Another Angle in The Appropriation Debate: Imagination and The Empathy That Comes With It

Halloween may be over, but the issue persists year round. The Left and cultural appropriation debates pop up especially around costumes which in one era were once innocuous fun, but now deemed as socially inappropriate, even dehumanizing! The main argument is that dressing as a culture not your own, especially if you’re white, stigmatizes and dehumanizes a culture as a caricature. Also, the argument one can simply take off a costume whereas the culture lives with the stigma and cannot simply stop being what they are is unfair to minorities.

I disagree with this stance in the majority of circumstances however I will say if a costume is deliberately meant to be insulting and degrading, mocking the culture on purpose then it is inappropriate. If you’re mostly doing it to be a jerk, then yeah, not cool… Thing is, the majority of circumstances are more complex or simply not at all about denigrating anyone even remotely! Most may not go so far as to “honor” a culture out of some deep personal respect, although some may be, but the majority simply wants to dress up as something they’re not; like every other trick or treater. After all, why dress up as something you are already every other day of the year? Some may feel highlighting a difference in one culture from another may not come off as flattering, but the fact is, another culture is different from your own or else it wouldn’t be considered a separate thing! And why is being different or “exotic” necessarily a negative thing in a society that wants to emphasize “diversity”? Why does wanting to feel like or be someone different than yourself for a bit a bad thing necessarily?

The perspective I want to being to the debate sounds corny, but I think is significant: Imagination. What child doesn’t want to imagine they are something different than what they are in real life? Reads a story about pirates and wants to imagine what it would be like abroad a pirate ship as part of the crew. Reads a fairy tale and wonders what life as a princess would be like. What it’s like to wear a gown to the ball, or reads about some far away land and wants to imagine being there too. To taste their cool foods, hear their music, wear what they do, if only for a daydream. Why is it not just as innocent for a child to dress up and pretend to be an Indian as it is a pirate? One can argue Indians were historically treated as inferior whereas pirates don’t have that history in the US. But how does that change the fact the kid simply wants to imagine being someone else, devoid of a desire to subjugate and denigrate those the child imitates momentarily?

As a child, I was very into different historical periods and various cultures. When I studied ancient Rome I wanted to know what it felt like to be a Roman and wear a toga, or a stola just to have that experience. When I was into the middle ages I dressed up as a medieval person for Halloween. When I liked the ancient near east, I dressed up as a Mesopotamian, when I liked bog bodies from ancient Europe I dressed as one too another year. Heck, I dressed as a dinosaur or caveman when I liked them as well! Notice a pattern? It had zero to do with race or singling out anyone beyond my own interest in that culture regardless of phenotype of geographic location. There was no distinction between the now un PC costume choices and the socially okay ones in motivations to choose them. I believe the same for most children who aren’t raised obsessed with political correctness.

I feel sad for a generation of kids who will never get that experience. One of being whatever they imagine themselves to be. Many adults can attest to the magical times they had pretending to be something they weren’t. However in a society that forbids one from being anything but what they were born as in terms of other people, they will never get to imagine what it’s like to be from a different place or imagine themselves as someone very different from themselves. I argue that we try to teach out kids inter-cultural empathy yet how can they truly empathize without putting themselves in the shoes of the other, and thinking what would it be like if I were them? It’s too abstract for young children to abstractly ponder the implications of the Indian Removal Act on Native Americans in a dry classroom lecture without an emotional experience of imagining being an Indian, and children can express that through pretend play. In elementary school our class pretended to be slaves being sold on slave ships then escaping slavery although none of us were black. Were we doing something wrong “appropriating” that pretend experience? After all, we could stop being slaves after the lesson was over. Or did it help us personally empathize with those who went through slavery?

Is it really some gross oppression that you have to be something I dressed up as past October 31st and I don’t? That’s the grounds for the ban on cultural costumes? What about contexts where one dresses up as a specific person in a different culture or race but it’s because YOU ADMIRE THEM AS A ROLE MODEL? Is that racist??? For example, what about a white child dressing up as MLK because he’s their personal hero? What about a kid dressing up innocuously as a fictional cartoon character of a different race or ethnicity? How far does it have to go? An Aztec or native print is now a sin, or a poncho? What about European stereotypes like an Italian with pasta or Lederhosen on non-Italians and non-Germans? Why can’t people imagine and pretend to experience positive things of a culture and have that motivate them to care on a more personal level for the real members? Is that impossible? Even more simply, why can’t someone choose a costume for Halloween without having to feel like they’re a bad person for wanting to use their imagination?

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This wouldn’t surprise me if it were real! I weep for the next generation….

We May Live in Scary Times, but We Can’t Succumb to Fear

The spooky season is upon us yet again, and like last year, the Left has caused much to fear from censoring the media, open borders, corruption, witch hunts, politically correct censorship of basic facts, and indoctrinating a generation to carry on the torch of divisiveness in the country. Parents are worried about what their kids are learning in school as new “woke” issues are being taught that families should decide when and how to teach, not the school board and its agenda. Men are worried about a climate where one allegation spells the end of his reputation. Women worry about predators masquerading as women in their private spaces all in the name of transgenderism.

