Posts Tagged ‘equality’

https://www.google.com/doodles/martin-luther-king-jr-day-2017

” All life is interrelated “

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

The quotes above resonate with me. They are in no way, a complete list of quotes by Dr. King. While I don’t share all of his beliefs, I firmly believe that his civil rights fights, and approaches to life and horrific situations were warranted, remarkable, and very much, needed. Sadly, they are warranted and needed today, in 2017. 

The societal pendulum swings from good to bad to horrific, etc. This is often based on the lines we draw between ourselves and others – from politicial party lines to religious beliefs – and somewhere along the way, we become closed off to being our true selves, and criticize others for being any version of self other than the one we deem acceptable, right, proper, etc.

Today may not be a holiday or day of reflection for you, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking a few minutes to reflect on where we are as a country, if you’re in the U.S., and if you are outside of the U.S., think of ways to make your world better. Meanwhile, the common denominator should be in trying to find ways to live our truest lives. After all, it’s the only one we have, right? Oh, and even if you believe in reincarnation, no guarantee you’ll be back as a human, so make this round count!

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I realize I may be in agreement with some and in the minority line of opinions for others regarding my comments and opinions on the State of the Union (#SOTU) in the U.S. If you feel I am, one way or another, oh well, that’s life. If you agree, great, looking forward to a wonderful conversation. If not, great, looking forward to a wonderful conversation. If you despise my opinions, that’s okay too because it means I’m most likely not talking about, or to you.

So on with it! The following are important to me but they’re not listed in order of priority. Why not? Because I want you to find the one that’s most important to you and find a way to support it. None apply to you? Hmmm, then maybe we really aren’t friends. Either way, we should have a conversation.

1. I don’t know many people who went to community college for free so yes, I’m happy about that option for many going forward, as announced by President Obama as an option for states to adopt. If you are scowling and grunting about how, “so many people get free community college classes already”, or “what us already in debt” this is a part of life. Be glad you’re living among the educated, got it free or had the opportunity to quality to get a loan, and move on. Ain’t nobody got time for your gripes. Yes, I have student loans out the wazoo and this benefot wouldn’t benefit me directly. However, two years of free college education is a good start and very helpful for many. Did someone whisper “how about four years free”? One can dream! Or move to Germany.

2. In spite of the horrible acts of brutality and murder of citizens by those sworn to protect and serve, and in spite of the horrible racism that permeates many communities, I believe that one day we will become better humans through understanding, acceptance, and love. “I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can accomplish great things, even when the odds are long”. #SOTU

3. “The best measure of opportunity is access to a good job.”. Anyone who has been unemployed with a family to care for, and bills to pay will understand the importance of this – a good job, or hell, A job! Don’t tell me that you don’t care whether or not you have a good job unless you’re born into generational wealth or in an asylum.

4. A woman should be paid the same amount as a man for doing the same job. #SOTU. Men, isn’t it better to have a stable financial future with your female partner who can help support a family, if you both agree she will work? Isn’t it great to have your female partners bringing home a sweet check? Golf memberships, school fees, tuition, luxury car payments and all of that manscaping isn’t cheap. If not, and you prefer a woman who earns less than you do even if she does the same job as you or worse yet, does more work than you do, I’d like yo know why. Also, has anyone called you a Neanderthal? Just curious. Equal pay for equal work is a must. Can you tell that this issue is near and dear to my heart?

This was only a snippet of topics discussed during the President’s State of the Union. While there are many other aspects I enjoyed, I’m content to wet your whistle just enough for you to be intrigued.

For those criticizing the 2015 State of the Union speech (#SOTU), know that this queer, immigrant brown girl will hold on to the American dream that some of you have given up on. I need to. It’s not perfect but nothing is. “A brighter future is ours to write.” #SOTU

Link: President Obama’s State of the Union transcript

When did being a feminist become a bad thing? As I read regular news articles I’ve gotten a whiff of obnoxious comments about women, their worth and value, usually as seen through the eyes of men, as well as from blogs, personal and entertainment-based websites along with a few other buzzfeedy styled quizzes and for-grins entertainment style write-ups. I see the word “feminist” being used as if it is this horrible beast about to gobble up men, sanity, our sense of common sense and our lives as we know it! Why?

What is causing this shift in mindset? Or maybe the mindset was never there to begin with…? I admit that I may be quicker to argue points about why we should, or why we should not be feminists with a male, but this shift that I’m seeing is also from women. Yes, my own kind! The kicker? These are some of the same women who are paid less than a male for doing the SAME job as a male. A couple of people who wondered out loud in ink asked why feminism existed. These women argued that if society removed the rape culture that exists, a culture which unfairly makes women afraid of men, we as a nation would be better off. How crazy is that? Women aren’t afraid of, or encouraging a rape culture! I should be able to walk down the street bare assed naked and not be touched against my will. Sure, you can look as I am naked in this scenario, but don’t mistake that for willingness to be touched or fondled without my consent. Shouldn’t we teach boys to not attack anyone instead of attacking groups of women who want to protect other women, while ensuring they earn a fair wage and have the same political opportunities as a man does?

Is it a bad thing to want social, political and economic equality for everyone? It most certainly is not!

Why can’t we as humans, want the best for ourselves and each other? For example, if a man’s wife earns the same income as he does, isn’t that a good thing for the family unit as a whole? What about the expectations that a girl will have of her future husband? Shouldn’t she see that both her parents are contributing to a healthy and happy household which would in turn help her choose a mate that is just as supportive and loving?

