Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Homophobia for Dummies

In the wake of Roland S. Martin's suspension from CNN over homophobic tweets, a remedial teaching moment has arisen. For many, the events thus far are basic math: Public Figure + Public homophobia = public discipline. Some however are confused over that formula. Frequently asked questions include;
1. "What was homophobic about what he said?"
2. "Isn't this an overreaction?"
3. "What happened to Freedom of Speech?"
I will make this quick, because the rest of the class is being held back by these repeat discussions: Class Mammilia, and not just Genus Homo. If you are playing ignorant of the offensiveness in this simply to maintain deniability, please exit the room. For those who truly don't understand, you may believe his statement that this was an insult intended for soccer, not gay males. Many were injured by the eye-rolls this instigated. In response to the question, I offer Exhibits A..
...and B.
 "If a chick at your Super Bowl party is hyped about the David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of her! #superbowl"
 This is the same text with a gender change. Does this still read as an insult to soccer to you? You can say yes. It won't carry much weight, but you can say it. If this is the center of your defense, the prosecution rests.
#2 No. I personally did not want this situation to escalate as it has, but it was entirely predictable. I would say Mr. Martin was lucky to only be suspended. Shirley Sherrod, whom Martin helped get FIRED for misconstrued words advocating INCLUSION, would probably agree. It may seem like an overreaction to those who weren't offended, but this reaction by the offended members is pretty common these days.
#3 You still have your freedom of speech, it just can be used against you even outside a court of law. You don't need to be on TV for this to be true, but it's especially true for public figures. Whatever you identify yourself as (race, sexual orientation, religion, neighborhood), it is presumed you have opinions about the people who don't identify as such. When you are an on air personality, keep those opinions to yourself. They all understand this, which is why they deny it so passionately when one slips out. Yes, offending gays is exactly like offending Blacks, Whites, Catholics, Women, or whomever. Nobody get's to decide when they're offended it's worse than when you are offended. When offended, advocates of those groups will attack using the same freedom of speech Martin supporters use to defend what happened.

What is the big deal? The very day Mr. Martin made his misunderstood soccer bash, a video was circulating of actual gay bashing. A young man was shown unexpectedly attacked and beaten while the cameraman repeated "No faggots..." It is a very big deal. You are either ok with such behaviors or not. He may not have meant the same thing as the video equates, but what he said was the same thing, joking or not. My advice is if a public figure jokingly advocates for actually occurring violence against a group, smack the ish out of him.

Proper Gander

Still Relevant
Looking back to the days of animated posters, propaganda has evolved in time with every media. Misinformation has also grown, but at least reputations are harder to escape. A highlight and lowlight from some recent political ads.

