Responsibility

Would you rather be ignored or abused? OK that’s the wrong question as I’d like you to think what it would be like to be ignored AND abused? The question comes due to a football game in Chicago but this isn’t really about football or Chicago. No it is about Responsibility and America.

It starts with this shithead, the Onefan I keep hearing about…

Bears_fan_taunt_2

But then…

There is the behavior of this One fan

“Yeah,” Boyd said. “So as we’re setting up to do the interview, the
shorter Bears fan comes up, screaming, `Katrina! Katrina!’ He must’ve
been drunk. I turned and said, `Hey, I’m trying to work here.’ And
that’s when he pushes me and says it. He says the N-word. He dropped it
right on me.

“He pushes me and I push back, there wasn’t any
tape, but the guys in the [TV control] booth could see it. You could
say there was some pushing going on. He kept saying it, ugly, loud, the
N-word. Yelling it.”

Then there are accounts of Saints fans being taunted with Katrina. Such as this…

“These guys had been taunting us about Katrina the
entire time,” the Saints fan said.

“In my section, somebody asked me, ‘Oh did you
live down there.’ I said, ‘I had 11 feet of water
in my house.’ ‘Well, too bad you didn’t
drown.’

Ok drunks at a game? Well go check out the comments to a piece by Eric Zorn in the Chicago Trib
in which he asked how could it be that no one took that sign from
from the bearer and called for apologies to New Orleans. There are
commenters who say yeah the sign was bad BUT… then insert
rationalization… Saints fans were bad too, it’s football so no big
deal quit whining, just one drunk guy.
That sign also hung in the stands during the game…

Bears_sign_in_stadium

Then there are the offensively ignorant comments such as…”Can someone please explain to me how people who are
still living in FEMA trailers are able to afford Saints season tickets?
Call me cynical, but I hardly think going to a football game should be
a priority when you’re receiving government assistance.”
 

There were a few and only a few who flat out said it was wrong, they
were ashamed and they were sorry. Honestly I do believe there are many
more good folk in Chicago who would say Katrina taunting was over the
line. But the ignorant, offensive and blaming of the victim comments
from Chicago are no different than what I see elsewhere when there is a
New Orleans story.

Face it, this isn’t just Chicago. It isn’t just football. Read this from Lolis Eric Elie of the Times Picayune…

The taunts from Chicago Bears fans went beyond statements of physical
superiority or on-field dominance. These taunts reflected the extent to
which many Americans resent the people of post-Katrina New Orleans.

It’s as if they blame us for surviving the disaster that shamed America on the world stage.

There it is.

515 days ago Americans were subjected to the stark realities of
America…poverty, racism, disfunctional government…and were shamed.
It was not owned. It was not changed. Instead what ensued was a
concerted effort to blame the victim until they are no longer a victim
then they could be ignored. Should the matter arise again just Repeat
and Rinse.

There is something so very wrong in this that I struggle to even
write of it. I know if this could happen to them it could happen to any
of us. Think of the worst stereotype of your city and that will be used
against you.

I question where is responsibility in America? Is it always the next
guy’s fault and their mess to clean up? When is it mine? What should I
do? What should I realistically expect and demand of my fellow
Americans? How much can be ignored? How much ignorance, blame and abuse
can be tolerated until we stand up and say Enough? 

Hagel called upon his colleagues to do your job or go sell shoes and
I ask when do each of us do the same…take responsibility for the job
of being Americans? I don’t have the answer and I suspect people don’t
even want to hear the question. That’s the problem and it’s a sad sad
commentary on America at present.

 

19 thoughts on “Responsibility

  1. The Crapture says:

    I live in Phoenix, which is admittedly a bland and vacant place but is also positively infested with transplants from Chicago who after moving here stereotypically seem to spend endless amounts of time whining about how much better this-that-or-the-other-thing was where they came from, which always prompts me to ask “Then why don’t you go back?”
    The Chicago transplant fans around here were fucking annoying when the bears went to the superbowl back in 86 and they were immeasurably noxious during the Michael Jordan era, so the thought that some walking pork-byproduct of a bears fan would carry a sign like that is sad, but – based on the behavior of most of the chicago sports fans i’ve ever seen – not surprising. One can only hope that if the universe is in anyway just, the shitbag in that picture will asphyxiate on a bratwurst

  2. Black_Sheep_One says:

    I’m not going to answer it exactly.
    I’m going to quote (barf) Limbaugh, who was on “All Things Considered” this afternoon.
    “It’s not about getting along. It’s about … charging confiscatory fees for advertising.”
    The blowhards, the privileged peabrains, and the truly clueless who rule us, are all about destroying what is different. There was nothing more different than Whitebread Dumbassery than NOLa. They’re afraid it might come back.
    That would be the ultimate proof of what losers they are, really.