People worry about getting shot down as they live their lives but will have no means to fight back. Communities worry about an infiltration of illegals committing crimes, a justice system that lets criminals off the hook if they’re one of the Left’s protected groups they deem “oppressed”, not to mention Antifa rioters the police are told to turn a blind eye to. Police are worried about having their whole life ruined making that split second call whether or not to pull the trigger. Fathers worry about what society deems allowable to tell his daughters about protecting themselves when out for the night lest they be branded a “rape apologist”, or his sons about what real manhood is. Academics worry about what they dare research as an unfavorable conclusion could cost them their career. The silent majority in America worry about a climate were they feel compelled to be silent at all. And I could go on and on and on…

It’s always been a scary world out there, but the decisiveness and polarization of the country had only made it worse. We are becoming a country run on fear more than unity the more and more we are divided over every issue known to man. In fact, many fear even opening their mouths to speak in case some word has been deemed not-woke or politically incorrect as of one minute before it was uttered! Common sense conclusions are now intolerant bigotry. Stating the facts gets you branded a heretic. Even having a personal opinion that you agree others don’t need to have necessarily, but is unpopular makes you an immoral tyrant.

And there is indeed much to fear if you dare speak up: Losing your job, getting demoted, social ostracism, labeled bigot, racist, misogynist, homophobe, xenophobe, ignorant, and yes, outright cruel if you dared to vote for Trump in the 2016 election. Now be honest: When was the last time saying anything deemed “woke” and Left-leaning brought down such harsh condemnation on your head? When did those opinions get you ostracized at work, school and among your friends and family? When have you seen any prominent figures in the news or TV fired and have their shows cancelled becuase they said a Left- leaning slogan? Anyone in Academia censored for publishing a paper concluding a Liberal policy was effective? The Left says they have much to fear from us, but just look around and you’ll see they have the reins on society.

Does that mean we have to curl up in a ball like Snowflakes and crawl into our safe spaces? Does this give us an excuse to duck our heads in the sand and be a sell-out? NO. We can’t afford to if we want a more balanced country. I’m not saying “let’s take over and only allow conservative ideas and censor theirs”, but the Left can’t have their way 100% of the time and their voice be the only voice heard anymore than we are entitled to such an outlandish claim. We can’t afford to have a generation brainwashed to take our country for granted, deny facts for the sake of feelings, pick and choose who has special rights and who is to be reviled on a whim, think convenience is more important than inconvenient integrity and morals, fall apart at any hint of adversity, demand what others needed to work for and hate, revile and condemn anyone who are thinks different than them.

We, as a society and as Americans need to be courageous. We need to have the courage to speak out when things are wrong and misguided, even if it means being “unpopular” and “politically incorrect”.  However, courage does not mean you have to save the world and be Superman. In a society where what you think is condemned and derided, sticking to your principles is a great act of courage! There are other ways though, one can show the small acts of courage that while seemingly insignificant in the bigger picture, collectively speak volumes. Among them:

Being a white male. Period.

A woman saying “#NotMe” and rejecting man-hating culture.

A father daring to protect his daughters in the era of radical feminism.

Teaching your kid the other side of the issue the school’s agenda is pushing.

Coming out as a conservative of color only to be told they are a race traitor.

Presenting the other side of an unpopular argument in class.

Publishing research with that contradictory conclusion even at the risk of being ostracized by your colleagues.

Buying conservative supporting “boycotted” brands, shopping at “boycotted” stores or eating out at “boycotted” restaurants.

Believing that whether or not a life is worthy should be more than a “choice”.

Concluding biology trumps ideology and facts over feelings.

Voting for a conservative President.

We may live in an increasingly scary world to be out as conservative, but we won’t be run by fear!

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Dear Greta Thunberg and Others Like Her

I heard many are talking about the recent climate strike led by Greta Thunberg so I share my thoughts in the format of an open letter…

Dear Greta Thunberg,

Needless to say I disagree with much of what you say, mainly that while we all must be cognizant of the impact we make on our planet, there is not much evidence the world which has weathered countless shifts in climate and atmospheric conditions, is going to end as people like AOC predicts within a decade or so. However, what inspired this open letter to you is not specifically to refute or rebuke your climate activism, but to draw attention to a much bigger issue: Youth and the Left’s indoctrination.

The thing that resonated with me about young people, teenagers like yourself is the nature of some of the backlash you’ve been getting in regards to your age. Many argue you are too young to make coherent arguments or that what you say is your own words and not the words of some other adult. However for the sake of argument I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume everything you wrote and said is of your own volition and creation. Believe it or not, I happen to disagree with some who say that you can’t possibly comprehend the arguments you make or the words you use because of your age.

See, I’m not too far removed from the feeling of being underestimated and dismissed due to being a teenager or young adult. I’m not a teenager anymore, but the memories still sting as someone who was somewhat above their age in vocabulary, writing and reasoning in many aspects as a child and teenager. I’ve had intellectual interests atypical of the average teen and was aware of bigger social issues at younger ages than most. So I personally know that young people can be articulate, intelligent, socially aware, capable and driven as any adult.

