The Unforced Errors of Knee-jerk Progressive Hatred
A tennis commentator fired by ESPN for supposedly making racially derogatory remarks is suing the network for wrongful dismissal. The details of the case are so ridiculous, and so revelatory of the truly racist mindset of progressive activism, that, given today’s politically correct atmosphere, one can only assume the lawsuit will somehow result in the commentator being sentenced to life in prison.
Here are the insane details: Doug Adler, providing commentary during January’s Australian Open, described Venus Williams’ aggressive style of approaching the net on her opponent’s second serves as having a “guerrilla effect.” Common sense would easily infer that this was an allusion to guerrilla warfare, a suitable description for a style of play characterized by sudden ambushes and hit-and-run tactics — such as rushing the net when one’s opponent has missed her first serve and is therefore vulnerable on the predictably more tentative second serve.
I mention what common sense would infer only to establish the contrast with what knee-jerk political correctness — which is the mortal enemy of common sense — would infer under the same circumstances. For ESPN, along with many of its public school educated viewers who had clearly been fully indoctrinated to the self-fulfilling sensitivity that sees a bigot under every bed, reflexively presumed that Adler was not describing Williams as a guerrilla, but rather a gorilla, the ultimate anti-black racial slur.
Here’s the rest of the story, from USA Today:
At the time Adler said he was speaking about Williams’ tactics and strategy and “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play.”
In a statement emailed in January to The Associated Press, ESPN said it had pulled Adler from broadcasts.
“During an Australian Open stream on ESPN3, Doug Adler should have been more careful in his word selection. He apologized and we have removed him from his remaining assignments,” the statement read.
Notice the distinctively Orwellian self-accusation in Adler’s initial explanation: he “simply and inadvertently chose the wrong word to describe her play.” What was wrong with the word “guerrilla”? Nothing, except that it sounds a lot like “gorilla.” In other words, Adler said nothing wrong at all, nothing that ought to have — or even could have — offended anyone, strictly speaking; and yet he was immediately in a defensive posture, apologizing for the sin of saying something that might have been misheard as something else by a listener with an absurdly hypersensitive mind.
And notice also the distictively Kafkaesque tone of ESPN’s official explanation of the dismissal: “Doug Adler [aka Josef K.] should have been more careful in his word selection. He apologized and we have removed him from his remaining assignments.” He is guilty only of not having been “careful” — not of saying anything actually wrong, but of saying something that might have been misheard by a paranoid hearer desperately looking for verbal sins — and, now, having apologized for his non-crime, he has been fired.
The entire situation, were it not so repulsively demonstrative of the modern progressive labyrinth in which we are all stranded without hope of escape, would be perfectly amusing, since it provides a wonderful lesson on psychological self-revelation. Adler, assessing a tennis star’s method of play during a live broadcast, spontaneously thought of a suitable (and in sports terms highly complimentary) metaphor and used it. His first thought was obviously, “Her approach is analogous to guerrilla tactics,” where the similarity in English pronunciation between guerrilla and gorilla didn’t even occurred to him until after the fact, when the self-accusatory mechanism to which we are all indoctrinated kicked in and forced him to notice how someone on a witch hunt might misconstrue his word.
In other words, Adler, so far from exhibiting racism, was apparently thinking on a plane completely free of any racial considerations whatsoever, so much so that he could use such a “loaded” word naïvely, without even considering any racial implications.
Meanwhile, ESPN instinctively overlooked the obvious, correct, and utterly non-racial meaning of Adler’s remark, leaping directly into imagining a racial slur when no rational person who was not obsessively race-conscious would ever have found one. Thus, when a few of their obviously language-challenged viewers accused Adler of calling Williams a gorilla, they wasted no time in siding with those morons and effectively and unhesitatingly criminalizing their own employee.
So who is exhibiting racism here? Adler compared Williams to a guerilla on live television, which indicates (particularly given our politically correct climate) that comparing a black woman to a gorilla was in fact the furthest thing from his mind, such that he didn’t even notice the possible racial misinterpretation until after he had spoken.
ESPN (and some viewers) heard Adler’s innocent remark and heard exactly what he didn’t say, namely that Williams, a black woman, looks like a gorilla.
The only conclusion to draw here: Adler never thought of Williams (or presumably any black woman per se) as being comparable to a gorilla, but ESPN and its viewers did, which is why they instinctively represented Adler’s comment to themselves that way. Their hypersensitivity — their indignation — was, like most true indignation, partly outrage at having one’s own weak point exposed. They heard “gorilla,” and accused Adler of saying it, because that’s what they thought when he spoke, not what he thought.
But having been exposed in their own weakness — their absurd fear of black women being thought to look like gorillas — they had no choice, in saving their face and their ego, but to follow through with their accusation, though seemingly knowing all along that the accusation had no merit. Adler had said “guerrilla.” Knowing that, but unwilling to admit the implications of the situation — namely that they are the ones with the racial stereotype issues — ESPN’s brass decided to deflect attention from their own weakness by self-righteously firing Adler for the offense of not being “careful” in his choice of word.
In fact, Adler was perfectly careful and accurate, in a perfectly non-racial, or as the politically correct folks would have it, “post-racial,” way. For his sin of not being at all racist, he was branded racially insensitive and had his career destroyed.
Personal destruction of a totally innocent man — that’s the price you pay for offending people by inadvertently revealing their moral weaknesses, in this case their obsessive concern with, and susceptibility to, racial stereotypes.
Brave new world, as they say.