You’re never allowed to use the n-word. (So you should shut your mouth.)

First thing’s first: I’m very pleased that President Obama won his bid for re-election.  I am not a Romney fan and I am (obviously) a pretty hardcore liberal.  That’s right everyone, I love my rights and lady business and social programs and gays and minorities and taxes and environmental activism and rights and all kinds of other liberal shit.  I support marriage equality.  I support the Dream Act.  I support legalizing weed.  Okay, so now my bias has been addressed.

But here’s the thing, being liberal doesn’t mean you get to say the n-word.  And here’s the other thing, disagreeing with President Barack Obama (or any other person you might label as black) doesn’t mean you get to call them the n-word.  Unless you are black, don’t say.  Just don’t.

It’s pretty simple: if you are a white person, you don’t get to say the n-word.  

I’m white, and I’m not even going to type it.  Why?  Because I don’t get to use that word.  It’s not unfair.  It’s not a problem.  It’s not hard at all.  I’ve never once felt like I needed to do so, and I never will.  I don’t think there is any reason, even if I’m trying to talk about it academically, to actually use it.

Just don’t use it.

After the election, there were so, so many people on twitter and elsewhere who felt entitled to use that word.  Why?  Because they were mad that Barack Obama won the election.  Oh, and because they are racists, they called him the n-word.  These people largely claimed that they were just expressing an opinion, and that using that word doesn’t make them racist necessarily.  Maybe that’s true in some situations – like maybe you’re at a concert and you’re singing along to lyrics that include that word – okay, I still wouldn’t do it, but you’re not necessarily racist because of it.  However, if you’re pissed off about something and use the n-word to insult a person, then you’re a racist.  It’s pretty simple.

Others have claimed that it’s not “fair” that black people get to use the n-word while not-black-people aren’t afforded the same privilege.  If you or anyone you know thinks this, give it a moment to stew.  Just think it over for a second.  Presumably most of these people are white, and they think it isn’t fair that black people get to say the n-word.  They’re mad because that’s not fair.  They’re mad because black people are doing something that white people can’t.  (Pause to think.)  If you didn’t reach the following conclusion, you need to take a college course, watch some documentaries about the 1800s, or 1700s, or most of the 1900s, or just give up: white people are privileged, have been discriminatory and hateful, and owned slaves for hundreds of years.  Remember the whole “segregation” thing you read about in high school?  Yeah, that was like 50 years ago.  It was real.  I think white people can give up a few words; that seems a lot easier than hundreds of years of slavery, discrimination, and marginalization.

You can think of other words.

There are so many other words to use if you’re mad at someone.    Here are some examples.

  1. Jerk.
  2. Stupid-head.
  3. Asshole.
  4. Dummy.
  5. Ignorant.
  6. Simple-minded.
  7. Wrong.
  8. Uninformed.
  9. Fool.
  10. Racist.

If you are a white person trying to justify the use of a racial slur, shut up.  You have no reason to use it.  You have no excuse.  You are being racist, ignorant, and wrong.

If you’re wondering if you can use it in special circumstances, you can’t.  Nope.  Not okay.  Even if you’re the token white friend in a group of black friends and everyone around you is chummy and using that word in a nice, friendly way… you still can’t say it.  Even if you and your friends are all making jokes about ALL the races, you still can’t use it.

Sort of like you wouldn’t say the f-word in the grocery store in front of a bunch of kids… you know, except way worse and completely different.

There were a lot of people using the internet (via twitter, facebook, and all other forums, I’m sure) to complain about the results of the election, which I understand.  Americans have the right to express their opinion.  That said, Americans don’t have the right to be racist or hateful.  There are not rights to attack people via social media – cyber bullying is an actual crime.  People are not protected when making threats or speaking words of violence.  Racist speech, while not technically illegal, should be shamed.  It’s already shameful, and the rest of us should make sure those who use hate speech are shamed for it.

You’re a racist.  Shut up.

Seriously, it’s 2012.  There is no excuse for racism.  There is no need for it.  If you are a racist, if you use racial slurs, if you think it’s okay to make jokes about other races, etc. you should be ashamed of yourself.  Shut up.

 

More on Mr. Akin’s Bullshit (“Legitimate Rape,” etc.)

First, he begs for Forgiveness….

It makes me so mad that he is saying that his issue is “the words” but not his “heart.”  Yes, the issue is about words.  When politicians, when men use words like this to discuss rape, they put it on women.  In our culture we tell women to not get raped, instead of telling men not to rape.

When women are forced to jump through hoops and relive their traumas to prove they were raped, they are being forced and traumatized again.  Abortion is legal and it’s staying that way.  Maybe we should focus on educating men that sexuality is about choice, agency, and mutual desire.  Men should be taught respect and self-control.  Women should be allowed to be sexual and men should be better than raping.  Let’s expect more of the men in our culture.

Let’s stigmatize raping, not being raped.  Victims are victims and they should not be ashamed.  Rapers are evil and they should never be excused.  All rapes are real and legitimate.

For Todd Akin to use these words makes me so angry.  For him to go on and “explain” that women who are raped cannot get pregnant… What the hell?  Who is this guy?  How can someone be that stupid?  Sorry, but pretty much anytime sperm goes into a lady’s vaginal crevasses she has a chance of getting pregnant.  That’s kind of how it works. Ugh.

Todd Akin is one of many politicians making shit up about women’s rights and bodies.  I’m sick and tired of men pretending like they understand rape and abortion.  Actually, a whole heck of a lot of men understand a lot about women – some even understand that there are things they can’t understand.  Many Republican politicians seem to be confused about vaginas, babies, rape, abortion, pregnancy, periods, and other such issues.  I would love to throw some tampons (new, don’t worry) at all the Republican senators… That would be amazing.

