Why do we divide ourselves? (part 2)

So a short while ago I started talking about how we separate (or divide, to stick to the title) ourselves into categories and judge each other based on those categories. I had wanted to talk about more serious stuff, but ended up using the whole post to rehash how some of the most recent men in my dating life have stopped seeing me as human, and how it was due to their racial make-up.

No, the irony of me talking about how we shouldn’t categorize people and then me doing that exact thing is not lost on me.

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Thank God for Chicago…

But if you’re religious, now might be the time to start praying.

I’ve been known to be slightly dramatic. Sometimes I see the way a thing is going, and I tend to predict the worst possible outcome. I’ve been told by some that I’m negative because of it. I suppose, it’s because I see all the possibilities. The little logicians in my brain run the computations and then they decide what the most likely outcome will be. It’s why I held onto hope with the Boy for so long, but it was also why I would sometimes take things in the most negative way possible.

The Boy was fond of pointing that out to me. The Bartender accused me of the same thing yesterday because an incident between us led to me reacting to him the way I would have with the Boy. The post with all the information about that will post later today. I promise.

But the reason I bring all of that up is because my brain logicians are working overtime with what’s going on with Trump.  Continue reading

Our hearts are with the family…

Obviously today is a sad day in our history as a nation. A young man is dead, and there is no justice for the family. But what makes it worse is that instead of making a positive change, there are protests in the streets, and more death.

I plan for this to be a short post, but those of you who have been following me since the beginning know how difficult that is for me… But I will try.

I want to offer my condolences for the family, first and foremost. No one can imagine the pain you must be going through at this time, particularly when it seems obvious that justice will not be given. When a person’s life is cut short, there is always the hope that the person who took that life will be punished for their actions. In this case, the system failed. Punishment will not be given, and I am sorry for that.

And how I wish I could end this here, with a heartfelt apology and hope that we can do what we can to move on from this painful memory, but the people won’t allow me to stop there. The people have taken upon themselves to get violent. Tear gas has been ordered. People have been injured. Twitter exploded with the news so that even in Texas I can see the images of injured people, and the emotion-inducing images of the SWAT team or riot squad in military formation beneath the Season’s Greetings sign.

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A Plea From a Teacher

A Plea From a Teacher. I’m not entirely certain how this “Press This” feature works, but the linked post is a must read! As an educator, I whole-heartedly agree with what this teacher says: If you want to reform education, do away with the testing!

My students just took the new Texas STAAR test, and I am appalled that they were expected to write an entire narrative in under a page, and expected to include all the necessary elements of a story. Then to give them two Expository essays (both under a page), and expect it to make sense, when not only were they under a time limit…It’s asinine! Like she says: take all the rules of writing and through them out the window.

This blog post needs to go viral! If you want to make a difference about something a little closer to home than the Kony 2012, which was all the rage a few weeks ago, share the above post any way possible!

To Discriminate or Not…

Remember in the 1990s when people were claiming that Affirmative Action was Reverse Racism? People who were highly qualified for positions were passed over because companies were looking for minority candidates to fill their quotas. People all over were angry about it, and lawyers made a killing (I assume) suing people. I’ve never been comfortable with the phrase “reverse racism.” Racism is racism, whether you’re black and being discriminated against, or white and being discriminated against, but in the continuing anger over atrocities that happened during the Civil Rights movements in the ‘60s, it was politically incorrect to say that racism was perpetrated against a non-minority person.

I remember it, and, as a minority myself, I remember thinking this was going to do more harm than good. I am now terrified to see it happening again… at the college level. College is the place where young people and, in the case of “non-traditional” students, not-so-young people can explore life and determine who they are; figure out what it is they truly believe.

Think back on some of the college movies you’ve seen: remember the images of the incoming freshman (usually the protagonist or some other key player) walking around the quad/courtyard/assembly hall and walking by the individual booths of various student organizations? Each organization had some creed or philosophy that was central to their group, be it a religious ideal, a cultural identity, or a political philosophy. Occasionally, there might be a student who is part of the organization that you wouldn’t expect, for instance, there might be a very liberal looking hippie type as a member of the uber-conservative Young Republican group, or a Caucasian student associated with the an African American club, but generally, each group has a stereotypical image that makes it easy to distinguish them from the other groups.

Recently, this is beginning to change. Vanderbilt University has begun implementing its “all comers” policy, which states that all student organizations must accept any student into it. For instance, the Asian-American club must accept any Hispanic student that would like to join, or the Christian groups must allow the Muslims in. On the surface, this doesn’t really seem to be a problem; after all, experiencing new ideas and cultures is what the college experience is all about, right? Vanderbilt is taking it one step further, however, and forcing them to accept these members who do not follow the integral principles of the organization as group leaders. So a devout atheist may become the leader of the University’s FCA organization, or, as is already the case, a non-Asian male may become the leader of the Asian-American organization.

The policy, which has been around since the Civil Rights movements of the ‘60s, is being implemented to keep religious organizations from excluding homosexual students. This is a noble cause, but it will back-fire just as Affirmative Action did. By implementing this policy, the university has actually made these organizations more resistant. It opens the door for people taking advantage of and corrupting these organizations. One student put it very succinctly: “”If someone that doesn’t share the faith is teaching, then what’s the point of even having these organizations?”

Personally, I wouldn’t want to be part of an organization that didn’t want me as a member. It seems like a hate crime in the making. In order to keep whatever group they deem undesirable out, eventually someone will decide the best way to remove them will be to discourage them from joining in the first place. The more you try to make people accept an idea, the more resistant to it they will become.

What do you think?