I also have known many others who were all of those things too and excelled in school and genuinely cared about their intellectual growth and aspirations. Luckily many of the adults around me encouraged and believed in my capabilities, but the ones who dismissed me still hurt me to this day. I do believe that at age 16, it is possible to have adult like intellectual maturity and present oneself in an articulate manner on an issue and that young people like yourself are more than capable. Just look at all the conservative youth such as CJ Pearson rising now who are articulate and mature. Your youth doesn’t disqualify you from having a valid argument or opinion, but it doesn’t shield you from criticism either. An idea is flawed or not flawed regardless if the person purporting it is 10 or 100.

Do I think you’re just lying? Not necessarily. I believe that you are truly convinced of your position, and your passion is genuine. However, you are part of a system that brainwashed you to the far Left from day one. Your schooling, society, authority figures, etc… guided you in the ideological direction you are going down now. Of course you don’t believe it, as well as countless other young people but the fact is you were educated in an educational system that only taught one side. A system that told you and others that conservative ideas, politics and values are the antithesis of progress, science, good policies, and even basic kindness and humanity. A system that taught you that conservative people are bigoted, intolerant, impervious to facts and ignorant and that anyone who sympathizes with conservative opinions are to be ridiculed and demonized. You may be genuine in your convictions, but you are still a pawn for the Left in that their views are the only ones you were ever taught as valid. They now can use you to further their agenda as the new young face of the Left, the polar opposite to the “old white man” Trump is. Deep down, I think young activists like yourself have the capacity for deep thought and genuine conviction, but simply have not been given the tools to foster your critical thinking.

The passion’s there, but the facts are not. No one doubts that the Parkland activists show passion for their cause and indeed have direct personal experience. However, their ideas about the best way to stop shootings are deeply flawed and take guns away from those who can defend themselves and others. If you have only been shown one side, you can’t truly understand the issue at hand. You can’t foster critical thinking skills with only one side of argument, yet that’s what the public school system has done, as well as society. Teens can be very capable intellectually, but they need to have been given the tools and mentorship to learn the art of thinking critically, which countless young people have not been.

Another point is, many on the Left criticize conservatives “attacking” you for your youth. Thing is, many are simply refuting your ideas, and expressing the fact that you’ve been brainwashed all your youth by the Left. You ask to be treated like an adult, so we are. Adults get criticism all the time, especially a public figure such as yourself. You can’t expect to be given pity points, or an intellectual free pass and be treated like an intellectually capable thinker. There are no safe spaces to hide in in the real world of adult ideas. I honestly feel sad you see the world as such a dismal place. The Left has tried to brainwash youth into thinking the world is literally going to end in a generation! Honestly, I’d give our planet more credit for its resilience in the face of change over its 4.6 billion year lifespan. (Also, your childhood was not “stolen”. Go to the nearest homeless shelter and ask those kids how their childhood’s going for them…)

You say you speak up because the adults have failed you, but on a related note, have you truly listened to them? Tried to understand their ideas or why they can’t do it the way you want it to be done? Many say youth can be idealistic, and unrealistic which is also very true. While intellectually capable of understanding, young people simply don’t have the same life experience as adults. You haven’t lived long enough to see what ideas have been proposed and worked or didn’t work. You haven’t been able to see over 40, 50, 60, 70, years etc… what politics has been like, whose promises came true and whose didn’t. Yes, we have a historical record, but you haven’t had a personal experience to develop your own intuition into when something’s a bit “off”.

Maybe some of the adults who allegedly “failed” you have seen similar claims come and go and think why should this time be special? I’m not saying teens are too dumb to understand the world, it’s simply a matter of life experience that one can only get by living longer. The world’s not all black and white, and even the most seemingly “simple” solution can have unintended consequences or flaws. Older people have made more mistakes than you and were able to learn from them thus tempering their idealism. I hope one day instead of viewing adults with contempt as negligent failures, you gain the wisdom they impart to you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes they did and gain a fast track to the wisdom they had to learn on their own. If it weren’t for my parents and conservative role models in my life, I’d be brainwashed too! They gave me the tools to think critically and resist the Left’s agenda.

Lastly, I do not oppose young people getting more involved in politics and various causes. I think it’s good to have an awareness outside yourself and your own immediate life and it is true that youth do inherit the future. I like many, are simply concerned that not all of it is youth driven, but driven by adults with agendas using young people as pawns. Or driven by youth without enough facts and experience in the issue at hand. Young people should be able to draw their own conclusions, but it’s impossible in an environment of brainwashing!

Think on this too: What concrete things are YOU personally doing to help change the environment? Beyond skipping class for a day, why not walk or bike to school? Carpool? Use energy saving lights. Cut down your carbon footprint in tangible ways if its so important to you. I’m not just saying this for you either, but to every kid who cut class last Friday! Why not go to school to LEARN ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE rather than use the cause as a flimsy excuse to cut class if you all care so much? Trust me, you’re all no more PhD level environmentalists than I am…

I see a passionate driven young woman, but one that is misguided and has been brainwashed. The Left doesn’t want to empower youth like you, they just want to exploit your inexperience and your raw passion to steer you to their agenda. They don’t want to give youth the vote for example because they’re capable, but because they’re gullible. Same with giving youth a voice on their platform. Maybe an intelligent, capable and passionate person like yourself will one day realize this.

