The United States of Abhorrence

I think it’s time we have a little conversation about what’s going on in the country at this current moment. A week ago we elected Donald Trump and in that week the country has erupted into tenfold the chaos that has run amok since he began his campaign. Seriously, that’s comparing 14 months to 6 days. Hyper-liberals are restless, conservatives are perplexed, all the while the rest of us are shaking our heads and pumping out multifarious Biden memes (and some of them are rather funny too). The politics are over and there is absolutely no legitimate reason for the activism to be at an all time high.

During the morning hours of Wednesday I removed all social media from my phone. My facebook, twitter, and even instagram feeds were cluttered with the most obnoxious news articles and political perversions of pop-culture (I never thought Charlie Brown would ever call anyone a libtard). There’s only so much filth I can plunge myself into and I had had enough by the time this election ran its toll. It wasn’t just the pro-Trump hypocrites that were getting under my skin but honestly more of the arrogant leftists that eat up the toxic American media by the gallon. The hate is so real in America and it’s hurting my soul, my faith in the future of this country, and most importantly, my faith in each one of you that I live amongst.

This hate is totally perpetuated by us and not by the candidates by even a marginal amount. Trump has said some less than desirable things in this election cycle and as I have said before, the way he talks with the uncanny charisma he has absolutely has the potential to invoke danger stemming outward from his supporters, but at the end of the day he is a complete moderate wearing society’s portrait of an extremist or tyrant. The problem lies with Americans that are in favor of using copious amounts of hyperbole to further their point. On the other sider of things there are legitimate concerns some people are now facing with Trump’s presidency and their uneasiness should not be delegitimized. I refuse to align myself with either side in this situation and through that stance I would like to illustrate just how much hate is truly discharging from our political platforms.

THE LEFT

When my brother and I were younger we did innumerable amounts of the strangest things but one event in particular comes to mind when I think of the large amounts of protesting going on around the US. I cannot remember how old I must have been but regardless, my brother and I were back in our bedroom. My parents had guests or maybe it was family visiting so no one had been keeping any sort of tabs on us. I’m not really sure why we had them in the bedroom, where food and drink were never allowed, but we had a couple plastic bottles of kool-aid. These were the bottles with the twist off tops that were either red and blue. Now, for whatever unfathomable reason, my brother and I began squirting these bottles everywhere. The floors, walls, just everything. The fact of what we were actually doing to this day truly escapes me. Seeing the vibrant liquid drip from the walls and ceilings prompted my brother to run out of the room seeking a towel. Here my parents sit out in the living room whilst their child comes skipping through chanting “towel, towel, towel”, I can only imagine the sudden silence that would have descended upon the room. What I do remember from that day is my parents reaction being less of one stemming out of anger and more of an inconceivable and resounding “what the hell”.

This is exactly how I felt upon seeing these acts of protest. I guess I’m failing to understand what the plan or hope is here. What exactly are you expecting to achieve? Forever will I use this as an example of why I hate most activism. It’s pointless, in some cases juvenile, and most people just like to sit around and yell. There is nothing that can be done about Trump’s election. Whether you want to accept it or not is futile, he will be the 45th President of America. You cannot protest the man who won fair and square. In fact, that’s the point that vexes me the most. These people are taking to the streets the demands to remove this man from future power and place Hillary, who did not get to her position fair and square, in his place.

I wish I could end it there. I wish I didn’t have to address what comes next and not just because I tend to favor more liberal thinking, but because what comes next should never happen. What comes next you’re asking? I’m talking about the calls to assassination. The wishes for his early termination. I have a lack of understanding towards those who wish unnecessary death upon others. There are times where the alternatives are slim and unreachable. Times like war or moments vs. the irredeemable. I understand the world we live in and that no matter what you or I think, there will always be death at the hands of another. I accept it as fact while simultaneously possessing feelings of ambivalence on it. Calling for an assassination, or even just wishing for it, is what I believe to be evil. An attempt to silence what one to believes to be hate with their own purer hate has done the world a disservice.

If philosophy and morality cannot show you though, have you begun to think the effects an assassination on Trump would have? If Trump is our future president, that makes Mike Pence our future vice-president. If Trump is assassinated, that gives Pence the presidency. Pence is exceedingly scary, a true morally-righteous man of god. I could write another thousand words on what makes him such a terribly frightening person to have power and why Trump is an angel to me compared to him. Pence believes and supports electroshock conversion therapy for gays. Any sane and compassionate human being should be able to understand why that’s wrong and frankly, inhumane. If you, in the 21st century, have a problem with homosexual individuals as people then it’s time for you to drag your archaic, hollow soul out of the times of old and search for true compassion for others. I believe the bible says to hate the sin and not the sinner.

