Equality For A Dream

If Americans would admit that they have no choice but to be successfully socialized or considered deviant; and gave into social control allowing the government to control society publicly, we could lower, if not eliminate, social deviance. If we forfeit our right to privacy, we gain privileges/rights to believe in what we choose to believe and act as we wish to act. 

“Civilian Insurance” would allow the government to supply each “covered American” with a tracking device that dictates your whereabouts 24/7.

• Home and vehicle surveillance and digital video recording of eye contact.

• Require monthly urine deposits.

• The insurance will pay a monthly stipend for obtaining criminal insurance.

By proving the innocence of all crimes and forfeiting the right to privacy, citizens would earn fundamental human rights to think, feel, preach, learn, and love what and whomever they want. Eventually, they may legalize drug use in the privacy of one’s own home, with severe stipulations as to children and behavior; {privacy becomes unnecessary if one feels there will not be repercussions for one’s non-criminal actions or that information obtained will not be used to impact one’s life negatively.} 

Only specific criminal actions should face punitive measures, thus granting ultimate freedom to those who sacrifice the freedom of “privacy.” Criminal insurance would make all actions public to only the highest government officials, thus eliminating any negative connotation associated with whatever legal behavior one may choose that may be deviant by societal standards.

Also, if sentenced to life in prison or more than 50 consecutive years, the death penalty will suffice; if an offender of a violent crime, with no remorse, or a chance for changed behavior, i.e., rehabilitation, the death penalty is the only feasible option. We can start shaving the deficit by saving money and not feeding criminals who have no chance of ever being reintegrated into society.

Educators need to be better educated, and their education should be free; that way, more people who want to do the job, can do it. Also, “deviants” are characterized and recognized by these five traits: trouble, toughness, smartness, the need for thrills, and belief in fate. If teachers observed students closer and scrutinized these traits early on, behavior specialists could focus their attention on them. Helping individuals with specific characteristics redirect and distribute their energy towards something positive.

If America gave in to society’s need to control people’s beliefs and actions [social control], to earn freedoms {that should already be had} as privileges, we would be able to decrease and potentially overcome poverty, which would lead to an end to inequality, thus fixing all the social issues.

That is the American Dream!

The Paradox of Poverty

The Paradox of Poverty

It has been said, primarily by privileged white men, that inequality does not exist. We are all equal in opportunity; racism, sexism, and classicism do not hinder a person’s ability to reach their dreams unless they let it. Also, that inequality is an excuse, and anyone can become anything here in America if they get off their lazy exploitative and put in the work. To some extent, that is the truth, and certain people have overcome the social issue of equality, a measly 4%. However, those people are the exception, and the exception makes the rule.  

Inequality is the most critical social issue because it is an issue in and of itself, yet it leads to many other issues. Ending inequality is in the best interest of every American, even those at the top of the social hierarchy, and here is why; inequality is at the very roots of nearly every social issue: poverty, health issues, abortion, education, deviance, and crime to name a few.

Social inequality is the existence of unequal opportunities and rewards for different social positions or statuses within a group or society. Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals wholly or partly due to their gender. Classicism is prejudiced against or in favor of people belonging to a social class, and structural inequality is a “condition” where one category of people has attributed an unequal status to other categories of people.

Institutional racism (a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions), sexism, classicism, and the bias intolerance deeply rooted in our social construct all have a significant role in inequality. Therefore if we could eliminate these issues, we could make giant leaps and bounds toward ending inequality.

Teenage pregnancy causes more children to be born into poverty, more people living off welfare, more people with a sub-par education, and more people who can only attain minimum wage jobs, equating with more people living in poverty. Teenage pregnancy can also lead to abortion, a massive social issue. Abortion can also lead to stigma, which can lead to deviance, leading to crime. Hence, teenage pregnancy is an issue enhanced by poverty, which creates additional poverty. 

Rather than having the issue of teen pregnancy or abortion, imagine a society that requires birth control once puberty is reached, with the ability to reverse it, by an educated middle-class adult woman or a middle-class married family. There is a minimum income requirement before procreating, and each family must reach an income in fair proportion, an income to child ratio that would keep individuals in poverty from procreating until they have a financial parenting plan in place.

