I mentioned in a post last month that I’m going to be a more generous and giving person in 2018. The goal is to donate to a different nonprofit organization in or around the city of Houston each month of the year. My first choice was the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I’ve made my first donation. Now it’s time to announce the second organization I’ve chosen. But again, I want to explain why.
It really doesn’t matter where you stand on the political spectrum to recognize that over the past year or so hate in many different forms seems to have increased in the public eye.
Now I’m not going to sit here and say that I previously thought racism or sexism or any type of hate or discrimination or prejudiced behavior had completely been eradicated. Of course not. For example, I’ve just read that white supremacists are targeting college campuses more and more with each passing day. It’s obvious why college campuses are the target. Because if a particular group or individual are not allowed to speak or hold a gathering, then that evolves into the university limiting free speech.
Look, if you believe white people, especially men, are the supreme Race, that’s your business. But this IS still 2018. And however many in your sphere believe that, it simply isn’t mainstream. Even with all the talk of immigration that may somehow lead you to believe you’re on the right side of this.
The point I’m making is that we’ve seen things like this before. Some have witnessed first-hand what happens when a group persecutes another group for being different. It’s what history books call the Holocaust. I’m absolutely not comparing what we experience in the US to what took place at the hands of the Nazis. But I visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC almost two years ago. After my visit I bought a small wrist band that says “What you do matters”. I’ve worn it everyday since to remind myself to speak up and speak out against hate when I see it. And to do everything I possibly can to prevent anything close to the Holocaust from happening again. I’m just one person in a sea of billions, but my second organization of the year is the Holocaust Museum Houston for their work educating so many on what happens when the world turns a blind eye to hate and genocide, but also for their work to prevent both.
I’m a big TV guy. But I’m not a fan of comedies. I watch dramas. And only two crime shows because they’re all so fake and illogical. I feel the need tonight to talk to you about American Crime. I can’t remember if I’ve written about it on here before or not, but it is extraordinary. The season 2 finale aired tonight. I won’t get into specific details about the story or the cases involved. But I do want to tell you the kinds of things the show makes a point to address.
American criminal justice system.
Right to privacy.
Bullying & cyberbullying.
Public and private education.
I’m sure there are themes that are directly addressed I’m just not thinking of at the moment. But this show is so much more than just about crime. I tweeted immediately after I finished watching the finale.
There was no exaggeration when I wrote that. This is the kind of show that gives you an idea as to how someone like Donald Trump could become a front runner to be President of the United States. It’s because of the ideas and ideologies not much different from the show’s characters. But what the show really does well is it (in my opinion) gives great insight into different perspectives from different groups of people. People in power. Minorities. Victims of crimes. Teens. There are so many different perspectives on things that most people only pretend to understand. And there are so many perspectives that are completely ignored. To me, THAT’S what the show is all about. Perspectives.
Look. There are plenty out there who refuse to believe in reality. There are plenty of people who blatantly deny reality. But American Crime is as real as any thing you can see or feel for yourself. There are A LOT of bad shows on TV right now. There are A LOT of mediocre shows on TV right now. There are some good ones. But there are very few truly remarkable shows on the air right now. American Crime is one of those shows that is simply more than a TV show. It’s a message to every viewer in every episode. It’s a portrayal of American life. It’s real.
I only see the two seasons available for purchase from Amazon. They may be available from other retailers like Google or Apple, but Amazon has both seasons available to be purchased for $19.99. But most of the second season can be streamed through ABC.com, the Watch ABC app, or ABC on Demand. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how you should spend your money. The first season was nominated for awards every which way. And I imagine season 2 will be no different.
I’d intended to save whatever poems I decided to write for the weekends, but now I’m changing my mind. Sue me.
Did you know that it was Election Day on Tuesday? Maybe you knew, but I bet you didn’t vote. Cause something like 40 percent of eligible voters vote in midterm elections. That’s fine. If you don’t want to have have some small say in who represents you at the federal level, but more importantly at the state and local levels, then be my guest. But this isn’t a political post. Or even one that outlines why you should always vote. Nope. This is about respect.
I don’t care if you identify as a Republican or Democrat or Independent. I don’t. Because your political and social views mean absolutely nothing to me. And I’m near certain that mine mean the same to you, whether you’ll say it out loud or not. But something happened this week that I’d hope most Americans would be disgusted by. It was something with President Obama. No, I’m not going to go on a rant about what he’s had to endure during his time in the White House. This is just one event I’m going to talk about.
Did you watch it? Even though the title of the clip says all you need to know. I hope you recognize that this is not okay. I fully recognize that a lot of people disagree with President Obama on many issues. And I also recognize that there are plenty of racists out there. Hopefully you don’t deny this fact. Anyway, I have a story for you. I was too young to have an educated opinion when George W. Bush was first elected in 2000. But I was able to form my own opinions on things for the first time during his presidency. My opinion of President Bush as a person or of his policies is irrelevant. Why?Because I would never have exhibited such disrespect for the man who was the President of the United States.
I’m not saying that you need to treat President Obama as if he’s some greater being than you or I, but I will say that he is the President of the UNITED STATES. Your president. If you didn’t vote for him, fine. If you disagree with his position on every issue, fine. If you’re counting down the days until he’s out of office, fine. The thing is that you personally know people who you also disagree with on just about every issue, but you still manage to work with each other or coach Little League without any disrespect exchanged between the two of you. Why should you treat the president any differently?
Vote. Call your representative. Protest. Volunteer for a campaign. Do pretty much whatever you want, but I’d hope you agree that this caller was in the wrong.
Showing some respect toward the president is no different from doing so with your neighbor. He’s a person just like you trying to do an incredibly difficult job.