The left is perpetuating hatred as a means to put an end to hatred and I fail to conceptualize the logic resting behind that. Do some research and you’ll see Trump isn’t who CNN has portrayed him to be. He deserves a chance, especially one from your side of thinking. Hell, the guy is asking for it and wishes to do anything but let you down.

THE RIGHT

I’m going to try my best to put my bias aside for this. I spent most of my life more than moderately right leaning and for the last few years have completely abandoned that way of thinking because of how much hate I had filled myself with. I cannot say that all right leaning people are hateful, even marginally. Political leanings does not define whether or not you’re a good person. However, I am well aware of the hate that can easily flow its way through ideology.

Most of right sided hate isn’t hate against a certain kind of people. It’s not racism, misogyny, or homophobia. The right hates the left, and at that probably more than the left hates them. The word “libtard” illustrates that well. There are few words that invoke reactions from me, but this word is just purely stupid. Barring that “retard jokes” aren’t exactly funny to begin with, all this word does is equate another perspective to being of an extremely low intelligence. How stupid is that? I mean really. “I don’t agree with your ways of thinking so clearly you’re less intelligent than myself”. Studies have shown that conservative minded people tend to be of lower intelligence than the liberal minded and I feel that’s pretty accurate based off a fairly small group.

There are people who have reason to be afraid of Trump. Calling for deportations and things of like. Whether they’re able to be done or not is irrelevant, the fact that someone with power wants it to happen is enough to worry about. You can’t get mad or even really make fun of people that are scared of Trump, rather try to understand their position. While I don’t find Trump to be as bad as people are saying, some people have no faith in him whatsoever and that is okay. If Trump is the president you preach is the greatest then he should have no problem winning the trust of those in fear right? Or maybe it’s just some more hyperbole, huh, imagine that.

As I said, I took a break from social media last week only to return today. “There’s no way Facebook could still be a toxic community now” I though to myself and oh my was I wrong. 90% of what I saw was people requiring everyone else to show respect for Trump. That he’s the president and we’re not allowed to disrespect him. I’m sorry but for the past 8 years I’ve seen nothing but conservatives berating Obama mostly because they disagree with him. In fact I know people that hate Obama just because they’re Republican and it’s what they should be doing. How arrogant can one person be? I don’t care if you agree with him or not, Obama’s been a damn good president. Certainly one of the best we’ve had in years. He’s certainly had his blunders but what president hasn’t?

If you didn’t accept Obama there’s no way in hell you’re going to demand respect for Trump. The people saying Trump isn’t my president aren’t new, conservatives were saying that about Obama after his reelection. It’s just whining for the sake of whining. When it comes down to it, how wrong are those people anyway? Democracy did not elect Trump, it would have elected Hillary. The last I check, Hillary had won the popular vote by almost 2 million. I’d say that’s a fairly significant amount of people and had the election gone in that way, conservatives everywhere would be whining about the end times.

At the end of the day the right are just bitching for the sake of bitching. Politically centered people exasperate me and that’s what I’ve seen mostly of the right as of late. I get that it’s trendy to loathe high school and college aged liberals and insult their developing social morality, but quite finding every inventive way to do it. No matter what someone says or does or thinks there’ll always be a new way to insult it and the right love to take those disparages and utilize them in the manner of beating a dead horse. Come to think of it, I rarely even see the left berate the right in any sort of presentation like that. Maturity factors into overall intelligence, keep that in mind

IN CONCLUSION

We are allowing hate to flourish in our country on our own accord and not only is it unnecessary but should be completely unacceptable. I’m embarrassed that we cannot unite for the greatest possible outcomes this country can see. Our potential is defined by us, not one person. Who we can be and what we can do is only inhibited by the barriers we build amongst each other. In the modern world, a world filled with nations who wish nothing more to watch what we have crumble, you’d think we could at least stand together. Unite based on who and what we are and what we’d like to accomplish for the greater good of everyone. America is far from the great place some claim it to be but also farther from the desolation others visualize. That doesn’t mean the potential isn’t there because it is, always has been, and can be reached so long as we’re willing to strive for it as Americans and not Republicans or Democrats.

