Becker: Leftists cultural revolution is epitome of hubris
Rick Becker is a leading conservative of the North Dakota legislature and joins The Dickinson Press' opinion page as a guest columnists.
I used to be a Vikings football fan. Mostly my wife was, but I enjoyed relaxing Sunday afternoons with some fun snacks, watching the game, and calming her down after they bungled the game. That ended last year with the whole social justice, virtue signaling debacle that rippled through professional sports. We were sick of it and all it represented, so when my wife said she was done with the NFL and her beloved Vikings, I signed on. Much to our surprise, we didn’t end up missing it as much as we had expected. It reminds me of when I grounded my daughter from her cell phone. It seemed the world would certainly end, but within a couple hours we were talking or playing a game. It turned out the world didn’t end. For a short while, it actually got a little better.
Last Sunday my wife and I decided to grab a burger and a beer at a local burger joint. The Vikes happened to be playing the Lions on several of the T.V.s. We watched while we ate, and I cheered them on. I wondered if maybe we might gradually get back to watching an occasional game, when it suddenly hit me. On the back of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins helmet in bold, black letters were the words “End Racism”. And that was that - a reaffirmation that I’m done with the NFL. At this point in the column, leftists should stop reading, go to social media, and begin typing, “Aha! Proof he is a racist!” For the rest of you, who are not willfully insane, let me explain why the quarterback’s meaningless platitude bothers me so.
First, it’s simply embarassingly dumb. This is the type of statement I expect to come from the lips of a third grade child. It’s a statement equally as meaningless as “End meanness”, “End hatred”, or “End stupidness”. As it turns out, “Stop hate” is actually one of the approved slogans, so my example of absurdity is not at all absurd to the NFL. Other NFL-approved slogans include, “Inspire change”, “It takes all of us”, and “Black Lives Matter”.
Second, the motivation to wear the slogan is disgusting. Yes, wearing “End Racism” on your NFL helmet is disgusting. More to my point, pandering to the social justice warrior’s demands of displaying approved virtue-signaling platitudes is disgusting. To my mind there are two possible motivations to do this, one worse than the other, depending on your perspective. The most likely motivation is as stated above; pure pandering. It’s the willingness to whore oneself out to be used like a puppet by the left, in the hope that “they” approve of you and will leave you alone to earn a living. Celebrities, athletes, and CEOs of large corporations are especially likely to be motivated in this manner. They have a big platform and a lot to lose should they ever be deemed “deplorable”. As NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson said, the NFL has a huge platform, and social justice organizations want them to use it.
What bothers me most is not their willingness to sell themselves out, rather it is they are a voluntary domino, a useful idiot in the leftist cultural revolution. Each time one of these pusillanimous celebrities and soulless CEOs bends a knee to the social justice movement, it makes it that much more difficult for the next person to withstand.
The other reasonably possible motivation is that these people actually believe they can help achieve a world without hate, a world without ignorance, a world without racism. If this is the case, they ignore the reality of humanity. It is in the nature of humanity to have the imperfections of ignorance and hatred. To believe one can change the very nature of humanity is the epitome of hubris. Instead, the best that can be hoped for is to silence the expression of what is believed to be hateful or ignorant. The only way something like this can be accomplished is through systematic coercion.
We are witnessing systematic coercion in an attempt to control speech and even thought in so many aspects of our daily lives now. It’s evil. And that’s why I’m still done with the NFL.