I want to preface this by saying that I thought long and hard about posting this; I've mostly been avoiding much of the Riley Cooper incident, so some of this may have been covered elsewhere. Also, there was a lot to get off my chest so it might not be my best work ever, but living in Maryland, I really don't have a chance to talk to many Eagles fans about my feelings without being accused of being a homer that's only saying it to cover for Cooper, so I thought this the best place.
As a straight white christian male, I've never really experienced any sort of mainstream discrimination or hate towards myself. I served in the USAF where I was certainly the minority at times, I deployed to Iraq, and traveled the world where I was the minority, and sometimes there was considerable amounts of animosity and anti American slurs directed at me, but never to an extent where I felt uncomfortable, so I can't imagine what it feels like for a black person to hear Cooper's words, or a gay person to hear what Desean Jackson said last year on the radio. But I kept asking myself what the difference between them really was. I certainly don't care if someone is black, brown, white, yellow, or otherwise, gay or straight or otherwise, but it's easy for me to say that, as I've never really faced any of that hate. And it certainly can't be that Jackson is a star and Cooper isn't, society has progressed past that point hasn't it? And I came to the conclusion that so much of the problem here is that it's so easy to identify black or white, and so hard to identify gay or straight or Jewish or Muslim or Christian, that certain words with equal amount of hate to them are accepted differently. A white guy drops an n-bomb and all hell breaks loose, but a black man might do it many times a day with no reaction at all, because of a sense of "well it's his people" "his word" or some other excuse that doesn't address the hate of the word. But ANYONE can call a joke gay or call someone a faggot or kike or towel head without an acknowledgement, because it MIGHT be "their word." If a homophobic person call's someone a faggot, they will suffer an amount of discord from those around them, as they are most certainly not what fits that description, but if I, a normal guy, called someone a faggot, everyone here would let it pass. Desean apologized and nothing happened because hey......MAYBE he is gay deep down. Who knows? We can't tell what he is by looking at him. So society refrains from punishing him too seriously, for fear of overstepping itself. Riley on the other hand, is most definitely NOT black, so he becomes a complete villain for all eternity in the public eye. (slight exaggeration maybe.)
One thing though, in my eyes, that is not debatable is the hate and fear that is part of these words, and in fact, the entirety of these words. Maybe as a coping mechanism, society has made these words into jokes, something that their component groups can "own" as it were. Yeah I'm a fag, it is what it is. Yeah I'm a kike. Yeah I'm a nigger. Some way for the hate of them to be combated, by owning it and trying to make a joke about it. But at what point are we past that? At what point do we realize that our culture should be mature enough to say, and enforce, that ANYONE saying these things in ANY context is wrong? Is that n-word any worse than anything else, or is it just so easy to tell if it's your word or not that sparks the outrage? If it's a case of n-word to slavery trumps all, what about faggot to Nazi "cleansing" or kike to all the Jew's have endured for the past thousands of years? How does slavery hold more of a negative connotation than those events? Some of which are ongoing throughout the world?
If you got this far, thank you for reading my post sorry if my writing lost any of you. I welcome any healthy discussion about all of this.