Tag Archives: intolerance

Womens march on Washington – the Lovettsville buses

The Womens March on Washington

The Womens March on Washington

Many of your neighbors from Lovettsville, and not just women, felt it was necessary to March on Washington the next day after the Inauguration this past Friday.

They were doing what many other communities were doing across the Commonwealth.

One local woman said, “You know how a woman speaks at a meeting and is ignored.  Then a man repeats the very same thought he just heard her say – and then it’s treated by the men as if it was the man’s idea all along.”

“Worse than that,” she said, “is when a woman enjoys the right of privacy to control her own body – and that’s not respected.”

This latter observation relates to what was plainly a defining moment in the recent presidential election for very many women, when it was widely disclosed, what Mr. Trump thought about women.

Mr. Trump said, “You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy, you can do anything.”

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Mr. Trump said.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women],” Trump said, “I just start kissing them.  It’s like a magnet, just kiss.  I don’t even wait.”

In other words, a woman said, “a woman’s consent is irrelevant to this guy.”

Trump confided to a like-minded male that he tried to have sex with one woman the two were about to join, knowing she was married.  He said, “I moved on her like a bitch.”

Mr. Trump favors tic tacs “just in case I start kissing…”

In the recent campaign, it is undisputed that Mr. Trump, by word and conduct, was transparently intolerant of persons by their gender, race, color, religion and place of origin.

Mr. Trump, however, reserved his special abuse for women, no matter whether the woman was a Fox anchor or an Oscar-winning actor.

Contradicting Mr. Trump invited slander, lies and relentless trash talk.

Women the world over saw in Mr. Trump’s November election the danger of sexual discrimination going forward in his Administration, impermissible incursions into the sanctity of the person, of the constitutional right to be let alone, of access to medical records, of equal pay for equal work, of their dignity – meaning shame for being a woman. Continue reading

Things fall apart

FalcolnWilliam Butler Yeats wrote that “things fall apart” and “the center cannot hold.”

By his dark and beautiful poetry, Yeats wrote what he saw and felt after the close of World War I.

Yeats described the alarming trends we find today in the too easy inclination among some citizens to redress the effects of conflict and war by isolation, intolerance and doomsday desperation.

Our political partisans fail to work together to hold the center.

This condition is not without historical precedent.

In Great Britain, the citizens voted to withdraw from the EU and only after they voted did they bother to learn what EU meant to their economic well-being and national security.

The Tory Prime Minister (PM) David Cameron couldn’t get his Labor Party opposite, Jeremy Corbyn, to join the fight to remain in the EU.

The former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, the PM’s old Eton “friend,” took up the “leave the EU” campaign in opposition.

“Light information voters” are voters too lazy to know much about what they are voting on; many EU voters, however, had “no information,” not a clue about the EU.

Yeats wrote how, “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,” listen here.

Public policy generated by a voter’s xenophobic intolerance is anarchy.

Yeats described how “the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.”

The ceremony of sense, of comity and of tolerance fell beneath Britain’s electoral wave. Continue reading

The nation’s untreated wound

Terrorist_nation_gunsThe nation suffers an open wound that we refuse to treat even after the worst mass shooting in American history.

In Orlando, a semi-automatic assault rifle, in the hands of a soulless assassin, hurled 20 deathly shots every 9 seconds, ripping the flesh and organs of the young and defenseless with the fury and power one could hardly resist.

Innocent young men and women who tried to hide couldn’t.

In the moments before the rain of fire, they were unsuspecting, happy, having fun, dancing at a club about to close in the early morning hours, and, what sounded like fire crackers, as they couldn’t know better, was gunfire; those who were not close to an exit to escape, were stranded, shot at will, as they cowered, and, in the end, 49 would die, and another 53 would be injured or left fighting to live.

Those who ran and escaped were torn, felt guilty, for those they left behind.

This place of unholy devastation was encircled by a community of compassion while the killer continued to hunt those trapped inside.

A Mother traded anxious texts with her son, hiding inside, waiting for the police, hoping to be reunited with his Mom, until the moment he texted, “I’m gonna die.” And he did. Continue reading

The desperate candidates – and their party

gopPresDebateWhen did the Republican presidential primary become a Bravo Reality TV series – “the Desperate Candidates?”

We have trash talk from a bombastic billionaire developer, Donald Trump, putting down the “Republican Establishment,” and those, who he convincingly says, are his “establishment” competitors.

In the latest round of churlish misconduct, Trump blasted one opponent based on his height (“little Marco”), countered by the charge that Trump was a crook (“con man”) according to Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, prompting Trump to come back on Senator Cruz (“lying Ted”), and Senator Rubio’s toe-curling grammar school innuendoes followed, knocking Trump’s face, hair and, the most controversial, Trump’s sexual prowess (“small hands”), causing Trump to offer a national on-air description of his private body parts (“no problem there”).

In Loudoun County, despite Senator Rubio’s “below the belt” rhetoric, he was enthusiastically invited to Patrick Henry College to rally his true believers at a school founded “to impact the world ‘for Christ and for Liberty.’”

At the rally, Senator Rubio promised to compromise the medical care anyone was receiving under the Affordable Care Act, to step up the war on terror, to keep Guantanamo open and to “find out everything they [the prisoners there] know,” without saying precisely how he’d make that happen within the law and “as a devout Christian.” Congresswoman Barbara Comstock touted Rubio as “the most conversant on all of the top issues of the day.”

