Monday, September 16, 2013

Confronting Racism in the Miss America Pageant

So we have a new Miss America, and she is of Indian descent.  Disappointingly, the Twitterverse had a collective hissy fit, with racists scurrying around telling us what a travesty this all was.

The level of intelligence in racists is staggeringly low.  But beyond that is the pervasive understanding that Miss America is best being given to blonde haired, blue eyed knockouts.  I'm old enough to remember when Vanessa Williams won in the early 80's, and how people complained then, too.  So's we're clear: America doesn't love the blonde-haired, blue-eyed people better - that's Nazi Germany you're thinking of.

I posted this as a comment on the story at, and I thought I'd share it with you.

Top Ten Reasons Why These People Are Idiots:

 10. America is a nation of folks whose ancestors (mostly) all came here from somewhere else. That includes yours. (Does anyone know the Cherokee word for "hypocrite"?)
9. Saudi Arabia is about 600 miles (at its closest) to India. Calling an Indian an Arab betrays a huge ignorance of geography. (Google will let you look at maps for free...)
8. India had nothing to do with 9/11. (Neither did Iraq, but hey, whatever.)

7. Any sentence that starts with "I swear I'm not racist, but..." needn't be finished. Yes, yes you are a racist.

6. India is in Asia, dingus. There is no "Indian or Asian". That's like saying "Canadian or North American".  If you're not sure, you're probably better off not saying anything.

5. Egypt? What has Egypt got to do with it? See #9, only add another 300 miles.

4. The 7-11 reference was about as stupid as you can possibly be and still have the motor skills needed to actually type.

3. If she was in al Qaeda, no way would they allow her to parade around in a bikini in public.

2. P.F. Chang's? Seriously? Are India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China all just one big country to you?

And the #1 Reason Why These People Are Idiots:

1. Because they give a shit about the Miss America Pageant in the first place.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Have a Dream, Too

Today is the 50th annoversary of the Civil Rights march on Washington, when Dr. Martin Luther King gave his iconic "I have a dream" speech.  And while it cannot be argued that we as a nation have made strides in racial relations, much work needs to be done.

But race aside, I thought this would be a good day to reflect on my dreams for this country.  I love America, it is my home, but I can still love it and find fault.  Parents do it all the time with their kids.  And like a concerned parent, I want what's best for my country, I want to see it succeed, and I want it to have a bright future.

That said, here's my take on this:
  • I have a dream that one day our greatness as a nation will not be measured by the strength of our army but by our ability to care for our own.
  • I have a dream that the education our children need will be provided for them free of charge, for as far as they wish to go in school.
  • I have a dream where the health of our citizens is a higher priority than how much money can be made from it.
  • I have a dream where the rights of other to live freely and without judgement or interference is absolute, provided that no harm is being done.
  • I have a dream where "liberty and justice for all" is taken seriously.
  • I have a dream that someday we care more about the environment than we do about profits.
  • I have a dream that racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are bad memories.
  • I have a dream where people keep their religions to themselves.
  • I have a dream that someday teachers' salaries are consistent with the level of training, time and dedication it takes.
  • I have a dream where people turn off their televisions, computers, etc., and go outside for some fresh air, make new friends and organically interact with their fellow man.
  • I have a dream where our military is only employed to defend our own borders, coastlines and air space.  I want to live in a country that does not see itself as the hall monitor of the world.
  • I have a dream where diplomacy is recognized as the most effective tool for resolving conflicts.
What is your dream?