April 10, 2011

San Diego's "Dog Tags For Kids" Promo Cancelled

Kap Fulton, who petitioned the San Diego Padres to cancel their military-themed weekend promotions -- including "Dog Tags For Kids" on "Military Opening Day", set for today -- emailed me an update:
The Padres have removed the Dog Tags promotion for this Sunday's Military Opening Day and replaced it with "Padres Posters for Kids" ... Apparently, that idea won out over ... "Biological Chemicals for Preteens" [or] "Islamophobia Day for the Elderly".
The Padres' website still lists April 10 as "Military Opening Day" and the other Military Appreciation Days remain on the calendar. But considering the long-standing connection the Padres have with the military, it's fantastic that the team changed any of its plans.

It doesn't look like too many blogs wrote about Fulton's campaign. Fulton's petition was posted at Baseball Think Factory (where the first page of comments had a predictably high level of stupidity and snark (nothing against BTF; that's just the way these things go); I did not venture into page 2). Back on February 28, Gaslamp Ball (a Padres blog) wrote:
We took a poll and while only [203] of you participated, 22% of you agreed with Kap. The rest thought that the tags served to support the military.

Admittedly at first I thought Kap was overreacting ... Then I read a little bit about the history of dog tags to see if they served any other purpose. It turns out they serve one primary purpose ["to identify Marines who fall in battle and secure a suitable burial for them"].

I started to see the issue from Kap's point of view, maybe he was right, giving dog tags to kids is a little macabre. That's not to say that I would have any problem letting my hypothetical children wear them, because kids wouldn't view them in the same way.
I question how Gaslamp knows the inner thoughts of "kids" (all of them?), but it's always nice to see people who will do some research, consider a belief that is so entrenched in their minds that they can no longer conceive of it as an opinion, and be open to even a semi-change of heart.

Kap also pointed me towards a Press Action post suggesting that the Nationals, who during the third inning of every home game "salute a group of soldiers currently receiving treatment at the nearby Walter Reed Army Hospital", also honor America's anti-warriors, as well, i.e., "the people who've made great sacrifices and efforts to stop the U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and who were active against previous U.S. wars of aggression".

The post, which I believe was written by Mark Hand, the editor of Press Action and a Nats fan, offers some possibilities for future games, including Ray McGovern (an Army veteran and CIA analyst for nearly three decades), Cindy Sheehan, Daniel Ellsberg, and Bradley Manning.


allan said...

To my knowledge, no one has asked the Padres to apologize. In any event, the team has not issued an apology of any kind.

"Politically correct" is a nonsense term that means nothing. It belongs in the trash bin along with "family values" and "traditional (fill in the blank)".

Mr. Fulton has a right to complain about things he does not agree with, and attempt to solicit the assistance of others in his work. It's called freedom of expression. It's a pretty cool concept; I hope it catches on.

laura k said...

Congratulations to Kap Fulton!!! Great work. And good for the Padres
for paying attention. Very nice bit of effective activism there.

laura k said...

If baseball teams want to recognize and honor the sacrifices who serve in the military, they shouldn't have to apologize for it nor worry about being politically correct.

Please explain how giving children dogtags recognizes and honours sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

Glad that Michael said this:

...[baseball teams] shouldn't have to apologize for it nor worry about being politically correct.

The reason they do worry about it is because they know they are wrong. They know that they are selling war for their own bottom line. People that are fighting for their lives don't make concessions. The truth doesn't have to be politically correct. In this case, the Padres have admitted wrongdoing by making the change. You're right, Michael: the Padres don't "have" to do anything. But when you shine the light on roaches... they scatter.

(For the record: roaches are fine creatures and never dropped bombs on innocent people)

laura k said...

Scabtheverse, I don't share your optimism that the teams know they are wrong, but I dig your perspective on truth and roaches.

laura k said...

"Family values belongs in the trash bin?"

The expression belongs in the bin. It's meaningless.

And "politically correct" most certainly is a nonsense term - a buzzword. Something to accuse people of when you're fresh out of facts and don't want to consider change.

laura k said...

And even if one thinks "politically correct" has actual, valid meaning, how does it apply in this situation?

What's that you say? Not at all?

I thought so.

laura k said...

Seems though in this comment section that freedom of expression is fine until one disagrees with it.

How so?

laura k said...

Michael, could you please answer my question above? For your convenience, I'll copy it here.

Please explain how giving children dogtags recognizes and honours sacrifice.

Thank you.

laura k said...

Still waiting to learn:

1. How Michael's freedom of expression is being curtailed


2. How giving dog tags to kids honours the sacrifices of people in the military

allan said...

Michael: Your last comment was rejected because I don't allow comments consisting of nothing more than a link to another site. That is spam.

You are welcome to reply to Laura's 1:05 request, however.

Seems though in this comment section that freedom of expression is fine until one disagrees with it.

Ah, yes. This Step 1 on the way to someone getting banned from a site. (A next step is saying that no one reads my blog anyway...)

This is my space. I allow what I want and reject what I do not want. ... It is scary how many people are incapable of understanding that.

I am not stopping you from saying anything. But I am not allowing you to say it in my "house". Go start your own blog.

allan said...

Seems though in this comment section that freedom of expression is fine until one disagrees with it.

When you posted this, every single one of your comments had been posted.

So ... wtf?

laura k said...

Michael, everyone here is calm. No one has "ripped you apart" or put you down or made any personal attack against you in any way.

I have merely asked you questions. I have politely asked you to explain and expand on some statements you have made here.

You have declined to do so.

laura k said...

You can claim victory over a debate which really doesn't amount to a whole lot.

This is not a debate, because you have declined to debate. Instead, you have said things like "wow. just wow." and accused people of attacking you, when the evidence in this thread shows that no such thing happened.

If this were an actual debate, you would answer my questions, give some evidence or facts or opinions or arguments. You would, you know, debate.

allan said...

"I disagree with you" and "You are an idiot" are not the same thing.