Freedom Of Speech?

The ignorance of some people is mind blowing.

I guess that’s what happens when you’ve never had to actually fight to have the same rights or to be treated equally as other people. Being treated as a second rate citizen makes you view our country differently.

For example:

1. Women still face inequality (you can even rape them with minimal to no jail time!).

2. Black people have faced oppression/discrimination for hundreds of years and still do so today.

3. Gay people JUST got the right to get married last year. We can still be legally fired for our sexual orientation in many states.

Don’t think the irony of “the land of the free” was lost on any minority group of people standing for the national anthem.

You’ll have to forgive some of us for being upset by inequality. We had just wanted liberty and freedom, like others who already had it. Women just want to be treated equally, receive equal pay, and stop having their bodies dictated by men. Black people want America to stop being racist and forcing them into a caste system, and also for the police to stop killing them. Gay people just always wanted to marry the person they love and stop having America target them and creating “religious freedom” laws that promote hate.

When that national anthem plays, it can cause rather conflicting feelings. On one hand, you feel patriotic. It’s that other hand..when you start to think about that patriotism, but then remember this nation treats you as less equal than some of your counterparts. That part stings. Sure, we could pretend to be patriotic. What does that really accomplish? It is fake patriotism. It is sweeping the current issues listed above under the rug. We do live in a country where we are actually and legally allowed to express our dissatisfaction at the country and government.

It’s also amazing to me that exercising your First Amendment right to express yourself is ridiculed and judged. That’s not how this works. If you don’t understand how freedom works, then you are part of the problem. Yes, you can absolutely disagree with someone who has a different viewpoint than you. Lately, I have seen some disturbing posts from people where they more than disagree, they find this type of expression offensive and think that anyone like Colin Kaepernick should be punished. Why is it better to play along than speak out? Why should someone be punished for speaking out? Because harsh truths are being brought to light? That is exactly what we need!

Telling people to be grateful for what little they’ve been “allowed” to have (by people who never had the right to “give” those scraps) or comparing us to other countries that discriminate even worse is wrong. If a gay Muslim man is murdered by other Muslims for being gay (which happens and is completely fucking vile), do not compare us to that and say “well at least you aren’t being killed.” That is even MORE infuriating because we are supposed to be PAST shit like that! Black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, whatever.. we should all be considered equal and have liberty in the United States. But we don’t, and that is why people choose to kneel down instead of stand for the anthem. We have not done anything to warrant everyone WANTING to stand for the flag.

Lastly, not standing for the flag is not a diss against the veterans who have served this nation. They fought, and gave their lives, for our freedoms. Speaking out against social injustice and protesting peacefully is not an attack on those people. It is living up to the freedoms that those amazing men and women have protected by sacrifice. I think using this as an argument against protesting the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance is just a tactic used to guilt people speaking out and to make them look like anti-American monsters.

It is more America to speak out and express yourself than it is to silence those who are trying to change the country for better.

Respect and celebrate other people’s expression of themselves. This is a right.

Why You’re Using Social Media All Wrong

Boom. 9 black people are killed in a church by some crazy nut job. The motive is possibly race based.

Instantly, you go on to Facebook to share your outrage and the evil atrocity that has happened to these innocent people who were targeted! You bombard Twitter with #hashtags letting everyone know how you feel and that everyone is in your thoughts!

Then your friends also start to post their outrage and thoughts! Soon articles from everywhere on the internet on in your timeline and your friends’ timelines.

And then what? What happens when that topic becomes old news? What impact did you really have on that situation?

Lately, I have been seeing way too many people bombarding social media with posts/tweets like I mentioned above. The issue that I have with shit like this is, if you are going off on to your friends/followers about how disgusting racism is, is that really effective? In theory, when we build friendships, we tend to find people most like us. So, if you are not a racist, and your friends aren’t racist, why are you blowing them up when they already agree with you? If you do have a friend that is racist, that is a whole other issue.

I used to be one of those people. The example is a little different, but the end is the same. I used to go onto my social networks and just lambaste religion and religious people. All the time. Some of my friends on those social network sites are religious. How awful for them that someone they like/love keeps attacking them when they didn’t even do anything. That is what is happening on social media right now. We are wasting our words and actions on the wrong audience.

Because of my experience, I have grown so tired of these social media warriors. No one gives a shit about post or tweets. The sad truth is, many times, most people are posting incorrect information and just spreading propaganda. The manipulated information after a tragic event is almost chilling. Fucked up people take an awful situation and warp it to fit their message or viewpoint, and the social media sheep just eat it up and share/retweet away.

If you are truly outraged at something, then actually do something about it! I don’t care if it is racism in the U.S., marriage equality, or equal pay for women. Organize a protest! Start a petition! Organize a sit in! We have the legal right to protest!

I am not saying you can’t post your concerns about a situation. I am just saying know your audience. Address those who need help. Bring visibility and perspective to those who need it, not the ones who already share it with you. It’s not going to be easy, but it could be worth it. One changed mind is worth a lot.

Things change when things change. Be the catalyst for the change! Hiding behind Twitter and Facebook won’t do it.