A Message For The Mainstream Media: Tell The Truth

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If nothing else, this brutal election cycle has shed light on one thing: the widespread disgust for irresponsible, biased, sensational mainstream media.

In a world where a large majority of people consult a variety of sources (i.e., Google, Facebook, Twitter, blogs) for news and information, the mainstream media fails to maintain its journalistic role in society.

There was a time when people would gather around their television sets to watch the evening news, and for the most part, we believed it. We trusted the familiar faces that greeted us to deliver the information that shaped our world. We believed that journalists did their jobs: investigated, used credible sources, fact-checked details for consistency, and maintained integrity. That relationship hinged on dependability, but now, that dependability has all but vanished.

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Gone is the once acclaimed “watchdog” role of news providers. Too many journalists have traded honest, unbiased, substantial news reports for inaccurate, partisan, sensational garbage. Ironically, the same irresponsible reporting style that the mainstream media adopted and continues to pump into an already polluted, frenzied, bloodthirsty society, is the very entity that is causing its demise.

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The mainstream media invite their audience to drink abundantly from a cesspool of lies. They encourage people to judge mercilessly, to sit anonymously behind laptops and smartphones and cast virtual stones. In the interest of ratings, they tell us when to be indignant, shocked, and appalled, and they count on us to lap it up like obedient dogs. No more.

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Listen up MSM: we’ve had enough. You are accountable for the information that you report. When we come to you for NEWS, we expect the TRUTH, not the soiled suggestions of powerful politicians. We aren’t interested in opinions, propaganda, or sensational stories that have been conjured up to influence public opinion. Give us the facts. All of them. The news that you report should not reflect your political position, religious affiliation, race, ethnicity, gender, or opinion.

TELL THE TRUTH.


This light is for you…

For the lives lost
to brutality, to recklessness, to negligence…
to fear, to ignorance, to misinformation…
to anger, to hate, to revenge…

This light is for you…

And as its flame casts a shadow on the aftermath, it becomes clear that no matter how loud our voices, we do not hear each other…
no matter how far we’ve come, there are still roads untraveled…
and no matter how much time has passed, some wounds will never heal.

But there is hope.
In the joined hands of the nameless, colorless, and fearless who stand together to circle and protect in the face of violence, there is hope.
In the tears of strangers as they mourn for someone they’ve never met, there is hope.
In our children, who come into this world knowing nothing of hate and prejudice and fear, there is hope.

There is hope…

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“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton

…and so I write. I write about what moves me. I write to give voice to echoless words.
My heart is heavy; the world is so cold.
I want to part the waters of indifference with the stroke of my pen.
I want to see my signature looped and swirled in the midst of revolution as it begins.
I’ve ripped away the blinders that were designed to align my direction.
My course is unchartered, my goal is to question —
the logic of those who presume to dictate
my life, my future, my beliefs, and my faith.wpid-wp-1420184833519.jpeg


This Ring is a Symbol…of Discrimination?

Photo Credit:Catholic Advocate

Photo Credit:Catholic Advocate

What is interesting is that the government, “of the people, by the people, for the people” does not seem to remember that its job…its purpose…its very existence…depends upon this country’s need of it as a governing body.

In spite of a nationwide appeal to our government for marriage equality, only nine states (and the District of Columbia) allow same-sex marriage.

American people do not like to be told that our voices do not matter. We built this nation on certain basic fundamental principles and we have a right to exercise those same ideologies now.

Ideas about marriage have fluctuated and evolved as our nation has grown. What was once an institution reserved for only specific people who belonged to specific religious, ethnic, and/or social groups, is now a tradition welcome to any couple who wishes to say “I do.”

Unless that couple is of the same sex.

Here we go again. Haven’t we learned our lesson by now? Isn’t it clear that discrimination is discrimination no matter how it’s disguised? Aren’t we all deserving of the same equal rights, privileges, and freedoms?

In 1958, Virginia judge, Leon M. Bazile, sentenced an interracial couple to a year’s imprisonment for the crime of unlawful cohabitation.

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents,” he said. “And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

But the races – and the religions and the social classes – did mix.

Today, interracial, interfaith, and cross-class marriages make up a large percentage of marriages in the United States – because American people fought, suffered, and died for their rights. The same regressive arguments that were once used to oppress select groups of people in the past, have been recycled and aimed toward a new group of people. And those arguments will be recycled again and again because there will always be a majority of people who are threatened by what they do not understand, acknowledge, or believe in.

So, here we are.

