The mental meanderings of a frustrated Browncoat

On Racial “Tolerance”

This is a repost from my MySpace Blog circa a long time ago!

 Being a southern gal, I have been unfairly accused all too often by those who are ignorant, of being racist just because of my geographical location and heritage. This is actually hilarious given the fact that I have often found myself more comfortable in the company of those of a different race or culture. I have grown immensely due to my exposure to the fascinating cultures and customs of those whose skin just happens to differ from the color of my own. And this is thanks to my extremely southern parents who taught me that everyone has value no matter what their skin color, religious preference, or sexual proclivites. 

My father, who once marched for civil rights before Martin Luther King began preaching, and my mother, whose best friend in high school was gay, taught me to appreciate the differences and learn from them, in a very subtle way. They taught by example. I cannot remember a time when our home was not open to all races and cultures. My parent’s home is now filled with a lifetime of wonderful mementos of the fabulous relationships shared with people from all over the world. Buried in a drawer somewhere, my mother has a wonderful Lebanese shawl decorated with gold threads, castanets from my sister’s Hispanic Godmother, fabric handwoven in Guatemala….the list goes on and on. More importantly, our lives have been enriched by the many different experiences we have shared just by opening up our hearts.

My parents never had to tell me not to use the ‘n’ word. I did not even know the words existed until I was in middle school and even then did not understand the significance. All because my parents taught me to love.

But, I did grow up and as a result came into contact with those who were not as fortunate as I. I have lived all over the USA and sadly have seen racial hatred everywhere, the worst of which is not in the American South as some would have you believe. And I have come to the conclusion that the basis of this hatred is fear. Fear of the unknown; fear of that which is different; fear of change. 

The problem is that of our anthropological heritage. In order to survive the dangers of nature, the fragile early man learned to mistrust that which was different and that which would change his environment. This instinct strengthened over the generations as mankind found himself faced with various marauding neighboring tribes who had not yet learned to be politically correct. To trust the outsider was to allow potential danger into the clan. It was one thing to put one’s self at risk; but, quite another to put your entire family and sometimes even your entire clan at risk. And, nature being nature, she reinforced this fear generation after generation by killing off those who were less fearful of the the stranger. Less fearful of that which was new or different. 

Skip ahead thousands of years and now we find ourselves with this ingrained distrust of those who might bring change into our lives. Is it logical for our times? No. But, it is bred into us and is something that must be gradually overcome. Just in my lifetime, I have seen great strides made in cross-cultural relations and I take hope in the fact that at least most people are aware of the problem. Baby steps… That is what we need to take…

Now I am going to say something which will probably blow your mind, if not enrage some of you. Do me a favor though and read the entire blog before sending out the lynch mob. Really.

 We should not practice racial tolerance. What did she say? I will repeat it again… We should not practice racial tolerance! “That woman has totally gone off her rocker! Why would she say such a thing? Hasn’t she just spent half a blog arguing against racism?” Yes. And I still am arguing against racism. But, let’s talk a minute about the phrase “racial tolerance” or more specifically the word ‘tolerance’.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word ‘tolerance’ is defined as:

1: capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina

2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own b: the act of allowing something : toleration

3: the allowable deviation from a standard; especially : the range of variation permitted in maintaining a specified dimension in machining a piece

4 a (1): the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure ; also : the immunological state marked by unresponsiveness to a specific antigen (2): relative capacity of an organism to grow or thrive when subjected to an unfavorable environmental factor b: the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that may lawfully remain on or in food

Hmmm… So we are supposed to treat those who are of a different race as though they are something to be put up with? Something which must be endured similar to my chronic pain? I tolerate the income tax; however, I loathe it and would vote to annihilate it in a heartbeat. So, do I tolerate those who happen to possess a different color of skin? NO! And neither should you. 

The word ‘tolerance’ predisposes us to believe that we are somehow better than those who are different from us. That those who are different must be in some way inferior just because they do not share our way of life, our spirituality, our skin color. WRONG! If we are going to learn how to love our fellow man, we must first get over the idea that we are the best, the smartest, the most spiritual, the most developed. We must open our hearts and open our minds, learning from those whose ideas differ from ours. The only way to end the hatred is to stop paying homage to the idea of “racial tolerance” and start practicing love. Don’t be afraid. 


Yes, Santa Exists!

