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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Dealing with Bias

For once, I'm not the only one who thinks life imitates cartoons.

You've probably read about the guy in Texas who sued because Hooters wouldn't hire him to be a waiter. If you haven't, read the suit.

My immediate thought was: Dale Gribble!

Now Google "Dale Gribble Hooters."

See what I mean?

The only difference is that the restaurant - Bazooms - did exactly the right thing when Dale threatened to sue: it hired him and put him in a short skirt and tank top.

Sometimes you really do have to be careful what you wish for.

Now if you have no idea what I'm talking about, that means you spend your time much more wisely than I do. Dale Gribble is a character on a TV cartoon series called King of the Hill which, obviously, is an inspiration for life as we know it.

There are so many ways of looking at this that it's tough deciding where to begin.

But let's start with the obvious: if cartoon-threatened litigation inspires real litigation, are the creators of the cartoon liable for the consequences?

I'd say yes, normally, but in this case King of the Hill came up with the perfect solution, i.e. hiring Dale. So before Hooters can sue Fox Television, it must mitigate damages by hiring the guy in the Texas lawsuit to do and wear exactly what the Hooters girls do.

It's better than going to court and you just know it will bring in business.

Next question: would the plaintiff have wanted to work at Hooters if there weren't any Hooters Girls?

Do I really have to answer that?

And then there's this from the lawsuit: "Hooters Girls' primary function is to serve food and drinks."

Yeah, and the main reason guys go there is because they're hungry.

Stay tuned for the next lawsuit from a guy who couldn't get hired to dance at a strip club.

Oddly, all this reminds me of the rulings we used to get regularly in the early days of palimony in California. Judges kept insisting that couples had to promise to support each other but the motivation couldn't be "meretricious" - i.e. not sexual. - even though meretriciousness was probably the main reason most couples got together in the first place, married or not.

Hmm. Well, maybe someone does go to Hooters for the delicious food....

SELF-ANALYSIS. Here's a rhetorical question for you: Is a racist interested in finding out whether he or she is a racist?

Are racists prone to introspection?

I started wondering about this after discovering that there are websites that test our racism. I know this because it was revealed in a press release with the headline "Two Websites Offer Low-Cost, Online Discrimination Testing During Presidential Inauguration and Black History Month."

Is this a useful service?

You can check out racialattitudesurvey.com and culturaldiversitytest.com to find out. It's free to take the tests but, interestingly, not free to get the results.

I got to the second page of questions before I couldn't take any more. On that page I had to decide, in turn, whether I thought a particular race (other than my own) was clean, dirty, beautiful, ugly, dynamic, slow-moving, healthy, sickly, strong, weak, superior, inferior, intelligent, dull - or, quite possibly, all of the above.

I probably should have paid the dollar to find out what I was if I strongly agreed with every one of those things. There should be an Equal Opportunity Moron category.

I'm just guessing here but I think if you have an opinion about an entire group of people, that's a sign of some racism. You probably ought to quit before you check too many boxes.

An online test for stupidity might be more useful.

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