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Spes Vincit Thronum

The day has come. Overnight it was announced that Donald Trump would be America’s 45th president. This morning I am filled with several feelings ranging from astonishment, horror, and embarrassment. This was not something I predicted, in fact his campaign was utterly laughable to me. My disappointment at most comes from the fact that this man established himself on a platform of racism and misogyny among other forms of hate, that he could ride into the presidency.

The next 4 years in American history will be something totally unprecedented and I know not of what to expect out of this man. I can say with much confidence that these things he’s been riding on will not take place. Gay marriage will not be repealed, no one will be deported, the borders will not be closed or walled off, and women will not return to a life of servitude. We have an established government with multi-faceted branches to keep all of these things in place and no one, single man will come in and shake it to pieces. In fact, I have a feeling that Trump will have no major accomplishments in his entire presidency even with an entirely Republican Congress.

My fear, my terror, comes from who this man is as a person. For the next presidential cycle, Donald Trump represents us as an entity of the civilized world. The UN, the G7, and other foreign leaders around the world see and deal with this man as the culmination of America. A man that denies climate change, has no sense of professional language, behavior, or conduct and, worst of all, is in favor of using nuclear armaments is who our military will salute starting in January.

Regardless, I look to the future with hopeful and gleaming eyes. 4 years of this vile man’s “great America” will be enough to put this country in a very progressive place. There will be no one in this country not willing to make every possible stride forward after these next few step backs we have to endure. I look to the 20’s to be America’s greatest era, maybe even the greatest era of any country. I see massive calls for change, times of peace, rapid technological development, and tremendous breakthroughs in all major aspects and fields. However, that vision cannot be a reality unless we strive for it now. Now is the time to push for education, mass amounts of funding, and significant sociological developments.

To start, we need to end our divisions we’ve drawn amongst ourselves. End our racial, sexual, and political divides. We must cleanse ourselves of the hate we have bathed in for oh so long. Toxicity is a cancer of the personality and the soul. It clouds our ability to reason, cooperate, rationalize, take perspective, and, most importantly, love. There is no cure, no treatment, it is very terminal but all the while it is very avoidable. Just because we put one of the most despicable men in the White House does not mean we must abide by his ideology and practice. it does not mean we have to adopt his culture of fear and hate. What it does mean is that the system has failed us and that this is our calling to unite as citizens.

The president is nothing more than a figurehead and has no power that is not given to him by the people. Even with a full Congress, even with countless supporters, we all have a say in what’s best for us. Whether that be formally or informally, large scale revolt or personal rebellion, If you want change, the day to begin fighting for it is today. Today we enter a new period of history, and how future generations look back on it is up to us. Make it count.

Divided and Conquered

I can’t be the only one who’s excited for tomorrow for every reason other than what tomorrow actually is can I? I mean seriously, no more debates, no more massing numbers of hyper-political people on the internet. The last two months especially have been absolutely and abhorrently toxic in this country. The lack of respect we’ve embraced ourselves in towards those of other views and perspectives is entirely disgusting.

I’ve seen numerous posts of vandalizing the yards of Trump supports and giving handicapped stickers to those on the side of Clinton. It’s come so far that there was an assassination attempt on Trump at a really very few days ago. To even consider the fact that there has been garnered support for that is completely unfathomable to me. We have a problem in this country and it’s more than the two running to control it.

We have been institutionally divided from each other. We have been institutionally told that those not with us are totally wrong and absurd.We have been institutionally divided and separated for the gain of politicians.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fariel.smith.33633%2Fposts%2F1357058707640679&width=500

I happened to come across this scrolling through Facebook this morning. All I can say is how dare you. How dare you claim to stand on these sides as a feminist or LGBQT activist and continue to then shame what they believe in. These are people, and like all people, they have their own agendas. All I see looking at this is an angry high schooler living in a black in white world. If you want what is best for people then you support what they stand for.

I’m very disgusted in how we see each other. You don’t make America great again by pegging democrats with every mental disability in the book just like how you can’t find social justice by calling everyone against you a simple deplorable. We’ve been shoehorning ourselves into these ideologies only to complain about who the leader is and what they do.

No one should feel they have to vote for someone because of any reason other than the fact that they best represent one’s interests.”I’m voting Trump because Hillary is absolutely evil”, “I’m voting Hillary because Trump should never be allowed near the oval office”, “I’m not voting because these are the worst two candidates in history”. This election has turned us into the biggest joke the world’s ever seen.