One in five marriages ends in divorce. African Americans are twice as likely to divorce than whites and Latinos due to economic hardships and stress that lead to a disruption in the marriage. 85% of children involved in divorce end up living with their mother. Women experience a dramatic decline in economic resources following a divorce, and as discussed previously, female householders make up 31.6% of families in poverty.

The rising cost of healthcare is affecting all of America. In 2010 2.6 trillion dollars was spent on healthcare, which is a little less than 1/8th of our National Deficit. Even with these high healthcare costs, the United States ranks a meager 47 in average life expectancy. Minimum wage jobs do not carry health insurance for their employees, leaving a disproportionately high number of Latinos and African Americans, and immigrants uninsured. Children of low-income families are at a higher risk for infant death, not having enough food, premature births, lack of adequate prenatal care, low birth weight, SIDS, and more are killing our ethnic children in America. Adult African Americans have a higher rate of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and communicable disease. 

African Americans suffer poor health due to the lack of education on healthy eating habits and routines, lack of healthcare as children, exposure to toxic wastes and other factors surrounding environmental racism, and the lead paint commonly found in older houses used for low-income housing. Poverty helps create poor health and helps maintain poor health. Poor health leads to the need for medical attention; the lack of insurance leads to large amounts of debt, and large amounts of debt place one into poverty. To improve healthcare, perhaps all the money we save on the incarceration of criminals, as discussed below, should be applied to a health care reform plan that mirrors Canada’s.

In 2010 17.4 Million Americans used marijuana at least once, and 4.6 million used it daily 1.2 million people reported using hallucinogens in the past few months, and 1.4 percent of high school students used methamphetamine in 2011, and these are just a few of the drugs available. Drug use is extremely high in the United States, and a combined racial background reportedly has the highest use of drugs at 12.5%. Drug use is considered deviant behavior, and there is a correlation between deviance and crime. 

Deviance is the violation of the cultural norms or relatively unsuccessful socialization and is based more on the audience’s reaction to the subject’s first actions. Primary deviance is an action that has caught negative attention and creates a stigma for the person as a deviant, or the stigma turns this primary deviance into secondary deviance. Once this secondary deviance sets in, it becomes one’s identity, and crime is more likely to be committed by someone with this stigma. After their ” rehabilitation, the punished or convicted should not have that stigma after their “rehabilitation.” The person’s stigma carries on long after the end of a sentence. 

Moreover, that shame is the second sentencing. Each convicted criminal should have the chance for successful re-socialization upon their “reintegration” with society. We can do so by allowing the rehabilitated to attach a new label to themselves; one may earn a new label by judicial systems allowing defendants to choose their punishment: to commit themselves to a facility such as a prison, a mental hospital, or a rehabilitation center. Alternatively, one may choose to serve our country or the community by becoming a soldier or a missionary. After the punishment or what we can call rehabilitation, society can now view a formerly convicted person positively.

The stresses of living in poverty tend to lead to drug use, and drug use leads to crime to support drug habits, criminal activity, and drugs have a secure connection. Poverty can lead to drug use, which can lead to crime; the impoverished committing crimes leads to many minorities in the criminal justice system; many of the people processed in the criminal justice system are poor, uneducated, unemployed, or working minimum wage jobs, i.e., people living in poverty. 

People living in poverty are excessively Black and Hispanic, helping to support views of racism, which leads to a lack of change in institutionalized racism. Institutionalized racism leads to poverty.

Inequality-When Crime and Punishment Collide

Inequality-When Crime and Punishment Collide

Why is poverty a social issue: Poverty is a “condition” with the standard of living below the minimum needed for maintaining adequate diet, health, and shelter. Society judges people in poverty for their appearance, clothing, weight, skin, cleanliness, where they live, what they do or do not own, their education, etc. People need money to live and increase their income, to change the things society deems unacceptable. Nevertheless, the judgments keep them from obtaining jobs that are not minimum wage, thus trapping them in the “condition” of being poor.

