Today is Martin Luther King Day…Too Bad the People on this List Have Not Lived Up to His Example!

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A Brief History

On January 21, 2019, the citizens of the United States of America celebrate another national holiday, this one in remembrance of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., an icon of the Civil Rights Movement.  Unfortunately, not everyone has honored Reverend King’s legacy in a commendable way this past month.  Yet, those who have disrespected Reverend King are but some of our fellow citizens who have disappointed our society in various ways in January 2019.  Although we have nearly a third of the month of January yet to go, we feel compelled to list “Jerks of the Month” early this month, as we have SO MANY to choose from!  As always, feel free to take exception to anyone we have listed and/or to nominate your own jerks for inclusion on the list.

Questions for Students (and others): Who would you add to the list?  What kind of jerk would you like to mention that would escape the attention of the public at large?

Digging Deeper

The Newscaster and Weatherman that turned Martin Luther King, Jr.’s name into a racial slur.

King in 1964

Television weather reporter Jeremy Kappell in New York was reporting on the weather situation at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Rochester on January 4, 2018, when he called the park “Martin Luther coon King Jr. Park.”  Kapell was fired on January 7th amid a chorus of calls for the firing.  The beleaguered weatherman claimed he had misspoken and not meant to say what he said.  Skeptics believe the slip may have revealed his inner thoughts.  Who knows?  Either way, such a slight cannot go unaddressed.  Shocking as this faux pas may seem, on January 17, 2018, a similar slip was repeated when a Missouri television news anchor was relating a story about a coming tribute to the late Reverend King at St. Louis University, when he spoke King’s name as “Martin Luther coon Jr..”  The mortified anchor apologized profusely when called out and claimed he had misspoken and not even realized what he had said but was fired anyway 3 days later.  Seriously, Jerks, in this day and age we are going to make those kinds of statements on public television and claim a slip of the tongue?

Cop Killers.

Thin Blue Line American flags emblazon a coffee house in Boise, Idaho in 2016.  Photograph by Kencf0618.

Already this month the nation has been sickened by the on duty deaths of 7 police officers, 4 by gunfire and 3 struck and killed by drunk or distracted drivers.  Adding to the sad carnage, a police dog (K-9 unit) was also shot to death in Duluth, Minnesota.  In 3 of the 4 fatal shootings the suspect was taken into custody by officers who had the humanity and professionalism not to kill the subject outright.  (In the K-9 shooting case, the offender committed suicide.)  the fatal shootings occurred as the officers were attempting to arrest suspects on warrants, arrest incident to burglary, and at the scene of a traffic accident where a driver inexplicably opened fire on the responding officer, later shooting himself.

Rudy Giuliani.

Picture of Rudy Giuliani

Remember when this guy was called “America’s Mayor?”  He has become a laughingstock for his outright lies and outrageous faux pas while attempting to represent President Trump.  After months of claiming “no collusion” in the Donald Trump 2016 Presidential campaign or Presidential administration, Giuliani suddenly started saying in recent days that he never made that particular claim, and that he had only meant that the President himself did not collude with the Russians.  A caricature of his former self, Rudy has become a television clown that rambles incoherently and is doing no good service to the President.  Giuliani had also vehemently denied any discussion between President Trump and Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, regarding Cohen’s testimony before Congress.  Now Giuliani says “there may have been” such discussions.  The man no longer has any credibility and we wonder why he ever had any!

Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

Coulter at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference. Photograph by Gage Skidmore.

Democrats and Republican legislators had agreed on a spending bill to continue funding the US government when these 2 conservative media hosts chastised President Trump about allowing such a deal to take place when Trump has not yet gotten funding for his pet project, the Southern Border Wall.  President Trump took the bait and reversed course, refusing to sign a continuing funding bill which caused the US Government to go into the longest partial shut down in the history of the country.  About 800.000 Federal employees are either totally off work or working without getting a paycheck, severely straining their economic viability.  Additionally, an indeterminate number of contract workers are not getting work or being paid during this shut down, making the total out of money and out of luck workers (probably) over a million.  Thanks a lot, Ann and Rush.

Anyone that tells laid off or unpaid workers to just “adjust” and/or sell their possessions to make ends meet.

President Trump meets with Congressional leadership in the White House Situation Room on January 2, 2019

Advice such as “get a baby sitting job” or “hold a yard sale” is not good advice, it is tone deaf idiocy from people that are in no danger of going unpaid and losing their house, car, or other possessions.  In spite of baloney from the President that he “can relate” to people living paycheck to paycheck, the sad fact is that many Americans are one missed paycheck away from financial disaster.  You need a $4000 dental bridge that insurance pays $800 for?  Or do you pay $300 and get the tooth pulled?  No, high ranking government officials (senators, representatives, cabinet members, the President etc.) do not relate and cannot relate to the reality these government workers are facing.

Rashida Tlaib.

Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in 2018

While we are not willing to debate (at this time, anyway) the propriety of starting impeachment proceedings against President Trump, we do take exception to an American US Representative to Congress, namely, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, one of the first 2 Muslim female members of Congress, saying in a public forum, “Because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the m*****f*****!” in reference to President Trump.  While President Trump may delve into the less than courtly manners expected of high office holders, we disapprove of anyone in return doing the same and perhaps trying to one-up the President by being even more coarse.  Take the high road, Rashida!  When dealing with a subject as serious as impeaching a sitting US President, any hint of malice or levity are to be equally avoided, and the tainting of the process by overt bias one way or the other takes something away from the credibility of the process and its ultimate outcome.

NFL Referees.

American football ball

No, we are not indicting all the great refs in the NFL, and in fact we salute the first female NFL referee to ever work an NFL playoff game, Sarah Thomas.  We are calling out the blind men working the NFC Championship Game between the Rams and the Saints, the ones that did not call pass interference in the 4th Quarter against Rams’ defensive back Nickell Robbey-Coleman who mugged Saints receiver TommyLee Lewis, a blatant missed (or ignored?) call that basically allowed the game to go into overtime instead of ending as an almost sure Saints’ victory.  The Rams won in overtime and will face the AFC Champions in the Super Bowl on February 3, 2019, leaving the Saints and their fans to moan about being robbed.  While not from New Orleans nor particularly a Saints fan, this author offers his condolences to the Saints faithful!

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Gargulinski, Ryn. Little Book of Big Jerks: Fast, Fun Illustrated Guide for Dealing with Difficult People. Ryndustries Rags, 2017.

Little Book of Big Jerks: Fast, Fun Illustrated Guide for Dealing with Difficult People (Paperback)

List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $19.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $18.97 USD In Stock
buy now

Meier, Paul. Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You / Advice For Dealing With Difficult People. Thomas Nelson Inc, 1993.

Don’t Let Jerks Get the Best of You / Advice For Dealing With Difficult People (Hardcover)

List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $15.03 USD In Stock
Used from: $5.50 USD In Stock
buy now

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Rowland Scherman (restored by Adam Cuerden) of King at the 1963 Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C., is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 542015.  This file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a cooperation project. The National Archives and Records Administration provides images depicting American and global history which are public domain or licensed under a free license.  This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland