Two Jaw-Dropping Moments …

More than once I have said that it feels as if we are moving backward to a time of extreme bigotry and racism, to a time of segregated schools, a time of ‘whites only’ bathrooms and drinking fountains.  Two stories in yesterday’s news confirmed my worst fears.

A PEW research study was released yesterday that caused my jaw to drop.  The survey found that 34% of Americans … more than a third … think it is okay to wear blackface as a part of a costume all, or at least sometimes.  I am stunned at the ignorance, the utter crudity of these people!  Unthinking louts!  Morons!  The demographics are interesting … take a look …Pew-blackface-surveyNotice especially the differences between Republicans and Democrats — and the republicans wonder why the GOP has become known as the party of racists?  The survey was conducted January 22nd to February 5th, mostly before the revelation of Virginia Governor Northam in blackface in his med school yearbook.

The age breakdown is also interesting, for it seems that people ages 18-29 are least likely to say it’s okay.  But to me, the educational breakdown is perhaps the most relevant.  It seems that common sense, compassion, cultural awareness increase with higher levels of education.  Take a look …Pew-blackface-survey-2.pngI wonder, if this survey had been taken three years ago, when we had an African-American president, a man of conscience and compassion, and before the ‘man’ in the Oval Office gave off racist vibes, would the results have been the same?  For the record, it isn’t really a matter of opinion, but a matter of what’s right and what’s wrong.  Wearing blackface is a form of mockery, a form of denigration, and it is NEVER acceptable.  Period.  Not for a costume party, not for a small gathering of close friends, and not for a med school yearbook picture.  NEVER.Only one race

The second jaw dropper came with this headline …

West Virginia lawmaker compares LGBTQ community to the KKK

Say WHAT???  Ai ching … chihuahua!!!

In recent months, cities and municipalities in West Virginia have begun passing ordinances protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.  Enter West Virginia state Delegate Eric Porterfield, not surprisingly a republican, who argued in favour of a state-level bill that would make such local ordinances against state law.  The very notion that he is against equal rights for LGBT people is bad enough, but his rhetoric …

Eric-Porterfield“The LGBTQ is a modern-day version of the Ku Klux Klan, without wearing hoods with their antics of hate. The LGBT is the most socialist group in this country. They do not protect gays. There are many gays they persecute if they do not line up with their social ideology. I am terrified of these people. They represent a socialist activist agenda. They are opponents of freedom.”

‘Opponents of freedom’.  You, Mr. Porterfield, are a grade-A jackass!  Mr. Porterfield is blind, having lost the sight in both eyes as a result of an altercation in 2006.  Now, I just wonder how he would like it if somebody referred to blind people as being just like the KKK?

This is not his first time being a bully, as you might expect.  In 2016, he saw a Facebook post by his wife’s gynecologist arguing in support of a woman’s right to choose, right to abortion.  He told her in a Facebook message that, if she didn’t change to an anti-abortion position, he’d organize an economic boycott of her practice.

The situation escalated to the point of him filming a Facebook video calling for the boycott, and the doctor obtaining a protective service order from Magistrate Sandra Dorsey against Porterfield in court. Mercer County sheriff’s deputies then confiscated guns owned by Porterfield and his wife, Jessica.  (Wouldn’t you just know they owned guns?)

And then in 2018, a bill was up before the West Virginia Legislature to ban forced conversion therapy on minors.  The bill failed, but Porterfield was livid that the bill was even introduced, calling the bill bigoted and discriminatory.

This man is a prime example of what is wrong not only in our government, but in our society today.  If you don’t fit into the mold … the white, Christian, straight, and preferably male mold … then you are second-class and deserve whatever those ‘exemplary’ white citizens decide you deserve. lgbt flag

One cannot blame Donald Trump exclusively for creating the attitudes of hate and bigotry we are seeing in ever-increasing numbers today, but we can blame him for condoning the behaviours of hate groups, and thus making these vermin believe that it is ‘okay’ to be racist, to be homophobic, xenophobic and misogynistic.  Donald Trump said he would get rid of ‘political correctness’.  Being politically correct is nothing more nor less than being polite, being kind, treating others fairly.  And yet, those are things that we are losing in this nation.  We are losing them because the ‘man’ at the helm of this ship says that white and Christian and straight are superior to all else.  He is wrong.  He is dead wrong.

