Richardson: A world without offense - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Opinion

Richardson: A world without offense

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Bill Richardson

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Posted: Monday, December 2, 2013 9:45 am | Updated: 8:46 pm, Tue Jan 28, 2014.

In his Nov. 6 AFN guest commentary, “Culture is not a costume,” Dr. Neal Lester addresses the “controversy” of the refusal of the Washington Redskins owner to change the team name to something less “offensive.”

I’m surprised he didn’t follow our President’s example after Sandy Hook and say, “If just one person is offended, we have an obligation to rename that team.”

There’s a lot to be offended by in the world…

I’m offended by our society’s current frenzy about being offended and our desire to impose our own definition of what’s offensive on everyone else.

I’m offended by people who drive slower than the speed limit and hog the left lane. I’m really offended by divers who don’t understand the traffic sign: “Slower Traffic Keep Right.”

I’m offended when our taxes are wasted and spent on programs and in ways that we’d never authorize if we knew where our money was really going.

I’m offended that we elect representatives at the federal, state, and local levels who are more concerned with their re-election, and with keeping their party in power, than they are with executing the oaths they swear upon taking office.

I’m offended that we elected a President who promised “hope and change,” to “fundamentally transform” the country, and to have the most “transparent” administration in the history of the world, without really explaining what any of that meant. I’m more offended that after four years, a majority of us still failed to understand what it meant, and we reelected him.

I’m offended when Oprah tells the world that criticism of the President is racially motivated. Of course it can’t be that his foreign policy is as bad as Jimmy Carter’s and his economic policy is as bad as Franklin Roosevelt’s. With the “post-racial” President, everything is about race. With the “post partisan” President, everything is about party politics.

I’m offended when private organizations and associations are forced to change their fundamental beliefs by the few who are “offended” by those beliefs (think Boy Scouts of America, Augusta National Golf Club, Hobby Lobby stores, and many more).

Sure, I’m offended. But how do any of these offenses impact my ability to exercise my freedoms?

How does the name of a sports team impact your ability to exercise your freedoms?

Should we denigrate anyone’s culture? No, of course not. But our children shouldn’t play Cowboys and Indians because it adversely impact the self-esteem of some Native American children? Your SELF-esteem is based on what OTHERS think?

In our society of political correctness and being offended by EVERYTHING, we seem to have forgotten that for everyone to exercise their freedoms we must TOLERATE those who act/think/believe/look/worship/vote differently from us.

You have an opinion that I don’t share; it’s your right to have it, and it doesn’t interfere with the exercise of my rights, other than I’m offended, but I accept that you have it.

Isn’t that diversity? Or does diversity only run one way?

• CPA Bill Richardson and his wife, Annelle, have lived in Ahwatukee for more than 17 years. They have four children and one grandchild.

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