I have written both music, and advice columns that covered a wide variety of topics, such as: relationships, communication, lifestyle, business, and life (coaching)
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I’m sure, by now, most people who follow some stream of news are familiar with CHAZ: the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, Washington; six blocks in the northern heart of Seattle that have been declared a “police free zone,” until certain demands are met (there have been 30 posted on Medium’s website). Declaring yourself independent of the laws of the United States and forcibly occupying American soil is, essentially, an act of war (by U.N. Generally Assembly 3314) and in doing so you’re surrendering your rights as a United States citizen; to some that may seem rash, obviously I disagree. I know that many would argue “intent” as well as degrees of “aggression” in the consideration of what is defined by “act of war,” however taking into consideration the blockades, and the five shootings within the autonomous zone in two weeks that have left two teenage boys dead, and the irrationality of their demands--We Demand: “abolishing,” the SPD (Seattle Police Department) as well as the “attached court system,” the release of marijuana related offense prisoners, the “De-gentrification” of Seattle, free college for the people in the state of Washington, “...the people of Seattle seek out and proudly support Black-owned business,” there are others, although these few stood out for me as being especially ridiculous, this has been a declaration of war, and the fact that the United States government left it in the hands of the state government is pretty, um, prudent. To say the least.
Within the last 48 hours CHAZ has renamed itself to CHOP the Capital Hill Occupied Protest, so they’ve effectively declared themselves U.S. citizens again and removed barricades to a three block radius. I do very much want to support causes, and movements that encourage justice where injustice exists, however, simply supporting an idea in the form of a movement that lacks leadership and cause is meaningless. CHAZ was irrational and meaningless and CHOP cannot support itself if they don’t reevaluate their demands and establish some form of leadership that can approach and address the city of Seattle and the State of Washington and the federal government, if necessary otherwise, much like many directionless groups within the BLM movement cannot gain traction or lead to real change.
What do you want!?
I did originally want to dedicate this column entirely to CHAZ, it was an interesting happenstance that was effectively being ignored by a media that was clearly in support of the 'movement', although also recognizing the questionable legality of CHAZ/CHOP.
And, the Seattle Police Department cleared CHOP out yesterday morning.
Our world is changing too quickly for us to keep up, and our divide continues to grow while party lines are being manipulated and reforged.
So, I’m going to spend the next few minutes discussing Face Masks; because most of us, I’m sure, are loving both talking about, and listening to the respective opinions regarding the matter.
There is this semi-general consensus that the use of Face Masks as well as social distancing will slow the infection rate of the virus, and generally if something has even the possibility of providing some comfort and or support then, why not? Right?
...and, we do need to flatten the curve; the rate of the virus needs to slow so that our hospitals are able to adequately maintain the level of infected.
So, why is this an issue?
...especially when most are suggesting that the wearing of Face Masks should not be politicized, that it’s a health concern and, therefore, should not be regarded with a political agenda; although the argument developed by means of a political agenda, and people all over social platforms are posting contradictory statements from various health professionals on either side declaring the support of, or cautioning against the wearing of Face Masks.
Either Face Masks work or they don’t and, in either case, it’s become one of the most politically divisive issues in our country today, and unfortunately, no ones’ stepping back from the argument far enough and for long enough to recognize that, and to ask themselves why that is.
If it’s not a political issue then why is it a political issue? (And, of course, both the Liberals and Conservatives will have their own responses to that question, which I find incredibly amusing).
Personally, and I know it’s a moot point for many of you, but OSHA’s website clearly states that Face Masks:
“Will Not Protect the Wearer Against Airborne Transmissible Infectious Agents Due to Loose Fit, Lack of Seal, or Inadequate Filtration.” This is clearly stated on the site, multiple times in regards to multiple types of masks.
