Being White Is Not an Achievement

So, on my walk yesterday, I saw a man wearing a t-shirt that said: “PROUD WHITE BOY.” I’m not going to describe the physicality of this man – other than to say that, obviously, he was White.

But his shirt got me to wondering. Was he proud because he was White? Was he proud because he was a “boy”? And… why would he be proud of things he has no control over? It’s like being proud of being human, or being proud of being born in this country. Being born here, and being born White, and being born male are not things that anybody has to earn. They are not achievements. They are not proof of your courage or evidence of your hard work. They are just the happenstances of your start in life – a part of earth’s crap shoot. And there’s no reason, in my mind, to be proud – or ashamed, either – of the happenstances of your human start.

It’s what comes after your start – the life you build here – that shows the most important things about you: Are you living a life of kindness? Of moral courage? Do you stand up for others? Are you generous with the good Life gives you? Are you honest? Are you living a life of integrity? Are you using your talents and gifts to make the world a better place? To me, those are the things that matter.

A t-shirt that says “PROUD TO BE KIND” would make more sense to me. Or maybe “PROUD TO BE HUMBLE.” 🙂

“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law.”
-Galatians 5:22-23

Let’s Stop Dehumanizing Each Other

At a time when we desperately need to come together and support the good in each other – at a time when we need to do away with stereotypes and stop dehumanizing each other – it was very disappointing to see the headline in the paper today. It felt like a punch in the gut. It’s time for people of privilege to stop using “Karens” as their scapegoat – as a way to show that they are allies to the disenfranchised and that they aren’t bigots. In actuality, people who use “Karen” as a pejorative are revealing their bigotry – their sexism and ageism – by using the name in this way.

Using “Karen” as a label for a racist isn’t funny or clever. It’s mean. Those named “Karen” feel pain; they cry and mourn and grieve and deal with mental health issues just like everyone else. And this kind of bullying hurts – I have at least one friend named “Karen” who has contemplated suicide in the last year. Using “Karen” in this way does not add anything good or kind to this world. And this world is in desperate need of kindness.
Karen Molenaar Terrell

The Karen Meme: As If We Don’t Already Have Enough to Deal With

Dear Huffington Post:

You’d think a writer named “Ron Dicker” would be one of the last ones to use the “Karen” meme in his story.

Until now you’ve been one of my go-to places to get information – progressive, smart, witty and wise. But that just changed, for me. It turns out your writers, too, are bigoted, unkind, bullying, and mean-spirited. As if the inhabitants of our world don’t already have enough crap to deal with right now – dying friends, dying family, dying planet – let’s perpetuate that whole “Karen” thing, right?

Note: The maskless woman was named “Terry” – not “Karen.”

Words, people. Words matter. I expected more from your writers than old labels, unoriginal thought, stereotypes, sexism, ageism, and bigotry. What good were you adding to the world by using the Karen meme? How is that going to make our world a better place?

I am sorely disappointed.
Karen

That M*A*S*H Scene Revisited

So here’s something… I woke up this morning with that scene from the M*A*S*H movie in my head – the one where Margaret Houlihan is trying to take a shower and Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John raise the shower curtain on her in front of an audience of laughing men. M*A*S*H was one of the biggest movies of the early 1970s – nominated for all kinds of awards, including best picture. I didn’t see it when it first came out – too young – but I remember enjoying it, for the most part, when I finally saw it a few years later. I never did like that shower scene, though – it made me really uncomfortable – I thought it was mean-spirited. And now here we are in 2018. I’m thinking that scene might not play well in theaters, anymore. And I’m really glad about that.

We have made progress.

Do we really even need to debate this stuff?

I can’t believe we’re still debating stuff in 2018 that we should have moved beyond long ago.

No, it’s not alright to separate children from their parents at the border. No, it’s not alright to torture ANYone or thing. No, we shouldn’t be taking from the poor to give to the rich. Yes, we should be caring for our planet – it’s the only one we’ve got. No, we should not be denying people their rights to life, liberty, happiness, and prosperity because of their race, religion or non-religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Are these things we really even need to debate? Sheesh.

debating stuff