Tag Archives: Twitter

Is Apology Enough for Larry Johnson’s Gay Slur?

Larry Johnson is a running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s 30 years old, which for an NFL running back is when your career is on the downside. All the more reason for him not to do what he did not once, but twice, starting Sunday night.

On his Twitter account, he questioned the credentials of his coach. Then, in an exchange with one of his Twitter followers, he used an anti gay slur. He did it again Monday, brushing off reporters when asked to comment.

A 30-year-old athlete ought to know better. Hell, a 15-year-old athlete ought to know better. He’s apologized as follows: “I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate,” he said through a spokesman. “I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said.”

Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs
Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs

Notice he didn’t apologize to the gay community.

The sporting press has noticed this mea culpa sounds a lot like the one he issued last year when he pled guilty to two counts of disturbing the peace.

Two separate and distinct memories crossed my mind when I read this story.

The first involved a guy I worked with in the post office in Manhattan. It seemed that every other word out of his mouth was an anti gay slur. “Sissy, homo, f@#&t” he would spit out, and often acted like it was funny. Not that my co-workers were particularly enlightened, but they avoided this guy at every turn. One night (I worked the night shift) I asked one of my co-workers what was wrong with this guy, why he seemed so casually homophobic.

He looked at me like I had three heads. “You don’t know?”, he asked. I shook my head. He said the homophobe was gay himself. I was dumbfounded.

Ever since then, I’ve questioned the agenda of people who use hate slurs.

The other incident involved a friend of mine who lived openly gay. His name was Donzell, and he’s since passed away. He was an ex-Marine drill sergeant, but not everyone we hung out with knew this of his career history. One guy in particular used to constantly ride him about his sexual preference.

We were on a long bus ride, and finally, Donzell snapped. He called the guy out, told him if he thought he was such a f@#^%t, how about they settle it with their hands.

The bully hadn’t counted on that. He tried to back down telling Donzell he had only been kidding, but for Donzell it was too little too late. He humiliated this guy with a string of expletives I won’t use here, to the point that he cowered to his seat, sat down meekly, and we didn’t hear another word from him on that bus trip. Afterwords, Donzell said “watch who you’re calling a f@#^%T, ’cause that f%^&#t may kick your a%$”.

Back to Larry Johnson. He’s been told to stay away from the Kansas City Chiefs while this whole thing is being investigated.

Do you buy his apology? If not, what should be his punishment?

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Can CBO News Boost the Public Option?

We’ve been hearing for quite awhile now that adding a public option to healthcare reform would break the bank. “More than a trillion dollars!!!” lawmakers screamed. And many of them were Democrats. Now comes word that a preliminary estimate from the Congressional Budget Office puts the cost of a House Democratic bill with a public option at $871 billion.

For those who like to count numbers, that’s less than the $900 billion dollar cap set by President Obama in his address to a joint session of Congress last month. But wait, there’s more good news. The Democrats’ version would also reduce the deficit in the first 10 years. The CBO report is due to drop Wednesday, and its ramifications could be far reaching. It gives House Speaker Nancy Pelosi much more ammunition in trying to get a bill with a strong public option through the House.

For reasons best known to themselves, so-called “blue dog” Democrats in the House have been arguing for the lame, government run insurance plan promoted by Republicans in both the House and Senate. Published reports say that plan won’t save as much as the one with the public option. So what will be their excuse now? Speaking of which, when will President Obama get behind the public option, for real?

We’ve said this before. Barack Obama says he favors reform with a public option. Yet he hasn’t put the full weight of his office behind it, and he lets some of his aides equivocate when asked about it. As the late Jim Morrison once opined, “The time for hesitation’s through. No time to wallow in the mire”. Let’s put this bluntly. If President Barack Obama wants to leave a lasting presidential legacy, this is it. Time to get off the dime, Mr. President. The numbers favor you, and those members of the House who have fought hard to provide adequate, affordable healthcare for all Americans.

Let the Rush Limbaughs, the Glenn Becks, the Sean Hannitys do their best. They can’t impugn the integrity of the CBO. They use numbers from the agency when it suits their purpose. Do they really want to cry socialist forever? There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the public option, but it’s not law yet. Those who favor it, and many have been doing yeoman work in their advocacy, need to raise their voices even louder.

And I’m not just talking about well known people. I’m talking about the folks who send healthcare messages in every Facebook post they make, the people who keep it alive on Twitter, the underground majority who get that this is a matter of national pride, and can’t be left to the loud, the selfish, the lawmakers whose votes are bought and paid for.

I, for one, am optimistic the public option will become law. How about you?

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Too Soon For Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?

This question should be quite the paradox for opponents of the President. Here they are, nine months into his tenure, demanding their country back and reciting a litany of sins he’s supposedly committed. Now they turn on a dime, and say nine months is entirely too short a time to award him the Nobel Peace Prize.

Maybe this award had something to do with the antipathy so many around the world felt toward his predecessor. Maybe the award is being used as an incentive to get President Obama to back up his words with deeds.

Regardless, he deserves congratulations, and Americans should feel a sense of pride that one of our own has won this prestigious award. Sadly, that won’t be the focus. The media here will give lots of time to Obama haters who will denounce the Norwegian Nobel Committee as a nest of ignorant foreigners who don’t understand what Obama has done to undermine the America they know and love. There is very little Barack Obama can do that won’t infuriate his opposition.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 winner of the prize, got it right when he said, “It’s an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all. It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama’s message of hope.” Now his challenge is to make good on that very message. On some levels, he has much work to do. Winning a peace prize while you’re deciding how many more troops to send to Afghanistan is more than a little ironic.

President Obama is only the third sitting US president to win the award, the others being Theodore Roosevelt (1906), and Woodrow Wilson (1919). Both had been in office for much longer than Obama, but this prize ought to be seen as recognition of the change in American attitude his presidency has brought to the international stage. That may not be good enough for some in the blogosphere and on social networking sites. It’s fully half of all trending topics on Twitter. One supposes it’s good news that people are paying attention.

So what does President Obama have to do to convince those doubters that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? How about bringing US troops home from Afghanistan with all deliberate speed? How about being the catalyst for worldwide acknowledgement of the threat of global warming, and actually getting something done about it? How about leading the way in an international round of nuclear disarmament?

President Obama’s promise is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Now he must prove that actions speak louder than words. Think he’s up to the task?

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