The worldwide death rate of the virus is 4.92%, this is exponentially low, the likelihood that you will recover from the virus is a good one, and yes there are arguments to be made about long-term health conditions and expenses and what an “acceptable” death rate is (although I would strongly argue that the way that we relate to death is irrational, especially considering that each and every one of us is going to die, that might seem heartless to you, if it does than you’re one of the people that I’m referring to that desperately needs to reevaluate your perspective of death—and the correlation of death and nature, and the rationality of the comparisons that you’re making and those that you’re ignoring—more than others), and I think the argument in comparison to other viruses is absolutely plausible, and I know that many of you will make arguments in contradiction of-, but, frankly, most of the arguments that I’ve mentioned (and that I haven’t) are rooted in a politicized agenda to further condition our place in society, and it’s not one party more so than another it’s our government and it is us, and most of us are ignoring the basic fundamental reality that this is a virus, it’s not a plague, it’s not war, it’s not personal.
The problem is not with Face Masks, let me say that again; the problem is not whether we’re wearing Face Masks or not.
The problem lies with a large percentage of the population being more concerned about what others are doing than what I can do to regulate the course of things.
The choice to not wear a Face Mask has nothing to do with you, or your health, and although your arguments suggest that my decision not to is somehow a lack of interest in your well-being is an invalid, albeit seemingly rational one, and I say "seemingly" only because your promotion of the general concern and well-being of others sounds more appealing than policing one another but, effectively, your "interest in my well-being," especially to the degree of contentious care that you're providing is encouragingly unwelcome.
Those that might be more susceptible to contracting it should, likely, self-quarantine, if you can, and if you want to wear a mask then by all bloody means wear a mask, maintain a social distance (stay the fuck away from people), stop going in to places that you don’t have to, and I really don’t understand why those of you so desperately arguing the necessity of wearing the mask are doing anything other than working and/or grocery shopping, anyway? What right do you have to sit at a bar or a restaurant and bitch about what other people are doing?
If you’re an employee of almost any establishment anywhere you’re required to wear a mask anyway, stay away from people who aren’t wearing them. This is something that I vehemently do not understand! Why, if you have the means to regulate yourself are you so desperately pissed off at others, and are these not the same people that you’re supposed to be respecting by wearing your mask? Regulate yourselves and we’ll be fine, in the meantime maintain your immune system.
Regulate yourself. It’s not a plague. It’s not war. It’s not personal.
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I thought I'd let this to the talking for me today, so you people realize that I'm not the only person that recognizes the incoherent babble, and bias between the Left and the Right. Enjoy!
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Yes, racism does exist within the infrastructure and systems of the United States; the most consistently notable of which is the wealth gap between black and white America, and most recently apparent in the wake of the late 90’s, detailed housing bubble—wealth is accumulated by owning property, and for decade's, after the civil rights movements, it was nearly impossible for black families to buy homes in prominent neighborhoods; white Americans were afraid that the property values would decrease in their neighborhoods so real estate wasn't easily accessible for black families, and that snowballed. the result presented itself as urban decay, and a lack of work, drugs, crime, and a racial fear bias. An example of which is the Doll Test, although, personally, I don't think it's a good one, it's just one--I'll post a better one as a video, below--so, be prepared in advance this may not go the way you want, but when you sit white children down in front of two dolls one of which is black while the other is white and you ask, “Which one is bad?” 100% of the time they are going to choose the one that doesn’t look like them; most children, up to a certain age, are not developed enough to respond to a direct question like that with, “neither.”
A bilateral point that I’m making is that shameless racism is not as far-reaching as a large percentage of progressive America might have you believe; yes, flagrant racism does exist but it doesn’t always exist in situational semantics, “I don’t see color,” is an interesting example; obtrusive racists don’t have a problem being racist, they have no reason to hide behind, or to conceal their racism, especially in semantics. There are so many existing layers to race in America today, and like those Venn Diagrams floating around Social Media that are trying to map our place in shingle racism it’s not always so simple or obvious as a lot of people are trying to suggest. The point being, most people who say “I don’t see color,” don’t understand the underlying notion that “not seeing color,” might, to some, suggest a refusal to acknowledge a persons identity, there is an intellectual idea that we do need to recognize the 'color' of a person but to not be quote/unquote negatively affected by it, this is not something that a lot of people conceptually understand, and the time taken to effort in to remedy that understanding, especially in the contentious way that a lot of people do, is wasted, because these people are simply not racist, they just don't have the same prudent political advocacy that many of you might. The point that I hope I’m making is to be discerning with our understanding, our tolerance, and our time.
