I’M A WHITE MALE and I BELIEVE BLACK LIVES MATTER

I am not a black male but this fact doesn’t mean that I don’t have empathy for the marginalization, abuse, systemic racism or murder of black men, women and children.  Being a white male, I have definitely not experienced the type of systemic racism and judicial inequality the many black men have faced and experienced.  I don’t fear leaving my house thinking that I may be abused, harassed or even killed by police officers due to the colour of my skin.

As a gay male, I have been harassed and a victim of crime because of my sexuality.  I don’t believe to be what society deems as a “stereotypical gay male” and would not think that I would be singled out and murdered because of my sexuality – at least not in Canada.  I know that many black men and women are targeted by police and are not treated fairly simply because of the colour of their skin.

Many people have defended police forces everywhere indicating that “not all cops are bad or racists.” and “all lives matter.” and even indicating that if black people are not committing crimes or guilty of anything – they wouldn’t be targeted.  I’ve also heard many people, including friends, indicate that the Black Lives Matter movement is just an angry mob asking for trouble.  Correct me if I’m wrong – if a community or group of people have been targeted throughout history, wouldn’t you have the right to peacefully protest that marginalization.  Yes, there have been many atrocities committed against minorities and many minorities continue to be treated in horrific ways – their movement will come.  Today – every other story in social media is about a black person being brutally beaten or killed at the hands of police.  I have read stories of white males committing the same or worse crimes than black individuals and are given much lesser sentences.  White men and women across America are paid more than most visible minorities.  The incarceration rate of minorities far outweighs the incarceration rates of white people.  Opportunities are not the same for minorities because of income inequality and I don’t understand why many doubt these facts!

I have three nephews and one niece who are bi-racial, born to white mothers and black fathers, and I see the difference in how they are treated.  I always think of them as they go about their daily routines and imagine that they will mostly likely be stopped and targeted because of the colour of their skin.  This sickens me to the core of my being.  Yes, all lives matter but today, it is the lives of those who are being targeted and killed that I stand with.  I want my niece and my nephews to have the same chances in life as most white men and women but that isn’t going to happen until there are some fundamental changes in how people view and treat visible minorities. In the meantime – BLACK LIVES MATTER protests should continue, voices should be raised because right now there is a lack of respect for black people and other minorities.

It seems that the lives of minorities are less valued.  When people such as policemen and politicians show a lack of respect for minorities – why should the average person? It is irresponsible when someone who is running for president of the United States of America and leader of the (not so) FREE WORLD spews hate speech and demoralizes a whole group of people.  That isn’t leadership – that is preying on people’s fear, hatred and ignorance.

Remaining complacent and ignorant does nothing to create positive change in the world – it is those who stand up to tyranny, ignorance, hate and fear that make the world a better place.  So, instead of criticizing and continuing to marginalize certain minorities – why not try STANDING with them and supporting them?

BLACK LIVES MATTER!!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

 

LOVE DEFEATS BULLYING

Imagine a world in which being homosexual is “normal” and being straight is a “sin.”

When we take HATE and IGNORANCE (and RELIGION) out of the equation; gay, straight, black, white, Mexican, Swedish, skinny or fat would be moot issues because in the end – LOVE WINS!

No-one should be bullied for something they can’t choose.  Here is an example, which I have blogged about before on the topic of homosexuality:

Be cognizant in how you treat others and what type of language you use to describe others.  If we want to end bullying, prejudice, racism, sexism, ageism and so many other negative things, it must begin with YOU!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

A SYMBOL OF OPPRESSION IS FINALLY REMOVED!

There has been much controversy and discussion about the removal of the Confederate Flag lately.  Many claim that it is a symbol of victory and an important part of history but there is much violence, racism and hate associated with this flag:

Bree Newsome (with assistance of a friend) took the initiative and climbed the flag pole to take down the flag herself.  We all understand and know what transpired during the civil rights movement.  There was no equality for people of colour during that time.  People of colour couldn’t use the same fountains and washrooms of whites, they couldn’t go to the same schools.  And if you spoke or advocated for equality; you were beaten, degraded and even killed.

I applaud those who came before Bree Newsome and stood up to their oppressors, people who demanded respect and equality and who didn’t want to be treated like they were unworthy.  All over the world people like; Harriet Tubman, Representative John Lewis, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Booker T. Washington, Mohandas and Kasturba Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Malcolm X, Desmond Tutu, Bob Moses and Ella Baker fought their oppressors and demanded change around the world.

Today, this type of oppression continues by those who are supposed to serve and protect everyone.  It is common to see videos of white policeman beat and kill so many people of colour.  When politicians are debating creating barriers, fences and walls to keep immigrants out, what else are we supposed to conclude except that these same politicians are pandering to the white racist America.  If they are treating minorities from other countries this way, it isn’t inconceivable to believe that politicians and legislators want to keep America’s minorities disenfranchised, poor, uneducated and oppressed.

