Get Your Shit Together, Everyone In North Texas.
Dear All of North Texas,
How is everyone doing today? Struggling toward that Memorial Day weekend reward that still just seems a little out of your grasp?
Well, judging by what's been happening around here of late, it seems like we could all use the break.
Over the past few days, North Texas has shown its ass — repeatedly and with gusto — to stupefying effect. We've backed up our wild-eyed rants about Michael Sam with preposterous comments to Glenn Beck; had to close a $60 million memorial to suburban high school football excess; been demonstrably racist in the year 2014, yet again; struggled to figure out how we could possibly enjoy a meal in a fast casual restaurant without bringing along our trusty assault rifle; and the owner of our NBA franchise has, learning nothing from a certain local sports columnists' idiocy, attempted to contextualize the actions of noted humanitarian Donald Sterling.
If it weren't so disheartening, it might be hilarious.
As it were, though, the entirety of North Texas came off as the biggest bunch of asshats this week.
Let's start with you Broadcast co-host Amy Kushnir: Why, oh, why won't you just shut up already? It was bad enough that your reaction to seeing two people who love each other express their excitement that one of them might have just landed his dream job was so revolting. But then you had to go to the right-wing media to make the case that you are some kind of martyr? C'mon. You're just a garden-variety bigot at best. And suggesting that your right to free speech is being infringed upon is not a good look. Like, at all. While you certainly have the right to say whatever repulsive thing you want, those who disagree with you have just as much of a right to vehemently disagree. You get that, right? Deal with it. You are a white, wealthy, Christian, cisgendered, heterosexual person who lives in Texas. You aren't being discriminated against by anyone. Period. Rather, you're being called out for saying something incredibly ugly and making a fool out of yourself on television. That is all. And for the first time ever, people know your name now. So maybe it's time you counted your blessings and got out of our faces.
As for you, Allen's football stadium, you haven't done much for the region's national profile either, have you? And now that cracks have been discovered in your concourse level, you're going to have to be closed for the upcoming football season. This made national headlines, of course, because of your being the most ostentatious of all sacrifices ever to the gods of Texas high school sports. The people of Allen spent $60 million on you rather than textbooks or keeping classroom sizes down or something — and you can't even manage to stay open for two measly years without becoming a health hazard to those who want to watch a game in your, apparently not so friendly, confines? Give us a break.
Oh, and local gun nuts? Don't think we've forgotten about you, either. It seems you've just decided to keep scaring the bejeezus out of as many restaurant patrons and employees as you possibly can. This time, you decided the West End Chipotle is where you wanted to make the next in your series of confusing statements. In response, Chipotle, which is apparently as sick of this shit as we are, has decided that it doesn't want anyone bringing a gun into any of its restaurants any more. We can't imagine that's what you guys wanted, so we'll say it again: Your tactics do not make sense. You don't prove anything by continuing to do technically legal but definitely stupid stuff. We aren't scared of the guns themselves; we're scared of people like you with guns. Please, please, just move to the middle of nowhere where you'll never feel compelled to defend yourselves against another harmless burrito ever again. We'll all been in a better mood, and you can play militia man as much as you want without us hassling you about it. See? It's a win-win!
Comparatively, Mark Cuban, you're one of the lesser offenders this week. In fact, we think it's actually pretty cool that you're able to recognize and acknowledge your own prejudices. Self-awareness is the first step towards working through that kind of stuff, for sure. It would have been nice though, if you hadn't have brought this stuff up in the context of the Sterling situation. Now isn't the time to show how thoughtful you are or to give voice to some of your more complex feelings about prejudice. Comments like yours, when misinterpreted, give shelter to genuine bigots. So it's probably a good idea not to provide material that can lead to your name and the word “bigoted” being used in the same headline. It just makes things easier for all of us without clouding the real issues at hand.
Everything considered, it's been a pretty awful week by all accounts, folks. And we haven't even gotten into the Kung Fu Saloon mess yet. We'll just say that the protests against the pretty clearly racist establishments were one of the week's few bright spots, giving us a little hope heading into the weekend.
And let's take advantage of this extra free time, OK? Let's have some fun, rest up, and get our shit together.
Because we as a region can't handle too many more weeks like this one.
Stephen Young and the rest of the Central Track staff