Sore Loser

There was only one loser in the 2016 election. America. And on my country’s behalf, you’re darn right. I am a sore loser.

Don’t tell me this election was about electing Supreme Court justices, abortion, repealing Obamacare, immigration, or terrorism.

The Republican party had 15 candidates who have pretty strong records of following the conservative party line. 15. But they chose the 16th one. The bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist, racist who has little to no record on the issues. What’s there is flip-floppy at best—including the fact he hasn’t even always been a Republican.

And now America is paying for it.

A large section of evangelical Christian America would have you believe God can work through a bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist, racist, who thinks bragging about sexual assault is just locker room talk. BUT those same folks don’t believe God can work through a lifetime self-identified Christian who has a decades-long record of working on behalf of children, women and the underprivileged who happens to be a bit on the defensive because she’s been held to a standard no other American has been held to—including the bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist, racist who thinks bragging about sexual assault is just locker room talk.

Like many parents, I had to hold my two crying daughters the day after the election. My millennial daughters. Ages 21 and nearly 24. Who voted early. They didn’t just cry. They sobbed. Shoulder-shaking sobs of sadness and grief for our country. For people of color. For immigrants. For Muslims. For the LGBTQ. For the earth. Unlike 9/11 on 11/9 there was no protecting their innocence. Their fellow Americans shattered it.

Today someone questioned a recent Facebook status I made saying, “I will not refer to him as president. That requires respect. It has not been earned.” They wanted to know if it would have been inappropriate for individuals who disagreed with President Obama to not show him the respect due to him, simply because he won the election?

I won’t go too far off topic to go into the utter lack of respect shown to President Obama during his two terms by those in the opposing party—both the “leadership” and citizens. Nor will I give example after example of the grace and class President Obama has displayed time and again in the face of that disrespect.

The 2016 election wasn’t about being Republican or Democrat. It’s not “simply” about winning or losing. It’s about humanity. Saying the GOP candidate is a bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, sexist, racist who thinks sexual assault is locker room talk is not just based on opinion. It’s based on recorded evidence spewing from his own mouth both before and during his campaign. It’s based on his actions both before and during his campaign. To their credit, a good majority of his party  didn’t change their mind when he won the primaries and would not endorse him. By election time even more of his party plus the four living presidents didn’t support him. No one deserves respect solely based on the fact they won an election.

If you’ve been paying attention the last two days since he’s been elected, it’s like the floodgates have been open. People are telling others who aren’t white to go home or that they’ll soon be deported. This is what supporting someone of his character has turned America into.

The world is watching us. America is a world-wide joke. I for one am not laughing.

But I’m also not giving up. This is my country and I will not let 25% of the population take it back to whatever time they think was so great.

 

 

 

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#HeShallRemainNameless

If you don’t know who the title refers to, there is no mistaking it once you read the definitions of megalomania, narcissist and bigot. Other than his hate speech, the one thing he’s fond of repeating over and over are his poll numbers. A narcissist has “unconscious deficits in self esteem”—so while he would like us to believe he is confident, his behavior suggests otherwise. Policy isn’t a priority, he’s only obsessed with his poll numbers and how many people are at his rallies.Bigot

We collectively wring our hands over this megalomania, narcissistic, bigot, acting as if there is nothing we can do to stop him, but two of the definitions lay it out quite simply. If we take away his platform, we take away his power. Stop talking about him. Stop writing about him. Stop posting his words. Stop posting articles that talk about him. Stop posting his picture. Hide the posts about him that come through your newsfeed—and resist the urge to comment. Delete any posts you’ve made about him. Change the channel if someone is talking about him or he’s being interviewed. At this point there is absolutely nothing new to learn. So even a post that denounces him—if it says his name or has his picture—hide it or delete it!

The first amendment may protect his right to free speech, but it doesn’t guarantee him an audience. STOP LISTENING! Ignore him AND anyone who gives him a voice. Effective social media is measured by engagement. If posts have no likes, comments or shares, if tweets have no RTs or replies—surely the lack of engagement can turn the tide.

We don’t need to be hateful. We don’t need to be violent. We can virtually (yes, pun intended) take his power away with a simple click of a button. If his name were to disappear from the internet, television, radio AND our lips, the only audience he would have are the measly 15% who actually support him. We can show the world he doesn’t speak for America by taking away his voice. Are you up for it?

