People are a muddy mix of great and terrible things. What would you do if you were offered a job with good pay at a non-profit… by a blazing racist? Today I interviewed this chap because he leads a charity doing great things in developing countries. I interviewed him previously, and he seemed nice enough to host again on a different show. But like a GPS unit thwarted by clouds, my character radar was on the fritz, because holy mackerel did he say some toe curling things! And I can’t wrap my head around his desire to debase the people he’s trying to help.
I wish I could claim total heroism and say that I dropped the interview after vehemently putting him in his place for using the ‘n word’ in an offensive limerick. But I didn’t. Sure I made clear it wasn’t okay, which he acknowledged.
But… I’ll still run the interview with the offence spliced out. I’ll still benefit from the work, and his charity from the positive exposure.
I won’t accept the job because I couldn’t work beneath such intolerance. But can I really claim that my soul is not for sale? It did make certain allowances. There was some measure of tolerance of intolerance.
We like to think of ourselves as always taking the highest road. But the middle road seems to be more common because people are a muddy mix of great and terrible things.