Why it's no surprise Trump was booed at UFC 244
Male grandmothers were baffled with President Donald Trump was booed loudly at UFC 244 on Saturday night.
Vanity Fair's Jordan Hoffman mocked Trump for ignoring Manhattan's cultural treasures like the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Philharmonic in favor of watching “people writhe around on canvas and beat the snot out of each other.” The Daily Beast wondered if Trump “sensed that there is something valuable to be mined in the politically incorrect, that sweat and blood can rouse people more viscerally than reason and sentiment, that there is a base to be found in baseness.”
However, The Washington Post offered an intelligent response.
The simple answer is that common conceptions about MMA as a natural home for brutes, bullies, xenophobes, racists, sadists, misogynists, destroyers of common decency and poisoners of young minds are wrong.
The lesson of the early UFC events had turned out to be not that there was one fighting style that beat all the others, but rather that if you wanted to be a true martial artist, you needed to understand all fighting styles. ... curious fighters and coaches started building a new language, one that took the most effective elements of all the fighting styles of the world and mashed them together.
That makes MMA a truly American art form, like jazz or rock-and-roll: It’s a composite of countless folk traditions smashed together, stripped down and molded into something new. It’s what happens when artistic and athletic disciplines are loosed from their cultural moorings and given room to move, unburdened by the weight of the past and the ghosts, ancestral demands and suffocating expectations of the old world. By its nature, MMA is about cultural multiplicity, creative liberation and the erasing of old lines. Fighters come from every part of the world to make it in the UFC — just like immigrants come to New York City and the United States. The UFC has a Mexican American champion, a Dagestani champion, two champions born in Nigeria, an African American champion, a Croatian American champion and champions from China, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, and Hawaii.
Of course, MMA is ugly, violent and terrifying, but it’s also proof of everything about America that drives Trump and his followers crazy: that cultures are best when they’re blended together; that racial animosity and xenophobia, in addition to being morally indefensible, are counterproductive; that diversity works. Trump’s attacks on cultural pluralism are, by definition, attacks on MMA.
P.S. No disrespect was intended towards grandmothers in the first sentence. Grandmothers are awesome.