It’s not okay. A Friday post on a Thursday evening

Posted by on Mar 15, 2012 in Uncategorized | 12 comments

I tend to stay away from politics on Flashfree unless it directly affects women’s health; hence Wednesday post about Senator Nina Turner’s Viagra Bill. Yet, I caught the image below in my Facebook stream today and it truly disturbed me. There seems to be a trend in our country where decorum has been thrown out the window, bad behavior is acceptable and racism, ageism and genderism (is that an ‘ism?) are back in full force. And okay.

Guess what? It’s not okay.

When I was growing up, if we cursed in my home, we got our mouths washed out with soap. I grew up with generations of strong women, including my mother, and was taught at an early age to be assertive, stand up for myself and be smart when it came to business and to women’s rights. This was the 60s and 70s. And yet, here we are in 2012 and women’s health rights are under attack, it’s not acceptable to speak another language in a country that was once almost completely made up of immigrants and rude and disrespect in politics is the norm, not the exception (remember Joe Wilson ‘you lie?’).

I recall being in Washington Square Park on September 11, 2001 and meeting with friends to mourn what had happened in our City. One of us happened to be an Egyptian from Canada who was also a Christian and  a professor at NYU. And yet, he was stopped three times before meeting us.

Three times.

We appear to be at a crossroads in our country, where ‘either you are with us or you are against us’ truly resonates. The truth is, it appears that if you are not a white, Christian male, you. are. not.

But this, this here?

I am appalled.

Frankly, I don’t give a flying ‘you know what’ side of the aisle you vote on or if you are a Tea Partyer who believes that the world is made up of black and white and white always prevails. But this, below, is NOT okay. And this is not what my ancestors, Jews from way back in Russia and Austria who long faced anti-semitism and other challenges, fought to achieve for so many decades. My grandfather, an attorney in Long Beach, NY, donated his time to multiple causes, including civil rights, most likely because he knew first-hand what prejudice was about.

I’m not interested in returning to the days of ‘a woman’s place is in the home while pregnant and barefoot’ anymore than I am willing to delegate my friends of colour to a different status. I don’t believe that love is defined by gender and I don’t ascribe to the viewpoint that if you don’t believe that Jesus is a savoir, then you are relegated to hell. Life? It’s a free for all.

“Don’t “re-nig” in 2012.”

This is NOT okay.  Period. End of story.

Want to know what health is? Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Right now? We are on the brink of a social crisis and our nation’s health is being threatened – – by ignorance, hatred, anti-women, anti-Jew/immigrant/black/hispanic/asian jerks who only believe that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

You may not like Obama or his policies (hell, I don’t). But It’s time to wake up.

The last time I checked, this battle had been fought already. Evidently, there are a lot of people out there who are drawing the lines again.

I like to colour outside the lines.

What about you?



  1. 3-16-2012

    This is disgusting and has no place in politics. I am not a supporter of President Obama and will not be voting for him in 2012. Nevertheless, this is a politically driven decision, not personal, and certainly not racist. I can’t understand the ignorance and hate that makes a person think a message like that bumper sticker is “ok”.

  2. 3-16-2012

    I remember reading about an historical account of JFK during the civil rights/freedom riders protests. When his brother – then attorney general – was telling him about all the civil rights violations, beatings, unconstitutional imprisonment, etc. in the deept South, JFK’s response was along the lines of “can’t we just let them go?!” He knew then that the civil war hadn’t really ended and the south was still trying to secede…he wanted to let them.

  3. 3-16-2012

    Liz, Thank you for sharing this, Liz, b/c it’s important.

    I don’t drive, but if I did, or if I were in the passenger seat and saw that bumper sticker, it would make me feel sick. It reflects the kind of bigotry I thought we wouldn’t see anymore. It breaches limits of civility. I agree w/ you – it’ not OK.

    • 3-16-2012

      Elaine, yes, thank you. It’s deeply distressing that we have allowed hate and hate speech to be not just a norm but accepted as okay.

  4. 3-16-2012

    Get over it! There is no attack on women’s health! If you believe that you’re watching too much CNN. There is no one anywhere suggesting that women cannot receive and take contraceptives. This is about abortion. The president could get no traction on abortion so he determined to force abortion into the realm of contraception then proceed to tell churches and religious groups that they had to pay for both contraception and abortion. His bill states that all insurance plans must cover, at no charge, contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilization. When conservative and religious groups react as he knew they would, he starts screaming that conservatives are against women’s health!

    Never before has the pill been considered a right anyway! Go buy your pill and take it. No one will stop you. You can get them at any drug store as long as you have your doctors prescription. My neice is a pharmacist at CVS, I’m sure we can find one near you! Or, go buy insurance that will pay for them for you. Some companies do that! Need help with that, I’ve got a friend in the insurance business. I bet he can find you a policy that will cover your pills. Just don’t tell me that I have to pay for them for you!

