There are often (at least) two sides to every story. Even though I no longer pay close attention to politics they way I used to because of my other interests, I still find that more often than not I know more than the average person. Most people only know one side of any given story. Over and over I find myself in the middle where I can sympathize with both sides. Since neither side wants anything to do with the other, everyone treats me as an enemy. There are two issues that have caught my attention in the past couple of years that I thought I would throw my two cents in on.
On the one hand, I don’t care who I share the locker room or the restroom with, and I think it would be healthier for society if everyone else got over it. At the same time, I have adapted to the rules of society very easily and I wonder why there are those that can’t. There are biological males who feel most comfortable identifying as women are often very uncomfortable using a restroom or shower with other males present. They prefer to use the women’s room. I can sympathize with that. The problem is that allowing them to do so also necessarily allows other uncomfortable biological males to use the women’s room with them, recreating the very problem that they meant to avoid. Nothing is solved.
Furthermore, it also tends to make any biological females present uncomfortable as well, creating many new problems. If I consider the discomfort of “normal” people to be illegitimate, I must in fairness consider the discomfort of transsexuals illegitimate as well. If on the other hand I consider the discomfort of transsexuals to be legitimate, then so must be the discomfort of “normal” people, whose concerns outnumber those of transsexuals perhaps a thousand to one. This is only logic.
While I do not see that the transsexuals have a case here, at the same time I think it would be a mistake to enact laws to regulate restroom policy. There have already been reported cases of biological women dressed in somewhat traditionally masculine outfits being harassed for entering the women’s room – the room they are supposed to use. Who decides whether someone is masculine or feminine enough? We do not want the police to also become the fashion police. We also do not want to have our genitals or chromosomes inspected just to enter the restroom (among other problems, this would be very expensive).
On the one hand it seems that transsexuals and their allies are troublemakers, but on the other hand enforcing the rules will do more harm than simply letting people do what they want. There is danger in all directions and intense hate on both sides. Not wanting any part of it, I don’t fit in very well. I don’t claim to know what should be done, but I know that everything I have so far heard is wrong. My best idea is for everyone to just get over it and accept males and females sharing the same spaces, including showering together. Of course, once this is accepted it is only a matter of time before we will have common nudity on the beach, at the park, at the bank, and in the grocery store. Maybe there is nothing wrong with that, but suggesting there might be nothing wrong with that means I really don’t fit in.
I know that we have a government problem in this country. When the Congress can mandate people buy health insurance, the IRS can confiscate the entire content of one’s bank account merely because of what they perceive as suspicious behavior, and the state can snatch your kids away on hearsay, you know the government is out of control. Being the enforcers of law for the government, the police are part of the problem. When a cop feels justified in shooting you for reaching for your ID – because he told you to get your ID – because you might have been reaching for a gun – you know the police are out of control. I have heard of the police escalating situations by attacking first instead of first inviting the suspect to come willingly, creating shootouts in the middle of high-traffic areas that would likely not have otherwise happened. In some cases, those attacked did not know they were being attacked by real cops, and in some cases, the police had the wrong person. Everyone I know that has had dealings with the police has found them extremely rude and intimidating. It isn’t just a few bad apples either; police have been caught covering for each other, prosecutors have been caught withholding evidence, and the former attorney general of the United States was more than once caught covering up scandals. The corruption goes all the way to the top and down to the core. There was even a small town in Texas that would arrest those passing through and confiscate anything of value for “evidence.” The entire town was in on it. The policing problem and the larger government problem of which it is a part affects blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims, Jews, men, women, children, gays, straights, immigrants, rich, and poor alike. Because police tend to focus their efforts on high-crime areas, since more crime occurs in poorer neighborhoods, and since blacks are disproportionately poor, it makes sense that blacks might face a disproportionate share of the abuse, but because everyone is affected it would be a mistake to make this a racial issue.
This is where Black Lives Matters comes in, but to understand them one must first go back to the beginning. I grew up in an era of political correctness. Comments clearly made in innocence were attacked by busybodies casting the comments in racial terms and pretending to be offended in order to score political points. I remember during the Olympics that immediately after a black woman had done gymnastics they went to commercial and the commercial that played featured a chimpanzee doing gymnastics (it was an ad for the Olympics). Because I am not a racist and do not think in terms of race, I never made any connection. Chimps share much DNA with humans, but white people are just as human as blacks. Only a racist would have noticed any connection and only a racist would have thought the advertisers were comparing chimps and blacks. Of course, this is exactly what the racists did. They made a big deal of it and accused the advertisers of racism.
