A blog about whatever randomosity my fevered mind conceives.

Exorcising the demons…

I didn’t sleep well last night because I was conflicted. I was locked in a debate with myself that stretched into the early hours of the morning, leaving me now reliant on copious amounts of caffeine to get me through my day.

While I was eventually able to come to an internal compromise, I find myself still somewhat haunted by the devious beings that interfered with the blissfulness of sleep. I will now attempt to exorcise my demons by putting them to the page.

I’ve heard it said that it is easier to banish the beasts if you know them by name; the demons currently tormenting me go by the names of Racism, Intolerance, Hatred and Ignorance. These creatures are very old and with age they have come into great power, so while I alone am not nearly strong enough to evict them from the world, words (as they so often do) give me the ability to cast them away from myself; at least for the time being.

That being said; please bear with me as I now do my best impersonation of Max Von Sydow.

Personally I believe that until I have achieved perfection I will not have gained the right to judge others, and since I am far away from attaining flawlessness, I am chained (by my own rules) to acceptance.

What right do I have to judge another based on their colour, creed or religion?

What justification could I possibly claim in dictating who another should love, how they should live, or what they should believe?

The answer is none; there is no justification, and I do not have that right. I don’t believe that anyone else living on this planet has earned that right either, since there is not one amongst us that has achieved anything even slightly akin to perfection. However… while remaining unprejudiced is a personal rule that I strive to obey, I am human, and thus, I am sometimes susceptible to making snap judgments on things and people that oppose my own personal beliefs and it is only through introspection that I can later find my way back to inner peace.

Over the years I have spent a lot of time considering the aforementioned demons, but what got me going on the subject last night was an article in the Globe and Mail about two teenage girls who posted a YouTube video of themselves going on an all out verbal attack against visible minorities. The video (which I watched after finishing the article) shows these two girls tossing out racial comments with abandon, using derogatory slurs towards fellow classmates (and a slew of others), and painting a pretty bleak picture of today’s educational system; both girls appeared to have only a very crude understanding of the English language and the inability to structure even the most fundamental parts of their own arguments despite their claims that it is the ignorance of said minorities that inspired the video in the first place.

(Deep breath)

After watching this (with a lot of eye rolling and sighs of exasperation) I went to bed thinking about the obvious (in my mind) inadequacies of the parents that raised these children, and a growing irritation over the reminder that racism is still very much alive and well despite living in an era when so many claim enlightenment and tolerance. Soon enough, I also found myself thinking about all the people I have personally known in life with a similar ass-backwards approach to thinking, and before long I found myself wishing there was a way to stifle the flow of their poisonous hatred into the world.

But as I lay in my bed staring up at the ceiling, I started to think about the sacred importance of free speech. This is something that I have always fought for, something that I value deeply, and something; if the need should ever arise; that I would lay my own life down to protect.

And that’s when I fell off my high horse.

It hit me suddenly that my very train of thought was disadvantageous to the dream of global acceptance. I was hating and judging others because of their hatred and judgments. I was allowing myself to be a part of the problem, and that irked me. Not only that, but I realized that my attitude was counterproductive to the living idea of free speech, for that freedom is a gift not just intended for some, but for all.

Here is where the debate began.

On one hand, there was freedom of speech and my belief that it should always be extended to, protected, enforced and utilized by every human being on this planet. On the other hand, there was this intense desire within me to see the girls (and others of the same mind) silenced, punished and made example of.

I thought, “Where is the line drawn?” for to protect freedom of speech means to acknowledge that while their way of thought is (in my way of thinking) completely inane, utterly hurtful to others, and wholly damaging to any dreams of an idyllic world, it is their right to express their thoughts and beliefs as much as it is mine to express my own.

The reason this debate kept me up so late is that I found myself looking for a loophole in my own convictions. I was searching for something that would say it was okay to fight to silence these people without damaging the very freedoms I so stoutly believe in. My mind went around and around the subject, searching from all angles for some provision that would allow me to believe that gagging people like this was right.

