Be offended by what matters, not a season greeting

Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2015

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

I try not to get involved in the latest media drama that is sure to bring out the best caps-lock comments from everyone.

As a journalist, I understand the irony.

It seems like every day we are offended by something, just because a major media outlet said we should be. Whether it’s Christmas sweaters from Target or red cups from Starbucks, it’s only a matter of time before someone tells me this article offended them in some way.

But that’s OK. As I like to tell everyone, there are more pressing issues to worry about.

While you might associate December with traditional holiday hype such as Kwanza and New Year’s, I guarantee the age-old debate will once again be stirred by a news organization on being politically correct during “the season.”

Someone will be offended because a customer service rep replied with a “Merry Christmas” to an individual, not taking into account that they might not celebrate the holiday because of their religion.

What will follow will be an intense team coverage and in-depth analysis on what season greeting we should say to one another, followed by hashtags and polls on Twitter.

Give me a break.

We can place our time and energy into so much more besides material items or a greeting that is given to us with good intentions. Why must we waste time being offended by an acknowledgment?

This year, I’m not only getting ahead of the political correctness, I’m looking for better ways to use my time in general.

If you want to tell me Merry Christmas, go for it.

If you want to tell me Happy Hanukkah, be my guest.

If you just want to wish me well during the holidays, then I humbly accept your offer and bid you the same.

It’s not about being politically correct; it’s about being a nice human being. I don’t understand how you can be offended by a simple saying.

Do you know what is offensive?

Offensive is the number of people who have to leave their families early on Thanksgiving to open their stores for the rush on Black Friday.

Offensive are the hundreds that have been killed in the name of terror, with whom we will never be able to celebrate any holiday again.

Offensive are the number of people who will go hungry this holiday season, millions of kids who will not have a hot meal or a gift to open, regardless of the holiday.

If we are going to spend time being offended, then we need to be offended for the right reasons. And not only be offended, but act.

Colorado Springs has a variety of opportunities to help out this holiday season.

KPC Kids place is looking for volunteers to help aid children up to five who are at risk of neglect.

TESSA is looking for workers to help victims of domestic abuse. Care and Share Food Bank would like to beat its previous record of donations to make sure no child is hungry this season.

This is what we need to spend our time on, and what we should be talking about when it comes to news coverage on the holidays. Not a poorly decorated coffee cup.

If you are an able-bodied person, with a roof over your head and have the ability to go out and shop this year, even if it’s for one gift, I do not want to hear that you are offended.

Check your privilege, and be grateful that someone took the time to notice you out of their day and wish you the best.

The Lowdown

TESSA:
An agency that assists victims of domestic violence
Jody Petry: 785-6811, jpetry@tessacs.org

Urban Peak:
A transitional-housing shelter for homeless youth
(719) 630-3223, urbanpeak.org

KPC Kids’ Place:
A crisis and respite nursery for children to age 5 who are at risk for abuse and neglect
(719) 520-1019, operations@pikespeakfamilyconnections.org

Care and Share Food Bank:
Help make sure no one goes hungry in southern Colorado
careandshare.org, eric@careandshare.org