In 2010, 46.2 million people in America, totaling 15.1 percent of the population, lived in poverty. Those numbers are not nearly accurate enough due to not being able to calculate households containing more than one family, those who have no physical address, and many other factors. The percentage allows us to know that at least 15.1 percent of the people in America are living in poverty. Black people (at 27.4 percent) and single women (at 31.6 percent) of the 15.1 percent represent an excessively high percentage of families living in poverty.

Institutional racism and gender inequality make it harder for women and people of ethnic backgrounds to make an equal wage. The unequal distribution of wealth leads to a substantial social gap with a small group of people fitting into the upper-class, middle-class, and forever growing lower-class.

The best way to be in America is white, rich, and male. The second-best way to be is a rich white female. If not born to be a rich white man or woman, then be a poor white male or a rich black male, but heaven forbid a poor black male or a poor white or black female shall exist. A rich white man has the best access to the best education, healthcare, and neighborhoods. They are not forced into vast amounts of debt (that follow them for the remainder of life) to get an Ivy-League education, and they can pay for it out of pocket or are awarded scholarships for their esteemed background. 

Nothing forces the “well-off” to access state welfare or face the penalty of a fine at the end of the year for not having insurance. When not dependent on Medicaid to receive medical attention (which only pays for specific things and small amounts). Not to be forced to choose between eating processed foods with additives and fat or not eating, because if one cannot afford healthy food. They are not having to choose between living in extreme amounts of pain from a condition yet to be diagnosed or going to the doctor and not being able to afford rent. The choice to live in quiet white suburbia where the neighbors are equally privileged and crime is scarce is available.

Not having to fear getting pulled over by the police or being denied a loan based on ethnicity. The ability to have a more simplified life, merely because the problems faced do not come from the color of one’s skin, is referred to as “White Privilege.” Those with white privilege will not have issues, yet the issues had will not encompass race. White privilege allows one to create societal issues rather than be born into them, which is freedom.

The poor strive to be middle class, the middle class intends to be productive, and the rich want to stay vibrant, and luckily for them, they most likely will, but upward mobility and economic success is commonly pipe dream. 70% of Americans will forever be middle class, while 43% will stay stuck on the bottom. A lack of quality education and facing discrimination, and the lack of jobs paying above minimum wage all play a considerable part in inequality. Poverty deeply connects with teenage pregnancy, divorce, poor health, drugs, and crime. Consequently, poverty does not just affect those afflicted with the “condition,” but the repercussions of poverty affect a considerable proportion of America.

Preserve My Life In Shambles

Preserve My Life In Shambles

Art-‘Storm Sea with Blazing Wreck’-Joseph Mallard William Turner-1775-1851

Paranoia encapsulates the transient moments of silence.

My mind sanctions, but brief solace in tranquility || quickly conceding- just the calm before the storm.

I brace to defend, against the ruin of inevitably. Seeking shelter as my umbrella is fairly worn.

And on those bitter days, I feel my center take a lashing. My very core, exudes thick tumultuous concern.

Deceived again, by thoughts of peace || a des-per-ate delusion. Poetic reoccurrences, perhaps, I’ll never learn.

These are the days I cannot muster up a smile. The one I use to hide the darkened shadows of my soul.

My mask, it slips and falls to waste, cracking my foundation. Exposing all the fissures, where I once appeared as whole.

As the storm begins to settle, from downpour to light drizzle; I find that I remain, still drenched, immersed in burdens past.

Each time my mask repairs itself, more clearly artificial. Heavily encumbered- by the most mundane of tasks.

Even on the brightest days, my sunny disposition dwindles by comparison- obstructed by the fog.

My sodden outlook weighs me down, nadir, and even deeper. It takes a toll upon my soul. How can one remain?

The pain I bear, to pull each breath, my force begins to taper. Each particle of energy is vital to sustain.

Life is a quicksand. Eager and insatiable. Swallowing my essence, and feasting on my drive.

I fight the siren’s voice, inside the void, as it sings “KEEP HER” then madly, deeply I descend, despite the will-to stay alive.

