Master Sgt. Gets it Right, Officer Gets Scared: Too Much PC
The American Air Force Academy has been forced to give an apology after one of their commandants cited Michael Jordan as a role model for professional behavior and appearance.
Let’s start with the emails and end with some comments from Joe the Plumber himself.
Email To Cadets
An email sent by Air Force Academy Master Sgt. Zachary Parish has been the subject of complaints by triggered students who decided that they would take offense at the mental images used. Sgt. Parish was, in particular, upset with the cadets who refused to comply with Air Force approved haircuts. Here are some pieces from the email:
“It’s unfortunate that a small percentage of cadets who fail to maintain their hair appropriately cast a negative impression that’s reflected on the entire … cadet population and armed service members at large.”
Then, he brought up Michael Jordan as an exemplar of good grooming.
“[Jordan] was never seen with a gaudy chain around his neck, his pants below his waistline, or with a backwards baseball hat on during public appearances.”
Forgive me, but Sgt. Parish looks like he might be at the age where Michael Jordan was a major cultural touchstone when he was the same age as his charges. Personally I haven’t a clue the names or images of many contemporary icons. If they’re not in a movie or on Top 40 radio, I’ve never heard of them and I couldn’t care less about their personal lives. You can’t really blame Sgt. Parish for not choosing a more current standard. But, he’s not being criticized for citing the 55-year-old former Bulls star.
Dressing Like An Adult is RACISM
Being a bit more hockey-minded myself, I think a professional athlete wearing anything less than a suit for game day or public appearances is inappropriate. In fact, the collective bargaining agreements in the NHL have mandated jackets, ties and dress while traveling to and from games since at least 1995.
Jordan, whose mother was a banker and father was a plant supervisor for General Electric, is the undisputed “greatest basketball player of all time” and has such a good reputation that he has worked with and for brands including Nike, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Warner Bros., Wheaties and Chevrolet.
Which means he’s a good role model, and compared to other athletes (a group with a well-deserved reputation for bad investments, overspending and bankruptcy no matter their race or social standing) and considering his decades of popularity, he should be right up there with the best examples you can set.
But, some snowflakes have infiltrated the Air Force Academy and screamed: Microaggression!
Sure, Act like a Slob
I still haven’t figured out why microaggressions seem to be even bigger issues than outright racism. The Clintons’ cozy past with KKK members is fine, and the outright racism of Black Lives Matter is fine, but a perceived slight is what deserves attention.
Thank you, Obama, for eight years of racial healing. Things are just peachy now.
In response to the email, Col. Julian Stevens, the vice-commandant of academy cadets sent his own:
“Let me apologize for the email sent earlier today by our first sergeant… The comments were very disrespectful, derogatory and in no way reflective of (the cadet wing’s) permanent party views.”
Hold on to your hats, because Col. Stevens goes on:
“Microaggressions such as these are often blind-spots/unintentional biases that are not often recognized, and if they are recognized they are not always addressed.”
The emails soon found their way to Facebook, where instead of being met with laughter at overly sensitive students and employees who should really drop out and apply at the nearest petting zoo or knitting circle went wild. But there were comments in support of the first email, with one person saying that this is a “perfect example of why we’re going to lose a war with Russia/China.”
Later on, the academy gave an official response calling the initial comments “inappropriate” and saying that if someone “feels disrespected by someone’s words, we take that very seriously.”
Joe The Plumber Doesn’t Have Time For Microaggressions
“The military is the last place to do social experiments,” said Joe to me this morning when he talked about stories for today. He figure that good grooming should be an open-and-shut-your-mouth case, saying this hoopla is a “distraction to the mission. The mission is to protect American lives.” He advocated for “strict discipline and consistency” and that the Uniform Code of Military Justice should stay above politics.
As for Michael Jordan, he felt there was “nothing wrong with pointing out” that Jordan “had class and didn’t dress like a punk” or like someone who just got out of prison.
Sources: Fox News, ESPN, Schriever Air Force Base, Wikipedia, The Gazette