Boston has its own mini-version of the Rush Limbaugh “racist-remark” flap. Last week, a gorilla escaped from a zoo in Boston and was eventually caught near a bus stop. Two radio hosts on a sports talk station remarked that the gorilla was a “Metco gorilla” on his way to Lexington. Metco is a program by which minority students from the inner city are bused to tony suburbs for school. Thus the world came tumbling down on the two hosts, John Dennis and Gerry Callahan.
Now, the remark was dumb, especially considering the racially charged environment we live in. But the over-reaction is just as dumb. Like I said yesterday about the Rush Limbaugh episode, we have a culture steeped in a victim mentality. Dennis has apologized on air and been forced to grovel at the altar of political correctness for his mistake. He said he has to examine himself to determine what underlying motives lay hidden in heart when he said that.
The two hosts have been suspended for two weeks by the radio station, WEEI. The Boston Globe articles says, “The radio station called the remarks “insensitive and inappropriate’ and said in a statement yesterday that it hopes Metco students and parents will begin to heal.” Begin to heal? What happened to teaching kids that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”?
And what happened to the sense of humor? We’re all sitting around just waiting for someone to offend us so we can go into high dudgeon and stalk around with moral indignation.
Finally, there’s always the bit of reverse racism thrown in at the end.
Metco executive director Jean McGuire said she has tried to get the station to address a talk radio culture that she calls a “white male club.”
“That’s what’s wrong. There’s no one who says, “Who are you kidding? You need to shut up. You can’t talk like that,’” McGuire said. “It’s more than WEEI. It’s the whole culture of talk radio. It’s reprehensible.”
And so McGuire gets to say that white men are racist, that listeners of talk radio are racist. Nice double standard.