Expending every piece of me, the chaos of emotion. Actions meant to circumvent, my absolute demise.

Instead of course ironically, set paradox in motion. Masticated motive, yet, this feels a bit contrived.

In pursuit to find, a different ending to the story, one must remember the mistakes from lives of past.

Each effort with intent to save, the life unknown-I wanted. Without exception, drew me closer to the end.

My spirits ruptured, there’s a clear appending pressure. Buried alive by life itself, neglected of its pleasure.

My oxygen depletes, chest heaves, the life I knew is over. I inhale deep, afeared, unsure which breaths’ my last.

Ending in an aching plea, for life || preserved in shambles. Unburdened, by the damage from the tragic storms of past.

Pieces of Me

Pieces of Me

I always thought, being alone was my choice. That I didn’t want or need anyone, to know who I am.

I am realizing, the opposite is true. I am a hyper-sensitive creature. My love and loyalty, knows no bounds, and I crave reciprocation.

Only with time, consistency, and comfort, does my shield begin to dissipate. When my walls come crashing down, I catch feelings quickly, and lose them even quicker.

I am extremely selective, with whom I allow access to my being. To hear me paint a picture of my mind, body, and soul.

So when I give pieces of myself; feelings, hopes, and fears to another; Whether it be, friend, family, or lover, that very act of speaking, becomes the epitome of intimacy.

With my essence lain bare, vulnerable to influence and pain, susceptible to damage;

To allow me to feel both understood and rejected, seen and dismissed; is the ultimate form of punishment and violence.

So rather than open myself up, to voluntarily receive emotional lashings. I continue to walk my path alone.


-Mirage

Reality and Cloaks

Reality and Cloaks

Art By Austin Howlett https://www.deviantart.com/austinhowlett-art/gallery

Shadows from within me,
engulf my public persona in a blanket of darkness.

The anger and fear from deep inside corrode and rust my cloak, destroying the very thing I use, to hide my melancholy madness,

The only calm I feel is sadness. Transitory intervals of change; a relief from the hatred that causes me rage.

My volatile impulses
attempt self-sabotage at,
nearly every turn.

I love the chance to dream.
To sleep is to transform,
into a creature of survival.

To create pure feelings or moments of relief,
I numb my sensitivities to the pain of life.
When I inhale, my mask falls.

I feel remorse for my lack of involvement in human emotion
and pretend to snuff out my comforting vice of denial.

My responsible escapade ends quickly,
I create the illusion that I am strong enough to face reality, opening a floodgate of feelings.

Feelings of anger, resentment, fear, and insecurity take me over;
The deafening screams of my inner pain immerse me in my entirety.

I become stuck in a pattern of reality and cloaks.
The cloak itself becomes painfully intense, to the point of needing to be masked itself.

My façade and truth split me in half, with even smaller sub-divisions.

I fast from life.
Engaging in emotional starvation.
The alternative is chaos.

A magnetic fury of PARANOIA and RAGE.

DEFINING MY REALITY AND DESTROYING MY CLOAKS!

Don’t Be Pusillanimous-

Passive Resistance Doesn’t Pack the Same Punch

Evading systemic oppression by choosing not to partake in the system, in likeness to Sovereign Citizens is submissive at best. Rather than apathetic resistance, why not take action. A passive political lifestyle or complete failure to engage in rectifying social issues, is equally as problematic as actively engaging in the maltreatment of Americans. I would implore the politically and socially inactive citizens of America to give into the proverbial lashings society forces upon them, and actually do your part.

Instead of avoiding issues as you can or rather accepting them, choose to wear the emotional, physical, and psychological scars from the constant beating; issued by inequality as a symbol of strength and fortitude.

Choose to admit; that a social hierarchy places straight, white, American men as the front runners in society. Creating a pyramid one of a different class is unlikely to climb. Especially for the underprivileged, people of color, women, and let us not forget the LGBTQ+ community.

First, realize that individual and systemic racism and sexism are still alive! Then surrender to the fact that anyone society deems unsuccessfully socialized will face obstacles in their life that the wealthy white male population will never have to deal with, at least not in the same magnitude.

