Monthly Archives: October 2013

Keeping racism alive: the unintended consequences of the “Redskins” name change

How do you feel when someone says “Go Redskins Go!”? Does it make you feel red with hatred? Does it induce feelings of devaluation of a human being?

If you answered “Yes!” to the questions above with an excited enthusiasm, then my friend, perhaps you haven’t thought it through from a post racial standpoint.

First, understand that I am not an insensitive person. In fact, much to the contrary, I am a very passionate promoter of equality in our society. I also believe that the historic treatment of the indigenous people of America, often referred to as “Native Americans” and “American Indians” is a horrific example of the darkest of sides of humanity which ranks equally on the level with the introduction and perpetuation of slavery in this nation’s history. The historical record of the manipulation, trickery, abuse and murder of the indigenous people is clear as day. What happened to them is a travesty and is unforgivable.

That being said, we as a nation have come light years beyond that sort of de-humanization of another race of people. We have built our society around the constantly evolving principles that “all men are created equal” and have transitioned generation after generation into a much more diverse melting pot of a collective community. There is no longer a great fear of being ostracized and mistreated because of the color of your skin or the nature of your culture in this great nation of ours.

Yes, let me stop you now before that vein in your forehead bursts. I understand and will not debate with you the existence in the shadows of our society of those ignorant few whom still believe in a “better race” and who still believe in “inferior” human beings. I hereby acknowledge their unwelcome and inevitable existence within our society and will not make the unrealistic statement that they will ever truly dissolve into extinction. I will, however, point to the fact that their numbers and social presence has dwindled and shrunk generation after generation and they are now little more than a small pea-sized stain on the king-sized bed sheet that is our complete society. In other words, they make up a small enough portion of our society that they can no longer make an impact on our lives or the lives of our community unless we allow them to do so. We can now effectively ignore them and dismiss them as ignorant and ineffective.

So, how was it you felt about the NFL team name the “Redskins” again? Oh yea, uncomfortable and offended. Well let’s look at it from a more updated and logical perspective and see if this makes a little sense to you:

If you ask your children, sitting there on the couch this Sunday watching the game next to daddy and munching on popcorn and nachos and enjoying their favorite bottle of root beer, “kids, who are the ‘Redskins’?” What do you think there answer would be? Do you think their answer will be “they is ingins who is red skinned and savages who we’s should shoot and takes their land”? If that is their answer, you have not only failed as a parent, you have somehow traveled through time hundreds of years to a much different culture of our society.

The point is, racism and thoughts of inequality are taught, and not a part of natural thought. Your children in their natural and uncorrupted state are going to answer simply “a footsball team”. Why is that? Because that is what they are! That is what the “Redskins” now means unless “we” make the word mean something else.

My friends, don’t you understand that sometimes by creating controversy like the recent Redskins name controversy we are actually perpetuating racism and inequality? Logically, doesn’t it make sense that if we no longer remind people of the perhaps ignorant and bigoted connotations that were associated with a word or nickname hundreds of years ago then the word, like ourselves, is given the opportunity to evolve?

Think about this: if anyone had come up to you on the street before this new controversy was water cooler talk and asked you “hey, did you see those redskins last weekend?” there is absolutely zero chance you would have automatically thought they were using a racial nickname to describe a group of people from the past weekend. You would have immediately responded with whether or not you watched the NFL broadcast of the team from D.C. (Or you know nothing of football but still would have made an assumption that they were referencing a sports team of some sort).

Here is the bottom line: sometimes pointing out the historic negativity associated with something only keeps that negativity from ever going away. Sometimes, my friends, by getting so focused on looking for resolution to something that isn’t truly in need of one, you’ve come part of the problem.

If you don’t believe me, then maybe you’d rather hear it from the Southpark boys:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s04e08-chef-goes-nanners

It’s funny how the fourth graders sometimes have a way of seeing things more logically than the average adult.

I’d love to hear from you! Please take a second to show how this post made you feel with a few clicks below and by all means feel free to leave a comment, even if you disagree, but especially if you think this post helped you see things from a different perspective. Thanks for coming by and I look forward to providing many more posts.

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Is our healthcare system broken?

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!”

Who hasn’t heard this quote? But how does this apply to a healthcare system that isn’t quite broken, but maybe just slightly fractured?

We may all agree that the healthcare system of the United States isn’t perfect. There are gaps and loopholes which have been exploited on both sides of the spectrum. The health insurance agencies have consistently found ways to drop an individual’s coverage if they become to high risk (or simply raise the premiums to an unreasonably high level). On the other side, there have always been those who have simply gone to the ER for a simple head cold because they can not be refused treatment by law and then simply refuse to pay any of their incurred costs because their credit is already ruined and another hit simply doesn’t matter.

Let me first start by saying refusing care and treatment to those who are in need is an absolute atrocity. One should be guaranteed care regardless of their income, social status or current medical condition. It is one of the perks of being born into a 1st world nation. I believe, truly believe, that we as Americans are very kind hearted and my faith in us remains unshaken.

