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Even before the outrage over the Desperate Housewives’ racial slur on Philippine medical schools could even subside, another American TV show made a very objectionable comment about the Philippines. In my opinion, this is even worse than what was said in Desperate Housewives in that, the disrespect was towards one of the Philippines’ former lady Presidents.

As you can see in the video clip above from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a segment which was supposed to answer the question, “Is America ready for a woman President?” was featured. In it is our former President Corazon (Cory) Aquino’s photo (along with 3 other women leaders from other countries) was shown with a word “SLUT” written across it, and the voice over saying “Corazon Aquino faced down dictators”….

What is wrong with American TV shows? And most especially, why is the Philippines suddenly becoming the topic of these very lowly and unpalatable jokes? True, Jon Stewart’s show is based on political satire, and while that word “slut” could have referred to our former President’s political choices (I don’t know, I can only assume), my opinion is still that the word choice was foul, done in extremely poor taste and terribly insensitive.

One can only think — what if it was the other way around? What if some Philippine TV show made fun of any of the former or current American President? I am sure the Americans will not take it sitting down. I cannot even begin to imagine the very bad repercussions it would bring about our economy as a result of some derogatory remarks about an american leader….

Freedom of speech is a right that we enjoy. But like anything else, it comes with responsibility. Just because we have this freedom may mean that we are free to say what we want to anytime, anywhere, to anybody, but that does not make it right, or the right thing to do. The media should be especially aware of this being that they’re supposed to be the vehicle for factual, accurate, and respectful information dissemanated to the people. When speaking of other people, we cannot even limit ourselves to the same behaviors or criteria that we use when we hire or fire employees. But just wait until we get off of work, and then we can say and do whatever we want, at least until enough people make a fuss about it, then suddenly we’re apologetic. Maybe we should all go to rehab?

Freedom of speech should be used responsibly, as I am certain that the founders of the United States had written it into the Constitution, and likewise many Armed Forces Personnel have put their lives at risk, so that the 1st Amendment (as well as the rest) could be used for higher and more noble purposes than we see today. What a shame.

Furthermore, I myself am not “into” politics. I may not like everything that Cory Aquino does or has done, nor do I agree with everything that Pres. George Bush is doing, but there is one thing that I will always remember — that they are the HIGHEST LEADERS of the land and were ELECTED by their very own people. For this reason, I will have to pay respect to the OFFICE that they represent, even if I have to agree to disagree with something that they support.

We all have a voice, but we also have a responsibility to use that voice responsibly. We are accountable for our our actions and our words.

Opinions are like belly buttons – everybody’s got one. Some people have really big one’s that stick out, some have rings, and some even retract like they don’t really have one at all. To make things so bad, there are some of us that have ugly, nasty, belly buttons that are infected and full of pus and we don’t even cover them up, instead we wear it out for all to see no matter who gets offended.

Now my question is — Which belly button are you?


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