In this essay, I attack several popular opinions, mock those who are surprised by the silent majority, expose the code ruining courtships, rip up the race cards, and encourage people to think for themselves. There. You were warned.
There is no right or wrong, only popular opinion.
A while back I asked my facebook community if there was any truth in that statemet. For a majority of those who contributed, they said it was false. They said, there is a right and a wrong and the distinction between the two is defined by the Bible.
I want nothing more to agree with them, but here’s the thing. What if a majority of society isn’t reading the Bible anymore? What if Christians and Bible reading scholars have become the minority in American mainstream? I’ve only recently turned twenty-nine, and too many times, I’ve seen comments and heard arguments from adults decades older than me who often pose questions with the prefix of … “Did the Bible ever say..?” or “What does the Bible say about…?
You know…as if they have no clue. Which is sad? But at the same time, misleading. Because I refuse to believe a majority of Americans don’t read the Bible or follow Christian principles. I believe they’re just keeping silent. I say that, because for the longest time…I’ve kept silent.
Why have I kept silent? Probably for the same reasons as everyone else, but my situation is a little more delicate. You see, I want to become a famous author and succeed in the world of publishing. I could be wrong, but it seems that even the literary world is part of the entertainment industry. It’s a business where the potential to make money is more important than art, creation, and presenting new stories to the masses.
The masses…the general public. Thanks to the internet and social media, an author’s personal beliefs and lifestyle is taken into account. It’s important that the general public likes who you are and what you believe in. Publishers value whether or not you can sell yourself, if you’re marketable to a mainstream audience. If I came out with some “outlandish” thought that’s against the popular opinion, it can seriously hurt my chances of either getting published or selling books.
Another problem I face is the reluctance of the silent majority. When I say, silent majority, I’m talking about the general public that makes up the majority of Americans, who have their gripes, complaints and suggestions about improvement, but they don’t take a stand to do anything about it. Yeah, you’ll hear them down at your bar, on the basketball court, or around the water cooler at work. But if it’s to get anything down on record about how they truly feel about an issue, they really don’t care to go through the trouble. If all they had to do was show up at a meeting to put in a ballot, nope. They got better things to do, which is mostly true especially if it doesn’t have an immediate or individual effect.
A good way to get that silent majority to move is to provoke them. And when it comes to provocation, yours truly turns out to be a pro at it. I know “provoke” or “provocation” seems to come with a negative context. When you think of someone who’s provoked, I’m sure someone bumping into your shoulder or calling you names comes to mind. Don’t worry, I’m not like that. Even when people call me condescending or insulting, that’s really a matter of interpretation. It could just be that they’re too sensitive or they grew up in a world where they were taught that everyone owes them an apology for every little thing they find offensive. ☺
What I do is toss out a grenade in the form of a hypothetical question or theory that goes against whatever the headlines are trying to brainwash you with. The questions or ideas are usually subtle, but potent. I aim to penetrate your subconscious and dig through the useless things to pull out what you really need to think for yourself.
But even “thinking for yourself” might not be enough. I say that because of the many recent news events in which the public seemed “surprised” by the outcome. Adrian Peterson spanks his child? The guy from Duck Dynasty doesn’t believe in gay marriage? People in Baltimore are rioting after a black guy died in police custody? What the hell is going on in America?
If your circle of friends, if your associates, if you opened your mind to learn about cultures outside of which you’re already familiar with…none of this would come as a surprise.
This is America. We have multiple ethnicities, multiple religions, dozens of cultures and subcultures and we were founded by rebels and free-thinkers. I have associates who are liberals and conservatives. Republicans and Democrats. Religious and Atheists. Homosexuals and Heterosexuals. I have associates who are for gun-control, and those who are against it. I have associates who are even racists or make fun of stereotypes. Some of them are even my friends.
Why is this a good thing? Because it broadens your horizons and widens your perspective. I don’t necessarily agree with all of my associates, but it helps me to understand who they are and where they’re coming from. It gives me the ability to comprehend how others feel or how they would feel about a given issue. Not to mention, there are so many nuggets of useful information that you can take from even the most ignorant individuals. All of it helps shape who I am and builds me up. That’s why I hate people who jump into conversations and criticize the opinions of others without offering their own stance on the matter. Not just because that person’s an asshole, but also because I learned absolutely nothing from the person other than the fact that he or she likes to belittle others.
