Sep 8 2018

(In)tolerance

I’ve been thinking about resistance. I’m thinking about the things or causes that I believe in and would and do fight for. Or do my best to support.

Today added to my thinking are tolerance or intolerance and their relationship to hypocrisy. Full on sibling or half-sibling? Hmm…?

I’m thinking or wondering how does one speak their opinion of a cause without retribution, name-calling or fear.

I am not very often direct. Fully admitting to the passive-aggressive approach. That is probably a mistake. Some may disagree with that. But in the grand scheme, I am more silent than I probably should be as is evident by the many, many “drafts” in Notes, email, etc. Seriously, you should see the number count in comparison to when I have actually said something.

I was more or less direct a few weeks back and stated the reasons on a FB page why I did not support the Kavanaugh nomination. The reply from a woman in AZ who doesn’t know me any more than I could know her replied, idiot.

Anyway…I know I’m not an idiot. But I also have enough self-awareness that I can’t know enough to be so sure and bold as to put it out there the way some of you do.

Intolerance – unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one’s own.

Tolerance – the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular, the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

In my opinion, I often read people in a hypocritical argument talking tolerance while being intolerant. Slippery slope. How does one navigate that?

Why is our choice of the damnation of another where we go with our differences?

We live in a country that allows us to freely have these opinions I thought without retribution unless it breaks the law.

And does anyone think that by blasting their opinion over and over and over again will change the opinion or conversation of very large and hot point topics?

I’m not saying stop voicing your opinion but maybe it’s the delivery. Maybe it’s how you present it when it sounds like you haven’t given any consideration to the other side. And when the other side is for the most part POC and those most often disenfranchised. What are the rest of is to think about your strong opinion when there is no hint of tolerance in your opposition? Or the opinion slides into an opinion that is far-reaching and dangerous for those who are already in some cases just trying to live.

We can’t have it both ways. We can’t think we are tolerant and expect everyone to tolerate our opinion if we frame it with the vitriol and baseless foundation that much seems to be formed on.

In the documentary, RGB Justice Ginsberg says about her time at Harvard, if you were called on in class and you didn’t perform well you were failing not just for your self but for all women. Take that out of its context and consider everything that you believe to be right or just. Think about the person you are vehemently disagreeing with and where their opinion is coming from. Why are they fighting an injustice? And why are you perceiving it not to be an injustice?

Understanding takes time, commitment and I think an extraordinary effort to set aside yourself listen and feel the pain and discomfort of others. Feel it as much as you can. Remove you from the scenario. If only we could walk in another’s shoes so as to not be so short sighted of others plight.

Actually most often, you can’t actually know or understand the scenario. Often, honestly, I see the argument against a person of color or a class that is being disenfranchised by an establishment as most maddening to the person who is opposing the cause rather than the person or persons it actually affects.

Ok, so I’ll get specific. The Flag. Honestly, I don’t think of the “flag” that often because it is an object. And I feel that we have taken a singular one-track idea of what that object represents. My family has always had one. How many didn’t have one until after 9/11?

The Flag. I was going to give you the link I found in my search, then decided, you’re on the internet go Google it yourself and see what you come up with.

The flag does not mean one thing. Stripes represent colonies stars states. “The colors of the flag are symbolic as well; red symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes purity and innocence, and blue represents vigilance, perseverance, and justice.”

Here’s another; “Very often, the colors used in a flag represent the values of that country (or other entity). Black often represents determination, ethnic heritage, and/or defeating one’s enemies. Blue often represents freedom, vigilance, perseverance, justice, prosperity, peace, and/or patriotism.”

I’ll repeat part of that; Black often represents determination, ethnic heritage, and/or defeating one’s enemies. Determination comes in all forms. The determination to create a space where people like yourself truly have the freedom and equality that all have, not just a certain few.

I find it rather curious that while arguing about the flag, it’s rarely mentioned that prior to 2009 NFL players didn’t come out onto the field until after the anthem. Then the military paid for that to change. Paid patriotism. What do you do with that? So a very large organization or company pays for that thing you have an opposing opinion of and lack of unanimous approval or acceptance is seen as, well…just do it. We can’t have it both ways. Paid patriotism? Why is that acceptable?