Many citizens take issue with our systems in America. The criminal justice system, judicial system, healthcare, mental health, and foster care systems all deal with apparent struggles. However, little to no action by individuals is being taken in attempts to create change. Even the best intentions and ideas on how to solve the issues of America do little good without action.

Understand that it is challenging to decide where to begin. Correcting one issue often leads to observations of new difficulties; that is how the world works. Attempting to find a plausible way to initiate positive change without taking away or altering one’s civil rights granted in the Constitution is challenging to say the least.

Examining the idea of re-writing the Constitution brings about a million questions. Is there a better way for the government to run? How do we start to make changes in a way that would create a peaceful environment? A society where people maintain all the freedoms they believe to be entitled to and keep a balance. Many times, one man’s beliefs interfere with another man’s ideas.

The government’s design is to maintain a balance while upholding the control of the people, all the while letting it appear as though the American people are in power in the form of democracy. The only way to participate in the roles and rulemaking is to become part of the government. Once one earns their position, they will still need the help from the American people and the mental strength to stay true to one’s original values and determination, join the legislative fight and make a positive change.

Until one decides to admit to the inequalities in life, they will never gain the power to have a prominent and influential platform to fight against those same inequalities that oppress the American people. Surrender as a choice has a specific power attached to it as a conscious decision. It could lead to freedom because any path taken by choice will be a more fulfilling path.

If having trouble with the idea of surrendering to authority, discrimination, and blatant disregard for civil rights, one must change their perspective. To submit to the design that a diverse human being will never be as powerful as their wealthy white male counterparts; without choosing to work ten times as hard, it is to give in to the system to fight against it, making it a conscious, informed decision to accept all the faults of the design.

Making a choice is empowering. To surrender to the rules of the oppressive regimes in society would be an act of free will. Though not as a victim, but instead as a participating party. Choose to overcome the obstacles and join the fight. Eventually, taking part in changing the rules and, in turn, fixing the issues by contributing to the correction of the process. Making improvements to head towards a society where every citizen uses their voice, and every voice is respected.

Give into the regulations of the system, and work hard to get into a part of the structural hierarchy where one’s skills are beneficial. Fight to move up in the pyramid; it only takes one action to make a positive change. Fight, and then dig your proverbial nails into the ladders of life and climb. Read “The 10X Rule”-By Grant Cardone. The ascent of that social pecking order can change a person, do not let it. Work ten times as hard as one’s privileged counterparts. Become victorious against all the odds, and let the world hear that voice.

Shut Up When You’re Talking To ME!

I am highly conscious of human beings’ body language, and facial expressions; and have been from an early age. I observe; I always have. I have learned that most people would most definitely rather talk about themselves than listen to you or me.

So, I learned that if I wanted to be part of the conversation, I had to steer the conversation toward whomever I wished to speak to. Now, I can keep someone fully engaged in an interview for hours, answering questions about themselves. As soon as the topic veers away from whomever, I can re-direct it back to them and engage them once more. In five minutes, I can meet a stranger and walk away, knowing their entire life story.

I am fond of quick and friendly banter, but I refused to engage in small talk. If you are going to talk to me, you must tell me something that matters. I have spent the last twenty years only speaking if spoken to unless I have something to say. Now, I expect the same from anyone who wishes their words to fall upon my ears. Give me wisdom for my collection, a piece of you worth carrying.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”

Plato

Sleeping on the city streets

Sleeping on the city streets

Is it by Mistake or Design?

It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ -Kin Hubbard (American Humorist)

Photo: https://ladyclever.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Homeless-on-the-streets-of-La-Paz.1-1024×682.jpg

America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor. Our Nation conditions its citizens to detest the lower class.

It is, in fact, a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions and tales of poor but sagacious and virtuous men; these men are more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor, and they mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many untrue things. Their most destructive untruth is that it is simple for any American to make money and succeed. Few Americans acknowledge how hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and judge only themselves. This inward blame and humiliation have been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for the poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. “They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.” — Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five)

Only 4% of people born into lower and middle-class families will ever make it to the upper class? Doesn’t that put a damper on “The American Dream?” America built the structure of society upon the platform of inequality, and this is by design. In eliminating inequality, the structure would collapse, and it will take a miracle or a revolution to change.

