Category Archives: politics

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

Here in the United States there are some people who believe we live in a “post racist” society.  Apparently even some of my fiends on social media believe this to be true.  It always amazes me when I see comments such as “I am not racist, but…”  or “I believe this….but”, etc. That “but” says a lot about how you really feel inside, whether you know it or not.  While explicit racism is not as common as it once was, (although in the past 8 months it has become more common), implicit racism is very common.

So then “what is implicit racism?”  Let me explain. Explicit racism is overt, obvious……using the N word, talking openly about people who are not white, or Christian, or middle class as being “less than” or not as good as the person who is doing the speaking. Shouting Nazi slogans walking down a street in Virginia. Openly being a member of the KKK. These people are open about their dislike for non whites, or homosexuals, or Jews or Muslims. It is easy to see and hear their racist beliefs and we can choose to avoid them, if we don’t want to be exposed to that bullshit.

Implicit racism is not obvious, and are usualy thoughts or stereotypes or biases we believe and act on, whether we are aware of it or not.  Such as crossing the street if we see a black man walking on our side of the street, clutching our purse a little tighter, thinking poor people are “lazy”, or just don’t try “hard enough” to get themselves out of poverty. Thinking or speaking as if the world would be better if we all “just took Jesus Christ into or hearts”. Or that children would be better off in a heterosexual home.

I see another form of bias these days. Some people want to be seen as nonbiased, or NOT racist, so they say things like “I don’t see color when I look at people.”  Or “I am colorblind.” Let me tell you why I think this is a ridiculous statement.

Now before you get your undies in a bunch, and get mad at me for “callng people oyt”, let me say that I DO understand what they mean, but I think by saying they don’t “see color” they are actually devaluing diversity and differences.  There are cultural differences (in my humble opinion) between races.  They may be small, but they are there.  I think these differences should be celebrated, not done away with.  Cultural diversity (in fact ALL diversity) makes the tapestry of humanity more colorful and vibrant, it doesn’t detract from that.  Why would we want everyone to be the same??? What an incredibly boring world that would be!!

So I am going to say I DO see color when I see people.  I see all the beautiful shades of skin tone, and hair color and hair texture.  I see eye color, and body size, and fully-abled or less-abled bodies.  I see gender, whether male, or female or other.  I see age, and sometimes I can see wealth or poverty.  I see all of those things when I look at people.  That doesn’t make me a racist.  It makes me observant.

diversity

In my opinion, the problem is not in seeing our differences, but in assigning stereotypes and biases to the people we see based on what we see.  To assume when we see a black person that the color of their skin somehow tells us something about their character is the problem.  To see an Asian person and assume they are good at math is the problem. To see a brown person and assume they are not hard working is the problem.   To place stereotypes and bias on a person merely by looking at them IS THE PROBLEM!! This does not just apply to the color or “hue” of someone’s skin, but also their gender, their physical bodies, their mental abilities, their sexuality, age, religion, etc!

Think about it, we can’t even assume that a person with darker pigmented skin is “african”.  They may be of Caribbean, or African, or Middle Eastern, or indigenous heritage.  They may be biracial, or multiracial.  We can assume very little about someone based on external appearances.  Assumptions and assigning stereotypes is the enemy, NOT seeing their “color”.

I think if we do want to truly become a post racist society we really need to think about this, and start valuing all humans for their differences, not try to make all humans the same. Do you “see color” when you look at people?

Go ahead and “see” a person’s color, and celebrate it!  Move past bias and stereotypes and get to know the person,  no matter what they look like on the outside. Find something of value in them, and remove the stereotype! THEN maybe we can become the post racist society I dream of!

I Am Not Color Blind, Are You?

#lovenothate

Can Trump change once he is the President?

Every day I listen to National Public Radio. Sometimes I tune in to Fox News channel on my XM radio. Sometimes I listen to CNN on my radio. I do my best to get news from different perspectives. I am in my car a lot driving and so I have time to sit and listen to the news.

First things first. I was very worried when Trump won. Although I listened to a very close friend who told me not to worry because he was smart enough to “surround himself with smart people even though he is an idiot”, and worried just a little less. Because I value her opinion, and she is older and usually wiser than me I have tried to pay attention to the confirmation hearings so far. So what I have found is that I am even more confused than I was before.

