A little more of America died that day

By Tom Robertson

I’m not sure what “mainstream America” means anymore, but whatever is left of it gave way again to a shrill little mob of the minority, and I don’t mean Native Americans. The minority this time is the self-righteous academic country club of University faculty. And the issue is much bigger than the Chief. Some nostalgic for Haight-Ashbury, others disappointed that they came along too late for the social upheaval of the sixties, but most importantly all protected by tenure, these defenders of the down-trodden squeak across campus in their crepe-soled shoes whining about what an oppressive environment they work in. With a perfectly good war in Iraq to protest, or with 45 million uninsured Americans for whom to advocate, these defenders of free speech shuffle back to their offices, close the doors, and pen letters to the NCAA on behalf of folks who had to be notified of their oppression by 35,000 shivering souls in a half-empty football stadium six Saturdays a year. Greenpeace would be proud.

I can’t remember when Christmas became the “winter holiday.” Unlike the sterilized monolith that is my alma mater and my older daughter’s school, it’s still Christmas on my younger daughter’s campus, where they celebrate touchdowns with a caricature of brawling Irishmen and cheer the leprechaun, a red-haired cartoon of a character only several years ago portrayed by an African-American student. They decorate trees with colored lights at Christmas, and they enjoy a good time at football games. They aren’t hurting anyone. There is no outcry from the faculty over the oppression of the Irish. Their faculty actually knows where the football stadium is. I can’t recall when speaking English became something to apologize for, or exactly when the debate over removing “one nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance reached a fever pitch. The gnashing of teeth by angry little mobs representing the minority point of view has displaced the quiet resolve of the majority, and we sit by and watch it happen.

I’m not sure what mainstream means anymore. It has been chipped away and eroded bit by bit by shrill little mobs of minority opinion for so long that we may no longer have enough in common to even have a mainstream. If we are not already nothing more than a collection of angry little mobs, we are clearly headed in that direction.

A little more of America died today.

Tom Robertson

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University alumus ’78

Varsity Baseball