That being said, I do not believe the current healthcare reform act will be the right pathway to take in assuring this goal. I believe that the system as it is written depends way too heavily on the volunteering of “healthy young people” to sign up for insurance who simply have no good reason to do so.

Why not? Well for a few reasons mainly because young people are invincible (at least they, for the most part, have convinced themselves they are) but also because the current law allows them to be grandfathered on their parents plans u til now the ripe age of 25 (not as invincible but they still won’t admit it yet) and lastly because they simply don’t think that far ahead. You were young once, think back… Try hard… What priority was healthcare for you at 25 versus say.. Pizza every week? I believe that one is rhetorical.

So, in other words, the only people who will be signing up will be the ones who need (AND USE) the insurance a LOT. What does this mean? Well, let’s break it down in the simplest concept:

Aunt Judy is overweight. She is 50 years old, diabetic, and a cancer survivor who STILL SMOKES. Her family also has a loonnnnng history of heart disease. Cousin Billy is 25, just graduated college, and is living at home in mom’s basement saying “it’s just too hard to find a job” (let’s address that part of his story on another day shall we). Billy does do a bit of cardio (he says its more realistic when he rides the stationary bike while he plays Madden which is at least two hours a day when he’s not playing GTA V.

Now, Aunt Judy was first in line for the new healthcare reform voting booth and was more than happy to spend 7 hours of her Saturday on the phone to get a bronze plan she otherwise would have been rejected for. Billy doesn’t vote (“what’s the point man, the government is all bought and paid for anyway”) and with his daily cardio and tri-weekly dumbells is in relatively fantastic shape. He doesn’t do anything risky and if he gets the flu it only lasts about four hours while he drinks his OJ and plays his video games and blam! He’s over it.

Now, the money people like Cousin Billy who don’t get sick or hurt would put into the system would immediately turn around and fund the constant care needed for Aunt Judy especially when she decides “it’s okay if I have a bag of Oreos tonight, ill just put less sugar in my sweet tea tomorrow”. But what if there is only one Billy for every Ten Judys (I’m being very generous with those numbers)? Well simple economics tells you my friends that that is unsustainable.

So what do we do? Well, first, the government will be “forced” to increase the penalty (tax?) for those who do not buy into the system. Just those who have no healthcare at first, then they will find a way to penalize (tax) those who buy in only to private insurance because it isn’t “feeding the beast” as much as if they were buying the government backed plans. This means EVERYONE MUST buy a plan or pay the same in penalties if they don’t so they might as well.

There’s a catch to this. The ones who wouldn’t have bought a plan now will, but they also will say “I have it, might as well use it”. And when Billy finds out that he can get some pain meds for his carpal tunnel from all his gaming and Facebook time, guess who you’re gonna see having a doctor’s appointment once a month. This means an influx of patients in an already overly abused and overcrowded medical facility.

What happens next? Well, the system begins to implode. It may take the average person weeks to see a doctor for their flu symptoms. Surgery will be back logged and emergency surgeries will be the only ones scheduled in under two months. Doctors and physicians will be stretched then, overworked, and frustrated taking bedside manner to extinction. Many doctors will refuse to take patients on the government plans due to overcrowding and will be penalized passing those penalties on to the patients. Premiums will rise and rise again and home remedies sales will soar (find a stock you like and buy now!).

What’s the short of it? The current system, while noble in cause, is fatally flawed. What will end up happening is one of two things:

1) the system will be scrapped and redesigned utilizing tax credits for pharmaceutical companies and doctors and hospitals alike who are willing to take on “pro-bono” patients with existing conditions or

2) we will shift to the dreaded (and proven to be inefficient) single payer system. This, my friends, appears to be the current goal and is frightening. Let me just tell you that giving the government complete control of your health is and always will be a fatal mistake whether it is a republican, democrat, or literal donkey and elephant running the government. The results will be the same and there WILL be an iceberg waiting for each and every elderly person at the end.

We need healthcare reform. We need it badly. But “you catch more flies with sugar than you do honey” and punishing our citizens and forcing them to participate is not the way to go. Rewarding them and allowing the free market and capitalistic nature of the industry to be rewarded will allow for the system to right itself. Trust me on this people: allow there to be profit in saving people’s lives and you will find doctors and drug companies lining up at the gates.

It is time we start awarding people for being selfless instead of assuming they are selfish. The best part about this proposed system: it costs nothing if I am wrong.

What is the value of a veteran?

What have we become, my friends?  When a peaceful march on D.C. is met with barricades and policemen in riot gear? When a peaceful protest is blockaded on our capital?


