The illustration at the top of today’s Monday Morning Memo features Indy Beagle wearing a yarmulke as he says,
“The FBI just released its hate crime statistics for 2020. Are you ready? 36% of victims were attacked for being black, 10% were attacked for being white, and 9% were attacked for being Jewish. Of all hate crimes motivated by hatred of the victims due to their religion alone, 57.5% targeted Jews, although Jews are less than 2% of the U.S. population.”
That illustration will be hotly criticized by two people.
The first person will be the one who refuses to accept the validity of the FBI’s hate crime report. They will want to “set the record straight” by telling me that the FBI report was “fake news planted by Jews,” or some other nonsense.
The second person will be outraged by the “deeply offensive” image of a dog wearing a yarmulke and accuse me of implying that Jews are dogs.
But you, since you are not looking for a reason to be outraged, knew immediately that Indy is wearing a yarmulke as a symbol of support for his Jewish friends. And because you are perceptive, you noticed long ago that Indy is black, white, and brown.
Small-minded people give themselves power by being easily offended. One person considers even the smallest request to be an attack on his or her personal freedom, and another person considers the rest of us to be asleep. Each of these believes that they alone know the true facts; they alone are awake.
Although these two persons sit at opposite extremes on the sociopolitical spectrum, they are alike in that they both have an inflated sense of self-importance, and they are both easily outraged.
I do my best to ignore them, because to pay attention to them is to give them power.
The strange thing about all of this is that I agree – in principle, at least – with both sides. I agree that we must be vigilant to protect our liberties, and I agree that we should be sensitive to the needs of others.
But the extremists on both sides have taken a good thing too far.
You will remember that I predicted all of this many years ago when I wrote Pendulum, a book about the predictable, cyclical swings in western society for the past 3,000 years.
The bad news is that it will get worse before it gets better. The good news is that it will get better.
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. Here I am. Stuck in the middle with you.*
I appreciate your companionship, your tolerance, and your sense of humor.
I like you.
Roy H. Williams
*Stuck in the Middle with You, written by Joe Egan & Gerry Rafferty in 1972 and recorded by Stealers Wheel.
Dr. Bob Nelson has worked with 80% of the Fortune 500 companies and he wants to play a game. It’s called, “Two Business Truths and a Lie.” Which of these three statements is false? (1.) Thomas Alva Edison once said: “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun. (2.) Owners and CEOs who “let loose” in the office often lose the respect of their employees. (3.) One secret of Google’s success has been their office Nerf-gun battles. Playing games and encouraging others to have a great time at work is a passion for Dr. Bob Nelson. This week, he and roving reporter Rotbart go head-to-head to see which of them has the more finely tuned lie detector. But don’t worry, it’s always all in fun at MondayMorningRadio.com