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?

Image result for cultural appropriation costumes meme

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!

Image result for ben garrison halloween

A Columbus Day PSA: There are Two Sides to Every Story… Good AND Bad!

Dear Columbus Day Haters,

I heard your arguments about how Columbus Day allegedly celebrates the genocide of Native Americans, and that celebrating it is a “form of white supremacy”. Honestly I can’t say I agree with such extreme views, but I also understand history is a messy thing, and Columbus was no saint either! Let’s get something cleared up:

I don’t celebrate the destruction of any culture, much less genocide! I don’t agree with the historical practice that forced many Native Americans to abandon their own cultural heritage, yet also don’t oppose the idea of them learning Euro-American ways as well so they could have been in both worlds. Nor do I agree with everything the government did in the past in regards to them. I honestly find it sad so many native languages are extinct and are becoming extinct as well as culture due to the past policies of assimilation.

However, I ALSO don’t agree with Native Americans historically killing, raiding, raping and scalping settlers either! I condemn the barbarity of their side as well, and it is documented that many tribes were just as bloodthirsty and imperialistic as the Europeans! In Columbus’s day and in the “Wild West” of US history. Many argue European colonizers, including America treated the Natives as if they were sub-human and say that Columbus Day strips them of their humanity by portraying them as “savages”. I agree with you that “Native Americans are human too”, but that goes both ways: Being fully human means having human nature. For good and bad. The other side of the extreme is pretending the Native Americans were on some moral high ground just because white people with better technology conquered them. Better technology does not mean greater moral evil though in terms of intentions. Yes, you could kill more with the “guns, germs and steel”, but it does not make your intentions more evil simply because you can produce a higher body count! Native American tribes were ruthless conquerors who while showing occasional mercy on a captive, more often tortured them and enslaved them, whether White or Native. No, they did not have the same technology as Europeans or Americans, but they had that same all too human lust for conquest, land, prestige and yes, power.

Columbus and future conquerors of the New World were brutal conquerors who did enslave and oppress their weaker adversaries. No one is denying that and saying they were some “woke” culturally sensitive saviors! But you know what? That is the nature of conquest. Political and social oppression and a more powerful conquering group. That’s how it’s been for all of human history. The ugly truth is, EVERY HUMAN GROUP did it to their fellow man. I do not deny the ugliness of the European conquests on the New world peoples. But it is a blatant double standard to condemn Europe and America for doing it, yet turn a blind eye to the indigenous peoples who conquered and oppressed their fellow natives of other tribes. In fact, many native endonyms mean “the people” or “Human Beings”, implying they alone are the real people, everyone else is sub-human! Maybe you’re right we shouldn’t necessarily celebrate or gloss over all the bad Columbus did, but don’t paint Native Americans as some “noble savage” when they too have lusted for land, resources and power and oppressed their adversaries to take their land away from them. History is too nuanced and messy to honestly be reduced to black and white, good vs. evil scenarios. If you want to re-name Columbus Day “Indigenous People’s Day”, you’re merely replacing one conqueror for another. 

Another thing: Much of the issue revolves around Native Americans in the US complaining about their treatment by the government in the 1800’s. However, what land Columbus discovered was not part of the continental United States at all and we’re talking about the 15th century, not the 19th century! So what do current Native American grievances with the US have to do with some 15th century Italian who never clapped eyes on a US Native American tribe? Yeah yeah…. He was one of the first to introduce Europeans to the New World leading to other conquests, but don’t act like it’s a personal grievance when he never was within thousands of miles from your “native” lands your tribe (which may have not even existed yet) conquered from some previous one! If you do that it comes off like you are in it to push an agenda more than historical relevance.

Last point, I find these anti-Columbus day sentiments to be part of a wider troubling trend to condemn any historical figure for not having modern views, or acting according to how we would. In addition, the troubling double standard where Western Civilization in general is condemned and derided without also seeing the positives yet other cultures get off the hook for similar atrocities. Both are flawed and detrimental for anyone who wants a fair and balanced view of the good and bad of history and examining our own culture. No people, person or society is solely good as every country and human group has skeletons in their closets. However, no one is all bad. Including historical figures like Columbus or Western Civilization. It is possible, I will argue to celebrate the good of the West, such as the foundation of a country in North America built on democracy and freedom, as well as great leaps of science and technology and better standards of living today, while also acknowledging that brutality and oppression were done on both sides and no one is truly “innocent” or “guilty” in the big picture for history and the human condition.

Not to mention, we act within our cultural matrix. What we find acceptable to do is determined by our culture and so was Columbus and all the other New World conquerors. It was a brutal world, void of (gasp!) wokeness and “diversity training”, and conquest and assimilation was the accepted practice of the day in the 15th century, just as ideologies of cultural tolerance are for the 21st century. Is it fair to condemn a person for doing what was acceptable in their own culture and time frame? We do not by any means, have to personally agree with what they did or how they thought, but think about this: Who will condemn some attitude YOU have centuries in the future and would you find it fair for them to hold you to their future standards posthumously???

Columbus day is not about celebrating violent genocide and oppression, despite the fact it happened, but about celebrating the discovery of a new land full of new possibilities. The negatives do not have to negate the positives worth celebrating. I understand that may not be your side of the story, but we are celebrating ours. Columbus Day doesn’t have to be your holiday if you find nothing worth celebrating, but don’t demand those who do find something to celebrate in it to stop just because you don’t. England is not entitled to force us to stop celebrating the 4th of July just because it was their defeat. There are two sides to every story, including our side.

Happy Columbus Day,

—A Lady of Reason

Image result for columbus ben garrison

We All Have Our Challenges, So Why are Yours More Important?

