#WakeUpAmerica

This country has a problem.  Okay, this country has a lot of problems.  But it has one big problem that people like to ignore.  I’ve found that we like to mask this problem behind other things.  One day our problem is biased law enforcement.  The next it’s biased media coverage.  Today, it’s the confederate flag.  Our problem is not any of these things, our problem is racism.

I couldn’t be happier to see the confederate flag losing traction & being removed from the shelves of power-house retailers.  It almost makes me angry that this has been such a debate when it is so many years too late (that rhymed).  I applaud the actions of the companies and institutions that are removing the flag, but the fact that this is such breaking news is just another indicator of the major, major underlying issue.  Why does it take the brutal massacre of nine people to make this change?  And why, why, why are so many people still defending this symbol of hate?

Flying the confederate flag carries the same weight as flying a swastika.  There is no difference.

Racism is not inherited.  I am a firm believer that every person is born with a kind heart.  Whether it is mental illness or innocent predisposition that leads them to racist tendencies, well I guess that is out of their control.  As someone who was born and raised in the north, I can tell you that this is not an isolated issue.  There is a huge misconception that the north is this symbol of evolution and forward thinking while the south is stuck in the past.  Well guess what, no one is stuck in the past.  This is the present.  It is 2015 and this is the way our country is.  Pretty depressing, huh?

But the belief that racism is taught actually leaves a great deal of room for hope.  I have seen several examples of people going against the twisted views of their elders in order to do what is right – or, rather, whatever the hell they want to do.  These are the people that break the cycle.  They, like myself, will teach their children to love everyone the same regardless of color, gender, sexuality, and appearance.  I wish I could say that I have never experienced racism first hand, but I can not.  However, the one thing that has kept me positive in difficult situations is remembering how many people choose love.  When I was (still am) growing up, my father always told me that for every one bad person, there are a hundred people trying to help.  Now, when I watch the news, I can’t help but look for the helpers.  I challenge you to look for them next time.  I promise you’ll find them.

The only thing that I enjoy about the amount of coverage this confederate flag ridiculousness is receiving is the fact that it is taking attention from the Charleston, SC coward who was taught to hate.  I don’t really have words for people defending the flag.  People are claiming that this flag holds history.  This flag is their heritage.  To them I say:

Screw your heritage if your heritage is hate.

Teach love.  Look for the helpers.  End rant.

Call Her Human

By now we’ve all been introduced to Caitlyn Jenner.  We’ve all shared our opinions, sent the photos to our friends, and read through countless Facebook statuses and tweets, everyone suddenly an expert on what it’s like to live inside a body you don’t identify with for 65 years.  Never knew you all went through that.  Anyway, to no surprise the ignorant comments have been endless, and probably will be until the narrow-minded have a new target.  However, as upsetting as these comments can be, the ones that really got me thinking were the ones that treated Caitlyn like any other woman on the street – a object of sexuality.

It blows my mind that here we have this woman who has gone through an unimaginable transformation after living trapped in her own body, and the most that people can comment on is her physical appearance.  I’ve heard many people express how hot she is (agreed), many express that she still looks like a man, many express that her boobs must only look like that because of the corset, and many people express that

there’s no way she looks like that in real life – it must be Photoshopped.

So just like that, in a matter of minutes, Caitlyn Jenner went from a man, an athlete, a father, and a mentor to nothing more than a photograph.  In a matter of minutes, Caitlyn became subjected to criticism and assumptions that she never had to face as Bruce.  Where we once talked about Jenner’s accomplishments, we now talk about her physical appearance.  My God, does anyone else see the problem here?!

It’s truly unfortunate that while Caitlyn has escaped one world of hardship, she has just gotten her first taste of the world of a female, constantly under pressure to look her best or be judged by whomever wishes to judge her.  While Jenner is no stranger to the limelight, she will now have to look and act as a perfect female at all times, or else she will face the fire.  Without a doubt, the days of being remembered for gold medals are long gone.  I’ve heard so many people say things like “she was an Olympic athlete” and “she was so athletic.”  I even heard one of my favorite radio hosts saying something to the tune of “rest in peace to the Olympic gold medalist”.  To these people, I would like to point out that Caitlyn’s legs are the SAME EXACT legs that crossed those Olympic finish lines.

She IS an Olympic athlete.  she is an Olympic gold medalist.

And she is so much more.  Maybe people are just not used to these situations and don’t know how to react.  Honestly, I don’t know why or how this deep seated societal issue prevails.  What I do know is that Caitlyn has lived a long and successful 65 years, and is now paving the way for people trying to muster the courage to do the very same thing she has done.  Don’t you dare take that away from her.

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