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“How Much $$$ Would Make You Move For A Job?”

That question is not mine. It’s from a discussion on LinkedIn. One which got me thinking and to which I offered my two cents-worth.

– – –

I spend a significant part of my professional time on LinkedIn (absolutely confidently, that’s what I call it: my professional time). LinkedIn is one of the greatest e-tools on the planet as far as I am concerned. It is my primary search and research tool. It’s for my networking and specifically, developing and nurturing and exercising my personal-professional network. I am, in short, a believer.

I know – there’s some guy, some CEO somewhere in this country who recently said that he doesn’t need LinkedIn. He operates beyond all that; on another level, a different level. Ok, fine. Whatever. So he’s not human like most of us are; he is apparently another type of human, living and operating on a wholly separate kind of plane. Sort of like Donald Trump or Barak Obama. Or Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, George Clinton, George Bush, George Clooney, Rosemary Clooney, Mickey Rooney, Andy Rooney, Andy Card, Andy McCarthy, Cormac McCarthy. Fine – we all get it. They don’t need it. We understand that. Some people do not operate as we – most of us – do. I guess this CEO guy thinks he is one of them. And maybe he is. So what.

(Sorry – I do know some of these people are dead.)

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In my sour grapes about it all (his attitude about it, I mean) I say Fine. Good. I just hope he never finds himself in a position that destroys all that. Like he is invulnerable. As if. AS IF. Well, I hope for his sake, he’s right. But my guess is he wears pants, just like I do. And I’ll bet he puts them on just the same, too.

So speaking for the rest of us, I don’t mind being human – the kind that most of us recognize and can relate to. To him, I guess I say, “Good luck” and leave it at that.

That other thing is the profession-orientated (and sometimes not-so-profession-orientated) conversations that LI members engage in. Rarely I do, too, and on this particular occasion, I saw that question that really resonated with me. And on this occasion my response received enough comments that I thought it was worth sharing a bit more and spreading a bit further. So here it is, reconstructed from LinkedIn. and for you LI-types who actually do put your pants on one leg at a time, click here for the original discussion.

– – –

Q: “How Much $$$ Would Make You Move For A Job?”

My Answer:
“Well, I know a guy who moved 1,500 miles for a high-visibility CEO job, presumably for millions. He was the top performer in everything he did in life. But instead of retiring a bit early after a few years of great success and going home to enjoy his family and home, he abused a short-lived market-tech-financial boom and went to jail.

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I know another guy, very highly paid, in a family business who was miserable due to the inner-workings of the place, and could not got out into the competitive world and find a comparable salary, so retired instead.

It’s not enough to be the smartest guy in the room, or the tops in everything, or the richest, financially; it’s not enough to be the end-all and everything guy. You’ve got to be happy. You’ve got to be decent. You’ve got to be nice.”

– – –

Magnet image and inspiration credit to J.T. O’Donnell, who writes at and runs CAREEREALISM Media and CareerHMO.

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And there is that additional thing I mentioned – that happens with LinkedIn that draws it closer in similarity to Facebook (which I keep completely separate. For me, LinkedIn is a tool a great tool. It is serious and work and professional and productive and actionable. Facebook is for lots of other stuff.)

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I apply one caveat to this: My developing running organization and projects, Mile With A Mission, or MWAM, to include The Oberlin Mile, which has a fantastic and vital FB presence is promoted heavily through Facebook.

FB is, in fact, my primary marketing tool for T O M. And Ask A Hoosier, too, where we have a page and a group. But all that for another discussion, or a divergent click on the link.

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    UPDATE

With this past week’s decision by a federal judge and last year’s “ruling” from the US Patent Office to assume legal jurisdiction over social-moral-ethical issues, we decided to repost this piece and add a bit more commentary along the way.

As ugly as perhaps our free speech can be at times (and that is certainly a matter of opinion and is debatable), it is a constitutional freedom. Now tertiary government offices and judges get to decide for us. This is scary. What next?

Here’s just a little of what AAH is bothered about, as it relates to disparaging anybody and anything, especially in the world of sports.

– – –

The flood gate has been officially declared open. The Braves, Indians, Warriors, Blackhawks, Hatchets, Vikings, Chiefs, Redmen, Red Devils, Blue Devils, Lady Buffaloes, Lady Bison. And that’s just a short list of high school mascots we can come up with in 3 minutes.

