My mother’s politics

My mother is a quiet, reserved person and she would never be described as an activist. She spent her life molding the minds of her students in her many classrooms. She may be quiet, but she has always had strong opinions about things and the way she taught me about them influences me even now.

These days it is not uncommon to see advertisements that feature what I call purposeful role reversal. A father may be folding the laundry or a mother is coaching sports. In the 70’s, there was an ad for Jif peanut butter and the tag line was “choosy mothers choose Jif.” The fact that the commercial insinuated that only mothers choose peanut butter and that you’re not a good (choosy) mother if you don’t choose Jif pretty much outraged my mother. She stuck with her favorite, Peter Pan, thank you very much. She showed me that it was possible to “vote” with your wallet.

Long before conservative Christians began speaking up politically and years before the Moral Majority was formed, my mother was on guard to protect me from certain types of religious indoctrination. Vacation Bible school was forbidden and if a friend invited me to church or youth group, the group/church had to be investigated by my mother. If they had any conservative/prejudiced/evangelical leanings, I wouldn’t be allowed to attend. My churchgoing desires were satisfied by her taking me to a local liberal Episcopal church, where I would be confirmed.

In 2015, same-sex marriage became the law of the land. The first thing my mother said to me about the decision was, “too bad Uncle Max and Charlie aren’t alive to see this.” Uncle Max was her paternal uncle and Charlie was his partner. I knew about Uncle Max and Charlie because my mother was honest about their relationship. In the mid 60’s, most gay people had to keep their orientation a secret even from family members. As a young child growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I knew my Great Uncle Max was different, but in my eyes, he and Charlie were just handsome relatives whom we saw at holidays.

My mother is now 75 years old. I love the fact that she has friends of all races and religions. Her strong opinions are something she holds close to her and unless you are family, you might not know about them. As long as you respect her, she will respect you and her political views won’t be discussed among friends. I admire this and strive to emulate her quiet strength.

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Post-election Bullshit

I didn’t vote for the orange asshole and if you did, don’t come here explaining why you did. I don’t give a flying fuck.  I don’t care if you have gay friends or family, or if your favorite co-worker is black.  It doesn’t matter one iota what you think of Muslims, Mexicans, women, gays, trans people, women who have had an abortion, liberals, progressives or the poor, down on their luck white lower class.  I’m sick to death of your excuses.  If you are proud of your vote and can respect the man, that’s your right in this (once) great country.

I have read more articles than I care to this week which attempts to explain how 50% of the United States felt that an arrogant, abusive, racist, shallow, UNQUALIFIED man was fit to be our leader.  By the way, I capitalized UNQUALIFIED because personality flaws aside, he is UNQUALIFIED.  I get it.  You don’t like Hillary Clinton.  She’s an easy scapegoat for the disgruntled masses and always has been. If you are a Christian and still thought DT was a better choice than any of the other choices, I have the least respect of all for you.  Case in point:  a friend of mine admitted she voted for him because Hillary Clinton is in favor of abortion.  This friend is not dumb.  She simply has been misled by DT, who claimed he would punish a woman who had an abortion.  I’m not going to debate my position on abortion here because it’s irrelevant.  One issue voters actually thought DT is opposed to abortion.

Oh, the poor misunderstood white working class.  They have seen their jobs go away and their quality of life has gone downhill.  Yes, that is true.  It has gotten bad in some small towns.  I actually read an article which implied that the white working class  hates the black poor because they have gotten “breaks” while they have not. Hey, it’s your own fault if you refuse government assistance.  If you choose not to get food stamps even though you’re qualified because you are too proud, that’s no one’s fault but your own, buddy. For years I have heard whites put down blacks, referring to “welfare queens” like they were somehow inferior to them. Well, as far as I can see, the playing field is not level and never has been. You do know why most of the inner cities are comprised of poor blacks, don’t you? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/13/how-we-built-the-ghettos.html  Here is some reading if you don’t know.  It is not the fault of the black person that they are where they are just like it is not the fault of the poor or working class white that their factories are shut down and their communities are dying.  DT promised to bring back the jobs for those white people.  He is their savior.  He is the one who will once again turn the tide and magically get those jobs back.  Where are the jobs for the inner city blacks?  I’ll tell you where they are.  They are working at the McDonald’s for minimum wage or 3 bus rides away in a suburban Walmart.  Hey.. I’m starting to see some similarities here, aren’t you?  We know that poor whites are racists because they they like to see poor blacks (or blacks in general or Mexicans) as lower on the rung of social stature.

Little story for you.  My Dad’s parents were high school dropouts.  My Dad was the first one in the family to go to college.  He has white male privilege, but he was not brought up in wealth. Not by any stretch.  Even though he was brought up in a home of uneducated people who espoused racist views from time to time, he didn’t embrace those views himself.   He could have turned out just like his parents; however, he is a staunch liberal and raised us to be the same.  We were not rich and we could have easily become a family of white people who feared and even resented blacks.  Or gays.  I was taught to stand up for the little guy and fight with the underdog and this election means that I have to continue that fight for what is right.  What is right is not fear (because we all know that racism is a form of fear) of what is different, it’s sticking up for the marginalized.