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Turn down your Offend-O-Meter

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VIEWPOINT

By RALPH HARDIN

Evening Times Editor

you a Karen? Or A re maybe a Chad?

If those names mean nothing to you, congratulations. It simply means you’re not doing what millions of other folks are doing with their pandemic days … scrolling the internet.

For the benefit of everyone, I’ll explain. You see, a “Karen” is a woman, usually middle-class and white, who always wants to “speak to the manager” when things don’t go her way. A “Chad” is the male equivalent, but really, it’s the “Karens” of the world that are becoming “internet famous” these days.

You’ve probably seen these people out in the world. They believe the world revolves around them and that there should be special exceptions made for them or that the rules don’t apply to them or that everyone else is just a bit player in the story where she is the main character.

These are also the sort of people who are seemingly offended by everything. And, boy, are we getting good at being offended. It’s all become its own thing… Cancel Culture. All it takes is a handful of Chads and Karens, and next thing you know it, we’re supposed to boycott this or that. We’re supposed to boycott Goya beans because they support Trump. And we’re supposed to boycott Hamilton because the cast includes minority actors portraying white historical figures. Don’t forget to boycott Coca-Cola because they’re protesting “hate speech” on Facebook … or wait, are we supposed to boycott Facebook because they support “hate speech” in social media. I can’t keep track of it all.

What I can keep track of is the upward trending line of things that people are offended by. It’s easy because it’s apparently EVERYTHING! I bet you’d be hard pressed to find anything these days that did not offend someone. Black Lives Matter to you? But what about All Lives? Oh, All Lives Matter to you? So, it’s wrong to be concerned about Black Lives, you racist? Coronavirus is just a hoax? Tell that to the thousands of dead people. Coronavirus is a threat to all of us? Oh, then why are we funneling my tax dollars to poor communities? The sky is blue? Well, what about colorblind people?

OK, I made that last one up. But it really is almost that bad. Here’s just a quick rundown of real actual things I’ve seen people be offended by in just the past few days scrolling through Facebook or while out and about …

They don’t teach cursive writing in school anymore.

People speaking Spanish to each other in public.

Dumpsters being filled with trash. (as opposed to?) Being told to wear their mask correctly.

A long line at the bank.

A mixed-race couple on a TV commercial.

Kids drawing on the pavement with sidewalk chalk.

Professional athletes opting out playing during a pandemic.

A teenage girl wearing short shorts.

A child getting vaccinated.

So, some of these are obviously a matter of personal preference, and we’re all entitled to our own personal preferences. I, for example, am offended by the idea that tomatoes are delicious. But I’m not about to launch my #canceltomatoes social media campaign or start a Ban All Tomatoes petition on change.org. Nope, I’m just going to keep on not eating tomatoes and you can keep on eating them, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

But other things people get offended by are legitimate concerns. We really do have a problem with racial injustice. We really are in the midst of a global pandemic. We really do have legitimate things that can, do and should offend us. The problem is, the Karens and Chads of the world are drowning out real cries for help with their diarrhea of the mouth (or maybe diarrhea of the keyboard) and it all just swirls around in this mess of noise.

So, turn down your Offend- O-Meter. Our collective society seems to have it turned up to 10. I’m not saying turn it off. Keep it somewhere around 5 if you like. There are plenty of things that really are worth being offended over. Many, though are not.

For example, some have argued that using the term “Karen” is in and of itself offensive. “It’s like using the N-word,” one woman recently argued.

No, it’s not, lady. Here’s why … if there are two words, and you’re comparing them and you won’t even SAY one of them, that word is way worse. I’ve heard the same argument used when calling an older person “Boomer” as a derogatory term. It’s not the same. It’s not in the same ballpark. It’s not even the same sport. So, all of you easily offended folks … get over yourselves.

OK, Karen?

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