Racism runs rampant

I abhor racism. The idea that any one person is better or worse than another simply because of skin color or cultural differences is and always has been absurd. Just as absurd is the idea that culture can’t or shouldn’t be shared amongst disparate groups of people. I have no patience for any propaganda that supports the ascension of  one group at the expense of another. I used to think that my need for this spite and abhorrence would be able to slowly ebb as societies became more understanding and tolerant of one another, as groups within those societies became more tolerant of one another. I’m afraid I was mistaken.

Racism is in fact still strong in America. The perpetual separation of groups by color, culture and language remains a significant part of our culture. The transition of distrust and hatred from blacks to asians to the middle-eastern to hispanics and back again is perpetually enacted. We are supposed to be a country of open-armed tolerance. A beacon of hope to the world.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
‘ With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We’ve never been perfect, but the desire has always been there for most of us. We should have learned by now, though. Italians, Germans, Irish, Chinese, Polish, Jewish, Japanese, Vietnamese, and now Mexicans. When is it going to end? I propose it ends now, and I’ve got some ideas for how to settle what appear on the surface to be issues about immigration but are in reality about racism.

  1. Those people here illegally should be allowed to apply for work visas or citizenship immediately with no fear of repercussions.
  2. America should never declare a national language, culture, or religion. Our identity is in our liberty and openness, not in the way we speak or how we choose — or choose not — to worship.
  3. All racist ideas need to stop. Now. If you judge a culture by the actions of a few individuals, you’re racist. Knock it off.
  4. No American or guest of this country should be forced to produce identification or proof of residence unless there is a felony potential.
  5. All laws that raise up one culture over another should be repealed.
  6. Stop focusing on one culture per month. How about making sure our history books are accurate rather than highlight or diminish the accomplishments of one culture at a time?
  7. Learn. From. Our. Mistakes.

That should do it.

Vote your Voice!

If you’ve come by these pages a lot, you’ll know that I’ve spent a good deal of time discussing various points on the state of our republic here in the U.S. Throughout, I have always maintained that a stronger voter turnout could go a long way towards correcting some of the trends we’ve been seeing magnified lately: corporatization of government, disenfranchisement, increased lobbyist control, career politicians. I truly believe with the utmost optimism that those ills of our government can be either corrected or slowed if more citizens would just vote in every election.

Why do I believe this? Because that’s how our system works. The more people who vote, the more government truly represents the voice of our entire country as opposed to just a few sects of angry factions.

I created a group called Vote Your Voice in order to try and spread my optimism on these issues.  The sole purpose of the group is to spread the word that increased voting numbers are tantamount to an improved government.

It’s going to be a tough road and one that will require all of us involved to maintain a spirit of possibility and optimism in the face of naysayers, ne’er-do-wells, and counter-arguments. I will do my part by continuing to be loud, optimistic, and paint pictures of the voting numbers so that the disparities can be seen. What I’m asking for is your support.

Join the group over on Facebook, participate in the commentary discussions on the website, or just get your own circle of influence to go vote whenever the opportunity arises.

Voting is not a privilege. It’s not a right. Voting is a duty of all U.S. citizens and should be taken seriously.

Voting accomplished, conscience muddy

Well, I voted. I braved the rain, the cold slush, and all of everything else today to cast my vote for the person who I feel is less likely to destroy our country in the future. Neither Martha Coakley nor Scott Brown appealed to me as an ideal candidate for a state senator. Joe Kennedy just was never an option for me.

So given the field, Coakley was it. If anything, I hope that replacing a democrat with a democrat does less damage than the other way around, because I’m sure it won’t do as much good as I want it to.

All three of the candidates claimed to be the answer to the “status quo”. And they are, depending on what you define as “status quo”. My definition is such that nothing short of a complete changing of the guard on capital hill can provide the answer. The only way to get our country back on track is to remove every politician on the take from office and then remove all lobbyists. The only way is to change the platforms of both major parties. To allow third parties a fair chance at winning. To get the citizenry of this country to participate in the process and reduce the power of factions.

Will either Brown or Coakley help us accomplish any of that? Probably not. I figured, though, that a former attorney general is far less bribeable than a man who posed for Playgirl, so she was the safer bet for me.

My Workspace

my_workspace

My post-xmas desktop. Busy, yeah?

A babbling tower …

Branches of languages from the Indo-European Tree
Branches of languages from the Indo-European Tree

Just a post of interest. I like to look at this drawing to see how closely related all of us in the Northern Hemisphere really are. The development of languages, of course, happens right alongside the development of culture which lead to prejudices and all of that other wonderful stuff. When looking at all of these languages and cultures on one page, though, I’m inspired to think that perhaps we really can just get along.

When I was a kid, the only story in the Bible that ever really left an impact on me was the Tower of Babel. I never took it literally, of course, but as a reverse allegory. The story tells us that when we all speak a different language, or desire different goals, or fight against each other, we are doomed to simply stay on earth and not aspire for a higher state of being or discovery. If, however, we can come together then we may just be able to do something remarkable.

I still think there’s a chance for all of us to do something remarkable together. A man can dream, anyhow.