Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Trumping Macy's Right Back

How tired we are of people "talking past each other".  Person X makes a point, which Person Y argues by saying something that is not even close to the point that Person X was making.  And that, friends, is just one of the things that makes Americans utterly fed up with politics and politicians, and likely with America Ferrera as well.

You remember her, possibly from the rather odd TV show "Ugly Betty", set in a fashion magazine but completely irrelevant to this piece, other than that, absent it, even fewer people would take seriously anything that she said.  Her relevance is simply of being a Latina, and semi-famous, which means that in the contemporary world, she had to say something about Donald Trump.

That would be "Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric."  Now, what Trump said, if she had taken time to listen and not just let her knee jerk, was that the stream of emigrants across our non-existent borders were poisoned by the slimy types that take money to escort people to the border and get them over; that the females among the emigrants are often raped along the way, and that it was often the criminals and drug cartel folk who are getting across with the decent (though still illegal) Mexicans crossing the border.  Nothing racist, nothing about innately hating Mexicans or anyone else not a criminal.

But no, she took the strawman approach and decided that he had said something that he hadn't actually said, talking right past him.  But don't hold your breath waiting for CNN to take her to task.

Of course, since Trump isn't getting the nomination anyway, I'm not sure what "election day" she thinks all those Latinos are coming out for.  Or even which Latinos -- the Cubans who left to flee Castro and communism aren't exactly enthralled with Mexicans who are given a free pass, when they, the Cubans, had to escape on boats decades ago at the risk of their lives. 

The murder last week of a very innocent young woman at the hands of a Mexican -- who had illegally crossed the border several times, had already been deported multiple times, had been convicted on five felony charges -- doesn't exactly help her case.  What might Miss Ferrera say to the father of the young woman who was right there when this scummy fellow who should never have crossed the border, even once, killed his daughter, if she were to meet him?  Worse, what might he say to her?  Perhaps "I'll be going to the polls myself on election day, and I'm guessing we won't be supporting the same candidate."

Still, far fewer people care very much about what America Ferrera thinks than what more well-known entities like, say, Macy's says.  That would be the Macy's that holds that big parade in New York on Thanksgiving, and which is so big it actually has two stores in the same mall, near where I live.  I'm not kidding.

And ... the Macy's that, until this flap, had a line of menswear (ties) representing The Donald Himself.  In a sadly unsurprising act of talking past its opponent, Macy's put out this statement:

“Macy’s is a company that stands for diversity and inclusion.  We have no tolerance for discrimination in any form. We welcome all customers, and respect for the dignity of all people is a cornerstone of our culture. We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation. In light of statements made by Donald Trump, which are inconsistent with Macy’s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.”

Talk about missing the point.  Now, I suppose that at this point I should say that I come down pretty close to the remark by Gov. Rick Perry, another presidential contender.  Perry said that Trump's original remarks were a bit broad-brush and could be too easily taken, although only by those with an axe to grind, the wrong way. Of course, there are far too many unground axes out there, leaving many to enjoy bashing The Donald for words he never said.

Let's look at the Macy's statement:

- "Diversity and inclusion" -- Trump's words made zero mention of anything like that.
- "Discrimination" -- Nope, none of that, either.  Trump has probably given more jobs to Mexican immigrants than the number of Mexicans that America Ferrera knows personally.
- "Disparaging characterizations [don't portray Mexicans and Latinos]" -- Trump's characterization was not of Mexicans per se (and therefore were not racist) but of elements of those crossing the border illegally -- there are drug types and rapists and murderers, and likely ISIS types who aren't Mexican, crossing the border.  He took pains to say that he liked Mexicans, but wasn't a fan of their leadership, whom he felt were dumping their human trash over the Rio Grande along with the good, innocent emigrants, and making them our problem -- if you remember, Castro did the same thing, emptying his jails years back.

In essence, Macy's made a statement which not only didn't refute the essence of Trump's words, but talked to principles not really relevant to what he said.  They called him a racist and no longer will carry his products, all based on a reading of his statement that wasn't even correct.

I'm pretty well thinking that Trump's lawyers are as good as Macy's, and someone's going to get sued.  That will be a pretty neat court case to watch from afar.

But if I decide never to shop at Macy's again, and I'm thinking about it, it is not because of what I think of Mexicans (I like them; they're usually a lot happier than half the people I meet).  It certainly won't be because of what I think of Donald Trump (he's interesting and often amusing, but I'm not planning to vote for him in the primary if he stays that long).

It will be because talking past your opponent is annoying, and using that as an excuse to break a written contract is contemptible.

I'll still watch the parade on Turkey Day, but I'll buy my ties from a store a bit less knee-jerk PC.

Copyright 2015 by Robert Sutton
 Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at www.uberthoughtsUSA.com at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."

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