It’s old news and stating the obvious by now: The Left loves to point out all the alleged obstacles women and minorities face unlike the “privileged” white men. They say that white men are the pinnacle of society, nothing holds them back while everyone else faces insurmountable challenges to equality and success in society. They label white men as “pale and stale” and in my assessment, label themselves as “brown and down” The Left also loves to capitalize on dwelling on past oppression, even when the pendulum has swung the other way going so far in many cases as reverse discrimination.

In the face of any backlash against these views, comes the argument that the “privileged”, those who are white, straight, conservative, men, or all of the above have no right to an opinion because they haven’t been in the so called “oppressed’s” shoes. Now, I have to admit one thing: They are right that we don’t have the same life experiences as people who are different from us. We can’t speak our opinions on their situations from our direct experiences if we’re not them. There are factors in our lives that determine how the world treats us, and our life circumstances that are beyond our control.

However, does that mean that an outsider to someone’s plight has no right to an opinion of their own or an outside assessment of the situation? Who says that the only people who are allowed to have an opinion about someone’s circumstances are the people in the middle of them? Yes, the insider knows intimately what they feel about it, but that same intimacy strips them of any impartiality about their situation in life. Someone may feel they live in an environment of rampant harassment, or discrimination and ostracism, but is one’s personal perception always 100% accurate? What if outside sources didn’t corroborate your perceptions? As I wrote about before many times, your reality is not always the reality! Of course, we should find out what makes them feel a certain way to see if there’s something we do need to change, but it needs to be done in a non-biased way by outside sources as well as insiders.

I want to propose another more unique point though to consider. Imagine some of the challenges women and minorities for the sake of argument are in fact, true as the Left says it. I’m sure some may be as society while not as dismal as the Left loves to paint it as, is also not a utopia by any means! Bias and prejudice intentional and unintentional, do exist, and I can agree that such inequality needs improvement. However, and here’s my new insight, why do your challenges matter more than mine? Why is it when the “majority”, whether it be white people, men, conservatives etc… say they have obstacles they face in life that need improvement they’re dismissed as over-privileged whiners?

Everyone has obstacles, challenges, inequality they experience in their life no matter what race, gender, sexuality, etc… they are. What you look like does affect how the world perceives you and treats you. No, I honestly can’t say I know what it feels like to face life as a black person. Men can’t know intimately what it’s like to be women in society.  However…. A black person doesn’t know what a white person faces in life either. A woman doesn’t know the social pressures men face that hurt them. A biological male (who is a trans woman) has never had to feel the fear a girl or woman does when a man enters her private spaces such as a women’s restroom. And why is it limited to just race or gender for instance as categories of challenges? What about a big overlooked factor? Socio-economic status. A poor white family faces challenges a middle class family of color may not despite racial differences.

Of course, many will ask, “What about stereotypes?” Well, what about them? Is it not a stereotype to assume all white people are privileged and snobbish due to some sense of racial superiority? Is it not a stereotype to assume men are insensitive towards women and think of women only as sex objects or property? Stereotypes do affect how we are treated, but there is a stereotype for EVERYONE, so why are the hurtful stereotypes you face more important then the hurtful stereotypes I do?

The answer to this double standard seems clear: selective outrage and virtue signaling. This has become a superficial war not about true equality and fairness, but which group can vie for the most attention in the “Oppression Olympics”. The excuse is “but we faced more struggles than you ever did!”, but isn’t any inequality and unfairness detrimental to society? Am I saying that women and minorities never faced unfair challenges? No! What I’m saying is why are some people’s obstacles deemed more important and noteworthy than others, to the point of invalidating theirs? To try to illustrate more clearly:

The family of color might face less opportunity related to racial discrimination, but does that negate the white family down the street who face lack of opportunity due to poverty?

A woman may have to be more wary of sexual assault in public than a man would, but a man has to be more wary of the accusation of such!

A white man may feel he faces his own challenges getting hired due to his gender and skin color too due to affirmative action programs and a rhetoric of “dismantling” his “privilege”…

A woman might feel constrained by unfair gender roles and expectations while men have more freedoms than her in some areas of life, but has she considered the ways in which men are expected to conform to their own set of rules?

Does it matter more having all your achievements doubted due to a “minority” race or gender than having all your achievements invalidated and deemed handed to you for the same exact reason only difference being you’re white or male?

The list could go on and on and on…. My point is, my counterpoints to consider don’t invalidate the original claims to obstacles by people of color or women or instance, but are presented to illustrate the point that no one is obstacle free, (even white men) and raise the question; why do the challenges of some matter more than the challenges of others? Why the selective outrage? And this doesn’t even begin to touch upon other factors like family upbringing and one’s health for example!

My last insight into this is everyone has their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages that can be due to things out of our control and circumstances like socio-economic status. There is no way that your life will be challenge-free no matter who you are or what you look like. So, why incessantly whine about it instead of accepting that life can be unfair and you have to find ways to work with your obstacles?

It’s a great thing when people try to change things for the better, other times though, you have to pick your battles and accept your life will be different from the next person’s whether it involves looking out for your personal safety more than others, realizing you don’t look like those around you most of the time, having to work harder than others to prove your merit, having to rise up out of poverty others don’t face, having your own crushing pressure to conform to what society expects of you as a man or woman, having to show others you’re NOT who they think you are among a myriad of other examples. Yes sometimes, you just have to suck it up and work around what holds you back…

Do I advocate for a lack of empathy for the challenges others face? Absolutely not! We should all be conscientious of how fortunate we are and how others may not be. Every one of us has their own life journey and struggles that go along with it, so why are your life challenges more important than mine?

Image result for conservative cartoon triggered SJW's

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

Related image

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. 🙂

Image result for free speech cartoon some exclusions apply

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!

sjw_university_ben_garrison

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