The Republican presidential candidates, including those deeply mired in this dehumanizing dialogue, undeservedly affect a moral superiority as compared with Trump. Continue reading

To save a mocking bird!

mockingbirdAtticus Finch was the champion of a black man’s rights in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a story instructing one and all to be tolerant and have courage in the face of racial discrimination; it was later made into an academy award winning blockbuster with the renowned actor, Gregory Peck, playing the young lawyer, Atticus.

Harper Lee wrote another book about Atticus Finch, as an elder, when he’s 72, called. “Go Set a Watchman,” and the novel has been kept secret since the 1950s.

Only now is it being released.

I’m very clear, after seeing the book reviews, that I’m not ever “gonna” read the new version of the elder Atticus in “Watchman.”

In this new version, Atticus is a confessed racist who attended KKK rallies.

I know enough about that kind of unreconstructed southern segregationist – as I presume is fictionalized in Lee’s “Watchman” – that I don’t need to read it.

After all, the significance of the title, “to kill a mocking bird,” is that it means to kill innocence, and to denigrate Atticus in this successor novel is the same thing.

While Atticus may have been a conflated creation of Harper Lee’s imagination, I know that there really did exist men and women like the Atticus of “Mockingbird,” who showed courage in the face of racial intolerance.

The nation needs such vision now, a standard, an uplifting idea, to focus the scattered energy of our people, by which we may measure how and whether we are moving forward.

The nation is hurting but there have been southern winds of reform that are significant and encouraging because they represent change.

Aristotle taught that “spoken words” are symbols of “affections in the soul.”

There are of course many other means of expression that are symbols revelatory of the soul.

We live in a symbol system in the South of flags, place names, statues, and more that are inherent in the regional culture that reflect grave disaffection in a collective soul and perpetuate the wrongly learned values of rebellion, intolerance, segregation, slavery and hate.

This ante-bellum “arrangement” may well suit those in an enduring “rebellion” but not those who are the objects of intolerance. Continue reading

Is intolerance a disability?

Diana Flannery on stage with “A Place To Be.”

Diana Flannery on stage with “A Place To Be.”

“I know I have a learning disability,” said Diana Flannery, my daughter.

“I have to organize my thoughts before I speak,” said Diana, “So I stutter.  Sometimes I don’t.”

“I think fine but I hear some people say, and I can hear them say it, that I’m stupid.  I don’t know what to think of people like that.”

“I know I’m in good company, others deal with disabilities, and many help.”

The Good Book says to remove the obstruction from your own eye before judging another.  After all, who among us is perfect, physically or otherwise?  Yet intolerance abounds.

Is intolerance a moral disability? Continue reading

America – a fortress of intolerance?

No one is originally from the United States – except for the endangered population of Native Americans that have survived this nation’s repeated efforts to wipe them out.

Everyone who is here today came from someplace else, fleeing hostile governments, uninhabitable lands, or drawn here because of a belief in the promise of America.

When I was a kid, one of my heroes was Igor Sikorsky, an engineering genius who made flying machines and, because he was inspired by DaVinci’s hand-drawing of a machine lifted by a rotating disk, set upon the task of creating the helicopter.  Igor came to America from Russia because he had to flee the Bolsheviks.

Albert Einstein had to flee Europe because he was Jewish and met some resistance to becoming an American Citizen.  We remember this brilliant physicist, ensconced at Princeton, partly concealed beneath an unruly mane of whitening hair.  But there were those who weren’t sure he should be a citizen.

The Flannerys came from County Mayo to New York for reasons since obscured by the passing generations.  My maternal grandmother left Ireland for the United States at 6 years of age.  These immigrants from the sod met with some resistance because they were both Irish and Roman Catholic. Continue reading

A sci-fi version of “tolerance”

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

The above is science fiction writer and anti-gay fanatic Orson Scott Card (humorously, he once referred to marriage between two people of the same gender as itself “an act of intolerance,” openly advocated the criminalization of “homosexual behavior,” and more recently threatened to “act to destroy [the] government and bring it down” if marriage equality became a reality). Card is upset because some people who might otherwise be his fans have publicized his long history of inflammatory statements targeting LGBT people, and suggested that our money could be better be spent elsewhere. Among normal people, making such informed choices is known as “the free market.” For Card, though, “tolerance” demands our silence regarding his behavior.

Continue reading

A Trend Of Intolerance

We are now eight days from Election Day, and the masks are coming off. The true face of the Loudoun Republican Party and it’s candidates is being shown, and it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s downright violent.

Disagree? Then explain the images that Loudoun’s Republican establishment have been circulating to “drum up” support in these waning days.

Item One:


And Item Two:

It really is as simple as the pictures above. There is an organization in Loudoun County whose leaders and candidates believe that images condoning violence towards elected leaders and entire segments of the population is an acceptable, even funny, way to make their case to the voters. And there is an organization whose leaders and candidates believe that true leadership is about uniting, not dividing, our Loudoun Community.

On November 8th, vote Democratic. At some point, we must no longer be silent. We must no longer tolerate hate, bigotry and casual dehumanization as an “odd quirk” of our political establishment. Staying home simply empowers those who spread hate. On November 8, stand up and be among those who say “No more! Loudoun County will no longer be home to this hate!”