Uber Offended

Uber has done something that has the Internet really, really mad. Mad enough that the folks at Uber came out with an apology where they called what they did, “totally inappropriate.”

So what did they do?

Well, apparently it was Wife Appreciation Day in India earlier this week. So to celebrate the occasion and perhaps make a few extra bucks in the process, the company encouraged husbands to order UrberEATS and “let your wife take a day off from the kitchen.”

I’ll give you a few minutes to go burn something down in reaction to the horror of such a suggestion.

Here’s how stories like this work.

Someone does something that our culture finds offensive, which these days is pretty much anything. Someone from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive then sends out screenshots of the tweet so that other people who like being offended all of the time can get really upset and also burn things down, either digitally, literally or both.

So you have some girl with a screen name like @progressivechick99 tweeting out, “Oh, no they didn’t.” And then there’s the gender fluid fellow with a handle like @multiplegender2000 who posts a meme of some guy from some reality show no one ever watches making a ewww face. Finally, the person from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive writes a story with a headline like Twitter Slams Uber For Genocidal And Sexist Tweet, Nation Seeks Healing.

And then the offender, in this case Uber, apologizes.

As I write this, there is a hurricane aimed at the the Caribbean. A madman halfway around the world is threatening other countries with a nuclear bomb. Other madmen in D.C. are spending us into over 20 trillion dollars in debt. And the self-righteous gatekeepers on the Internet are upset because a private company encouraged husbands, not to kill their wives or run around on their wives but to take care of dinner one night for their wives.

If you’re not as culturally sensitive as these perpetually offended gatekeepers, Uber’s suggestion was supposed to make us all angry because women do so much more than cook meals in the kitchen. Also, men like to cook too. As do gender questioning non-binary girls who identify as boys on the third Tuesday of every month. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

Have you ever watched a Netflix Original television show? These are sort of like the Wild West of television because they aren’t under the content restraints that shows on NBC or even FX are. Before I watch these shows I read up on them to see if they’re worth my time. More specifically, I read about the sexual content. I’ve noticed something in my research. A lot of the popular shows that are original to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are filled with nudity. More specifically, female nudity. So I pass on the latest binge-worthy show and turn a game on instead.

Now, our culture doesn’t find this ever present nudity offensive because it’s done by choice. The actresses want to do this. No one is making them.

Right.

Let the female lead on one of these shows refuse to do a nude scene and sit back and watch as her career spirals into the abyss. Within weeks of her decision, she’ll be off the show and making commercials for Crazy Pete’s Title Loans.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

Treating women as sexual objects is liberating. Cooking dinner for them is boorish.

When I came home from work for lunch one day this week, my wife and kids were in the backyard. When I walked back I saw my wife sanding a table she was restoring, my son painting another table, and my other son standing on the trampoline.

My wife asked if it was okay if we waited a few minutes for lunch so that she could get to a good stopping point in her project.

I told her not to worry about it. I guess you could say that I gave her the afternoon off. We also made plans for me to grill burgers that night. Bam! She had the night off too. Double score for her.

But after reading Twitter for a few minutes, I have discovered that I made a tremendous mistake. It was a bit cavemanish of me to do such a thing. The only thing I could have done that would have been worse was call an Uber to take us to Chick-fil-a. That would have broken the Internet.

Local Cult Leader Takes Wife To Hate-Filled Restaurant, Nation Seeks To Rebuild

Luckily, I don’t answer to the Internet. I’d much rather make my wife happy. And taking over for lunch and dinner that day made her happy. And get this. She really likes to cook!

I’ll wait again while you go burn something down and call the U.S. Department of Diversity Among Different Genders Understanding Meals In Togetherness (DADGUMIT) on me.

But later that night, while the Internet was raging about something else, I enjoyed a hamburger with my family that I made because I wanted my wife to take a break from cooking.

And my kids fell asleep in the middle of binge-watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix.

Man, we’re weird.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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My Fellow White Folks

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My Fellow White Folks,

Please stop watching the non-stop news coverage of the Baltimore riots. I know that some of you like to stay informed. That’s a good thing. It’s an important thing. But you can do it by taking fifteen minutes to read a few articles about what’s going on instead of staying up all night to watch it on TV. What you are constantly watching is not informing you. It’s programming you.

The video clip of those black teenagers throwing trash cans at white people is programming you.

The clip of rioters cursing the cops, the country, the government, grandma and apple pie is programming you.

You are being programmed so that we can all be divided.

And as is usually the case when mass groups of people are programmed, it’s all by design.

If there’s one thing that our government has shown us it’s this. As much power as they have, it’s never enough. They want more. And if there’s one thing that history has shown us, it’s this. It is much easier to take liberty away from people when they are fighting against themselves. Enter the classic white versus black paradigm that you are watching every night on the news.

