MORNING BUZZ: Window Fall, Walenda, and Like Yesterday

Posted on: 7:48 am, June 25, 2013, by

Morning Buzz Blog

Good Morning

Waking up to quite a light show again this morning but thankfully for our house the thunder that  came with it was relatively quiet again.  I could hear the low rumbles but the kids couldn’t.  My wife has instituted what she calls “Operation White Noise” at our house.  A box fan in the hallway outside the boy’s room has helped them sleep through my leaving for work.

Work included welcoming Megan Reuther back to the desk this week while Brooke is on a well deserved vacation.  Having Megan here makes a huge difference.  A different set of eyes and a different perspective on what we do everyday is really beneficial.

Window Falls

For the second day in a row a toddler fell out of a second story window and was seriously hurt.  I can’t imagine what that feels like as a parent.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.  Our boys are in a room where the windowsills are lower…and right at the level of their beds.  I’ve spent a lot of time telling the two of them how dangerous it is…but I also installed one of those bar systems in the window so they really can’t fall out.  I am the least handy person on the planet.  if I can do it, so can you.

Flooding

As I write this the town of New Hartford is under a mandatory evacuation order because of flooding.  I can hardly believe it when they send us the rain totals for northeast Iowa!  11 inches of rain?!  I’m thinking of all those trout stream is Northeast Iowa.  There are going to be some fish that end up a long way from home after all of this is done.

Wallenda

I didn’t watch Nik Wallenda walk across the area near the Grand Canyon Sunday.  I don’t find it compelling.  All I could think as he was walking across the wire…calling out to Jesus to calm the winds…Pal, I bet Jesus is watching you right now saying, “If you don’t want to be 1500 feet up in the wind, get off the wire!”  I find myself objecting to calls for Jesus to intercede in a made for TV stunt.  I hope Jesus is busy helping people who actually need it.

Paula

I’ve been watching the Paula Deen story and doing a lot of thinking.  No one is going to win here…certainly not the cause of forwarding race relations or stopping racism altogether.

Like most questions surrounding this country’s history in the area of race and racism, this one is complicated.  That Paula Deen used a racial slur…no matter when it was is NOT OK.  I also don’t think that it makes her a racist.  Language like this is unacceptable…but I went to school in Missouri and heard it more than once…I didn’t have the courage to say anything to the people who used that kind of language….  Does that make me part of the problem?  I still have a problem with the use of the “n-word” among black people.  How is THAT use of the word OK?

John McWhorter wrote a story for Time magazine and said this:

People of Deen’s generation can neither change the past nor completely escape their roots in it, any more than the rest of us. They can apologize and mean it, as Deen seems to. They also deserve credit for owning up to past sins, as Deen did candidly when she could easily have, shall we say, whitewashed the matter.

The taboo on the N word, and associated attitudes, is appropriate. It’s certainly smarter than the goofiness of the 1800s when the terms white and dark meat emerged to avoid the possible sexual connotations of referring to breasts and thighs. However, we’re less smart when we turn taboo enforcement into implacable witch hunting, which is not thought but sport.

Deen is old and she’s sorry. She should get her job back.

Finally, why now?  I am sceptical of the motives behind this push.  The woman behind the lawsuit where these revelations came out is not even black…but she’s the one offended by the  use of this language?  In point of fact this is a sexual harassment lawsuit.  It’s a case that the Plaintiff allegedly told Deen’s lawyers she would settle for $1.2 million, or else she would make hr allegations public.

The really sad part about this is that no one used this episode as an opportunity to really talk about how this language is hurtful to so many people.  We did not use it as a way to better understand someone else’s perspective…a way to end the use of racial slurs.  Paula Deen is a plain-spoken woman who grew up in a time and place where people hung on to the antiquated/backward belief that black people were less than.   I wonder what kind of audience she could bring into a conversation about race?  How helpful would it be to have someone like Deen talking about why using the n-word is wrong?

It doesn’t matter.  This was never about forwarding the cause of race relations in America.  It was about money…plain and simple.  From the initial lawsuit to the decision to fire Deen…it’s all about money. What we will be left with is one side feeling like they’re being blamed for the sins of their Fathers and Grandfathers…and the other side feeling like once again…the majority of Americans just don’t get it.

Like Yesterday

A friend and his wife came down for the Indycar race Sunday.  I haven’t seen my College roommate Chris for four years.  He met his wife Serena while he was living in Florida, and now they’re making their life in Minneapolis….After Senior year in an apartment together and six months living in the same apartment as we started our TV careers in Duluth…we went our separate ways…

Yet, none of that matters.  You spend significant times in your life…times “growing up” with people and no amount of distance or time can diminish the way those friends know you.  They may need an update on the immediate but they rarely need a refresher on who you are or what you’re all about.  It makes it easier to talk about thing like your faults and your fears.  They’ve been around the block with you and you know they are in for the long haul.  It was great to catch up.

Have a great day,

PWD