I’ll wrap this up with two things; we need to stop creating divisions from each other in our political ideologies and end the shoehorned parties. We simply cannot stand as one against our enemies when we refuse to work together to overcome our domestic problems. I despise both Clinton and Trump. Totally refuse to cast my vote in either of their directions. I do not hate the supporters on either side however. I cannot begin to understand how either of them have the supporters they do BUT if these people truly believe that either of are best fit for the future of this country then I want them to vote in that direction. That is how we need to approach these situations, with respect.

Lastly, quit voting for people for the reason of them being a buffer for someone else. It’s a completely wasted vote if you choose Clinton over Trump because she’s your lesser evil. Research policies, third parties, or just don’t vote. Other people should not be able to pressure how you choose the next 4 years of our country, especially when its the same people that care so much about you “exercising your number 1 natural right.”

I don’t know who you plan on casting your vote for tomorrow, but do it in purity. Vote with your heart as much as your mind. Question your motives as you would question your candidate’s. Walk into that booth with purity and leave with the same purity. Vote for yourself and not for someone else. That is how we’ll make America great again.

Rippin’ out babies n’ stuff

At this point I believe we only needed the first debate and maybe not even that one. I’ve heard quite enough from these two lummoxes and I feel like at this point everyone should have too. Last night Mr. Trump said something something Hillary is an evil woman something something she’s going to let them kill children the day they’re due. In response, to my surprise, Hillary said something totally admirable. I’m not even joking when I say I still think I made it up in my head. Hillary refuted with a small description of what she’s seen in other countries; forced abortions and forced carrying to term. She ended that with, and I quote, “This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make and I do not believe the government should be making it.”

I can say with total honesty that this is the only pure thing I have heard in the last 4 months from these candidates. If I planned on voting between these two, Hillary would’ve won my vote just on that (if only it were that simple). How any woman can cast their vote for Trump and give him the ability to restrict her choices is simply… well… I’m not sure I have a word for it.

The fear mongering that Trump and the government in general do are simply horrific. What’s even worse is the amount of people that buy into it without doing their own research, forming their own opinions, and making their own stands. Which brings me to what I’d like to talk about today; abortions and this conceptualization that we can legalize morality.

The pro-choice vs. pro-life “fight” is frankly, bullshit. Pro-life is not a real standpoint except in maybe 1% of those who identify that way. I took this to another level by asking a couple people around campus today how they stood on the issue and questioned them harder when they stated they were “pro-life”. A grand majority of these “lifers” supported violent eradication of ISIS and other US defined enemies, knew nothing about the egregious foster care and adoption system in this country, nor cared much for the poor in this country and around the world. How can you stand in support of life if you wouldn’t think twice about our government dropping an atomic bomb on the Middle East? How can you stand in support of life if you care no more about the child’s life once it exits the womb? How can you stand in support of life if you think poor people are lazy and need to get off their starving asses?

Adoptuskids.org tells me that there are more than 400,000 children circling through foster care and that grows by the day. Many of these children will not be adopted. What angers me the most about “pro-lifers” is that they’re willing to let a child mentally suffer in foster hell for 18 years just so that they can scratch their moral itch and “prevent a tragic death of an innocent baby”. There are people in this world that should never birth children. Absolutely disgusting people in this world that don’t even want them but because someone’s god demands their birth, they must be brought into this world. You want some enticement to leave your crooked righteous morality behind? Here’s a video of a baby born addicted to heroin.

How do you feel about abortion now? What’s better, preventing life from existing or allowing life to flourish in anguish?

Trump’s fear mongering of late term abortions, specifically the day before the due date, are disgusting accusations.

Percentage of 2012 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):

≤6 wks 7 wks 8 wks 9 wks 10 wks 11 wks 12 wks 13 wks 14-15 wks 16-17 wks 18-20 wks ≥21 wks
34.9% 17.7% 13.2% 8.7% 5.8% 4.8% 3.6% 2.7% 3.5% 1.8% 1.9% 1.3%

90% of all abortions happen in the first trimester with most in the first 6 weeks. In 6 weeks there is no child, no baby, no person, its this;

pregnancy_stages_s7_4_weeks

That clump of molecular biology is 1/25th of an inch long. If we were to pull that out and set it free into the world, how would it fare? If it can’t live without the mother’s body that makes it her choice on what happens to it not yours, Trumps, or Gary’s from down the street. Even if it could live without the mother, it is her choice what happens to her child. If she believes that she would make an unfit mother and would rather not add to the endless list of those heartbroken children waiting to love someone, she has every right to make that choice to abort the pregnancy.