  3. pansypoo says:

    america is happy being comfortable in looking DOWN at other people. why dittoheads think they are part of the intelligencia.
    i want my civilization back, too.

  4. Elspeth R says:

    Oh, and that Chicagoan is an ASSHAT! He better hope and pray to whatever deity he believes in, probably Assholeius Majorus, that he NEVER meets a survivor from the Lower 9th Ward, or us, or ever experiences such a trauma. I mean, this destruction happened in OUR country for gods/goddesses’ sakes!!! How much of a soulless, brainless cretin can a person be??? It’s not that “ooh, the city took on some water and a tricycle was rusted out” – the Gulf Coast was TORN UP, some areas flat out DESTROYED, people DIED (but the snowflake embryos were saved!), homes DEVASTATED, lives SHATTERED…and he thinks it’s all a big (like his cholesterol level) freakin’ joke!
    I want to go up there an kick his lardy, Chicagoan, doughy butt!!!
    (thus endeth the rant…for now)
    Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding,
    Elspeth

  5. Elspeth R says:

    And another slight by our ‘dear leader’ – the fact that the largesse of assistance from around the world was either refused or absorbed into the system and either doled out to ‘friends’ or rotting in warehouses still. What would the world expect if that had been the reaction to the devastation of the tsunami the year before??? If the governmental recipients of the generosity from the rest of the world had just refused to accept help or hidden it away and moved on w/o any assistance to the victims/survivors??? There would be hell to pay. Nope, aid trucks from within our own country were held back from going in to distribute at the early critical hours after the levees broke. Residents shuttled all over the country with not even a voucher for a way to get back home to see if there even was one after the water went down. Financial aid doled out, but then when problems w/who was getting it falsely blamed on the recipients. No way home to see if you had one, and then FEMA keeps telling you it’s alright go home, we’re cutting off housing assistance (and it’s NOT alright). The housing folks locking up public housing complexes that ARE liveable and wanting to demolish them…!?!?!? And another sturdy shake of the salt container into the wound: not making Big Oil PAY the LEGALLY OWED royalties to the Feds and thus the Gulf Coast region that could use that for rebuilding and returning residents. (of course, if they did pay up, it would just go to further destroy, er, ‘rebuild’ Iraq and the coming Globally Illegal Action Against Iran. George W. Bush – he doesn’t just not care about Black people, he doesn’t care about ANY people (that is if you don’t live in gated communities on a trust fund in a job daddy got for you).
    The situation is REVOLTING! Hey duh-bya – BRING IT ON! We want OUR country BACK! Restoring New Orleans is the start!!!
    Peace out,
    Elspeth

  6. bush is not a texan says:

    To all my friends in NOLA:
    I’m sorry for the actions of “small penis obese white males” in the city of Chicago. The insensitivity of their actions and behaviors is hard to understand let alone justify. I had a personal interest in the storm as my sister’s husband’s family have lived in and around NOLA for the last 150 years, most of them were cops. Being an amateur radio operator I was able to get a personal scale of the tragedy. I spent several weeks in front of my equipment assisting anyway possible to help agencies and volunteer organizations with communication needs. In fact we even helped save some lives but not nearly enough. I’m still ashamed and appalled by the inaction of our government, an attitude that seems to be reflected by the insensitive actions in Chicago.
    It is amazing to me how little has changed in the last year as compared to the first 48 hours after the storm. That is what I’m most sorry for.

  7. Hoppy says:

    Let’s assume we all accept the national responsibility for helping the Gulf Coast and New Orleans recover from the flooding. Let’s assume we treat this like we treated WWII. Let’s assume we all have emphathy for the people of New Orleans. So, what does that dictate that we do? I think it dictates that we all dig deep in our wallets and find the money needed to get that area back to normal. If that isn’t clear, accepting responsibility for our fellow citizens in their hour of need would cost each of us some money. Now, do you understand why we all seem to prefer to blame the victims? We do worship our wallets, you know.

  8. CybScryb says:

    Given that BushCo has guaranteed a shit storm of karma to descend on us, I can only hope that the Bear Boy gets to sit and sulk on Super Bowl Sunday as Peyton and the Colts rain touchdown after touchdown upon the Windy City Whiners.
    It’s people like this guy that give America a really bad name in the world.

