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abercrombie & filched

file this one under political correctness run amuck.

LOS ANGELES - Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has agreed to pay $40 million to black, Hispanic and Asian employees and job applicants to settle a class-action federal discrimination lawsuit that accused the clothing retailer of promoting whites at the expense of minorities, lawyers said Tuesday.

The settlement...calls for the implementation of new policies and programs to promote diversity and prevent discrimination in its workforce. Abercrombie & Fitch also must pay about $10 million to monitor compliance and cover attorneys' fees, although the agreement contains no admission of wrongdoing by the company.

ah, the corporate shakedown. jesse jackson must be green with envy. this particular piece of race-baiting, however, was carried out by a, uh, rainbow coalition of various minority groups from wichita, kansas. woops, i mean tulsa, oaklahoma. or was it mobile, alabama? let me check the story again...ah, here it is: san francisco. shocking, but true.

what, precisely, was their plaint?

[Abercrombie & Fitch] hires a disproportionately white sales force, puts minorities in less-visible jobs and cultivates a virtually all-white image in its catalogues and elsewhere.

perhaps you're expecting me to come to A&F's defense by refuting the above. actually, i have no idea whether it's true or not, and, to be honest, don't care.

hell, let's stipulate the whole charge. say i'm a white clothier and my clientele is predominantly white. turns out that white people buy the white clothes they see on white models from happy white faces down at the mall, which, incidentally, is usually located in the whitest part of town. (as astonishing as all this may be to you, consider that companies like A&F have doubtless spent millions on marketing research to wind up at the exact same conclusion.) what's the problem? i'm a business man and i'm here to make money. i must have missed the day back in business school where they taught us that the true meaning of business is to transform society into some liberal hypocrite's diversity dream.

don't get me wrong. it's not that i'm advocating discrimination in the work force, but we aren't talking about picking welder A over welder B because welder B's ancestry happens to come from the wrong hemisphere, we're talking about sales. we're talking about image. we're talking about presentation. certain kinds of clothing appeal to certain segments of society and those segments expect their peers to be the ones doing the selling. that's how it works. always has, always will.

and the liberal hypocrites, to be blunt, don't have any more problem with it than i do--which is why i'm writing this post. it's not that they mind the same harmless "discrimination" that keeps over-sexed youths vee-jaying MTV and moldy joe and his orchestra wheezing out the classics at bingo night. it's not that they mind a clothier like FUBU, which uses (so far as i can tell) exclusively black models and salespeople and whose very name (yes, it really does mean "for us by us") practically revels in that exclusion. they don't mind the all-black school, the all-girls school, the all-gay-handicapped-bolivian-truckers school. they mind whitey. they attack whitey. they try to soak whitey, and, more often than not, they succeed. they extort millions of dollars from whitey because they think whitey stole it off of them in the first place. that's the whole thing in a nutshell. vendetta. try opening an all-white school if you don't believe me. (or, just for a lark, try getting tiger woods onto the LPGA tour.)

what really sucks about A&F caving to these thugs is that, far from decreasing the amount of racism in our society, they've helped entrench it all the more.

but then, it does give locdog something else to complain about



who's to say you wouldn't have shot him too?

the media is in full scandal mode over a marine shooting a wounded, unarmed iraqi. a marine who was himself shot in the face the day before, a marine who had already lost a comrade to a booby-trapped corpse, a marine who doubtless hadn't ate a decent meal or slept a solid six hours or had a hot shower in weeks. in short, a marine who, under any other circumstances, would be considered a hero.

why did he do it? who knows. he seemed inordinately disturbed by the fact that the wounded, unarmed iraqi (apparently unarmed from that marine's perspective) was "playing dead."

sure, to people sitting in cushy chairs with full bellies and a good night's sleep who see all of this on nice, safe satellite delay, it's pretty hard to understand why "playing dead" would incur an automatic death sentence. but, if we'd spent the last week or so dodging bullets--some of which came from terrorists playing hurt or dead in an attempt to lure unsuspecting soldiers to their doom--it would probably make a lot more sense. if we were forced to make life and death decisions under the most extreme conditions imaginable we'd probably be a bit more charitable still. and if most of those decisions amounted to "him or me," i'd doubt few if any of us would be in any great rush to pass judgment.

i'll tell you this much, they gave john kerry medals for taking far less serious injuries and honorably discharged him after killing people who were far more innocent. you may regard that as a controversial statement. you'd be wrong. kerry was never shot in the face, and kerry killed a child and his father whose only crime was picking the wrong night to go cruising in their sampan.

not that i'm faulting him. that sort of thing happened all too often in vietnam. why? because the enemy would use family-owned fishing vessels (and sometimes the family themselves) as cover to sneak up on american soldiers. add time and adrenaline, and innocent people are inevitably going to die.

we don't know all the facts, but this looks like the same type of thing. my gut reaction is that if you're looking for someone to blame for the wrongful death of someone who in all probability had it coming anyway, blame the enemy. you don't want mosques bombed? don't use them as bunkers and ammo dumps. you don't want corpses desecrated? don't rig them up as IEDs. you don't want the wounded shot? stop using them as bait.

there's an orgy of coverage about an obscenity-spouting marine executing a wounded, unarmed man, like some 'nam-era psychopath right out of an oliver stone flick, but what blame, if any, is given the insurgents? that i've seen so far, none. not any. zero. you know, if you start loading red cross trucks up with explosives and driving them into enemy positions, it's not going to be too long before they start targeting your red cross trucks. so whose fault is it when one of them that happens to be carrying wounded gets pounded into oblivion? according to our media it's the hapless american holding the still-smoking rocket launcher. and, as long as they're making him out like a war criminal, why not spit on him and call him a baby killer?

