Sunday, 20 November 2016

I Will Not Accept

I take no credit for this; the author is Jeremy Mitchell.

"I listened as they called my President a Muslim, as if it were a bad thing. 

I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys. 
I listened as they said he wasn't born here. 
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could. 
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler. 
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice. 
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog. 
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was. 
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn. 
I watched as they did just that.

I listened.  I watched.  I paid attention.

Now, I'm being called on to be tolerant.  To move forward.  To denounce protesters.  To "Get over it." 
To accept this...

I will not.

I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be. 

I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get. 
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country. 
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice. 
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them. 
Them. The people who voted for him. The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win. 
I will do this so that they never forget.

And they will hear me. 

They will see it in my eyes when I look at them. They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them. They will know that I know who they are. They will know that I know what they are. 
Do not call for my tolerance. I've tolerated all I can. 
Now it's their turn to tolerate ridicule.

Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day forward is now Trump's fault just as much as they thought it was Obama's.

I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give."

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

It Was Always There

One week after the devastating American election, long-buried smouldering attitudes have been brought out into the open.  The rise to power of a man who constantly spouted bigotry and misogyny has become an excuse for people to indulge in their own.

Kids at a high school in Michigan formed a human wall to prevent minority students from reaching their classes.

At Winthrop University in South Carolina, handmade black dolls were hung from a tree.

On the web site Why We're Afraid there are multiple stories of people being threatened, abused, and even sexually assaulted because "we're in Trump's America now and you can't do anything about it".

The phenomenon isn't confined to the U.S. either.  Much to the chagrin of most citizens and the government, there have been incidents in Canada too.  Among them, a park in the east end of Toronto was plastered with signs encouraging those who were "tired of political correctness" and "wondering why only white countries have to become multicultural" to join web sites affiliated with the alt-right.

My own father always distrusted people of colour - Muslims and Sikhs in particular - and was against mixed-race relationships.  But he never expressed those opinions on the job or in public because he was keenly aware of the consequences that might come upon him for doing so.

With this election, the bullies are no longer afraid of the consequences.  And they won't be deterred even though their president-elect did take to the airwaves and say "Stop it!"

Author and educator John M. Shanahan wrote, "Civilization: a thin veneer over barbarianism."  That is being proven time and again by people who are closed-minded and cruel.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


You know that saying, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it?

We have seen that failure first hand.

The republican candidate said and did everything he could, including breaking rules, in order to get what he wanted.  Just like he had done all his life.  Being a businessman and actor, his erratic and brash behavior must have been keenly calculated for the desired effect.  He pandered to the 1950s straight white male demographic and threatened everyone else into submission.

Intimidation and violence were reported at polling stations, rallies, and elsewhere.  A republican supporter in Florida pulled a gun on a black voter.  Shots were fired at two voting locations in California.  One girl that had accused the republican candidate of rape disappeared out of fear for her life.

The gullibility and the stupidity of over half the American people was seriously underestimated.  Rather, folks underestimated the number of racists, misogynists, ableists, rapists, and rape apologists eligible to vote in America.

International news and social media were aflame.

"What I learned on Election Night: Being a racist, bigoted, prejudiced, lying sexual predator is still more acceptable than being a woman." - Allen Clifton

"People ask why women don't report sexual assault. You got your answer: a man can have double digit accusers and still be elected President." - Liz Strand

The musician Deadmau5 half-joked that he would limit his upcoming tour performances to states that voted Democratic.

"Putin is the real winner of this election." - Steve Santerre

The stock market plunged to levels not seen since after 9/11 and the value of the U.S. dollar dropped.  Canada's Customs and Immigration web site crashed.

The president-elect didn't even win gracefully.  His acceptance speech was bitter, vindictive, spiteful, vengeful, totally ungracious, and quite chilling in places.

America, what have you done?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Men are Weak? Really?

This past September, Elhamy Agina, an Egyptian member of parliament, came out with a dumbfounding reason for support of the horrible practice of female genital mutilation: it is necessary to curb the sexual "weakness" not of women, but of men.

"We are a population whose men suffer from sexual weakness, which is evident because Egypt is among the biggest consumers of sexual stimulants that only the weak will consume.  If we stop [female genital mutilation], we will need strong men and we don't have men of that sort."

Also in 2016, Dr. Abd al-Aziz Fawazan al-Fawzan, a professor of Islamic law said: "If a woman gets raped walking in public alone, then she, herself is at fault.  She is only seducing men by her presence.  She should have stayed at home like a Muslim woman."

Islamic law rejects forensic evidence such as DNA in favor of testimony.  And because a woman's word is only worth half of a man's (ref. Quran 2:282) a man can say or do pretty much anything he wants and will get away with it.

In many Christian marriage ceremonies, the wife's vows include the words "to love, honor, and obey your husband in all things" (italics mine).  Many men believe that they are entitled to sex with their wives whenever they want, and marital rape doesn't exist.

The men of far too many religions and cultures debase and restrict women in order to make themselves feel powerful.  All blame is placed on the women for their own inadequacies.  To do otherwise makes them appear "weak" in the eyes of their peers.

Many people in the U.S. will not be voting for Hillary Clinton for this same reason.  They don't want a woman to have that much power over them.

Listen, men: if you feel the need to constantly trample on womens' rights and deny them their very freedom, you are already weak.  Strong men don't keep women behind or under them.

Strong men have women beside them.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

A Second Civil War?

The closer we get to the U.S. election date, the crazier the situation south of the border becomes.  Looking at it from an outsider's perspective, I'd think that they are in the first stirrings of a civil war.

Given the evidence that we've seen so far: the republican party is not interested in actually governing; instead they're planning solely to keep the government from functioning.  Several senators have said openly that they will block all Supreme Court nominees until there's a republican President.

But be reminded that doing so is not only a dereliction of duty, it's a violation of their oath to uphold the Constitution.  In effect, the Constitution is worthless when it comes to what the republicans want.

Add to this the fact that violence is on the rise.  Multiple pro-Trump militia groups are calling for violent action should Mr. Trump lose.  In a preview of what's to come, Trump fans have burned down an African-American church in Mississippi and plotted multiple terror attacks against Muslims.  A man known for waving Confederate flags and posting highly conservative views gunned down two police officers in Iowa.

Trump himself insinuated earlier in his campaign that Secy. Clinton might be "dealt with".  And one of his campaign advisers proclaimed there would be "a bloodbath" if Trump lost.  Women, journalists, minorities, immigrants, the disabled - all are potential targets for the small-minded people who think that America should be "great" only for white able-bodied men who believe only what they choose to believe instead of the truth.

Not to mention that there are laws in place that are specifically meant to enable the aforementioned groups.  Those laws were fought for, and in many cases, died for.  Going against those groups is going against the very laws of the country.

The Trump-supporting repubs don't seem to care what laws they break as long as they get their way.

Winter is coming, indeed.  It's terrifying.