The other 10% of abortions happen in extreme circumstances. After 21 weeks abortions are not permitted unless a case such as the pregnancy endangering the woman’s health arises. No one should have a problem with that because no woman should become a martyr for her child or someone else’s morality.

When you try to legalize parameters on abortion it becomes way too tricky because its based out of morality. Everyone has a totally different sense of morality and everyone definitely should. I don’t care what religion you practice, how many children you’ve popped out or adopted, or what your moral code says is right; you can’t make something illegal based on a group of people’s sense of morality.

That’s all it comes down to really, if you don’t like abortion don’t get one. There are plenty of this children on this earth that need “good people” like yourself. In addition, I don’t think its any one man’s call on this issue. Abortion is not a man’s concept and a man should not be able to make these calls on a woman’s behalf. Abortion is not an easy choice, I’ve spoken to people who have gone through with them and it very noticeably has an effect. If you want to look down on a woman for refusing to bring a life into the world that she cannot promise anything to, so be it, but you are truly the morally corrupt one if you think anyone else should get a say in her right to make that choice.

Soapy water is white, dirty water is dark. With which color do I wash?

Its been a week. Something, something about being a college student and not meeting expectations or satisfying standards. Chances are I’ll go a month without writing something only to come back and drop some mentally thermonuclear bomb. Anyways, I spent the last week preparing for a couple exams I had. God forbid I pay no attention to major news sources so, no, I won’t be talking about how everyone just found out Trump’s clandestine and unpredictable mentality; being that he’s a pretty typical, sexually-charged man.

The last few days New York has been hosting it’s annual Comic Con. For those who don’t know, this is one of the many Christmases for nerds and super geeks. Yesterday, Marvel released a trailer for their next cinematic property on Netflix, Iron Fist. To make a long story short, Iron Fist is about this guy from New York that loses his parents in a mystical realm, is adopted by monks in said realm, beats the living hell out of a dragon, and gets super powers.

Does this sound like a white guy? Cause I’m thinking white guy, which he has been since his creation in the mid-70’s. Aren’t we supposed to hate people who are white nowadays? Shouldn’t we especially hate this white man because he’s mastered a factor of asian culture and for some reason that’s impossible to achieve unless you’re Asian?

Sharing this trailer actually doesn’t enforce my point any further, its just really cool.

Moving on then. This is less about wondrous superheroes and their origin stories and more about the problem with white people doing things in movies.

PC culture never seizes to amaze me. What with it’s backwards, reaching out for straws that aren’t even there thinking and hypocrisy. For the uninitiated, PC stands for political correctness, a standard trait of the exotic species Liberalis internet userus. PC liberals are about as bad, if not worse, than the superior morally righteous christians that plague the right. A lot of PC culture isn’t super bad, in fact, like anything else its more of a vocal minority. Everyone is PC to a certain point but when Jerry Seinfeld refuses to do shows on college campuses because 20 year old liberals are scary, you know you’ve gone too far. In this world we are seeing breakthroughs of things that have always existed, albeit in secret, into the mainstream and a lot of people are struggling to find comfort in these new things.

Transsexualism, gender theory, and homosexuality are in full force more than they ever have been and probably ever were expected to be. As a supporter of all these things that define multi-faceted human life, I can still understand why someone would struggle to cope with, or even fear, what’s going on in the world. While that’s a great write up, it’s falling from my argument. PC is 60% “Hey, be respectful of other people and how they wish to live their life” and 40% “Labels are life, we must draw lines everywhere to appreciate a diverse society”. In truth, PC is actually furthering divisions of race and the pushing away the acceptance of non-binary affiliated people from the general population.

Let’s get back to Iron Fist, a white dude doing things apparently only Asian people should be doing. I went through several comments on the trailer I showed above through Facebook, Youtube, and Reddit and saw largely the same things. Super nerds bursting at the seams about the show , normal people who think it looks alright, angry people that hate super-hero cinema, and everyone else yelling about Iron Fist being white-washed.

White-washing is a term used to describe the act of a white, usually male, actor taking the place of a character of another race in a story that race or culture. The most recent example I can think of is the movie “The Great Wall” which features Matt Damon in medieval China. I mean, come on, that’s incredibly laughable. What’s Jason Bourne doing fighting Genghis Khan? The director has stated that he’s apparently playing a role not meant for a Chinese man which could be done, maybe a European traveler just decided it’d be cool to traverse an entire continent.