Leave our vaginas alone.  Unless you are invited, stay away.  Stay away.

Then, some really amazing grannies take him down.  I love when old ladies swear…

 

This girl also wrote an amazing song about it…

A slippery slope, and by that I mean a mountain covered in chicken grease

Not that anyone is (or should be) all that surprised, but evangelical Chick-Fil-A hates the gays. Okay, maybe that’s a bit strong–they hate the gays getting married. But, you know. Close enough.

In an article by the L.A. Times, Chick-Fil-A says it is “guilty as charged” and supports “the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Corporations need to stick to what they do best: making money and exploiting menial, part-time labor. Can all of them please get off the social issues bandwagon? Quite frankly, I don’t want to have to think about politics every time I bite into a burger or pop a french fry in my mouth. But you guys are making it goddamn impossible for me to enjoy something as pure and simple as a chickenFUCKINGsandwich.

Two years ago, you had Target and Best Buy giving money to candidates who adamantly opposed gay rights. In the wake of a public backlash, Target has done some pretty cool, pro-gay stuff, like carry greeting cards for same-sex couples. (YAY!)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that everybody, especially fast food joints, need to STFU and just let people be. I really don’t need a heaping serving of self-righteous bigotry with my chicken sandwich.

At the same time, I tend to disagree with Boston’s mayor, who, also according the the L.A. Times, plans to make it extremely difficult for Chick-Fil-A to set up shop there. Now, I’m all about individuals refusing to eat there for political reasons, but I think when you target specific companies for their political leanings (not that I think they should have any in the first place, but let’s take this for a given in today’s reality) and essentially ban them from your city, you’re on a slippery–greasy, if you will–slope. Dissenting opinions are part of democracy. There are going to be opinions out there that you don’t like, that are bigoted and insensitive, and that are just plain stupid. But that’s a risk you run when you enjoy a little right called freedom of speech. Don’t like Chick-Fil-A’s anti-gay agenda? Good, don’t buy their (in my opinion not all that fantastically tasty anyway) chicken. Run them out of town due to a lack of patrons. Don’t stretch existing laws because you disagree with their politics. That makes for a dangerous environment for anyone with a dissenting opinion, even leftist ones. I would much rather see a Chick-Fil-A open its doors in Boston and stand utterly empty. That would be a far more powerful message, coming directly from citizens, that we don’t like their homophobic bullshit. Actions by the city government could easily be dismissed as playing politics, etc. etc., but actions by the people themselves? That might just be something.

SOPA / PIPA

As if you haven’t heard about this (but in case you didn’t)–go and sign the Google petition to stop SOPA / PIPA, the bills that are about to go to a vote in Congress that will enable the federal government to censor the internet.

Sign Google’s Petition Against SOPA / PIPA

And while you’re at it, visit Wikipedia’s blackout page to get easy access to your representatives’ contact information. Send them a quick email or a tweet!

Contact Your Representatives

Today’s rant: trying to censor the internet is stupid. And it makes us mad. We’re willing to bet it makes you mad, too.

But at least there’s something we can do about it!

I AM AMERICA. ARE YOU?

I’m gonna make this short and sweet.

A. This song is awful. Formally AND for its shitty content. (80s dance party, anyone?)

B. The Tea Partiers have long needed to stop being so self-righteous.

C. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are the same bullshit. They’re both movements who have made it very clear what they’re against and have offered no possible solutions to the problems they have identified other than ones that revolve around absence (e.g. stop government spending or stop giving tax cuts to corporations and millionaires). Neither of these things are helpful.

D. This song is so bullshit.

Red, White, and Screwed

I took the title for this post from one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Lewis Black (are you surprised?). It seemed appropriate for the new attitude I keep seeing on the news and in my community.

Let me begin with this article from the L.A. Times, because everything about it makes me angry. Infuriated, in fact. Called “The Upside to Being ‘Poor'” (yes, poor is in scare quotes there), it highlights what it calls “stereotype-shattering” facts about America’s poor, like the fact that roughly 42% own their own home, most have microwaves and flat screen TVs, and a lot of poor kids have Xboxes. An article from the website good.is gives an interesting counter-perspective to this, in which the writer sought out the prices for many of the goods mentioned in the Times article, and found he could buy them all for roughly $375.

But beyond this, what is more disturbing is the “screw everyone else” attitude that Americans seem to be taking toward each other. Rather than feeling bad for a family of four that somehow scrapes by on $22,000 a year (I make $14,000 as a single person and find living a middle class lifestyle extremely difficult, which is essentially what the Times article is arguing that having a tv, microwave, etc. amounts to–because it’s not ‘being poor’), we say, You’re Not Poor Enough! When asked if a man without insurance should be left to die in a hypothetical situation, audience members at the CNN-Tea Party Republican Debate yell, “YEAH!!!!” We applaud Gov. Rick Perry’s capital punishment of over 250 people in Texas, and virtually say, Die, Fellow Citizens, Die! We have eliminated collective bargaining rights for teachers and other public servants (see Wisconsin); we say, Screw you, greedy teachers, you don’t have real jobs! To the firefighters and police officers who risked their lives to run toward a set of burning, collapsing skyscrapers in the middle of Manhattan and who worked for months at the site of what was perhaps one of the most horrific moments of American history to search for survivors and the remains of the dead, we say, We don’t want to pay for your cancer treatment after you inhaled months’ worth of all kinds of carcinogenic debris to save lives!

This is a non-partisan question that I am raising here: why have we all taken up the attitude of “screw you” toward our fellow citizens? It is a question of American collective pride and support. It’s a question about who we are as a people, a society, a nation, when to our most vulnerable, hardest working, most deserving people, the ones that deserve our pity, our respect, or our help, we instead say “Screw You.”

Just think about it.

And hope you’re not at this point by the time you’re done.