Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

Women should cook, clean, make babies, raise babies, and ALWAYS vote Republican.  Let’s be honest, isn’t decision making really a man’s thing, anyway?  Sure, Hilary Clinton was Secretary of State, but let’s not forget, she didn’t know how to keep her husband happy or he would never have found himself playing phallic dentist with Monica Lewinsky or struggling to define the word “is.”  

Does America have the same disease as Benjamin Button? No, I’m being absolutely serious when I ask this question.  Did I go to bed September 30th and time travel?

A Diary Entry from 1790

Tis been a weary month for politics I must confess.  For I heard a large rumbling among the townsmen last eve as I traveled upon my trusted horse, General Washington.  As an aside, I must confess that the Stoltzfus barn is coming along mightily and tis my opinion he will be the envy of our small town quite soon.  Also, I happened upon a young Negro boy happily working in the fields  for no pay; my how happy he must be to have a place to sleep, food to eat and all for some hearty work in the field. I do believe I prattle on too much but I digress.  

Upon reaching the hallowed doors of the local pub, I met good friends to share an ale (or two) and to feast upon a great leg of mutton.  However, the most troubling and yet wildly entertaining news traveled through the crisp Autum air.  The town crier spoke of women wanting to vote.  My how I laughed at such a silly assertion; women, like children, should be seen and not heard.  I doth fear witchcraft is abound.

If I wake up one day and slide my feet into buckled shoes, throw on a powdered wig and adorn it with a tricorn hat, I’m going to be pissed.  Why the anger?

This is why the anger.

That’s right, ladies, according to the handful of young Republican women that developed and executed this ad campaign believe that they are smarter than you but obviously not as smart as any man.  Call this liberal whining or not being able to take a joke, but I assure you I can take a joke.  A joke is meant to elicit laughter and to entertain in some way.  A witty, yet terribly sad attempt to replicate a television show in order to convince young women that voting for Rick Scott and is like being on the television show “Say Yes to the Dress,” is, for a lack of a better word or phrase, a giant “F” you to women everywhere.  Wrap your feeble little girl brains around the insidiousness of that commercial if you can.  If you can’t, perfect!  The ad was meant for you.

I scoured the Internet searching for someone to debunk this ad in the vain hope that it was a ruse, a most brilliant commercial devised by the folks at the Onion.  It’s not.  It’s real!  (By the way, if you are a woman and found this article all by yourself, you should be proud.  Yes, that’s a good girl but what did we discuss about you leaving the kitchen?)

It appears that according to the College Republican National Committee and Rick Scott, young women are only as smart as the reality television they watch.  Also striking is the assertion that all young women get married.  The college debt piece made me chuckle because it softened the blow of the deliberate attempt to say, “you’re college educated but you’re jumping right into marriage because, well, you have a vagina.”

Why then, is this political ad equal parts genius and disturbing?  It is genius because it stirred up controversy, thus insuring hashtag notoriety on Twitter and bloggers writing endless articles in response to the outrageous and ignorant message perpetrated by this sixty-second preface for the arrival of the Anti-Christ and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Though only a minute, I see a spin off of advertisement campaigns appealing to the different  “minorities” out there.

The Redneck (Duck Dynasty)

The Robertson family is standing on their front porch. (Actually, the Robertson women are inside cooking because, well, duh, they’re women.)  Phil Robertson is reading the Bible to all of his grandchildren seated at his feet proclaiming why homosexuality is a sin.  Willie is there whittling a stick and spitting into a spittoon.  Si is running up trees while chasing squirrels or some other type of vermin.  Other than a few words of intolerance spoken by the patriarch of the family, no other lines are heard.  A deep, Appalachian type voice narrates the thirty second ad.  “America is under attack.  If you want to hate homosexuals, whittle whatever you want and chase four legged creatures up trees, then vote for Rick Scott!”

He’s the Governor of Florida.  I cannot imagine there is not some contingency of voters that fit this mold.

