Why today makes me sad.

I want to scream.

I want to react.

I want to call the people who deserve it “racist”…

I am sick of seeing the partisan reactions to everything.

I am sick of seeing reactions to everything.

You want to know what social media is?  It’s REACTIONS.

That’s it.

You may see a news story, but it’s tied to a reaction by someone who thinks he is worthy enough to voice his opinion like anyone gives a fuck about what he is ranting about.  (Additionally, that’s what allows me to post this like anyone gives a fuck about what I am ranting about.)

It’s okay not to say anything, you know.

It’s okay to quietly shake your head and disagree with behavior, but you don’t need to voice it, especially when you don’t offer up anything but disdain, hate, and ignorance.

No one is perfect.

And everyone’s idea of perfect is different.

Therefore, NO ONE CAN BE PERFECT.  NO IDEA CAN BE PERFECT.

SO WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO FORCE MASS AMOUNTS OF PEOPLE INTO AN IMPOSSIBLE AND NON-EXISTENT PLACE?

I am sick of seeing white people say that these thugs are horrible people for rioting, for getting violent.  Yet we have white people who get drunk and then when slurring their speech do things like light an effigy on fire after a football game (witness to this happening at an IA versus ISU game in 2007).  I had a drunk man at the same football game tell me he was going to kill me for wearing the wrong colors.  Another drunk man at a sporting event called my mom a cunt and spit at her.

Both these people were white, by the way.  Not black men.  Not “thugs”.  They were twenty-something whites guys.

Why is one acceptable?

Why is one not condemned by media outlets?

How come in one scenario the media calls it “celebrating” when they are igniting fires, ruining property, and destroying sections of big cities, yet when OTHERS (read any disenfranchised persons) ignite fires, ruin property, and destroy sections of big cities it’s a show of disrespect?

BOTH situations need to end, because I disavow violence.

I advocate for peaceful protests.

But I also advocate for the disenfranchised and want them to have a voice.

You see, I am privileged.

I am white.

I grew up in an upper-middle class family.

I have never had to wonder where my next meal is, because even when I had no money to my name, I had a family who was willing and able to help.  That’s the big thing.  My family was ABLE.

You want to know what the problem is?

THE PROBLEM IS THE LACK OF EQUALITY.

THE PROBLEM IS THE LACK OF CIVIL RIGHTS.

But the biggest problem is the willful blindness of the masses when politicians blame OTHERS, and the acceptance and repetition of that rhetoric.  We have voters who blame their lack of money, their lack of mobility, on poor people, because their view is poor people will misuse and abuse the system.  In reality, most of the error is wrought by administrative assistants and clerks through human error, and less than one percent of real fraud occurs with programs like SNAP.  But more people are willing to look at the recipients of these social programs and call them lazy.  If only, they say, if only they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps!  If only they tried.  If only they made something of themselves.

I make just marginally over $36,000.  My fiancé is a student.  We will have approximately $500/month of student debt, along with other necessary payments.  In Iowa, where the typical cost of living is significantly lower than other metropolis areas, we will still be barely scraping by unless my fiancé manages to land a job where he makes as much as me.  And even then, saving will be difficult.

So what about living wages – what about raising the minimum wage if you are against social programs to help people?

A living wage is a wage in which people can afford to pay basic living costs (think along the lines of rent/mortgage, some type of food, some type of energy so you aren’t in the dark, and POSSIBLY some type of transportation – such as a bicycle, money for the bus or train, etc. and that’s about it).

When I came back from California, I had at most $300 in my checking account.  I was unable to find a job for over three months.  At one point, I had -$600+ (that is NEGATIVE SIX HUNDRED PLUS DOLLARS) in my checking account, $0.00 in my savings, and no job or job possibilities.  And I was lucky.

I was lucky because I had parents who not only could AFFORD to take me in, but WERE WILLING to take me in.

THAT IS CALLED PRIVILEGE.

The reason: NOT EVERYONE HAS THIS.

In-fact, I have had more privilege in my life than even some of the people I work with now, who did not grow up in a large house, who did not have the option of a private school, who did not have college paid for by a fund; in-fact, I am more privileged than many of the people I know in Iowa, because of the upbringing I had.  And it has nothing to do with solely financials, but it also deals with the possibilities and doors open to me from living in a suburb and not inner-city; from having a two-parent household; from having a household who encouraged extracurriculars because we didn’t have to worry about me finding work to help the family survive.  The list is long.  And they are all items that are not “givens” in society.  I know my children will not have the same luxuries I did because my fiancé and I are not only pursuing careers that make much lower amounts of money, but because we are not focusing on solely making money.  We are liberals.  We are Progressives.  We want social equality.  We want social mobility.  But we realize it does not exist now.  Especially for those less fortunate than us.  And no amount of “hard work” can overcome years and years of systemic racism, sexism, and hate.  THOSE are the items we need to reform.  THOSE are policies and issues that should be blazon across a headline.  Not some picture of a guy losing his shit on top of a cop car because a kid who did NOTHING WRONG but run when he saw cops had his fucking NECK BROKEN (almost complete spinal destruction at the neck).  If someone died in police custody when they did nothing wrong, I would lose my shit, too.  And here’s the thing, when the anger, the sadness, the oppressive factors of your life get to that breaking point, MANY of us would lose our shit in similar fashion.

What would you really be thinking if Freddie Gray was white?  Uncomfortable thought, isn’t it?  Would you still call him a thug if he was white and poor?  What if he was a middle-class white kid who was in a bad part of the city and saw a cop and spooked and ran and the cop ran after him.  Would the cop even run after him?  Would there be chaos and anger and confusion if it was a white boy?  If somehow in police custody a white boy’s neck was snapped?  Thing is BLACK LIVES MATTER.  Because ALL LIVES MATTER.  Isn’t that what all the pro-lifers say?  Isn’t that the Christian Word?  Hell, it’s not just Christian, it’s the base of religion around the world, that LIFE – ANY FUCKING LIFE – matters.

The reason this is a race issue is because of the inherent racism of the system.  The reason it’s a race issue is because we’ve enacted policies that TARGET minorities so the same fucking ridiculous behavior happens because WE ALLOWED IT TO – WE ALLOWED COPS TO GO UNCHECKED FOR SO LONG.  WE ALLOWED RACISM TO FLOURISH IN OUR POLICIES AND THEREFORE INSTITUTIONS.  And sadly, even after the civil rights act, we allowed these things to continue.  We made it illegal in regulated institutions, and that’s it.  If there is a person out there who wanted to plant the seed of racism and water it, they have every ability in the world.  We know.  We’ve seen it.  It’s alive and present over at Fox News.

I am just so tired of this all.  I am so tired of people who are more willing to look down on their neighbor than to help them.  I work for a living, but if my tax dollars go to help feed a hungry person, even if it’s to treat themselves to a steak, I would probably throw in some extra money so they could get some greens in their diet, too, so they have some nutrients.  And I’ll eat leaner this week.  Because they need it more than I do.

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