Good morning everyone. I’m heading to the spine clinic today, in order to get some shots in the lower spine. I just got my insurance back, so I’m conducting the BTTFH summer tour of getting to know all my health providers again. Next up on the tour is my primary care provider to investigate why I’m always dizzy and off balance. After that, it’s a visit with my gastroenterologist to try to figure out these pesky stomach pains. Sounds like a fun summer, no?
Have a great week! :)
I really wish some of my FB friends, some of whom I can now call former friends after today, would stop trying to “educate” me on the difference between the confederate flag and the confederate battle flag. They both represent a heritage of slavery and racism. I’m a history major for fuck’s sake. I know the difference, but I don’t care. One friend of mine, after posting several rant filled memes supporting the flag, went on to post another meme bitching that it was ok for everyone else but white people to show their pride in our country. I responded to her that it’s been white pride day ever since the English first established a colony in Jamestown, Virginia. She’s not my friend anymore.
So, these things happened this week:
In light of the horrendous shootings in Charleston, people are finally waking up and realizing that the icons of Confederacy that litter the southern states may be, in fact, symbols of hate and racism. Not only are Confederate flags coming down: There are movements to remove statues of Confederate stalwarts of Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest as well.
The Supreme Court once again ruled in favor of the ACA.
Same Sex Marriage is now Federally protected! Way to go SCOTUS! Well, five of you anyway. Justices Scalia, Roberts, Thomas, and Alito can go sit in the corner.
As a liberal who leans very far to the left, I’m very excited about these decisions. However, I can’t help but have this niggling feeling that we the people are getting treated to some more bread and circus in order to steer us away from the fact that there are still quite a few issues that are hiding in plain sight.
First, while the nationwide condemning of Confederate hate symbols is an important step. In fact, my FB page is currently plastered with posts that I’ve shared that call for its ban. However, though the flag may disappear, it’s still just low hanging fruit in the battle against hate crimes. We still have racism. We still have homophobia and misogyny. Oh, and we still have unfettered access to guns, which brings me to my next point.
We need federal gun control. There is nothing in the Second Amendment that says we can’t have gun control. I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep so well at night knowing that in most states, any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy just about any gun imaginable with little effort. I do believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that it should be easier for a same sex couple to obtain a marriage license than it should be for a white supremacist whack job to obtain a gun. Our country persists in leading the world in mass shooting events, yet we do very little about it.
Speaking of things we do little about, how about paying women in the work place what they’re worth? Women still make about two thirds of what men make. This is a travesty. It’s also the tip of the iceberg when it comes to women’s issues. Our government only wants to dictate how you use your uterus. It seemingly has very little interest in protecting you. You may have come a long way baby, but the brothers patriarchy and misogyny are still blocking your path to equality.
What else is going on? For starters, scientists have declared that we are officially in our sixth mass extinction event. The exception to the last five is that this time, we are the cause. We are still wrecking our environment, all species are suffering because of it, and we’re still doing very little about it. At the rate we’re going, the only thing that’s going to be able to survive on this planet are cockroaches and Rick Perry.
Next up, the Pentagon has issued its latest War Manual. Yes folks, that is its actual name. In this manual is wording that targets journalist: The clause states that journalist may now be classified as “unprivileged belligerents”, the same class in which terrorist groups such as Al- Qaeda is classified. In other words, if you’re a war time reporter, and the military doesn’t care for what you say, you could end up dead or in Gitmo. Lovely.
In addition there is also that wealth gap and class warfare thing that seems to get worse by the day.
So are we being placated? Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of important historical shit that went down this week. What took place shouldn’t be overlooked. However, part of me still thinks that the powers that be underestimate us. I would bet that there are more than a few rich men on Capitol Hill who think that we’re going to be satisfied with same sex marriage and soon to come legalized weed. They think we’re going to stop thinking about gun control and hate crimes. They think that we’re going to forget that our planet is dying because of us. They think we’re going to forget that big brother is indeed watching us. They think that we’re going to forget that anyone who isn’t a rich white male is currently being treated in unfair and unjust manner.
We the people can’t be satisfied. We can’t settle for a few victories, and ignore the rest. We cannot, and must not relent.
I like what’s happening, but I will not be placated. I expect more, and hopefully, so do you.
Let’s leave the bread and circus to the Romans.
Now that the day of celebrating the mass genocide of nearly an entire race of people is over, it’s time to turn our attentions toward Christmas. What do I want for Christmas? This meme from Women Are Not Property Sex is Not a Contract sums it up for me quite nicely.