Please disagree, don’t like this or that. But don’t tell others they can’t. Or how they should feel about something. Especially if what is happening really has no physical or economic effect on you. That’s what, if anything the flag means to me.

Maybe do something constructive to change it. But sharing a divisive article and posting your outrage on FB, honestly says more about you than what you have posted. Especially to those who see the injustice, for POC, women, the poor and disenfranchised. And just perpetuates the division.

How does one respect something or someone who will take every opportunity to disrespect anyone, anything without hesitation?

We take objects or amendments, or ideas, or ideology and add or mix their meaning as we move through and navigate the world and we forget where things came from and the history that it represents. Just like the bible and taking it ALL literally or just what fits our current argument against something we disagree with.

Another short quote from RGB, “or striving for a more perfect union.” I’ll not say more to that because I believe if you know me or pay attention to what I do say from time to time you will know what that means to me.

I don’t understand a lot of things. But I try really hard to listen and read all I can. Sometimes that reading is uncomfortable. But I feel I must read it.

I read the book Radical Dharma by, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens and Dr. Jasmine Syedullah There were parts that were very uncomfortable. But I believe it was an uncomfortable I had to feel, I needed to feel to even try to get to a place of understanding.

Now I’m reading Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From The Inside Out, by Ruth King who invites us to: Tend first to our suffering and confusion, listen to what it is trying to teach us, and direct its energies most effectively for change. 

She writes about and lists what whites typically say(guilty) and what POC commonly say. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far there is a lot of good in the book. For example;

“Why is white group identity important to acknowledge and investigate? The answer is simple—relatively speaking, it exists. To avoid this examination is white privilege. Most people growing in racial consciousness would consider it major progress for the human race if white people were to not only recognize themselves as a racial group, with a collective history of dominance and privilege but also to become attentively curious and diligent about how, as a race, they have become dis-membered as a group body as a result of that privilege. This inquiry would be a wholesome and healing use of privilege that supports bridging separation within white communities and between whites and humanity at large.”

“Common to all of us is the fact that we don’t see the world as it is but how we have been conditioned to see it. The delusion we carry is that everyone sees—or should see—the world as we do.”

“But when I look at you, I don’t see race.” As an African American woman, this well-meaning comment from the lens of the white individual renders my experience as a racial group member invisible, my history whitewashed, and my people at continued risk. It’s an innocence I can’t afford to have. When whites don’t see race when they look at me, they see me as an individual, just as they see themselves. In doing so, they deny my racial identity and group history—a history that their racial group is a part of subordinating. Given that my racial group identity has been historically denied respectful visibility and equality, such a statement, and many like them, is more an insult than a compliment.”

Guilty. Guilty.

So let’s be careful and not get ahead of our understanding. Or think that we have read enough to have an understanding. Let’s not question others way of dealing with the harm they feel from words, looks or even history that can’t seem to right itself to equality.

There are over seven billion people in the world. So at least seven billion opinions. How in the world will you make yours different or worthy of a true, honest respectful conversation? A. Conversation. Don’t make me define that for you.

Peace

-Jinpa Datso


Nov 11 2012

I Am Not Misinformed!

Okay, I’m going to rant a bit! Imagine this writing in all caps…my bark is always worse then my bit. Maybe….

I refuse to claim the title, directly or indirectly of misinformed. Or it being “my fault” that President Obama was re-elected. And most certainly will not accept that I or anyone who voted for President Obama is part of the “dumbing down of America”!

Come on people! Wake up to the evolving ever changing (thank God) world that we live in. Where because of the nature of a country that offers life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, by that statement alone opens doors and yes boarders.

And I refuse to slap a title onto anyone who voted differently that I did. I wish I were that smart. I take that back. I don’t ever want to be or even think that I am that smart, that I can assume that anyone made a misinformed decision because it was different from mine.

I read my eye’s dry most days. A luxury of unemployment. (she says in gest) If only there was a news outlet on television that I could watch that would give me “the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them God” reporting. One station just talks, one just shows the clips that justify what they want to be the truth, another show shows context but it’s a comedy show.

