You know, I am tired of being told I am to blame. I am so tired of the self-righteous living in their safe little bubbles saying that everything is fine and I am part of the problem for being critical of what is going on. So, do you want to know how I feel? Here it is.
There is a reason that I am critical of what is going on. I’m intelligent. Some people would say I’m very, very, very intelligent. Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault. People love me. And you know what? I've been very successful. Everybody loves me. And why do they love me? I think the only difference between me and other people is that I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful.
And I am tired of what you think. You just don’t want to think. I hate it. … I think that you are lazy. And it’s probably not your fault, because laziness is a trait in conservatives. In addition, from watching the news I think that conservatives are both criminals and rapists. And I am sick and tired of all these people from shithole trailer parks come to my Facebook page with their commentary.
Because of this, I believe that conservatives and Trump supporters and enemies of the people. The facts they put forward are inaccurate, and even fraudulent. I believe that we must stop the open & obvious hostility and be accurate and fair. I am so sick of the fake and dishonest right causing all of these problems.
And to the people in this area, so many times you come off as crazed and stumbling lunatics. You should just walk away from your party.
A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate commentary of the right that I refer to as fascists. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. The right must clean up its act, FAST!
I hope you are not offended by my words. Well… Because… I didn’t say them. I only tweaked the words of your president.
The Dangers of Nationalism
I remember when I was a high school English teacher, I used to teach a lesson on similes. You know, a comparison using like or as? I used to tell my students that there was a particular reason to use a comparison….to help gain a greater understanding of something. So, we then started talking about similes (and other comparisons). I would start with giving a simile stem and having them fill out the end.
All men are _________.
In almost every occasion, there would be two answers.
So, I asked the students what about men were like pigs? The trough? Rolling around in the mud? Sex (just so you know, pigs are some of the most meticulous lovers in the animal world)?
Their answer? Because all men are pigs. They just are.
Run like the __________.
Say it with me now…..wind.
Well, what kind of wind? Breeze? Gust? Gale?
The discussion would come around to the use of stale comparisons and how they replaced thought. They were convenient. They were easy. They were expected.
And people would nod in approval because they were comfortable and they didn’t have to think.
You can hear the chant. USA.
There is something that seems endearing about honoring your country with the chant.
But, it also replaces thought. It replaces critique. It replaces awareness. People will cheer along to be part of something.
But, blind adherence without thought is dangerous. Because it is easy. And you don’t have to think.
Imagine this. Think about the person you are. Your essence. The thing that makes you, you.
Imagine if that essence was born in Mexico. Or Guatemala. Or Scotland. Or Zambia. Or Bangladesh. Or East Timor.
Would you be a Tri-Colore? Of course. That is where you were born. Would you be singing Himno Nacional at the top of your lungs? Sure.
Because that is where you, the person who you are was born.
Unity, Action, Progress (motto of East Timor).
Here is my point. The only reason you are nationalist about this country is because this is where your essence was born. And it has been turned into a rallying cry. A chant. Without thought.
Throughout history (Germany, France, Italy, China) rampant nationalism has been used to unify people against others. Any others. It has been used to galvanize against the other. It has been used to snuff out those with a different opinion. It has been used to silences critics. The press. The opposition.
Nationalism is dangerous.
What is this chant? What are you celebrating?
The genocide of the indigenous people of this land? Moving them to reservations? Taking away their right to vote?
A history of slavery? Racism? Red line neighborhoods. Civil rights abuses? Lynchings?
Economic inequality? Rampant capitalism that has caused a situation where the richest 40 people own more than the bottom 50% (2011). And we are fighting for pennies.
Turning away desperate people that are escaping gangs and warfare? Because you are afraid they are going to knock on your door (this was said to me)?
A health system controlled by insurance and pharmaceutical companies that only care about profit over life?
A president that has made racist, misogynist, bigoted comments? That is trying to put into effect policies that would take rights away from transgender citizens? That is trying to silence the press? That focused on rallying cries when his opponents were being attacked? That wants the rich to get richer? That wants to take from social security and medicare? And you chant with him. And celebrate him.
Shutting down the press?
Keeping your stuff? Only your stuff?
I would love to say that I feel great about being born into a country that doesn’t have to deal with the issues other countries do.
Drugs, gangs, poverty, racism, sexism, xenophobia, bigotry, ableism.
Wait, we have those things.
So, let us honor this country for what is about. Democracy. Free speech. Free press. Freedom to worship whom we want. Freedom to peacefully assemble. Helping the world. Being a nation of immigrants (except I was recently told the famous “huddled masses, yearning to be free” message only counts on Ellis Island). Looking out for each other. Being open. Accepting.
Think. Don’t parrot. Use your mind. Don’t just follow the crowd because it feels good, is convenient, and gives you confidence.
Be critical. Be thoughtful. Be kind.
And when you chant, chant….
This isn’t one of my regular blog posts (www.andrewtkemp.com/blog). This is actually a response to a conversation. But, here we go.
Okay, so the other day I posted the following on Facebook, “I am tired of Republicans saying, ‘You had your turn, now it is ours.’ Our turn didn't rely on misogyny, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. So, piss off.” It was met with equal parts agreement and ire. That I can accept. We, as a people, are divided right now. Like it or not, we are.