Rick Perry

Janice Hahn

Ten, Nine, Eleven

9/11/2001- I was getting ready for work, a retail store in the mall. The TV was on in the background, when the first breaking news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center broadcasted. I remember watching the live footage as the second plane hit the second tower. I stopped getting ready for work. America was under attack. Looking back, I expected bombs to start dropping at any moment. We were at war. We, all of America. We were all Americans. For the first noticeable time in my life, it felt everyone within these borders was on the same side.
Not long after, I remember the announcement of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I had been glued to CNN since that day in September. I thought I missed something, a briefing or segment, explaining why we were going to Iraq, when they previously said Osama Bin Laden was responsible and that he was in Afghanistan. Yet I followed, as then President Bush told us Osama wasn't the real threat, or much of a concern at all. I wanted to join the fight every since the day of the attacks, but confusion held me at bay. Instead, I watched the action unfold on screen. After days of seeing troops landing and nights shots of bomb-lit skies, I watched the troops and Iraqi citizens storm Sadaam Hussein's palace, toppling his statue with rope and celebrating. After a few weeks, it appeared we had won. No more yellow cake uranium threats, America was safe once again. President Bush stood on a battleship behind a banner that read "Mission Accomplished", confirming the successful completion of the mission in Iraq. I kept watching. Everyday for a while, the war coverage continued. Soon, it dissolved back into reality shows and the like. The juxtaposition was sickening. It didn't take long before networks realized war coverage was a downer, and soon it stopped almost entirely. I remember the early conspiracies, of seized video tapes and missing Pentagon footage. I remember learning about what a commission was, and people asking why the president apparently didn't want an investigation. I remember the 2004 presidential election. The controversy of the 2000 elections was my introduction to politics, so I expected an electric national climate as the people resolidified a shaky democracy via participation. I remember the "terror alert" being set to the color of "always". The war raged on, so the overall sentiment of "consistency in a time of war" rode Bush into another term. I remember the second inauguration of Bush: the first being famous for it's historical opposition, and the second being famous for it's historic suppression of opposition. I remember people confided in cages, or protest zones, and being actually arrested for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts near the president as the first time Patriot Act concerns became more than hyperbole. I remember being worried people would find out about my true positions, opposing the war and the president, and I would be punished for them. I remember people saying "it's been 7/8/9 years: Iraq is another Vietnam." I remember the focus going from Osama, to Al Quaeda, to Muslim Extremists, to Muslims. I remember not finding WMD's, but I don't remember the other reasons we went to Iraq, or why we stayed. I remember Amy Goodman being preemptively arrested before she could cover the Republican National Convention. The news coverage plays in my head like a scene from V for Vendetta. I remember my decision to stop talking out of fear of the Patriot Act, thinking any number of key words would trigger a storm of agents to descend upon me. I remember thinking they were detaining dissenters indefinitely, and they were always watching and listening. I remember the election of Barack Obama in 2009, and thinking that "we took the country back". I remember the Tea Party forming that same year with the stated goal of "taking our country back". 
Ten years after the fact, I remember 9/11 and everything that has happened since. We were all Americans that day, but now we have descended into tribal differences. Ten years after an attack unified the nation, we are on the verge or in the midst of civil war. Racial tension is at an all time high, as well as tension between political and religious factions. 9/11 happened to us all, but we all personalized it differently. The attackers believed they were fighting a holy war, so some Americans now believe we are at war with Muslims. Some Americans are at war with both the 9/11 attackers and the new administration that took over in 2008. Ten years after the attack, let us remember how we were all once on the same side. Nobody cared who called themselves liberal or conservative on that day. The race of first responders was hardly noticeable when they were all covered in ash. Nobody was criticized for their admission of faith at that time, or questioned for their lack thereof. On this tenth anniversary, let us remember the moment when we were all American for a day, and reflect on what we want America to remember ten years from now. Rest in Peace to every fallen soldier and civilian lost. Let us all remember when we said "We Will Never Forget", and expand that remembrance to what happened before 9/11 and since.

Freedom of Speech, but Money Talks

Aside from being caricatured as a gun waving Uncle Yosemite Sam, there are other reasons American politics are watched closely all across the world. Specifically, the world is interested in the decision makers. While pundits debate if the health of American citizens is worth the cost, the Supreme Court of the United States is protecting the rights of corporations. In a landmark decision, corporate campaign contributions have become synonymous with the freedom of speech.

Cap & Aid

The citizens of America need to hold their leaders responsible- their corporate leaders.

We decided to name our system of elected leaders- also know as a republic -"Democracy", and based the monetary system around what ends up a capitalistic model. In that sense, why do you return to a communist or socialist model when it comes to aid? If the Government is too corrupt or incapable of handling vital industries*, or such would be a dreadful state of oppression/Russia, why do we look at the Government when it is time to for aid?

Partisan Rape

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Political HumorRon Paul Interview

A clause protecting government contractors if employees rape each other has met strong partisan opposition in the senate. Republicans admittedly voted against the "Anti-Rape Bill" to protect Halliburton. No need to check the polarity of your moral compass, when your stance is against rape victims, you may need to rethink your position. Unfortunately this vote was not spotlighted on any major news outlet, offline or on.