Equality

When I talk about how frustrated I am, let me explain why. The US has never been perfect. It’s had many, deep flaws. The history of the US is fraught with favoritism and deep seeded bigotry. That said, it was a nation full of people who fought. We fought to make the nation better for all people. In my short life, I have seen women, LGBTQ, and other minority groups gain ground in their pursuit of equality and justice. Under Obama, we saw a shimmering light of progress, not full equality, but more progress than had ever been witnessed. Now this push for equality saw an equal, harder push towards stopping any further progress.

Hatred stewed, and a narrative formed, trying to explain how the work of progressives would “take away” from others. How does asking for equality take away from others? There was no pursuit to remove religious freedoms from Christians. They were free to worship in their churches and prayer houses in peace. We simply asked that the more radical adherents not be allowed to discriminate against others. Pushing for the end of a for-profit prison system, and equal treatment under the law, for minorities, wasn’t taking away the privileges of White America. We simply asked that others be able to enjoy the same freedoms. Legalizing same-sex marriage was not an assault on heterosexual, or religious people. We asked they be treated with the same protections that any couple that is in love be treated with.

People demonize “illegal immigrants” for the same crime that Columbus, and America’s very founding fathers participated in. The pursuit of something better. They mock environmental protections and deny science, in order for profit. We can’t drink money, breathe it, or eat it. This is foolishness at its height.

The pursuit of science and education is laughed at, as if it was something to be ashamed of. The pursuit of knowledge is tantamount for a healthy democracy. We should not speak of intellectualism as if it were something to be avoided. Our very nation depends on scientists and engineers, but also, musicians, and artists.

The radical right is so busy, finding fault in others pursuit of equality, that they have allowed treason to go unanswered. People scream of wars against Christianity, or against white america. No, there are no wars against these things, except the war being fought by those that would see others deported, mistreated, or ignored, simply so that a subsection of America can sleep at night with the belief that they are “better”, all while surrounded by poverty, disease, and pollution.
All of the good that the US stood for, and the good that could have been, are now threatened by the arrogant actions of a small minority of people. They fight to destroy anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow viewpoint. They would take away our freedoms, all while screaming patriotic epitaphs that no longer have any meaning.

If you are a patriot, you will fight for the rights of others. You will pledge your lives, your fortunes, your sacred honor, in order to defend the dream, so easily afforded to a few, and so hard-fought for so many others. Demonizing your friends, neighbors, fellow residents, because they seek to live a life as free as yours, in true equality, is not the mark of a patriot, or a “conservative”. It is the deepest form of treason.

This is why I’m frustrated. This is why I get angry, and fired up. There is nothing wrong with me, I just see what is so horribly wrong with so many others.

This is not a joke. This is not an over reaction. I wish to see America fully live up to its full potential. That will never happen until we fully embrace the words All People are Created Equal.

Communication

I’ve been contemplating this. Please read fully before attacking me.
I’ve noticed a lot of statements regarding people being to easily “offended” by things. That may be true, but that statement is being used to dismiss actual dialogue in many situations. It’s ok to be offended by certain things, and to bring it up in a rational way. That’s how conversations are started, and how people learn to understand. It’s also ok to say “that comes across as a bit racist” or “That can be mistakenly viewed as a racist statement.”
Those words are meant to bring light to a situation. It’s ok to ask “How so?” and it’s ok to discuss it. For my White friends, I know you are all good people. Most of you are not “racists” but some of you may be ignorant of certain things. You have some prejudices, so do I. It’s something I work to get over and to improve on constantly. Please don’t get “offended” by the statement, but seek dialogue.
Here are some situations, and my views on them. These views apply to some people, and not to others.

1. I have heard the statement “They are taking our jobs” from people in regards to immigrants. Let’s analyze that. Many of the people being accused of this are migrant workers, earning less than minimum wage. We currently have an unemployment rate of about 5.5 to 6%. If migrant workers are “taking” these jobs, it’s because those 19 million Americans are either A. unqualified,C. unwilling to do those jobs, or C. Being passed over because those hiring are trying to circumvent labor laws. The solutions would be to put more money to education and the enforcement of labor laws. Hold companies accountable for hiring undocumented people instead of demonizing those coming over and looking for an opportunity.