Sincerely,

A Lady of Reason

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When It’s Time to “Pass The Mic”…

For those familiar with the social climate in this country, many have probably heard the Left’s phrase to “pass the mic”. In essence, it means to give a voice to others, namely minority groups and the “marginalized” and listen to their perspective and not presume to speak for them. Nor to dismiss and invalidate what their perceptions of what’s going on. On the most basic level, it seems like common sense courtesy as we all deserve the right to be heard and have our viewpoint taken into serious consideration too. Also, it brings up the argument that those who are impacted by issues have the most right and the most valid experience with the issues at hand. Indeed, in one sense it seems to make perfect sense, but sadly our world isn’t such a simplistic place, and there are in fact flaws to this ideology also.

See, while it is a noble idea, some of it is oversimplified, namely that it strongly implies that the only valid opinion comes from those who are in the “in group”, whatever it may be. Of course, being an insider into an issue is valuable and can give perspectives outsiders wouldn’t think of immediately or take for granted. However, outsider input is equally as valid and important, as the disadvantage of being an insider is losing the impartial perspective, free from the emotional baggage and bias of an outsider looking in. It is not dismissive to give the outsider a perspective into what you believe affects you, it just adds more objectivity into often emotionally volatile circumstances. Think back to a time you felt really strongly that there was a situation where something grossly unfair or unjust happened. It could be as simple as one department at work “always” gets more coffee, or you seem to be getting ticketed for some minor traffic incident while the guy going 100 mph gets a free pass for some examples. Now imagine this has been going on for a while and you have had time to build up a temper over it!

Answer honestly: Do you truly feel that you can be fully objective in analyzing the situation? Why do you think they have judges and juries to decide outcomes in civil and criminal cases? Why not just let the defendant and plaintiff hash it out? 😉 I think we all know the answer to that one! Thus the value of outsider input. No one thinks that you’re dismissing the perspective of either side when you bring in a jury to decide the verdict impartially.

Yes, I for one example, may be in the “majority” group, but my perspective is valid too. Which brings up perhaps an even more important point: True equality is not taking one’s voice to give to another, but ensuring everyone has an equally important voice. It’s not about what is taken away from the “majority”, but rather what is given to the “minority” that the majority already has. In this case being heard. Us having our voice isn’t mutually exclusive with you having yours. Why can’t both sides be heard? Just because there’s been a negative history in which you didn’t have the voice you deserved in society, and we did, that doesn’t mean that taking it away and turning the tables into reverse discrimination solves the problem. It only puts the shoe on the other foot, when we should just get rid of that ill-fitting shoe altogether and buy a new pair!

Aside from that, the past is past, we’re talking about the present. We can’t change or undo the wrongs from yesterday, or a year ago or a century ago, but we can change what happens today and in our future. Don’t bring up the past then stagnate there in bitterness and resentment instead of moving forward. It may not be what people want to hear, but the majority has the same right to be heard and have an opinion now just as much as back then. Claiming a monopoly on the “correct” opinion, or interpretation of the facts is not true equality! Nor is trying to “even the score” by taking our voice away when you can have yours along side us. Believe it or not, countless conservatives will listen to you. The reason why many don’t seem to be is that no one likes to feel alienated and demonized and that they personally are the sole problem. We want a dialogue, not a monologue to put it succinctly.

However I will admit that there is some merit in the idea of giving an important voice to those who have experienced things firsthand. Which brings me to my final point on the subject: Why does this “pass the mic” policy seem to apply to thee but not to me so to speak? Like many things the Left makes into a double standard and selective outrage, you ask for your side to be heard, yet are all too quick to silence us when it’s our turn to speak. We hand you the mic, yet you won’t “pass it back” once you’ve had your turn to talk. For some relevant examples:

The white male who feels he is looked at as the “enemy” to progress and is told he can’t take credit, or deserves his achievements due to his skin color.

The conservative of color whose perspective is “No, actually, I’m privileged to have the bountiful opportunities this country brings me.”

The Hispanic immigrants who want others like themselves to come “fair and square” like they did.

The family of a 9/11 victim who read comments on social media about how their loved ones “deserved” 9/11 for the acts of our government overseas in which they had no control over. (Yes, I have the tweets to prove some do feel we deserved 9/11!)

The woman who says “I feel unsafe with biological men in my restrooms and locker rooms.” or disagrees with the idea she has to be like a man to be worth something as an autonomous human being.

The man who knows that on nothing more than a mere whim, can have his life utterly destroyed in one sentence.

The underprivileged youth who achieved the so called “mythological” American Dream.

The soldier who feels dismissed and unappreciated when all you see is what’s wrong with the country he fought to uphold, but never what’s right.

The police officer who had to make that split second call and pulled the trigger.