See, when you feast on that clip of the trash can being thrown at the white person or the rioters burning a police car, you begin to think that what you are watching is a representation of all blacks. You may not want to think that. You many not even believe that. But, slowly and surely, the programming is being done.

Eventually, in your eyes, every black person becomes a police car burning, grandma-cursing thug.

And then you fail to see the black father who spends his weekends running back and forth between fields so that he can see all of his kid’s games. You fail to notice the black mother who models Christ-likeness by following her husband’s lead and modeling grace for her children. You look past the black couple working who knows how many jobs so that their kids can get a better education and enjoy a better environment.

And do you know why you don’t notice any of that? It’s not because it isn’t happening. It is. It’s because the news isn’t showing it. Can you remember the last time there was a special report on the news about a husband, regardless of race, running home to help his wife cook dinner before taking the kids to practice? And if there was, would you stay up all night watching that?

We all have our stereotypes. We can either do the hard work of breaking free from them or we can reinforce them. Reinforcing stereotypes is easy. All you have to do is watch the news instead of paying attention to the reality outside of your front door.

For a moment at least, forget about the black people you’re seeing on television. Instead, pay attention to the ones around you. The ones you actually know, live next to and work with. Chances are high that they are much more similar to you than you think.

They don’t want anything to catch on fire.

They want peace.

And they want to be left alone by Big Brother.

Just like you.

I don’t know what we can do for peace. But I do know what we can stop. And it doesn’t require us to stop being white. So by all means, drive a big truck. Listen to Hank. Watch Seinfeld. Embrace your whiteness. A culture where everyone pretends to be the same isn’t much of a culture.

But please stop gorging yourself on the news from Baltimore. Instead, if you haven’t already, take the time to develop a relationship with a black person. It probably won’t stop what’s going on in Baltimore. It almost certainly won’t change the world.

But it just might change your heart.

And deprogram your mind.

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Confessions of a Southern Baptist Bigot

I’m a bigot.

There’s just no getting around it. Believe me, I’ve tried to. But I just can’t get away from the fact that I have a very strong tendency to look down on an entire group of people.

It’s not blacks. Not Catholics. Not even people who eat at Hardee’s.

My problem is with snowboarders.

I’ve got friends who snowboard. Isn’t that what all bigots say when they try to convince themselves that they are not in fact bigots? But I really do have friends who snowboard. That’s not enough to help me overcome my prejudiced ways. When I see a guy with a snowboard, I don’t know him, and the X Games aren’t in town, I automatically assume that he’s up to no good.

I went skiing last week. Nothing like a ski trip to remind you that you’re a bigot. Although you couldn’t see it on the outside, in my heart I was the grumpy old man of the ski slopes yelling at kids to get off of his lawn.

My two young sons were skiing for the first time. Day one was comparable to a cross between getting your wisdom teeth pulled while doing calculus and listening to Rascal Flatts. Yes, that bad.

But they eventually got the hang of it. By the second day they were speeding down the slopes and darting in and out of traffic. Traffic that included snowboarders. Every time they came close to one, I turned into that grumpy old man.

“Leave my kids alone, you young punks with your pink hair and your pierced lips and your kill your mother music!”

I never said that, of course. I just kept my bigotry to myself.

On our last day my youngest son was going down a hill. A big hill. He was going straight down the big hill. And doing a fine job, if I may say so. He looked like Curious George.

But then he wrecked. And it was a good wreck. I mean a bad one. And, you guessed it, there was a snowboarder close by. As I sped to check on my son, I was like David Banner. Only I wasn’t turning into the Hulk. Just the grumpy old man.

But a strange thing happened on my way to the scene of the accident. The snowboarder stopped. He bent down, asked my son if he was okay and started to help him up. The young snowboarder had nothing to do with my son’s wreck but he cared enough to check on him. That was probably the third time during our trip that something like that happened.

It made me feel like, well, a bigot.

Whenever a kid does something wrong, wrong enough to earn him a spot on the news, they always interview his mother.

“Ma’am, why do you think that your son blew up all of the toilets in the school and spray painted swastikas on his history teacher’s door?”

The mother’s answer is always pretty much like this.

“My baby would never do anything like that. He just fell in with the wrong crowd.”

The mother never stops to consider that maybe her son is the wrong crowd.

On the slopes last week, I learned that I was the wrong crowd. I’m the wrong crowd because I’m so much faster to go digging for the snowflake in another man’s eye than I am to take a glance at the snowboard in my own (Matthew 7:3-5).

I’m the problem because I forget that if I was the only person who ever lived, there would still be more than enough sin in the world to cost Jesus his life.

Jesus died for snowboarders. The nice ones that stop to help small children. And the mean ones that make small children wreck.

Thankfully, he also died for the sins of bigoted Southern Baptist pastors like me.

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10 (ESV)