I can see now that the argument was doomed from the start, but, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

At some point I began to realize that if I was ever going to get to sleep, I had to find some sort of reconciliation with the warring factions of my mind. This is typically a lot easier said then done, but just moments later I hit pay dirt when the only clear compromise floated up into my consciousness…

Bound by my own beliefs, I cannot condone the silencing of anyone; no matter how bothered I am by their words and opinions. It is their right to express what they feel, and it is my right (and duty, I believe) to speak up and out against what I feel is wrong in the world around me.

That being said, it is my viewpoint that those who worship the demons of Racism, Intolerance, Hatred and Ignorance are all troglodytes who should consider their need to evolve. We are all of the same race. We all have needs, wants and fears. We all hunger, we all thirst, we all bleed and we all dream. The reality of it all is this; if we all looked alike, thought alike, loved alike and believed alike, the world would be a very gray place. Even if being identical meant the end of all wars amongst man, would that illusion of harmony be worth the loss of originality? If we were all blended in the same melting pot, would life be worth living once we lost what makes us who we are as individuals?

I don’t think so… and that’s the most beautiful thing about individualism; it is my right to believe whatever it is I choose to believe.

At any rate…

… good, bad, right or wrong, stimulating or completely irrational… thanks for stopping by my own private universe.

 

Advertisements

19 responses

  1. Aaah. Was this video of the two girls in middle school or something, who ranted on about “colored” people? Apparently they got dead threats etc. at the end of the day, and then apologized. But none of it seemed genuine. I mean why would you do something like that in the first place?

    I think freedom of speech is integral to our individualism, but it’s a path on which we must tread carefully. I think the trick is to believe what you wanna believe and say what you wanna say, but make sure you have FACTUAL backing to whatever remarks you make ESPECIALLY if you’ve decided to be a hater.

    For example, if I go ahead and say, “OMG! ICE CREAM IS THE WORST FOOD IN THE WORLD!” Then I should have justifications for such a comment, like.. I dunno.. I fattening or whatever. And when it comes to people, I think it important that we don’t judge them by their color or race but by their actions. Take Hitler for example, yeah sure, he’s was a horrible man but people don’t go around saying that ALL aryans are bad, now do they?

    As for these girls, I think the fact that they’re biased is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but their actions, i.e. the video post on youtube was where they went wrong.

    February 24, 2012 at 7:16 am

    • Yes, that’s the video! It is rather mind numbing. Apologizing after the fact would have meant very little considering that they are both old enough to know exactly what they were doing and saying… the apology was probably forced by parents and/or made as an attempt to quell the death threats they started receiving as a result of their public display of ignorance.
      When they took their opinions and posted them on the videos (there are two) they took the matter away from simple free speech and created a weapon of sorts. I think the freedom of belief and of speech is beautiful and SHOULD be protected always… but that fine line between opinion and actually causing damage to others… it’s a delicate balance. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world that abuse those freedoms.

      It’s really weird to see where my brain goes sometimes… I’m so easy to set off on one tirade or another some days. I love that this blog is mutating in a no-holds-barred, whatever’s on my mind kind of space… I wasn’t sure what it was going to be when I started hehe.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:07 am

      • I completely agree with you. I’ve only seen one of the videos though, I had no idea that there were two. I mean, freedom of speech is all well and good provided that you’re prepared for the consequences of your actions! That’s whole reasons that politicians are the only people making such bold attempts, that’s why they’re the ones we effect to take on that kind of power. They have the facilities to deal with death threats of whatever. Expressing your opinions about a certain bill is why the voting system was invented. You can express your opinion AND stay anonymous.

        I love the way your brain functions and I love the fact that you write on your blog with so much insight! It’s truly refreshing! 😛

        February 24, 2012 at 10:26 am

      • awwww thank you!!!
        You know some people think that when I say I ‘argue with myself’ that I mean it figuratively… when really I actually argue; different voices in my head stating separate opinions; and sometimes I even get pissed at myself. How weird is that? LOL!!!!!
        And ya, the video I watched was actually the second one… I was going to track down the first but then I thought ‘ these little brats have had enough time on the soap box’ so I didn’t bother.
        Personally I don’t really believe in staying anonymous… I think (and this is just because it’s what’s right for me) that if I feel strongly enough about something, I have to stand up and be counted. I think sometimes that silence can be just as damaging – if not more so – to the fate of our often screwed up race.