The parents who keep asking why there wasn’t a “good guy with a gun” when the unthinkable happened at their child’s school.

All the conservatives who feel like they must live a double life in a democracy of free speech.

And many others!

Look, we don’t mind taking turns and passing you the mic when you want it. We just want it passed back when you’re finished. 🙂

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Back to School Time: Some Tips for Conservative Students

It’s back to school season and with it, often comes many challenges for conservative students and their families. From ultra-liberal public school brainwashing, to the elitist liberal colleges, conservative students and their families too, can feel ostracized, left out and silenced. However, there are ways to fight back big and small depending on your comfort level. Some are brave and come out boldly in their conservative views. Others feel it would jeopardize their futures too much and choose more covert methods to stick to their principles. Whatever you’re comfortable with, you must do what’s right for you. I judge no fellow patriot for going 100% out, or keeping it 100% in or choosing a middle ground like myself. After all, the ballot box is where we really get to be heard 😉 Here are some tips though to get you through another school year whether in public school or college:

Choose Your Battles in Voicing Your Opinion

Sometimes, you just have to pick your battles as the old saying goes! You don’t need to out yourself as a conservative on every social or political issue brought up in class. I had a professor who literally ranted about President Trump for 15 minutes in a class totally unrelated to politics! What did I do? Kept my mouth shut as that was not a battle I needed! However, in other cases I was irritated enough I did decide to at least partially share my views. You have to decide carefully when it’s worth the risk of sharing a conservative viewpoint openly in a highly liberal atmosphere. A middle ground is healthy.

Couch it Diplomatically

This is a huge point! It’s not just about being civil, as we always should be, but also about keeping a greater chance of not being ostracized by peers or teachers/professors! If you couch it more diplomatically, and refrain from being super blunt about it, you an have the best of both worlds: Staying true to your beliefs and standing up for them, without potentially alienating yourself from your classmates 🙂 They can also then see that conservatives aren’t so “evil” as they thought! The way I often approach it is to sympathize with at least one part of their argument before debunking it or couch it in terms of it furthering their ultimate goal but from a conservative perspective. Let them know you care as deeply as they do about the issue at hand, but have a different perspective on how to solve it, as many liberals think conservatives are coming from a lack of empathy and callousness.

Always Think “Does This Make Sense?” and Consider the Source

Go with your gut! If it sounds fishy or not making sense, it probably isn’t! Teachers and professors are often very educated and competent, but keep in mind they too were brainwashed by the Left and it can show. They genuinely believe they are teaching the factual thing, but it may not be the actual reality! If they provide sources for their information, consider the source. One professor only cited articles from CNN and other highly liberal news sites, and I’m not kidding, EVERY article was only from ONE perspective in a two sided issue! School should be about learning to think, not learning what to think! Learning for yourself is a lifelong skill you NEED. Sometimes, you are your own best teacher…

It’s Often for the Best Friendship and Politics Don’t Mix

A very important one! Just because you’re a conservative who has integrity and principles doesn’t mean you can’t be social with liberal classmates. I was good friends with several who had politics opposite of mine, but we shared other interests and hobbies and the same core values of kindness and integrity. Politics does not define you 100%. You are a multidimensional person and your political views are one part of who you are. In addition, unlike the radical Left, we don’t hate and demonize and dehumanize people solely for having different opinions! It’s good also to be exposed to opposing viewpoints other than your own as it strengthens your arguments, and may even change your perspective. Understanding does not always mean justifying, so don’t be afraid to understand where a liberal peer is coming from. You can share other sides of yourself with others. Of course, if you are lucky enough to connect with other fellow patriots through campus clubs or simply socializing then go right ahead and embrace your political side!

Always Stay True to Your Beliefs, but Find Clever Ways to Blend in When Needed 😉

This is huge for me! I have integrity and principles in my core beliefs as a conservative and would feel dishonest in falsely expressing leftist views just to blend in. However, sadly, until we gain more power back, the Left has become powerful enough to jeopardize our futures if we get too outspoken. I can’t put myself into a position where I would be blackballed and ostracized socially and professionally. However I also can’t change my core values as a person and a conservative an be a “sellout”. When the two objectives clash, I found some clever ways to do both:

For example, I wrote a liberal sounding essay thesis on a test I did, but I couched it as a presentation of viewpoint on the subject, but not my viewpoint! You can write papers that sound more leftist, but be careful not to write it in a way that it comes off as your personal view, but present it as a viewpoint that is out there, or better yet, write others have this view then explain what it is while keeping it distant and impersonal. Avoid the first person or stating it as an indisputable fact such as instead of saying “I think”, or even “It is known…”, say “some students/people/(whoever you’re writing about)  think/feel…” for example. That way, you can blend into the ideas of your school, but not lie about your personal opinions or out yourself. After all, accurately presenting the other side’s argument is a valuable skill too!