If the media took an entire statement, start to end and actually analyzed what was said and then was actually given the opportunity to ask questions of the statement and have reasonable expectation that they would actually get an answer. Then we might have something.

I try to read and when I do listen to people, I listen to those who have some sort of background the allows me some level of confidence that they freaking know how to speak on the subject of what they are talking about. And that it’s not based on their own fear of change or personal ideology that in no way supports the nature of this diverse county. I refuse to listen to those in the media who pontificate and spew hatred and fear with no facts or information to back it up their words.

I’m not the smartest person in the room, nor will I ever be. But I am smart enough to know where to find information to make my own informed and God given right to a decision.

Some of the places I go to read and try to understand;
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/
http://online.wsj.com/home-page
http://www.nytimes.com/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (because it pulls from everywhere)\
http://thehill.com/
http://www.ap.org/
http://www.economist.com/

I watch;
http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/
http://www.thedailyshow.com/ (cause I need a laugh and he gives context that I can then go check)

I try to watch;
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/
http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/
http://www.cbsnews.com/face-the-nation/

I do not watch shows that base their opinion on the hatred or the demonization of anyone, official or otherwise. I have tried to watch or listen. I can’t stomach it just like I can’t stomach what I’ve been reading this week from people who I believe to be loving and caring individuals. We may have differing opinions, but the lack of respect for those difference to me is destructive.

I will also not blame any “one” person for where we are because I do not believe that any “ONE” person has that much power and singlehandedly got us to this point. That is just being narrow minded and not open to the entire conversation.

Do we not have a House of Representative? Do we not have Congress? The guilt for blame is wide spread and hits more people than I have the time to or care to mention.

What is it you all want? A dictatorship? A county run by one person and one agenda? That is not what we have and certainly what we will ever have as long as the democracy that was created for us years ago is allowed to continue. Please?

Conservative or Republican ideas or ideology have never set well with me. I don’t think that we, by any stretch of any means live in a black and white world. In my opinion Conservatives and the Republican party want a black and white, cut and dried nice little tidy world. We don’t live in a just black and white (literally or figuratively) or tidy world. Change is painful, but always necessary.

It’s not easy. We have to work for it like everything else in our lives. I am that large percentage of the “unmarried woman” who voted for Obama. I have never had or have been in a two-income family or household. Or had a second income to help me through three stents of unemployment. I have family and friends who have graciously helped, but I am in this game all by myself. I am also an uninsured unmarried woman. Because ten years ago I accepted a referral from my MD for a therapist. I’m not insurable. Not crazy or unstable. Very stable I think, considering. Just not enough to be insured. Not something I care to be at the age of 52, uninsured that is.

But I digress.

I can go out and find hundreds of video and words to support my convictions just like the ones I have seen and watched all over Facebook since Tuesday. Video’s, real or otherwise of people taking advantage of systems. People saying incredibly stupid and yes misinformed things.

OF COURSE THAT is what you will find. How about making your point with real ideas of how to change things. How systems can be better monitored instead of blaming one man for everything.

But I choose to find out as much as I can, to read both sides of what is really going on and stay away from any thing that sounds like, looks like or feels like that in four years we will somehow this country will be down the drain.

We don’t talk about the issues we point fingers and blame others for not playing the game the way we want it played. We don’t debate the issues in true debate format so that actual thoughts and ideas can be explained or even completed. We don’t answer hard questions because deep down when we get to what we really for a real solution, the answer is the same and that scares the crap out of us. Really? We believe and want the same thing? I believe that we do, that we all have rights and liberties that we don’t want taken away or changed.

Well guess what folks. The world is changing and we have to let some of it go. I don’t see anything but love in the changes that I see for this country. God forbid that we have a government that projects us from terrorists and financial failure and allows us to live in love and safety.

Why do we vote? We vote because we believe in the system that has been handed down to us for generations. There isn’t a right or wrong an informed or misinformed party. And I am up to my eye balls freaking tired of seeing it and hearing it.

There. I think I’m done.