Everybody’s on the chopping block. Good for them. Good for the disparaged. Maybe they deserve it; maybe it’s time. It’s apparently not about freedom – even the freedom to make a mistake or be possibly offensive to someone – anymore. It’s about what society decides in the present mood and how government is obliged to intervene in the place of freedom.

The Louisville Redbirds’ teeth. I have had it with the teeth. It is not only disparaging, but entirely inaccurate to put teeth into the mouth of a cardinal. I don’t care how tough it makes them look. If they were all that tough, they’d go out and win the Rose Bowl. How about this – You win the Rose Bowl and you can keep your damn teeth. Until then, Shut up and peck like everybody else.

Wheaton College Whatevers. The fine Christian college in northern Illinois, where my nephew is headed this fall. Great school. They used to be the Crusaders, but clearly for a Christian school that eventually became unacceptable. For the life of me, even with my nephew wearing the T-shirts at family gatherings, I can’t remember that new ho-hum name. They should have taken our suggestion that they become the Martyrs. That would offend NOBODY.

Evolution. Is it true that a native American artist designed the Washington Redskins logo? Well, maybe he changed his mind in these intervening years. That’s ok. Even the Roe vs. Wade lady later became a Christian and came to oppose abortion. Anything can happen, and we do evolve.

But we also devolve. All in the Family and Archie Bunker are no longer produced, and many consider it close to the most offensive television show ever made. But my wife and I have renewed our interest in watching, thanks to MeTV. Great social and simple human relationship issues are exposed, explored and challenged in every episode.

Did Archie lead us to this? I really don’t know.

– – –

Recently Bob Costas brought the current controversy full front and center – during Sunday Night Football. And he stated the obvious – that it is the obvious elephant in the room.

He went through the historical perspective, showing photographs of the team in their logo emblazoned uniforms as far back as the 1940s. He drew and comparisons with other professional and collegiate teams. He presented the changes made, too – names and logos changed and traditions altered; arguably all for the purpose of righting long-standing wrongs.

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He submitted the obvious, too, that we, generally, the American public, as well as the team, Dan Snyder (the Redskins owner), anyone else, really, that there is no animas, no hatred, no ill-intent. There is only history and tradition.

Still, his conclusion was that we have to admit another obvious fact: the term “Redskins” is unlike any other. It stands alone in its representation of ethnicity and hence, race. And that, in and of itself is, by definition, racist. No others do so. At least, no longer.

Perhaps it was a bold thing to do, to issue forth social commentary on social controversy during Sunday Night Football. After all, we’re sitting down to watch, whether in the stands or at home, to finally, after a long and serious week, and just before the start of another; one more relatively brief respite, perhaps really call it what it is – our national (as well as personal) distraction, to take us away from, perhaps protect us from, the seriousness we’re about to once again embark upon in just less than 12 hours.

12 hours. Then we’re back at it.

Serious and daily and mundane and regular and yet, there’s our next respite – a bright reminder that we actually can make it: Monday Night Football. Our next Big Distraction. Then Thursday Night Football, then Saturday it’s all the college games; mainly Big Ten is all we care about, and Glory Be, we’re back to Sunday. Let Loose. We can make it through the week after all.

And then here comes Bob Costas to drag us down into the mire and stress of serious social issues.

Well, perhaps we need it; perhaps it needs to be said.

It’s just that we’re not quite on that channel – the Get All Serious And Philosophical channel – when we sit down to watch a football game. We’re more on the Relax And Not Think channel.

And Costas has done it before, in Kansas City. He did it over hand guns, any guns, and gun control, or non-control. He’s got a huge platform and a huge opinion and a huge go-ahead, so why not? And seriously, it was an important moment: that week a Chiefs player had just committed suicide with a pistol.

Well, he had to (or got to . . . .) make the morning TV rounds after that honest, expressive moment, to explain, sort out, defend, expound. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him; he just got to press his point a few more times. Apparently his bosses have made it clear it’s his job.

And maybe it is.

Well, Bob, the issue is real; we’re not arguing it’s not. And it’s important, and if we get into a conversation over this one, say, during lunch, or while walking down the hall to the conference room, or while doing a little yard work, we’ll actually get into it. We’ll put some thought into it and we’re ready to see it both ways. Hell, several ways. It is complicated, after all.