some people are going to throw their hands up over this one and say "that's just war," in an attempt to excuse the accused marine. they'd be as wrong as those trying to railroad him. it's not "just war." it's war with a savage enemy whose brutality and ruthless tactics have put our troops in a position where they are daily faced with the dilemma of following the rules or getting killed by an opponent who couldn't care less. i'm not saying our troops should start strapping grenades to little kids and send them toddling off into the nearest mosque, but the next time something like this happens, let's remember to give credit where it's due.

locdog thinks we owe our troops that much



the new slavery

i have this friend, who i'll call gary. never met the guy, we know each other through blogging. turns out that gary is an ex-homosexual...or maybe it's "recovering homosexual." i'm not up on all the terminology.

i'll tell you a bit more about gary in a second, but i'd like to pause here and give some of you a chance to calm down. see, i could have called gary a fag or a flamer or a fudge-packer or whatever and you probably wouldn't have batted an eyelash. just one more bigot on the internet. but if i call gary an ex-homosexual, well, i'm worse than hitler.

i've gone and implied that there are people out there who are not happy being homosexual. i've further implied that we have the ability to chose our sexual orientation, to define our lives as we see fit in spite our proclivities. and, lastly, i've stated that there exists at least one person who was gay, wasn't happy, and changed.

changed indeed. gary's a husband now and, together with his wife of seventeen years--an ex-lesbian--he leads programs aimed at helping people who don't want to be gay any more. a devout Christian, gary has written a curriculum for churches looking to start an outreach to homosexuals. he's taught, spoken, and has even been invited to sit on the board of a nationally-known organization that does pretty much the same thing.

i bring all this up for two reasons. the first is that for the past two weeks now, everyone and their brother has been saying that bush rode the whole gay marriage thing to power. not that that has much to do with this particular post, just that the topic has been in the news a lot lately. the second reason is this article, written by a small man. in it, the small man digresses from his fundie-bashing momentarily to snigger about a good man, an ex-homosexual who is himself a leader of a nationally-known homosexual outreach program. he was spotted in a gay bar a few years ago, you see.

i remember when that happened. i'll bet some of you do, too, and with no small degree of satisfaction. i'm pretty sure most gay readers will. why? hard to say, but i'll venture a guess.

it all starts at birth. you're born gay (or straight, or bi, or whatever) and there's nothing you can do about it. maybe at first you don't want to admit it to yourself. maybe you do and you try to fight it. maybe you have some unsuccessful flings with members of the opposite sex in a desperate attempt to right yourself...but then one day you decide that there's nothing wrong in need of righting, and you accept yourself for who you are. (did i miss any cliches?)

it's not a choice. what's choice got to do with it? it's in your genes. you might have been born a serial killer or a future NBA star or having green eyes instead of blue, but you weren't. you were born gay. that's the hand you were dealt, end of story, forever and ever amen. you're a slave to your sexuality. your fate may be a billion letters long and written entirely in G's and A's and T's and C's, but it comes down to the same thing: once gay, always gay.

now, i don't know anything about genetics. i don't know if there's a "gay gene" and, frankly, i don't care. i know that there are genes that make people heterosexual, and that many heterosexual people have lived long, fulfilled lives in total celibacy. they say that there may be genes that make you an alcoholic, or at least predispose you towards it. well, there are a lot of dried-out drunks around today. to me, genes are an excuse.

just look at rudy. you know: rudy! rudy! rudy! five-foot-nuthin. a-hundred-and-nuthin-pounds. and he played for notre dame. kid was a big hero. they made a movie about him. short, unathletic people like me were inspired because he decided not to play knute rockne's game instead of mother nature's.

they don't make movies about guys like gary. mostly they spit at them and applaud when they fail.

being gay isn't the problem, you see. having a problem with being gay is the problem. in perhaps the greatest irony of the culture war, the fundamental truth of the gay rights movement is that no one has a right to sexual self-determination. if you don't like being gay, it's because you're sick. you've been given a head full of bad wiring. you're hung up on outdated morality, judgmentalism, self-loathing. you're weak. you're a coward. you're unwilling to be different. worse, you're tearing everyone else down with you. you're costing the movement the gains they've made. so if you're not happy being gay, get your head right, suck it up, and deal with it, right?

why does leaving homosexuality have to be a bad thing? why do those who try have to fail? or, if they don't, how come they have to be secretly longing to get back in?

which is why, to finally answer my own question, i think it was such a wonderful thing to so many small people when an ex-homosexual got caught in a gay bar. it reminds me of drunks who laugh when they hear of someone falling off the wagon.

most of you know that i think homosexuality is a sin, but i don't see how that changes anything. suppose i didn't. suppose i was just peachy with gay sex. so what? hell, so what if i was gay myself? if someone isn't happy being gay, why should i be against him leaving? maybe he isn't trying to make a moral statement or to tell the world how awful geing gay is or to set the movement back fifty years, maybe he just wants to have a wife, two kids, and all of that. it wouldn't make me any less angry to hear his fellows telling him he's wrong to think that way--no, that he doesn't have a right to think that way--and praying for him to fail should he muster the courage to put his thoughts into action were my sexual mores something other than what they are.

locdog thinks we decide who we are