The following is a repost from 2013:

St. Nicolas

I just wrote a scathing letter to a “Christian” author who, with misplaced pride, wrote that Santa had never been to his home. What? Obviously we are dealing with someone who has no knowledge of Christian history! And you know I just HAD to educate him! Here is my reply:
Mr. Xxxxxxx, I just read your article regarding Santa and I’m writing to tell you that I weep for you and your family. Your understanding and scholarship of Christianity and Christmas is so limited in scope that you deny the reality of a true Christan saint who gave his life to spread Christ’s message of Hope and Love. It is criminal that you know so little about the history of your own religion and yet you blithely spread your ignorance with belligerent pride.
Santa Claus aka St. Nicholas is and was a REAL PERSON who helped shape Christianity as we know it. Nicholas was born circa 270 in Patara in the region of Lycia (now Turkey), to pious parents and raised in a Christian environment. His love for our Lord led him to forsake worldly pursuits for the priesthood where his study and enthusiasm earned him respect from both the clergy and congregation. His piety was so great, he eventually became Bishop of Myra. He focused on charity work and gave all his worldly goods away to the poor. In fact, our tradition of hanging stockings for Santa comes from one particular legend of his generosity. A local businessman had fallen on hard times and did not have a dowery for his three daughters. Saint Nicholas reportedly climbed in their window and left gold in their stockings which they had hung by the fire to dry after washing.

When the Emperor Diocletian came to power, Bishop Nicholas was imprisoned for not bowing down to the idols of the imperial cult. During his imprisonment, he encouraged other prisoners to keep their faith and offered them peace during their ordeal. Upon the ascension of the Emperor Constantine to power, Bishop Nicholas was released from captivity and returned to his episcopate in Myra.

In 325, he played a MAJOR role in the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea helping to formulate the Nicene Creed which is THE profession of the Christian faith common to the Catholic Church, all the Eastern Churches, and to most of the Protestant denominations.

Yes, that should ring a bell or two… And you deny that Santa exists? Even worse, you taught your son that he doesn’t exist? You are depriving your child of the example of this exemplary Christian. In what way is this good? Yes, the merchandisers have twisted the meaning behind Saint Nicholas aka Santa Claus; however, which is worse? Perversion of the Truth or outright denial of the Truth? Materialism is not fought with ignorance.

It is my personal belief that this type of article is the work of Satan because your ignorance is obscuring the Truth and spreading falsehood. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” Matthew 12:30 (NASB) Before sharing your ignorance with the world, please do your research. A good start would be:

Oh, and yes, Santa Claus has been to many people’s homes, including mine. Within the Catholic faith, we celebrate St. Nicholas on Dec. 6, when many German, Scandinavian, & Polish families hang stockings for St. Nicholas to fill. In my own family, my daughter became overjoyed when she grew old enough to share the work of St. Nicholas by filling stockings and gathering gifts for the poor. Yes, we donate year round; however, on Dec. 6th we give to honor a role model: St. Nicholas. On Christmas Day, we exchange gifts in honor of the most wonderful gift from our Father in Heaven: Jesus Christ. 
Has the Holy Spirit not been to your home, Mr. Xxxxxxx If so, how can you deny that the spirit of one of God’s saints has visited mine?

Here is an article by a friend which I believe says it all!

The Snark Who Hunts Back

choiceIs homosexuality a choice?

Well as a lesbian let me tell you, it’s not. I’m not going to get into the ‘TMI’ part of explaining how I know that for certain, but suffice to say I shopped and bought on both sides of the store and only one side had any outfits that worked.

But I’m not here to bash you over the head with that. I’m used to the fact that not everyone is going to agree with me all the time and I don’t care whether you think I was born this way or chose it.

What I am here to say is that, for real conservatives, that question should be the most irrelevant question in the world.

When I talk about conservative beliefs I mean beliefs that center around small government and freedom, just like our Founding Fathers would have wanted. Now our Founding Fathers did come from…

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The Zen of Hand Crafting

One of the things which putting my recent steampunk cosplay for Dragon*Con together taught me is that we as a society have forgotten the skill of patience. We have machines which make our lives faster and “easier”; but, which dull our appreciation for the hand crafted.  
Case in point: I do not possess a sewing machine and therefore resorted to sewing everything on my my costume by hand, right down to the buttonholes. Needless to say, it took quite a bit of time and I had time to ruminate on things such as society’s lack of patience. It also allowed me time to understand why people expect hand made goods to be practically given away.  Yeah, some of my seams were cockeyed ( I had no pattern); but, I love the imperfections.
But getting back to my point, we no longer possess the framework to appreciate those who dedicate time, energy, & patience to their craft. We expect instant gratification because the microwave, car, elevators, planes, washing machines, dryers, TV, printer, sewing machine, grocery store, mall, etc. ad infinitum have trained us to be impatient.
But, aren’t we missing the point? Those conveniences were supposed to allow us free time; but, they merely increased the speed of our headlong rush to death. So, in defiance of that mindset, I stitch in the way my pioneer ancestors stitched. I paint in the way artists of old painted. I create in an effort to connect. Not as a way to make money to buy more machines; but, as a way to live, experience, and communicate.

