‘Getting Along With Others in a Pluralistic Society’ Rule #1

ESPN pro football analyst Booger McFarland was fired up about a promising, highly drafted, second year NFL quarterback getting cut as a result of poor play and mindless “off-the-field” behavior.

Which woulda been okay if McFarland hadn’t tied the player’s problems to African American football players more generally. Predictably, that’s when the shit hit the fan.

The (dis)United States is a wonderfully diverse conglomerate of 331 million individual identities. Does that mean we can never generalize, no, positive generalizations are fine. For example, if I say, “Elementary school teachers do amazing work and deserve, as much, or more respect, than any other group of educators.” I’m not going to get any blowback. It’s sweeping negative assumptions that everyone rightfully resists. No one ever wants to be “guilty by association”.

So here’s Getting Along With Others in a Pluralistic Society Rule #1, refrain from making negative generalizations about any group, even ones of which you are a member. Ask Cosby or McFarland, your insider status will not provide any sort of “benefit of the doubt”.

Andrew Hawkins, NFL alum, takes McFarland to school, literally. Hawkins Wikipedia “personal life” entry includes this sentence, “Hawkins graduated from¬†Columbia University in 2017 with a master’s degree in sports management from the School of Professional Studies with a 4.0 GPA.” No surprise. This is a 4.0 return of serve.

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