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Random Thoughts and Critiques

Another Approach Regarding Racism

A week or so ago, the comedian, Shane Gillis, newly hired guest on "Saturday Night Live" reportedly made racist, sexist and homophobic comments. One comment had to do with calling people in Chinatown (New York) "f---ing ch--ks among other things.

In comes Andrew Yang, a Democratic candidate for the US President whose ethnicity is Taiwanese-American. Even though it was not necessary and perhaps unwise for Mr. Yang to get involved, he felt compelled to do so. He was quoted saying, "Shane -- I prefer comedy that makes people think and doesn't take cheat shops. Happy to sit down and talk with you if you'd like."

I believe that Andrew and Shane did meet to discuss his motivation and intent on his potential hurtful words, but my larger point was that Mr. Yang took a more controlled approach and reaction until he spoke with Shane. Andrew felt compelled to understand more deeply the context and motivation for making those comments.

Before I move on, I'd like to first categorically say I'd never condone Shane's comments about Asian-Americans or gay people. I'd also mention that Andrew's response was someone interested in discussing this with Shane. One must realize that comments or things said on social media often lack the ability to understand nuanced language. Americans are often outraged by something that is posted on Facebook or Twitter via text without additional context or perspective which may lead to misunderstanding and outrage especially if further dialogue is not done.

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Again, I applaud Andrew for trying to understand the motivation behind Shane's inappropriate comments. Also, I hope the person to person conversations which includes non-verbal cues will help bear some positive fruit.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if other ethnic groups tried to do the same thing when supposed racist things were said about them? In other words, when a potential racist thing is said or written about a group, understanding or gaining a better perspective might be useful instead of an automatic propaganda machine condemning what the person said and shutting down any further dialogue.

Colin Kaepernick Ad Nausem

A few weeks ago, Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback posted a video on Twitter recently stating that he's ready to return to the NFL. What does that mean exactly?

He's ready to play football anywhere? Would that include in Canada or Arena Football League, or the newly developed XFL? Would he consider a second or third-string position? In other words, consider working his way back to being a starter?

I'm struggling with full transparency here? Is this about keeping his brand alive and not wanting to get back to the NFL unless he's on the right team and a starter? By posting on Twitter, he's controlling the narrative so I'm not sure what discussions have been made by NFL team's and Kaepernick's agent? To be fully transparent so teams and the public know what he's thinking, might I advise Colin to sit down for an interview for an honest and frank discussion by reputable interviewers such as Bob Costas, Dan Patrick or Fox's Erin Andrews to outline what he's been involved with over the last few years from a physical and mental perspective. Is he serious about playing on any NFL team and being a back-up? Is he serious about doing whatever it takes to eventually try and earn a starting QB role in the NFL? Without knowing some of these key questions, as a sports fan, my perspective is limited and have a limited amount of sympathy or empathy for his situation.

In this tweet, he stated he's been denied work for almost 900 days. Oh, woe me. Take responsibility, Colin! I understood your cause and had some respect for what you did and understand what you were trying to accomplish by kneeling but I really don't know what to think about your motivation today.

By Mike Morbeck - Flickr: Colin Kaepernick, CC BY-SA 2.0,

If you aren't transparent, one might think you're just comfortable in the martyr role. Perhaps that's what you want to continue doing. I really don't know. Again, Colin, if you were offered a chance to compete to make an NFL roster, would you have any conditions? Again, what we don't know prevents us from really understanding how we should feel about being denied work for almost 900 days. Respectfully, shut up or put up!

Is This A Trend Or What?

During the last month, I visited two restaurants in Lake County, Illinois, Next Door (Melody Farms) in Vernon Hills and Bartaco in Deerfield. I was with my family and at least one in our party typically likes to purchase soft drinks instead of alcohol. At both restaurants, we asked if there were refills on soda and their response was we only have soda in bottles (in other words, no soda fountain) so any refills on soda would require an additional purchase. Is this a trend in certain newer restaurants? You can't get a refill on soda? What's next, no refills on coffee at a sit-down restaurant?

Bartaco in Deerfield, Illinois

On Bartaco's website, under Drinks, the categories include Cocktails, Tequila, Cervezas, Vinos, and Drinks. Unfortunately, without any menu prices under each category, one does not know what each of these drinks cost until one visits the restaurant. On the Next Door's menu, prices are included for appetizers and lunch and dinner meals although a list of drinks and prices are not included.

Perhaps this is a restaurant design shift for new and trendy restaurants, eliminating the soda fountain to reduce costs and the ability to charge more for a bottled soft drink. Is it too cynical for me to say this ultimately comes down to money?


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