And maybe we do think somebody ought to . . . . uh, ought to . . . Uh . . . uh, ought . . . Uh . . .

What, exactly? Somebody ought to what?

Only a few days before this, say on Wednesday or Thursday night this past week, it was Brian Williams of ABC News who opened his broadcast with the question, “Should the Washington Redskins be forced to change their name?”

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Now they’ve got us thinking.

But here’s what we’re thinking about:

The – exact – words – he – chose; the proposition, exactly:

“Should the Washington Redskins be forced to change their name?”

Should they be FORCED . . .

FORCED.

Now all’s a-swirl in which thought to express first, where to begin. How to deal with which problem. How many problems? Many.

Here’s one to begin with:

This one’s so obvious, so common, so knee-jerk, it’s cliché. And one perhaps nobody wants to hear any more. Maybe nobody wants to see it dragged out of the closet and dragged through the muck one more time. Maybe it’s a tired argument now; lost its steam. Lost its shine. Especially in these times in the life of America.

It’s the freedom of speech-thing. The First Amendment to the Constitution – the Bill of Rights.

We’ll not even go into it. It’s tiring just considering the whole discussion, and generally, it seems nobody really cares about that argument any more.

So here’s the next one to think about:

In the past couple of years Ask A Hoosier has posted a couple of blogs that come pretty close to the heart of this matter.

First is our piece, Reading, Hearing, Understanding . . .and Changing History . . .and Ourselves from May, 2011 about the use of – and regret for the use of – and the discarding of – and the covering up of – the evidence, the history, the context, the reconstruction of – the N word.

Second, On My Honor, I Will Do My Best . . . , May, 2013, is the piece written more recently about the issue of gay membership in the Boy Scouts of America. Rather than reiterate, or more realistically, re-exhaust ourselves here by retelling and rearguing the issue, maybe it would be worth your time and effort and intellect to read it. Substitute one issue for the other. You’ll find it’s really the same.

Now, to apply it to the Redskins issue, consider this:

Consider rewriting history and tradition in a similar way that Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have been altered and filtered to make – finally – acceptable the stories told by one man.

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One man, said to be one of the greatest writers in our nation’s history, who happened to be the very one who said that choosing just the right word; the exact and best, most fitting word, is what makes all the difference.

The very words he chose – supposedly so carefully with very specific intent – have, at least by some, been discarded.

The result?

Perhaps someday, when enough time and knowledge and accuracy in history and tradition have gone, when all those who were first-hand witnesses to it are gone or at least silent, when all abhorrent written and printed record is put aside in another dark and cold Krystal Nacht revived from another history, then perhaps . . .

. . . . perhaps . . .

Perhaps it will be denied. Denied that it ever happened.

Where is the proof, after all? “Show us the proof”, they could say. And there would be none to be found.

It was Edgar Allen Poe’s character in The Tell-tale Heart who was made insane with guilt because the evidence of his crime, though hidden, was still there.

Floorboards, no matter how thick or heavy, are no match the weight of truth. The evidence was still there, only just beneath the surface. Perhaps because the truth was as the stones of the Apostles – that even they would cry out.

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The truth will not be hidden.

So in our guilt and pious or self-righteous efforts to right the wrongs of history, we have found a way – to destroy. Then in the aftermath of destruction, disposal, so convenient and desirable these days, we find a new opportunity: denial.

If all trace is erased, if all record is destroyed, perhaps our guilt can finally be assuaged. Why feel guilt for something which does not exist? Something for which there is no proof. The oppressors are free at last.

Someday, when enough time has passed and people and memory and passion have passed, denial will come so easily. Perhaps that is ultimately what we want.

By the way, the occurrence of the holocaust – the attempted extermination of the Jewish Race – is a truth, a fact of history. And to reiterate this truth, Germany has passed a law that makes it illegal to speak of the holocaust as not truth; that it did not happen. Illegal to speak of it other than as truth.

– – –

The legal control of our words and how we speak.

– – –

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For a number of years, I was a student at the Laboratory School attached to Indiana State University. In those days we wore school-issued gym shorts for our “Phys Ed” class. Dark blue shorts with the likeness of a leaf of a sycamore tree and “Young Sycamores” emblazoned on one side. I also remember the university’s marching band equipment trailer, on which was painted on its sides a sycamore tree trunk, with feet and arms, marching, playing a trombone. Meanwhile, Chief Quabachi and his indian princess so-and-so would run out onto the basketball court and football field every weekend in full regalia.

