By Chris Marrou
When John Adams (the beer guy’s brother) wrote many years ago that we are a nation of laws and not of men, he meant that laws should be enforced fairly and evenly, not by allowing a few powerful people to decide how they want things to end up in any given situation.
However, this does not seem to apply to the forces of political correctness. They want things to work out the way they want them, whatever the law might call for. That attitude has shown up twice this year in connection to the National Football League.
For decades, the NFL was the least politically-correct organization in the United States, which is why so many people loved it. Two teams face each other on the field for an hour of play and a winner emerges. There are no complaints about the racial makeup of the teams, no demands that teams that have won “too much” be broken up, no handing out of trophies to both sides after the Super Bowl. Men (no women) come on the field, play according to set rules, and one team wins and one loses.
But that is changing. The first big controversy this year was over the name of Washington’s NFL team. Bad enough they had named themselves the Redskins; they compounded the felony by being the team of the nation’s politically correct capital. Now, freedom of speech allows people to complain and to try to get the name changed, not that they believe in equal freedom for their opponents. But when the Patent and Trademark Office tries to take away all their trademark protection simply because the bureaucrats don’t like the name—that goes well beyond a simple disagreement and declares that free speech (having a team named the Redskins) is only what a government official decides is okay.
Another thumb on the scale of open debate is the control of most of the media by the Politically Correct. While the rest of us may debate the naming of the team around water coolers, it’s obvious TV sports people are being pressured to avoid the name completely. The word “Redskins” is heard on Sunday afternoon TV about as often as you see a “Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirt in ISIS videos. These people know that if they use the name “Redskins,” pressure groups in the networks will start a campaign to obliterate their careers.
Likewise the Ray Rice affair. Mr. Rice was arrested and charged after his assault on the mother of his child last February; later the NFL suspended him for two games, following its domestic violence rules. In other words, both the state law and NFL rules were followed, as is proper in a nation of laws and not of men. Oops, not good enough for the PC crowd. They demanded more, so the NFL changed its rule to a six-game suspension in hopes of placating them. Then the video from inside the elevator became public and the screams began anew. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice for a million-zillion games and banned him from everything but breathing. Not enough. The politically correct then demanded that Mr. Goodell resign, which makes about as much sense as firing Walmart’s CEO after the Tracey Morgan limo accident last June. But no doubt they will eventually get what they want.
Because of the lunacy we live in today, we are now required to say that we oppose spousal abuse, as if somehow everyone who objects to anything the National Organization for Women says is a closet wife-beater. But we also oppose letting people’s whims decide the future of a suspect instead of letting the law proceed. After all, even Mr. Rice’s wife thinks the current punishment has gone too far.
Not that anyone will listen.