Obnoxiously Rich Drama Queens (The Real Housewives of Miami)

This ad would just have whoever is on the show holding thousand dollar shoes, handbags, belts and any other accessory that should cost forty bucks.  Over-sized price tags with giant red font would show off outrageous prices.  The women would begin to admire all of the accessories and they would begin to grab at each others merchandise, yanking it to and fro.  Perhaps for dramatic flair one of the women grabs the hair of another woman and begins to pull violently.  

Moments before the whole scenario blows up completely, Rick Scott shows up with fists full of money and declares, “Ladies, relax.  You’re rich and if you help me get elected, I’ll make sure your husbands pay very little tax.  <Insert upper class, Ted Knight from Caddyshack chuckle.>  All of the women quickly drop their respective accouterments and in a blatant display of flirting begin to seductively nibble their fingertips and play with their hair.

Actually, I am not sure this advertisement would fly because it sounds a little too much like honesty.  I cannot imagine Rick Scott would actually come right out and say, “I like the company I keep to be like the cheesecake I eat; rich and white.”

Lazy White Trash (Here Comes Honey Boo Boo)

Holding a gallon of ice cream each, Mama June and Honey Boo Boo share a couch as they look into the camera with a look of consternation.  After three giant spoonfuls of ice cream are labeled to their respective gullets, Honey Boo Boo speaks.  “I may not be Ol’ nuff to vote, but if I could, I’d vote for Scott Rick…I mean, Rick Scott.  He promises us more ice cream and if he promises me more ice cream he must be some good kind of person cause ice cream is delicious. <farts> Mama, I farted.  Anyways, if my Mama’s jazzy scooter is charged up on election day, you best believe my Mama and me’s gonna roll up dere and s’port Rick Scott.”

God, I really hope the political strategists for Rick Scott are paying attention.  I am literally offering up political gold here.  The 2016 presidential election will look more like the commercial break between A&E programming than the traditional mud slinging ads where one liar claims the other candidate is a liar while lying about lying.

The New Age Entrepreneur  (Storage Wars)

This is the coup de gras.  The cast of “Storage Wars” are sifting through the storage lockers they bid on and won.  Each of them is coming up empty handed.  Then the “yuuuuuuuuup” guy, Dave Hester, moves a dirty mattress and behind the mattress is Rick Scott sitting on a throne.  Rick Scott looks right into the camera and asks the following questions.

“Do you like going waist deep into other people’s crap? “Yuuuuuuuuuup!” 

Do you like gambling with your own money because you “think” there’s buried treasure in all of the muck of politics?  “Yuuuuuuuuuup!” 

Are you a self rigtheous <bleep>hole that thinks you’re smarter than everyone else in the room?  “Yuuuuuuuuuup!” 

Hi, I’m Governor Rick Scott reminding you that I think people are much dumber than they look.  If you vote for me, I promise to break my promises.  It’s simple; reelect me, Rick Scott, and I’ll do everything I can to prove that you are no better than ninety percent of the crap the cast of “Storage Wars” throws away after bidding on a storage unit filled with valueless garbage.

Sadly, the ad created by the College Republican National Committee is a character assassination on women.  The level of presumptuousness that the ad contains is enough to fill a storage locker from “Storage Wars.”  Women are under attack in the video and it plays to a demographic of presumed dummies and dopes that vote according to their television watching habits.

If that video is reflective of the opinion that Republicans have of the demographic they are targeting, why have they chosen to bypass a political advertisements that have football players and fans drinking beer.  “It’s fourth and one and we’re driving this campaign into the endzone.  Let’s just score already so we can go drink a beer or twelve and drive trucks with hemi engines and little lights on the side view mirrors that go blinky-blinky because women like shiny things and men like things that light up.”

Let us also get one thing clear.  I am not outraged because of the video.  I think it is actually quite genius.  They have an intended demographic, they targeted said demographic and in the meantime, harnessed a great deal of attention for their group and Rick Scott.  It will call to arms those that believe liberals are too “PC” (I tend to agree that we have taken political correctness to a nauseating level) and the liberals will whine about how the ad is outright offensive.

