#47 - It Goes On and On…

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Franklin D. Roosevelt said the above words while gauging what his NEW DEAL economic and social programs aimed to achieve in the U.S. I think most of us would agree that both in the U.S.A. and even here in Portugal that we have been somewhat successful, at least social terms, in achieving a more inclusive society for all. Many would argue that the brunt of the work has been done. Open discrimination against blacks, women and gays is generally frowned upon in mainstream society. That is a good thing. However, we have fallen quite short of a truly inclusive society. Although some real strides have been made since FDR declared that no one would be left out, I feel discouraged that things have not moved further in essentially all areas. Even more concerning is this common attitude from people that profess liberal leanings that the fight is over or, at least, pretty much over.

You just have to see the world around us today to see that so much more needs doing in terms of educating, advocating, voting habits, etc. We all must still be held accountable. Well-intentioned folks that think we have come such a long way need to wake up and take note because most of these civil liberty issues have not been adequately resolved. Period.

These issues continue to come up. Non-inclusiveness goes on and on…

Just the other day a pastor speaking at a North Carolina high-school graduation event ‘had to’ tell graduating seniors that if they are gay they would be doomed to hell. Imagine the pain that students who are gay or who know and love a gay person would feel hearing such hateful words. Imagine how a gay youth still struggling with his/her identity could be plagued with self-doubt or self-loathing. It is no wonder that gay youth are at an increased risk for suicide.

And it goes on and on…

Also in North Carolina, a third-grade teacher has recently received a mixture of both praise and criticism for reading King and King to his third-grade class after a student had been bullied. The teacher used it as an example of “fractured” fairy tales. The twist in this case is the King marries another King which is a very powerful educational tool, imparting a very important social message. Unfortunately, some parents complained and the result is that every teacher has to now inform the students’ parents each time they want to read a book. The criticism has potentially resulted in curbing inclusivity at that school. Why should diversity in relationships and family structures not be fully explored at a young age in school? In fact, why are there not more preschool books on diversity read in all public school classes? The argument that ‘my child was shocked’ should wake up parents to embrace such inclusiveness, not wait till some bizarre notion of a ‘right’ time. The right time has long since passed.

And it goes on and on…

Lawmakers in Alabama (remind me never to move there) have just passed a bill through the state senate that would essentially abolish the issuing of marriage licenses altogether from the state. Couples would have to file a contract with the state saying they are legally authorized to be married. Of course this is a blatant attempt to ban same-sex couples from marrying even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of it.

And it goes on and on…

Well, it could go on and on. However, my ranting is getting a little heady…even for me. Intoxicating as it is to unleash all my complaints against society in one sitting, I think it would be a bit too much for one newsletter article. With that in mind, I have decided to continue going on and on in the next two newsletter editions, focusing on other equally important civil liberty issues.

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