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Bumper sticker exposes ignorance

Sept. 10, 1996

The issue:

A pickup displayed a Confederate flag and a bumper sticker reading 'Proud To Be: Politically Incorrect, White, Male, Pro-Life, Christian, and Of the Opinion That the Spotted Owl Tastes Like Chicken.'

Ward's view:

The driver of the truck may never change, but the mentality behind the statements is certainly not a reason to be proud.

Alyson

Ward

Lariat Night News Editor

A few weeks ago I pulled up behind a huge white Chevy pickup at a traffic light. The bumper sticker on the back could be seen for a mile:

'Proud To Be: Politically Incorrect, White, Male, Pro-Life, Christian, and Of the Opinion That the Spotted Owl Tastes Like Chicken.'

It was accompanied, of course, by another sticker featuring the Confederate flag that said, 'Keep it flying!' and a big antenna flopping around on the top of the truck.

Now, I usually just roll my eyes at obnoxious displays, but by the time I'd followed that truck halfway across town, I was mad. I pulled over into the next lane, sped up alongside the truck and strained to get a good look at this Proud White Christian Male. The tanned and bearded good ol' boy was messing with the radio ­ undoubtedly searching for Rush Limbaugh ­ and chewing something as if his life depended on it. Ugh.

May we analyze this for a moment? No, I'm not going to get uptight about the bumper sticker. It's just a bumper sticker. I know.

I am going to get uptight, though, about the general attitude of supremacy that inspired this man to parade around town with this philosophy stuck to the back of his truck.

Sure, the bumper sticker as a whole sounds like the viewpoint expressed by thousands of hardworking American men who say they're overtaxed and underappreciated in a world that's too P.C. But when the list is broken down, it's more than just a political stance. From the offensive (proud to be white) to the ridiculous (the spotted owl thing), it shows what's wrong with America.

The second sticker, the tribute to the Confederate flag, only enhances the offensiveness of the first. The Confederate flag may be a symbol of the South, but to many it's also a reminder of a dark time in our nation's history. The flag doesn't say Dixie to me. It says racism. What sort of attitude leads a person to buy a bumper sticker like that?

But back to the first sticker. It says he's proud to be Christian. Doesn't Christianity mean kindness and tolerance? Doesn't it mean treating your fellow humans with respect instead of condescension? Doesn't it mean at least making an attempt to not offend people?

The scary thing is, the man in the white Chevy truck doesn't realize that, and neither do a lot of other people who run around waving the flag of Christianity right alongside the Confederate flag. As a result, the rest of us are exposed to his ignorance every time he backs out of his driveway. Is this the American spirit? If it is, we should be ashamed ­ certainly not proud.

The man with the Chevy truck may never change. He could have saved a lot of space on his bumper, though, and simply attached a sticker that said, 'Proud To Be: Ignorant.'

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