Social Without Networking

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. What I love about it can just as easily become the thing that exasperates me—it all depends on the nature of the posts that come through my newsfeed. The last few days one of my friends has been posting about his trip to London. Nothing braggadocious like I might be tempted to post if I was traveling abroad. Just a check-in at the airport and a couple quick videos of his various daily commutes, including one of those infamous red double-decker buses as it passed by him. I couldn’t resist asking him if he was camping out at the hospital in wait for the royal baby—I’d seen another post that said this is what the locals were doing. Today I was surprised to see he was already back stateside, but the post announcing his wait at Heathrow made me smile and ponder at the wonder of what I had just read. He gave me permission to share his experience.

So…I get to the London airport early to make my flight and see if I can improve my seating location for maximum comfort. It didn’t work; but it was worth a shot. I’m sitting, on the phone waiting on my flight to board and I see the airport services people lead an obviously blind man to the seat next to me. A few minutes past, I get off the phone and the new guy immediately says hello. He ask’s what time is boarding. I tell him and he continues to make small talk. I suspect he is nervous about flying and wants to talk. I run into these folks frequently. He makes a corny little blind joke about knowing more about people as a blind man than the seeing. I ask, “what does he know about me.” Without hesitation or stutter he says you’re an american, born in the south. I said that’s easy, my accent is a dead give away. “I’m not finished,” he interrupts. You’re black, 40 to 50 years old with a graduate degree level of education. You travel international frequently for work and you’re a sales type person.” Now, I’m impressed. He’s dead on accurate! How did you know all this? He says, “I heard your conversation on the phone when I walked up. That gave me most of the information. And, you’ve been asking me questions since we began talking; that’s what sales people do.” We laugh. I’m astonished as though this was a circus trick. How did you know I was black? “I’m familiar with black speech patterns and dialect. I know what black folks sound like,” he says. “I’ve worked with black folks all my life.” I see, I reply. What do you do?, I ask. “I’m a political consultant. “You know Maynard Jackson, correct?” Yes, I do. “Well, I worked on his campaign to be the first black mayor of Atlanta.” At this point I shift in my seat to look directly at this man. For the next 40 minutes I hear the most phenomenal stories about the civil rights movement from a blind white man. He was a campaign strategist to elect black officials to political office; mainly mayors. Maynard Jackson, Harold Washington, Coleman Young, Richard Arrington, Harvey Gantt. My mouth is slightly agape. He had an interesting little antidote about each person and each election. “Now boarding!, the lady says and the airport services guy comes for my “friend.” It was great talking to you I said. He smiled and reached out his hand and said Alabama, right? I shook his hand and said “you’re right. I was born and raised.” He said the accent is almost gone but I still hear it. We both belly laugh and walked off.
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I immediately commented on my friend’s post, “I hope you got his business card!” He didn’t. In fact, after further conversation my friend told me he didn’t even get the man’s name, something he so regretted. He said it all happened so quickly. When I chided him asking, “What sales guy doesn’t ask for a business card of someone like that?”, my friend said he was stunned by it all. I have to admit when I pondered this further, I kind of like the fact my friend was so enthralled in the conversation that trying to network with this man didn’t even dawn on him. He thought of so many more things he would like to have asked him, but unfortunately they were headed in different directions.

I wasn’t the only one to marvel at what’s almost becoming a lost art—socializing face-to-face. “Wow! He just put on a clinic about what a person can learn from others if they took the time to closely listen.” exclaimed another friend. “Very interesting……..It’s amazing what you can hear with your eyes closed.” was another wise observation. And probably most profound, “Interesting, he knew stuff about you that some of your friends are still trying to figure out.” Just goes to show real conversation is something we should not be so quick to replace with social networking. As my friend said, “It was a great encounter though. And if his story is completely true, it’s remarkable.” Next time you’re tempted to bury your nose in your phone so the stranger sitting next to you doesn’t bother you with idle chatter, you might want to reconsider. And in case you’re wondering, yes, the man knew my friend took their picture.

Texas Lawmaker Wants Asian-Americans to Change Their Names

One of the first questions I’m asked after I’m first introduced to someone new is, what does Kat stand for?  I think it’s mainly curiosity, but does your name really matter? 

Texas State Rep. Betty Brown (R)

According to the Houston Chronicle this past Tuesday, during House testimony on voter identification legislation, Texas State Rep. Betty Brown (R) caused quite a ruckus when she suggested Asian Americans change their names because they’re too difficult to pronounce.

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese, I understand it’s a rather difficult language, do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.

What’s in a name? Continue reading

If It’s Not Funny, Is It Racist?

Can racism be defined in black and white terms (no pun intended) or is it subject to interpretation?

As a Korean adoptee growing up in Iowa, I remember numerous times when kids pulled back the corners of their eyes as a way to make fun of me. Decades later the men’s & women’s Olympic basketball teams from Spain are being called racist for having done this same gesture in a pose for photographs to be used in a publicity campaign for one of their sponsors. Continue reading