I didn't mean to come across as cranky or arrogant. You really are making good points about personalities and game play. I know what has sucked me in to this season is that I want to believe, hope, that people on the show, will realize a larger issue is occurring here, a social issue. Maybe, I watch because I want to believe that even though this is `just a game about winning' I want to believe the people involved in this microcosm of everyday behavior around the world, will ultimately listen to `the angels of our better nature.' To paraphrase President Lincoln. Your response to me was so kind and gentle and empathetic that you made me feel you understood my point. You empathized.Your words brought to the surface, my surface, the thing that has been driving my comments and viewpoint. I want to try to give words to and explain my passionate feelings about the issue on the show and I hope you don't mind me sharing that. So here goes, it's really a story about my father as a young boy, not older than nine or ten and what happened to him and his best friend one Sunday summer morning almost 70 years ago:
I think for some viewers our own back stories and family histories might make us see what is happening on CA in a different light. In an earlier post, in a different thread, I wrote about how Lisa's behavior, demeanor and stereotyped comments are not so easily shrugged off by those of us whose family history includes horrific experiences that began with just some `racial slur.' My Father, a quiet, kind, dignified man (and really, my hero)grew up in a time not so long ago when being cornered on the way home from anywhere could easily turn into not only a beating, but murder. His father worked in the mills during the 20's, 30's and 40's, until he fell ill. One of his common experiences at work was dealing with `nice, everyday' folks who spewed insults at him, always with a menacing undertone, this unspoken threat of something more sinister in store not only for my grandfather but more monstrously, for his children and his wife. My father is not a bitter or angry man, even though he experienced the ugliness which lies just beneath the surface of the kindest faces, those people in his hometown who weren't `really racist.' From his childhood, he has one memory that would have always remained buried to me, if it weren't for his siblings sharing it with me-when my father was nine or ten, walking to church one summer Sunday morning, he and his friend, who was white (my father is high yellow Cajun creole with a touch of Canadian) were cornered near railroad tracks by a gang of teen aged boys. Some of their fathers worked at the mill where my Grandfather was employed. You know, the co-workers who `just' taunted him now and again. These older boys were `city' boys (in reality they simply lived in a large town whereas my father and his friend lived in the countryside). The older boys surrounded them-coming from the perimeter of the woods and the only other escape route a path running along a riverbank up to an old rock bridge. My Dad and his friend heard the words first, just a few taunts...the N word, `boy' while his friend was called an `n lover', `hasn't his color rubbed off on your skin by now'. The group of boys separated into several smaller groups. Some did not physically participate but they busied themselves with threatening scenarios for my father, his friend and their collective younger siblings. The older boys who physically participated proceeded to grab my fathers friend by the arms and legs, swinging him back and forth while another group physically participating held my father back as he tried to break away to help his friend. My Father did manage to break away, falling and tripping and rolling toward his friend. But, quick as he was (he had learned how to scramble out of scrapes like this through sheer repetition) He was again caught up by the older boys who proceeded to bang my fathers head against a rail tie. The other boys, once done swinging my father's friend, forced the boys foot between a split rail and one of the metal tracks. They also tied his wrists with shoe laces. This occurred a few minutes before one of the regular trains was to come through. It was commom for my Father and his friend to cut across the tracks to get to church and this morning was no different. They, like almost all boys their age, felt invincible and it was one of those dangerous childhood rituals to dare each other to race across the tracks as the train turned the corner. But, this Sunday, all of my Fathers and his friends bravado was gone, they feared death. It was a real thing, now, The possibility they would not live to breathe more than whatever these older boys would chose to give them was now their only sure truth of the matter. Every breath, every scream, was one breath and scream closer to dying. Once the older boys heard the train, they left my father tied to a tree with belts, while his friends foot remained trapped in the rail tie and track. This small boy laughing an hour earlier in the country sun, was now wild as a trapped jackrabbit, trying , trying and trying to free his hands from the ties and knots and laces. Imagine two boys left alone like that. one trying to desperately free himself from a tree in order to help save his friend as the train, this mindless, monstrous thing, charged and bellowed without sympathy toward a little boy who could see the end of all his nine years coming toward him, without mercy. Can you imagine the panic, the terror, the screams from these two children as the sound of the speeding train came closer and closer? Neither made it to their altar boy duties that morning. Though my father was eventually found, crying ,hysterical and in shock, still tied to the tree, his friend was not found in any decent recognizable manner. In my grandparents kitchen his parents wailed the way parents wail who have not only lost their child to death, but to murder so that the little body is so broken, so violated by the violence it is a sin against innocence and beauty and purity and God. The cruelty of these older boys making sure of it. Imagine the ghost of that morning haunting my father relentlessly, carrying around with him the memory of flailing in wild terror as he helplessly struggled to save his friend. What my father as a small boy saw what his eyes refracted back into his brain and heart and soul is so horrific there are not words to give full weight to the meaning of it's abhorrent evil. And These older boys? They were called nice, they went to church and prayed to God and mowed their elderly neighbors lawns and tussled playfully with their little brothers and sisters.
We recoil in horror when we see what Nazi Germany did. But to me, the worst, most insidious kind of evil is the evil that is allowed to grow because it is excused by others as `just comments ' by people who` really aren't like that.' I contend someone who truly isn't bad would never utter any type of slur because there isn't any upside to a slur other than to demean .It's sole purpose is to diminish the dignity of another human being, another group of people. When apologists say Dayana or whoever should leave if they can't handle it. Blame the target for being too sensitive. Blame the victim because he or she knew what the atmosphere would be like. How about this? How about we decide such an atmosphere is the actual problem not the person `knowingly' walking into it? Truth be told Dayana, like most people who find themselves targets of racists or bullies in the world of childhood or adulthood, usually don't retreat whether the threat comes from a `comedian' a group of co-workers or a group of teen-aged boys. You try to stand your ground, You try to maintain your dignity, you choose to be better than the other person or people whose lips drip with poison, and sometimes murderous hatred.