2. I’ve seen people offended that minorities bring up stories of injustices to them. Statements are made like “I would never do that” or “I’ve never seen that happen”. Congrats, we aren’t talking about you, and you live in a wonderful area where people aren’t outwardly racist. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen in other places, or when you aren’t around. Listen, think. How would you feel if you walked into a mall and were followed around all day by a Police officer? This happened to me, I was in slacks and a button up shirt, and I was shopping, and paying for stuff. He profiled me because I “don’t fit in”. That was wrong, on his part. I didn’t do anything stupid, I kept calm and I was annoyed and offended.

3. Asking for bad police officers to be held accountable for breaking the law, or abusing their power, doesn’t mean people don’t support law enforcement. Most police officers are hard working, good people. Just like most people of any ethnic, religious, or political group tend to be good people. Holding bad people accountable for their actions is part of making sure everyone has justice.

4. Being Pro-Choice doesn’t mean being pro-abortion. It means that I let women, and their doctors, make their own medical decisions. I have my personal views, I keep them to myself. There are medical reasons, and ethical reasons, for abortion. Every situation is different.

5. Don’t cheer the death of anyone. The loss of any life is tragic. It doesn’t matter what they looked like, or what they did, we should learn to treat each other with respect. The taking of any life is a serious thing, and something that shouldn’t be done callously.

6. Corporations aren’t people, but since they are being treated that way, they should pay their fair share of taxes. If they choose to offshore their headquarters, in an attempt to bypass tax laws, then they should have tariffs levied against them. If they want to contribute to the political process, then they need to pay up like the rest of us. Same for Churches.

Stop demonizing groups of people. Realize that assholes exist in all groups. Listen to each other. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

You are welcome to disagree with me. I encourage it. Keep it civil though, let’s have discussions. I will delete any post that attacks me, or someone else. We need to talk TO each other, not AT each other.

Acceptance

When I was in Elementary school, I went to a school that didn’t have many Asians in it. I remember being in 2nd grade and having some kid say something about his uncle fighting the Vietnamese in Vietnam. He made fun of me because I had to be one of them. I’m not Vietnamese, but to that kid, and his parents, all Asians had to be Vietnamese and were not “welcome”. As I grew older I learned about the Japanese internment camps, and how Japanese Americans were distrusted, just because of their heritage. I asked why German and Italian Americans weren’t placed in camps too. I learned that many were discriminated upon, but mostly they could blend in and assimilate.
I saw racism focus on anyone that looked “Arabic” during the first Gulf war, and then after 9-11. Even Indian friends faced racism because bigoted Americans couldn’t tell the difference. I know Koreans faced the same kinds of Racism during the Korean War, and the Chinese were mistreated during the 1800’s because of the influx of immigrants. I now see Latinos being targeted for the same reasons.
All these groups face racism for one reason. They don’t “look” American. I’ve been the victim of such racism. I often times talk about Americans as if I wasn’t one. I was born here, I’ve only ever lived in the U.S. I’ve been called out for talking about Americans because I am one so why don’t I always claim it? I now realize I meant “white” people when I talked about “Americans”. That’s wrong, I’m an American I’m proud to be one. I claim it proudly, and I hold no ill will. I love this country.
I grew up feeling like I didn’t belong because I didn’t “look” right. That feeling is something that evolved from the casual racism that young children are exposed to. It’s something we must all stop from happening.
Let’s all take a moment to realize that most of us are descended from immigrants. We all have ancestors that probably fought each other. We are all here for the same reasons. The promise of opportunity. Stop pointing out differences and start looking at each other’s humanity. No child should grow up feeling like an outcast in a nation of immigrants.

How many more?

What is it going to take? 74 school shootings since Newtown, and we have had 0 action on anything that makes sense. Our politicians, ON BOTH SIDES, are busy courting favor with gun manufacturers and ignoring the pleas of reasonable people all across the country.
We hear extremist right wing puppets talk about “good guys with guns” but we sit helpless as even our POLICE are being killed by extremists with guns. Morons now show up to stores, armed for battle with their imaginary foes, with no more training, or common sense than the average half wit can get in a 4 hour course.
We sit by as the “liberals” in our government ignore, and hide from controversy because “it’s an election year”. WE NEED LEADERSHIP, we need STATESMEN and STATESWOMEN that will do what is right, “not because it is easy, but because it is hard!”
Our leaders have failed us, and we are busy arguing about petty topics. GET IT TOGETHER, call, scream, yell, MARCH, do anything to make them hear us!

http://everytown.org/article/schoolshootings/

 

All you need is…

I often find myself wondering why there is so much suffering in a world full of people with such a capacity for love.  Even in the most violent, desperate environments you’ll find small acts of kindness.