Operating under that definition, Finn Jones is certainly not white-washing a character by the name of Danny Rand. The problem people are having is that he’s a white guy (Honestly I think the problem ends there) that becomes a pupil of Asian monks and turns out to master their super kung-fu and kills a dragon which no one else could do. Isn’t it more racist to say a white person can’t do that rather than the act of telling the story of a white person doing that? I don’t see in color, I just see people. Color introduces different heritage and culture, it doesn’t differentiate humans from something else. With a little bit of thinking (Oh no!) you can take a way a lot of the structure that the PC argument stands on here.

If these monks were to train a young Danny, why would they waste their efforts in not training him to be the best? Color doesn’t matter in that aspect does it? With the training and experience, a white person could achieve anything an Asian person could do because Asian people are just as predisposed as anyone else in mastering an art like kung-fu.

Now one could further argue that the problem isn’t with the actor and that the character is the white-washed part and this is where it gets trickier. Its not wrong that white people dominate movies, television, and other graphic media. 85-90% of main characters in anything are white, and that’s totally not generalizable to the world as a whole. Honestly though, does anyone really want to see another stereotypical Asian story about kung-fu? I would truthfully see that as insulting to have the same story told again and again.

Staying on my point, considering the fact that this story is about a New Yorker, there’s a higher chance he’s going to be a white character. That’s just statistics and shouldn’t come as a major disturbance to anyone. A New Yorker becomes a modern master of an ancient fighting style sounds totally believable and it is. For some reason people become massively polarized when you add a race before the words “New Yorker” and for a group that strives for the acceptance of everyone and the destruction of the racial divide, PC liberals tend to get set off the most in that aspect.

If you’re telling a normal story about an American, 70-80% it’s going to be about a white character because that’s just how many whites are in this country. While I do think there are too many white driven stories, it makes sense for there to be generally more. I think the problem lies with the exposure and yeah, sorry to burst your bubble but, old rich white guys like to make movies about white people which go on to make millions. If you really looked into your issue you’d know about all the smaller budget and unknown movies continually releasing that feature minorities in lead roles.

At the end of the day it’s another thing to create an outcry about. As someone who generally supports multicultural and racial cinema and some PC values, Iron Fist isn’t worth the calamity that this small group are beginning to claim is. Jackie Chan made more kung-fu movies than anyone is comfortable with admitting, if that’s your cup of tea go marathon those for the next few hours.

 

Enforcing The Gene Pool

This morning I woke up and felt my heart shatter when I read that a black, potentially mentally ill, unarmed man was shot multiple times yesterday in California. Not only as someone recognizes the undeniable discrimination and clear lack of qualitative training in our modern police force but also as someone who champions the reformation and destigmatization of how we see and treat mental health. However you may identify, so long as its human, should make you question what exactly goes through an officer’s mind when they get a call of a man “not acting like himself”.

As with any event, we don’t have all the facts. We don’t know exactly what was said, done, or truly happened honestly.

This picture is a screengrab from a police video, which begs the question “where’s the video?”. I’ll touch more on that later. What you can see is Alfred with his arms out in a shooting stance, with the two officers in their prepared stances to shoot as we know the did. I know what this picture begs; “Yup, arms out, he could have a gun, deserved to be shot.”

As you let that question flow through your mind for the next few minutes, somehow justifying a very possible preventable loss of a life, I want you to actually think even if its the only time in your life you’re going to use your very developed cortex. Alfred’s sister called 911 reporting that her brother was acting strange and unlike himself. Personally, I feel that those words need to set off alarms in an officer’s head that a potentially highly tense and even dangerous situation could arise. There’s several factors that could explain differing behavior, the primary two being drugs or an illness. Going into these situations without any ideas in mind on how to de-escalate is extremely reckless.

Both officers discharged their weapons simultaneously, fatally striking the man with several bullets as well as a high-voltage Taser shock. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead Tuesday evening.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/california-police-shoot-man-witnesses-unarmed-article-1.2809204

This is de-escalation? This is how our police is supposed to work? They didn’t protect society from any clear danger, they certainly didn’t protect Alfred. While they acted with self-preservation in mind, they didn’t even protect themselves from a clear danger. “several bullets” to me implies more than 2, which is absolutely absurd. Oh and I’m so glad they tasered him!