I dare say homes that promote and encourage equality among children regardless of gender, as well as the adults regardless of job or income, etc. Will put forth some of the best people in our world. Shouldn’t we do our best to welcome them instead of building more walls with weak arguments for and against feminism and equality as a whole? Why can’t we just love, nurture, respect and appreciate what both men and women have to offer? And if you still think women have less worth and less to offer the world, try conceiving your babies without them, try having intimate relationships without them, and try living in a world without them. Then, when you realize that you’re in a sad, sad world, remind me why you are against equality for all.

Who I Am is now available for your eargasms dear friends, foes, family and freeking freekers!

Natasha Ramsey: Who I Am - Album single cover art

Natasha Ramsey: Who I Am – Album single cover art

Okay seriously all shenanigans aside, (and I have many, I know), this spoken word piece set to a beat will hopefully inspire you to be brave, stand out from the crowd and above all, just BE YOURSELF.  

How would you find me? Search for “Who I Am” wherever you buy or stream your music and there I’ll be!

If you’re interested in hearing only the voices in your head, check out the e-book that started the madness: Hungover Poet on amazon: http://ow.ly/utR5T

Observations – Part 1

I’ve been seeing tons of social media posts about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over the weekend and today, in particular as today is (for most) the official holiday to celebrate his birthday. This is typically a good thing in my opinion (side note: It’s my blog so most of the opinions expressed herein are my own. If they aren’t I will clearly state it, as I did in “Opinions are like Assholes”.) as many in the U.S. and some parts of the world still do not understand the extent to which his actions and beliefs shaped U.S. history. Yes, you read that right, he helped to shape U.S. history and not just black history or African American history. As I continued to read the posts and messages from certain people/accounts, as well as the comments in response to certain articles or posts, my brain started whirring which means that a poem or something similar is about to start brewing. And to be fair, I think I’ve always had these opinions, I just may not have shared them out loud so here goes! My observations at this time as I continue to be brave:

Good:   I see many Facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr and vine accounts posting these wonderful phrases, statements, beliefs and catch phrases about a remarkable leader, about being a better person, about Dr. King’s legacy, etc.

Bad:       These are the same accounts (people) that at times, post some seriously effed up ratchet-like stuff that do nothing but drag society’s low points even lower during the rest of the year. Well to be fair, they post some nice shit about religion around Easter.

Good:   Some minorities blame some white people for not being more open or receptive to occasions like this or for not knowing all of U.S. history, and more about the contributions made by minorities in this country.

Bad:       Some minorities have NO clue about their own damn history while some continuously make fun of their own history, or go so far as to undersell its importance and contributions.

Good:   Not all white people are racist, prejudiced assholes.

Bad:       Several white people are racist, prejudiced assholes.

Good:   I can avoid assholes who are racist and prejudiced by not interacting with them, or blocking, unfriending or changing the channel, etc. if they’re on social media or the news.

Bad:       I can’t avoid assholes at work, in some social settings, or when they’re splashed all over the news, so I have to learn how to control my temper.

Good:   I can change my habits to support my core beliefs, values, etc. by determining where to spend my hard-earned money, where to boycott, what to watch, which earworm is acceptable, etc.

Bad:       I can’t control the management of some companies, what society throws money at to make it popular, etc.

Good:   I have the opportunity to educate myself on companies, legal practices, history, etc. so that I can make informed decisions about where to shop, etc.

Bad:       It’s sometimes difficult to get some couch protestors to actually DO something about horrible companies, legal practices, etc. other than post messages on social media pages.

Good:   If all someone wants to do is post messages on social media, find a way to use that! Chances are, if that’s their major avenue to interacting with others, they’ve already built a decent networking and/or word of mouth base. Maybe someone who is less couch-potato-like and sees their posts will be the ones to actually do something.

As you see, this list and my thoughts could continue for quite a few pages.  So what else should be added? What are your thoughts?

Pretty harsh title, I know. But it’s deserving. I recently had a discussion with a colleague who made an infuriating statement to me but because it was at work, I had to let it go. I was able to respond, rather mildly compared to how I was really feeling, but it was all I could do at work. I’ll setup the story/premise and you can decide if I’m being too harsh.

Background: Conversation is about the doctor at a fertility clinic who used his semen to impregnate women. The fathers then found out that they’re not the biological father, mothers are devastated and well, the kids are unfortunately caught up in this mess.

Me: Wow, that’s crazy and sad!

Asshole: If people would just have kids the old fashioned way kids are supposed to be had, this wouldn’t happen.

Me: (immediately pissed off) That comment ignores some real issues like those who are physically unable to have children – some of the people who want children and would be great parents but can’t, for whatever reason, have them your so-called old fashioned way.

Asshole: Well, then they don’t need children. Maybe this fertility approach causes other issues like crazy sicknesses, maybe even those gender issues and people who think they’re gay and…

Me: (interrupting before I throw a chair) What?!?! That’s insane to say or imply!! (trying to stifle anger)

Assh0le: Well, in the Bible…

Me: (interrupting again) Gotta go. It’s time for my meeting.

This, along with those who still buy in to shit like reality tv craziness mirroring real life,  or those who claim that having children in a way that is different than when a man and a woman conceive a baby is the possible cause of that baby having gender issues or being gay, etc. make me sad and very angry at the lack of empathy, and pure ignorance. Some days I want to fight ignorance more, or do more than a well-placed glare, but sometimes it’s not the right place or time and it leaves me seething and well, writing.

How do we make the world a better place when I have to keep my opinions in check due to place and time appropriateness? Well, I guess like my title implies, my opinion ain’t that different from another person’s opinion and we all have them, right?