I looked up the official definition of the word "offended" and something caught my eye. Go on, google "offended definition" and you'll find this definition: "resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult."
Perceived insult. Not an ACTUAL insult, but a PERCEIVED insult.
To me, herein lies the problem. People's perceptions of what is offensive are driving a deeper wedge of division in our country.
Before I go any further here, let me state that, while I'm no expert, I'm pretty well versed in the history of the United States. It was the biggest portion of my major in college (Social Sciences) and I taught it in high school for many years. As I said, I'm no expert, but I'm positive I know more about the history of the United States, and specifically the Civil War, than most of the people who are protesting, destroying, and/or defacing statues all across the country.
It's my belief that the vast majority of these "protesters" have no idea of the history behind the people and/or the statues that offend them so. Does that matter? No, but it should. Shouldn't these people know enough about the person or thing they are protesting before they decide it's worthy of protest? Maybe ignorance really IS bliss.
I'm not even going to get into the validity behind some of the claims these protesters. We can't let actual facts get in the way now, can we? These protests are much more about feelings than they are facts.
Don't get me wrong, white supremacy is a fact. Racism is a fact. Police brutality is a fact. Whether it's happening at the rate some of these protesters want you to believe...well, that's NOT a fact. In 2016, 48 "unarmed" people where shot and killed by police. Of those, 46% were white, 37% were black and 17% were Hispanic.
I've yet to see anyone protest these murderous insects though. Maybe they are and the media just isn't covering it.
Maybe the media isn't covering the massive protests against the three statues of Vladimir Lenin that are standing in the United States. I mean, can't we all, regardless of race, agree that Vladimir Lenin was a much worse character than Robert E. Lee? Yet, there are three statues of him in the United States alone. But, then again, maybe having a statue of him here is a good thing and can cause people to learn more about him. Educating one's self is never a bad thing.
Look, there's always something to be offended over. ALWAYS. Sometimes you just have to look hard to find it.
But why would you want to do that? Life, my life at least, is hard and busy enough without looking for something that offends me. I've also found that, many times, if I'll try to see something from a point of view besides my own, I'll see how something could offend someone even if I don't find it offensive at all. But trying to see things from someone else's viewpoint isn't very popular these days. All that matters is the anger. The outrage. The protest.
But I digress. The wave of people being offended over things is out of control in this country. To me, and I hesitate to say this because someone will probably try to top it, but this silliness reached its apex this week when ESPN decided to pull an announcer off of a college football game in Charlottesville, Virginia between the University of Virginia and William & Mary because his name is Robert Lee. Not Robert E. Lee...the long deceased commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. But Robert Lee, Asian American.
You've. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.
But folks, this is where we are. How did we get here? I have no idea. But, if this doesn't illustrate how out of control this attitude of political correctness and not wanting to offend anyone is, nothing will.
I'm a 49 year old white American man. I love this country. I've studied it just because I wanted to learn more about the great experiment of democracy. The stories behind our Founding Fathers fascinate me. But I'm also equally fascinated and inspired by people like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Our history isn't pretty. It's littered with hatred, murder, and division.
Yet, none of that...NONE OF IT...has destroyed our country. We've managed to find things that unite us to carry us through some very dark periods in this nation's past. We are a strong people.
I have an African American friend at work. He voted for Donald Trump. I suppose that automatically makes him a racist to some, but he's not. He's a fine Christian man, a wonderful husband, father and friend. I asked him why he supposed that more people didn't focus on the amazing things people of the African American race have accomplished instead of looking back in anger. From their ancestors being captured, chained and brought across the ocean and forced into slavery to the President of the United States, the most powerful office in the history of man, in 150 years. To me, that's mind boggling.
He didn't know either.
But, since our culture seems to be so focused on the removal of things that people can somehow find offensive, I'm asking that those people please stop being so vocal in their state of being offended. I find your protests offensive. I find your political correctness offensive.
In short, I'm offended that you're offended.