Are you heroic if you take the easy path?
By Don Valentine
Let me posit a huge complaint by the masses that are idolizing the Jenner transformation. There are several thousand people in the U.S. that would go through the same metamorphous if they had the resources. The financially fortunate that have done it previously are relatively anonymous. This is how Jenner should have made the transition. Numerous people have had breast augmentation or face lifts without the notoriety.
Hence my annoyance with the millions of gawkers that are treating this augmentation as a heroic chapter. The fascination with this now “has been” celebrity is cluttering up the news cycle. Jenner was famous 41 years ago as an Olympian. Now Jenner is famous for being a side character in the Kardashian reality show. That is not exactly a seminal program like a Seinfeld or M.A.S.H.
As a man of faith, I’m in accordance with Jesus’s mandate to love your brother as you love yourself. Tolerance is a practice we should all advocate. You can agree, disagree or be shocked by the Jenner augmentation. But, hate is not an option.
Jenner is lauded for showing the courage of conviction. One could ask if doing the easy thing is courageous or just expedient. By contrast, Jenner did not end South African Apartheid. Nor did Jenner become the genesis for Civil Rights for minorities in America. For that matter, Jenner did not demonstrate that open heart surgery could be performed successfully; just a short list of very courageous achievements by Black men. These milestones were achieved in environments that were extremely adverse for a man of color.
Juxtaposed to those courageous acts we have a wealthy celebrity taking the pulse of the community. The sexuality sentiment is a lot more malleable now than in 1976. Great time to cash in. True courage is when you sacrifice the celebrity of the “Wheaties” box and state your case after you won the Gold medal. It was easier and more profitable to keep quiet then.
True courage does not take the easy road. Harriet Tubman could have kept her porch candle off. Dr. W.E.B. Dubois did not have to form the N.A.A.C.P. in the Jim Crow era. Jackie Robinson could have taken his U.C.L.A. degree and done quite well in the Negro leagues. Do you think he wanted the racial epithets he got for breaking the color barrier? Dr. King did not anticipate any high paid appearance fees for his effort. He did anticipate jails, F.B.I. and premature death. Jenner anticipated lucrative notoriety in 2015. Now ask yourself, is this hyperbole in balance with other historic courageous acts??
Don Valentine, Free Lance Writer
U.C. Berkeley ’89 B.S. Psychology
McGeorge Law School J.D. ‘92
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