CNN should run a headline that says, “America isn’t going to hell in a handbag.” We’re not getting worst. We are progressing. It’s funny though isn’t it? From the way people complain about it and how the media exaggerates the issue, one would think that people really do wished things were worst. Ask yourself, would you want to live in 1960s America, or 2010s? And no, you can’t live in 1960s America and still have the internet. Because believe it or not, the internet has shaped who we are today. It’s a millennial thing.
Secondly. To the Black people who keep spouting that other races should educate themselves on the tumultuous centuries of hardship that we had to go through, please stop. It would be nice if people wanted to do that on their own, but they certainly don’t owe it to us. Not to mention, it isn’t a contest to see which race had it worst. Even if we (blacks) did have it worst, what do you expect other people to do with their newfound knowledge? Treat us better or special or differently than how they’d like to be treated? Because for some reason, I thought fighting the good fight was about equality. I could be wrong though. Certainly not perfect, and all that bull…
Third. If we’re going to combat racism, it can’t be forced or shoved down someone’s throat. You can’t be in their face, holding up the race card like a yellow card in a soccer match. I believe whole Blacklivesmatter is counterproductive to its good intentions. Again, it suggests that us Blacks should be treated different, or delicately, or special because a few (hundreds) racist cops went overboard (massacred us). I know you’ve seen the statistics. The main killer of black men are other black men, but I guess I’m an Uncle Tom for bring that shit up.
Don’t even get me started on the jerks in Hollywood using their celebrity status to instigate the issue, only further corrupting the minds of their young fans into thinking its cool to use such a racist slogan as BlackLivesMatter. AllLivesMatter. Some of us Blacks are tough. We can take being called a nigga and realize the person isn’t a racist. We know all cops aren’t racists. And we can hold conversations with individuals of other race about the racist incidents that’s happening in America without getting heated under the collar. Your complaining is making us all look bad. YES ALL! The media has twisted the perception that us Blacks are all united under the same banner, when we know that’s far from the case.
If you really want to fight racism, just look at Martin Luther King Jr’s example. People used to call him weak for his non-violent stance. People like him and Jesus and Nelson Mandela are ten times stronger than anybody who erupts after taking a punch. It takes strength to hold back. We (All Americans) have to use class in the face of our aggressors. I’m not saying, you should sit there and get stepped on all day. But at least let that sucker know that he’s in danger before you let loose. Pick and choose your battles. Learn to let it go if it’s not worth it. Instead of perpetuating the cycle, pull out your courage and strength to end it. Blow their minds by smiling in their fuck ugly faces when they say something racist or offensive to you. And when you walk away, laugh at those violent thoughts of what you’d do should he or she attempt to follow you out to the parking lot. It’s all good. Thinking bad violent thoughts is all right.
If we want to get rid of the stereotypes and perceptions, we have to live our lives as an example that counters those stereotypes. If we want to combat the stereotypes of white people locking their car doors or holding onto their purse when we walk by, do the unexpected. Let’s be polite, respectful and courteous. Let’s open the doors for people and say thank you and you’re welcome. SMILE! Stop looking hard (tough) as if something’s about to pop off everywhere you go.
And another thing! Women! For the love of God, just take the compliment. You and Dating Site etiquette are screwing up the natural order of mating rituals. Cat calling isn’t anything new and they probably will never stop. Deal with the fact that you’re beautiful and alluring. Stop complaining about being “objectified” when so many of you are turning yourself into objects. It’s all good missy!
When it comes to dating sites, leave it alone! Trust me, I cracked the code on why its dangerous to the way you think. Everyone loves the feeling of being wanted. That’s just it. That’s the code. Sometimes all men and women want to feel is that they’re wanted. Dating sites offer just that with the click of a button. Someone likes you. Someone’s checking you out. Someone’s added you to their favorite. For a lot of people, that’s all they really need to get through the day.