For Parents: Always Talk to Your Kids About The Big Issues from Your Perspective and Why

If it weren’t for my parents keeping that line of open dialogue about these issues, I may have been yet another brainwashed lefty! I credit them and other conservative role models for shaping my conservative mind and principles. When they talk about the liberal biases they learn in class, counter with your side and make them think about both sides of the issue. Point out censorship and political correctness and impart a message of an open exchange of ideas. And sometimes, you just have to contradict what the teacher says in issues you feel are morally important, (such as your personal values on abortion for one example) and say, “I know you’re being taught this, but it’s flat out wrong…”. However, and this is hard, let your kid explore and form their own opinions even if they are on the other side of yours. They can change their mind later and they need your openness to not be shut out from you and dismiss you as “pale and stale” or ignorant. They need to see that conservatives are levelheaded everyday people and learn that you can love and respect someone you disagree with. We win hearts and minds through common sense and reason, not censorship and “correct” opinions.

Also know while it’s painful sometimes, don’t take it personally. The school system is powerful, from k through 12 to college and many are somewhat a product of their brainwashing over our whole school lives. A family friend’s daughter told her dad he had “white privilege”, dismissing all the adversity he faced, yet it wasn’t her fault and she meant no malice. She was simply brainwashed to believe it was true from school and society and thought it was a plain fact. Hopefully when she gets older, and had adversity and a family of her own, she’ll see reason. Many young people see reason and become more conservative as issues like the economy, immigration, healthcare, safety etc… become more personal to them when they own their own business, have a job, have a family to provide for and protect. Just wait 🙂 Until then though, always share your views and why you believe them!

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What are some of your tips on surviving another liberal school year? 

(Another) White Man’s Burden: The White Savior Complex

Many have probably heard at least vaguely about what is called the “white savior complex”. White people who out of the goodness of their hearts decide to volunteer to do charity work for minority communities or 3rd world countries, or even Western organizations who do charity work are accused of being “white saviors” by the Left. Many on the Left now find fault with their benevolence and personal growth into better human beings due to the perceived paternalistic attitude and history of Western colonialism. Confusing? Here’s one definition:

“The term white savior, sometimes combined with savior complex to write white savior complex, refers to a white person who acts to help non-white people, with the help in some contexts perceived to be self-serving” (Wikipedia).

If that’s a bit too vague, and I tried hard to find a clearer definition but couldn’t, it’s basically the attitude that altruism and benevolent actions such as charity and aid from white people or the West is a form of colonialist paternalism where it implies white people are needed to solve the issues of minorities versus minorities having the independence to solve their own issues on their terms. In essence, white people merely swoop in to “save” minorities and come out the hero and take all the credit in real life and in movies and literature ignoring the perspective of minorities. However, upon further research into the theory, I find their reasoning to have many deep flaws of its own!

On its face it sounds okay. We shouldn’t be paternalistic busy bodies dictating to outsiders they need our help when they in fact, are fine as they are, or can solve their own issues. Nor do I argue in the least we should just show up uninvited and “help” people without their consent and act en loco parentis for the world!

That said, it’s absurd to assume just because charitable people are white, or organizations happen to be from the West, helping minorities and the 3rd world is damaging and racist/colonialist. Perhaps my strongest point is well don’t they need the resources and aid they’re being given? And apparently, it’s not being provided by their own people or country. Proponents of the white savior complex theory argue that by stepping up to help them, it’s an imperialist imposition and strips the people of their dignity and autonomy. An exercise in cultural superiority. Their argument falls apart however, when it is pointed out that food, water, shelter and medical care are basic needs for every human being, and are not culturally biased towards one society!

The cold hard truth is the 3rd world and poverty stricken areas lack all such basic needs to varying levels, leading to higher infant mortality rates, succumbing to easily treatable and preventable diseases, living in squalid housing or none at all, no infrastructure, no clean drinking water, food shortages, famine, corrupt government, tyranny etc…etc… While the West is not perfect, we have what they can only dream of in terms of standards of living. If those countries want better lives for their people, they should accept that help, even if from outsiders.

Of course it’s hard to humble yourself to accept charity, but sometimes, when push comes to shove and your family’s lives are on the line, the bigger person must swallow their ego and accept help in a time of need. What’s more important, food, water, shelter, or your inflated ego? Get back to me when you’re starving, have no home and live in a squalid dangerous place along with your family. The saddest thing is that these countries can’t provide for their own people what we have to step in and provide for them. In that the white savior proponents do have a great point: Why CAN’T these people provide the aid they need for themselves? Why is it being left up to the West?

“But… but what if they don’t want our help? What if they want to be left alone and not have paternalistic meddlers in their village trying to “save” them?” The anti-white savior enforcers ask. Well guess what my answer is: Then we won’t!!! 

You don’t have to accept vaccines that prevent children from dying.

You don’t have to accept hospitals better able to treat you and your loved ones from dying by easily preventable diseases and treatable injuries.

You don’t have to accept clean drinking water.

You don’t have to accept nutritious food.

You don’t have to accept sturdy housing, better infrastructure, education, and a democratic government.

You don’t have to embrace values such as equality for women, children and minorities and live in a democratic society where everyone is at peace, not at war steeped in violence and turmoil.

