I read this post by Three Sonorans and felt I should share it.
I have my own opinions to express first. You may read what I have to say and think, oh man, someone else trying to use a tragedy to promote a cultural agenda. I am not trying to do that. I may not agree with Three Sonorans 100% of the time, but I admire his efforts to inform and he gives us something to think about so I am sharing it.
I am throwing AP style, keyword placement and writing for the web to the wind. I’m going to ramble. Hopefully you follow my message to the end although I’m ignoring the rules I’m supposed to follow to keep you reading (based on assumptions you have a short attention span). Forget about spell checking.
Gabrielle Gifford’s profile was raised for many reasons including cultural issues. These issues were used to make people fear and hate her and paint her as an evil government puppet who made decisions like a dictator that had to be taken down violently.
The techniques used may have caused a mentally unstable person such as Jared Loughner to fear her power and attempt to take justice into his own hands, leading to her shooting and the killing of 9-year-old Christina Taylor Greene among others.
The same techniques used to make people fear Gabrielle have been used against other people and groups.
Let me rephrase that: They still ARE being used, especially now that we are playing the blame game. EVERYONE should take responsibility for this, including those of us who allowed it. Including me. Including you.
I saw a couple comments today where people said too bad Congressman Raul Grijalva wasn’t with her. Grijalva has had multiple death threats and his offices vandalized.
Hateful words, put-downs, polarizing attitudes, “teams”–ALL parties and groups involved have done it. This type of approach does NOT bring about results. It only brings about the temporary personal satisfaction of insulting someone while getting closer to a state of “no communication.” The feeling of zinging others has become like a cigarette habit to some people.
In my personal experience, I’ve seen growing resentment towards Hispanics in AZ (legal or not). I have been silent and reluctant to say anything because I didn’t want to be dragged into the cesspool that seemed to be on a one-track journey to a dangerous state of escalation.
This hate speak has pervaded even into elementary schools. My 9-year-old son attends a nice school and does not look Hispanic. His classmates don’t know he is of Mexican descent. His friends feel comfortable discussing hot issues and saying derogatory things about Mexicans. Some of it is violent. He remains silent, smiles, and just waits for it to pass. He has a hard enough time dealing with the typical size-5 issues of school and trying to fit in, so I don’t blame him for trying to ignore it. He is a kid. He does not need to be dealing with this.
NOBODY, whether Hispanic or not, or of a particular party or belief needs this mentality to affect them. It only hinders.
We are all so caught up in who is “right” and who is “wrong,” we forget about the actual issues. We are so focused on the fighting that time and money are wasted on the fight while the answers elude us.
Even our president who has been a victim himself, spits out words with distaste – such as when referring to those “republicans” or makes jokes at the other party’s expense to illustrate why they are inferior. Think they’ll listen after that? Think that’s effective?
Contractors, businesses, companies, etc., try to win you over based on their own merit. When you apply for a job or attempt to climb the ladder, you showcase your own strengths. You sell yourself and attempt to show why you are the best choice. You don’t sling mud at others, and you especially don’t suggest your competition be shot down with an automatic weapon. You could get arrested. Why should politicians be no different?
It also doesn’t help that some people are on “automatic pilot.” When a word associated with the opposite party or hot topics is mentioned—no matter what the context—the fight is on. If an incident happens, regardless of WHAT happened or without full understanding the issue, they quickly suit up to back their “team.” TV sets get tuned to FOX or MSNBC and remotes frantically switch back and forth to monitor the “fight.” Veins pulse on foreheads while spittle emits from red, hot, angry faces. Any of you do that today?
They WANT you to behave like that. They WANT you to be loyal to them just like a faithful football team fanatic. They WANT the passionate opposition, it profits them. These channels no longer have newscasters, they have personalities and they are more focused on profit and reaction than delivering fair and balanced news.
I’m tired of having to censor what I say too. I do not claim a party. I have my own ideas. However, I have to censor what I say sometimes for fear I will accidentally utter a word that triggers an attack and accusations that I am a “tree hugging liberal” or a “stodgy conservative” and I’ve been accused of both. AND, no matter WHAT I say, it will not sink into their gray matter anyhow. Some people have told me I have forfeited my right to an opinion because I have not chosen a “team.” So I remain silent because I know I will only waste my own precious time.
Aren’t you FRIGGING TIRED of watching and hearing and talking about this crap every single damn day? I KNOW I AM.
Now this. Now we are surprised at the results of fear and frenzy. I AM FED UP.
There is no good in trying to FORCE an opinion or MAKE people do anything. There will always be resistance and resentment from that. There will never be understanding.
If the goal is understanding and best solutions…then the tactics need to change.
On a smaller scale, we’d go to mediation or therapy or marriage counseling for relationships like this. Something needs to be applied to the larger scale here. We need some MAJOR changes.
In relationships where goals need to be accomplished and communicated, this type of behavior is NOT effective. If it was, then this would be how businesses are run, therapy would be conducted in a boxing ring, and we would all be reading books entitled, “How to Succeed in Life with Hatemongering.”
I love America. This is the greatest country on the face of the earth. However, we have lost our diversity. I don’t mean diversity of culture or race or background. I mean diversity of opinion and thought.
We are accepting behavior that is technically abusive. Our children are accepting it. I have a friend who was taken to jail not to long ago because she called her ex-husband an ass. I am not kidding. Now she has to go to anger management and is having a hard time getting a job. Yet we accept this type of behavior on the larger scale from our leaders?
If someone in power has not behaved in an ethical manner even once for their own gain or to control you, what makes you think they give a damn about you? Don’t let them get away with it.
Don’t allow yourself to be scooped into a toy soldier box and then blindly accept the labels applied to it just because it’s “your” box. Don’t allow yourself to be given a virtual handbook on how to deal with the “enemy” and what labels to apply to them. Don’t allow yourself to be slowly brainwashed.
Don’t accept information just because it’s printed on a website, piece of paper, or someone “told you.” Any information can be twisted. Don’t allow the envelope to be pushed any further. Have your own home-made opinion and express it. LISTEN to others. Refuse to be a pawn.
I know the majority of us have lives. We have food to get on the table, errands to run, obligations. It’s easier and more timely to believe what others serve up for us in prefabricated packages. Form your own opinion and express it.
I am not suggesting taking up military fatigues. I am not suggesting grabbing the guitar and singing Kumbaya. Know what you believe and communicate it – even if it’s just at the water cooler. Spread knowledge not hate. AND be open to adjusting your views based on new information. Realize YOU are not the center of the universe or all-knowing. We all have to share this planet.
Weigh information you come across. Consider where information is coming from and why. Expand your horizons from the TV. Is it someone’s for-profit or attention-getting best seller or is it a factual history book? Who was it written by? Are they sane? What type of personal gain are they seeking and how does scaring you benefit them. Take everything with a grain of salt.
In your personal life, don’t let people harass you into believing what they do. If they can’t make an argument based on facts but rather putting others or you down, see them for the hot confrontation-addicted airbags they are. There is probably not much good information to be gleaned there.
There are libraries scattered about in just about every town. Heck, actually seek out people whose opinions differ from yours and listen to why they feel the way they do. Realize America is made up of many types of people, each with valuable perspectives or outlooks to share that you may not be aware of. Don’t tell me you have never been surprised by something or been enlightened by anything. If you really know it all, then I applaud you.
Thank you for reading to the end if you have made it this far. Lets not repeat history that has been centered on hate. If we don’t, then we can only blame ourselves if we end up living in an era that future generations look back on in disbelief and where the UNITED States of America may only exist in history books.