I don’t think that I’ll be able to address and respond to all of the ideals and memes and belief systems regarding the recent responses to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and as a result I’m sure that there will be a lot of frustration and, quite possibly surprise towards this column but I mean, I don’t know, our country has become so politically divided everything that happens from mass/school shooting to racial bias to police overreach to any number of prejudicial injustices there’s going to be backlash, even within party lines and, honestly, it’s enough to feel both outrage and, simultaneously, numb to it and considering it's amazing too me how similar people are behaving regardless their end of the spectrum, and in particular to the response.
George Floyd’s murder regardless of black vs. blue or BLM was abhorrent, and Chauvin should be charged with 2nd degree murder, regardless of the circumstances that may, or may not have lead to Floyd’s death because at the time George Floyd was laying on the ground, in police custody, with a knee pressed firmly into his neck; those circumstances are indisputable.
The varied responses to it, however, are absolutely questionable; if the thought is outrageous to you, or if you disagree that’s absolutely your right but, history—the same history that many of you are citing to support the degree of your response is against you. MLK, in his speech citing "...rioting as the language of the unheard," didn’t participate in any rioting himself, and instead made the protest for Civil Rights his life mission, and he succeeded in many, many ways. He wasn’t protesting situationally; Martin Luther King, Jr. was protesting and marching and delivering his message to politicians as well as to the people every single day, and not only when there were specific acts of racial injustice, that’s an incredibly important point to consider; there were people out there making it their life mission and supporting the same cause, every single day. Leaderless movements do not have nor do they gain traction, people need to organize, and to outline, and to involve.
There’s a meme going around with pictures of silent, peaceful protests with the message that people still did not listen, so rioting became the only option, peaceful protests have inspired and influenced greater change than rioting ever has all over the world, for centuries but it takes time, it has always taken time. MLK and other revered men gave it their due diligence, they didn’t give up periodically, let their anger build, and then demand justice situationally the next time there was racial bias or blatant racism.
You say people are not listening well, Minneapolis had the platform to really insight possible change, for leaders of a movement to step up and to address and to Speak out for that injustice, they had Everyone’s ear, and then they rioted, and then the rest of the country rioted. And then much of the white anti-racist supporters to show a misguided sense of solidarity supported, and engaged in the riots, instead of acknowledging the lessons of history, and many of them hid behind the guise of race to justify violent behavior, and frankly yes, I find that disgusting (Saying that, and still supporting the active cause that BLM could represent are not mutually exclusive ideas). These are not the actions and the behaviors of a movement, and it is not racist to disavow turbulent behavior that’s being justified to support a movement that in, and of itself inherently opposes violence.
I know a lot of people will vehemently disagree, but time and time again the world has protested that peace begets peace, and violence begets violence.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed for his protest and for his message, but do you honestly think that if he knew that was going to happen he would have lived his life any differently? The BLM movement needs a movement, which requires a real, unified, definable message, and a means to deliver that message in a way that people will hear, and it’s going to take time, and in the end, unfortunately, there will be racist people, you cannot force or demand racism out of someone; yes, it’s distasteful and repugnant behavior, but you can’t just protest and riot because your angry and your exhausted because ignorant people exist. There has to be an outlined message, define what you want to accomplish, and in a way that is admissible and definable, and then share it.
(ie. what if, instead of demanding accountability, after the fact people unified to demand that law enforcement go through similar training [programs as the military; our military conducts themselves, usually, with a greater sense of composure and awareness than law enforcement...)