Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Thursday, March 12, 2015
I can't do it again. I just can't throw up my arms in indignation every time a white person says the N word. Not any,ore. An old white woman says it a few dozen times while singing along with a rap song, gets captured on camera, and a while later when the film leaks out we all are supposed to shriek in indignation or shudder in fear. Well, I'm sorry, but I won't be joining in and I'll have a hard time taking you seriously if you do. I understand the history of the word. I tried to understand why it would be OK for Black Americans to use the heinous word themselves ... sort of a victory over it and it's past through appropriation. I almost did. I do not, however, understand how you can put it in a song, sell it to white folks, and then howl in indignation when they sing it out loud. If you want to howl, that is your right. But, if I were you, I would save my howling ... for there are real injustices out there that are deserving of noisy protest albeit harder to capture on film, set to music, or profit off of.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
We will not be able to address any of the major issues facing us today if we do not learn to be more compassionate. Period. Take abortion. Until we start thinking about the impact of what we propose on women and children (both before but especially after they leave the womb) we will never have dealt with the issue satisfactorily. A compassionate person may well want to protect unborn fetuses, but they would surely aim for a solution goes beyond legal prohibitions and attends to what happens in the years and lifetimes after delivery. A compassionate person, whether they support gay marriage or not, would have to give some thought to people of the same sex who want to be able to share their lives with each other. A compassionate person would approach a whole host of issues differently, from what to do in Syria to how to address our crumbling infrastructure. When folks decide to add compassion into their approach to politics and the major issues of the day, they may not change their ideas but they almost assuredly will change way they go about advocating and actualizing them. Compassion is essential for us to stay true to the ideals upon which this country was founded. Until we feel for others, we don't truly have an interest in protecting their rights and opportunities ... and ultimately we fail to look after our own best interests. Compassion does not lead to the triumph of the 'liberal' agenda. Folks who think of themselves as conservative can be compassionate too ... for real. The funny thing is that when folks are compassionate, they find it easier to find common ground and advance solutions that truly are in the interests of the majority. When we do not think of others, a few of us will believe they have triumphed. When we are compassionate, more of us enjoy real success. We are not in this thing ... this grand experiment we have going over here ... on our own, and we need to stop acting like we are. That change starts with a bigger show of compassion. Exclamation point.
Friday, January 9, 2015
Monday, December 1, 2014
Folks should think more before they post online. Someone will find out about your racist or sexist comments. People will be offended by your insults. Whatever you would be ashamed to say out loud in front of other people, you should still be ashamed to type 'out loud' in front of other people. The bottom line is that the internet does not constitute a licence to be stupid, ignorant, demeaning, boorish, insulting, clueless, or abusive.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
How would you feel if you got what you wanted? You hate abortion. You succeed in helping to make it illegal. How do you feel? You think we need to change the way we choose our leaders ... namely we need impartial control of the drawing of congressional districts. You fight hard for it and it happens. How do you feel? If everyone in this country is free to marry whomever they want without having to make any sacrifices to do so, I would be immensely happy and I would not feel the slightest twinge of regret. We would be stopping some folks from imposing their religious beliefs on others, allowing many people to simply live their lives and enjoy them, and not suffering much in the way of negative consequences. I would not feel guilt about imposing my views on someone else's life, I would feel as if I had addressed the root of the problem. I would feel really good, and so would a lot of other people. No anger. No vengeance. No guilt. The question is, can you say the same about the causes you are fighting for. Can you consider the facts, logic, reason, the feelings of others ... and still feel satisfied and content with victory? It's an important question, that will not always be answered with a yes.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
If you live alone in the wilderness you are free and you aren't free. When you live in society you are free and you aren't free. The parameters and constraints are different, but the fundamental reality is the same. You are never completely free. So, you choose your freedom. I choose the freedom of food on my table and people sitting with me to share it. I choose the freedom of nighttime strolls and toes in the sand at low tide. I choose the freedom of books and questions. I choose freedom from and with you and yours. I choose to give you a choice. What do you choose?