So when someone in real life throws a compliment your way, you’re quick to dismiss that because you’re already getting that from a virtual reality site in which you may never ever meet the person who has you as their…wait for it… “object” of affection. People say us young people aren’t getting married because they see the effects of our parent’s divorce. I say, young people aren’t getting married because there are so many options. Haha! Look it up. There was a report that came out last year that revealed how “shoppers” with too many choices aren’t happy with their purchase, as opposed to shoppers who have only a few choices to choose from. Thanks to Dating sites, men and women have been reduced to pants in a catalogue. I’m not saying it’s a complete failure…but you have to have a strong mind going in. A mind that won’t be swayed by sweaty abs or bulging bosoms.
Next! Everyone judges everyone. Trust me. This is fact. Anyone who says they’re not judgmental is either an idiot or oblivious to who they are as an individual. Anyone who accuses another for being “judgmental” is being judgmental by calling the person judgmental. Think about it. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with judging another. But if you do judge, you should be open to the fact that you might be wrong. That’s alright. We’re human. Also, keep your judgments to yourself unless a person asks for it. Let’s not be rude.
Don’t be afraid to stand alone or voice your opinion even though your surrounded by people who you know don’t agree with you. I know what you’re thinking. Why should you? Why face potential ostracism from your peers, your colleagues, by sharing what’s on your mind? Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. Who are you to judge, right?
The problem with those modest thoughts is that right now, our country is flooded with opinions that go against our core. I can’t entirely put the blame on the mainstream media by reporting about the Kardashians or a new face to racism, if the executives and editors don’t know better. They rely on polls, and ratings, and votes. It’s all about statistics and numbers. And unfortunately…the loudest voices are coming from the immoral, the wicked, the greedy and the temptations. This might surprise you, but I’m not even talking about Donald Trump. Seriously, I hope he goes all the way (that’s for another essay).
For years now…I’ve been one of the quiet ones, covering my mouth and trimming anything that the mainstream audience might find offensive or controversial. But I ask myself…where has that gotten me? Where has saying only the things people might want to hear landed me in the grand scheme of things?
Recently, on my boss’s radio show…Well a couple of interesting happened. Way back when the U.S. Supreme Court was voting on whether or not Gay Marriage should be made legal, we discussed it. My boss, myself, and the one working the control board, we’ll call Jason.
My boss took a neutral stance on whether he thought the Supreme Court should decide the issue. He pointed out some statistic about how only a small percentage of Americans even cared about Gay Marriage. He posed the question that if people were for “Gay Marriage” then why was it only legal in a few states instead of the entire nation.
Jason argued that it was the Supreme Courts job to decide these matters. He was quite visceral about it. He argued that people shouldn’t be stopped from getting married no matter their race or gender.
When it was my turn to speak…I didn’t declare whether I was for or against gay marriage. Even now, with my Christian values…I just don’t care. I have no bone to pick in that matter. I hope I never do. And I know people would shout and cry tears of blood about if you’re not for it, then you’re against it, but I’ve long since been immuned to that false dilemma fallacy. The world is full of conflicts and debates and battles and I have a whole list of issues I’m fighting for. Unfortunately, Gay Marriage isn’t one of them.
What I opined in that particular discussion was that there was a voice missing in the room. At the time I had just come back from visiting my Black southern family in Louisiana, so the gospel and the songs from the choir were still fresh in my mind. I told them there was still a large population of people who believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Their beliefs were based on the Bible. And the main thing my family preached to me when I went to visit them was that I should “put God first”. Above other men. Above the law. Above family. And above your own desires, which includes love.
That’s what I tried to opine anyway. But as soon as I mentioned how some people still believed in the Bible, Jason interrupted me with his rant about “why people got to prohibit others from getting married. Why does their religion have to stop others who are in love? If its not hurting anyone, why is it their business?”
The only reason why I got heated in that particular argument was because he kept cutting me off and interrupting me. If you listened to the audio, from the way he kept cutting me off, I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed I’m a homophobe. The way he kept hurling accusations at me, and the way I kept mumbling over my words, slurring to get out what I mean. Even now, it would be tough to discuss the contents of this essay if you cut me off. Which is why I prefer to write.
Needless to say, I was very angry and thought about quitting the radio show once and for all. I thought about my career as a writer. I thought about what the public would think if they heard that broadcast and assumed I was a homophobe, intolerant, bigoted, ignorant, etc etc. People sure are rotten when it comes to tossing out those labels. Like snipers with it, it seems. What they don’t realize is that they’re overdoing it. Sooner or later, it’s going to come to a point where people stop caring what they’re labeled with. They’ll welcome it with their chests out, saying “Come on! Hit me with it!”
