An Open Letter To People That Are Tired Of Extremism

An Open Letter To People That Are Tired Of Extremism

We really are just wandering out here in the center, and you are not alone.

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Sometimes, I'm not exactly sure where I stand when it comes to issues in this world. Lately, I've seen so much on Twitter and Facebook, and right now in America that makes it seem like we live in a black and white world. I don't mean this racially. In America, we have been ignoring the shades of gray in the middle. Some people just breathe and then all of a sudden they're being offensive to someone.

While I do understand our awareness of these situations allows us to progress as a society, there is a point where we are getting mad at everyone for everything, and not allowing room for growth. This doesn't just apply to one side at all, its both sides of the spectrum. I've seen people gravitate to extremes both as liberals and conservatives.

I still feel some anxiety for even speaking about this because of the newly formed "cancel culture" we have nowadays. It would never be my intention to offend anyone, and I'm a firm believer that being kind and having forgiveness is something that works wonders with people. I don't understand why someone wanting to have a religion is offensive, nor do I understand why loving someone of the same gender as you are offensive either.


Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.com


Now, people can come at me for having these beliefs, it's totally fine. Perhaps these people see the world more black and white than I do. There is some part of me that desperately wishes for confirmation that I'm not the only person in this world who just wants to see people respecting one another. If the behavior is not being mean or hurting anyone, why is it canceled? Why are we not just allowed to mind our own business anymore? The real answer is behind the screen. Social Media allows us to bare our all, and there really is no such thing as minding your business in an online world.

After a year or so of me just observing politics, opinions, and cancellations, I feel as though I understand. The world is not separated by #MAGA or #TimesUP. With the rise of social media and the presence of technology in our society, we are constantly misunderstanding each other. We see tweets that cause outrage everywhere, and you really have to search for people who see the situation for what it is. People have made careers out of outrage posts, videos, or even podcasts.


Photo by Larm Rmah on Unslpash

I guess what I'm really trying to say is, many of us have sunk into this mindset that we can't be somewhere in the middle. I can't support Planned Parenthood giving women access to healthcare without being called a baby murderer, nor can I say that I say that I'm religious without being called judgmental... The truth is the world has a lot wrong with it, we'd put so much good if we met in the middle instead, or even if we just focused on taking action for people who can't themselves. Polarizing ourselves is something that benefits no one. So, my fellow wanderers, the world is not black and white. Your shades of gray are valid, and your opinions are too.

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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