Every time I turn on the television, pick up a newspaper and log onto the computer, I am seeing a new company re-branding themselves. It is happening in every single corner of our communities right now. Companies are apologizing to the masses for what they are deeming racist or insensitive innuendo that is brought about by images and slogans that they are responsible for. EVERYONE is jumping on this bandwagon.
I have witnessed this coming for a long time in Minnesota. We are a hotbed for liberalism and cancel culture. We are a people who are passive aggressive in nature who tend to shy away from confrontation. I must have somehow missed the memo on this requirement for citizenship since this goes against every fabric of my being.
I have gotten a boatload of feedback since I have been writing this blog that has thanked me for saying what people feel and think. I am shaking my head at these sentiments a bit. I am wondering why people feel the need to keep quiet. Are people afraid of repercussions at their beliefs and opinions? Are they afraid of the difficult discussions that might arise out of the topics being talked about? When did the fundamental right of free speech and thought become something to be afraid of sharing? If we all think the exact same way, we never evolve as a society. We are stagnant and pathetic. Do not mistake disagreement as racism on my part. I believe racism exists, and also is fundamentally wrong. I do not however believe it is what ails us as a society. I have a set of morals that I live by. If yours are different, fortunately in our society that is still your choice, but do not try and change mine.
I wrote yesterday about the fact that there are people trying to silence my writing. I have had a couple of people cry racism about what I am writing. That I am distasteful in my thoughts and opinions. These are only a few actual people, out of the 11,000 plus people who have viewed this blog. I actually believe that this is not what is actually happening with those who are speaking against what I have to say. I believe that some of what I am saying makes sense to them, but they are too afraid to say. They may live, work or worship with a group of people that they are afraid to share their opinions with.
The reality of me writing is that now I am faced with the likelihood that there are people out there who are trying and succeeding at taking my livelihood as a teacher away. This is a pretty scary concept for everyone. At least it should be. This attempt to silence my voice, my experiences and my opinions is chipping away at a fundamental, constitutional right. I am aware that what I say sometimes makes people uncomfortable, but I am trying to present a voice and angle that is being left out of the conversations. I am not saying you have to believe me, I am saying just open the conversation to both sides. By not allowing another opinion in a debate, we become a group-think society and this will erode at the foundation of our constitution and values. The constitution and values that belong to us all that enjoy the freedoms that these provide.
Large companies, as a way to try and quiet the rhetoric, in a politically volatile climate, are running to beat each other to the punch to fix any and everything that seems even remotely tied to race. I am baffled by this concept, because now we are taking all of these images out of the limelight and trying once again to erase history. It is like a competition to see who can seem the least racist in nature. This is craziness. Instead of taking money that could be used for rebuilding and funding areas that could benefit from their monies, they will now be spending millions to re-brand their companies and items instead. All this is really fundamentally selfish in nature. It is a game being played where they are the real and only winners.
This summer I have noticed that the barrage of emails keep coming to my inbox with pledges of monies to help to uplift the communities that are affected by what happened to George Floyd and people of color at the hands of law enforcement. They are mistaken in their statistics and misguided as I have said before, but we are way beyond that now. This no longer matters to those who are making these decisions. Their motivation is and always has been about greed and politics. It really bothers me, not because they are vowing to do this now, but the fact that THEY DID NOT DO THIS BEFORE! I am a fool to not have put my money where my mouth is. I blindly thought that those who ran these companies and benefit from these very communities were actually caring, moral citizens who were giving back instead of always taking.
In a nutshell here is what has happened. Any image that is viewed as historically racist, by anyone who even utters that it is, is to be erased. It brings up bad feelings, which cannot be tolerated (insert sarcasm), instead of giving us life lessons to serve as reminders to learn from our mistakes.
Legos, syrup, cartoons and statues are all bad. Very, very bad. They cannot stand for good things. They are inherently racist and fundamentally evil, and must be erased so as to bring about real change in this nation. The change we are getting is not one that is going to help anyone. This is not replacing evil with good. This is taking a big giant eraser and wiping away any and all images that we have created that we at the moment think could bring about influence on our society or reflect negatively so as to affect a bottom line.
Cartoons, toys, food and statues are all images and objects. These very images and objects should be catalysts for conversation with our children. We are the first line of defense in raising good human beings. It is our responsibility to show our children good vs evil. We need to point it out to them on a daily basis. We need to correct them when they are wrong in both thought and behavior. This is missing in an entire generation of people living right now. These are the people who are controlling our media, our emails and our platforms. They are a generation that grew up thinking that equality meant that everyone gets what they want, instead of getting what they need. This equality that they are seeking does not exist. Want only leads to greed and selfishness.
I am going to be unemployable as a teacher because of my beliefs. I have such radical and racist beliefs that somehow influence my teaching. None of this is true, however, in this cancel culture, this no longer matters. It is who is screaming the loudest who many tend to believe. It is easier to silence a person who is talking about things that make us uncomfortable instead of listening in our hearts. It is easier to re-brand me as a racist than actually think and digest what I am saying.
Just because I disagree with a narrative, does not make me a racist. My heart, values and virtue guide my teaching. I view it as a vocation, not a job. I always have. I am passionate about feeding my students knowledge so that they can find their best selves and give it back to this world. My students come from ALL and mostly different backgrounds than me (color, race, creed, culture), and I expect the same from them all. Work hard, treat others how you want to be treated and love each other. I give exactly this to all of them.
I have built a career that I love and am good at. I am saddened that because of the inability of some to see past a differing opinion, that I might have this ability to help others taken away. If this is the ultimate outcome, then God is guiding me in a different direction. I truly believe that you should not do something just because it is easy, but because it is what you believe to be right. Writing and telling another side to this debate is important. I will not compromise my values. I am NOT SORRY to tell you that I WILL NOT be re-branded by anyone.