Kind of like how I feel right now. ☺
Weeks after that frustrating debate, my boss posed another question to our passionate friend Jason in which my face lit up with surprise. My boss said, “If the supreme court made it legal for homosexuals to get married, some are speculating that it will only be a matter of time before polygamist are able to get married in all fifty states.”
Jason said he didn’t agree with it. He said that marriage should be between two individuals. One should be enough for a man or woman. He said he didn’t like the idea.
I smiled. Far be it for me to say all liberals are like this… The same staggering accusations he slammed my Bible practicing family with, I could’ve easily thrown back in his face. What’s it to you if three women want to marry one man? Why should your opinions stop those who are in love with getting married? Even now, as some of you read this, I can only imagine your necklines heating up. You’re racking your brain with counters. Polygamists and homosexuals are two different things. Apples and oranges. You can’t compare the two. Funny how some people are quick to compare the plight of homosexuals to the plight of African Americans in the Civil Rights movement though. I digress.
Then there’s the conversation we got into this past Tuesday. The day that a listener called me “The Greatest Devil’s Advocate Ever.” It involved the release of Kim Davis of Kentucky. She was the county clerk who refused a same-sex marriage license. As she was released, there was a crowd gathered for her, everyone cheering her name while “Eye of the Tiger” played. She walked up to the stage, crying and praising God’s name and the people seemed to love her for it.
I know on social media and almost every news site, everyone seemed to lose their minds about it. Ridiculous, they said. Most seemed so surprised and angered by that outcome. From their computers, people criticized and claimed that she should resign. Its her job and she should do it whether she agreed with the principles or not. Even my boss, on the radio show seemed stunned and criticized Mike Huckabee for showing his support for her.
Me? I told my boss and everyone listening to the radio show that I thought the show of support was amazing. It brought a smile to my face. To me, the whole celebration was straight up defiance in the face of mainstream media and “popular opinion.” If I was in the crowd, I’d probably cheer for her too. Not because I’m against Gay Marriage, but because she stuck to her principles and put God first. Its not like she took the job when Gay Marriage was legal. That only recently happened.
And I know…I know it’s only a matter of time before the media digs up some skeleton from her past to discredit her as a hypocrite the way they did with the Duggar family. But I honestly don’t care about an individuals mistakes or their shady past. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s about how you move forward and improve. And the only one people every truly need to answer to is God. I know you can probably quip, “well, and they need to answer to the law too for breaking it.” And to that end, I say that serving time is only society’s interpretation of an answer. God is above all of that, thankfully so.
When it comes to Mike Huckabee…I acknowledge that he’s made some questionable remarks in the past, but again…who hasn’t. My boss argued that as a potential presidential candidate he should uphold and respect the Supreme Court’s decision and shouldn’t have joined Kim Davis on stage.
I asked, is it against the law for him to speak out against the Supreme Court’s decision? Because for some reason, I refuse to believe that no other presidential candidate ever had a complaint about some newly passed law. Not to mention, I don’t believe that being a presidential candidate means you no longer have the right to free speech. Huckabee is allowed to voice his opinion. Right now, I know Hillary Clinton is running with a platform where she’s all about Gay Rights. But if the Supreme Court voted against Gay Marriage, and Hillary defiantly criticized the decision, I wonder if anyone would look down on her.
Its thoughts like these that I’ve been keeping to myself for a long time. Playing it safe, reluctant to voice against popular opinion…It was cowardice on my part. I have been afraid. So badly, I wished to be accepted. But in this world, this generation, this society why should I? You can call me self-centered, self-righteous, or self-important. But if you really think about it, if I were all of those things…well. I’d be dead.
I used to think that I was just born in the wrong era, a hundred years too soon.
Now, I feel I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Its individuals like me who hold the reigns to usher the world into a new era. I know I’m not alone, people like me just work best alone. We’re not great speakers, so we write the speeches. We’re not the most attractive, so we stick to intrigue. We don’t just plan for success but we make our plans succeed. And in this world where immorality is praised and Christian values are shunned… I think I’d graciously accept the reversed role of the Devil’s Advocate, the walking contradiction. No matter what, this nice guy will still finish first.