Sometime later I began to hear people tell others to “check their privilege.” I never grew up thinking of my race or even classing people into clearly distinct races. I have worked tirelessly to learn the best policies for this country that will do the greatest good for the greatest number no matter what their ancestry. I could be wrong, but my genuine belief based on all the evidence I am aware of is that capitalism (if properly understood and applied) works better for everybody of all races than socialism. Now I am told that I only think the way I do because I am “white” and therefore “privileged” and have nothing to say worth listening to. Assigning worth to one’s beliefs based on race is the dictionary definition of racism.
For political reasons there are those that want to make a racial issue out of everything. Then Trayvon Martin happened. Only George Zimmermann knows exactly what transpired that day, but all the evidence we have supports his version of events, including an eyewitness that saw Martin on top beating Zimmermann just before the shot. All indications are that Trayvon was a thug who started fights at school while George was only trying to protect his neighborhood from someone engaged in rather suspicious behavior. I saw the entire trial and I can tell you that anyone who tells you something different either didn’t watch the trial or else is lying. The police knew that there was no case against him and that was why they originally chose not to press charges. That’s how these things normally work. Somehow the politically-correct racists picked up on the case, noted the “victim” happened by chance to be black, noted the shooter happened by chance to be not-black (a Hispanic with a dark-skinned mother), and claimed this was yet another example of anti-black racism by whites. The racists took one isolated unfortunate event that happened between two men and made it about all blacks and all whites everywhere. Blacks began to target whites all over that had nothing whatsoever to do with the case – whites that might have not even known of the case and might have even fought in the past to help blacks. The problem was made worse by selective and outright false reporting. MSNBC was caught editing the 911 tape to make Zimmermann sound like a racist. It was out of this environment of falsehood and misdirection that Black Lives Matter was born.
While the high-profile cases against Zimmermann, Officer Wilson, and the Baltimore six quickly fell apart, I could not simply dismiss the concerns of the movement. Other cases still looked as if they might be legitimate. I knew we had a police problem and given our country’s past it would not surprise me much if there was a racial component to it in some states. Just because there are racists in the Black Lives Matter movement, doesn’t make it a racist organization. Even if it is a racist organization, it doesn’t mean they don’t have legitimate grievances. Even if they have no legitimate grievances, that doesn’t mean that black lives don’t matter. There is nothing wrong with speaking the sentence “Black lives matter,” because they do. It doesn’t make one a racist to say so. Some opponents of BLM need to be reminded of this.
On the other hand, it does make one a racist to have a problem with saying “white lives matter” or saying “all lives matter.” This is of course exactly what has happened. When Governor O’Malley attempted to connect with and support BLM by saying “all lives matter,” they booed. To me, they seemed racist. I have since been told that they only saw it as an inappropriate distraction because they were there to talk about the issues facing blacks. The problem with this is that they were the ones that had interrupted the event. Furthermore, Governor O’Malley’s statement did not distract from the issue. Only a moron could think that. It spoke directly to the issue. At TheUnderstandingProject.com, I do my best to understand all sides, giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, but in this case I understand all too well that there is nothing more there to understand. I have absolutely zero doubt whatsoever that BLM is a thoroughly evil, racist organization. At this point, anyone who joins must be aware of what they are like and must be aware that joining essentially endorses them. Most people would not think twice about condemning a member of the NAZI party; they would not question whether the individual might be ignorant of what the NAZIs stood for. They would not accept the explanation that there might be a "few bad apples" in the party, but the NAZIs are overall a force for tolerance. In the same way, I condemn all members of BLM.
The problem I have now is that people I care about and know not to be racists will still happily wave BLM signs, thinking they are somehow doing good (this includes many whites). I can’t bring myself to condemn them. I also know those that seem to think the police can do no wrong. These people fight with each other and they fight with me. This is because most people are not nearly as informed as I am; they have no idea what has been going on. I keep finding myself arguing with everybody and I never fit in.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.