Generalizations are dangerous. So when Donald Rumsfeld said to the Financial Times, "Nobody could support the Raiders, they're evil," was he trying to wage a war of words against Al Davis and the entire Raider Nation?
Let's consider a few questions:
1. Since most people believe that Mr. Al Davis controls and "runs" the Oakland Raiders and since the persona of the Raiders was designed, in part, by him, is Mr. Rumsfeld sending out a message that Mr. Davis is evil?
2. Since Mr. Al Davis has been aggressively committed to giving a woman an opportunity to be the first high-ranking woman in the NFL, is Mr. Rumsfeld inferring that such a move is evil? Is he suggesting that advocating and promoting equal rights for women is evil?
3. Since Mr. Al Davis reportedly drafted the first African-American quarterback years ago, during an embarrassing era of overt racial prejudice and barriers, is Mr. Rumsfeld suggesting that such a move was inherently evil?
We challenge Mr. Rumsfeld to make a public apology for his generalization that attempts to hang a cloud over the image of the Oakland Raiders.
Men with power must be wise and cautious in how they use words. Many newscasters and others have been wiped out of their professions for speaking loosely and carelessly in the media.
The poison of generalization has risen up in all races, cultures and countries around the world. Consider some historical examples:
Did early Americans think that all Native Americans were evil?
Did early Americans, or even some contemporary ones, think that "so-called" minorities were evil?
Another question: "Can any good thing come out of the Oakland Raiders?"
Some of us answer: Come and see in 2011.
Many have cited that ESPN and other media have abused the image of the Oakland Raiders. Has that abusive, verbal assault spread to certain echelons of American leadership?
If so, let's start to rout it out! Instead, let the Raiders continue to be trendsetters and leaders who advocate change in the NFL and in America.
Let the question resound again: "Can any good thing come out of the Oakland Raiders?" Come and see in 2011!
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