Wednesday, November 12, 2008

take out the trash day

I have some things to say that will undeniably rile some people up, but I seem to be unable to shut my mouth.  I've written and deleted it several times, trying to avoid trouble, but alas, trouble has found me anyway.  So here they are, in no particular order, all bunched together so that we can be done with them.

1.  There is another side to living less than two miles away from Dr. King's church that hasn't been mentioned on any of the blogs I read yet.  There's the side that mourned last Wednesday - that wore black and talked about how afraid they were of an Obama presidency.  One of my mom's colleagues was in the first class to integrate the high school where she now teaches.  Wednesday morning, as she and my mother (who did not vote for Obama, by the way, but has enough sense of history to appreciate the moment all the same) hugged and cried in the hallway, other teachers and students openly expressed their fear and anger that he had won, and that the two teachers were celebrating.  As she told me the story, I yelled in my head, My children will not learn in that environment!  I will not let them think racism is an acceptable reality!  But even as I said it I knew those students are only reflecting their parents' views, and my outrage ensures my children's, at least for a while.  Brian and my mom both have been met with blank stares when they talk about freedom and oppression, and the inability to appreciate the larger moment, beyond the immediate political ramifications, astounds me.

2.  Proposition 8 does not affect me.  I'm already married, and my state is really not ready for a serious discussion of civil rights for all Americans.  So I have stayed away from the discussion of it, because it feels like anything else would just be picking a fight.  But can I just say this one thing?  The glory of America is in its freedom.  Freedom to be wrong, freedom to be irritating, freedom to be as selfish or as selfless as one chooses.  The FEAR of equal rights is neither an American nor a Christian value.  The fear of a church being mandated by the government to do anything is unfounded.  Already many denominations refuse to hire women as clergy, or to recognize divorced ministers; that would be illegal in another context, but it isn't in churches.  So keeping any group of people from freedom does not protect your own.  People like Mary can speak to the law (and I hope she will), but the arguments against civil rights just don't make sense.  Also, let's dispel of a phrase, please.  "Radical homosexual agenda."  Radical?  Every gay person I know just wants to be left alone.  They want to live their lives, that's all.  There's no agenda, and there's certainly no "radical" agenda (what does that mean, anyway?  It makes me think of an agenda with dreadlocks hanging out with Susan Sarandon).  That's all.

3.  On a completely unpolitical note - I have to go to this training tomorrow.  I'm signed up to do contract work in my field but have not once been called to take on a client since signing up two years ago.  It irritates me to no end to think about spending my day with them, knowing they HAVEN'T CALLED, but I also know they will never call if I don't go spend my day with them.  Don't they know I have turkeys to color and diapers to change?  Alas.

4.  My friends with two kids tell me their kids never wake one another up.  But I'm pretty sure mine do - if one is awake at 2 am, 4 times out of 5 the other will be, too.  Last night at 2:30 the entire house was awake, and Brian felt sick.  I started thinking, is there a carbon monoxide leak or something?  I don't think so, though - just not a good sleeping night.  I hope tonight will be better.

Okay, I think I'm done.  Back to less persnickety posts tomorrow.

No, I forgot one -

5.  Auto industry bailout.  I was in favor of the bank bailout, because if banks fail, so does the rest of the economy.  But the American car industry simply has not kept up with changes in the market.  This was foreseeable, and has been a long time in the making.  I understand that their closure would be a blow to the economy.  But isn't this part of the evolution of a free market?  Also, with Hyundai, Honda, and Mercedes all manufactured in Alabama alone, the concept of "American-made" really isn't what it used to be.  "Foreign" cars are made 20 miles from my house.  Plus they can't even be sure if the bailout would be enough to float the industry.  And eventually won't the deficit caused by these bailouts have a more adverse affect on the economy than whatever benefit the immediate cash may offer?  I'm not an economist - as you all WELL know by now - but those are my two cents.

Okay really.  Enough griping.


Elizabeth said...

My child, as you know, is mixed race although she favors her caucasian birthmother enough to be mistaken for something like Italian (because of the hair). However, she has a playmate who is also mixed race (and with a much darker skin tone) and another who has Downs, both of whom are also adopted. And our playgroup is inviting a few other adoptive families with racially and ethnically diverse children. I am so thankful for this because she will grow up (I hope) without the prejudicial lenses that most of our generation inherited, and most of her playdate friends will have the same experience. There are reasons that people may be upset about Obama's election (I have a few myself), but race absolutely should not be one of them. Not at this point in our history. We should be past that kind of small-mindedness.

pallie said...

I am with you Stephanie! Thanks for putting it into words!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that there are people like you living in Alabama. It gives me hope. :) Also, somehow I have missed out on all the news about the auto-bailout.

Mary said...

Ha. I just penned my vigorous dissent to Mr. H's comments about Prop 8 from a legal standpoint. I can honestly say I'm no expert but I've studied enough Con Law at this point to say that without a doubt the only reason gay marriage is not legal is bigotry. I took a course last year called Sexual Minorities and the Law and my professor used to joke that this is the homosexual agenda: Get up. Go to the gym. Go Shopping.

Lane said that the same system that elected Obama passed Prop 8 but there is a huge difference. Obama's election might scare some people in Alabama but it doesn't infringe on anyone's civil liberties. A gay marriage ban is an example of the majority oppressing the minority (through the help of millions of dollars from the Mormon church to help it along). This is why we have a third branch of government to protect minority groups and I hope the Supreme Court of California will do the right thing on that front.

If there is a law that treats men one way and women another way, it will fail as unconstitutional almost every single time unless there is some kind of very compelling reason why the government NEEDS that law. A ban on gay marriage treats two men differently than a man & a woman when they walk into the courthouse and ask for a marriage license. That is gender discrimination and it should fail as unconstitutional because I've yet to hear a reason that even makes sense much less anything compelling. The argument being used in courts now is that society should encourage procreation but last I checked having kids was not a prerequisite for marriage or grounds for divorce.

Finally, as passionately as I feel about this (obviously), the really horrifying thing is don't ask don't tell. It is outright SHAMEFUL that when we are not at war, homosexuals are kicked out of the military in large numbers unless they live a lie but as soon as 2002 rolls around all of the sudden there are no gays in the military (wink wink). These are honorable Americans risking their lives for our country. Fine, don't let them marry but to treat them this way while they serve our country is horrible.

Then end.

Mary said...

Also, isn't take out the trash day Friday?

Julie Pippert said...

I'm so glad you didn't hold your tongue.

This was The Awesome. :)

Jason said...

Well said Mary ....Well said everyone actually.
DADT has been a peeble in my shoe for a LONG time ....i hate that policy.

Anonymous said...

rockin' post. that's all i have to add.

Madame Rubies said...

wake each other up.

And Amen, m'lady!

Madame Rubies said...

That should have said, "My kids wake each other up."