“Nailed It”: About prejudices and bias

Have you seen the so-called Benghazi video blamed for being the spark that caused so much anger and protest throughout many parts of the world nearly two years ago?  I haven’t.  The gist of the complaint is about the film being edited and dubbed to insult Islam.  I don’t want to discuss the protests and demonstrations, however.  I don’t really want to talk about Benghazi and the next round of hearings either.  I want to talk about “Nailed it.”

Eventually I want to ask where does the expression “Nailed it” as in “He really nailed it” come from?  But first, an aside.


No one will find this offensive.

Earlier this week while listening to people call in about the House hearings on Benghazi on a conservative radio show, several callers mocked people for being so upset about the anti-Islamic video.  It’s just a video, they would say.  You heard the same things when in 2005 a Danish newspaper published satirical cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.  It’s only a cartoon, people said.  Or long before that, how about Salman Rushdie?  It’s only a novel!

It is all about free speech, people argue, and I would tend to agree.  However I think it is rather irresponsible to deliberately instigate events that you might know would cause violence and likely death — kind of like yelling fire in a crowded theater — but that is a different debate and one I don’t want to have here.

I want to find out where the expression “Nailed it” comes from.

Here’s why…and I damn near fell off my bar stool and checked out for good when it happened.  Once upon a time while sitting at the bar (yes, a bar story) and after a few (probably) too many glasses of wine I reacted to something a friend said with “You nailed it!”  I’ll admit we were commenting on a couple women based on how they dressed, looked, and so on so when a woman near by tapped me on the arm and confronted me, I was embarrassed and ashamed.

He Nailed It!

He Nailed It!

Here’s what she said, more or less:  “Excuse me, I find that offensive.  Do you know what ‘nailed it’ means?”

I didn’t get a chance to answer.  “It is a symbol of my lord Jesus Christ’s suffering and sacrifice.”  Or something like that.  “Look it up,” she said and left

I never looked it up.  I remembered it this week though.  There are many, many times when people of what they think is the true and real faith get offended.  Just this week someone corrected a friend on Facebook for saying she had just purchased an Xmas gift.  (“Don’t take Christ out of Christmas.”)

I’m not saying a gentle Facebook comment is on par with street riots.  I think the riots are absurd, regardless.  But who’s a religious nut is a relative thing.  Many of us already know that.  It’s the few who don’t that cause all the trouble.  But we still condemn the whole just by the actions of the few.

The “Nailed It” woman…probably a nutty outlier who doesn’t know her New Testament from her old.  I think she makes for a great story.  That’s about it.  However if we get wrapped up in silly prejudices and biases we might not get the answers to the questions that matter, such as where did the expression “nail it” come from.

I said I didn’t want to comment on protests and riots and such, but if our initial response is going to be “it’s only a video” then I think we are taking the first step in the wrong direction.  It is easy to take that step.  I understand.  But you kind of have to be aware of it.  We all have prejudices and biases.  Accepting that and dealing with that is sort of like walking a mile in another man’s shoes.  It is a simple understanding, one that might turn down the heat a little when issues get hot.

I’m going to look up “nailed it” now.  And what if the woman at the bar was correct?  It wouldn’t change a thing.

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2 thoughts on ““Nailed It”: About prejudices and bias

  1. Gary Farland

    I find it offensive that you would put forth a picture of a black cat — a universal symbol of evil — with a Christmas hat on which is related to the birth of the Lord of the Universe. Of course, if you want to put out cartoons showing Mohammed doing evil deeds that would be OK.


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