Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wearing my RESIST t-shirt!

You will find that this post is much like the last one I made in March ... but time does move along and I think the theme is just as important - maybe more so.

Yes, I live in a red state.  Good 'ole Arizona keeps electing Republicans no matter who they are or what they do.  So, it's pretty obvious that when I wear my RESIST t-shirt, I stand out in the crowd.  That shirt attracts some attention, not all of it positive.  But sometimes - like today - it gives me a chance to inform and educate.

I was checking out at the grocery store and the cashier said, "You're resisting, huh?"  I politely told her that I am resisting because my values are being assaulted and I really need to do something.  She said she tries to keep up with things, but it's getting so depressing, she mostly stays away from the news.  The 20-something young man who was busy bagging my groceries was listening. I remarked that if we don't pay any attention and remain silent, our lawmakers assume that silence means we agree with what they are doing.  

Young man: "I don't get why it's so important to know about the government."

Well, the social studies teacher in me saw visions of quick lesson plans and a semi-captive audience.  I had just a few moments before all my groceries were bagged and in the cart.

Me: "The government affects your life every single day and I can prove it."

Young man  (grinning ... hey, what does the old lady know, right?):  "Okay, prove it."

Me: "How did you get to work today?"

Young man: "My car."

That's when I went into my spiel about mandatory auto insurance (state government), auto safety standards (federal government), fuel taxes (federal/state), car loan interest (depends on prime rate set by feds), driver license (state), vehicle registration (state), traffic signs/lights (city government), speed limits (city), street maintenance (city) .....

Now my groceries were bagged and in the cart and I started to leave, telling the young man that government goes way beyond just his car!  The cashier said, "Thank you!" and so did the man in line behind me.  The young man wanted to know if I needed help and I thanked him for the offer, but told him I could handle it.  However ... he took the cart and started to the door!

Outside, he asked for more since I only told him about his car.  So ... in blistering heat, I told him as much as I could about other ways the government affects him every single day.  

Young man (after finishing loading my groceries in the car):  "Okay, you proved it.  But do I have to watch all the news and know everything?"

Me: "No.  But you certainly should make an effort to keep somewhat informed so you can find out if you like what our elected officials are doing ... or not.  Then you need to let them know.  YOUR views are important but they mean nothing if you don't share them with the people who make the laws that affect you."

He grinned ... did a funny little salute thing ... and said, "Just wait 'til I tell my friends!  They don't know any of this stuff!"

I think I need to buy a couple more RESIST t-shirts.  😊

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"I'm not into politics"

I was early for an appointment today and it was just me and the nice receptionist sitting in the very small lobby.  She is about 40 years old, nice dress, immaculate hair, great makeup.  Somehow, politics came up and she said:

"Oh, I'm not into politics."

Then she looked a little embarrassed and tried to explain by saying that politics and government just  don't affect her.  WRONG thing to say to a history/government teacher.  ::sigh::

So, I asked her to name the very first thing she did when she woke up in the morning - the very first thing.  She said, "I turn the light on."  Okay ... so I explained public utilities and the Arizona Corporation Commission, rates, etc.  Aha!  Government/politics involved in the very first thing she does in the morning.  

Then we went on to the bathroom, water, water/sewage rates, clean and safe water ... yep, government/politics involved in the water she flushes, drinks, bathes in.  And ... how government failed (and is still failing) in Flint, Michigan.

Breakfast.  Uh, huh ... food labeling, food safety, food packaging, food prices, farm subsidies, utilities for cooking and preserving the food.  Yep, government/politics involved before she even gets dressed in the morning.

By the time the tax guy was ready for my appointment, the receptionist had gotten in her car for the little exercise I had given her.  Mandatory auto insurance, auto safety regulations, road maintenance, traffic signs, fuel taxes, driver license, license tax ... yep, government/politics involved in her transportation.

This woman was more than a little surprised at how much government (therefore politics) is DIRECTLY involved in her life.  And she hadn't even gotten to work yet!

As I was headed down the hall for my appointment she asked how she could learn more.  I suggested she read ... and figure out what is really important to her.  That's the best I could do in the short time I had.

"I'm not into politics."   Well, honey ... politics is into you,  so get your head out of the sand and find out what's going on.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Because of women who marched ...

On January 21, 2017 women marched.  The Women's March in Washington, D.C. alone brought in 440,000 people. Crowd scientists told the New York Times that the march was three times the size of Donald Trump's inauguration crowd.  And don't forget ... the Women's March was not limited to Washington, D.C. Organizers list at least 673 sister marches from places like Russia, Indonesia, and Antarctica, with attendance of about 5 million. 

It was a day of empowerment.  But if you were on Facebook that day, or a few days after, you could read the conservative comments - written by women.  And those comments dismissed the march as being "silly" or "feminazi" or "ridiculous and unnecessary."  Oh, yes, the right wing had a field day and I expected as much.  What I didn't expect is that women would be that petty in response to a march that centered mostly around women's issues ... in other words ... human issues.

And then I read this.  I sure wish I had written it, but I didn't.  It is attributed to Ann B. Adams.  I don't know if she wrote it or if she shared someone else's words, but it needs to be repeated.


To all my conservative friends mocking and complaining about the Women's March on Washington and around the world, a gentle reminder:

Every time you go into the voting booth to choose your candidate - Republican or Democrat - you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you refill birth control so that you may plan and decide the best time for your family to have children (or how many), you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you go to a job outside the home to provide for you or your family, you are doing so because of women who marched.

Every time you open a checking account or credit card, buy property,  or make an independent financial decision, you are doing so because of women who marched.

The things you have today are the product of protest, social unrest, activism, and resistance.  Even the most anti-feminist 21st century woman still lives in the shadows of female activists who were willing to fight for generations they would never know.