We SHOULD Be Talking Politics!

There are two things you are never supposed to discuss. Religion and politics. Touchy subjects. They tend to get heated pretty quickly. Have we ever thought that is because we never get to talk about them with other people?

We don’t ever get to have our political ideas heard by anyone that feels differently than we do, so why are we surprised when people get so adamant about getting their point across? If we were used to discussing ideas, every day, with people who don’t necessarily have the same viewpoint, we may not feel as inclined to cut people off and yell to make ourselves heard.

Politics are something we live with every day, even if we choose not to talk/think about them. Most political people are trying to see some kind of change in the world. Everyone has their platforms. There’s always one area where we feel we can make the biggest difference. To make change, we need ideas. Big ideas. I will tell you guys, sometimes I get my best ideas from the most random experiences. When I am completely out of my element and interacting in a manner I was not expecting. It can be very thought inspiring. Why can’t we think like this when it comes to politics?

We need to be able to sit down and have a civilized conversation with the people we see day in and day out, about things that are important to us. There are always multiple ways to get to a final destination. If we think of the change we are trying to see in the world, the different perspective may do us some good. Being passionate about something can cause blinders, and there may be an aspect that we’re not seeing. It may just take a friend from the “other side” to point this out to us.

The one thing we have got to stop doing, is making our discussions about which side is in the right. A side is not going to “win” through one discussion among friends. On the flip side of that, your side is not going to “lose” if a great point is brought up by someone else. Stop pointing fingers, stop jumping to what people are doing wrong, and start with solutions. What actions do you think will solve this problem? Why are those actions going to make a difference? Then listen for those answers from others.

It’s not going to be something that changes overnight, but we can start taking steps in the right direction. At the beginning of our happy hours (pre-crunk), we could talk about current events and how we feel about them. We need to focus on the words and statements that we’re making; trying not to make blanket statements but making statements about how we feel. Giving our own reactions without any name-calling. After we’ve made our statement, stopping to listen to our friends’ reactions, really listening. This is our friend, we should care how they feel. I mean after all, if you don’t care about their ideas, why are you friends with them?

Don’t Be a Dick Because I Don’t Have One

I’m a pretty bubbly person. I smile, a lot. I also value hard work, and have a very intense grind mode. When I’m in grind mode, just sit back and watch me work.

I have worked in the customer service industry in some form or fashion for over 20 years now. I am just about always having to be “on”. My work ethic has put me in a position, at just about every job I’ve had, to have added responsibility. I thrive in high demand environments.

This all sounds great, right? It is. There is one thing I had to deal with though, and plenty of women are still dealing with it, that no male ever would. Like ever, ever. When I get in my zone, and start getting things done, I’ve got my serious face on. The one where I am ready to dominate whatever tasks lie ahead. There is nothing worse than being in this zone, and having someone come up to you, interrupt your flow, just so they can say, “Hey, why aren’t you smiling??”

“Whaaaaa?! You really interrupted me, for THAT?!”

I get it, people love my smile. (It’s an alright smile.) If you wanna see it, try saying something smile worthy! You would NEVER walk up to any man in any work place, who was clearly amid some form of work, stop his momentum, and ask him why he wasn’t smiling. Never. Don’t even pretend like you would, cause I know you’re lying.

There is still some lingering standard left over from the 1950’s about the role women play in the work force. I had to deal with it mostly when I was in the service industry working at the number of high volume establishments I was employed by. Fortunately, my current job is amazing, and I work with badass adults who just get it. I know there are women out there dealing with this in non-service industry jobs as well. One of my best friends gets it like every other day!

This happens outside of work too. I can be having a regular moment, running errands, or walking through the store, and some stranger will come up and ask… I mean, come on man! Why aren’t YOU walking around with a cheesy ass grin on your face?

If you want to see a woman smile, don’t ask her why she is not smiling, say something nice, or funny, or charming that will put a smile on her face. Trust me, you’ll like the smile you get from that a whole lot more anyway. (;

You Think You’re Cool and Accepting, Mixed People Think You’re an A$$#OLE.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation…

“So, are you black??”

“No, I’m mixed.”

“You have black in you?”

“Yep. Italian, German, Black, and Cherokee.”

“Oh, well then, you’re black.”

Don’t you think if it was the same thing, I would’ve just said yes?! What was the point of even asking if you were just going to correct me anyways? Look, I know your point of saying being mixed is the same thing as being black, is to prove that you are “cool” with black people, but it’s offensive. When someone takes the time to correct you, it’s because they don’t identify as black. Mixed kids get labeled as white by the black kids, and black as the white kids. We can’t check just one box.

Mixed kids may not have even grown up with all of their races in their household, so when you just assume they understand whatever racial stereotype you are talking/joking to them about, and they give you a blank stare, it’s because they’re thinking to themselves, “What an idiot!” For some reason, people feel the need to bring up racial stereotypes in a joking manner, to prove that they are not racist. In reality, all you are doing is proving that you do believe the stereotypes. That you’re not as open minded as you think you are.

I am the only one that’s mixed in my family. My siblings have a different biological father, who happens to be my dad, so we all grew up together. (If you’re confused by this, don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll have a blog on being a dad vs being a biological father one day…) Everyone else in our house is white. I am very close with my brother, he’s one of my best friends. I remember the first time he introduced me as his half sister. My heart sank into my stomach. We don’t call each other half brothers and sisters. He only did it because he was tired of people giving us the crazy look we get, and the “Wait…What??? Y’all are…???” questions. When I did the same thing with my sister, she felt I was rejecting her. It hurt her for years, until I was able to explain myself.

It’s hard enough not being like the rest of your family, without the outside opinions of all the “super excepting” assholes out there. If you do live in a house with both sides of your heritage, you are most certainly not going to want to only claim one half and completely ignore the other. Both sides have shown you love, so why shouldn’t you be able to claim both?

Stop giving people a hard time because they don’t want to do that. I’m going to say this again, stop trying to make people check one box.

If you really want to be cool and accepting, try getting to know someone…in a normal fashion. Ask them questions about where they’re from; what kind of music they like; what their favorite food is. Don’t just assume they listen to Tejano and love tamales, they may be half French and half Venezuelan. Or they could be half German and half Mexican, and happen to love tamales. If they do love tamales, ask them if their Mom makes them, and then invite yourself over for dinner! This is totally cool AND accepting.