The “national conversation”: guns, flags, race

Our “national discussion” is coming out of both sides of our collective mouth.

guns.AmericaTackling more Ask Roger Anything questions, where a theme seemed to emerge:

New York Erratic wants to know:

What is the #1 thing that annoys you on social media?

Mostly that so much of it is so banal. I post these blog posts to my Facebook and Twitter and get a few comments. I write, in response to an Esquire clickbait article, “If you think I’m going to click on this 80 times, you’re crazy;” it’s gotten over 120 likes, many of them in recent days.

Sometimes, though, it does some good. Which nicely segues to…
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Jaquandor muses:

I often hear calls for “a national conversation” to deal with Big Issues. What would a “national conversation” look like?

Since we can’t seem to agree on simple concepts, such as facts about science, I think the “national conversations” bubble up in ways that I don’t think can possibly be entirely controlled.
Continue reading “The “national conversation”: guns, flags, race”

Boycotting the cafeteria

boycottSometimes, I just get annoyed.

I’ve mentioned the cafeteria in our building. It got taken over by this new company that was nickel-and-diming everything. A cup of ice was ten cents without a drink, but then they charged a dime even when people bought a drink. The prices went up, generally as well.

But there was a woman who worked behind the register who got fired that really set me off. Her name was Shirley. She’d worked in the origination about ten years. She was let go because she was so highly paid; after a decade, she was making a whopping $12/hour. She knew all the customers by name, something no one else did.

So I stopped going to the cafeteria. I buy food from home, or buy a Subway sub on the way to work for lunch. It’s been a couple months now.

A real boycott, I suppose, one would announce and galvanize the folks. I do know several others who have avoided the place, but I have no idea whether it is making any difference to the bottom line. But it feels like the right thing.
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Burger King to Buy Tim Hortons for $11.4 Billion. And I boycott BK because they’re playing that corporate inversion game.
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I’m forever getting Facebook notices to boycott Rush Limbaugh’s sponsors or asked to sign some petition because of something the windbag says, most recently about Robin Williams and the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

I’ve discovered there are some people who are such clowns that I no longer pay attention to what they say, and wonder why anyone cares anymore. Rush is background noise. Nothing he says matters to me, he convinces no one of his point of view who wasn’t already convinced. He’s just not worth my minimal effort.
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Speaking of Change.org petitions, Please Invite the Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars to the White House.

The Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars were a Little League team comprised of African American youth from Charleston, South Carolina. The team was denied the opportunity to participate in the 1955 Little League World Series (LLWS) due to a collective boycott of South Carolina’s 61 white leagues. Little League Baseball, to its credit, refused the state’s request to host a segregated tournament but also barred the Cannon Street team from competing in the LLWS due to an existing rule prohibiting teams from advancing via forfeit…

Rather than succumb to bitterness, these fourteen boys have grown into strong, loving, and upstanding citizens. Their lives are a testament to the character and courage learned through playing America’s pastime.

So rectifying a previous boycott seems to be a fair outcome.

N is for the N-word

“Regardless of the user, the N-word is still doing the exact job it was intended to do in the 1700s. Hell, it’s doing a better job.”

I don’t like it: the N-word. I know I mentioned this topic about four years ago, but it’s still true. No, it isn’t that I want it banned from historical literature, but it still makes me quite uncomfortable.

I hear some white folks complain, “I hear black people say it. Why can’t I?” It’s as though they feel they are being discriminated against or somehow deprived. Continue reading “N is for the N-word”