You know when these officers are in the wrong because the department never released their videos to the public. If these officers were totally justified in their actions, why not release the video? We could see what unfolded and end speculation! What I’ve decided is either police have no interest in their relations to the public or , clearly, the officers were not justified in their actions. To be totally honest, I believe its a bit of both.

There’s a part of me that believes this was an act of suicide by cop and whether that is the case or not something must be done about about the way we are policed in this country and once I’m more concrete in my thoughts on reform I’ll write about it. Today I mourn the loss of Alfred Olango, a senseless tragedy that once again marks the much needed amelioration of America’s modern police force.

State Of The Union

Last night we had the oh so important presidential debates. I only know this because I couldn’t find anything anywhere on the internet last night worth reading and I’ve come to realize that I’ve severely underestimated the political enthusiasm in my age group. Thousands of people gathered across campus to watch last night but not for its entertainment value, which if we’re being honest, did it have any other value?

I had no interest in being a viewer last night. I was doing something between watching my roommate play battlefield and reading Szasz’s “Myth of Mental Illness”. Real exciting stuff. Occasionally I’d break to check twitter and saw, as expected, hyper-partisanship.

We could address all the problems of this country. Poverty, hunger, crime rate, institutionalized racism, institutionalized sexism, the interference of religion in the country’s day to day life, the liberal censorship of the media, the media in general. All these things are terrible yet not a single one adds up to the atrocity that is partisanship. Why is that? What makes partisanship so bad? Partisanship is being so blind in your views that you refuse to acknowledge compromise or secondary solutions. Partisan thinking is purely dangerous, arrogant, and stupid.

I woke up this morning and saw countless people asking “How did we narrow it down to these two? How does this happen?”. My question is, how can you be so utterly daft that you can’t recognize the blatantly obvious steps we took to get here. How can you blame Hillary and Donald for making a mockery of our nation rather than yourselves? All year I have seen most people announce their support for a candidate for the sole reason of keeping the other candidate out of office. Washington said something one time about keeping a party system out of our government, I wonder if this is what he meant?

I simply cannot understand people who vote solely to make sure someone else doesn’t win. How is that properly executing your right as a citizen to cast a vote? Similarly, why are people so hesitant to vote third party? How do people not realize third parties exist at all? These are questions that have to be asked because clearly they aren’t floating through anyone’s heads. If you are voting to keep the Donald or Clinton out of political office, consider your vote wasted. You’re not putting your recommendation for our next best leader, you’re stating your disdain for one of the potential leaders.

This country is failing us as citizens and we are also failing it. Countless problems arise daily and have been for years and years with refusal to address. We spend so much time arguing back and forth and cementing our own views that we lose the idea that the problems even exist and no solution is met. Voting to keep someone out of office, voting because you’re a republican or democrat and for some asinine reason you have to stay that way, and voting because you agree with a candidate on a single issue are the votes that are destroying and tearing us apart. The reason third party candidates never win is because of these voters.

Before I returned to school I made a visit to meet with family, just to get together. As most family gatherings go, politics eventually became involved. That day I was wearing some 5$ shirt I got at a concert that accurately depicted my feelings toward trump and eventually it was noticed. I was somewhat taken aback by the responses I received following that. “You’re voting for Hillary?!?” Sticks out the most. I don’t believe my shirt said anything about Hillary on it. I replied with my stance on being third party and how I’m somewhere between Johnson and Stein. There was slight mockery whether it be playful or not which I suppose can be well received. While these things slightly shocked me, I wasn’t truly amazed at what I was hearing until finally a “You better vote for Trump” came out.

I understand most of this was playful and there were a lack of serious overtones present, however the fact that situations like these are very real across the country depicts exactly what’s wrong with us as citizens. We are no longer voting for the one best fit for office but rather the one who compliments us best, the one who agrees with us on a couple issues, or the one that’s least likely to do something like bring a war to American soil. If we are to continue to thrive, if we want to truly “make America great again”, we need to start really caring for what we’re doing. We need to become passionate while at the same time respectful and mindful of others views. The conservative vs. liberal fiery arguments need to end and we need to see what we have in common because there’s a lot more there than what most people think. Start thinking in terms of what’s best for the nation and it’s people rather than yourself, because you’ve put us between a rock and a hard place that we never would’ve gotten into had we been thinking clearly in the first place.