Civil rights, thats what this whole argument is all about correct? Ok, great I can understand that. But where do we get off forcing individuals to “come out”? Forcing “equality” on others?
CNN has an article about an individual who went out of his way to find a place in the United states where he felt that gay individuals were suppressed. He achieved this goal in the discovery of Franklin County, Mississippi. According to US Census data he found that this particular county “is home to exactly zero same-sex couples”. And there is NO way that could be true. So on he goes to Franklin County to sniff out a homosexual. But before he did, and he eventually did, he made sure to slander the name of Mississippi stating that he himself rated “the hospitality state” as one of the least hospitable states to the LGBT community.As it turns out this endeavor uncovered nine gay citizens in the county. “None answered the census,however, either because they were confused by the questions, did not receive a form or weren’t living together at the time of the survey”. Imagine that! So here this guy comes into a county to force equality onto others and it turns out there’s no evil forces behind the statistical data, just human nature! Go figure!
This kind of pioneering is running rampant in this society. It’s even infected the NFL. After continual poking and prodding into the behind the scenes of the locker room bearing the same rhetoric that the gentleman in the prior story campaigned with, there are now rumors raging that a current NFL player is soon going to officially “come out”. Now Chris Clemons, a Seattle Seahawks defensive end, is officially against this action and for good reason. Clemons says that, while its ok to be gay in the NFL, if a player were to announce their sexuality publicly that that individual would in effect be serving only himself. The media circus that would ensue for that particular team would be distracting and counterproductive for the team’s ultimate goal, unity.
This relentless goal of liberating every single member of the LGBT community is preposterous. I cannot agree with this societal belief that we can leave no stone unturned, that every member of the LGBT community MUST come out and be public with their sexuality. What happens to those individuals who don’t want to be put on display? Who are fine with their day to day life? Who are comfortable with their sexuality and don’t feel the need for everyone to know it? Aren’t we doing an injustice to those people who just want to rightfully live their lives as a gay american? Haven’t we put enough pressure and magnification on Gay America?
“you should quit those cancer sticks”
“those thing’ll kill you”
Yes, yes we all know. Cigarettes are unhealthy, even considered deadly. But does that give us free reign to single out smokers the way we do. To ridicule others and do our best to confine them into social solidarity; being left to uncomfortable glances, covered mouths, and bogus coughs while they they perform the perfectly legal act of smoking? How about covering the boxes with intentionally uncomfortable reminders of the act they are about to perform. When it comes time to find a way to generate more revenue one of the first ideas to present itself is to tax the sale of tobacco because “hey, if you don’t smoke, it doesn’t affect you…” I would venture to say that if this were any other social or political group today, the people would be up in arms as to how they were treated on a daily basis. Smoking is a constitutional right given to all men and women in this country and should they so choose to partake in the particular act or habit of smoking then that individual should not be condemned for their decision. Tobacco is a perfectly legal drug and therefore should not be exposed to the unnecessary and overbearing regulations imposed upon it.That is not to say that I do not believe in anti-smoking campaigns. Sure! Get The awareness out there SMOKING CAN KILL YOU!!! But you shouldn’t in turn infringe on the rights of tobacco companies to display their message also. Smoking advertisements used to be commonplace, no one thought twice about the Marlboro Man or Joe Camel, but cigarettes have become so demonized NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to go so far as to hide them from plain sight! California Assemblyman Marc Levine authored a bill that would prohibit individuals from smoking inside their own home! What kind of “free country” are we living in? Now I am not here to say one way or the other on the health effects of smoking or even secondhand smoke for that matter. I simply believe that we have gone too far with the regulations that we have imposed on tobacco products, so much so that we are infringing on the constitutional rights of not only smokers but the tobacco companies themselves. The product is legal, the act is legal, the consequences may be deadly, but it is the right of a citizen of these United States to make that decision for themselves.
I understand this post may be a bit dated but I believe the lesson that is to be learned here is still authentic. I read this short article at my wife’s suggestion and it brought up one main theme that I think should be addressed.
Gladly no one in this accident was seriously injured. But this whole incident started out because someone was in too much of a hurry to consider others in their actions. If this driver had demonstrated enough restraint to consider his next move and the whereabouts of others he would not have created such a horrendous incident and would not have ruined the commute for so many others on their way home. What I believe this article clearly demonstrates is how impatient we have become as a culture. I believe this is almost, if not entirely, directly related to the growth of technology in our culture. We went from the postal service to email. We went from home phones to cell phones and now text messaging. Everything today is instant, no wait times, no disappointment and should anything get in the way of our end goals or does not meet our standards, then its on to Facebook or Yelp we go to express our dislike or distaste towards that particular subject matter to the world. I feel that these privileges have brought us to become a society of perceived entitlement and self centeredness, although not entirely, I think it does shine through in moments like these. Where has the concern for others gone? When did acts of common decency (ie: opening doors for another, going out of your way for others) become an infrequent pleasant surprise? Is this our set course or can we curb our everyday hustle? And if so, how? As much as I love keeping up with friends and getting the latest updates on the happenings in the world today I wonder if we could recreate or blend in the times of old in this fast paced world we live in. And I believe that social media sites have the intention to do such blending where you can be “up to date” on all your friends happenings whilst going through your day to day experiences.But what would happen if when we read ones latest status update we slowed down and instead of responding immediately via hashtags, likes, or comments we waited until we next saw that individual again to have a conversation about it or, better yet, use that opportunity to call and set up a date to spend some time together. I understand that we get busier and busier as technology grows and life goes on and I don’t want to discount the advantages we gain over yesteryear due to those advances. But when I look back in my life I seem to remember the most meaningful and memorable times being when I was physically with an individual and we spent time together in each others company. Its never that post or that tweet but the trip we took or the face to face we had with each other that set those special memories apart from all others.
Anyways, that’s my two cents. What do you think? I would be delighted to hear your guys’ thoughts and opinions on the subject.