Are they too busy counting their money?
Happy Graduation, Class of 2013
We’re proud of you all. The world is your oyster, go get ‘em!
This is a blunt way of saying something I’ve been trying to impress for a long time. I love it.
Minorities in particular are incredibly vulnerable. They can fight and yell and struggle but they aren’t going to be the true instruments of change because they are drowned out by the majority.
I have often pointed to the fight for gay rights in this way, and in a way compared it to the freeing of slaves. “It wasn’t the slaves that freed themselves, because no one was listening to the slaves. ‘Of course they want freedom’, proponents of slavery would say, ‘they’re the slaves. It doesn’t mean they deserve it.’ It was the people who weren’t slaves, but who saw the slaves as people, human beings that deserved rights and freedom and didn’t deserve to be treated as animals who brought about the change. They are the ones who could cast their votes, and have their voices heard.” But that sounds so…so… patronizing. Like “Yay, us white people SAVED YOU! We are your salvation!” cause Jesus Christ no. It takes away all of the power, and credit, from a strong people who rose up out of that and did fight hard and lose their lives for that freedom, and that respect.
And so I think it is with gay rights. They are fighting hard and losing their lives in order to be treated with respect and humanity, and though it isn’t with the same brutality and almost genocidal horror that was slavery, it is still heartbreaking. I can’t take credit for fighting for their rights away from them by simply saying “They’re not the ones who will make it happen, we are.” But at the same time, the minority isn’t just given their rights because they ask for them. “Of course gays want rights, they’re the gays. It doesn’t mean they deserve them.” And the voices being heard above that din are the voices of people who won’t personally benefit from that minority getting equality, but simply asking for it because it’s the right thing to do. ‘Why do you care?’ they ask, ‘What do you get out of it?’ and the answer is ‘I’ll get to live in a better world.” and isn’t that always the right answer? An almost selfless answer?
I am, as a heterosexual woman, almost totally unaffected by whether or not gays have rights, but I fight for them anyway because I am outraged that I live in a country, and raise children in a country, where any human being is treated as a lesser human being.
In a change of topic, yet not: This is also why I speak to my boss - a wealthy, Republican, predominantly Christian, white male, about gay rights, workers rights, and the rising of poverty and destroying of the middle class. It is often an act similar to beating my head against a wall, or throwing my time down a hole in the ground.
But his money makes him one of the majority when it comes to the politics in this country. The rich are the minority in the real world, but a majority in the voting booth and we all know it. And if I can educate him on even one topic, even one of these aspects of our crumbling society, then that could make a change in the world. I believe these things are like the Butterfly Effect. That by shifting his ideas even slightly about the way poverty is perpetuated in our society, by our schools, by our prison system, by institutional racism, I might make him donate his money differently just once. Or vote differently just once. That he might bring up my thoughts and ideas at a dinner party with his wealthy and affluent friends and maybe THEY will think differently, or donate differently, or vote differently.
I see the glimmer of understanding sometimes. I see the gears turn and it makes it worthwhile. Perhaps I have the smallest hope of making even one person who is unaffected be as outraged as I am.
Amazing 9 year old Asean Johnson brings the crowd to their feet at Chicago school closings rally
Asean (ah-Shawn) goes to Marcus Garvey Elementary School, slated for closure by the Chicago Public School administration, an un-elected board who’s members are appointed by Mayor Rahm Elmanuel, former Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama
Daaaamn. Watch this 9-yr old student stand up and spit hot fire at a mass rally against the Chicago Mayor and Public School administration who are trying to close his and dozens of other schools in mostly non-white neighborhoods.
Puhhhhh-reach, honey. Damn.
I’ve seen extraordinary change in my lifetime, some of it in the last decade. I was born in a country that had been galvanized and unsettled by the civil rights movement, but still lacked a meaningful environmental movement, women’s movement, or queer rights movement (beyond a couple of small organizations founded in California in the 1950s). Half a century ago, to be gay or lesbian was to live in hiding or be treated as mentally ill or criminal. That 12 states and several countries would legalize same-sex marriage was beyond imaginable then. It wasn’t even on the table in 2003. San Francisco’s spring run of same-sex weddings in 2004 flung open the doors through which so many have passed since.
If you take the long view, you’ll see how startlingly, how unexpectedly but regularly things change. Not by magic, but by the incremental effect of countless acts of courage, love, and commitment, the small drops that wear away stones and carve new landscapes, and sometimes by torrents of popular will that change the world suddenly. To say that is not to say that it will all come out fine in the end regardless. I’m just telling you that everything is in motion, and sometimes we are ourselves that movement.
Listen, I realize everyone has their own ways to deal with tragedy. I’m definitely not one to say “this is not time to politicize.” Everything is political and everything that happens within our government has an impact on how we live with our every day lives. For example, it is most definitely OK to make the relevant observation that the federal government will thankfully provide aid and relief to the poor victims of today’s massive tornadoes in Oklahoma meanwhile Oklahoma US Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe had voted against federal relief and aid for Hurricane Sandy victims.
I’m also not one who gets up in arms when people crack a wise ass remark. However, it takes a special kind of asshole to see that children are among the casualties and then somehow compare an unpreventable natural disaster to, say, a school shooting…
To those who may not understand what they’re getting at, it’s OK. Because they know exactly who to suck up to to get a pat on their head and a “good boy!”
And sometimes we’ll even be blessed with this sort of intellectual observation from pundits like Fox News contributor Erick Erickson!
Because a “scandal” in which the IRS looked into Tea Party groups to see if they fit the criteria for tax exemption is totally at the same level as a national disaster with a death toll still rising.
I wonder how many of these rightwing nutjobs are of the Christian variety, and without any irony are comparing an “act of God” to the acts of mass murderers. In this thread of thought, are we going to call Adam Lanza an instrument of God? Perhaps we can and should. In which case these people would be even happier, wouldn’t they? I mean, you can’t really background check God.
Well… you can. Just read the Bible. That background check would be a positively grisly tale, filled with genocide and abject bigotry. Almost the memoirs of a serial killer; the Charles Manson of deities, if you will.
The difference, obviously, being that the “god-like” psychos can actually be prevented from having access to man-made weapons that allow them to kill en masse while tornadoes sadly can’t be stopped in their tracks. One of these we are impotent to stop, the other we have absolute power to control and hinder the prevalence of (and many other countries have done so, with astounding levels of success) but simply choose (out of selfishness, ignorance, or both) not to.
Well, the vast majority of us choose to, but the NRA chooses not to, and they have all the cash and none of the morals.
someone was asking the other day about how to go about boycotting Monsanto so here’s a good place to start
I think I would literally be throwing out most of the shit in my kitchen
Congra is a fucking food conglomerate
I guess I just won’t eat now
how come we never get a list of companies/local co-ops by major cities that we CAN buy from? that take food stamps and forms of government assistance?
telling people to boycott the most accessible food does nothing if you don’t provide truly accessible alternatives and other options
how the FUCK is someone supposed to remember, let alone avoid a list like this?!?!!!!
Doesn’t Caprisun have the bad reputation of having that weird worm thing in it when it goes bad??? Convenient they wouldn’t want to be sued.
I guess I’ll just get out Mr. Glock and kill myself. :)
Might I suggest the Buycott app? It tells you who to avoid and who to endorse by allowing you to scan the barcode of products you’re considering. :)