It seems like people often are unappreciative of human nature. Typically, humanity has demonstrated a proclivity for being kind and sincere. Of course, the opposite happens often as well, and those tend to be the instances that define humanity. Coincidently, human kindness and sincerity often go unnoticed because they just aren’t that interesting anymore. We expect each other to screw up, so when it happens we enjoy seeing just how bad. Another great thing about humans is we are capable of committing a mistake, and then using the experience to learn and grow, maybe even avoiding future mistakes of the same nature all together. Mistakes are part of life. It’s an inevitability for most of us. What makes a person wholly good is how they react and handle the backlash of a mistake. There are five instances of people doing the opposite of that.
1. Terrorist group beheads the wrong person, asks for “understanding and forgiveness”
In 2013, a Syrian militant group with al-Qaeda links, or as you know them, ISIS, was cutting off heads before it was considered “mainstream”. The group, known for their brutal and grisly videos depicting beheadings and various form of torture and execution, made the mistake of beheading the wrong guy, even displaying the incorrect head in public. Once the video leaked, someone recognized the man who was about to have his head extracted and said, “wait a minute, I know that guy.” Turns out the victim was actually a member of another Islamic Militant group. In fact, this other group in which the victim was a member even fought alongside ISIS on several occasions. Yeah, whoops. ISIS made a statement claiming they had mistakenly taken this man’s life, and then instantly victimized themselves by asking for “understanding and forgiveness.” Apparently, Mohammad and Allah are bother super into forgiveness, so the group hasn’t (to my knowledge) retaliated in any way against ISIS. Those terrorists and their wacky hijinks!
2. Everyone who covered the Columbine tragedy seemed to forget the body count
In 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold orchestrated one of the most deadly and infamous school shootings in history. Fifteen people (including Harris and Klebold) were killed in the attack at the suburban Colorado high school. This tragedy went on to spark debate about gun control, bullying in schools, and violence in video games. Michael Moore also directed a horribly flawed and poorly made documentary about the tragedy. Every politician, news outlet, and parent had some opinion regarding the motive. Everyone had an opinion about how these boys even got guns. Some wondered if violent video games and music drove these boys to commit mass murder. Seemingly lost in the whirlwind of debate was the fact that 13 innocent people were dead. Columbine turned into a platform for reform debate, and the lives of those who perished went unnoticed before long.
3. Rush Limbaugh doesn’t really know what net neutrality means
Rush Limbaugh is a talk show radio host, whose preference for conservative political commentary have made him quite the polarizing figure. You are unlikely to find someone who describes their feelings about Limbaugh as “meh”. In fact, Limbaugh has been called sexist, homophobic, racism, compared to Hitler (probably), and has possibly been mistaken for Karl Rove at least a hundred times. For perspective, a list of ridiculous (and hilarious) Limbaugh quotes can be found right here. So naturally when Limbaugh was asked about net neutrality, he had an opinion. “Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine of the internet,” Limbaugh said. He went on to claim net neutrality exists to limit your options when searching the web, which limits opinions and allows people (those darn liberals) to control what sort of content you have access too. Allow me to define both the Fairness Doctrine and net neutrality for those who aren’t familiar. The Fairness Doctrine was adopted by the FCC which basically existed to force radio programs to not be too one-sided in their coverage (if you watch MSNBC or FOX you might be wondering what happened to this.) Net neutrality, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the restriction of content. Net neutrality forces internet service providers to treat all data on the internet equally and forbids ISP’s and websites from charging extra for better content. Basically, this means Netflix, for example, can’t have a tiered payment plan where some subscribers can stream in HD while others can’t. In fact, net neutrality exists to prevent exactly what Limbaugh accused it of. So Limbaugh’s slippery understanding of the Fairness Doctrine, net neutrality, and words in general kind of made him look ridiculous.
4. Stephen A. Smith says the dumbest thing possible
Stephan A. Smith, simply put, is the black, sports version of Rush Limbaugh. He is loud, obnoxious, and he loves the New York Knicks, although I have a feeling Rush Limbaugh is more of a NASCAR guy. Smith and his counterpart/annual competitor for world’s most hated sports personality, Skip Bayless, for some reason I’ll never figure out, host a show on ESPN2 called “FirstTake”. So as the co-host of ESPN2’s 6th most popular show, on a network that has a viewership equivalent to the population of the Pitcairn Islands, Smith makes a name for himself by delivering controversial, tip toeing the line commentary. In August, Ray Rice was hit with a two game suspension for knocking his wife out cold with a right hook so devastating Joe Frazier’s hand shot out of the grave to seek a high-five. In this understandable public relations nightmare for the NFL, Rice and his wife sat down with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to conduct the most uncomfortable press conference of all time. Rice’s wife, Janay Palmer Rice, even claimed some responsibility for the events of that evening. Here is where Smith heroically jumped in with his Pulitzer worthy journalistic opinions: “let’s not do anything to provoke the wrong actions…let’s make sure we can do our part in making sure these things don’t happen.” Smith went on to say, “we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying.” Keep in mind these are not the lyrics to a Dr. Dre song, this is an actual, verbatim quote, uttered on live television, by one of the most recognizable sports personalities on tv. Obviously, the “elements of provocation” is a word of warning to all the ladies out there. Smith is implying Rice’s actions, and by actions I mean crushing his wife’s orbital bone with his fist, were somehow his wife’s fault. Ray Rice is built like a bowling ball. I feel bad when a 240 pound linebacker has to try to tackle him, let alone his tiny 120 pound wife. Unless she had just shown him a Quicktime video of herself murdering Rice’s mom, there is literally nothing else she could’ve done worthy of provoking such violence.
Yup, definitely looks like her fault. Smith was rightfully suspended by ESPN for his comments, and hopefully he learns a valuable lesson about maybe not talking so much.
5. Todd Akin and the “legitimate rape” comments
In 2012, Todd Akin had a pretty sweet gig. He was a US Representative, and was leading the polls in his bid for a seat in the Senate. Until one fateful day, Akin delivered one of the most perplexing, and prevalent lapses of judgement in the history of humanity. Here, in all it’s glory, is the infamous quote:
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
Honestly, where do you even start with this one? Akin was being asked about his opinion of abortion, which in hindsight probably could’ve been answered with “yeah, go for it” or “no, I prefer folks not partake in that.” Akin took it upon himself to utter such an outrageous claim that OBGYN’s across the country all fainted at once. Not only does Akin reveal an embarrassing and humiliating misunderstanding of the workings of the female body, but he also proves he was probably not the best guy to be representing an entire district of Missourians(?) for the past six years. Let’s not forget he also suggests “some punishment” for RAPISTS. He could not have condensed more stupidity and offensive nature into a single quote if he also cited a source from “Mein Kampf” while doing a Terri Schiavo impression.
Fortunately for everyone on this list, they totally learned their lessons, maybe. I honestly don’t know.