So, I’ve been thinking about the Target & transgenders in the bathroom issue and I’m concerned because all the issues which I have really have not been brought up in a very coherent way. So, I decided to investigate the facts of the issue rather than rely on emotion to guide my response. I have nothing against transgenders and feel sympathy for their plight. However, there are many important considerations which are being ignored by those in favor of allowing transgenders in women’s restrooms.
One problem is legal. When a woman or child is assaulted by a man in a public restroom designated as women only, they currently have the upper hand legally. As soon as you change the rules, ANY man, rapist, voyeur, pedophile, flasher, or whatever may legally walk into a woman’s restroom. Then suddenly, the law has shifted and any attack becomes a matter of he said, she said. 

Now here is the crux of the matter….. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, only .3% of the American population is transgender. That is POINT THREE percent…. not even half of 1% of the U.S. population! Contrast that with the CDC’s figures which state that nearly one in five women have been raped. That is 19.3% of the population who has been violated by a man and who will forever suffer psychological and emotional damage. We are supposed to inflict further damage by inviting men into the women’s restroom? Where will they be safely able to go to the bathroom?

And if that were not enough, a minority which has NOT been considered in this equation is women who suffer from anxiety…. Who DON’T have an alternative bathroom option. According to the ADAA, anxiety affects 18% of the U.S. Population, a majority of whom are women. That means that it is 60 times more likely that a woman with anxiety will be using the restroom than a transgender will. So, even though women who suffer from anxiety are more at risk and in greater numbers, we are supposed to cater to the very slim chance that a transgender might need to use the restroom in a particular store at a particular time? 

What makes the transgender more important than the larger percentage of women with anxiety? What makes the transgender more important than women who have been raped? What makes the transgender more important than the safety of women and children?

If Target and other businesses are truly concerned about the well being of their customers and are not just trying to appeal to popular opinion, they would build unisex bathrooms for whomever might wish to use them. Until then, I’m sorry. I’m one of those who will not be shopping at Target.

Nathan Deal sells out

What an absolute ass! For some reason, Nathan Deal has decided to kick Georgia’s religious institutions in the teeth by vetoing the Religious Freedom Bill. Good job ass hat! Now any turd may walk into MY House of Worship and tell MY priest that he HAS to do something which is against his morality!

I have ZERO problem with two or more individuals of consenting age being legally bound as a family. As a matter of fact, for the sake of some friends who I dearly love, I wish with all my heart that such unions were not only legal; but, also publicly accepted. I can not believe that any adult relationship which has love at the core can be wrong. HOWEVER! The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights were written to with a mind to protect the individual AND their religious home/church/synagogue/temple/mosque from interference by the Federal Government, to whit our 1st Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

As for worrying about financial fallout from the bill, to hell with any company or “celebrity” who wants to take away our religious freedom! Deal should have personally ushered them out the door! My ancestors fought and died to build a country where they could worship without government intervention and now Nathan Deal has made a mockery of their sacrifice with one fell swoop of his pen. He has chosen sides and it was not the side of Right. Nathan Deal should have done the MORAL thing NOT the financially expedient thing!

A New Breed of Elephant

  So, last year an acquaintance of mine, Meredith Ancret Walker, decided to write a book about a heretofore unrecognized political group in the United States: the Minority Conservative. As a young gay woman, she was tired of the assumption that her sexual orientation determined her political choices. She interviewed a number of other minorities regarding our experiences as political minorities and, ta da! A book was born. And, yes. You did read correctly. As a handicapped female artist from the South, I was included. So, yesterday (when am I not a day late and a dollar short?) her book, A New Breed of Elephant: Conservative Outreach, Transcending Identity Politics, and Victory in the 21st Century, became available on Kindle. I’m pretty sure I am the oldest of the participants in the book. The majority are college kids, black, Hispanic, gay, transgender, bisexual, Wiccan, Buddhist, Jewish… Regardless of age, gender, & religion, we all recognize that the Democratic Party is not good for our country. So, check it out! At the very least it will give you a bit of insight into the minds of the outsiders!