It’s been sort of a weird week. Probably deserving of a chapter in my future best selling book on community newspapering whenever I retire.
I received a “not” letter to the editor from a lady who has communicated with me before, wanting to excoriate me, but not wanting to do a signed letter to the editor. A Trump hater, she also clearly hates old, white, men, who she broad brushes as all being racist.
At least that’s what she called me, along with uneducated, ignorant and brainwashed by Fox News.
“You are an uneducated, racist, old, white man,” she told me in the note.
Over the course of 44 years as a journalist, I’ve become pretty much immune to things that would or should offend, although in this case I was pondering which I should feel offended over, if so inclined.
This woman who calls me racist, condemned me of three things I have no control over, the very definition of her own bigotry.
First, that of being old. I didn’t determine my birthday, my parents did in a fit of passion some time in late 1953. I also have no real control over the length of my life, although my fitness regimen, healthy lifestyle and relatively good genetics, will likely extend the period of time I remain old.
So this woman is ageist (bigoted toward older people).
I also have no control over the color of my skin. I wish I did. I wish I had my younger sister’s complexion. Somehow she dodged the Nordic bullet of fair skin and sort of reddish blonde hair. Actually, my Korean brother has near perfect skin for people like me who have loved being outside my entire life. Alas, it was God who presented me with skin that burns and blonde hair that bleaches out in the summer.
So this lady is a perfect example of people who judge others based solely on the color of their skin. Is that not racism?
Thirdly, unlike many today who want to nip and tuck post birth, I was born a boy child and grew into a man. Not wanting to defy nature, I am left being a man. I can’t control that either, not withstanding the fact that as I grow older, some of my male parts want to leak and not work as efficiently as they did when I was 12 and could pee over an electric fence without threat of being shocked.
So this woman is a gender bigot to boot.
Compare that to my general attitude toward life. I like my age, even with creaky bones and a right knee that complicates racquetball occasionally. I also like babies, teenagers, millennials and really old people.
I like the variety of skin colors God found pleasing to create. My grandson, who has a magnificent head of black, curly hair, lined up to wrestle a little kid recently in pee wee practice, the two locked up and his pint-sized opponent stood up and said (in complete honesty), “You have really soft hair.” He also has really beautiful skin tone.
And finally, I like men and I like women. There is really not enough time given to men on our journey on earth to study, admire and try to figure out women. People have written books on the simple act of a woman walking down the street. The first half of the book on them walking toward you, the second on them walking away.
And I’m hoping to eventually spend a long retirement hanging with my guy friends, who go from A to Z in terms of talents, interests, political thought, religious thought and the stuff they say about their wives.
So there you have it. Accused of being an old, racist, white man, I think my letter writer friend ought to take a quick look in the mirror. She might see who she apparently thinks Donald Trump is, staring back.
The second notable of my week was running into a fellow who went into a profanity-laced tirade against me over messing up his mother’s obituary. At first I thought he was screaming about something that just happened, then discovered this offense happened 35 years ago.
I’d never argue with anyone who claimed I was a screw-up at the age of 30, but at 65 and a half, I consider myself fortunate to remember what I had for lunch, let alone something that happened 35 years ago.
Perhaps venting this load of bile and bitterness gave him some closure, although when I apologized for not knowing who is mother was or remembering her death and resulting obituary, it ignited tirade Act II.
There are a couple of things I’ve been gifted with. One is the ability to seek forgiveness, the second the ability to forgive. I couldn’t do this job, as an old, racist, white guy without counting on people to forgive me and in turn never, ever burning a bridge.
My week was not as weird as the week of Nick Sabin, who is being blamed (mostly by typically clueless sports media types) for having his star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the game when the Hawaiian quarterback was tackled and suffered a freak dislocated hip injury.
I’m wondering if the coach of the Oakland Raiders was blamed when Bo Jackson’s career was ended on pretty much the same injury that Tua suffered.
Football injuries happen on the first plays of games through the last plays of games. Sabin is being blamed because sportscasters think Tua “wasn’t right” to begin with. He had an ankle sprain that kept him out of a half in a previous game. Kind of like Patrick Mahommes’ ankle injury has slowed him pretty much the last four games for the Kansas City Chiefs. Sort of like half the quarterbacks playing in the middle of the season at high school, collegiate and professional levels.
Are you injured or are you hurt? It is the age old question that lets athletes continue to play or sit and heal. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of football and occasionally really ghastly injuries occur. Tua’s dislocated hip may not rise to “ghastly” but it was nasty and it was hard to watch as trainers got him to his feet and into the Gator to be hauled off the field.
Sabin’s fault? Not likely. I do blame sports journalists for being stupid at times.