A Current Events Commentary Blog from a Public Relations/Marketing Perspective.
Donald Tremblay, a PR/Marketing specialist who has been “making it rain” for over a decade reviews today’s news, sports, entertainment, etc . . .

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moderation Does Not Come Naturally

Moderation does not come naturally to humans. We over-eat. We over-drink. We even over-work and sometimes, believe it or not, over-exercise. So it is not uncommon for us to become obsessive-compulsive when defending a concept or goal that society finds worthy, such as treating people as individuals and not stereotyping them as a group. Unfortunately, this passionate devotion to an ideal can often blind us to reality.

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times discussed how alleged Ft. Hood murderer, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, “repeatedly earned favorable performance ratings in spite of mounting concerns about his views and behavior.” The article points to problems with the evaluation system itself, such as a “culture that encourages mainly positive reviews”. Several anonymous officers said the culture “has undercut the usefulness of the system for evaluating officers' strengths and weaknesses”. But let’s not kid ourselves. We all know why Hasan was treated with kid gloves.

In our efforts to avoid labeling people, we purposely ignore evidence staring us in the face. It is safer to hold hands and sing Kumbaya than to risk being called intolerant. The truth is that in Hasan’s case, none of his superiors wanted to risk their own careers by exposing him. In today’s world accusations of discrimination are occupational murder. Many people would rather ignore what they see than be labeled racist, sexist or any other “ist”. So despite being accused of shirking his professional responsibilities as a psychiatrist, proselytizing to patients, and repeatedly expressing his extremist Islamic views, Hasan continually earned a free pass from his superiors. Many would characterize it as a game of “pass the buck”, but it is more accurately a case of “hot potato”.

I have a friend who is a black Roman Catholic priest. He chuckles when he recalls his seminary days. As a seminarian his orthodox views often conflicted with the views of the more liberal clergy who taught his classes. Often their teachings were in opposition to Church doctrine and dogma. My friend would think nothing of berating the teachers for their contrary views, because he knew that as a black seminarian he was, in his own words, “untouchable”. The liberal clergy would make the lives of white seminarians miserable when they expressed similar views and aggressively defended them. My friend knew that a racist label against any of these clergy would ruin their cushy academic lives. So rather than single out my friend, they bit their tongues and moved him along. Whether or not you agree with my friend (as I do) for challenging the liberal clergy, he should not have been treated any differently than the white seminarians. But that is not today’s reality.

40 or 50 years ago the pendulum swung in the extreme direction of allowing racism and sexism. Now it is swinging just as extremely in the opposite direction, classifying anyone who does not subscribe to political correctness as an “ist” to be removed like a cancerous tumor. Perhaps sometime in the near future the pendulum will settle somewhere in the middle . . . although, given our track record for overdoing things that does not seem very likely.


Need a PR Specialist? Perhaps my 13 years of PR experience can satisfy those needs. I have publicized world champions such as Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield, and mega-events like Lewis-Tyson and De la Hoya-Vargas. Contact Donald Tremblay (The Rain Maker) at 718-664-3405 or at dtremblay@earthlink.net. For more info about me visit my LinkedIn Profile.

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