(Inequality creates{poverty) creates[inequality} creates (health issues] creates{poverty) creates [deviance} creates (crime] creates {inequality) creates poverty.}

Attempting to find the correlation to and between each social issue sends thoughts on a roundabout loop whirl of a ride, but the one issue that remains constant is inequality. Together we just performed, root-cause-analysis, perhaps now, we can find a solution.

Survival of the Whitest

In 2017, there were 325.7 million people in America, and of those people, 39.7 million Americans lived in poverty. That is approximately 1 in 7 people living in poverty. Almost 8% of the people experiencing poverty were white; that is 2 out of every 25 people, leading one to presume that 23 out of 25 people were people of color. 

Herbert Spencer (English philosopher, biologist, anthropologist, sociologist, and liberal political theorist) coined the phrase “survival of the fittest.” Spencer believed this to be Social Darwinism, i.e., society’s way of eliminating the weak and preventing those with defective genes from reproducing or thriving in our capitalist society.

In reality, a combination of the following theories; Structural Discrimination TheoryBias TheoriesFunctionalism, and Conflict Theory represent modern American society. The theories above explain deviance, poverty, and criminogenic among the ethnically challenged; each theory may also apply to gender and sexuality.

We know both nurture and nature influence aspects of personality. Therefore, one must agree with the “Biological Deficiency Theory” and the cultural deficiency aspect of the philosophy. When one grows up observing a specific type of behavior from their parents, neighbors, and friends, the chances are higher that they will subconsciously embed those behaviors as “the norm” and adopt them into practice. Even if one’s actions are adaptational to promote survival, there is still a high probability that one’s offspring will mimic those behaviors, thus perpetuating a cycle of non-social/deviant behavior and the adverse reaction accompanying such behavior. 

“The Bias Theories” explain prejudiced attitudes reasoning behind the continuously held bias toward minorities. There may be a simple solution to the structural inequalities or systemic racism that many minorities face. However, the first step would be an acknowledgment on a massive scale. Many people experience discrimination daily and sometimes without realization. It is easy to forget that others may judge prior to personal knowledge, expecting others to fit into a box structured by implicit bias. One may excuse negative behaviors from a person as a personality issue rather than a side-effect of their discriminatory beliefs. Also, people fail to recognize their aptitude for bias.

The most significant theoretical value lies in the “Structural Discrimination Theory.” “Slavery is over; stop holding a grudge?” Many have heard this line of thinking, especially during discussions on stratification. Had slavery never existed, black people would be on an even keel regarding institutionalized racism. The social setback occurs at the moment of conception and continues into adulthood.

Everything is connected; for example, if one’s parents are lower-class ethnic people that did not graduate high school. Then most likely, they have jobs that pay minimum wage, with little to no benefits. The lack of insurance may have prevented access to birth control, leading to pregnancy. One without insurance seeking treatment finds lower care standards; in hospitals and centers that do not require insurance prior to treatment. Having a child without insurance will likely place a person in debt. If one’s parents live in debt, they may resort to residing in low-income apartments to save money and provide food. Low-income residences often have schools that cannot afford to pay teachers who genuinely want to teach or have access to the proper educational tools, leading to a lackadaisical group of teachers and less opportunity to give students an equal education.

Those without proper education generally also have issues with “socialization.” Society views those deemed unsocialized as deviant. When one faces treatment of those who are deviant, it creates a belief, which creates a stigma, which leads to actual deviance and potentially criminogenic thinking and behavior. Criminogenic behavior by people of color “supports” the discriminatory ideologies of the uneducated. At no fault of their own, a child born may face mitigating circumstances that inevitably create an environment that sustains and perpetuates cycle discrimination.

