Posts Tagged ‘current-events’

Wrongs and Rights

June 28, 2013

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This has been a bad week, if you are closed minded, bigoted or exclusionary.

Americans are “just saying no” to racism, inequality and prejudice. In case you have been in a coma, or live under a rock, here is a rundown of this week’s big events:

Paula Deen admitted to using the “N-word” and having a penchant for “plantation style” service (code for black men in tuxedoes and white gloves serving white supremacists their dinners). In a series of apologies posted to YouTube, Deen asked for forgiveness again, and again and again. Her crocodile tears and drag queen makeup that stayed intact for the entire ordeal did not succeed in having the desired effect. Her subsequent appearance on the Today Show where she used biblical references to justify her situation, and claimed to be confused as to what is acceptable vocabulary after hearing her black kitchen staff use the “N-word” among themselves, was like rubbing salt in the country’s wounds. Her endorsement deals began dropping like flies, and at this moment The Food Network, Novo Nordisk, Smithfield Pork, Target, Wal-Mart, and Caesar’s have all bid adieu to the Southern belle. In the meantime, sales of Deen’s latest book have sky rocketed, her cruises have sold out, and lines of fat white folks are lining up outside her restaurants in a show of solidarity.

Big business is standing up and saying that racism of any kind is unacceptable and making an example of Deen by hitting her in her pocket book.
No word yet from the butter industry, on the demise of their iconic queen.

The Supreme Court voted to end the Defense of Marriage act, now allowing all married couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, the same rights. Just typing that sentence feels ridiculous. Did we really need to go to the Supreme Court to know that denying benefits to some, based on whom they love is just plain wrong?

While there is still much work to be done on the equality front, this is a giant step in the right direction. Cue the Gay Pride parade, set to happen this weekend in New York.

The Supreme Court also tackled voting issues and ruled that the act to protect minority-voting rights was unconstitutional and unnecessary.  Given the previous stories, maybe they need to rethink that one. One small step backwards, perhaps?

Democratic Senator Wendy Davis became an overnight media sensation when she successfully filibustered a vote that would close abortion clinics across the state of Texas, and ban abortion after 20 weeks. People applauded her accomplishment, and women all over the country want to walk in her shoes: pink Mizuna Wave Riders to be exact.

Republicans are in an uproar, and are trying to reschedule the vote, with the hopes of passing the bill, denying women in Texas the right to choose.

American seems to be at a threshold, similar to that of the mid 1950’s when equal rights were at the forefront. This week, it seems that many people are waking up to the fact that injustices based on race, religion, or sexual preferences are not acceptable. We can only hope that the other part of our country will soon follow suit.

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The “Oops” Olympics: Going for the Gold

August 1, 2012

The Olympics are well underway, transfixing people around the world. While nothing of that scale can go off without a hitch, there have been some major gaffes this year.

Did anyone notice a strange woman in street clothes marching with the Indian team? Apparently the Olympic officials didn’t, until she was spotted in the midst of the group clad in jeans and a red hoodie, as they all marched in their bright yellow garb.

Security also proved to be a challenge, when the privately contracted firm hired to handle this, acknowledged that they could not provide the amount of guards they originally committed to. Thousands of military personnel, some just back from Afghanistan were recruited to fill the gaps.

When the women’s soccer competition kicked off, the South Korean flag was proudly displayed on the jumbo screen. Too bad the team was representing North Korea, who they are currently at war with.

Police accidentally misplaced the keys to Wembley Stadium, forcing them to have to change all of the locks at the football arena, after a team from Scotland Yard failed to find them.

While the list goes on, from televising rows of empty seats to misstating athlete’s countries of origin, none of these are quite as bad as some of the gaffes made by our very own Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney and his team.

Today, while in Warsaw, Poland, Mr. Romney was questioned by the press about some of his travel faux pas. His press secretary promptly lashed out saying,” Kiss my ass, this is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.”

While the English are enjoying a little self deprecating humor and laughing at their mistakes, the Republicans will just do what they always do: blame it on the black guy that lives in the big, white house.

Yeah, I went there..”oops”!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Does Money Make It Better?

June 26, 2012

This week, the Internet is buzzing with the viral video of bullied bus monitor Karen Klein.

The video shows a group of young kids teasing the 65-year-old woman in an extremely rude and inappropriate manner.

People from across the country viewed the video with a mix of shock and outrage, and began an online campaign to raise money to send Ms. Klein on “the vacation of a lifetime.”

The fund has long surpassed its goal of $5000, currently raising over $650,000.

Klein told the Today Show “I keep thinking, ‘What have I done?’ It’s like I almost don’t feel like I deserve it.”

Sorry folks, but I have to agree with her. She doesn’t deserve it.

Don’t get me wrong, I think situation is heinous, but will $650,000 make it better? It seems that the issue here is not that Ms. Klein should be rewarded for her pain and suffering, but that the kids should be held responsible for causing it.

A few have come forward and issued lukewarm apologies, but it goes beyond that.

Some of the families have reported that they are receiving hate mail and threats and that boys have learned their lessons. Have they really?
Did they learn a lesson about compassion and treating others with kindness, or did the tables being turned on them spur their lesson in “empathy”?

Treating people with thoughtfulness and dignity should not be optional. Showering someone with money and gifts should not be considered the antidote for enduring the pain of bullying.

Teaching our children how to be respectful of others should be mandatory. Bullying should be viewed with zero tolerance.

Ms. Klein has indicated that she will buy her children cars and donate the rest of the money to charity. Perhaps the boys that did this should be required to do something charitable too, in order to compensate for their behavior. Then perhaps they will learn the true lesson here.

photo: Glasshouse Images


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