Filosofa Is Sorry …

I fear that I must apologize this morning, for I know that you all look forward to the Wednesday morning ‘Good People’ posts, and I come to you today with empty hands.  It isn’t the fault of the good people, for they are out there, but only my own fault, for I was simply … unable last night.  I promise to have a good people post next Wednesday, perhaps even sooner.

But my hands are not completely empty, for I have a humorous Christmas poem with a delightful surprise ending, so I hope you’ll take the time to read all the way to the last line.

A Politically Correct Christmas
~ Anonymous

Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck…
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”,
“Vertically Challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the North Pole,
were alleged by the union, to stifle the soul.

confused santaFour reindeer had vanished without much propriety,
released to the wilds, by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear,
that Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his beautiful sleigh,
because the ruts were deemed dangerous by the EPA,
And millions of people were calling the Cops,
when they heard sled noises upon their roof tops.
Second-hand smoke from his pipe, had his workers quite frightened,
and his fur trimmed red suit was called “unenlightened”.

To show you the strangeness of today’s ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose.
He went to Geraldo, in front of the Nation,
demanding millions in over-due workers compensation.

confused santa-4So…half of the reindeer were gone, and his wife
who suddenly said she’d had enough of this life,
joined a self help group, packed and left in a whiz,
demanding from now on that her title was Ms.

And as for gifts…why, he’d never had the notion
that making a choice could cause such commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur…
Which meant nothing for him or nothing for her.
Nothing to aim, Nothing to shoot,
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls and nothing for just boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that’s warlike or non-pacifistic.

No candy or sweets…they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish upon the truth.
And fairy tales…while not yet forbidden,
were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden,
for they raised the hackles of those psychological,
who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football…someone might get hurt,
besides – playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist and should be passe.
and Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

confused santa-3So Santa just stood there, disheveled and perplexed,
he just couldn’t figure out what to do next?
He tried to be merry he tried to be gay,
but you must have to admit he was having a very bad day.
His sack was quite empty, it was flat on the ground,
nothing fully acceptable was anywhere to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might,
give to us all, without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy – with no indecision,
each group of people in every religion.
Every race, every hue,
everyone, everywhere…even you!
So here is that gift, it’s price beyond worth…

“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on Earth.”

Peace on earth


R.E.S.P.E.C.T. … remember the song by Aretha Franklin?  Well, guess what folks — it needs to be re-released, for far too many have forgotten the word.  One of Donald Trump’s promises during his never-ending campaign was to ‘get rid of’ political correctness.  Now, as I said at the time, political correctness is nothing more or less than respect for others and their feelings.  Is it sometimes taken to extremes?  Maybe, but I would rather err on the side of kindness than not.  Today, two glaring examples of the ugliness Donald Trump has unleashed in the nation came to my attention, and I would like to share them with you, dear friends, just so you don’t forget what Trump has turned this nation into.

Remember how incensed some people, mostly republicans, were when Colin Kaepernick, on 01 September 2016, kneeled during the playing of the national anthem, rather than stand?  Of course you remember – it stirred so much hoopla that the NFL recently made a decision to force … yes, force … players who are on the field when the song is played, to stand.  Mr. Kaepernick took a knee as a very passive, peaceful form of protest against police brutality and systemic racism in this country.  In my book, he did the right thing and I admire & respect him for it.  But many so-called ‘patriots’ have been very vocal in their shunning and denigration of Mr. Kaepernick.  But now … we have another ‘celebrity’ who is using her platform to make a point.  She is none other than …

Roseanne Barr, the sitcom actress whose show, aptly titled Roseanne, made a comeback last year, thanks to the election of Donald Trump.  Personally, I’ve always found Roseanne to be a rather disgusting piece of work, and during the years since her sitcom ran its course and was cancelled in 1997, she has only become more vulgar and disgusting.  Still, the election of Donald Trump gave rise to a renewal of all things nasty & disgusting, and that included, unfortunately, Roseanne.

While Kaepernick is using his voice to try to fight injustice and save lives, Roseanne decided to use hers to attack former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett with a tweet that was blatantly racist and Islamophobic.  Typical Roseanne.  Since her ‘comeback’ last year, Barr has been outspoken in her adoration of all things Trump, and has even helped the likes of Jones & Hannity peddle their ludicrous conspiracy theories.  Her mouth has no filter, and she has gotten by with far too much for far too long, issuing nasty tweets about Hillary & Chelsea Clinton, George Soros, and others.

