Our corporate intranet site had a generally crummy, commonplace, phoned-in article about Martin Luther King Jr, celebrating his birthday. Included were “fun facts” about the life of MLK Jr.
None of the facts cited were fun, not one. All of these facts were generally dry and boring, detailing his early life, education, etc.
Tired of the constant parade of banalities crossing my home screen, I sent an e-mail complaining that the article was disrespectful, boring and borderline insensitive.
Later that afternoon I found myself conversing with the purveyor of all the trite, boring and predictable articles that were presented to us on a daily basis.
She happened to be African American.
So, there I was, a big fat white guy, trying to explain to the African American AUTHOR of the MLK piece why her story was racially insensitive. “No one else has complained of this.” she said. “I don’t see how this could be construed that way.” she continued.
I stuttered and stammered an explanation. “The ‘fun facts’ section…just seemed…I dunno. Disrespectful. I mean they’re facts… but they’re not exactly…uh…fun.”
I felt really crappy until the next morning when a revised edition was posted. It wasn’t the best way to bring about change but after being spoonfed garbage on a daily basis, it was a small but satisfying victory.