Friday, January 11, 2008

BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

Benefit of the Doubt! That's what's missing from the world today. Email, blogging, media coverage--to much left to interpretation, and the end result is usually negative. People taking comments out of context, readings things into them, adding tone that isn't there, and creating a negative image of the comment's owner that isn't true. I'm as guilty as most since I've been offended via email when no offense was ever intended. The idea is to extend BOTD or ask the person for clarification before condemning them.

This morning as I watched TV, I was particularly angered by the rhetoric between Rev. Al Sharpton and another person with regard to civil rights. The issue--a news person, while covering a golf tournament on television made a comment that, in my opinion, was meant to compliment Tiger Woods. "He's so good, the only way to beat him is to lynch him." That may not be exact, but it's close enough.

Somehow this became a racial slur because of the term 'lynch'. Where is the benefit of the doubt? Doubt that the woman, under the stress of reporting on national television, actually realized she'd chosen a word that would raise the hackles of hate mongers? Do we really think she's stupid enough to jeopardize her job in that way? She knows Tiger Woods and he was in no way offended, but because her remark was viewed as racist, she has been suspended. Good grief people, what has happened to freedom of speech? I doubt people even think about race when Tiger Woods plays. His talent is amazing and he's a role model for so many.

How can a man with Reverend as a title spew such hatred and find so many mole hills to build into mountains? My question has nothing to do with his race, but rather his dynamic personality and penchant for stirring such unrest in the world. I'm puzzled how a man of God can be so negative.

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