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Your Final Explanation

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Memo to racists, the excessively religious, and shoppers: YOU ARE DUMB.

Why is this so fucking difficult to figure out? It's not that complicated. But every single time it comes up, the lot of you run around in circles, firing chunks of stupidity off at wild angles and dragging in wholly unrelated topics while you try to puzzle out what is, in essence, a very, very simple thing.

First, it was Christian pharmacists and contraceptives. Then it was Muslim cab drivers and passengers carrying alcohol. Now it's Muslim cashiers and pork products on the conveyor.

Apparently, at least locally, some Muslim cashiers are taking a very, very, very strict stance on the pork restriction, and refusing to touch things like sealed, wrapped pepperoni pizzas. This is fucking stupid and crazy, defying reason and sense. Like most religious beliefs. Target, where the reported "incidents' have occurred, is making adjustments by having other cashiers come over and scan the offending items.

This, of course, has provoked the usual responses from threatened bigots. Here's a quick summary of the predictable overreaction from a Star Tribune blog posting on the topic. ACTUAL QUOTES TIME!


"If they do not like it here, then they can return to whatever God-forsaken rathole they came from."
"WE ARE NOT MUSLIM HERE IN NORTH AMERICA STOP TRYING TO IMPOSE YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM ON US. I EAT PORK ALL DAY AND I LOVE IT DON'T TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CAN'T EAT."
"Muslims have no place in a free society. They have no place in America. They are by their very practices, enemies of America and all Americans."
"We WILL NOT live like muslims in this country! It's AMERICA here and we are founded on CHRISTIAN beliefs!"
"Maybe we should build a fence of bacon around the country to keep the pricks out."

Yeah, buddy. If it weren't for immigrants, there'd be no pricks in America. Keep believing that, while I remind everyone all of this was promoted by cashiers having someone else scan the goddamned bacon. So since none of you seem to fucking GET IT, I'm going to lay it out for you, nice and simple.

The employee is there to do a job. If their crazy superstition means they can't touch the pork rinds, that might be a problem. If their crazy superstition says they can't work on Saturdays, that might be a problem. If their crazy superstition says that Jesus won't let them hand over pills that might stop babies from being born, that might be a problem. If it's a problem, then the employee has to choose between their crazy superstition and their job. Period. End of story.

HOWEVER. At the end of the day, that problem exists between the employee and the employer. The employer has one obligation. Making sure that the goods and services it provides get to the customer. As long as that happens, THERE IS NO PROBLEM. If you don't wanna hand out contraceptives, fine. But the store's gotta make sure someone's there who can. If you don't want to scan the piggy, fine. But someone's gotta be there who can. If you don't want booze in your cab, then there damn well better be a cab that does right behind you. If you sell a product, and I come in with enough money for that product, I'm leaving with that product.

As long as that happens, I don't care how. If you're the customer, and your shit's getting scanned and bagged, it doesn't matter if it takes an entire Rainbow Coalition trading off every third item to do it. SHUT YOUR RACIST CRACKERHOLES. You are not being fucking INVADED because your cashier has a scarf on her head and thinks your Jimmy Dean breakfast links are unclean. If Target doesn't have a problem with it, you shouldn't. And if you do, then feel free to shop elsewhere. Maybe you'll be lucky and the Klan will open up a chain of discount stores, so you can indulge your white Christian supremacy while still paying five bucks for a big pack of toilet paper.

This isn't difficult for anyone with a modicum of sense, decorum, or common decency toward their fellow human being. Which is why there's three pages of angry racist blog posts about it, and why I guarantee, since the story got promoted to the real paper yesterday, we'll be reading more of it in the Letters to the Editor for weeks on end. Because modicums are awfully fucking scarce these days.

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