They are autonomous nations and deserve to make their own choices. We’re not their colonialist babysitters anymore. However, look at where they end up with such attitudes and where Western nations are. If people want to extend the hand of friendship and benevolence in sharing our resources and privilege, why is that such a bad, flawed and racist thing? How is it racist to literally save the lives of millions of people of color? We could just turn our backs and say “Who cares? They’re just brown people in inconsequential countries.” but countless people from the West, including white people, say instead, “They’re humans just like me and I want to give them what all people should deserve to have”. I think plenty of people in such dire straights are deeply grateful that we’re helping their families and communities. Some people would like to be saved from their abusive husbands, families, and governments. If not, don’t forget all the Americans who could use and be grateful for those limited resources! If our help is “too white” for them they don’t have to have it. That simple.

This attitude of it’s racist to help people of color in non Western countries because of imperialism or some lack of autonomy or dignity, or even accusing white people of being self serving in helping others I argue is actually a reflection of how blinded the proponents of the theory of the white savior complex are by their own privilege! How many of these people have lived and experienced the deprivation of the 3rd world first hand? How many have actually taken their assumptions beyond the theoretical framework into how people actually feel when subjected to lack of medical care, starvation, corruption and tyranny?

Pragmatically, which takes precedence? Food, water, shelter and healthcare from anyone who will give it, or some abstract notions of egos and pride? For those absentminded academics who endorse such ideas without ever experiencing or seeing people in such dire circumstances, try researching Maslow’s hierarchy of needs! Then see in which tier self inflated egos go and where food, water and shelter go… It’s simply illogical to think that desperate people wouldn’t accept anything beneficial to help themselves and their families. We are GIVING them the resources as charity out of benevolence!

Not to mention, is it not racist to limit a charitable person from helping those in need because of their skin color? White people are incapable of charity without wanting an ego trip or some self serving purpose? I for one know plenty who would take nothing in return for their altruism including my own family. Is it impossible a white person may want to empower a people to become more autonomous and self sufficient? Is it out of the question a white person could embrace a society and want to help them even at their own deep personal risk and have genuine respect for those they are serving?

Another point to consider is when people are being oppressed, the oppressors won’t listen to them, but might eventually have to if enough people in power speak out. I thought speaking up for those who can’t was a virtue, not a vice. If white people really do have white privilege as it’s often accused by the Left, then wouldn’t it be commendable if more white people used their privilege to help those who don’t have that privilege in society? What about every white abolitionist in our history for one example? Were they being “white saviors”, and if so, was that bad considering the outcome? White people who use their privilege, whether racial or socio-economic to help those in need are using that force for good instead of oppression which could more easily have been done.

Overall, I’d say if you are white, and want to help the less fortunate who happen to not be white, the last thing you should feel is guilt! Go ahead and serve who want your help knowing you’re a better person for it. Kindness doesn’t have a skin color. 

We don’t need this, especially if they don’t want it!

You Do Have a Point, But….

It’s no surprise to many conservatives that the Left likes to attack us with ad hominems, smear us, attack our character, ruin our reputations and chalk us up to being closed minded bigots. Standing by our convictions and being apart from what’s the popular attitude of the moment has cost us friends, networking, even jobs and family connections! Despite being the silent majority, we certainly don’t feel like it! I of course, have had my fair share of observing this too, as I am putting my views out there online in an open forum. And contrary to what many on the Left believe about fellow conservatives and myself, we can attest to not being simply “closed minded bigots” in our motivations for taking a seemingly harsher view on certain issues.

See, what may surprise many liberals who automatically dismiss everything I have to say simply because I support Trump as president, or consider myself a conservative is that my views are actually more nuanced than your cherry picking of them are. Why would that be? Well here’s the surprise:

I think you have valid points too in many of your positions which I do have to acknowlege and take into consideration when I argue my own viewpoint. 

It’s not always a cake walk rebutting every point you make, albeit I will say many are easily refutable too! The reason why we end up on opposite sides of the debate though is because while I do think your basic premise sounds valid on its face, there are nuances that I add that lead me to the conclusion that premise does not extend that far, or there are caveats you need to understand, or maybe, there’s a middle ground between either extreme, and guess what? I DO make these caveats in my articles about various issues, but thus far, I’ve observed very few of my critics directly address them, instead choosing to ignore those for my more extreme views only as if I never made a nuance in my argument. So here are some examples of places where I can see your point too, but why I end up disagreeing with your overall position and the nuances you overlooked when you rebutted me:

I understand the need to keep our leaders accountable and within the law, including Trump. However, making baseless accusations not backed up by facts then never admitting what he does right reflects far more on you than him. Also, why turn a blind eye to accountability within your own party leaders?

I understand the idea of being able to step out of an uncomfortable situation that would bringing up uncomfortable feelings and past trauma. I’ve done it too. However, safe spaces in college for example, only hinder your own personal growth as I realized as I matured, I needed to challenge myself to feel uncomfortable at times to grow intellectually.

I understand that we are a nation of immigrants and others should get the chance our ancestors did too. However I also know that we need to put our current citizens’ needs first before we can extend the hand to others.