Stratification

American society operates with a “point system.” Class, Gender, Race, and Education are the qualifiers. The preferred gender is male, and the superior race is white, and if one does not begin with those qualifiers, they automatically have two fewer points than those who do. An educated and wealthy ethnic male can never be as powerful as a lower-class, white male. However, a wealthy, educated, ethnic male is on equal footing as an uneducated, lower-class educated white woman. An educated and wealthy ethnic female can only ever be as successful as an uneducated but wealthy man of color, or a lower class, uneducated, white woman.

Sexual orientation causes a fair amount of discrimination as well. However, it is unlikely to see equality in race, class, and sexual orientation prior to gender equality.

In conclusion, if one wishes to be among the most powerful in America, it is simple, all they must do is be a rich white, educated male, or accept that it will take them ten times as much effort to be equal to an uneducated, lower-class male born into the superior race.

If Just I Justify

If Just I Justify

The little “justifications” we make to partake in the luxuries of life will ultimately be the demise of humanity.

We turn a blind eye to that which causes discomfort. People act as though being thoughtful is necessary, yet letting the issues of others, trouble us too profoundly does not cause them less pain but only adds to our own. To avoid unpleasant feelings, we justify non-action with the question, “What good will it do?”

Many people did not vote in the last few elections. The given explanation is that they held the unpopular vote, “one vote” will not make a difference. One person cannot make a difference is a common excuse used in various forms for various issues. We tell ourselves that we are not affluent or wealthy enough to make a difference. We show brief moments of disgust and perhaps make a Facebook post, then go on about our day, focusing on our issues as an individual rather than taking an actual stand. 

Justifications like this allow us to continue with our lives and still partake in the problematic industries and reap the benefits of blindness. 

Few people would openly admit they are an advocate for animal cruelty. Many people, however, take comfort in the idea that there are issues far too crucial that need immediate focus, thus preventing them from participating in such a minuscule issue.

Justifying cruelty is a lazy and irrational attitude. There will always be numerous social issues that need immediate attention. While one cannot focus on every aspect of potential change, it is at least every individual civic duty to find an area of specific interest to give their attention to without demeaning the significance of other issues.

Many people are against animal cruelty, but not enough to boycott purchasing animal byproducts from industries that participate in the maltreatment of animals. I am not a vegetarian; I like meat. However, I cannot watch the slaughtering of animals; it makes my stomach churn, and the lack of compassion the whole industry shows is disgusting.

Sales Barns, for example, are likely necessary to rancher life in the mid-west. However, watching the cattle shoved into tiny show tanks while the auctioneer pokes, swats, and prods the cattle is sickening. These auctions occur, so people can gawk and decide how much money each cow’s life is worth. Videos have surfaced of cows with broken legs, or merely well-aged, being shot in the head, or hung upside down and hit in the skull with a hammer, then taken off to be processed.

Pigs are often jammed-packed in a small crate. Their teats suckled until they were raw, cracked, and infected. They then are forced full of semen, forced to procreate until they are no longer able repeatedly, and then they are slaughtered and eaten. Chickens have a sad life, too. Most people know this but reason or justify the act of purchasing and eating meat. A significant line of thinking is whether an individual chooses not to eat meat or not will not change the fact that others will, and the mistreatment of animals will continue either way. 

Sweatshops are full of poorly treated underage children and desperate adults, hoping for a brighter future, being paid very little, and working very hard in conditions not conducive to good health. That is something no “moral” human would openly admit to being okay with, but when we purchase the clothing and products built and created in these factories, we support that business—the same “business” treating people just as poorly as the animals in a slaughterhouse. In purchasing the products, we support the company and the system of abuse. We do not like sweatshops, but we like Nike; we want Nike more than we do not like sweatshops.

To stand up against the maltreatment of animals and human trafficking, we need to give up the benefits we gain from the abuse we detest. Unfortunately, as a majority, we are not willing to do that. Our weak, sick, poor, and middle-class folk are allegorical animals to the wealthy. There is enough money in America that no one should live in poverty. To raise those in poverty up to the middle class, we would need more government programs, more welfare programs, more funds for the education system, more scholarships, more, more! More government funding would mean much higher taxes and ultimately take away some key benefits the rich and powerful receive at the disadvantage of the poor. So, keep eating that steak, and the rich, will keep eating theirs. 