Today, Roseanne Barr finally learned what it means to be held accountable for her actions, her words.  The uproar over her Twitter comments was immediate and palpable, with many, even among her own cast, dumbfounded.  Sara Gilbert, who played her daughter on the show, said …

“Roseanne’s recent comments about Valerie Jarrett, and so much more, are abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show. I am disappointed in her actions to say the least.”

And one of the show’s writers, Wanda Sykes, said she would no longer write for the show.  Joe Scarborough was not alone when he called for ABC to discipline Barr …

“There is no apology she can make that justifies ABC turning a blind eye to this bigotry by airing another second of her show. Even in the Age of Trump, there are red lines that can never be crossed.”

And so, just a few short hours later, ABC made the following announcement:

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.”

Score one for decency and common sense – traits that seem invisible in the era of Trump.  Thumbs up to ABC, even though I suspect they did it more to avoid a public relations nightmare than out of any sense of values.  Still, these days, I take what I can get.

And a second abomination slid across my radar screen today, also from the entertainment industry.  Video game developer Valve Corp is coming out with a new video game on June 6th.  The game will be called ‘Active Shooter’.  Now, there is nothing new about violence in video games these days, with titles like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon, etc., so this one might not have raised many eyebrows … except for its premise.  It takes place in a school, and the player is the shooter, seeing how many cops and ‘civs’, short for civilians, he or she can plow down.

Needless to say, there are a whole lot of parents up in arms, particularly those whose children have been killed in school shootings this year.  Valve Corp responded to the uproar by saying that it doesn’t promote any kind of violence.  WHAT???  Shooting kids with an assault weapon is not violence???

There is a petition at petition calling for the game’s release to be cancelled. When I signed it this morning, it had over 75,000 signatures and when I checked just a few minutes ago, it was over 95,000.  I don’t know how much good signing the petition does, but hopefully it sends a message.  An even better message, if the company goes through with the game’s release, would be if nobody bought the game.  Miss Goose, a video game expert, tells me that a similar game was released at some point after the Columbine shootings.  Where, people, are we headed???  sad

Filosofa’s Take on PC

Political correctness gets a bum rap these days. Political correctness may be defined as “the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.” Much has been made of Donald Trump’s boast that “I’m so tired of this politically correct crap.” Political correctness, put in context, is a good thing, it is not a bad thing.  Let us try to put it in perspective.

If I invite my friend to my home, I am not going to tell her that I think her dress is the ugliest thing I have ever seen, even if I think so.  There is honesty, but then there is just plain rudeness.  Honesty at the expense of a person’s feelings is just plain rude. If I invite my Muslim or Jewish friends for dinner, knowing that they do not eat pork, I am not going to serve a ham, right?  These are examples of ‘political correctness’ on a personal level.  I think of it as basic human kindness.

So why all the hullaballoo over political correctness in this country?  The goal of being politically correct is to encourage tact and sensitivity to others’ feelings around issues of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, ethnicity, culture, etc. Perhaps part of the problem is the label itself … what we now think of as ‘political correctness’ used to be known as respect, or basic manners.  One of my earliest lessons in this was around age five when I referred to a friend’s grandmother as a ‘Kraut’.  I can still taste that soap today!

Let’s start with the simple things. Think of people with certain disabilities.  50 years ago, a person with Down’s Syndrome was called a ‘Mongoloid’, and conjoined twins were called ‘Siamese twins’.  The effect of those labels was to somehow make the person seem like less of a person, like something possibly evil.  We ultimately came to understand that the person should not be defined as the disability.  A person with leprosy is just that … a person with leprosy, not a leper.

Race and religion have undergone transformations in the way we speak and think about them.  The ‘n-word’ is taboo today in all cases.  Period.  We no longer use words like ‘kike’ to describe a person of Jewish faith, or ‘dago’ and ‘wop’ to describe a person of Italian descent.  And this is all as it should be.  It is called R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

So why the criticism?  I think for the most part it is the perception of what it means to be politically correct.  One comment I came across in my research sums it up: “PC is separating the United States as a country. You’re either offended by something that someone says, or offended that someone’s offended by something that someone said. PC is a violation of one’s right to Freedom of Speech. If someone is allowed to burn the United States flag, then Ted Cruz should be able to refer to a terrorist group as Islamic Radicals without being sued by the Political Correctness Speech.”  Do people actually believe that being respectful to others is a violation of their 1st amendment rights?  Unfortunately, yes, some people do believe that.  The media and politicians are doing a fantastic job convincing people of exactly that. How many times have I heard people grousing that they are ‘no longer allowed to say Merry Christmas’? The kernel of truth in this is that some businesses now require their employees to say “Happy Holidays” out of respect for customers who observe religions other than Christianity, and rather than single out one particular religion, or have staff members saying “Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and Joyous Kwanzaa”, they cover all bases with a simple “Happy Holidays”. Other than that, every person in this nation has the right to say “Merry Christmas” anytime, anywhere, to anyone.  But the perception is that the right to express oneself by saying “Merry Christmas” has been taken away.  Nothing could be further from the truth. But sadly, all it takes is one stupid Facebook meme … a handful of people ‘like’ and ‘share’ with all their friends, and pretty soon the number of people who see … and believe … has multiplied exponentially.

