New Visions Commentary
The National Leadership Network of Conservative African-Americans
Good For Thee, But Not For Me
By Mike Ramey
Who could forget the sound and the fury of the recent Million Mom March (it was thousands, actually) in Washington, D.C.?
Ahh, the pageantry. Ooh, the morality. Ouch - the hypocrisy!
Rosie O'Donnell, the television-talk-show-host-turned-anti-gun-advocate - the woman who is actively leading a crusade to disarm law-abiding citizens - got caught not paying attention to her own press releases. It seems that Ms. O'Donnell, in the quest for security for her own family, quietly pushed for an armed security guard to protect her son when he attends school this fall. This news was originally reported by Ms. O'Donnell's local newspaper in Stamford, Connecticut, the Advocate, in its online edition on May 25th. According to the article, the security guard formally applied for the weapons permit with local police.
Ms. O'Donnell justified her family's need for armed protection by saying she feared for her son's safety because of her own anti-gun views. Officials at the school and the parents of her son's classmates are scratching their heads, wondering how they should respond to the potential presence of Ms. O'Donnell's armed security in the fall.
Welcome to another round of the ever-popular celebrity game show, "It's Good For Thee, But Not For Me!" The rules of the game are simple: use your power, prestige or position to push for changes in general society, but excuse yourself from allowing the same rules to apply to you.
Oprah Winfrey also plays this game. A few years ago, Ms. Winfrey was in court because of negative comments she made about the beef industry. Her speech rights were upheld, protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
But, according to published reports earlier this spring, people employed by Ms. Winfrey work under a lifetime gag order which prohibits them from ever discussing details about their employment. So much for the speech rights of those who work for Ms. Winfrey. I guess the U.S. Constitution does not apply as much to them as it does to her.
In other news, the National Rifle Association wants to open a theme restaurant in New York City much like Planet Hollywood or the Hard Rock Cafe. Such a restaurant would bring entry-level jobs to many people - including more than a few of African-American descent. According to the editorial board of the New York Times, however, to allow such a restaurant to open would be tantamount to treason, while pornographers and smut peddlers are still allowed to flourish in parts of New York and in cities all across America - all in the name of free enterprise.
According to the self-appointed elite, speaking out against homosexuality is also seen as a crime. Wanting to send your kids to a private or faith-based school with your own tax dollars is scandalous. Buying a gun to protect yourself is downright anti-American. Being critical of social decay is to be held as a right-wing kook.
When those in positions of power, prestige or prominence seek to take away the freedoms of others on the one hand but engage in every form of debauchery or hypocrisy to ply their wares, who really has a credibility problem?
Let me give you a hint - it's not people like you and me who stand on the right side of the issues who lack credibility. Those who make a living based on how many times we open our wallets and purses to pay for their performances are the ones who leave so many unanswered questions regarding credibility. And they're getting rich.
Think about that the next time you turn on your television, go to a movie
or buy a CD. I'd rather see more of my money going to charity than to those
who openly decree "it's good for thee, but not for me."
(Mike Ramey, a member of the African-American leadership network Project
21, is a syndicated columnist, minister and journalist who lives in Indianapolis,
Indiana. He can be reached via [email protected].)
Note: New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21.
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