Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Election 2012 - Voting Rights

Exactly one week from today America will elect a President. I have been following the election coverage, the debates, the gaffs, the lies and everything in between; and have purposely remained silent as it has played out. Well, I can't say that I have remained completely silent. If you follow on Twitter or Facebook, then you know how I lean politically. Hell, if you go back to the 2008 posts, I am sure that my political leanings are evident. As a newly (re)minted Ohioan, I realize exactly how important an impact I have on this election, personally. I realize that some people think that voting is a conspiracy of some sort. With the ability to spout "opinions" all over the internet, via facebook, twitter, blogs, instagram, etc. I have seen so many of the following: "My vote doesn't count", "I'm not voting for either of these morons"...

Here in Hot, Black and Bitter land the act of NOT voting is NOT an option. With all that is going on in the world today, the LEAST I can do is vote... and I will. As I look back on the history of the United States, I do see (and take to heart) the sacrifices that have been made so that I can go to a polling place and cast my ballot for the candidate that I believe will attempt to fight for my best interests. I know that it was not so long ago that I, as a Black woman, would not have been able to cast my vote. I know that people have given the ultimate sacrifice (soldiers, protesters, extraordinary people living their daily lives) so that next Tuesday I can wait in line and vote for the President of the United States.

 I will make sure that I honor that sacrifice next week. Gladly, I will wait in line (coffee in hand) so that I can do my patriotic duty. Pictures will be taken. Hey-- I LOVE those 'I voted' stickers they give out. What can I say? :)

 I have also seen several news outlets that have given their recommendations for who to vote for. Here in Columbus, our (ONLY) newspaper, the Columbus Disappointment, er, Dispatch has endorsed Mitt Romney... um, because they are crazy. So, I am sure that I will use the posts to come to explain my pick, but here it is: Hot, Black and Bitter's endorsement for President: Barack Obama.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Problem with Bullies

Last week, I watched the heartbreaking video that is below. I watched it because after this video was placed on YouTube; after this 15 year old girl poured out her heart in this silent film; after the bullying continued, Amanda Todd, the featured Canadian teenager, committed suicide to quiet the bullies that ran her life. Fifteen years old... she literally had the rest of her whole life, the best times of her life, ahead of her. She hadn't experience falling in love, high school graduation, college, marriage, her first real job, moving out of her parents' house, making her first car payment... you know those huge milestones. She won't ever get to see her 21st birthday or kiss her parents again.

 The problem with bullies is: no one thinks there is a problem until another child dies. No one screams until the bad behavior leads to a death of an innocent child. And even after the death of a child; a child who will miss out on all the things that we all look forward to, the comments on the video are inexcusable. People are so sensitive about things that they think affect them, but once they think a situation doesn't affect them, the compassion that any human SHOULD have, is gone. Our teenage years should not be about Survival of the Fittest... that is what adult life is for. Parents should not allow their children to torment kids that don't fit in. Children should be a little more gracious with each other... and you know where they would get that? Their parents.

 My thought is this: we all hold a hand in this and stories like Amanda Todd. We have all called someone out of their name, or tried to make their day harder than it needs to be. We have all made someone cry or feel bad. We have all been responsible for making at least one person feel less important, at some point in our lives and it in now everyones responsibility to make that portion of the "growing up" experience stop. It is unnecessary and only leads to more pain. Hurt people- at some point- hurt people. Nip the cycle in the bud. Talk to your children. Be Proactive.

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