        .

        February 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

      • Don’t worry. Nothing weird about that. I do it all the time. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy. Too many split personalities trying to dig their way out. 😛

        I have no idea whether I watched the second one or first one. I just watched one of them, and that was terrorizing enough. They honestly sound like dumb blondes not to stereo type of nothing. But they sound INSANELY dumb.

        I agree about voicing your opinions and standing up for what you believe in but not when if that’s gonna have you putting your life on the line. I believe that I should just leave to the big guns to sort out racist issues because I honestly don’t wanna get shot in the cross fire! I just make sure that I vote for the sane politician rather than the radical one.

        I don’t think we should be silent at all! But when we do decide to voice our opinions, we should do it the right way! 😛

        February 24, 2012 at 10:51 am

      • You’re so right about that; about voicing our opinions in the right way. Unfortunately, being a creature driven by passion, I am not always smart enough to walk away from a losing fight – my dad used to say that I was born with a John Wayne complex… pfft!! 😛
        And YES!!! Both girls were incredibly undereducated; or so they certainly made themselves appear. I almost found the irony in that amusing… I mean, to film themselves bitching about the stupidity of others while not even being capable of properly wielding the language… ick!
        I’m glad I’m not the only one around here sharing skull space with multiple personalities!!! I’m often (too often) my own worst enemy. BUT…. at least with all the voices in my head, I never have to worry about being lonely.

        February 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

      • Lol. I’ve been threw my fair share of losses, ALL unpleasant, which is the only reason I choose to keep away now.

        Who’s John Wayne? I’m sorry about being so clueless, but I really don’t have any idea about who he is.

        I swear! There was this one particular part in the video where one of them says,”If you end up dressing like that then you’re bound to look (long pause) you know (long pause) the way that you do.” Or something on those lines. I literally laughed my ass off! Before you start pointing fingers at others, you should really get your own business straight!

        I completely agree. With all the world wars going on in my head, there’s rarely a moment of peace. 😛

        February 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

      • John Wayne is an American icon; an actor best known for playing heroic roles in old westerns.

        My moments of idiocy have been numerous… I once got in a fight with a pimp in defence of a ‘working girl’ outside of a nightclub… I once chased down and tackled a thief three times my size just because I was pissed he knocked over an old lady in haste to get away… I am the kind of person that will confront the abusive parent in the mall and go out of my way to knock a hater down a peg or two. Later I always see the error of my ways, but in the heat of the moment I am often struck senseless by some weird need to stand up for people that either can’t or won’t stand up for themselves. In recent years I have managed to gain some control over my impulses, but it’s still a work in progress, lol.
        There were definitely a few moments in the video where I would have laughed if I wasn’t so irritated at the time. I think if I watched it again today I probably would find it more amusing that aggravating… but I’m not going to waste my time hehe.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

      • A fight with a pimp? WHOA. Gutsy much? AND TACKLED A THIEF? Impressive! 😛

        You’re the kind of person I’d want around me for protection! 😛 Haha.

        Lol. I don’t think I’d get as pissed off at the video if it hadn’t affected so many people. I mean, if it had been just an innocent home video I could’ve tried to catch on to the humor. But the fact that their main aim was to go public and offend people REALLY pissed me off at the end of the day.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

      • That’s what pissed me off too… the fact that there are so many people out there, just kind of wandering around the internet looking for a bit of entertainment (or what have you) and stumbling on that cruel, hurtful, disgusting pile of rubbish. And the ugly arguments it’s incited on YouTube… it’s scary to see so many people in defence of what they said, and it’s sad to see so much rage bubbling up between people that are strangers to one another. What gets me the most is the little kids that watch that crap and the long-term affects that something like that can have on a young mind. GRRRRRRRRRRR

        February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

      • In defense of what they said? ARE YOU SERIOUS? That is such horse shit! Regardless of whether they made a valid point or not, they had absolutely no right to convey it in the manner that they chose to. How ignorant can you be to flash your ass at camera, and expect people to NOT react? Ugh.