I would like to say that it is unique to this time period, but it isn’t. We have always been divided. Sure, I know people will argue that we have had times where we were of a singular mind. Maybe during wars. But, even then, that was only the spoken narrative. We were still divided. By race, religion, sexuality, and wealth.
What is bothering me is that much of what is going on is being blamed on liberals/left/Democrats by the conservative/right/Republicans. Somehow, this is our fault. They are without blame. I was told, “As much as I disagree with most liberal policies, I abhor the pieces of crap that are intentionally turning us on one another. Quit falling for the two party manipulation and treat each other with respect.” First, this statement in itself is a statement of antagonism. Second, well, we have a two party state. Like it or not. Finally, it is easy to say you want to treat each other with respect when your voice is the only one in control. As someone replied, respect is earned.
In my original post, I noted, “Our turn [Democrats] didn't rely on misogyny, racism, bigotry, and xenophobia.” I am not quite sure what the issue was. Evidence?
So, complain all you want that this is my/our fault.
WAIT! Retort pause….
Oh, and, well, Bill got a BJ and lied about it
So, my point being. Stop it. It is not the fault of protestors, liberals, leftists, Democrats, minorities, immigrants, or the news media that we are divided. It is that the policies that are being enacted, are dividing us. The only care or concern is money.
Hey, my taxes went down! I am happy.
It doesn’t matter how much. Or if everyone gets it. Or the fact that the rich are getting richer over it.
Money, money, money.
Oh, and, “I need my freedoms. Not yours. Mine.”
And, I know that you might be reading this and thinking, well, that isn’t me. I am not racist, misogynistic, bigoted, or xenophobic. But, if you are supporting a group or part of a group that does, your silence on the matter is consent. Therefore, you are complicit.
So, I am not going to stop. I am not going to be quiet. I am going to keep talking. Questioning. Calling out people.
Feel free to respond.
We live in a misogynistic society. We live in a sexist society. We live in a shallow society.
Yes, I said it.
I am not saying that all men are misogynists or sexist or shallow. But, as a society, those that are dominant are.
Over the last few days I have seen posts making fun of sexual assault. For example, a former classmate of mine (who I have known since the first grade) had the following shared with him on his page (I had seen it before). “Hello my name is Charmin and I want someone to notify my Senator or my congressman or the FBI, that back in the 60s and into the 70s an old man named Mr. Whipple used to squeeze me inappropriately, even though people told him repeatedly don’t squeeze the Charmin…I demand Justice!” Of course, the picture was of toilet paper. A joke right?
What this is doing is making fun of assault. It is using the image of toilet paper to represent women. It is mocking inappropriate touching. It is mocking waiting.
Yes, it is.
I also see comment after comment after comment about why did she wait so long? Why? Because to many men, it is a joke. Boys being boys.
Well, fuck you. It is not boys being boys. It is an excuse because boys and men have been programed to be assholes. Men are programed by society. Society has taught men we need to have sex early and often. Society has taught men that women should have tiny waists and big boobs. Society has taught men that women are objects to be ogled and grabbed. Society has taught men that women are here to serve us. Society has taught men that women are worth less. Society has taught men that women should get over it. Society has taught men that women lie.
And the most fucked up thing? Some women believe it? Society has programmed them, too.
Well, fuck you again.
This same former classmate (who is a therapist of all things) posted the following. “If I touched yo booty between 3rd and 8th grade I apologize, I need my job. These allegations getting outta hand.
Haha, again. Right? Things that might have bothered you are funny. I get to make fun of them because other men will find it funny.
My response? Go ahead, say it in your head.
Now, I know there are people that are going to say that my use of language hurts my argument. I can’t have a civil conversation. I am going to turn people off to what I am trying to say.
You have no argument. I do not care if you say the bible says so. Or you were just joking. Or I am being crass and crude.
Making fun of sexual assault, rape, attempted rape, unwanted touching, slipping the roofy, is just wrong.
Where I live, a former candidate for our county commission said he would defend any woman that was assaulted. But, yet, he posted the same sort of humor. And then took it down.
Fuck you, coward. If you are going to believe it, post it and do it. But, also, realize you are showing yourself for who you are.
And I am showing myself for who I am. I am not okay with this. In fact, while I have really tried to have conversations about many issues with people, this is one I won’t have. If you are a sexist, misogynistic asshole, I am not going to try to be civil. I am going to call you out.
Finally, for those of you that are fawning over Brett Kavanaugh and think he is being treated unfairly and is being unjustly accused, think about your reaction if you found out your child’s teacher was accused of being a pedophile. Or having a history of sexual assault. You would be jumping over yourself to make sure that person didn’t teach your child. Well, Kavanaugh has been nominated for a position where he will be making decisions about women.
Fuck Brett Kavanaugh.
As a professor of education, I have to say that this is something as a society we must combat. We must teach our children to be civil. To be open. To think critically. To understand right and wrong. We must teach our children not just facts, but life.
We aren’t. And fuck us for not doing it.
With the exception of a year, I have been a teacher or a student for my entire life. I have taught on many different levels. I have been a middle school teacher (okay, for one semester for student teaching...because of this, I have a profound respect for middle school teachers), high school, undergraduates and graduate students. I have coached soccer in youth leagues and high school. Education is in my blood.