Paul From Minneapolis

Sunday, May 01, 2005

A Sinner in the Hands of an Angry God

The story’s here. Excerpt:

“University of Oklahoma head baseball coach Larry Cochell resigned Sunday, two days after reports surfaced of alleged racial remarks he made during two off-camera interviews to ESPN…

“Cochell was speaking with play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne when he called Dunigan over to praise him for staying in school. When the freshman returned to the field, Cochell told Thorne, ‘There's no n----- in him.’ The network informed the school that Cochell used similar language in an interview with ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson….

“According to a report in Sunday's The Oklahoman, Dunigan and his father said they forgave Cochell for his comments.

"’He has apologized,’ Joe Dunigan Jr. told The Oklahoman. "Those words are powerful and derisive. They were inappropriate and offensive. But he is a man who has done so many good things in his life.’

"’He has treated us like family,’ he continued. ‘We have broken bread with him. I know he is a Christian man. We all say things that we don't mean, and I hope people down there don't color him as a racist because he made a mistake.’

“Both Dunigans and Charles Caufield, the father of Chuckie Caufield, the only other black player on the team, had told The Oklahoman they wanted Cochell to keep his job.

‘He hasn't done anything where he deserved to be fired,’ Charles Caufield told the newspaper.

I would much prefer a world where this coach could be forgiven, if that’s what’s called for, or heard out as to what was in his mind when he said the unforgivable word, what slang or vernacular he was employing. And a world where the opinions of those he was said to have irredeemably insulted could carry some weight against the pre-ordained result of PC-ness.

So, yes: Another example of compassionate, liberal controls applied to social interaction making the (perhaps) wisest, most human and moderate outcome an impossibility.

Update: "Another example." Have I provided an earlier example? I don't think so. Maybe I should do that if it's not too late. Anyway, the point is I'm fascinated with a way of looking at liberals and the left that sees the controlling and dark sides, along with narcissism that leads to an imperviousness to their own flaws. Its like a kaleidoscope turned at some point in my thinking.

Update 2: I suspect the main response to the sympathetic attitudes of the black players and their families would involve theorizing that they are worried about being ostracized, and doesn't that point to the undelying racism we must still stamp out with rules and commandments like this?

And I would say, no, not all feelings of anger that might emerge on the part of other Oklahomans would be racist. Very far from it, in fact, once you actually internalize the possibility that a good man is being fired for insufficient reason. And even if some is racist, I suspect that almost all of that would fall into the "arguably" category. The kinds of racism you guys point out everywhere, over there on the left, with some examples more convincing than others.

Why not handle these inevitable problems with humor and grace and generosity, and let the slow evolution of mutual acceptance continue? I mean, you know?