Existence

Existence

Existence-The fact or state of living, or having objective reality.

I have often asked myself how I know that my dreams aren’t the reality in which I physically exist. Consequently, what I believe to be objective would be, but a dream. While it is impossible to be sure, I hope my subconscious will pick a dreamscape.

One out of every twenty people is color blind, but how do we know they are the ones who are color blind? We say we know because the majority of people see color the same. If there was an island filled with only the “color blind,” except for one man, he would be considered the one with the disorder.

Alternatively, even if, over the years, more people came forward as color blind, leaving the percentage of non-color-blind people as the minority, then our perception of what is genuinely the correct color would change.

The idea that everything we believe in takes place only in our mind’s eye is interesting. Unfortunately, though, I would find it sad that our mind simulates our reality, and I could not come up with a better one than this.

If everything is happening only in our minds, then someone must be controlling our actions. Otherwise, why would you perceive a crack in the sidewalk, not see it, and trip? How can I know what something will look like based on touching it? How can all my senses be so in sync with each other?

Moreover, most people are in tune with each other, creating a common acknowledgment of the world we perceive. If my reality is a virtual simulation created in my mind, do other people exist? There are too many questions to consider to even begin constructing a theory.

Though, to me, the origin of our reality is irrelevant. Descartes had implied; that to know that you exist is the only thing you can be sure of.

“I think. Therefore I am.” -Descartes

Prove Me Wrong

Absolute Knowledge

Absolute Knowledge

Plato’s cave analogy concludes that one’s perception of reality is, in fact, their reality; because one cannot perceive anything outside of their reality. Perception is variable, and therefore nothing is truly absolute or can be proven.

Descartes asserts, “Only pure knowledge known by resources of reason can be reliable.” Then one might argue that reason is learned based on situation and environment, which changes for each person.

Every person perceives each situation differently. Therefore, the reason is also variable. What anyone can know is derived from information gathered and observation of the world. Then used to draw a widely agreed upon conclusion, but since what we know comes from what we observe and what we can observe continues to progress, factors multiple, and the prior knowledge expands, changing what one thought they knew.

Consequently, what one can observe and claim to know now and what one may “know” will differ. No one can ever honestly know anything, and one only knows what they believe to be true until they obtain new information and realize that they no longer know what one thought one knew.

23andExcuseMe

23andExcuseMe

May 12th, 2019

I do not even know where to start today but to make a long story even longer.

On 4/12/19, I randomly ordered a 23and Me test to finally learn my ethnicity. I had little hope of learning much else, but to say the least, I was very wrong.

On 5/5/19, I received my reports from the lab. I happen to have a First cousin once removed that I connected with on the account, which was clearly from my unknown side of the family, and my research began.

On 5/8/19, I reached out to my little cousin T.S., specifically the estranged child of my mother’s adopted brother. I had not spoken to her since I lived in Topeka, Kansas, almost a decade prior. Her father (my uncle) told me once that he knew who my biological father was and would tell me someday.

However, he forbade me from mentioning it to my mother and threatened that he would never tell me what I wanted to know if I did. Of course, I was curious, and also, I was 18 years old and had just been told, by a man I hated, that my mother had been lying to me my entire life.

So, I, of course, approached my mother with the subject. The conversation caused distress and taught me nothing. I explained this to my little cousin, and she reached out to her father, even though their relationship was on rocky terms.

My uncle called me and told me every sweet thing a grieving and hopeful niece needs to hear and then spit out two names, brother’s nonetheless, and told me he was sure one of them was my father.

I tracked them down by name and found they had one mutual family member who utilizes social media. Neither of them did, which led me down a path of unfriendly assumptions. This joint family member was identified as their aunt through posts. This aunt of theirs happened to have a mutual friend with me, so I reached out to my friend, and he was all too excited to get involved and help me track down this enigma that is my father.

However, I figured it was a long shot; either my mother knew and lied to me for 22 years, allowing me to believe I was conceived by force, or my felonious uncle was sending me on a wild goose chase. I chose not to get my hopes up.