In reality, what will be offensive is if this ad actually works.  If any person, male or female, watches this video and feels an overwhelming urge to vote for Rick Scott, then things like the electoral college start to make sense.  America has to be better than this, right?

As a father of daughters, I am angry because of this political ad’s disregard for a woman’s ability to discern between credible and incredible.   When America needs to be smarter, more demanding, and more informed, people are spoon fed deception through mediums that people believe are actually real.  It is one thing for my daughters to start hinting at wanting certain toys or cereals because the commercials do a tremendous job of convincing children that they not only want Reese’s Puffs or the newest line of Barbie, they need these things.

Women are not children.  Children are children.  The moment when those people that these types of ads target decide that enough is enough, change may very well occur.  Until then, politicians like Rick Scott will avoid any culpability in matters of disingenuous and egregious political advertising that basically says, “Get Back in the Kitchen, B!&%*”

**It should be noted that not only has this video surfaced on behalf of Rick Scott, a version for Tom Corbett, Rick Snyder, Bruce Rauner, Bob Beauprez, and Asa Hutchinson is also available.  That’s right folks, we recycle excrement by replacing names.  Not only does the College Republican National Committee now speak on the behalf of multiple candidates, it proves that they busted their secular little brains making one video and simply made this video universal for all Republican candidates.

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“I’m color blind, I don’t see race.”

I’ve heard it and read it many times before.  It is, whether anyone wants to deny or argue the point, a completely illogical and impossible feat.  Surely, the extreme witticisms of the every day contrarian would say, “What if someone is color blind?”

Technically, individuals should state, “I am race blind.”  That would make more sense but would still be an outright lie.  People, even the most tolerant and righteous individuals, still see race.  It is not shameful to categorize, it is shameful to add conditions to categories.

I have many friends and acquaintances.  I do not know off-hand the number for the different races and ethnicities that I have befriended and have befriended me, but I would imagine the number is relatively high.  I am closer to some of those individuals than I am others.  How then did I get to this place?

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When my Dad was on a meth bender, incarcerated, or in rehab, it was his black friends stopping by and asking my Mom if she need anything.  Money for laundry, gas, or food, my Dad’s black friends were there.  However, that is part of my recollection for this article, not for some specific file system in my mind where I feel the need to categorize.  It is merely a qualifying statement to create perspective.

The key to “race blindness” is whether our parents, our family and our friends are willing to act as our own personal Oedipus and blind us for the sake of being able to actually see.  I would rather be the empathic learner, the individual that will assess others based on what they present to the world from within.  It is hard for those that are not raised to appreciate the value of the individual when it is much easier to formulate opinions and label individuals based on something as generic as race.

Imagine if science took the same archaic, lazy approach to labels.

In Chemistry, O=Oxygen, K=Potassium, H=Hydrogen, U=Uranium.  Without H mixing with two O’s, life would cease to exists, pool parties would just be parties, and Adam Sandler would have one less movie to his credits.  According to doctors, K is pretty important and without it, I would not have an excuse to eat bananas, a fruit rich with potassium.  Now, put in me in a room with U and, well, all the H2O and K in the world will not help me.  At best I grow a tail, at worst I develop cancer and possibly die.

I listed a few examples from the periodic table of elements.  Uranium is not a good element when exposed to it directly.  However, when further studied, scientists figured out that uranium can become a solution for energy concerns.  It can also be harnessed and used for weapons of mass destruction.  I can’t just say Uranium is bad because it kills.  Too much of, or in mixture with other elements, all the examples listed can be fatal.  If I subscribe to bigoted views and used that “logic” for hating a specific race, I would also have to use that same line of narrow thinking when it comes to chemistry.  Down with the elements.  (Shortly after that statement, all things composed of elements would be taken from me and I would suffocate because of that pesky combination of two O particles making oxygen.)

