Greeson: Can we draw a line in the sand or water?

Greeson: Can we draw a line in the sand or water?

August 17th, 2017 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns

A portrait of Heather Heyer, who was killed when a vehicle drove through counter protestors in Charlottesville, Va., lies on a table with flowers during a vigil on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., Monday, Aug 14, 2017. The rally was held in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. (Courtland Wells/The Vicksburg Post via AP)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

I had every intention of writing today about the amazing accomplishments of the Bryan College fishing team.

Did you know that in the third year of its program, Mike Keen's bunch won the team national title?

Wait, let's go back.

Did you know that bass fishing is a college sport that offers scholarships?

If you didn't, hold on to your lures and TV remote control, but eSports — the fancy title for video gaming — is also a growing college sport, at least in nomenclature. That also draws images of talking to the scholarship athletes at orientation and having a quarterback, a catch-and-releaser and a controller all walk into the athletic director's office. And no, no one has a 12-inch Kilbasa sausage or a poodle under either arm.

"Yeah, I guess you could say I am the Nick Saban of college fishing," Keen said on "Press Row" on ESPN 105.1 The Zone on Tuesday.

When asked about the 5-pound difference between his team and the runner-up, Keen offered this comparison: "It'd be five or six touchdowns (in a football game) I guess."

Bowser.

Good for him. Good for them.

In addition to the team title, his two stars — Jake Lee and Jacob Foutz — were dueling in the finals of the individual tournament Wednesday, each seeking a monster opportunity that includes entry fees and equipment to jump-start their pro fishing careers.

Their's is a fun story amid the controversy that has consumed us.

Violence in Charlottesville, Va.

It certainly has consumed me.

We have blurred the lines of everything in the name of this concern or that cause, rightly and wrongly.

Yes, the hatred of Charlottesville was awful. It was the worst among us. It rightly has been met with anger and anguish.

But I must ask: What's next?

And more importantly, where's the line?

Where's the line on which we can agree to disagree?

Where's the line on which one side's perspective of what is and is not offensive carries more weight?

If it is Confederate military leaders, then great.

But if it's slave owners, then let's start taking down the Jefferson Memorial and renaming our nation's capital.

If it's part of the times in our society that were exclusionary, are we going to wipe away all the Major League Baseball numbers before 1946?

And social media makes it worse.

Did you know that Facebook has banned the white nationalists that were the root cause of the tragedy in Charlottesville? To that we say way to go, great job and God bless. Don't let those hate-filled jackwagons use your product.

Did you also know Facebook allows ISIS members to post pictures and entries? So, there's that.

This is not defending the hatred that was Charlottesville. Quite the contrary.

Amid the posturing and passion, between the politics and policy, here's the million-dollar question: What's next for those of us between the extreme edges?

Sure, we'd all love to end hatred. Say adios to the white supremacists. Stop senseless killings. If taking century-old statues down contributes to that goal, great. But it's hard to see how. And it's harder to see where it will stop.

Maybe we could all go fishing together.

Heck, the Bryan College guys could give all of us a pointer or three.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com and 423-757-6343.

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