Monday, August 31, 2015

What Was So Offensive?

Someone will have to explain to me what it was about what Curt Schilling said that is so outrageous that it merited even a reprimand let alone a suspension from his job at ESPN:
Curt Schilling, a star pitcher who was in the Major Leagues for 20 years and a baseball analyst for ESPN, was suspended from his Little League World Series duty after sending a controversial tweet Tuesday.

The tweet re-posted a meme that reads: "It's said only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?" The text was superimposed of a red-tinted photo of Adolf Hitler.

Schilling added, "The math is staggering when you get to true #'s."
Which part of this tweet is so offensive that it got him suspended from his job? Is it offensive to point out that the percentage of Muslims who support terrorism is about the same as the percentage of Nazis? If the stats are correct then why is Schilling wrong to point it out? If the stats are not correct is the 10% of Muslims who support terrorism too low? Is it offensive to actually underestimate the number of extremists among Muslims?

If the percentage is too high is there any evidence that it's so unreasonably high as to trigger the extraordinarily sensitive outrage sensors in the ESPN front office? Maybe the ESPN suits are offended that Schilling thinks that only 7% of Germans were Nazis. Who knows what offended them? My guess is that the mere mention of "Muslim" and "extremist" in the same paragraph is such a gross transgression against political correctness, such an egregious refusal to go along with the fantasy that Muslim extremism comprises such a vanishingly small percentage of Muslims that Schilling must be punished for flouting accepted doctrine.

There are a billion Muslims in the world. Even if only 1% of them are extremists that's ten million extremists itching for a chance to saw off your head and that of your children. That, I should think, is a significant fact.

Anyway, as is so often the case in our society, the mindless and unprincipled who care only about their image and bottom line and not at all about truth compel their subordinates to conform to absurd standards of political correctness. Schilling was made to grovel and issue an abject apology as he kissed the ring of the ESPN higher ups:
At first Schilling didn't back off from his post, but eventually he said it was wrong to post the meme.

"I understand and accept my suspension. 100% my fault. Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part," he wrote.

"Curt's tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company's perspective," ESPN said in a written statement. "We made that point very strongly to Curt and have removed him from his current Little League assignment pending further consideration."
Shameful. What Schilling should have said is, "When you can show me that there's a substantive error in what I tweeted then I'll retract it and apologize. Until then, I have nothing to apologize for and I'm not going to abase myself simply for pointing out a fact or to satisfy someone's need to publicly demonstrate their own righteousness."

No one in this society is a member of a privileged racial, ethnic, or religious group, and no one should be exempt from criticism and scrutiny, or at least that's how it should be. Unfortunately, there are some groups which, unless you're going to say something flattering about them, you risk serious censure even by mentioning. Then there are other groups which, if you say something complimentary about them, you risk suffering a barrage of name-calling.

Comedian Colin Quinn's riff on the silliness of this state of affairs is funny, but the fact that it so accurately illustrates the mindlessness that exists in our society today makes it also very sad: