Can I Depend on Your Vote?

Image Above:
Johanna Sigurdardottir; Prime Minister of Iceland

Many people have told me that their vote doesn’t see color, but does your vote see sexuality?

I’ve always found it interesting when people who I don’t know if they were seeking acceptance or approval by telling me they didn’t vote for President Obama because of race. I find it even more interesting of those who said they didn’t vote for President Obama, but it wasn’t because of race. I always think, if it wasn’t about race, why are you telling me that it wasn’t? Also, why is it that race isn’t attributed to White candidates as it is to everyone who isn’t? I’m not convinced by your words, but by your behavior and actions. It’s what you do and what you don’t do that is telling.

Beyond race is the question of gender and sexuality in politics. This is where I want to rest my thoughts today. I use the story of Iceland’s Prime Minister as example in asking what matters to you.

The honorable Johanna Sigurdardottir became the Prime Minister of Iceland in 2009. Prime Minister Sigurdardottir who has children from her previous (heterosexual) marriage is the only openly gay head of state.

What I found interesting about this story is the proof of Iceland’s lack of anti-discrimination hypocrisy by never publicly making an issue of Johanna Sigurdardottir’s sexuality. I say anti-discrimination hypocrisy not insinuating to practice of anti-discrimination is hypocritical, because it isn’t. I fully support anti-discriminatory practices and policies, both public and private. What makes anti-discrimination hypocritical is when those who preach it do not practice it. For any anti-discrimination practice to be true, the philosophy must be applied to all, not some.

Perhaps American in addition to the rest of the world can learn a valuable lesson from our Nordic friends in terms of tolerance and acceptance. When our consideration is allowed to roam beyond the narrow confines we apply it in our political and religious applications, then we get to see the person for who they are above what they are.

For those who have said to me that they don’t see color, but the content of a person’s character, then this is an excellent measure of your sincerity or commitment to that by considering the possibility of a future President or Prime Minister of your country being elected by the content of his/her character and not the color of their skin, religious practice or sexual orientation.

It is only my opinion, but I would expect that if a future US Presidential Candidate was honest enough to admit they were gay, I believe the powers that be would demonstrate the truth of the American dream. Their hopes of freedom and equality will essentially be publicly voted upon by those who say they are.

What if a future President or Prime Minister was openly gay, would you vote for him/her?

Do not concern yourself with the social perceptions of others. I just want you to be true. Be willing to defend your response if challenged, but only challenge with respect and consideration. It’s not about your religious beliefs or political affiliation, but your position on the boundaries of discrimination.

Work Cited
AAP, “Iceland’s gay PM weds partner “. The Age. June 28, 2010 <http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/icelands-gay-pm-weds-partner-20100628-zfbd.html>.

Just Give It Up

I simply can’t believe this one. Seriously, have we come so far that Senators don’t care whatever it is, if one side is for it they’re automatically against it? Read what it has to say, before you say Yea or Nay. It’s that easy.

Rape in any form is violent, to prevent the victim from sueing the attacker if they work for the same company shouldn’t matter. Rape is rape.

Jon Stewart lays this one out in comedic form, but makes valid points. This shouldn’t be a political partisan issue. There’s not a reason to even be partisan on this one. Republicans are raped, just as Democrats. If we consider healthcare insurance companies we’re all having to just give it up whether we want to or not.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-october-14-2009/rape-nuts

I’ll make this one easy. If you are against abortions, against rape and against violence and you live in the state of where one of the Senators who voted Nay were elected, then I ask you to ask your Senator why? Believe me I have.

  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Bond (R-MO)
  • Sam Brownback (R-KS)
  • Jim Bunning (R-KY)
  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Chambliss (R-GA)
  • Coburn (R-OK)
  • Cochran (R-MS)
  • Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • Cornyn (R-TX)
  • Crapo (R-ID)
  • Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • John Ensign (R-NV) Should you really be voting against this John?
  • Enzi (R-WY)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Gregg (R-NH)
  • Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Isakson (R-GA)
  • Johanns (R-NE)
  • John Kyle (R-AZ)
  • John McCain (R-AZ) I’m honestly surprise that even you would vote this way.
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Risch (R-ID)
  • Roberts (R-KS)
  • Sessions (R-AL)
  • Shelby (R-AL)
  • Thune (R-SD)
  • David Vitter (R-LA)
  • Wicker (R-MS)

Justice is Color Blind

Didn’t we just discuss this for two weeks?

http://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/racistconversation5/
http://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/10/12/racistconversation6/

Oh I forgot, “I’m not a racist because I have Black friends” defense.

Can someone say it with me? UNCONSCIOUS RACISM

You should always be aware of the person who says, “I’m not a racist”. If you’re not a racist you don’t have to say it. Your actions will speak for you.

Summary

OK, so this is the story. A few days ago a Judge in New Orleans denied an interracial couple a marriage license on the grounds of his belief the marriage would not work, he does not believe in “the mixing of the races” and his lack of self-acknowledgement that he would be one of the people who would discriminate against any children they may have.

Details

In New Orleans, Louisiana a justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

My Comment: It’s always about sex isn’t it.

Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday.

My Comment: Of course not, you just have issues with race.

“I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

My Comment: WHAT! You’re kidding me, right?

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said.

My Comment: Oh, well then. That’s not racist. Just because you refuse to do your job, because of race doesn’t mean you’re racist. Come on now.
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.

My Comment: Oh, so you talked about with Black people. So that doesn’t make you racist. Seriously, don’t validate your argument on the myth that Black people can’t be racist, because they can. Racism isn’t racist, because anyone can be one.

“There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,” Bardwell said. “I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

My Comment: This is a lie. It’s only a problem among racist.

If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.

“I try to treat everyone equally.”

My Comment: OK, I’m trying not to laugh at this one. How in the Hell do you say that with a straight face? As my sister would say, For Real Dude? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m being Punk’d right now, right? OK. You try to treat everyone equally, so you demonstrate your non-racist attitude by marrying people who are of the same race, but not marrying people who are not. I bet you do this on a Bible too. Besides disobeying the law, you’re going against the word of God. Unless your Bible reads “God is a respecter of persons”.

You’ve got to read the rest of this story for yourself. No one is forcing you to get married to someone because of social perceptions, but you shouldn’t be denied the right to get married to someone because of social perceptions.
http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/the_state_of_black_america_news/13496
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/15/interracial-couple-denied_n_322784.html
*An eyebrow should be raised, but I’ll let you think about this before I get into it any further. But it’s coming. So don’t asking me, because I’m not telling.  Just keep reading. :)

The sad thing is that I have run across people just like this on this very blog. No matter how much you try to explain it to them, they still don’t get it.

Momma, Daddy is the Papa

Meredith Vieira talks to actress Mackenzie Phillips about her long-standing incestuous relationship with her father, her struggle with drug addiction and other details revealed in her new memoir, “High on Arrival.”

After watching this interview with Meredith I want ask a question which you will see below, but this interview may put the question in better context.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/32999699#32999699

I’ve included a clip from her interview on Oprah, but urge you to watch the interview with Meredith Vieira.

Incest; could this be an acceptable reason for getting an abortion?

Now don’t get upset with me for asking the question, I’m just pointing out one of the 800 lbs Gorilla’s in the room of this story. I’m not suggesting or advocating my morals onto anyone by asking, but I am interesting in knowing what you think now that you’ve listened to the interview.

Unfortunately I’ve had the opportunity to have conversations with victims of rape and incest. The over arching affects that sexual abuse has on the mind of the one being abuse can make a long lasting impression in so many areas of a persons life. I raise the question about abortion to make a point, but as I’ve said in previous conversations on this blog is that you have to consider others, because you never know what or why someone decides to do what they do. Sometimes its not so clear cut as right or wrong as we can conclude in this case. This is why I will continue to advocate the simple strategy of Considering Others. Even if I am criticized in the process and/or misunderstood. The meaning is within the message.

Share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions about this.

Do Something Before It’s Too Late

One of the most scariest images is an ideologically confused, unsocialized person with a gun in one hand and the Bible and Constitution in the other. What is more scary are the people who enables them.

For weeks I’ve been writing about race, rage, religion and the right. Some has attributed all of this to one bloggers obsession with race and republicans. And your assumption would be wrong. Many people who are silent on these issues are so because they either sees the truth in what has been illustrated and/or they’re simply uncomfortable speaking with authority about any of these subjects.

