In psychology, issues such as depression are often treated by using cognitive behavioral therapy. A simplified definition of cognitive behavioral therapy is that the patient learns how to avoid monotrack thinking. Instead, they practice seeing any given situation from multiple angles.
For example, a coworker blows by you in the hallway without saying hello. The immediate inclination is wondering what they’re upset about with you and why they don’t like you, which may be the case. However, it could also have nothing to do with you. The boss might have just chewed them out. They could be lost in thought about a project on which they’re working. They could have a sick child at home, etc. The point is you can’t automatically assume something is about you or that you know the reasons and/or thought to process behind someone else’s actions and words.
The above comes to mind when reading a recent lengthy screed by former major league ballplayer and current ESPN baseball analyst Doug Glanville. In it, he decries a conversation between announcers Jim Kaat and Buck Showalter which went as follows:
“After the first time I saw him in the big leagues, I looked around the dugout, like, ‘Do we have one of those?'” said Showalter, who opposed (Cuban ballplayer Yoan) Moncada while managing the Baltimore Orioles.
Kaat replied: “Get a 40-acre field full of them,”
The 82-year-old Kaat subsequently apologized for the 40-acre comment, which so little as a cursory glance reveals was the only thing that could possibly be construed as offensive. Unless the entire notion of farming and making a joke about growing more of such-and-such or so-and-so on a farm is offensive to you, in which case you really need to stop eating anything grown on a farm. But I digress.
Well after the fact, Glanville dived in with several hundred words worth of passive/aggressive blather accusing Kaat, and by dint of not immediately throwing Kaat into the cancel culture cauldron Showalter, of racism. From there he went into wondering aloud how he would react to such an egregious offense were he on the broadcast team, or within earshot, or living in the same hemisphere. This is all predicated on Glanville’s perception that the comment was racist. And this is the problem.
Kaat may well be a redneck’s redneck. He also could have been making a joke and regrettably used a 40-acre reference therein without knowing, or remembering, that to which the reference is connected. The latter notion obviously never occurred to Glanville, or if he did he quickly brushed it aside in favor of industrial-strength virtue signaling.
Rather than whine about it in an effort to gin up support for his assumed offended oppression, maybe Glanville could sack up, go to Kaat privately, and ask him if he’s familiar with the expression “40 acres and a mule.” If so, and if Kaat intentionally used it in a demeaning manner, by all means, call him out. If he had either forgotten the reference or never knew it in the first place, Glanville is the one coming out of this mule-headed.
Assuming why the other person said what they said, without taking the time to learn why they said what they said, and if need be pointing out to the other person their erroneous ways, is tapdancing in an unmarked landmine field. Preaching to the choir while accepting a generous love donation from the congregation can handsomely pay the rent. It also accomplishes nothing.
If the left truly craves the “conversation” regarding race for which it constantly screams, maybe … oh, I don’t know … seize upon a presented opportunity to do so instead of smearing people without considering all possible facts?