So, Yunel Escobar thought it would be cool to write "Tu ere maricon" which translates to "You are a faggot" across his face. One thing's for sure, Escobar certainly isn't the brightest crayon in the box -- and he for damn sure isn't rainbow-coloured. Because he's a homophobe, right? Hardly. He is pretty stupid though.
Earlier I was called out for using the words "retarded" and "handicapped" in a couple of tweets that referenced Escobar and his current situation. I offended someone. I apologized, and after an honest, open, and level-headed conversation I concluded that I should be more conscientious. I wasn't foolish enough to write the words across my face, but still, for what I did in the first place, I suppose I'm pretty stupid as well.
There was probably no malicious intent on Escobar's part. I'm sure he really meant no harm, as I meant no harm as well.
Escobar is a professional athlete. He is not a rookie. He is a grown man and he plays in front of thousands of fans at ball parks, and hundreds of thousands on television, daily. So why the hell would he think it would be ok to write "You are a faggot" on the eye black that he wears on his face!? Who was it directed towards? Was it malicious? Why would he do this and why did he think it would cause no harm?
For the sake of this blog post, right now it doesn't matter. All we know for sure is that what he did was incredibly stupid! It's not even remotely funny, and as a great appreciator of comedy that is what offends me most, the lack of humour and his utter stupidity! I can't fathom how someone could be so stupid. Then I reflect on the society we live in.
We poop in clean water and Jersey Shore is a top-rated show. Sure, modern day plumbing is an incredible accomplishment in engineering, but the point I'm trying to make is that we are incredibly spoiled, and we are subjected to mind-numbing mediocrity. We are subjected to mind-numbing mediocrity so much so that we begin to accept it, even enjoy it. It's like a poison and spreads like wild fire, especially amongst impressionable youth and young adults.
Shows like Jersey Shore infiltrate society and unfortunately enable a lot of people to believe that this is how a majority of young Italians behave. Seemingly every homosexual man on television is portrayed as an effeminate, limp-wristed drama queen. It often seems as though every criminal on the show Cops is black, even though obviously not every criminal is a black person.
Finally, although we are becoming aware, much of society still uses the word "retard" to refer to someone or something that is stupid, when the obvious point to make is that people with special needs are not stupid, and are underserving of this connotation. Hurtful, derogatory terms and stereotypes creep into our lives from mainstream media and the actions of our peers.
I am stupid for using terms and stereotypes like this so casually. I'm spoiled by society, and through television I've come to accept many stereotypes as being completely accurate and humorous. This is simply not always the case.
There have been rumours that the Jays organization has not been happy with Escobar's past actions, and his maturity has been questioned in the media. Amongst all this hearsay the only solid facts I've gathered from this ridiculous situation is that it was a bone-headed, moronic, ignorant, and just an incredibly stupid move, okay?
Just before a press conference, the Jays announced that they had given Yunel a three-game suspension. What!? Only three measly games!? Escobar embarrassed himself, and the entire Blue Jays organization. What a black mark on an already horrible season. Stupidity like Yunel has shown is unacceptable.
Look at me complaining, all the while I'm treading in similar waters by throwing around words that hurt and dehumanize people in similar ways. Although I used these words off the cuff and hastily, moving forward I will do my best not to use these words in distasteful ways again. Hurting people in the process is just not worth it.
That's the bottom line and important issue here. Not that what Yunel did was ridiculous, but that using stereotyped, derogatory words and phrases often hurts and dehumanizes people. For what -- a cheap laugh at best? In the face of media blow-ups like this and professional athletes making colossal mistakes -- and through my own ignorance -- I have learned that it is appropriate to look at yourself before you start spewing off high and mighty rhetoric.
My Gr. 6 teacher said: "when you point the finger at someone else you have three fingers pointing right back at yourself." At one time, he also ate chalk to prove a point. Still, I respected his teachings.