Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Growing Up In The Red Sea of Hypocrisy

So most of you recently have heard (oh please I hope) of the statements Sally Kern made, that were secretly recorded and placed onto YouTube. Even more recently Kern was on Flashpoint and had a debate with my cousin, pastor of The Cathedral of Hope, Scott Jones. The link to view the debate is above. As I was watching the debate, besides the feelings of pity and disgust I had for someone whom was even misquoting the bible from which she assumed her justification for her words and views, I was filled with reminiscence of all my past "conversations" with people of opposing views on race, religion, sex and gender roles, homosexuality, ageism, xenophobia, etc.

Ever since I can remember I have been at odds with the views of most Oklahomans. Not that I haven't done so myself as a younger person, I've always felt something intrinsically wrong with making fun and/or picking on someone because of something they had little to do with, such as race, sex, or sexual preference. As I grew older into my teens, these feelings grew to encompass ideas of toleration for religion (as much as an anarchist, atheist person could at the time), ethnicity, political views, people that choose to eat meat, or any other points which we were free to choose.

I can say though that my patience, understanding, and tolerance of ignorance and stupidity has grown smaller and smaller. I define ignorance as usually those viewpoints of people that are present because people have not been exposed to very many ideas. Often their friends, family, neighborhood, and/ or town usually hold a similar view and because this person has been exposed to mainly this point of view, they believe that this is the correct (and/or only view). Stupidity differs and occurs when one holds a view that is ignorant even when other information/ views have been presented to the person and they "refuse" to listen, consider, or accept a view that differs from their own.

I think many people often consider points of view that differ from their own with caution and skepticism (as I do), with disdain (those who do not like being viewed as wrong), and/or fear and anger (such as people like Kern). When you question people's views, especially ones that have held for sometime, or ones they share with a group, whether it is their family or friends, most people I have encountered are none too pleased. In some part they feel like you are questioning their intelligence. Others feel like you are attacking them as a person and all they have known. People are often threatened by change and ideas that are different. It in some way means that things done, ideas thought, words said might not have been as innocent as they once thought or were led to believe.

I do not consider people stupid for not knowing about how something could be offensive or insensitive to someone else. I do consider them that way if they try to close themselves off from considering what they did or said was wrong. I am also less likely to consider someone as ignorant of issues if they themselves belong to a minority group. My example here comes from one I share and encounter often. Being part of the gay community I must confront ignorant ideas such as Kern's that I am a threat to the moral fabric of society. But I am also part of the Asian American community and must face issues of racism associated with stereotypes about Asians. Some would assume that since I am gay and work for the idealization of a free society for all people that other gay people would have the same view. I believe most people assume this because gays have been and are persecuted for something they did not choose. In this sense they should also understand racism and try their hardest to eradicate injustice and unfairness such as racism and sexism. I used to be that idealistic.

Most of the gay population in Oklahoma (believe it or not!!), are Caucasian. And most of these people have not heard or considered ideas of race. They really haven't had to. It was just in the last few years that the Tulsa Race Riots was admitted as occurring by the state of Oklahoma. And no, I do not believe that one's views of race greatly differ according to your class or education, I've met bigots from all educational and class levels. And while I've met more people in college that believe as I do, I also had the chance to meet plenty of ignorant and stupid ones as well. Another part of trying to tell people that what they said or what they believe is offensive to you is the extreme and and almost immediate anger they have towards your words. They believe that you view them as racist and an ignorant person. If you are talking to me or hanging out with me I seriously doubt that you are racist, but I do believe anyone, black, white, yellow, brown, purple, can have and/ or harbor racist ideas and stereotypes.

We in society are inundated with racial, sexual, religious, homophobic, ageist, cultural, etc, stereotypes. This is mainly why I abhor pop culture. When those around us reinforces those ideas because they live in the same medium as you, most people come to accept that idea as true, none the while realizing that people they may have ideas or stereotypes about are in fact ranging in diversity. I do not consider those who have these ideas as "stupid" or less smart than me because I realize how many Oklahomans have grown up. I WILL consider you as ignorant and even stupid, vile and disgusting if you choose to act as Sally Kern does and close yourself off to ideas that are different than yours. I will feel sorry for you for lacking a strong sense of right and wrong (called morals) to see that treating anyone unequally for something they can not help is unjust. And I one day hope that you love yourself enough as a person to know that everyone deserves freedom, equality, and respect in this world. But that will not happen until we look into ourselves and change all the things that keep this from happening.

