Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Carlos Mencia Philosophy

I love Carlos Mencia. Let me say it again. I love Carlos Mencia. Why do I love Carlos Mencia? Carlos Mencia is one of those rare people who say what everyone else is thinking but doesn't have the testicular fortitude to say themselves, and he makes it funny.

Those who consider themselves sensitive regarding ethnic and gender stereotypes should beware. Carlos doesn't pull any punches. Even the mentally challenged and physically handicapped aren't safe when it comes to Carlos. White people are never safe. And just because he is Hispanic doesn't mean that he gives any amount of sympathy to his own demographic. Carlos Mencia is an equal opportunity heckler, and that's the way it should be. Nobody, and I mean nobody, gets special treatment.

Carlos usually talks about how people who demand equality don't necessarily want to be treated equal. They want to be treated better. In his recent visit to Birmingham (and his recently televised stand up routine), he talked about an experience in an amusement park where he'd waited for hours to get onto a particular ride. Just as he got to the front of the line, with what appeared to be one seat left just for him, the ride operator shut the gate in front of him to let on a guy in a wheelchair. Carlos, being furious, demanded that the guy have to wait in line like everyone else. Why should he get special treatment just because he was in a wheelchair unless he wanted to admit that he wasn't as good as everyone else there and needed special treatment? The guy in the wheelchair said that Carlos was not better than him, and Carlos quickly replied, "Then get to the back of the line!"

There was, as could be expected, one person in the audience who was shocked by Carlos and his actions toward the man. Then Carlos finished his story.

There was, after all, one seat left-- right next to the guy in the wheelchair. The operator wasn't going to let Carlos on, but Carlos joked that he "pulled the race card," so the operator let him on. During the ride, the guy next to him thanked Carlos. Why? Because everyone else just saw a helpless guy in a wheelchair. Carlos was one of those rare people who wasn't going to give him a break. He was treating him just like anyone else. The guy asked Carlos if he wanted to ride again. Carlos said that he did, but he didn't want to wait in line again. "That's okay," said his new friend, "You're with me now."

After that, they "rode every ride in the park four times" after breaking to the front of the lines.

I'm thinking about this because I have been following the immigration issue. While people consider me to be insensitive to this and similar issues, it's because I have a tendency to follow what I call the "Carlos Mencia Philosophy" regarding people. I think that everyone should be treated equally-- not given special privileges.

Even as a soon-to-be mother, I have no sympathy for women who demand special privileges from their employers and use the mommy excuse. Do I think that a woman should be allowed to use a breast pump at work? Of course. Do I believe that it's your employer's responsibility to provide you with a special place and extra breaks to do it? Nope. Do I think that you should be able to work and raise a family? Of course. Do I believe that your employer should have to bend over backwards to make sure that your working schedule fits around daycare? Nope. Do I believe that you should have the same amount of consideration in promotion and hiring as a man? Of course. Do I believe that your employer should be required to give you that job or that promotion over a more qualified man simply to meet their quota of women and out of fear of a lawsuit? If they were to offer it to me, I wouldn't want it. It's insulting.

Maybe it's the Libertarian coming out in me. I believe in holding people responsible to their own qualifications and actions. It generates a sense of pride in those of us who work hard. It also generates little sympathy for those who can but instead expect for things to just be given to them. Do I believe that you should have a retirement fund? Of course. Do I believe that your failure to plan for retirement requires the government to provide one for you? Look somewhere else for sympathy.

Now let's look at my stance on two of today's issues: Hurricane Katrina and illegal immigration.

Hurricane Katrina: Months after the hurricane tore through New Orleans, some are genuinely working toward getting back on their feet. Then the city made the announcement that public housing was now available to those who were willing to work. Physical inability was one thing, but if you could pick things up and carry them from one spot to another, they had a job for you. On the news, I saw several people who were infuriated by this. How dare they discriminate when offering public housing?! Do I believe that you deserve the opportunity to get back on your feet after a natural disaster? Of course. Do I believe that it's the government's responsibility to make sure that you have a place to live when you refuse to work? Look somewhere else for sympathy. I'm fresh out. I'll admit that there are those who need assistance in their genuine attempt to work hard to get back on their feet, but there are far too many others who are using this situation to acquire sympathy and special treatment. This is where I draw the line.

Illegal Immigration: I highly value my citizenship. I can fully understand why people would want to come here. More power to them. I welcome them with open arms. Do I think that everyone should have an equal opportunity to become a citizen? Of course. Do I believe that the government should have to provide you with services that you haven't paid into? Do I believe that businesses and government branches should start requiring that people learn a different language to cater to you because you didn't bother to learn the language that we already speak? Do I believe that a low-skilled, entry level job should supply you with a better than minimum wage salary and benefits when you don't have the skills or speak the language to work a better job? Do I believe that you should be granted citizenship without having to take the same tests and classes that others have to take simply because you can walk across a border? Once again, you'll have to look for sympathy somewhere else because I'm fresh out.

Those who demand equal treatment will find it from me. Those who demand special treatment will be disappointed.

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