This weekend, men and women holding a peaceful protest in our nation’s capitol to highlight the inequality that is being broadcast throughout our country. In protest of the fact that certain people are being held back, unjustly and unfairly, and all due to the politicians who see one man as more valuable than the next. Citizens robbed of their rights, their freedoms seized and shackles placed upon the wrists of the men and women who wish only to have their voices heard. Men and women who ask only that our government work to ensure the rights of all men and women are treated equally and freedoms and liberties are ensured and guaranteed for all regardless of one’s social class, status or voting potentials.
The Million March was simply a protest against policies. A protest against politics. A protest by the people and for the people. Rights that have been earned through the blood spilled on our soil and afar. The chants rang out, calling for JUSTICE, FAIRNESS, EQUALITY, and FREEDOM. How dare our government decide that our people all of sudden do not have the right to protest!
It appears I left out a word in the title of this march, sorry. It is the Million VET March. Not to be confused with the Million Man March. No the “Man” March was granted all rights of passage and was not obstructed in the slightest. The “VET” march was, in bold contrast, obstructed, violated, and outright unconstitutionally interrupted.
What does it say about a nation that supports a march which is solely based in race and the ever expanding racial divides but turns its backs on the men and woman who have made the ultimate sacrifices and risks actual life and limb to sustain a nation which grants the inalienable freedom to those same persons to have that march?
In fact, the Million Man March, though absolutely relevant in its original inception, has since gained the rights and equality of all citizens and graduated all races of this nation onto an actual equal plane of existence. With the exception of certain laws, clubs, organizations and financial grants, all American Citizens are born into a nation with the same potentials. A young boy, born to a man and woman of any race, color, creed or background can grow to one day hold the office of the President. There is no longer a unified revolt against the success of a certain sex nor race. One could actually make the argument now that the fact that organizations are still in existence which single out one race or another, or which exist merely to push for the success of one race over another are actually more perpetuating racism and keeping the idea of segregation alive rather than allowing their people to take their god given, nation-supported place on an equal plane as all other races. {This is another argument for another day, but reason and logic prevailing without “home field” biases, will be proven correct.}
So why is it that when our nation’s veterans get together in protest, mentioning not a word about “racial inequality” (again, in stark contrast of the Million Man March), they are shunned, turned away, barricaded off, battled and called “racists” and “tea partiers” (apparently synonymous with racists so redundant to mention)? Why do hold our veterans in such low regards? I myself did not ever enlist in any military arm. Does that mean I am unable to thank those of my fellow citizens who did? Am I supposed to think lowly of them? What is my default position supposed to be?
Why, my friends, are we not sickened by these articles? Why are we not maddened by this type of action against the citizens of our nation? Whether you support any of our wars, past or present, how could you not be in support of your fellow citizens having every single right to have their voices heard in peaceful protest? Where is the line drawn? Where is the line which says people in support of these things are allowed a peaceful protest, but in support of those things are not?
There there is NO LINE. My friends, you do not have to support what someone is protesting against in order to support their right to protest. But hear me now and hear me loud: If you allow our government to shut down ANY peaceful protest, regardless of the subject, you are giving the government the power to shut down EVERY protest, regardless of the subject. The actual subject of this protest I am in support of: reopening the veterans memorials for the friends and families of our veterans; but that is not what this article is about.
This is about our constitutional right to protest. This is about keeping the voice of the people supplied with a megaphone that fits in the palm of each citizens’ hands, no matter what size, color, sex, or creed they are, and no matter what it is that they want to talk about. When we start siding with subjects rather than citizens, we have taken our first steps towards our own demise. Let not these words fall upon deaf ears and blind eyes.
Write your representatives today telling them they have no right to step on the citizens of this nation. Remind them that our peaceful protests are constitutionally protected, and their offices are not.
Closing on a Positive Note:
Congratulations and much respect and admiration are granted to the Vets and citizens who gathered together and successfully had their voices heard on these matters. YOU HAVE BEEN HEARD. You matter. You are being acknowledged, and you can expect the barricades to be lifted. Keep up the good work and remember to gurgle with saltwater to ease your sore throats. Your voice is beautiful when spoken in unison and we greatly appreciate all of your services.

Today’s Constitutional:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
 –First Amendment
Check for yourself:
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Vox Populi Clarus! The People’s Voice…Loud and Clear

bald-eagle-vox-2Our voices which have  been ignored shall hence forth echo in the ears of those who thought they could ignore us.

Those who know better than us shall be deafened by the screams of the ones they have considered to be ignorant.

No parties. No agendas. No guided motives.

 

Welcome, all, to the podium.

We have given power to this megaphone. No longer shall the leaders of our free nation be able to ignore our voices. No longer will we be muted, muffled or silenced.

Here, on these steps, politics give way to reason, policies will be molded by logic not party lines. The needs of the few shall not outweigh the needs of the many, however the needs of all will be discussed and considered.  Profits will not impede progress.

No color nor hue shall be required, requested or rejected.

No religion, nor creed, nor culture shall be ousted, rejected or propagandized.

Intellect, Logic and Reason shall be our creed.

We…will…be…heard.