Opinion

Why must everything — from ‘Real Housewives’ to the NFL to yoga — be about race. It is toxic for America

Remember when McDonald’s taught us, “You deserve a break today”?

Catchy jingle. Made you want to go out for a Big Mac. Today the tune American culture is singing is, “You deserve some ache today,” and it makes me want to go out for a Quarter Pounder with Hemlock.

“The Real Housewives of New York” has turned into a tiresome ongoing race spat, and has predictably been rewarded with record-low ratings. The National Football League is playing the “black national anthem.” That effort effectively rebrands “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a white national anthem and further divides America in what is supposed to be a unifying ceremony.

Even yoga is now white supremacy, according to the new book “Yoke” (yoga meets woke, I guess).

Celebrity yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley told People, “I think that when you bring up cultural appropriation in yoga, everyone’s butthole clenches because everybody’s like, ‘Oh s—, I think I might be guilty of this,’ or, ‘I could be apart of this and that doesn’t feel good.’ ”

Jessamyn Stanley
“I think that when you bring up cultural appropriation in yoga, everyone’s butthole clenches,” celebrity yoga teacher Jessamyn Stanley said.
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Do we really need to bring race issues into yoga? Isn’t the whole point of yoga to turn off your mind so your body can stretch and relax? The new yoga seems to require not only not turning off your mind, but turning up some of the bitterest, or guiltiest, parts of it. Breathe deep, reconnect with your inner goddess and release all tensions, you racist.

Yoga
Even yoga has been pulled into the race discussion.
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Respect for racial and other minorities is an important American value, but respect is not the same as bombarding every silly reality show and sporting event with incessant reminders of injustice and ill will. Those in a position to attract millions of eyeballs are being irresponsible if they focus on subjects that inflame tensions rather than pull people together.

Even silly shows like “The Bachelor” are now operating under a dark cloud of racial mistrust, and the host of that show got fired for saying, “We all need to have a little grace” and cut each other some slack.

I understand athletes, entertainers and reality-show contestants can never stop trying to convince us they have, like, really deep thoughts on the issues du jour. Racism “is our pandemic. It infects all of us, and in 400 years we’ve yet to find a vaccine,” George Clooney wrote in his recent Daily Beast op-ed. “It seems we’ve stopped even looking for one.”

Eboni K. Williams was added to the cast of “The Real Housewives of New York.”
Eboni K. Williams was added to the cast of “The Real Housewives of New York.”
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First, I’m pretty sure the pandemic is our pandemic. It killed over 600,000 people in a year, remember? Second: Clooney thinks maybe there could be vaccines for toxic thoughts? Maybe you should have workshopped that a little before you actually hit send, Worst Batman. Or saved it for your next craptacular sci-fi movie.

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY
“The Real Housewives of New York” has turned into a tiresome ongoing race spat.
Heidi Gutman/Bravo

Anyone who wanders over to a Daily Beast column deserves whatever he gets. But when we tune into mindless entertainment, we’re looking for a break from incessant talk about race seizing control of every institution and tradition from the Real Housewives on up.

The NFL has been rebuked with years of falling TV ratings as fans have turned away from the increasingly politically charged atmosphere. This year the league is actually considering an extravagantly awful idea to permit players to adorn their uniforms with the names of black victims of injustice.

An "End Racism" field decal is seen from above during a game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Ford Field on December 26, 2020
Respect for racial and other minorities is an important American value, but respect is not the same as bombarding every sporting event with incessant reminders of injustice and ill will.
Getty Images

This is insanity. Football is a place where black and white athletes excel together. It is, or ought to, speak for itself as a vision of inclusivity, unity, and agreed-upon race-neutral rules. Football is literally played on a level playing field. Why bring into the game all the stuff we argue about outside the stadium? Are we going to allow everything in America to turn into talk radio.


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