As I watch this show and i read the comments excusing Lisa's behavior(which I know is not part of your post) downplaying the lack of support for Dayana as strategy or comments which seem to suggest Dayana is too sensitive I keep going back to that summer day in my Fathers life, many decades ago. I think of the older boys, known as `nice kids' who were no worse than their parents who also occasionally made low remarks. These were families who were `decent, generous, kind. They made birthday cakes, celebrated the holidays, smiled and waved to their friends and families cameras. But, the faces of evil don't look like monsters. Faces of those who hate seem strangely normal, even inviting, Evil and bigotry and racism do not suddenly, out of nowhere, start goose stepping down our streets. In order for that to happen we have to agree to let it happen by way of our silence and excuse making. Evil is a slippery, tricky, deceptive thing, smiling at us like someone we vaguely recognize as a nice person offering us home made pie and cold lemonade, welcoming us onto their sunwashedporch on a perfectly lovely August afternoon.
Which makes it so easy to dismiss or diminish or excuse the evil that slips unedited from the mouth of Lisa Lampinella Or from the mouths of those older boys from that perfect summer morning in my fathers life so many decades ago. Until the day he dies and maybe even when he is in Heaven he will carry the weight of what happened that morning. Maybe not even resting safley in the refuge of God's arms will be enough to bring a lasting salve to the deep endless wound of that memory.
So, as i watch each new week of CA unfold nothing anyone says will change my belief that what Lisa is saying and doing isn't so bad or not really her. Because I know her, she exsists in every town in every country in every nation in every era. She is what I call a small evil, the kind we bump into every day. The kind we shrug off because really, no one is actually killed. But small evils, unchecked gain strength and power every time they are ignored or dismissed as unimportant or as an acceptable part of daily life, work or a game. There is no excuse for the silence coming from every contestant and every Trump family member standing next to Dayana. These `good' people are choosing to silently stand in complicity with Lisa. How can something as insignificant as winning a game show or maintaining high ratings have more importance than speaking up for our fellow human beings? I know now why I watch, because I want one person on that show, just one person to do the right thing, because it is such an easy thing to do, to let your fellow human being know through your words and actions that what is happening to them is not acceptable and they do not deserve to have vile words hurled at them and hatred will not be tolerated or worse, excused away with all the excuses that have been used since the beginning of time to diminish words of hate. And murder little boys whether it's physical or the murder of their innocence and belief in Heaven destroying Hell.
Thank you to everyone for letting me explain why I feel as strongly as I do and why I feel as I do.
Here's a great Bible verse re: Lisa's behavior....
Luke 6:45 (this applies to men and women)
" A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
Perhaps we should form a support group. You know, uhhh, my name is RedSox Girl and I obsess over how much I hate what Lisa Lampinella represents.
You made milk come out of my nose (well okay it's actually Pepsi) when I read your last line. Omgosh, very clever and true!
Redsox girl, thank you for sharing that story. It really brings us to realize the extent and horrific consequences that this type of behavior can lead to. I think most of us lead such an average good life where such tragic things just don't occur and maybe makes us overlook it when we shouldn't. You definitely made me think hard about this and I was always shocked and negative about Lisa's behavior.
Michael Richards wasn't just punished, he was practically burned at the stake for what he did. But he caused it himself by his own choice to be so vile. Lisa should have the same kind of repercussions.
Thank you for reading and understanding where I am c0oming from. I appreciate your words very much.
redsox girl - wow. You have beautifully explained why society cannot sit back and allow - even reward (via success in their careers) - the actions of people like Lisa Lampanelli to go unchallenged. By excusing ugliness, we block out beauty.
I was brought up in a lower-middle-class blue collar neighborhood on the East Coast. In our house, racial slurs were used every day to describe people who were "not like us." I'm embarrassed to admit that I was in my 20s before I learned that the word "pollock" was a pejorative when describing a person of Polish descent; I just thought that was the equivalent of calling someone from Italy an Italian. In that environment, I learned to hate people simply because of the color of their skin or the spelling of their last name.
It was a hard journey for many years as I learned that (1) it wasn't acceptable to use those words; (2) the attitudes towards others I had learned as a child were wrong; and (3) I was the only one who could change my attitudes and behaviors. We now live in Arizona, where we encounter people of a wide range of ethnic backgrounds on a daily basis. I've overcome the need to judge or demean my coworkers or others I encounter. It is a much better way to live - with arms extended wide to reach out for a hug, rather than arms stretched out straight in front to keep others from coming close.
The only sympathy I can muster for Lisa is when I think of what an angry and sad person she must be, since she makes her money by seeming to enjoy spewing hate. I wish she - and others in the "entertainment" industry like her - would go broke because no one will pay for their "product."
Lisa is a woman and with the women's lib movement there are enough women, and maybe a few men, who think her actions are permissible because of her gender.
I personally find racism, bigotry and just bullying vile.
If Trump was as strong of a man as he claims he is, he'd be ripping up Lisa a new one. Sadly... I really think after he allowed Joan Rivers to win the show with a similar tactic (minus the racism but Joan was vile toward Annie, and played victim when Annie tried to politely make points), Lisa will be allowed to continue.
I'd fired her the moment she helped her team lose two challenges, let alone 6.