'You must be the change you wish to see in the world.’
—Mahatma Gandhi

'Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and change has its enemies.’
—Robert Kennedy

‘The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.’
—Charles F. Kettering

‘The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.’
—Martin Luther King

‘A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.’
-Catherine the Great

‘It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.’
—Alan Cohen

And my favorite for many years now...

‘Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’
—Margaret Mead

Monday, March 24, 2008


So I am taking my little sis to see Tegan and Sara in Tulsa for her birthday! I love it when there is an excuse so I "have" to go. Check out there latest vid, it should be a blast!

"Back In Your Head"

Build a wall of books. Between us in our bed. Repeat, repeat the words
That I know we both said. Relax into the need. We get so comfortable
Remember when I was. So strange and likeable.

I just want back in your head.I just want back in your head
I'm not unfaithful. But I'll stray. When I get a little scared
When I get a little scared. When I get a little

When I jerk away from. Holding hands with you. I know these habits hurt
Important parts of you. Remember when I was.Sweet and unexplainable
Nothing like this person,Unlovable

I just want back in your head. I just want back in your head
I'm not unfaithful. But I'll stray. When I get a little scared
When I get a little scared. When I get a little scared
When I get a little
Run, run, run Run Run, run, run
Run I just want back in your head
I just want back in your head. I'm not unfaithful. But I'll stray

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Song About My Life

So I am having an insomniatic bout right now and decided to share this beautiful song. I love people but seriously I wonder about a lot of them sometimes. I think this song goes especially well for all those past relationships as well. Maybe now I can sleep.

"The Girl You Lost To Cocaine"

I've stuck around, through thick and through thin
You cannot deny, I've always been in
But I've watched you stand, still as a snowman
But I don't see you change, you're always at meltdown

Yeah I've been your crutch, your smell sight and touch
Yeah I took you home when you've drunk too much
But I can't survive, with you by my side
See I'll never get laid, while I'm running your life

No I just don't wanna, so I'm walking away
There is nothing that you can do I will not stay
No I don't need drama, so I'm walking away
Yeah I am a girl with a lot on her plate

So just cut me loose, learn to tie your shoes
There's somebody here, I'd like to introduce
So look in the mirror, look for the glass
'Cause you're not my problem, you are my last

No I just don't wanna, so I'm walking away
There is nothing that you can do I will not stay
No I don't need drama, so I'm walking away
Yeah I am a girl with a lot on her plate

No I just don't wanna, so I'm walking away
There is nothing that you can do I will not stay
No I don't need drama, so I'm walking away
I'm just a girl that you lost to cocaine

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Some Thoughts on Life

These past couple of weeks have been quite entertaining and satisfying for me. If anything they have re-affirmed the positive things that life has to offer. One thing I have tried to do over the years is stop being so co-dependent on others for my happiness. I was constantly being disappointed and hurt by others because I was basing what I thought of myself by how others treated me. Things like I was only good person if I was dating someone. Or I was smart based on whether someone asked my opinion in group meetings, and on and on. The list of little things we let negatively affect our lives can go on for miles.
These little things are often allowed to decide whether each day has been a good or bad day. Rather than see the day as a whole, we allow small actions or inactions by others to tell us who we are, what we are worth, and/ or how our lives are going. I am not saying that people or friends in our lives are not important, but we as individuals need to see ourselves in that way. How things affect us is how WE LET them affect us. It is hard to enjoy life when we let others live it for us.
It is hard for me to see those around me regard their self value and/or how well their life is going by whether or not they make others, who might not even view the situation in the same light, happy. Some of these people get so caught up whether or not their friends like or appreciate them they fail to realize that their so called friends are selfish people that rarely do take the time for things that do not benefit themselves. I know it is not easy to get away from this type of thinking. It has taken me years to get to the point where I am able to see myself for myself. Not how others define me or believe I should be. At least being aware of what you are doing will help you not define yourself through other people's eyes.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Charles R. Swindoll quotes (American Writer and Clergyman, b.1934)

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson quotes

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman quotes (American Theologian, Clergyman and Activist. 1900-1981)

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Thank You Sally Kern

I am not shocked by this, I live in Oklahoma. One more example of the work that needs to be done and why who you vote (or don't vote for) really does matter! BTW, if you would like to leave her a message of what you think here is her info. Please do.

Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern
Capitol Address:
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Room 332
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 557-7348
District Address:
2713 Sterling Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73127