Saturday, June 20, 2015

Words Matter...

Being in a position of power sometimes means taking a stand for what is right, not just what is popular.  I remember when I was the DES Coordinator in Montana of having to take a stand against what I, and others felt was the wrong direction.   There are consequences  to every action. Speaking up cost me a couple opportunities in Montana... yet opened doors eventually elsewhere.

These days many don't think about that before they make a choice, or when they say something. We are even taught a little rhyme about sticks and stones yet words will never hurt.  They reality is words hurt, and the words we choose paints a picture of not who we are describing but really of who we are...

Over the past many months, and for that matter few years there has been a cavern opening up in this country. There is not a day that goes by, where you open your news sources, and do not see headlines that use labels, and I'm not talking about registered trademarks.  With all the hate in the world these days.. I began to think,  does it help or is it like pouring gasoline on the fire when the media cannot report a story without using labeling words like black, white, gay, transgender, Christian, Muslim, Islam?  Especially in the early stages of a news story with so many unknowns, is this good journalism?

Don't get me wrong.  We have a race issue in this country... We have an ethnic issue in this country.  We have a sexual orientation issue in this country. We have a religious issue in this country...   In a country built on being the melting pot of the world, that divide is growing, not shrinking.  This melting pot is not working... Each and every difference is not being absorbed by others to create a new cohesive stronger solution. Instead we are seeing reactions as they violently fight against each other until explosions happen.

Now I grew up in Montana as a 4th  generation immigrant to this country.  I thought I never knew racism. I thought this  because I didn't think it resided in my small little corner of the world.  I later realized how naive and wrong I was.  We didn't have many people of other ethnic backgrounds, people of color or other religious beliefs, but I always figured this was someone else's issue because of how they were raised. We had our own prejudices and looking back it was just as vile as what I saw on television regarding other parts of the country.

We must face facts.  We are not born with hate in our hearts for people who look, act, worship, and believe differently than us.  This is taught over and over, generation after generation, by the words  we use and by our actions in how we treat others.  As I mentioned I grew up in rural America, and outside a little bullying, never faced living in a society where I felt threatened just because the color of my skin, or who I worship, or my sexual orientation.  I never grew up knowing people hated me because of things I had no control over.  I know I can't speak for someone who has walked in those shoes, however I do know, that until we stop using those words and those labels, and start raising generations that respect each other and our unique differences for who we are that will never change.

They say you cannot teach an old dog a new trick, well maybe but we can teach our younger pups differently by self consciously making choices that stop the cycle of hatred.  So I ask the media to do their part.  Report the news!!   Without labels that only enrage one part of the pot against the other.  Report the news accurately worrying less about being first but being right.  Report the news without presumptions and speculations.  Lead with headlines that paint the proper picture not a half truth like was done with the bail set for the individual who shot nine innocent people in South Carolina.    I ask you to report the news!!  I ask that you think more about how and what you write will be taken instead of what it will do for your bottom dollar.  I ask you to help be part of the solution, not the problem, and I ask you to help make this melting pot truly that.. A place where we all can recognize and appreciate what makes us unique and embrace our differences peacefully.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Stop the Hypocrisy!!

Ronald Reagan said He didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic party left him..  Well I can honestly say I feel the same way about today's GOP.  I will admit, I've been leaning this way for sometime. Tonight however, while scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing Huckabee's take on gay marriage while supporting Duggar, Santorum stating the Pope has no right to speak on global warming, and Perry stating that what happened in South Carolina was caused by drugs not guns  were the final straws to break this camels back!!

Today's GOP has become infested with hypocrites who quote scripture to fit their views, while condemning any suggestions that differ than theirs.  They are more than willing to pick and choose what scripture to use to validate their point while overlooking other verses and commandments they break daily.  They have become the party that knows better than experts, science and yes even the Pope.. hmmm  Curious when they will take on God Himself!!

The Republican party that I knew, believed in smaller government, and allowing individuals the opportunities needed to prosper.  These days, they are much more interested in policing what folks do in the privacy of their own homes rather than fixing issues that keep shrinking the middle class and causing the divide between the wealth and those in poverty to spread like wildfire.    Instead of working on policy that helps the working class prosper,  they would much rather focus on social issues that do nothing but tear this country apart.

Regurgitating old talking points that have been long proven false do nothing but spread hate and do nothing of building that light on hill.  It's well known and scientific fact the Global Warming exists and our dependency on fossil fuel has sped that up.  It's been proven around the world in other modern societies that socialized medicine is beneficial for everyone.  It's well known we are the leading country that promotes the freedom to own guns, yet we have the highest crime rate in the world where guns are used.  We have the largest percentage of a population incarcerated of any of the free world.   They fight against immigration changes forgetting that everyone except those of Native American heritage are immigrants in this country.

They have become the party that stand by known child molesters, while claiming gays are trying to recruit your kids.  A party that believes marriage should be between one woman and one man only yet overlooks the affairs and multiple marriages of the party's leaders.  A party where those wanting to lead this nation will speak up on acts of violence occurring all too often in this country, without knowing all the facts and without a willingness to actually work on fixing whats causing them to happen.

We will run around the world and send our troops to overthrow governments in the name of protecting the people yet we wont address our own homeless and hungry population.  A country where we do everything we can NOT to support schools and keeping kids in them.  A country that will send our young men and women overseas to protect us from enemy attacks yet we do almost nothing to provide for them upon their return.

So in the words of President Reagan,  I am not leaving the Republican Party, the party left me!!  Allowing the Tea Party to hijack the foundation of what this party stood for and be replaced by by far right winged radicals that will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who do not believe the same thing they do is destroying this country.

Until this country comes back to the middle and decides we all need to give a little for the better of EVERY person living in this melting pot of a country and works at healing the racial divide, takes care of every veteran, properly funds education, takes a serious look at gun control, and puts the working class once again ahead of corporate loop holes. and greed, I cannot support or find myself aligned.