To the editor:
What do Mel Gibson, Isaiah Washington, Don Imus, and Robin Williams all have in common? The following incidents, all of which have occurred over the past year, are quite revealing when stacked in tandem.
An intoxicated Gibson hurls anti-Semitic slurs on a back road in the middle of the night, and he is chastised in the media and shamed into counseling.
In a private situation, Washington uses a slang word offensive to homosexuals, and he is not only publically vilified, but he ends up losing his job over the incident.
Imus makes a crass, racially charged comment on his radio show, and due to pressure from a handful of high profile political leaders and organizations, is also fired.
Williams, while on late night television, spends several minutes equating all Catholic priests with pedophiles, and then proceeds to mock the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The consequence? Absolutely nothing.
Why do certain incidents, such as the latter, tend to escape the normally ferocious claws of the guard dogs of political correctness in the public sector? The answer is that television networks and the secular media care less about true tolerance and acceptance, than they do about placating whichever interest groups scream the loudest.
The first three aforementioned cases involve highly unified and vigilant groups of people who rightfully refuse to accept malicious remarks levied against them, their beliefs, or their identity. Why, then, aside from within relatively small ecclesiastical organizations, does this same spirit seem to be generally absent among Catholics in this country?
We believe in turning the other cheek, but pacifism is not the same as apathy. Until we make our presence and faith undeniably palpable to the power brokers of pop culture, we will continue to serve as a hopelessly easy target for defamation. May we wake up soon.
Michael F. Tamara
West Eighteenth Street