“Hey tough guy, there is nothing tough about walking into a night club and unloading round after round into unsuspecting people. Tough is a kid being bullied because they are “different.” Tough is never being who you really are because it is unacceptable. Tough is watching the one you love struggle with telling her parents the truth. Tough is coming back to a town where you grew-up and knowing everyone is whispering.
“Are we different? If you consider finding your person, following your heart, making a commitment and keeping it, being faithful, loving life together, and supporting each other through all things big and small” — Gina Ramsey
These are the words I read a few days after the shootings in Orlando by my friend Gina Ramsey.
She is a woman that once punched me square in the jaw when we were in high school. For the record, I was acting like a horse’s ass and deserved it. Nights like that taught me to never judge a book by its cover both literally and figuratively. I didn’t realize then that a girl would have the guts to knock me out, (and I’ll admit it, I went down – and came off the floor looking for what dude had just punched me. Only to find Gina with her dukes up, and ready for more.)...I also didn’t know at the time that she was gay.
Is everybody gonna be PK if I talk about the gay and lesbian community in this column? Will the collective psyches of those who find their lifestyles deplorable, explode if they continue reading? Maybe. But I assume you’ll continue. And that’s a wonderful baby step towards moving in a direction of tolerance and acceptance.
Remember those things everyone? Tolerance and acceptance. The ideals we spend a year in Kindergarten having drilled into our brains. Only to apparently have them slowly stripped from us as we age.
The great melting pot called society is homogenizing more and more with the passage of time. It has no choice. People mix and meet. Races, nationalities, colors, features, traditions and customs all blend. Into a little something called Humanity.
What a coward this fool in Orlando was. His attempt to destroy the freedoms that the gay and lesbian community have worked so hard to achieve, not only won’t make them disappear – but will galvanize people.
He’d have been better served wearing a tee shirt that says “I hate Gays” and then walking straight into oncoming traffic. I personally think that would be a much more bold and grand statement than what he attempted. In fact, it would be wonderful if everyone with that much hate in their heart, so much hate that they are compelled to kill innocent people, would all put their “I hate...” shirts on – and walk into traffic. I’ll buy the shirts. I’ll buy gas for those that want to be part of the oncoming traffic.
It seems in vogue these days to act completely desensitized to the hate that is at the root of these tragedies. Whether you are truly desensitized or not – it seems the world needs more people showing genuine concern. Enough turning a blind eye. “It didn’t happen to me or my people” is the prevailing attitude many strap on, as they trudge through their day. And within a few days the collective “Out of Sight – Out of Mind” human defense mechanism kicks in, and we move on. Of course until the next a**hole with a gun shoots up a school, store, club, church. And the cycle of desensitization continues. Until finally we find ourselves tolerating and accepting the things we should be hating.
I refuse to let my nieces and nephews live in a world, where the cowardly and dastardly actions that took place in Orlando – are considered “a sign of the times” and common place. I refuse to let the numbers bear out. The ones telling us mass shootings and hate of such unthinkable varieties, have occurred 130 out of the last 160 days around the world, and that it shouldn’t be a surprise. I refuse to have my gay and lesbian friends feel that they need to explain to me that “these things happen to us every day.” Because they still feel their inalienable rights as humans are something they need to keep compartmentalized, so the rest of “us” feel comfortable.
Hate should never feel common. It should feel dirty and terrible.
And to those acting out in an abhorrent fashion in its name – I have a box of blank tee shirts on order. Maybe you didn’t like the contents of today’s column? Place your order for an “I hate Manteca to a T” tee today at email@example.com
I’ll make sure to have my friend Gina Ramsey deliver it personally. Along with a complimentary right hook to the jaw.
STOP THE HATE.
“This world of ours...must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Father’s Day Weekend...The arrival of Father’s Day means summer is upon us. I asked a few reader’s where they liked to go to escape the 209 heat we are about to endure...
Debbie Parker Sousa — Pismo for sure. Last weekend was Jeep Beach West and camping on the dunes was great. This weekend is a hot rod car show weekend and the August festa is always great. Thanksgiving and New Years were awesome weather weeks.
Mark Condit — Pacific Grove. I love playing the poor man’s Pebble Beach, the Pacific Grove Muni. It is always cooler over there when the temps hit the hundreds here in the valley.
Bob Lemos — Pismo Beach. Wonderfully laid back blue collar beach town. We made an annual pilgrimage there the third weekend in August (which coincidentally is the weekend of one of the best Sopas feeds in the state of California!!) Great beach, cool town, awesome people, and tasty clams!!
Marco A Galeazzi — Marina California, Marina Dunes RV park. Private walk to the beach, great scenery, close to Monterey, Moss Landing, Carmel, Santa Cruz and especially cool days and nights.
Barbara Roberts — Santa Cruz.
Joe Brocchini — Growing up as a family every summer we would rent a cabin in Lake Tahoe for a week, swimming in the lake shore, going to the movies and then all of us would go to eat breakfast at a local cafe. Then Mom would serve up one Italian feast because that is what she liked doing. But the kids would wash all the dishes and set the table as we did not want Mom to work on her vacation. Those were wonderful times in my life. But all good things come to an end as Sunday was pack up day and head back to Manteca where it was 110 degrees, reality sets in once again.
Shondra Tipton — Every year, since I was in first grade, my family has gone camping at Pinecrest.
Scott Millard — Lake Donnell in the high Sierra...hard to get to and beautiful!
Nate Dycus — I’m not giving away my fishing spot, so we’ll just say my escape is in a folding camping chair. With no sounds except the occasional bird or squirrel or can top popping.