As I’ve illustrated last week is that it’s not always about race, it’s not always republicans, but it is about race and the role republicans are playing in the rage against this President. Many choose not to accept the reality of that truth, but what other logical conclusion can you draw if it isn’t about race? Politics is just the proxy, not the problem.

I give up on the realistic relevance of the Republican Party these days. It doesn’t want anyone who will question its authority. It doesn’t want anyone who will demand discussion. It doesn’t want anyone who is progressive, moderate, Black, Latino, Muslim, Young or even female. If you’re White, Male and Southern you’re welcomed. As a southerner I know that’s not a fair assessment, but many polls are trending in that direction when it comes to the GOP. It’s trending higher to those groups. The Democratic Party is not infallible, but at least I’m welcomed.

The fringes of society, whether it is the Birthers, the Deathers, the outrageous 2nd Amendment folks and the Racists they are not ruining the GOP, they have ruined the GOP. Who’s talking about bringing guns, Hitler, Nazis and the socialists. It’s not all Republicans, but it is a Republican problem and an American issue.

I’m surprised about the silence of those Republicans who has previous criticized me on various issues. What is worse is the timid tendencies of Democrats confronting them. It’s not all Republicans, it’s not all Democrats, but when will we finally have a Conservative who will talk down the paranoia of Republicans to Republicans? When will we finally have Democrats speak critically towards the timidness of the Democrats to Democrats?

I have restrained myself from saying this for many months, but I simply give up any possibility of having a reasonable conversation with most Republicans on many of these issues. I will continue to push Democrats to speak up, but their time is coming too if they don’t start doing what needs to be done.

Comment, criticize if you please. I give up. Let the M.F. Burn. (Reference to a previous post)

If what happened in November of 1963, February of 1965 or April of 1968 happens in today I will be sad, but I would feel sorry for those who helped caused it, because the blood would be on their hands. The outrage of the right could not match the rage that would come from the left and in the unexpected corners of society. I don’t want any of this to happen and urge people to do something more than nod in agreement or disagreement, do something before something happens. Before it’s too late.

How Long Will It Take

I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal– Associated Press, 06/07/09 – Scott Roeder

After I read this statement by the murderer of Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder I was reminded of the question asked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in 1965. How long will it take?

Scott Roeder walked into a church with a gun and without any regards towards the LIFE of the children he and many others proclaim to value, without any respect for a place of worship, without any concern towards the implications of the hypocrisy. He acts as what he accused his victim of being, a murderer.

So as I patiently await a response from those who were so upset and outraged over some of my previous posts regarding abortion and the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debates, I’m amazed by their silence. You were so quick and sure of yourself when you attacked me from my position of considering the positions of those we disagree with, I’m just wondering where you are on this one.

Would you rather engage your guns and religious hypocrisy instead of engaging in an honest and respectable conversation?

I’ve said all I have to say on the subject when I wrote, “The Pro-Truth Agenda” and “Promote Life, Not Death”. I seriously doubt those who generally disagree with most of the things written on this blog will even get the point I’m making in these two posts, but it’s alright. Someone has to disagreeable I guess, why not you. That’s fair.

What isn’t fair is the reconciliation many who do tend to disagree are wrestling with in terms of the trend of radical extremist who commit these crimes in the name of life and sometimes Christ. I think it should be a debate, because there’s not much too truly reconcile when you strive to consider the experiences of others before concluding they are evil or wrong. Fortunately that’s not for me to reconcile. Just like those who somehow can find a way to support torture will continue to support the hypocrisy of those who promote life while advocating death to those who believe you have a choice.

You can disagree with me, curse at me or even refuse to acknowledge me, that’s your choice (no pun intended). I just am amazed at the silence. Silence truly is betrayal. The disconnect between both Pro-Life supporters and Pro-Choice supporters can not be solved until BOTH begin to CONSIDER EACH OTHER. Nothing I can say or do will change the minds of anyone who chooses to remain silent, upset or disconnected towards those they disagree with. I don’t know how anyone can disagree with that.

So I’m finished with my discussion on the subject of abortion. I believe I have clearly stated my position on multiple occasions. I would personally pay for the day to arrive that what divides us will be no more. That day will arrive, and when it does how will you be paying?

