Why Politicians Lie: Because “the people” Lie.

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You want to know why politicians aren’t honest?  It’s because the people they represent aren’t honest.  Believe it or not, as much as we complain about politicians, the reason those dishonest politicians continue to hold positions in that dishonest system is because they represent dishonest people.  Now you may say “sir, that is very obvious.” But what I’m saying is that their actions and those lies are a representation of our actions and our lies.  There are politicians in that system of lies that we call government that represent you and me.  When those politicians do the things that are favorable to our liking, beliefs, interests, or way of life, we consider it a victory.  There are politicians that represent people with contrary beliefs and interest,  and when they win a victory for the people they represent, they also consider it a victory, but we label it otherwise.  We label it by using terms that we feel expose the true agenda of the other side or terms that are embarrassing and hurtful to the other side’s agenda. Just as I’m sure that when our representatives win a victory those that oppose our interests label our victory.  People throw around words and phrases like ‘food stamp president,” “welfare queen,” regression, socialism, racism, patriotism, reverse racism, “one percent” and all the other labels and terms used to call foul by whomever is losing at the time.

The point is that as long as we, the people, continue to lie, politicians will continue to lie.  I’m not speaking about the little lies we tell in our daily interactions, I’m talking about the lies we tell concerning issues that affect us all.  As long as we continue to lie about and hide our real fears and concerns, and only talk about them in our private circles and behind closed doors, we are giving a green light to politicians to lie and manipulate on our behalf. We have become so good at hiding our prejudices, biases, and racist feelings concerning the political issues of the day.  Maybe the code words you use weren’t listed above, but we all use them.  And politicians are quick to use any issue to exploit our racial and social biases.  No issue is too big or small to separate people.  All a politician has to do is mention one of the code words that we identify with or recognize and we are on the hook.  They can sell us our own death as long as they shape it along the lines of one of our hidden biases or prejudices, and we sign right up.  In public though, we are fair and upright people.  Because we continue to tell ourselves this lie and we continue to tell this lie to each other, we will always have—and to some extent—need politicians to go forward and carry on our lie.

The unfortunate shooting death of Trayvon Martin was and still is a good example.  I don’t want to get into the details, just a small fact and point.  When we first heard the facts initially reported, most people picked a side based on reasons not pertaining to the human decency in us all.  No, most people picked their side based on only two factors: young black male and white male.  Done. Most of us knew what side we were on right away.  The racial identity of the parties involved was all that mattered to most; the fact that Zimmerman was ethnically hispanic was disregarded.

We must be willing to admit our prejudices, admit our biases, admit our racist feelings, and be willing to talk about them openly.  Oftentimes, our life experiences dictate how we see others and the world around us.  If your only experiences with a certain race has, for the most part, been negative, or the only projection of that group or culture you see is negative, then it’s understandable that would have negative feelings tied to those experiences or your understanding of that group or culture. It’s called being human. Hiding those feelings and using them to hate another (group) is called being a racist.  When we have an open and honest debate about race and learn how to accept our differences, we can put those that we elect to the same charge.  If there is one country in the world that still holds to the truth that government is a reflection of the people it is still these United States.  As the people continue to lie and divide so shall those they elected to govern them.

I’m no expert on such matters, just sharing my opinion. I’m very much interested in hearing yours.  Please leave a comment, and by all means keep it productive.  This is a forum about answers and freedom of opinion, but positive input is key.

When did raising our children become a fashion and status competition?

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It seems that in our urban community, we no longer raise our children based on morals, principles and values. We raise them on J’s (Jordans), music, and GameStop. A lot of parents aren’t yet mature adults—they’re still young and still in the process of growing up themselves. As adults, we’re still dealing with our childhood issues. On top of that, many of us are still trying to find our place in society and find our identity (i.e. who we are and what we’re about). There are so many of us struggling to raise ourselves while also raising children today that are becoming parents. Because of our lack of development and lack of understanding of the world around us, we impart the wrong ideas upon our children.

I want to use this article to focus on a few points on how we approach parenting. I’d like to start with our children’s appearances. It seems as if we’ve taken our insecurities and our misplaced need for expensive things to identify who we are and we’ve imparted that upon our children. Our elementary schools have become fashion contests. Children today have the same mindset and concerns with fashion, appearance, and status as adults. The little social cliques, even among children in elementary school, have become about who has the newest j’s, and whose dad or most likely mom drives what car. The focus on school and those precious social interactions that help children to understand friendships and relationships has been corrupted. If you talk to most teachers and school staff they will attest to this fact. Children’s concern with material objects over meaningful social interactions and learning is reflected in their behavior—they’re more concerned with their new phone or shoes and less concerned with doing well in school. Most of the time, you can tell exactly what a child’s parents or parent (most of our kids are in single parent homes) are like before meeting them based on that child’s behavior.

This conversation is not just about buying expensive things for your children. Some people can afford to buy expensive things for their children and also teach them morals, values, and principles. This conversation is more to discuss the competitive nature that some of us display and the negative messages and lessons we’re imparting on our children. Indirectly, we’re teaching our children that what you wear equals status, so eventually a child equates that to “if you don’t have these things you’re not of “status.” Many times the value of hard work and savings is not taught along with the “swag” and “stay fresh” message. Keeping up with the Jones’ is no longer about the house, cars and prestige. Now your kids are trying to keep up with the little Jones’ too.

I believe as a parents your children’s appearance is a direct reflection of you. Your responsibility is to keep your children clean. They may not return home that way but you are obligated to send them out that way. By clean I mean clothes are clean and iron, hair combed and body hygiene intact. It serves you or your child’s future nothing that they are walking around in the most expensive everything but unable to read or do math proficiently. I’ve personally seen this during my time in the schools as an after school program operator: kid can’t complete his homework but can tell you how much his outfit cost and how much more it cost then yours. What if that kid applied those math skills to something more meaningful? Let’s wake up and truly invest in our children’s future. Jordan’s get old and you eventually throw them away. Respect, manners, self-esteem, and the confidence that comes from knowledge of history and self, and a sound education– these things never get old and they never get thrown away.

What do you think?  Please share your thoughts and join the conversation.