On a related note, I really don’t mind immigrants keeping their own cultural heritage, traditions, language, dress, food, music, faith, holidays, etc… in America anymore than I mind Germans hosting Oktoberfest, or the Italian community having Fiesta. However, there’s a difference between being proud of your heritage and keeping cultural traditions alive, and imposing them on others and demanding to be accommodated instead of adapting also to our culture too such as also learning our language and embracing our values of hard work, democracy and equality. It’s NOT an either or choice! You can do BOTH.

I understand the world is not perfect and not every child can be wanted or born into a good situation financially, emotionally and physically. I realize part of respecting the sanctity of life also means the quality of that life matters more than simply being biologically alive. I also realize the mother has rights too including her own right to live. However, the idea that the child has no rights at all and abortion is simply a healthcare choice for the mother’s convenience instead of the weighty ethical decision involving the  termination of a human life is not something I will accept.

I understand we cannot live in fear and paranoia just because of some bad apples out there and forget to be kind and accepting and see the good in people, but we also cannot let our guard down and let a bad apple hurt our country and its citizens.

I understand some have more “privilege” than others they were lucky to be born with, but they cannot control their gender or skin color anymore than you can control your race or gender that may disadvantage you. Making people feel guilty and putting the onus on them to solve your problems is as unfair as asking you to change something you cannot simply because you were born a certain way. Also note, race and gender are not the only things that make someone have “privilege”. A good socioeconomic status and strong support network work wonders…

I understand many transgender people are not bad people, nor do they want to go out and victimize others, but simply want to live how they wish. However, my issue is not with legitimate trans women but those who will use that as an excuse to prey on women in women’s spaces and dominate women’s sports unfairly due to physical strength and endurance exceeding women’s, or my issue is with trans men who insist they are capable of the physical strength of a man but are biological women weakening our defenses such as the armed forces. I don’t wish ill will on those who suffer greatly in a body they feel is not their own, but I also cannot accept that their needs outweigh the other 99%’s needs.

I understand we need to treat everyone of all colors fairly and equally, and make sure they are not being discriminated against. However that also extends to the majority too as true equality is not what you take away from someone who already is on top, and giving it to the bottom, but giving the bottom what the top already has so EVERYONE has the same rights and privileges. Shutting down white people’s opinions or not hiring someone because they’re white citing past inequality only creates reverse discrimination.

I understand that we should be aware of what we say so we don’t hurt someone, but they should be aware not everything people say that sounds hurtful was meant to be and that maybe it was you who misinterpreted what they really meant. Also, I understand we should not be going out of our way to be “offensive” and rude, but not everything needs to be taken so gravely nor is it meant to genuinely offend. Also, sometimes, the truth hurts but needs to be acknowledged despite offending people.

As a woman, I understand that women have not always had ideal treatment by society. However, women have more power and greater freedom than countless other places in the world here in America. Whining about a tampon tax or pink razors for women or the fact a guy told you to smile once does not compare to having acid thrown in your face for not hiding it and being sold as a “wife”, (a.k.a sex slave) by your father to a man at age 12. Nor do we need to be like men and take on traditional men’s roles to be “empowered” and autonomous human beings.

Among other examples!

And to make one final important point, why can’t we just talk? Why can’t instead of dismissing me as a closed minded bigot who is all wrong, actually tell me why I’m wrong and give me specific examples? Now, I do acknowlege the few who do make more nuanced arguments against my arguments and I commend them. I’m talking to those who just want to endlessly rant about me being wrong and a bigot without giving any substantive counter arguments of their own, or simply showing me where I messed up. I’m not allergic to facts and figures. I’m not dismissive if someone makes the effort to try and educate me on a topic in a scholarly manner coming from a desire to help. What I do shut down though, are the ranters and ravers who only want to be a troll. I honestly would love to know why you didn’t vote Trump without going into an unhinged tirade of accusations without telling me why you think they’re true. Or more specifically why you might feel it’s unjustified to say Western Culture is beneficial compared to the 3rd world, or why you want more illegals in the country, or more gun control, or less strict abortion laws, why you believe white privilege is a thing, or why you think we need safe spaces etc…etc…

One critic of mine claimed they were a cultural anthropologist. Well guess what? I’m very interested in anyone who’s an academic in a scientific field and what they have to say and why. Instead of ranting and raving about me being wrong based off you being a cultural anthropologist, why not actually take the time to educate me, one lover of anthropology to another and not righteous SJW to some bigot, why my arguments about Western Culture are wrong beyond simply crying “past oppression!” Side note to all the scholars out there who disagree with me, I want to learn from your expertise and find out why you think I’m wrong. However I learn nothing from you just flaunting your credentials at me then proceeding to simply state I’m wrong. Unlike your stereotypes of conservatives, I do not embrace pseudo-scientific bunk and hate intellectuals! You may be shocked to find out I have a deep passion for topics such as the natural and social sciences.

Overall, if you simply critique my views from a desire to educate me and help, I’m not offended nor dismissive of you. I will listen, even if we end up not agreeing after the fact. I can respect a well made argument against me and maybe even modify my own views. Just stop the ranting, raving and personal attacks. And next time you criticize my position, please take the time to read the caveats and acknowlege them!