So, when you hear your friends say things like; “they do it to themselves”, “if they were not committing the crimes, they wouldn’t be in jail”, “they are supposed to listen to the police” and so many other ignorant statements, they are just regurgitating the sentiments expressed by corporate media to insure we keep those same minorities lucid and submissive.

The REVOLUTION OF LOVE continues – we are the many that have had enough of those few who want to continue this oppression.  Knowledge is power!  With knowledge, determination and passion POSITIVE CHANGE is inevitable.  So many have given their lives to ensure those people who have oppressed others and their symbols are removed but never forgotten.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

DUCK DYNASTY’S PHIL ROBERTSON IS WRONG!

I am so tired of many Christian-American’s hiding their ignorance, racism, hate and intolerance behind their religious beliefs and freedom of speech.  I have read and seen many debates indicating that we should NOT infringe on people’s right to say what they want.  You can think whatever you want to think but when you spew hate in a public forum you should reap what you sow.

There is much controversy about a comment that Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) made in reference to homosexuals.  Here is his quote from an interview with GQ:

GQ – What, in your mind, is sinful?

Phil Robertson – “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.  Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

First, let me say this.  If he made a statement like this about a minority group like people of colour – the discussion would end.  Why?  Because as we have learned from the past – many celebrities who have been caught making racist comments destroy their careers because of their hateful words, i.e., Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and most recently, Paula Deen.

So why am I not a defender of ‘freedom of speech’?  Well – here are some reasons:  Adolf Hitler (Germany), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Kim Jong-Il (North Korea), Idi Amin Dada (Uganda), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Nicholas II (Russia), Josef Stalin (Russia), Mao Zedong (China), Bashar al-Assad (Syria).  These ‘leaders’ were responsible for mass genocide for varying reasons such as political affiliation, dissident, race, gender and religious beliefs.  These dictators made people believe what they thought was right and justified their beliefs behind ‘hate speech’.  Today – we see world leaders pass laws that infringe on the rights of certain groups – The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is standing behind his government imposing a nationwide law banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.  Under this statute, it is effectively illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defense of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.   What has happened in Russia since?  Neo-nazi groups are preying on young men and luring them to ‘secret locations’ and then video taping them being tortured and beaten.  Uganda’s government wanted to pass a bill entitled “Kill the Gays” (which had much support from Conservative groups in America) – I don’t think I need to elaborate regarding what this bill entails….

When individuals make such offensive, racist and ignorant remarks – they directly (or indirectly) incite violence on those they are speaking of.  Not so long ago in America – people of colour could not attend the same schools as white people and were treated like second class citizens.  People of colour and those who supported civil rights, were often threatened with violence and many were even killed for wanting equal rights.  Today, people are making statements about homosexuals and are citing the bible as the reason why they can make their hateful and ignorant statements.  To those people, I ask “What makes what you believe to be the truth?”  I have never heard any argument that will satisfy or explain any story written in the bible.  Is my belief any more outrageous than those who believe in religious doctrine?  The difference between what I believe and what many of those who believe in religious doctrine is that I don’t incite hate towards others in my beliefs.  I don’t condemn a group of people because of the colour of their skin, their gender, their right to believe in religion or because they were born heterosexual.

When Phil Robertson made his comments – he may have just as well handed the torches to those religious fanatics who believe it is okay to beat or kill someone because they are gay.  Phil Robertson should sit with the families that lost their sons or daughters to bullies who felt that same way.  Would he blatantly tell these families that their kids are in hell because they were born gay?  What would he say to the parents of Matthew Sheppard, Tyler Clementi, Brandon McInerney, Philip Parker and the countless kids who are no longer with us because they were bullied or killed?  It is irresponsible to hide your ignorance behind religion.  I know many religious people who believe otherwise – they come from a religious belief system that is hopeful, inclusive, nurturing and most of all, loving.

So many Christian Conservatives are offended by those who are calling for the cancellation of the A&E show – Duck Dynasty.  Sarah Palin said the following on Facebook, “Free speech is an endangered species.  Those ‘intolerants’ hat in’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana.  The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.  I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive.  But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.  It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”  Many Christian Conservatives say that it is the liberals who are infringing on their religious beliefs but what they don’t see is that many of their beliefs are inciting hate against others.

I don’t watch Duck Dynasty but I know of it now and I’m glad.  If this was a publicity stunt – then it worked, people are talking about it.  But more importantly – people know.  If you want to support ignorance and hate – you will stand behind Phil Robertson but not every one of us prescribes to the same religious beliefs as those who stand behind Phil Robertson.  I think more people are inclined to be kind, compassionate, loving and supportive.  I am no God – I can’t make statements based on a book that has no factual evidence.  What I can say is that I am willing to give everyone a chance – even Phil Robertson.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!