  9. BuggyQ says:

    I’m gonna answer it, A., because I have to believe the answer is no. I think part of the reason for the difference between the two is that Katrina was an act of nature, while 9/11 was an act of men. With a 9/11, you can get pissed of at the men responsible, you can go overseas and kick ass on the men responsible (or at least on people you decide to blame). But with Katrina, who can you get mad at? God? What good does that do?
    But you *can* get mad at the people victimized. If you can find a way to blame them, you can still feel good at the end of it all. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s a visceral thing, not a rational one.
    That’s BuggyQ’s foray into pop psychology. It may just be wishful thinking, but the alternative is too awful to accept.

  10. slim says:

    I think it’s the same as that asshole in the VA house saying African Americans should just “get over” slavery. It’s the knee-jerk defense mechanism of people who know deep down they’ve got a leg up because they’re white (men, mostly), but can’t stand to admit it because it all has to be about how they’re MEN and pulled THEMSELVES up by their own bootstraps. I saw a lot of this growing up in a 50 white/50 black southern town with rich boys born on third base drawling on about how “if they weren’t so lazy, maybe they’d get somewhere in life.”
    Jackassery doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s deep-seated micro-penis syndrome.

  11. Athenae says:

    BuggyQ, it’s funny how desperate they are to find a way to prove Katrina victims “deserved” what they got, but after the terrorist attacks nobody would have dared suggest the same.
    After 9/11, we all said, it could have been us.
    After Katrina, we all said, it’d never happen to us.
    Was it just that the Katrina victim everyone saw on TV was black, but the WTC victim everyone saw on TV was white? Was it that one was poor and the other wore a suit and tie and carried a briefcase? Are we that savage?
    Don’t answer that.
    A.

  12. scout prime says:

    We’re all embarrassed

  13. BuggyQ says:

    I wonder what people would have said if, say, Yankees fans had been taunted with a sign saying, “Boston finishing what Osama started.”
    How would that be any different? Would it be any more offensive?
    I can’t believe that anybody is even remotely trying to justify this guy, or any of the myriad other Chicago fans that behaved so poorly.
    I think Scout pegged it, though–they’re embarassed. They’re ashamed at what they saw happen, so they have to dismiss it in order to feel good about themselves again. And they feel like they can do that because they’re seeing their President do exactly the same damned thing.
    Jeebus.

  14. scout prime says:

    Spocko…I think we should offer to take him along on our trip in March

  15. Jude says:

    I can see his point.
    I mean, Chicago just bounced right back from that big fire, right?

  16. spocko says:

    You often wonder. Who is this guy? Janeane Garofalo kept wanting to understand them. What makes it okay to “unleash their Inner Archie Bunker”.
    It would be interesting to just sit down with him and see what attitudes he has that drive that callous sign. How does he justify it to himself. To others. Where does “the jackassery” come from?
    And after we answer that question we could take him to the actual destoyed homes and meet actual people who have had their lives destroyed. I’m going to bet he calls himself a Christian too. How about he connect with some Christians trying to help out in the flood ravaged area. Then when he has a conversation experience and sees how wrong such condescension and stupidity and assholitude is he can go on TV and say, “Hey, I was that jerk with this sign and I’m hear to tell you. I. WAS. WRONG. And we ALL need to understand just how horrible this was and IS and we as a nation need to stop with the assholitude toward the people there because it could be us in a heartbeat.”
    Just a thought.

  17. Ashley says:

    I have seen many signs get ripped down from stadia. Why did this one stay up?
    Evidently, the Bears, Soldier field, and the NFL don’t care.

  18. Athenae says:

    Call me cynical, but I hardly think going to a football game should be a priority when you’re receiving government assistance.
    There’s a story in here somewhere about people who are not poor having the idea of what poor people do and do not deserve, and the assumption that if you’re a Saints fan you live in a trailer, and that if you live in a trailer you shouldn’t have any fun at all, or something, but it’s just a mishmash of such condescension and stupidity and assholitude and I am mostly annoyed at my city because you can drive 10 minutes from where I live and find blocks that make the 9th Ward look luxurious, so how dare we snot at other people? Also, it burns us, the jackassery.
    A.

  19. TJ says:

    I’ve said this before, but only about two months after the storm, when we were still staying with relatives, it was clear that people thought we should have just gotten over it already, found a house, found jobs, moved on. Like that.
    There was no empathy. Of Course, this was in Bumfuck SC but still. Elie is right.

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