I had no clue as to if I should post this here or at Puck Drunk Love, but I figured this was my blog - I feel awkward about posting political stuff anywhere else.
Tim Thomas skipped yesterday's meeting with President Barack Obama to honor the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. Teams go to the White House all of the time, and Thomas was the team's only American. He backed out due to his political beliefs; he's fairly conservative and is disgusted with the direction that the nation's moving in, and released a statement to that effect on his Facebook page:
"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.
"This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.
"Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.
"This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT"
Heck, ok. That's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. I agree that the government's bloated and run by idiots of both parties -- I think most everyone does. But most everyone would have put team above politics and gone to the ceremony. That's not the point, though - the point is that after Thomas' statement came out, people jumped on him for his political beliefs.
In America today, GOD FORBID someone disagrees with what you believe in. Instead of asking policy questions regarding Thomas' beliefs or having a discourse on why Thomas would believe that, people immediately started to insult him. Look at the comments section of any website: "Boycott Thomas!" "Thomas is a commie!" "Thomas is a stupid Republican!" All of those are chock full of intellect, but absolutely NOTHING tops the winner that TSN's Dave Hodge came up with last night:
Don't know if it's fair to point this out, but Tim Thomas has three children named Kiley, Kelsey and Keegan.— Dave Hodge - TSN (@TSNDaveHodge) January 23, 2012
Oh, wow, really? Yep. Dave Hodge insinuated that since Thomas is a Republican, and since he didn't go shake the hand of an African American president, that he's racist. Apparently Tim Thomas is a grand wizard in the KKK. Who knew?
Absolutely nowhere in Thomas' statement does he say anything inappropriate, nor (to my knowledge) has he ever said anything of that ilk. This whole "oh, you disagree with the president so you're a RACIST CROSS BURNING HOODWEARER!" bullshit has to stop. It kills intelligent debate of issues. It kills political discourse between individuals. It kills people's faith in politics in general.
Mud slinging is nothing new, though it's gotten considerably worse as of late. Insults are what you do when you lack the brain-power to think about a situation, an issue, or a person. I can only assume that Dave Hodge lacks the linguistic skills to properly communicate his point of view that Thomas should have put politics aside and gone with his team to the White House.
God willing TSN puts their foot down on this kind of slander, or else I'm going to have to assume they're just as incapable of intelligent discourse as their employee.
EDIT: Hodge tweeted this outstanding not-an-apology tweet yesterday regarding his original statement:
To clarify, yesterday's tweet was simply a satirical, tongue-in-cheek observation meant to be humourous and not intended to be offensive.— Dave Hodge - TSN (@TSNDaveHodge) January 24, 2012
If that's your version of satire, you're certainly no Voltaire, Dave.
Hodge had to make a decision before this tweet - how to claim TT is racist, without bringing injury to his own reputation. He uses the phrase "Don't know if it's fair to point out," which alone insinuates that he knows that he is doing wrong. Then, instead of saying straight out that TT is racist, he publishes the names of his children.
He who would endanger the names of children - all of which are minors - in order to protect his reputation, are a danger not only to political conversation, but a menace to society.
I hope that TSN will correct Hodge for this, but sadly, I doubt anything will come of this. I just hope that his children do not become targets now that they've been widely exposed by this cruel online perversion or rhetoric.
@ScottyMCSS Honest to goodness, I didn't even think about the problems with tweeting Thomas' kids' names out to everyone in the free world.
I, for one, don't think that this was Hodge's idea of a joke, as his argument later claimed. If it is, then he has the crassest and least thoughtful sense of humor I've seen for a while.