A large percentage of American people want the right to marry a same-sex partner. These people do not want everyone to agree with them, to adopt their lifestyles, or to alter their morals, beliefs, or religions. They simply want to be able to enjoy the same rights to marriage as any other loving couple. And they are not alone. An entirely different large percentage of American people support the idea of same-sex marriage. We hear the voices of our friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. We acknowledge their pain, we support their fight for the same rights, privileges, and freedoms that we enjoy, and we fight alongside them.

Of course there are those who oppose same-sex marriage – and they have a right to their opinions. However, no one has the right to decide that their opinions overpower the opinions of others. No one has the right to disregard the many voices of those who cry out for marriage equality. The solution is simple: grant the American people the fundamental right to marry whom they choose. Doing so will not interfere with the plethora of opinions of those who oppose any union for any reason. Everyone will still be free to disagree with everyone else based upon any combination of religious, ideological, or philosophical reasons whatsoever. The only difference is that more of those people will be wearing wedding rings while doing so.


You’re Poor: You Have No Right to Eat Here

When she saw a blog about food stamps, a woman, who felt it necessary to specify that she was “not a rich white lady,” said that not having a kitchen to cook hot meals in may be “problematic” but providing funds for people to eat at restaurants is not the answer.

Problematic?

If you consider the overwhelming numbers of homeless people in this country and their inability to do something as simple as prepare a meal as merely “problematic,” then there really is a problem―and it goes above and beyond where the poor, victimized, and disabled purchase their food.

What really amazes me is the unbelievable amount of ignorance regarding this issue. Common sense should tell you, if you don’t know the answer, don’t raise your hand.

Please, it’s embarrassing.

Your paycheck is not singlehandedly fueling the nation’s assistance programs. If you’re really that concerned about the few pennies―quite literally―that were deducted from the payroll check that you received from that rock solid job of yours―by the way, hold onto that lofty position at Wal-Mart, the economy is a little unstable at the moment and I would hate to see you in line at your local welfare office should something go amiss―at least do a little research before you subject people to your incoherent rants about how poor people are living high off the hog―your hog to be exact.

Unless you’ve been comatose for the majority of your life, you are acutely aware of the large numbers of homeless, victimized, and poverty ridden people in this country. For arguments sake, let us imagine that the government continuously regulates where and how these people purchase food. Where will it end? As it stands, those who are on assistance are discriminated against and considered to be less than by a majority of the population. People who depend on food stamps to feed their families might as well have triple sixes tattooed across their foreheads. They are required to purchase their food with an EBT card that is immediately recognized as being government issued. Hot foods are prohibited for purchase with EBT cards. Somebody somewhere decided that struggling parents should be forbidden to buy premade meals for their children. After all, why should poor folks have the same conveniences as middleclass and wealthy folks?

Lord forbid that the person making a purchase with an EBT card wears fingernail polish, curls their hair, or owns a cell phone―after all, they do not deserve to be concerned about their appearance or be reached in the event of an emergency―they are on welfare! They should look and act the part! How dare those people―particularly the veterans, the ones with disabilities, and the ones with deceased spouses― hold their heads up high as they lay loaves of wheat bread and  gallons of orange juice on the supermarket conveyor belt! Juice that is not even from concentrate! At least they could stick to generic, over processed and genetically altered crap. They act like they should have the right to pick and choose what kind of foods they eat like everybody else.

Well, they aren’t like everybody else. Society made sure of that.

What they are is a group of mercilessly judged people who are struggling to survive. For whatever reason―be it divorce, a lost job, a deceased spouse, an injury, health problems, or otherwise―they sought financial help. Yes, a percentage of those people are drug users. Yes, a percentage of those people do take advantage of the system. However, while we are talking percentages, let us also consider the percentage―the majority― of those who are on assistance out of desperate need. They do not deserve to be further victimized and discriminated against simply because they are struggling.

The majority of welfare recipients are victims. Shake your head, roll your eyes, and disagree as vehemently as you like―facts are facts. They are widows, survivors of abuse, veterans, and hardworking people who have suffered loss. They are the victims of poverty cycles, a failed economy, war, and the unethical practices of corporate America. They work for their pitiful governmental allowances―just like you and I work for our paychecks. The only difference is that a higher power stands guard over their food pantries and dining preferences.

Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, this is not a perfect world. Contrary to popular belief, there are not enough opportunities, jobs, and luxuries to go around. Changing your circumstances is not as easy as “going out and finding work.” Poverty is an epidemic―and it cycles. Regulating the scraps that are rationed out to the poor isn’t going to solve the problem. Our nation itself is in debt, to the tune of $16,787,451,118,147―and I don’t know about you but I sure as hell don’t see any restrictions on our government’s grocery bills.