    And the bait and switch that Obama did was brilliant. “OK, you don’t have to pay for them, we’ll make the insurance companies pay for them!” Where do the insurance companies get the money to pay benefits – from premiums charged for product. Meaning, I get to pay for your birth control and abortion anyway!

    And OK, this sticker is in bad taste! I’ve seen worse, and so have you. The way you phrase this is that you’re looking at using any form of the “N” word as evil and momma should wash his mouth with soap. There would be a lot of clean teeth in my neighborhood. All of the black kids call each other the “N” word all the time! I’m white and I have to call them down, for heavens sake!

    Where’s all the righteous indignation when Chris Rock and other black comedians splash the “N” word throughout their routines? Where is the consternation when men like Al Sharpton are still highly revered after he refuses to apologize for his blatant racism in the Tawana Brawley case.

    And where is all the screaming when Bill Maher criticizes conservatives as being racist, trashing Christians, slurs Sarah Palin and other women, blasphemes Christianity, trashes out troops and then gives a million to Obama, who said he’s not giving it back!?

    And what have you got against white, Christian males? I am all three, and I am a conservative member of the Tea Party! We do not think that every thing is “black and white and white always prevails” BTW, you never stated your race but why do you frame the argument in racist terms – black against white?

    Martin Luther King would be appalled at the situation in America today! What happened to judging a man according to the content of his character and not the color of his skin. Why is it that just because we want to replace a man who continues to lead this country into socialism we are considered racist because he is black? Which he is not – I want to get ride of the white part of him too!

    As for Jesus, just as black is black and white is white and you can not change that fact just by not believing it or don’t like it – Jesus is Savior and without Him you will go to hell and you cannot change it just because you don’t like it.

    • 3-16-2012

      Dear David:
      Thanks for your comment. I don’t believe in censorship so I am printing it in its entirety. When a bumper sticker says “don’t re-nig” it frames an argument in racist terms. Sorry that you missed the point. p.s. Did you know that Jesus was a Jew?

    • 3-16-2012

      David, your comment reads exactly like a Fox News talking point memo. Come on, man. Stop and think for a second. Take what Liz wrote in the context it was written in and try, for a second, to step away from the Roger Ailes bubble and process how shitty it is that this crap is still going on, in 2012. Where’s the human decency?

      I do take issue with the “I’m not paying for HER contraception” cry. First off, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. When they pay out a claim that chips away at their profit. When their profits are chipped away too much you, or primarily your employer, pay for it via increased premiums. Now insurance companies are smart corporations, because of the massive profits they pull in, so when put in a position to pay for 30 birth control pills, every month, or treatment for ovarian cancer (Remember, those little pills have alternate preventative side benefits. Please don’t tell me you are an anti-sciencetite.) the insurance company will choose the route that costs them less. So don’t play the Fox sponsored “it’s against the Church’s teachings” card, because the vast majority of white, Christian, males (and females), such as myself, know that the Church hasn’t evolved at the pace of society and it’s insulting to me. Case in point, when you tell a non-Christian, she’s going to Hell for not accepting Jesus as her Lord and savior. That’s disgusting and is a comment made by somebody who feels real pain and conflict when they have to think for themselves. I feel for you man, because I don’t know how to operate that way and I’m lucky that my pastors, ministers and priests and many of my Catholic school religion teachers taught me not to take things verbatim and to use my brain to interpret the teachings as they would apply to modern society.

      • 3-16-2012


    • 3-16-2012

      And all the women choose to hold an aspirin between their knees for you. Seriously, I got shin splints from all your logic leaping. You truly missed the real point here, but I find that’s pretty much the case in general when these talking points come ticking out.

    • 3-16-2012

      Why is it during debates about civility that everything turns into a quid pro quo? “Maybe it was wrong for this person to say this, but that OTHER person said things that were even worse!”

      Civil discourse cannot happen until we hold each other accountable across the board. It is frustrating to hear, over and over again, it seems, “Well, sure a bumper sticker like that isn’t right but neither is the entire basis of your political beliefs! So there! Plus other people say things that are far worse.”

      We can agree to disagree civilly and work towards finding a solution together, or we can continue on this terribly divided road to ruin that we’re on made worse by name-calling, intimidation tactics and comments aimed to offend. Making excuses for hatred and bigotry and fear is unacceptable, period.

  5. 3-16-2012

    This is one more appalling manifestation of racism from the twisted, misguided, and, in my opinion, un-American thinking that led to the “birthers.”

  6. 3-16-2012

    Seriously. It. Is. Not. For. One. Moment. OK. EVER.

    Never again.


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