        And omg! The little kids. I know that as a kid, I was exposed to the internet when I was in the 3rd grade! I mean, that was then. I bet now kids are probably surfing the internet before they learn to spell!

        I bet the responsible parents probably put a parent lock on porn and all, but they can’t possibly block every racist site that there is. I feel sorry for the parents, more than the kids. How much can the parents really protect them? On one hand, they should promote technology because the world doesn’t function without it but on the other hand technology just exposes you to so much all in one go!

        YouTube’s the worst. Too many people on there. Too much opinion running around. And not enough responsibility.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:55 am

      • Ya, there was a shockingly high number of posts from people that seemed to share the same mindset. Living in Canada in the places where I’ve lived, racism seems to be going the way of the dinosaurs… it’s still lumbering about out there, but becoming a rarer beast to encounter all the time. I was blown away by how many people were adding their own racist yammer below the girls’ video. It made me feel a little sick.
        As to the kids… there are five computers in my house and only four people; one of which isn’t even old enough to use them. Technology is very important around here but it does create an interesting field of landmines. My oldest daughter is 11 – one of the computers is her own – and she does have limitations set on her computer for her own good. HOWEVER, as I am constantly being reminded, it is impossible to block every potentially harmful bit of information or imagery and so we have a thing where once a day we sit down and we talk about where she’s been surfing, what she’s seen and how she might be feeling about it. I think openness with your kids is incredibly important, even when it’s less then comfortable.
        There is a need to protect their innocence as much as you can, but you have remember that the world beyond the walls of your house can often be a lot scarier and more informative than the internet. It’s a very fine line to tread between allowing them too much info and not giving them enough.

        February 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      • Wow! I had absolutely no idea. I’m not even sure that I glanced at the comments. Lol. I just assumed that they’d all be against the video. BUT WOW! The ignorance of people continues to surprise me.

        Awww. I didn’t know you had a daughter! That’s so cute! I’m glad you’re setting limitations on her computer. It’s cool that you’re sitting down with her and talking about it. I know I owe my mom BIG TIME for that. Without her I’d be such a huge mess right now.

        I think all we can do with our kids is warn them and let them know what’s out there. Tell them what’s potentially harmful and safe, but at the end of the day they’re the one’s who’re gonna have to make choices, and all you can do is hope that they make the right ones.

        February 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      • So well said! You really can’t protect them from everything out there, no matter how much you might wish it were otherwise. But you can arm them with the tools to think for, and defend themselves in the face of most adversaries; knowledge is power.
        Of course, some kids make it easier to be a parent then others and my oldest is one of those types of kids. She’s very bright, very deep, intelligent and always curious to know and understand more.
        And, btw, I have two… my youngest is just about 22 months.

        February 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      • Lol. That’s what my mom’s always said to me so it’s etched into my brain. 😛 Knowledge is definitely power!

        I like your elder kid, I’d love to meet her! 😛 She’s sounds so adorable and so much fun to talk to.

        WOW! You have two? That’s amazing!

        February 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      • LOl yes… but I’m like, old and junk so y’know… kids are part of the package.
        I love my girls… they’re both such original spirits and so incredibly different from one another that you’d almost think they were being raised in different homes. My oldest is a lot like me… minus the occasional storms of rage and heavy baggage, but very deep, compassionate, and artistic.
        My youngest is a lot like me too… with the occasional storm of rage, a devious sense of humour and without a lick of the sense needed to fear that which may lead her in to trouble. One calm, sweet and thoughtful, the other fierce, fearless and crazy; they each represent a different side of me. How cool is that?

        February 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      • Honestly? I thought you were the same age as me. I’ve seen your picture and I’ve seen your attitude. I could’ve never guessed that you’re a mother of TWO kids. Kudos to you! You’re absolutely beautiful! 🙂

        I think you’re lucky that you’ve got such distinguished girls. It’s so cool that they’re so different from each other. 😛

        February 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      • Thank you! Honestly, I was older at 20 than I am now lol, and it seems to surprise a lot of people when they find out how old I acutally am. Go me!!
        And I am VERY lucky to have both of them… they’re amazing.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

  2. Pingback: Challenge Day 18: Your views on gay marriage… « My Own Private Universe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s