An informal poll on found that 92% of people surveyed thought that political correctness did more harm than good.  However, I question the results of the poll as I believe it catered to a very narrow scope of people.  Consider this comment: “The issue is people are oversensitive. They can’t take a racist joke. Admit they are funny. Also mean speech is protected by the Constitution. I can be sexist, racist, or anything as long as I don’t take physical action as in punching. It bad. People can’t take the truth even if it is mean.” Sorry, dude, but there is nothing …. I repeat nothing … funny about racist jokes.

Several opinions I came across noted that in labeling people as racist, homophobic, etc., we are being politically incorrect.  I disagree.  Political correctness calls on us to not label people based on such things as race, gender, religion, disabilities, national origin, culture, etc., things that may set people apart from others.  Those are traits, they are part of who a person is and should not be mocked nor disparaged.  But if a person speaks against Muslims or African-Americans for no other reason than that they are Muslims or African-Americans, then that person is racist, and the racist label is based on a behaviour, not a trait.  An example:  I am a female. I was born that way, and it is part of what makes me the person I am.  I would not tolerate being called derogatory names based on the fact that I am a female.  However, if I go on a rant (who, me???) and refer to Muslims as ‘towel-heads’, then I am a bigot and I deserve to be labeled as such.

Political correctness can undoubtedly be carried to extremes and has from time to time.  But, let us not ‘throw out the baby with the bathwater’.  Overall, being politically correct simply means treating everyone with courtesy, kindness and respect, and that is always the right thing to do.  It is not the right thing because it reflects Christian values, or American values, but because it reflects human values.  When we lose our humanity, then we have lost our way.

Happy, Joyous, Merry …

Happy Chanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, Happy Winter Solstice, or just plain ol’ Happy Holidays. Say any of the above to me around this time of year and I will feel a warm glow and be happy. Hand me a Peppermint-Mocha Latte with an extra shot of espresso, I will be happy as a lark no matter what cup it is served in. Sing Frosty the Snowman, Winter Wonderland or Ave Maria … I can appreciate any of the above so long as you don’t warble or squeak. Put a nativity scene, a pink flamingo or a Star of David in your yard … it’s cool. Celebrate the holidays in whatever way you wish, follow your family traditions, and spread good cheer and joy. About the only thing I am not okay with is spreading hate or judging others for the manner in which they choose to celebrate. Christmas is no longer only a Christian holiday, if ever it was. I have Muslim friends as well as Jewish friends who celebrate Christmas complete with decorated tree, lighted windows and gifts. Yes, Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th, though nobody knows when Christ was actually born, but December 25th is as good as any date. However, does that mean that others cannot celebrate the holiday also? Chanukah and Kwanzaa also fall right around this time, and as we all know, the “Christmas Season” lasts for some 7 weeks, from October 31st through December 25th! Isn’t the whole holiday thing supposed to be about sharing, caring, spreading joy, love, peace and goodwill toward men? Just under 71% of U.S. citizens identify with the Christian religion. So, the other 29% … should they be scorned for not repeating “Merry Christmas” to everyone they meet? Why can’t we all say “Shalom” (Hebrew for peace)? Why can’t we all say “Happy Holidays”? What does it matter what we say, so long as we say it with kindness and good intentions? And what the heck does it matter what the cup our java comes in looks like, so long as it is clean and doesn’t leak? Here is my challenge to us all for the next six weeks or so:

• Drink your coffee, buy an extra for somebody who doesn’t have one, and forget what the cup looks like
• Say whatever kind thing comes to mind, and thank anyone who wishes you peace and joy in whatever language
• Do something nice for someone every day
• Instead of spending so much money that you are in debt for the next six months, give of yourself, your time, your heart
• Have a great season, celebrate as you wish with friends and family, and let others do the same

Happy Holidays … Merry Christmas … Happy Chanukah!