The one thing I can be sure of (based upon actions so far)  is the President-elect Trump will always stay true to the from of what we have always seen and heard from him. From his days of bashing Rosie O’Donnell, to saying he doesn’t want  a “Mexican judge” on his lawsuit, to the man I always believed to be an egomaniac, and quite frankly not very nice. I used to watch “The Apprentice”, and I was always amused by his way of talking to people and thought his ego was a little too big even then. (and when I say I watched it, I mean I watched it back in the beginning, in 2004 when the not so nice Omarosa was on and subsequently fired). Interestingly,  apparently Omarosa has a job in the White House after Trump takes office.

omarosa1

I just feel that he is who he is. The mean tweets, the outbursts, the inability to listen well, the ego. I am not sure he will be able to take his personality down a notch or two after he takes office. I mean he is no spring chicken…. he is 70 years old………I find it unlikely that a person of that age will change who he is at his core and be able to behave differently than what we have witnessed over the many years he has been in the spotlight….

So I am worried. I just don’t believe he will act one way on January 19 and then a different way on January 21st. The situation with Russia worries me, his way of speaking to people worries me especially when it comes to foreign relations. And I am concerned about the repeal of the ACA without something better to replace it with. I am always hopeful that things will work out okay, but to be honest, I am having a hard time being hopeful.  So many people in this country are scared and don’t know how to feel about what may come.

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So for now, I will just wait and see before I make any judgements and I pray that I am absolutely wrong and once he becomes our 45th President he will change and things will not get worse in this country. I never bought into the “make America Great AGAIN” slogan because I think there is so much about America that is already great and has always been great. I have traveled to other countries, and while ours has its faults, it is definitely one of the best places to live in this world!

Crossing my fingers and ever hopeful that Trump can change his ways when he becomes President!

 

Equality is NOT the same thing as equity

I am a 50 (almost 51) year old woman and I am passionate about a lot of things, my family, the beach, good food and therefore working out, and equity. Notice I didn’t say equality.

There is a common misconception that equity and equality mean the same thing — and that they can be used interchangeably, especially when talking about how people live. Yes, when talking about race. And gender, and class, but today I want to focus on race. But the truth is they do not — and cannot. Yes, the two words are similar, but the difference between them is crucial. So please, don’t talk about equality when you really mean equity.

I mean I can see how there is confusion about the words. They sound alike, they even mean similar things, but they are NOT the same.

Similarities:

1) Both words point towards treating people the same, with dignity and as people who have a voice, power and choice.

2)  Both terms point towards a desire for every person to reach their full potential, not only to survive, but to thrive.

3) Both terms seek to reach a place where race, age, socioeconomic status, gender, mobility, sexual orientation, religion, or other differences do not determine access to education, resources, or decide one’s level of inclusion or well-being.

However, the difference comes from the fact that we do not have a level playing field and everyone doesn’t start at the same place.

Equality says that everyone has the same access to education and food and resources and housing and they all start at the same place as every one else and that just isn’t true. This is where equity comes in.

Equity realizes that the systems of education, politics, health care, economics and power have been created in such a way that discrimination lives within them. In order to achieve equity, this systemic discrimination must be eradicated from the systems themselves.

Equality says that the rules of the game are the same for everyone.

Equity says that even if the rules of the game are the same for everyone, the game is “rigged” to provide some with more privilege at the expense of others.

Equality says that everyone has the right to vote.

Equity says that everyone should have the same access to vote. (distance to vote, be able to vote in their language of choice, hours of availability of the voting stations, etc)

Equality says we can eradicate racism by “doing no harm” based on race.

Equity says we can only eradicate racism by doing no harm AS WELL AS actively working for justice by BOTH refusing to reproduce harms AND actively working to dismantle the causes of racial inequality.

So when I hear people say (particularly on social media) that the world is equal and that everyone has the same opportunities they may be correct in using that word, but equality isn’t enough. We need EQUITY.

and here is a nice picture to explain it easily:

equlity-and-equity

In the United States we do NOT have equity. Black males are incarcerated more than white males. We have had TWO more instances of black men being shot this week. Even if we aren’t sure about the man in Charlotte whether there was a weapon or not, in the case of Terence Crutcher even the Police Chief of Tulsa is saying there was no weapon. This man had his hands in the air.

Equity would mean that if it is okay to shoot a terrorist suspect in the arm and leg to “take him down” then the same would hold for an unarmed black man be shot in the leg to “take him down” if the police think he is not complying and needs to be stopped.

Equity would mean that if terrorists can be taken alive to face a trial and jury then so can a black person.

We don’t need equality. We NEED equity!