Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Mad Bro

Ready for another story of something being made of absolutely nothing? And complete with non-existent racial overtones? No? I wasn't either, but I read the article anyway. That's how I learned about a bunch of folks in Painesville, Ohio (and this IS a pain) who are flipping out over a sign that some high schoolers put up that read "U Mad Bro?" You know. Because 'bro' is a racial term. Wait. No, it isn't. What now?
See, there's this Internet meme that has this tormented smiling face looking sideways at you. It usually is captioned with "U Mad Bro?" According to Fox8 in Cleveland, "U Mad Bro?" means "To make a ragin [sic] person rage even more by asking the most ironic question." They said they got that from Urban Dictionary, but I did not find that definition, even though that definition fits. (It's the same as kicking someone when they're down. And I like that definition better because it does not include the term "ragin".) Here's the face. Behold!
How is that racially offensive? Hard to say, but that's probably just because it isn't. See, there was a high school football game between Kirtland and Painesville. Kirtland won and I think it was at Painesville. So after the game, a bunch of students and some parents put up a sign (that was really a tarp with words spray painted on it) that read "YOU MAD BRO?" You know. Because Painesville lost the game on their field. End of story, right? Not so fast.

A one Roderick Coffee, who is the president of the Lake County chapter of the NAACP, decided that this would be a good thing to make a huge stink about. That's why he said, "At the conclusion of the game, some of their students and parents put up a sign that we believe was racial intimidation, ethnic intimidation." OK. Now, let's say that I understand (even though I don't) how he could have thought that. And then let's say that I explain to him that it's not racial. It's not even the slightest bit racial. Then what? Well, then they don't accept that explanation and take it to the local news, of course.

And they must have brought it to the attention of the superintendent for the Painesville school, a one Michael Hanlon, because he said, "I think the reference to 'bro' in the sign definitely has a racial connection to it." OK, you can think that, but I'm telling you, it has ZERO racial connections AT ALL. So why are we still talking about it? I'm guessing that it has something to do with this part of the article: "No doubt, the sign offended people." Crap. This again?!

Look, just because someone is offended, that doesn't mean that they're RIGHT. And there isn't a Constitutional right to not be offended. And truthfully, if you're offended over something as simple as a sign that reads, 'YOU MAD BRO?" then you need to wear a helmet at all times and stay inside as much as possible. But don't you worry. According to the Principal of Kirtland High School, a one Lynn Campbell, "...there will be a thorough investigation." But WHY?!

I'm telling you! There is no NEED for a "thorough investigation". It's NOT racial! What, exactly, will this "investigation" consist of? Getting on the Internet? Let me save you the time. It's NOT racial! Why are people so quick to jump to something being racial? Even something as tested by time as sports teams taunting each other? Do those folks really have so little to do that this is what they've resorted to?

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