My Journey in an Intolerant America

Posted: August 12, 2010 in Political Commentary, The Blog!

Look around…I don’t mean at your computer, but I mean in life. I just recently turned 26, I’m married and have a nearly 3 year old son. I grew up on Long Island, NY in a great city called Long Beach. I moved around a bit when I was younger all within the same town, but once I got into middle school my mother and I were stable enough to find a nice home for us. Throughout middle school I lived in a big apartment building and than for high school we were able to afford a house for ourself just down the block. Growing up was fun, interesting and a good time but it didn’t always have such a smooth road. I was teased like a lot of kids. I wasn’t considered one of the “cool” kids, I wasn’t sitting alone in the cafeteria either but I alway wished I as in higher opinion with my peers. Life got better as the years went on and by the end of high school I had a good core group of friends, I dated and life was sitting pretty. In those years though I noticed things that bothered me. I would see people who were over weight getting teased, people too skinny getting made fun of, people getting ridiculed because of their sexual preference, race or other beliefs. After I finished high school I got an A.A degree and took a break from school. I worked and took to my passion, making films. I always loved movies, especially horror films. It wasn’t just the blood, gut and big boobs that got me interested. I loved the films that were deeper than the slices and dices that were made by the killer but instead the true core of the film. Films like the original Night of the Living Dead, Last House on the Left, Dawn of the Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and others reflected what was going on in the world when those films came out. By looking at films that way my outlook on life changed, and I think that’s when I became officially a liberal. I saw that as a country, America wasn’t always the good guy, people in general can be very good but that we all have faults, some more than others. I saw people put labels and stereo types on others, and without knowing it destroying a part of people’s lives. Living not to far from NYC, I was in high school during the 9/11 attacks, I saw the smoke from the cafeteria windows and watched the attack in my social studies class. There were a few Muslim girls in the school, and I remember for the longest time just seeing people snicker at them, like the girls knew something or were behind the vicious attack. It wasn’t just the Muslims though, I would see gays get it bad. It became such a bad thing to be gay that it was the number one insult you can call someone. As i’ve gotten older things have kind of changed. I don’t see the insults come from kids anymore as I have gotten older, but the scary thing is that the insults are coming from people from my generation and my elders. The insults have changed, they are no longer insults to make a joke or to try to fit in with a particular group in school, the insults are replaced with hate speech, people manipulating others by using fear as a way to control them. The intolerance in this country is something that is so uncomfortable and is something I will fight against especially now that I have a son who has to group up in this world. I can be driving in my car and turn on the AM dial and here loud voices screaming about Muslims taking over the country, turn the dial just a bit and hear how gay marriage destroys the sanctity of marriage and religious people saying they are an “abomination to God’s laws.”. Turn on cable news and switch to Fox and here how our president is evil and comparisons to the likes of Hitler from the people in the conservative “Tea Party” rallies. The HATE that is being produced by people of this caucus is astonishing. Those who claim not to judge, who say they only preach love and understanding do the complete opposite. By forcing your beliefs of any kind onto people who want nothing to do with them is wrong, and it is a way of controlling others and shows that people who are apart of this are ignorant. Gay marriage is something that is getting a lot of press lately since a judge rightfully repealed Prop 8 in California by saying that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and wrong. If two people who love each other want to get married and receive all the benefits that come along with that no one should deny them their basic human and constitutional rights especially when the reasoning against it is something in the form of a religious belief. We have freedom of religion in this country, it is a great thing as it lets people believe what they want to believe without the fear of a backlash against it. The best thing is that if your do have a belief, you keep it to yourself and not force it onto other people. Beliefs don’t always have to be religion based however. The fear of race is something that has been around forever. African American are just one of the targets that have dealt with this in our country. From drinking of out separate water fountains, to sitting in the back of buses, playing in the MLB to becoming the President of the United States. Still today, people will walk across the street at night if they see an African American coming there way. As I sit here at nearly 1am in the sweltering heat under the Florida sun, sit here alone. No fear, no hate, no intolerance. I treat people how I want to be treated, regardless of race, sexual orientation, weight, height or any other reason. I’m proud to know that when I raise my son along with my wife we will be doing the right thing, and teach him that as human beings we are all equal, that yes you need to look out for the intolerance of others, but to be strong and believe in yourself and in the end your can hold your head up high and be the person you want to be.

*My Beautiful Wife and Son*

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Comments
  1. Dori says:

    Right On!

  2. sheri says:

    What you carry with you are pretty much the values that you learn at home. I guess I didnt do that bad!
    MOM

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