We often find ourselves being told to “hate” another person or group for their differences in beliefs, but how different are we all really?  We all need food, shelter, and love to survive.  If only we could learn to love the differences in others, the world would be a much happier, positive place.  Why can’t we all just learn to let go of the past and look forward to a future where we all live, and work, for each other?  We are one family, one large, complex, family.  When we can all realize that, the world will be the place we deserve it to be.

No, I’m not innocent in acting out in anger, or being upset at groups of people for one reason or another.  I do realize that my reactions are misguided, and I refuse to let a small subset of people tear my birthright away.  I deserve to appreciate and love everyone as much as possible.  I just need to keep reminding myself that everyone has potential, everyone needs a good example, and I need to start living my life as a positive example for others.  I may stumble, and that’s ok.  That’s part of being human too, and I have to learn to forgive myself for my inadequacies as I learn to forgive others.

You made me post with your asshattery. Yes I made that word up.

I’m not happy with the Zimmerman outcome.  I’ll come out and say that I just don’t understand why some asshat can get away with murdering someone else because he “suspected” that they were up to no good.  I’ll leave race out of my explanation.

The facts that I care about.  Zimmerman was following a “suspicious” person.  Zimmerman called 911 and the operator advised him not to follow, he chose to ignore that advise.  That’s my first problem.  I’ve been in situations before where suspicious people were knocking on all of my neighbors door.  They looked like they were selling something, but usually door to door salespeople avoid doing so at night.  It looks creepy.  I carry a CHL, and one of these people tried to follow me to my garage, I told them to back off.  I was loud, and firm, and they backed off.  I then called 911, from inside my house, and warned my neighbors.  These people were robbing houses in the area, and they got picked up.  Total wait time, 5 minutes.  Why did I not shoot them?  Mainly because I don’t want to kill anyone, but mostly because I didn’t know if they were armed as well, and it was dark, anything could happen that would result in a tragic accident.  It was common sense, and if I want to play hero, I’ll go volunteer at the food bank.

Second issue, people saying that “Travon was a thug and deserved it”.  He was a kid.  He may have skipped class, gotten expelled for non-violent reasons, he may have smoked pot.  I don’t care.  Hell, he could have sacrificed children to Satan, that’s not the point.  The point is he was walking home that night, with skittles.  Zimmerman is just a regular, annoying,person.  He didn’t have a report on Travon’s activities.  He’s not a detective, he’s an asshole that just needed to call 911 and back the fuck off.  It wasn’t his job to follow anyone, and it sure as hell wasn’t his job to shoot anyone.  That’s why we pay for police, and we make sure they are trained.

Seriously, bite me if you think anyone deserves to die.  The same people saying that Travon deserved to be dead are the same assholes pushing abortion restrictions on women.  You hypocrites can just go to hell.

 

Thunderous applause

Yeah, I know this is a line from a shitty movie, but let me explain.

This is a link to the most restrictive abortion law in the country:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=831&Bill=SB5

https://twitter.com/AntDeRosa/status/349767750576644096/photo/1

It passed AFTER the deadline.  That doesn’t matter, because Texas is no longer a democracy, the GOP decided to play by fascist rules today.

http://www.wendydavisforsenate.com/

That is Wendy Davis, donate to her, she started a 13 hour filibuster, but was cut off by the cheating GOP when she discussed non-germane topics.  Apparently the GOP feel that in a Filibuster of a restrictive abortion law, sonograms and Roe Vs. Wade are “not germane”.  See, if you can’t play fair, just cheat.

This set the stage for some other heroes like  John Whitmire and Kirk Watson to try and stop a vote.  At the end, the GOP rammed their agenda through, and about ten minutes from the deadline, the people in the gallery started screaming.  They cheered, they yelled, and they chanted.  THE PEOPLE DECIDED TO ACT! They bought the necessary ten minutes, and the GOP CHEATED!

So ends democracy in Texas, yes, there were cheers, but those were the cheers of men and women, fighting to stop an unjust group of people from STEALING their rights.  I’m disgusted at the GOP and their fascism   I can’t be prouder of the Texans fighting for their rights.

You won this battle GOP, but remember, this is TEXAS.  Sure, some battles are lost, but  we don’t give up on just causes. The war has just begun! Instead of destroying morale, you just increased our resolve.  Thanks GOP, you just gave us something else to “REMEMBER”.