Heroes vs Heroes

Ian McBeth, Paul Hudson, Rick DeMorgan.  

Quickly. Can you tell me without looking it up who these men are?

I thought not.

They are the three Americans who put their lives on the line fighting the mythic wildfires in Australia……and lost those same lives in an air tanker crash this past weekend.

Yet the death of Kobe Bryant and eight others in a private helicopter crash so consumes the headlines and the media-frenzied news cycles, for days, that we don’t even mention true heroes, real patriots, beyond a one-click blurb.  Are their grieving families less deserving of our accolades and our tears, and our respectful sadness for their horrific grief?

Why is it that the death of Kobe Bryant, in his private helicopter, flying in weather that had grounded all other LA area helicopters, including the LAPD, is being treated as a national tragedy?

The fact is he was flying his entitled self, AND his 13-yo daughter to a school basketball tournament to avoid the “LA traffic”. He also had onboard others, coaches and supporters, who are barely skimmed over in the ensuing TMZ-inspired coverage. The Twitter-sphere is ablaze with faux-ish tears and squeezed up franticness to the point of bursting.  The Grammys were awash with tributes and tears; to whom?  Mr. Bryant. To date, Kobe Bryant’s biggest accomplishment is that he earned millions playing a court game.  Too many do. 

He is being touted now for “his future potential” in what was left of his life.  At 41, there was still a lot of life for him to do many things but the most I can find relating to his potential was a supposed deal with another Laker’s player, Rick Fox, in an e-gaming scheme.

Nowhere do I see any substantive, funded, or announced ventures that would even hint at philanthropy.  John Kennedy said, alluding to a Bible quote; “For of those to whom much is given much is required.”


Kobe Bryant was paid an obscene amount of money throughout his career, as are most pro-athletes, but this largess does NOT make him an object of worship and worthy of worldwide keening upon his untimely death. 

The lives of the immigrant children still kept and killed in cages on our own land are far more worthy of naming and claiming as our own national tragedies. It is time to stop elevating the wealthy and the worldly among us to heights they have not earned.  Stop eulogizing the entitled as if their entitlement was something they earned with hard work and sacrifice.  Congressman Elijah Cummings springs to mind as a national treasure worth mourning but oh, I forget, we are so cynically divisive now that even that cannot be an agreed-upon fact.

Shame on us.

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