Category Archives: modest proposal

Miss Me With That


I was going to do a big ‘ol set up and gently ease y’all into this topic, but nah. I’m too old, too tired and quite frankly too ticked to extend that courtesy right now, so I’m going to jump right in:

Y’all* need to miss me with this “Oh, you understand that mindset, you must be like that or agree with it”…

Nonsense. (Not the word I wanted to use.) It’s both asinine and insulting. I’m going to start with asinine because it’s easier to explain.

The fact that I understand how people whose views you find distasteful, disgusting and even horrifying doesn’t mean (and I really cannot believe I have to actually say this) I agree with those views. It just means I took the time to try and figure out WHY these people hold these views. I’ve said this a dozen times, but what the hell, let me make it a baker’s dozen: You can’t fight what you don’t understand and you can’t win a game if you don’t know the rules.

Oh…I said baker’s dozen…must mean I agree that bakers can discriminate.

I can’t even…

Sigh. Anyway.

When a person goes to medical school it’s because that person wants to learn how the human body works and what it looks like when said body is malfunctioning so they can fix it. Mechanics learn about engines and other parts of vehicles for the same reason. It’s why stylists go to cosmetology school. Teachers get education degrees. Accountants study and take the CPA exam. Writers study English and grammar. The point is to learn about the subjects so we can…say it with me…UNDERSTAND.

You can’t help solve a problem if you don’t understand the problem. You can’t help people see things differently if you can’t see what they see, or understand why they it. Posting on social media how horrible you feel about how things are and that you “just don’t understand how or why people can be like this” without trying to find the answer is just words. Empty gestures. Close to meaningless and just short of useless. Are you willing to do the work to get to the point of understanding? If you aren’t, then I politely ask that you take several seats and let those of us who did the work DO the work.

As for the insulting part, do you know why I learned to try and understand why and how people think they way they do? Do you think I woke one Tuesday morning and decided , “Hey today would be a great day to learn how racists, incels, and homophobes tick. Let me head to the library!”

Uh, nah, bro.

I learned because for most of my life I’ve had to quickly determine if the person walking toward me means to harm me or is just being friendly. I’ve had to quickly decide whether the house/bar/ store I just walked into was safe for people like me or not. And I’ve had to decide whether or not a person was actually my friend or was trying to set me up for something horrible later. So, if my having this understanding and ability to see things and people for what and who they are bothers you that much…

You can miss me with that too.keep-calm-and-miss-me-with-your-bull

*Y’all = “some of y’all” in this instance, but that phrase would have ruined the flow.

 

 

 

 

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Why I Detest “All Lives Matter”


When the #BlackLivesMatter movement first gained momentum, it was quickly followed by the response, “All Lives Matter.” For the longest time, that response bugged me, but I couldn’t figure out why.

Then it dawned on me.

It was like telling someone who had just lost their home to a fire, “Yeah, well so-and-so lost their house last month and such-and-such lost their house two days ago. Why are you special?”

Well you’re special because right there…at that very moment, it was happening to YOU. You wanted someone to reach out and help YOU in your moment of pain. You wanted someone to put an arm around you and say, “It will be okay. We’ll figure it out.”

THAT is why “All lives matter” is the LAST thing you should say in response to “____ Lives Matter.” Doesn’t matter which lives we’re talking about. It’s dismissive to any and all of them. So quit saying it.

So, what can you say instead? Let me help you out:

#Black Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#Women’s Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

#LGBT Lives Matter

Response: You’re right, they should but to some they don’t. We’re going to figure out a way to make it so they do.

Get it? From now on, every time someone trots out All Lives Matter, I’m linking them to this post. Because I’m like my father, I don’t like to repeat myself, and I’ve been beating this drum for far too long.

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A Modest (21st Century) Proposal…


This confederate flag controversy doesn’t seem to be going away, so I’m going to offer one more explanation as well as a proposal that might help everyone get along.

The Explanation

First off, let’s see the flag in question:

confed navy jack

This actually is NOT the Flag of the Confederacy. This is actually the Confederate Navy Jack.

THIS is the actual confederate flag (or one of the versions, there were several):

Flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_(1861-1863)

So, we are actually arguing about the Navy Jack, not the confederate flag. So, I will refer to it as the Navy Jack from now on. Because that’s what it is.

Personally, I think the Navy Jack is a symbol of racism and oppression. And the creator of the flag, a man named William T. Thompson thinks so as well. In his own words, in 1863:

“As a people we are fighting to maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race; a white flag would thus be emblematical of our cause,”

Maintain the Heaven-ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race. Call me crazy, but he didn’t seem to want to offer my ancestor’s a seat at the table.

Interestingly enough, these words can also be found, almost verbatim in the Cornerstone Address. The Address was delivered by Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the Athenaeum in Savannah, Georgia, on March 21, 1861. It’s interesting reading, but the portion pertinent to this conversation is here (bold added by me for emphasis):

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Not only did the founders of the Confederate party believe that blacks were inferior and, therefore, should remain slaves, they were proud of being the first to admit it and to set up a government based on this fact.

These are the words of the creator of the flag and the government it represents. Both state blacks are inferior and should not be allowed to be free. I don’t think you can get much more racist than that.

But….

I’m going to go out on a limb and give some of you the benefit of the doubt. Even though I’ve had some less than kind things said and done to me by proud wearers and displayers of the Navy Jack, I’ll let you use the line that has been trotted out more times than mustard at a hot dog stand,

“It’s Heritage, not hate.”

You’re right, the Navy Jack is part of the South’s heritage. But what exactly are your proud of? This isn’t meant to be a condemnation, I’m sincerely curious…where is the pride in:

  • Declaring war against your own country (and losing)?
  • Wanting to enslave an entire race of people indefinitely?
  • Pitting families against each other?
  • Dividing a nation? (Though if it weren’t for the Civil War West Virginia might not exist, so do with that what you will.)

What exactly are you proud of? That is an awful lot of hate. You’re going to need a helluva lot of heritage to counteract that. Sadly, there are plenty of people who want to continue to use the Navy Jack as a symbol of racism and intolerance. The Klan is one, but check this out, courtesy of Bipartisan Report:

bipartisan report

From Business Insider: In Germany, the Confederate flag is not void of political context. European skinheads and neo-Nazi groups have adopted the Confederate flag and variations of it because of its historical context as a symbol of racism and white supremacy.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-the-confederate-flag-flown-outside-the-us-2015-6#ixzz3fLrbSjCa

So, again…where is this heritage of which you should be proud?

But once more…I’ll make a concession. If you really REALLY want to insist that this flag is about your heritage and pride in where you came from, I have a modest proposal.

Take your flag back. Well, actually you’d be stealing it from its creators and wrestling it away from the groups mentioned above, but I digress.

Seriously. Officially claim the flag.

Yeah, daunting task. Okay, how about this:

You let everyone who thinks that flag is racist know which of you flying and displaying it are good decent human beings and which ones are the skinheads, klansmen, crazies, neo-nazis and we’ll call it square.

How could you do that? Well that’s up to you.

Or, you could just do the easy thing and put Navy Jack where it belongs…in the history books.

Go ahead, work it out and get back to me.

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