(Ron Futrell) – During his recent State of the Union speech, the President issued a call for civility in America. Forget the fact that he once made a joke about Special Olympics kids and his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently even called his fellow liberals “f-ing retards.” The President sounded good when he scolded America for its negative tone. Oh, he also attacked Las Vegas again:
You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t go blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.
As a long-time Las Vegan and a parent of a special-needs child, I sometimes wonder if the President of the United States of America is out to get me. I’m not the paranoid type, but I’m fitting all the profiles that he likes to attack. Thank God Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman gave the president what for over his most recent attack on my city:
He’s not our friend. I don’t know about Nevada, but Las Vegas, he’s sure not our friend. He has a real psychological hang-up about the entertainment capital of the world.
Everybody says I shouldn’t say it, but I’ve got to tell you the way it is. This president is a real slow learner.
I want to assure you when he comes I will do everything I can to give him the boot back to Washington and to visit his failures back there.
Oh, I guess I’m also a “teabagger” too. I’ve been to a couple of the Tea Parties, so I’m fitting into all of the President’s disparaging categories.
Of course, the media that praise Obama for his ability to “reach across the aisle” are unable to see how divisive this President really is.
First, a note to my media friends, the word “teabagger” is totally unacceptable.
Most journalists are responsible enough to know this. Anderson Cooper used the phrase once on CNN and he quickly apologized. Many still have not. MSNBC uses the phrase so often as to make you think it sends tingles up their legs. ABC has allowed it to be used on air without being questioned. CBS has its online editor using the phrase without apologies. NPR even has a video on “Learn to Speak Tea Bag.”
Democrat politicians are using it to demean those who are part of the “Tea Party” movement. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) used it to describe the Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts and yes, even the President of the United States of America has used the word to describe Americans with whom he does not agree.
Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care?
Wasn’t it Obama who once said “words have meaning”? What does he think the word “teabag” means in this context?
The phrase is derogatory, demeaning and obscene. It is a slur against those who peacefully and respectfully use their First Amendment rights to speak out against government excess.
To my friends in the media, there is an easy answer here. If you have any sense of morality or decency, you will stop using the phrase. If you want to be taken seriously as journalists, there is no place for this. Also, challenge the politicians who use the phrase to define what it means in plain English. Ask Obama, Schumer and others to explain exactly what they mean when they use those words. Put them on the spot to defend their use of a phrase that many Americans find offensive.
Imagine a politician or a journalist using a phrase derogatory to any other group. It would not be allowed.
I’m not big on the “word police” being sent out to take down people who say offensive things to others, but when people in positions of power use words and phrases that are offensive and demeaning to others, it needs to be brought out and needs to be addressed. Right here, right now.
Mr. President, the people you call part of the “teabag” movement are your constituents. The people who live in Las Vegas whom you have chosen to single out for your derision are your constituents. My son, Troy, is one of your constituents. He is not a “retard,” or somebody who you can joke about vis a vis the Special Olympics.
He has serious special needs and has parents and many great people in the community to care for him so that he can share his indomitable spirit with us all.
You cannot offend him, because he knows not how to be offended. I would welcome you to attend a Tea Party rally in Las Vegas to find out what Americans really feel right now. I’ll bring Troy so you can meet him. This is as civil as I can be towards you because I’m actually thinking something else right now. I’ll be civil. Words have meaning.
(Mr. Futrell is a host of a radio show in Las Vegas and owns his own media relations company)