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Hobgoblins all...

Doug 'VB' Goudie
August 18, 2017 - 5:28 am

Ralph Waldo Emerson famously once said "foolish consistency is the hobgoblins of little minds."  But Emerson left us wanting; for what are we to attribute "foolish INconsistency", because there is a whole lot of that flying around after Charlottesville.  I give you three examples of what I speak.

Exhibit A: John Henry

   So John Henry announced on Thursday that he is "haunted" by the name Yawkey Way, and speaking on behalf of the Red Sox organization, he said "we ought to lead the way, and if others in the community favor a change, we would welcome it."  (Among other things, Yawkey's Red Sox were the last Major League team to sign an African-American baseball player.)  Full disclosure, I'm with Henry on this, and I would welcome a change to Big Papi way.  Here's where the "foolish inconsistency" comes into play however.  It was earlier this year when John Henry's newspaper, the Boston Globe, spearheaded the charge to save the famous 'CITGO' sign that hovers over Fenway Park.  (I lobbied for it to be changed incidentally.)  One wonders why Henry is not "haunted" by the constant homage to Venezuela and the repressive regimes that have ruled that country for years.  For Henry and the Red Sox, Venezuela is ok, Tom Yawkey not so much.

Exhibit B: Marty Walsh

   Following the events in Charlottesville and faced with the looming "free speech" rally coming to Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh tweeted out "we don't want hate in our city."  Fair enough, but two days later four Teamsters in Boston were ACQUITTED in Boston of extortion with the tv show Top Chef.  In that trial, host Padma Lakshmi testified that one of the defendants put his arm in to her car and said to her "Oh look here, what a pretty face. What a shame about that pretty face."  It also came up during the trial that Walsh's tourism chief had warned that show that they would be picketed if they did not use union employees.  After the acquittal however, Walsh was asked if that testimony contradicted Brissette's denial of having any role in the case, Walsh suggested that the answer "lay somewhere in the middle," and went on to say, "I'm glad the trial is over so we can move on."  In other words, a permitted rally (Walsh and Boston gave this same "hate group" a permit in May with seemingly no questions asked) needs to be warned about hate, but Teamsters threatening violence, well, nothing to see here.

Exhibit C: CNN

   After POTUS Trump's third statement on the events of Charlottesville, CNN commentator went on the air to say "the President of the United States has coddled white supremacy to a point where I have no hesitation in saying that he is the White Supremacist in Chief."  What makes that particularly interesting is that just a week prior to this statement, CNN FIRED Trump-supporting commentator Jeffrey Lord for tweeting the words "Seig Heil" in a mocking twitter back and forth with a critic who was calling Lord a fascist.  In firing Lord immediately, CNN said "Nazi salutes are indefensible, Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network."  Whether or not Lord should have been fired can be debated (his comments were not on air, unlike Sellers" comments), but what cannot be debated is that Lord jokingly using "Seig Heil" is "indefensible, but calling a sitting President the "White Supremacist in Chief" is perfectly defensible.  In fact, CNN never issued any statement on Sellers' words.​

  And thus, if you are keeping score at home, Venezuela, Teamsters thugs, and Trump bashing are good, but streets named after team owners, rallies that get city permits, and commentators joking with critics are abhorrent.  Again I ask Emerson, if "little minds" give us "foolish consistency", what gives us this "foolish inconsistency"?  

   More wisdom next week.


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