s up that I had reached out to the Commissioner and that I intended to pursue this issue directly.  When I did this he said that the meeting had run long on Thursday and that he had not had a chance to bring it up.   Spineless.

I told him that I was disturbed that he had not felt it important enough to make sure it was raised regardless of how many other things were on the agenda.  

You will not beleivehow he responded!  All I can say is that our PD is a self centered and ignorant individual.  He was/is more concerned about how my going to the League Commissioner will make him look than whether a coach used a racial term aimed at one of our kids.

He was offended that I had gone to the League Commissioner and felt I had not shown him, as the PD, the proper respect by waiting.

I have two things to say. 

1) “Waiting for what?  The coach to do it again? Waiting for you to get around to it?  If you have some great insight as to the way this should be brought up you need to let me in on it.  You didn’t follow through on how you said you would first bring it up nor did you communicate back that you wanted to handle it in a differnet way.  And your offended?

2) You’re offended?  I am offended that you did not act on this issue quickly.   It has shown a lack of respect for one of our players, his family and any other person who was at the game as well as any other person or team who might face this opposing coach in the future and face similar treatment – both verbal and physical.

It has been over 24 hours and he has not responded.

And you know what is most amazing to me?  I am so mad about this and concerned that one of our league’s Directors isn’t taking a charge of racism more seriously that I am about to quit because I don’t want to be affiliated with it. 

 Something is seriously wrong with our society.

Stay tuned for When “Ocho” is a “No No”, Part III.


A Knee Jerk Reaction and a Jerk’s Reaction

Duncan Seeks Resignation of Election Chiefs

If you live in Maryland or even the Washington Metropolitan Area you know that there were some significant blunders with the voting process in Montgomery County (and Baltimore).  Some of you probably showed up early at the polls on your way to work ready to vote only to find out that your polling place was not prepared to take your vote.

This is because, according to The Washington Post article, “…elections officials forgot to distribute the plastic cards needed to activate the electronic voting machines.” 

Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and County Council President George L. Leventhal, being the good politicians that they are, have called for the “…the county’s top two elections officials to be fired…”

But this is the typical knee jerk reaction we get from our elected representatives. Let’s be real.  The general election is just over six weeks away.  Does anyone really think that if we were to replace everyone responsible for the election process at this point that someone new could have things fixed and ready by November 7th?

Doug, good or bad your political career is over.  Quit acting like a politician jerking your head and knee based upon the political winds.  Instead start using your common sense to guide your mouth.  It will take you a lot further when you enter the private sector.

As for the election process screw ups, some of you may wonder how the election judges could not have known they didn’t have the cards necessary to begin voting until the morning of the election.  The voting machines and everything else are delivered the night before for set up so why didn’t anyone notice the cards were missing.

I have a friend who has been working nights for several weeks helping to set up and test all the voting machines.  Apparently, the judges are not allowed to open the bags that the cards are in until that morning (this is to prevent tampering).  So the bags were there, they just didn’t have the cards in them.

Here is the good or bad part depending upon why you are reading this.

Rumor has it that the person who was responsible for checking to make sure all the right cards are in the right bags before they go out is known to have made repeated mistakes in the past.  The Washington Post says that Paul Valette had been identified “…as the elections operations manager who was supervising the staff that omitted the voting cards from the supply bags sent to precincts.”  I do not know and I am not saying, infering, implying or any other term you want to use that Mr. Vallette is the person the Rumor I heard is referring to or not.  I am just quoting the newspaper.

The Rumor also included that an individual who works with the “repeat mistake maker” has covered for him and caught his mistakes so many times in the past, that this year they refused to even double check his work.

If this Rumor is true, there are so many things wrong on so many levels. 

First, if someone is known to be incompetent in their job and have repeatedly made errors that others have had to catch, why are they still employed?  We all make mistakes, but in a position of apparent authority and importance, where do we draw the line?

Second, and honestly most concerning, if you are a government employee or even if you are a volunteer who is helping with the election process and you know someone is prone to making mistakes, why would you not either double check their work or at least alert someone else that it should be double checked?  I mean really…..

People do not take pride in their work any more.  We have become lazy and selfish.  “It’s not my job” has been joined by “I don’t get compensated for that” and “It’s not my problem.”

So while our politician’s had a knee jerk reaction to what happened, there are those in our government who were Jerks for not preventing it from happening.

All I can say is that in the pending investigation of what went wrong with the election process, I hope that the people responsible are held accountable and that the people who suspected there could be a problem but did nothing to fix it be held equally accountable.