*You must visit the 3rd reference below KFOR NewsChannel 4 – Oklahoma City, simply amazing.*

References & Inspirations
TI&S – 05/03/09 “The Pro-Truth Agenda
TI&S – 06/03/09 “Promote Life, Not Death
KFOR: Oklahoma City – 05/31/09 “Anti-Abortion Protesters Show Up at Tiller Vigil to faceoff with supporters
Yahoo News/Associated Press – 06/07/09 “Suspect in Abortion Doctor Death Warns of Violence
National Organization of Women – 1998 “Doctor Murdered as Anti-Abortion Violence & Terrorism Continue

Empathy Is Not Sympathy

a2a_linkname=”TI&S | Empathy Is Not Sympathy”;a2a_linkurl=”http://timvalentine.wordpress.com/2009/05/29/empathyisnotsympathy/&#8221;;
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  - John Donne “For Whom the Bell Tolls

As cool it would be if it was true, I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I would like to believe that we would be in a better place in terms of human conditions if I ruled the world. Unfortunately this is just a fascination of my utopian dream to making the world what I believe it ought to be; Heaven.

Although this dream may not become a reality in my life time I can at least try. You can’t take it for granted or rely on the fact that you’ve never been told any differently that people will change. One can change the world if there’s one willing to try.

I’m still amazed by how so many of us have become comfortable with the lack of empathy we demonstrate towards each other. Perhaps it’s due to the busy lives we employ. Maybe it’s due to a lack of socialization or understanding. Maybe you just don’t want any trouble, so you just go along to get along. Whatever the case may be, there comes a time where your silence becomes betrayal.

When some are more eager to protest against a proposition in California than rally to end discrimination and homophobia then there’s a problem. When Christians are more concern with preventing Same-Sex Marriage than divorce, then there’s a problem.

When a woman who graduates 2nd in her class at an Ivy-League school while overcoming economic, social and medical issues is intelligence is questioned and whether she is suitable for a position because of her life experiences, then something is wrong.

When your words are taken out of context, chopped and screwed to blend into a malicious and hateful mix promoted by culturally unaware, socially uninformed exclusionists for political purposes, then something is wrong.

The law of the life is not logic, but experience. Experience that’s been tested by obstacles and barriers, hardship and misfortune. The insistence of persistence is what ultimately overcomes those barriers. It is these experiences that allow a person to consider others and be able to relate to them on a personal level despite our apparent differences and/or opposing interests?

What is your standard?

We are here because of the aspirations, works and sacrifices of someone else. The dream that one day we can live with love, respect and concern for each other in what Dr. Martin Luther King called the Beloved Community is being foreclosed on by the unethical practices of propagandist who only seek to profit off of fear and hate.

Far too often have we found ourselves bound by the narrow confines of foolish perceptions? Whether trapped by boundless liberalism or arrested by static conservatism the results are the same; progressive stagnation.

To become what you ought to be you need to consider others. The standard for which you judge others you judge yourself, but more harshly. When you continue to put up borders in your life, the community becomes less beloved and more despised. The standard of your arguments are no longer freedom or emancipation, but obstruction and restriction.

When you reach the point that you can recognize life as just an ordinary person, blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Perhaps you will understand what empathy means. Empathy does not mean adjusting the circumstances in such a way that the “little guy/minority” wins, but to place yourself in their position. Become the little guy, experience life as he or she experiences it, before casting judgment that is tainted with bias observations and experiences.

Take the time to become friends with someone different than you. Strive to sincerely learn about someone who is not like you. Example: I’m a Black Male, so I would want to try to befriend and learn more about someone who is not Black or a male. (I can personally say with confidence that I only have one friend who is a Black male, the rest are women of various races including Black.)

You are not an island, entire of yourself. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Any man’s death whether it be physical, moral or spiritual diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. Empathy is what I believe John Donne is saying in my 21st Century remix of a 17th Century poem. There are no them, but only us. We should not build fences or walls, but bridges. We are the community and to make it beloved, we have to learn how to love it and each other.

References & Inspirations
John Donne – 1624 “Devotions upon emergent occasions and several steps in my sickness – Meditation XVII
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – 12/18/1963 “Social Justice (Speech at Western Michigan University)
Christian Century – 04/03/1974 “Search for the Beloved Community: The Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr.”