Home > Uncategorized > >I Don’t Want To Get Old…

>I Don’t Want To Get Old…

>I’m an optimist. I tend to look at the bigger picture and see the good in everyone, doing my best to not generalize and take every individual for who they really are. I also feel strongly about the world in which we live in. I am completely aware of the obstacles that surround us, but feel incredibly optimistic about what we are capable of doing in the future. The present times are tough, no doubt about it, but I look for the good and hope for the best, in everyone and everything. Last night, however…I experienced something utterly depressing. People questioning my idealism and naivety. I pray to god that I never become such a disappointment as I get older, because these old people ARE a disappointment.

My reason for dismay last night had nothing to do with CSPAN and the debate on health care reform, which quite frankly, is affecting many of us liberals right now. Instead what really got me was a discussion that was had in my own sister’s back yard. I witnessed a conversation held by 50 to 60 year olds, who all claim to be die-hard Democrats, and saying some of the most backwards and awful things. I found myself transported in time to the height of the Civil Rights debate and wishing to wake up from a nightmare I obviously couldn’t wake up from.

The conversation began quite nice actually, by a friend of my sisters talking about his youth in central California and how his mother met his dad at a rodeo near Cal Poly. Then without further notice, the conversation went from this nostalgic and fascinating historical account to when this story teller finally realized “what a real N***** was?” I was floored! Unable to speak right away because I was completely taken aback on how this conversation had all of the sudden changed in just a few seconds. When I finally did speak up and stated my dismay for the use of the N-word and I was verbally attacked by everyone around, including my oldest sister. They were trying to explain to me, and with much conviction I might add, “how the use of the N word is appropriate and how I just don’t get it because I have never lived the lives they have.” Sounds confusing right? I know…I’m still confused because I don’t understand how we went from speaking about this guy’s youth in central California to his right to use the N word whenever the f*** he wants. Even more disturbing was my sisters utter defense for anyone’s bigotry.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I decided to move back to NM after 5 years in Los Angeles. The reason for moving is because of my love for my home state and passion for wanting to do good for the people of NM. However, last night throughout this discussion and my attempts to defend my stance on this debate and it’s utter inappropriateness, I realized that I may have made the wrong decision. Why would I want to live in such a backwards place, with such backwards thinking people? Or could it be that everyone over 50, regardless of where they live, may just in fact think this way? Now think back to my earlier paragraph. I don’t like to generalize but we are being represented at all levels of public life, by so called “progressives,” many 50+ year olds, but are they really progressive? Do they in fact have skeletons in their closets that represent ideas that are not so progressive?

Last night, the discussion preceded to move on to another idea that not only are there really “N******” but that of all those on welfare today, at least 90% are taking advantage of the system. 90%!?! They didn’t show any references or sources from where this number may have come from…instead, I was told that it had to do with their own professional experiences in the field of work they tend to and that is enough to prove their theories. Furthermore, “people choose the life they live, because they have the option to do right or wrong.” All those in this conversation at this point were utterly surprised to hear me denounce everything that was being said.

#1, the N-word is never acceptable. It brings back harsh memories of the worst of our country from years past and a reminder of how awful racism is. I also believe that it is unacceptable to use the term in a conversation between African American’s (even if they may think it’s ok). I hate hearing AA use the word, it’s just not right, even if used in rap music or any other kind of popular culture. I’ve always believed this and always will. Continuing to use this word in whatever context is both irresponsible and a reminder of the ignorance that has existed and continues to exist…even my sister’s back yard.

#2 No one chooses to be on welfare. Many are forced into the cycle of welfare because it may be all that they have ever known and it is very difficult to let go of something that has been one’s livelihood for so long. It is even more difficult because injustices still exist. As much as we would like to believe that everyone is created and treated equally, many people still face discrimination which can lead to individuals inability to gain employment, forced to live off of government support. Moreover, to say that 90% of those on welfare are taking advantage of the situation is also false. I’m not going to deny that there are people out there living on welfare and taking advantage of the system but that does not mean that all recipients are that way. Furthermore, generalizing that all those on welfare are African American and driving around in their Escalade’s looking to collect free stuff during the holiday’s is utterly ridiculous.

#3 If you’re going to be running a charity drive for the holiday season, like what was discussed last night, or any other event, do it because you’re doing it out of the kindness of your heart and not to use it as a venue to begin judging on who is collecting welfare and what they are driving and guessing who can and should work and who can’t. That’s not what these events are for. It is about doing good, not increase your level of judgement just because you think you can and unwilling to get off your high horse.

I do not want to claim to be one of those libs many GOPers accuse us of, and that is so called “liberal intellectuals” or “elitists.” But you know what? Fuck them! I AM an elitist and I AM an intellectual and I am better than a lot of those right wing crazies, disguised as progressives. I’m all about a good debate and working for compromise with those who disagree with me, however bigotry cannot and will not be tolerated. It is the reason this country cannot move past our historical short comings because people like this still exist and are given a public platform. Furthermore, this is not what Democrats, progressives, nor liberals believe in and those participating in the discussion last night, labeling themselves as such, are unequivocally wrong! These ideas or thoughts are something you would expect from a GOPer, right wing nut job, but never something from a progressive movement and its foundation. I was utterly disgusted, disappointed, and so angry last night over what occurred and it was imperative that I share.

Those expressing these ideas (and I am generalizing now) represent generations who were around when racism and social injustices were at their peaks. However I remain optimistic as I await patiently for the day when those who think like this no longer are representative at higher levels of service and those of us, who were around when we elected Barack Hussein Obama as POTUS and Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor for Houston, will fight to eliminate the world of these false assessments of people and look for the good in all.

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