ISU eventually came to their senses, like many schools, and canned the Chief and his side kick, and came up with what is described as “a furry woodland creature” – Sycamore Sam – arguably better than a tree trunk for a mascot, even if it were equipped with a really full crown of giant leaves (sycamores are known for producing very impressive leaves).

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Well, I’ve spent a significant amount of time in the woods, by the way; hunting, camping, exploring, and such and 1) I have never seen “a furry woodland creature” that was about 5 and a half feet tall and bright blue and white wearing pants, and 2) if I ever did, I imagine it would scare me about as badly as a raging indian chief in full headdress wielding a spear. But the fear factor was apparently not part of the calculation.

Anyway, Sycamore Sam is in and Chief Quabachi is out.

– – –

Suppose all Native American groups opposed any “external” use of their names or descriptions in any way. What could happen? A particular perspective is that the result would be that we – anyone – never, ever, ever talks about them again.

No mention.

Period.

Silence.

In organized, uniformed athletics, their names, likenesses and symbols are used for what purpose? To honor them? To celebrate their great and admirable qualities? To remember them and their history? Or to publicly, openly, unabashedly mock, deride and scorn them?

What if instead, they were never spoken of again?

Perhaps they would disappear, and – their – our – all – memory of them would disappear. Something like their languages. The lost sounds of their beautiful languages. Silenced.

In athletics and education in this country, we can believe the intent was never to dishonor them. The intent was surely to raise up, recognize and honor – celebrate – the great virtues of another: strength, honor, loyalty, fidelity, and more. And to remember and not forget a people who were the first of this land to embody such character.

We are a flawed people.

We are mistaken in so many things and yet, we are evolving; learning from our history, changes evolving one from another to another, compounding upward, always changing – hopefully growing, hopefully improving.

Should the names disappear from our daily social, cultural landscape when misused? Is force the modus operandi?

Consider these:

Apache Corporation
Cherokee Clothing Company
Blackhawk pencils
Navajo Trucking
Mohawk Paper
Sioux Corporation
Pontiac
Jeep Cherokee
Land O’ Lakes
The Cleveland Indians
the Atlanta Braves
the Kansas City Chiefs
the Chicago Blackhawks

. . . and the Washington Redskins.

Should the Minnesota Vikings be exempt? Why?

How many more are there?

Think of the innumerable high school, college, and university mascots. Wheaton College in recent years experienced the painful and divisive evolution.

When they began they were the Crusaders. When it was over, they were the Thunder. They should have become the Martyrs. Surely that would have been acceptable and better yet, repentant and non-threatening, especially to any of their intercollegiate athletic competition.

Read about them, read their histories. And if you can find it, read about their names. Should they be compelled by law – by some other method – to change their names? Should they be compelled to compensate or make restitution? What should the disposition of their freedom of choice be in the matter? Should they remain free to choose, even if they choose badly in someone’s judgment?

What if in bad judgment for everyone?

What if it’s even decided, virtually universally, that it’s hateful or hurtful or just insensitive or crude? What if millions say it’s inappropriate?

Is that enough? Should there be a law?

Should such a thing be regulated like a noise ordinance?

If the theory of evolution is to be believed in any form, to any extent, then the progression of this issue will also continue and it will not stop.

So questions remain: What are the implications? What’s next? and Who’s next?

– – –

Postscript

It’s ironic, with all the controversy, every Redskins logo we can find actually seems to depict brown skin.

It’s ironic that on the very day this piece was originally written, the Redskins were defeated by the Cowboys. Well, of course they were. And how hateful is that? The Cowboys beat the Redskins. I don’t even know where to begin.

– – –

For more reading, visit these sites:

Cultural Survival
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_name_controversy

Green America

The World

Native American Imagery in Advertising & Branding

An interesting list: Inc. magazine’s rundown of the top Native American-run companies of 2012:
http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2012/diversity/nativeamerican

As for Tom and Huck, Twain Scholars and observers have their opinions about changing history:

The Wall Street Journal

The Christian Science Monitor

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Graphics Credits

Redskins images: Washington Redskins
Cover image, Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn: New South Publishers and Publishers Weekly
The Tell-tale Heart image: Rob Zangrillo
Chief Quabachi and Sycamore Sam images: Indiana State University

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