I wonder if Santa can fit that into my stocking ;)
It’s a day to count our blessings. I’ll be counting mine while I’m eating cold pizza or whatever in the back room of the Kwicky Mart during my 8 hour shift tonight. In the mean time, I’m just going to drop this little nugget right about here.
Once again, a young black man is killed by a white police officer, and once again, that police officer is cleared of any charges. Sound familiar? It should: It’s an act that gets repeated over and over through out the annals of American History. Some of the killings may be justified, most are more likely not. In just about every case I am certain that due diligence in the ensuing investigation was not performed. It’s just another black man taken off the streets: A black man who was most certainly a hard core criminal, am I right? We’ll never know because Michael Brown was never given a chance to tell his side of the story. Darren Wilson was the judge, jury, and executioner in this case, and apparently a white officer of the law can behave as Judge Dredd toward people of color with impunity. How does a grand jury not indict? What compelling evidence was introduced that impeded further scrutiny? I don’t blame anyone for being hurt and angry.
I don’t condone violence. I certainly don’t condone the decimation of neighborhoods and family owned businesses. On the surface, these are senseless acts, much like the acts of police brutality that are routinely performed across the country. However, I can’t say as I blame anyone. You can only hold a being down for so long before that being tries to get up. Anger can only be held in check for a short amount of time before it furiously bubbles to the surface and spews into the air like water from a geyser. It’s human nature: It’s fight or flight, and in this case a lot of people across the country are choosing to fight. It’s horrifying, and I wish it to stop, but it’s a natural reaction to an unjust circumstance.
People of color are tired. Tired of being afraid of the police. Tired of the profiling, the beatings, the shooting of their own with very little recourse. Hell, I’m a white man, and I’m afraid of the police. I can’t even begin to imagine the fear that a black man experiences whenever an interaction occurs with a man in blue. Innocent or guilty? How do we know? It’s not as if proper investigations are performed. Most cases are dismissed and dropped like dirty laundry.
I don’t have the answers: I wish I did. However, I do know this: Until racism is completely eradicated like the plague it is, until every act of police violence is given complete and utter scrutiny, until racial profiling is stopped, people of color are going to be afraid and angry. Furious at a judicial deck that is overwhelmingly stacked against them. Because of this, there will be many more Fergusons, there will be many more LA’s and Detroit’s and Cincinnati’s. Violence will be answered with violence.
It hurts me to the core to even think about it.
Recently, my partner and I went on a week long vacation to Mexico. We spent a mostly enjoyable week lounging on the beaches of the Maya Riviera, at an all inclusive resort. On Tuesday of that week, we went on a ten hour excursion that included touring the Maya ruins Coba, a visit to an authentic Maya village, and swimming in a cenote, one of the thousands of fresh water sink holes that exist through out the country. Frankly, though the ruins were really cool, it was a long and troubling death march that neither my partner nor I were prepared for. The most troubling part to me was the visit to the Maya village.
When we first learned of the Maya village, we were both thinking that it was a public site, much like Cherokee Village in North Carolina. We thought that we would be taken to a place where Mayan history was to be re-enacted by people of Maya ancestry. We didn’t expect the harsh reality that we actually encountered.
What we were taken to instead was an actual Maya neighborhood that existed in a small, impoverished rural town outside of Coba. What we witnessed was no re-enactment: what we saw was actual Mayan families scratching out a living by allowing strangers into their one room huts, living on tips and the money that they made from crafts. Both my wife and I felt like intruders. It was more disturbing than cultural exchange.
Although the families seemed perfectly happy where they were, I couldn’t help but feel sad. I can’t help but think that they are not choosing to live the lives of their ancestors, but instead playing with the hand that they were dealt. They opened their doors to us, they shared their food with us, and they danced for us. Their Shaman even performed a religious ritual for us. I should have felt honored, but instead I just felt like a dirty, ugly American intruder. The whole experience was just disturbing.
I understand that every culture is different, that people must do what they have to in order to scratch out a living. I am in no way condemning how these people live, nor what they do to make a living. It is their way of life, and it is not up to me to judge. They could be perfectly happy for all I know. It just saddens me that a proud race of people who dominated the Yucatan Peninsula centuries ago now depend on tips and craft money to buy clothes and food.
I’m glad I met them, but again, I felt like a complete interloper.