Too loose of an argument?PeriodicTableWallpaper

Remember the cute acronym our teachers taught us growing up in order to remember the taxonomy of organisms?  My sixth grade science teacher taught me: King Phillip Came Over For Great Spaghetti.  (Kingdom – Phylum – Class – Order – Family – Genus – Species).  The taxonomy stops after species.  You can’t get away from it.  When labeling animals, unfortunately for some, there’s no R in the acronym for narrow-minded people to squeeze in race.  I know, it’s heart breaking, but sometimes truth and science, two constants that many people ignore because it flies in the face of their own views, cannot be ignored.

I am also aware that many groups have used illogical science to argue matters of race and the biggest example I recall were the Nazis.  If that’s your argument, then there’s really no room at the table for your type of discourse.  (It may sound exclusionary but if we are talking race, we must discount illogical and self-serving science that argues only on behalf of an exclusionary debate.)

If it is history that we must turn to in order to argue the need for race blindness, then our examples are endless.  Olaudah Equiano, a slave that bought his own freedom and became a prominent abolitionist in England, serves as a tremendous example of the equality of man.  Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a prime example of the commitment and sacrifice one must endure to overcome inequality and hatred. (Yes, he was also a known womanizer but Thomas Jefferson, a revered forefather of America and the author of the Declaration of Independence whose hypocritical words that professed all men are created equal not only owned slaves, he fathered children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings.)  Great people are not beyond reproach; after all, they are still, according to King Phillip and the rest of his acronym, all part of the same species.

Sadly, race blindness may never be a universally accepted and practiced ideal. Though this Utopian idea may never be the standard for people, I always wonder if somewhere in the Garden of Eden there wasn’t a spotting of crab grass or intrusive ivy.  We can labor endlessly trying to root out that which we do not want or we can admire the beauty in that which is already beautiful.

I will never know what it means to be black.  I do know what it means to be discriminated against.  I’ve walked through GAP and, poetically, had a black employee follow me around because I am tattooed and look more comfortable shopping at Hot Topic than at a store known for its khakis and collared shirts.  This does not put me in the same echelon of race discrimination but it is just as maddening.  I know what poverty looks, feels, sounds, smells, and tastes like.  As an educator, I’ve attended funerals of young black men shot and killed and sat bedside at the hospital of those students caught in the crossfire of violence.  Pundits will argue my experiences are simply more examples of black on black crime.  What a convenient argument for a much larger issue.

Poverty is not just a black issue in America.  There are droves of white people who are dirty faced, under-educated and neglected that exist only because of welfare.  There are those that cheat the system and I say shame on our government for ever getting so big that it would rather let itself spiral into an existence of institutionalized racism than to work towards taking care of its people so those people can work to take care of themselves.

It is impossible to get a straight answer from a racist or a bigot.  They know the answer to our questions.  They recognize that if they respond honestly, that their provincial views become vessels of intolerable ignorance and hypocrisy.  Yes, America has a race problem.  No, it will not go away overnight.

I know individuals that are racist and bigoted because of singular events that led them down the path of intolerance.  Unfortunately, I too have an experience that I will never shake.  At twelve years old, five older teens jumped out of a mini van and beat me with boards, stomped on my face, kicked me, spit on me and laughed.  I will never forget those five white faces.  Yes, I know it seems unbelievable and wholly impossible, but I was part of white on white crime.  Even more outlandish is the fact that not only do I still love white people,  I married a white woman.  (For the sake of full disclosure, I actually married two white women.)

Before we, as a Nation, continue to debate the issue of race, remember that we respond to the opinions of individuals while lumping them into a much larger group.  We want answers and solutions while dismissing the tremendous work that must go into the great shift so many people idly hope and pray for one day.  Ignorance is pandemic and though many argue it is a case of histrionics at its worst, we cannot change the past.  We must be willing to live proudly in the present and work ferociously to change the future.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisSmith215