The Intolerance In Politics

The Intolerance In Politics

A perspective on the intolerance of political diversity in the US political climate.
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Sidenote: This story and its characters are entirely fictional, and is made up of my own ideas and opinions.

It was 9:00 pm and two people were at a bus stop in midtown Manhattan, waiting for their respective buses to arrive.

“Yes, no matter how extreme Trump can be, I think still that we need to fix the problem of illegal immigration”, pause. “Yes I understand that they are people who are fleeing for their lives from dangerous countries, however what about all the people that have waited years and years from all around the world to be accepted to this country legally. It’s not fair to them, and this just shows how much we need to fix this problem, it’s honestly a safety issue. I’m not saying that they’re all bad” the man sitting down said. He was about 22 years old and had just finished working his 8-hour shift at Chipotle.

After hearing this, the young man to his left turned his head towards him, looking unpleasantly surprised. He was a freshman in college, an English major with a Spanish minor; one could easily tell he was disturbed by the conversation. “Sir, excuse me sir” he repeated over and over again until the guy on the right finally got a clue that it was him he was talking to.

“I have a name,” the guy on the right said, “it’s Chris”.

“Well Chris, I have to say that your views on immigration are sadly misguided. I mean, yes, illegal immigration is a small problem, however, they are people,” the guy on the left, John, said.

“Well, first of all, it’s nice to meet you too, and it’s nice to hear that you were listening in on my conversation also,” Chris said. “Well sir, what you were saying was completely incorrect. You have to remember that they are people and that we must be morally responsible, and take them in”. “Man, please, I’m tired and I just want to go home, I don’t need a lecture from you right now” Chris responded.

John inched closer to Chris and started to get visibly mad, as his face started to turn a bright red. “Chris, I can’t believe what you’re saying right now. I mean can you not understand that they are people, and that denying them entry is risking their lives!”

“Yo, I totally understand you, but I just think that we need to have a better system that decreases the number of illegal immigrants and increases the number of legal immigrants,” Chris said. “Well, that’s a bigoted thing to say! I mean, imagine being in their shoes! Let’s take our southern border, for example, those people had to travel thousands of miles for a better life! Can’t you understand that! I mean, you’re Mexican, tu debes comprender (you should understand)! And if you can’t, then you’re obviously a bigot!”.

“I’m sorry but hold up. First of all, I’m not Mexican, I’m Guatemalan. Second, just because I don’t completely agree with you does not mean that I’m a bigot. It just means that I have a different perspective than you, and that certainly is not a crime” Chris responded infuriatingly.

“But you have to think morally!” John interjected. “So man, let me get this straight. If I disagree with slightly any idea of what you are saying right now, then I’m immoral, that I’m inherently a bigot, a racist?” Chris stated. “Yes, you are! You refuse to recognize that these illegal immigrants are people too! And no matter what you say, you can’t change the fact that you’re a bigot! I’m leaving!”. John stated this as he then stood up hastily, and walked across the street and down into the subway.

Chris after a couple of minutes calmed down and finally was able to find his inner-peace again. The busy then arrived, and as he got on, he found the bus driver was listening to a FOX news radio station, and the debate was on immigration. Chris stood in the middle of the aisle for a couple of moments, listening to how the far-right announcers argued viciously with their politically moderate guest. Chris couldn’t take it any longer, and sat in the back of the bus, trying to block it all out, and focus listening to his music on his long ride home.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay (Skitterphoto)

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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Tell The Uncomfortable Stories And Make Sure People Hear You Just Like Muckrakers In History

"All art is propoganda"- W.E.B. Du Bois

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In the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, there were what are called Muckrakers. The term came from a day when Teddy Roosevelt was asked by a few journalists to answer some questions on the street. Journalism was a new profession created in wake of the newspaper's rising popularity, it was not a renown profession and President Roosevelt added to their poor public reputation in a famous quote in response to those journalists; "I will not have them rake muck over my good name!" and thus, coined the term "muckraker" as a colloquialism for a journalist or someone who set out to "stir the pot" by revealing the injustices and discrepancies in society through photography, art, news articles, literature, or other media.

We owe such things as the regulation and inspection of meat, drugs, and food, as well as the progression of the refrigerator to Muckrakers like Upton Sinclair who wrote a book about the horrific conditions of the meat packing industry of his time. Ida Tarbell pioneered investigative journalism and what would become our modern profession of social work through writing and speaking about the pain, mistreatment, and injustice women and children without homes face.

Urban reform, the invention of the garbage collection system, destruction of tenements and implementation of proper urban housing, and more refined sewage systems can be accredited to Jacob Riis and his book called How the Other Side Lives which sought out the stories and faces of people (primarily immigrants and people of color) forced to live in tenements which were cramped, shabbily built city housing that harbored disease and poverty.

So many journalists are being killed all over the world, not excluding the US, for writing the truth of the world around them. We need stories, we need faces, we need documentation of people's lives to keep so we never repeat what they have to have or let their reality die.

Tell stories.

In the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, "all art is propaganda". What is propaganda? "Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause." At the first meeting of what would become the NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois said this to encourage the people at the meeting to tell their own stories and not let anyone tell it for them.

Everyone is born with a microphone and a story to tell, but the volume is different for everyone. It is naturally turned up or down for you based on your identity and society, which promotes a surplus of the same stories and maybe what is worse, a telling of someone else's story for them by someone with a higher volume on their microphone. Pass mics, don't speak for people. Tell your own story and help others tell theirs but never tell it for them. Art of any kind promotes some kind of message and cause, so do stories and the danger of telling someone else's is taking it from them and using it to promote your cause instead of theirs.

This is not a competition, people telling the stories of the people should not be pitted against each other, but respect the value of their voice by letting them proclaim it but always lift it and back it up.

And rake some muck. Tell the uncomfortable stories and make sure people hear them. Tell the truth, especially if it's uncomfortable, enraging, and scary. But let it be the truth because history is nothing if not the truth. If we do not remember people and their voices for who they truly were, no washing of their stories for our comfort and their belittlement.

Listen, speak, and rake some muck.

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