I'm old enough to remember when water coolers and TV shows actually brought us together. With only 3 major Networks, there was a good chance most of the people you worked with watched Johnny Carson the night before. Even then, there were shows that separated us too.
"All in the Family" introduced us to an old racist (Carol O'Connor) "Archie" and a young hippy (Rob Reiner) "Meathead" trying to cohabitate without killing each other. Their opposing viewpoints resonated with large sectors of the population. In one episode - black super star Sammy Davis Jr - kissed the old man on the cheek. It was a smooch heard round the world. Blacks and gays cheered! Klan members ran to the store for gas and wood.
These days, Facebook and Twitter fill our paper cups with opinions. But the results and implications of the 2016 Election have spilled over into our real worlds, where we work and live.
I vehemently opposed Donald Trump getting anywhere near the oval office. However, I had mixed feelings about the protests in the streets, after the votes were tallied. Trump almost lost by not guaranteeing he would accept the results - if he lost. Doesn't the left have the same obligation? The quick answer is Yes! The right answer is a Rubix Cube of global significance.
I posed that question in confidence to socially conscience entertainer in LA. My concern was, if the protests grew, the white supremacist faction of Trump supporters might retaliate (They want a race war anyway). This could force Trumps hand - to show he is not weak. Trump campaigned on a "Law and Order" platform he borrowed from Richard Nixon. The next thing you know, we have 1968 Chicago. Cops bashing heads in the streets. We have enough of that already.
He pointed out that the world was watching the results of the election. We needed to let them know that we are not all batshit crazy. Someone has to reassure our global neighbors there are some American virtues we're going to insist stay in place. You know, little stuff, racial equality, not banning all Muslims or deported 600 million Mexicans. Oh, yeah and that we do not all "Love war".
Those issues are just a few of many that have divided our nation. Heated arguments are breaking out at workplaces across the country. You have to keep in mind that along with Russia and China; England, Germany, France, Japan and the rest of the word heard the crazy shit Trump promised to do in his campaign. This effects the whole planet. So how do we all get along as we sort this mess out?
I am blonde, and maybe 20% Native American, But I chose the Indian playing cowboys and Indians. I watched the movie "Little Big Man" as a kid. As the light from the big screen poured over me - I witnessed American soldiers killing women and babies. That painted my view of the military as a high tech version of the Cavalry. Sometimes brave Patriots, but not always on the right side either.
I lived on the plains in a tent with Lakota Indians for a year. I also lived in South Central LA during the riots. I wanted to punch Howard Stern in the face for racist comments he made to fuel the fire from the safety of his studio, far away in New York. But those are my experiences, that cultivated my view of the world and my political affiliation. They do not necessarily make me right. And if I am, it is not more important to be kind?
At the same time, what about my black brother getting cut down in the street by police? My Indian brother having his land and water threatened. What about a Muslim patriot, or gay couple afraid to walk down the street? Does my tolerance hurt their cause and help fuel indifference? "Help Mr. Wizard Help!
What about my white friend that grew up Christian Republican in the Midwest? If I'm taught 2+2 = 5, it is! 4 is just communist bullshit. Right now we are all struggling with this new math. Hey! on Tuesday Night for Democrats - 2+2 Did Equal 5.
But seriously, Abortion is an ugly business, and a lot of straight people do not want anal sex taught as an acceptable alternative to their 6th grade son. Our political system has failed us. Some just figured its broken, lets break it all the way and see what happens. There are people who are not racist that voted Trump, for those, and other reasons.
We have to find a balance. Plan B does not cause abortions That's RU486. It prevents conception. The Bible is not against contraception. Plan B could probably prevent 90% of all abortions, even in the case of rape. It works within 72 hours. You're probably also willing to respect gay rights and serve lesbians lunch, if you're not forced to promote the lifestyle or film a gay wedding.
For the left, we thought the good ole boy racist ideology had died of old age. It was as antiquated as blood letting. We let political correctness run roughshod over common sense because at least it kept racism in check too. Those both went down from the 3 point line late in the game Tuesday night. It is true that the Republicans House has run this country into the ground for nearly a decade and we have 2 yrs to get that message out. And Yes! Stand against racism and discrimination of any kind. In the meantime, we have to give Trump a chance, he may surprise us.
My dad had a drinking problem for a short time. He imparted some wisdom to me one morning after a drunken argument. "Drunk Talk" doesn't count. Of course it does, but the point is, people say things they regret or don't mean when they are drunk. I think the same can be said about campaign promises. Hillary went after Obama, Sanders Clinton, and Trump, well he offended every life form on the planet. My hope is, he will fail to make good on most of his promises too. I will give him a chance to do that.
Corporations are running this country and pulling all our strings. If Mexicans hate Blacks, and Democrats hate Republicans - that's good for business. It takes the spotlight off the real villains - Corporations ripping us off and ruining our planet. Republican President General Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us all of what we should really be afraid of - War. He warned that we should fear the growth of the "Military Industrial Complex". War is "Not" good for the economy - Google it - basic economics. It kills our sons and daughters and only benefits Military contractors. Foreign wars drain Empires.
Before his death, Prince was asked if he supported Obama for president. His answer surprised a lot of people. "I don't have a horse in that race." He had recently become a Jehovah Witness. A group free of racism, that remains politically neutral and refuses to kill their fellow man in war. He looked to the creator, not man to save our planet. He may have been onto something there. But if you're going to call yourself a Christian - act like one! Jesus denounced discrimination and instructed us to feed the poor.
If you're like me, you had hoped the democrats might take the house and start fixing infrastructure. This, in addition to keeping bridges from falling on us, would create jobs, and boost the economy. That would help my small business. You also hoped that the Dem's might put some checks and balances in place to protect civil liberties and our economy from another collapse. Like an astronaut, you were about to take your *helmet off and breath a little fresh air. Well, put your helmet back on, we may be in for a long ride home.
It's not the end of the world though. Work hard, fly low and save money. we'll get through this.
But how do we all get along?
I wont pretend to have the answers. But I have learned that being "kind" is more important than being "right". You wont regret it, or get fired for it. That doesn't mean you condone, or turn a blind eye to racism. But you don't have to pick a political fight in the break room either. Look for things we "can" agree on. Thank god for sports right? Except Soccer, I can't find a pick up game anywhere anymore, they put nets on all my local Football fields... sorry got off track.
Actions speak louder than words anyway. When you quietly walk away from a racist conversation, people get the hint eventually and realize you hold them to a higher standard. Treat women and minorities with respect at work, make them feel equal and welcome. They are. When asked why you did, you'll have something worth talking about at the water cooler.
Note: The word *helmet was used in this article, making it a legitimate part of this sports blog.