Friday, March 16, 2018

Lessons of Life and Activism.

During this women's history month, we always express our solidarity, support, and love to women. This is a very special time of the year where we use reflection and inspiration in defending human rights and standing up for human equality. Women have lived for thousands of years as heroes, scholars, athletes, judges, and civil rights activists. They motivate us, inspire us, and make the world better with their intelligence, grace, strength, and perseverance. Therefore, I will always honor women. The issue of fashion is important. It certainly defines so much about the composition of our creativity, our art, and how diverse our lives are. Fashion doesn't just deal with clothing (like T-shirts, sweaters, dresses, and shoes). Various accessories, car designs, and other artworks do deal with fashion too. From zoot suits, Afros, and various dresses, African Americans have always been leaders in the execution of fashion expression. Many have copied our fashion in various ways, but they can never duplicate our transcendent souls. There were genius trailblazers who made their marks in fashion from Elizabeth Keckley to Zelda Valdes. Also, many people in social media, in other Internet services, and in other places sell independent fashion creations. It's important to support legitimate fashion proponents, because they have taken the time to produce, develop, edit, and sell fashion that can definitely benefit the lives of men, women, and children. Fashion speaks to our souls and it is always a vitally important aspect of our civilization. Nia Long recently said that we are beautifully complicated. That moved me, because she told the truth. Beauty is not about us being perfect. No living human is perfect here. Beauty is being real to honor our existence since we are beautiful not because we are perfect. We are beautiful because we exist. We exist and there is nothing wrong with us being who we are. Acceptance of our own self represents a firm foundation in establishing the real freedom and justice that we all seek.

Days ago was the historic walkout among schools nationwide in America. Either we must treat guns as infallible or we don't. I choose to view guns as not infallible. Either we worship guns as false idols or we don't. Guns are tools, which can be used to advance sportsmanship (which is a good thing) or evil actions. I choose not to worship guns as gods as they can't bring life, they can't heal, and they aren't living. Therefore, the young people (who are leading this movement against gun violence and many of them are from Generation Z) has voiced an accurate pronouncement that school violence must end now. Enough is enough. The same ones who said that nothing can be done involving gun violence are akin to those who said that Jim Crow will exist in perpetuity. Those naysayers were wrong then and the naysayers are wrong now as it relates to guns. The lie is that anyone can own any gun at any circumstance when the Supreme Court's Heller's decision has said that legitimate restrictions are legal involving gun ownership. This movement is not just about ending gun violence. It is about promoting mental health investments, ending bullying, promoting conflict resolution, and seeing human beings as just humans (worthy of compassion, worthy of love, and worthy of respect). We are social, therefore programs must be strengthened in order to allow those (who feel left out) the necessary resources to feel welcomed in the community of humanity. Building positive relationships can do a lot along with other things in making solutions flourish in our world.

In America and in the world in general, we have pernicious poverty and homelessness. Some people, even in social media and in other areas of the public, make it a sick past time to mock the poor or those in poverty either by slick, disgraceful memes or materialistic advice words. The truth is that poverty is not caused by a character flaw. It is caused by an economic system that rewards heavily the select few at the expense of the majority working class and the poor. Tons of people are poor by many circumstances not because of idleness or laziness. Those, who mock the poor or the homeless (who should be ashamed of themselves), should instead inspire the poor and give people hope for the future. Part of that hope is advocating for economic justice, working in charities, promoting dignity for the poor and homeless, and supporting real programs that address poverty (including economic inequality). That is how real change transpires. That is why I won't make quotes and say words that dehumanize the value of someone because of their wealth. I will mention that all humans are equal regardless of wealth. It is necessary to fight poverty by showing compassion not degradation and with a plan for economic justice in a forthright fashion.

There is also the important, historic teachers' strike movement in the red state of West Virginia. These teachers want a pay increase as they have some of the lowest wages in the United States involving education. Men, women, and children are all a part of his legitimate movement. By March 6, they made the state to have a five percent increase in teachers' pay and public employees in general. Not to mention that workers in West Virginia are taking on further causes like defending unions and working for economic justice. This development shows that the resistance of the Trump regime's efforts to attack working class people. Mitch Carmichael has been on the wrong side of the issue of social justice too. In the final analysis, workers and families in West Virginia plus nationwide don't deserve austerity measures in a massive scale. They deserve dignity, solidarity, and real investments to build up their own standards of living. They deserve to live in a world where jobs with living wages transpire and oppression is eliminated.

The West Virginia School Service Professional Association, which represents cafeteria workers, clerical staff and bus drivers, joined the strike movement. The bus drivers' refusal to move students was critical in convincing county school superintendents to keep the schools closed. Many activists came into Charleston, West Virginia to protest for change too. West Virginia is known for its history in workers' radical activism in fighting for better benefits, better working conditions, and for justice in general. Joe Manchin is known for promoting more corporate tax cuts and his DLC, centrist, and tired rhetoric. According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, these and other cuts eliminated $425 million in state revenue each year. Teachers in Arizona, Oklahoma, and in other states are preparing to strike too. The labor rights movement is here to stay as exemplified in the actions of the heroic West Virginian teachers.

By Timothy

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