extremist


We see the signs everywhere. On Facebook. On Tweets. Profile pictures. Snapchats with friends. Retweets with strangers. Everywhere we see the Charlies.

Je suis Charlie because madmen murdered in the name of a silly god. Cowards hiding and murdering behind masks because they were to weak to face the mighty pencils of Charlie, Charb and all those brave cynical cartoonists who made us giggle with shock and awe.

Je suis Charlie.

Je suis Charlie because we feel the world shifting. We feel powerless in the face of cowards. But we feel powerful because we need to stand up to them. Them…

Je suis Charlie?

Who are they? This them? Who are these people we need to stand up against?

Is it the madmen killing in the name of a silly god?

Is it the crazies denying the rights of people to love in the name of their own version of the silly god?

Is it the money eaters who kill economies in the name of profits?

Is it the greed grabbers 1% who always want, want, want more even though they have it all while those who serve them live hand to mouth?

Is it the soulless who refuse to change except to make the permanent climate change the one that will kill us all?

Is it… Is it?

Women’s rights. Poverty. Diseases. Hunger. People getting killed for being black. Cops being executed for being cops. Pedophiles. Lying politicians. Deniers of rights. Racists. Bigots. Creationists. Name them. Them.

Who are they? These them? It is all of them. Those killing, hating, discriminating, stealing, greeding, profiting in the name of their silly gods – whether it is a god they see when they look up at the sky or a god they see when they stare at the wallets.

That is the enemy we have to fight. All of them.

Je suis Charlie?

Je suis Charlie.

Tell me Charlie. What you doing to stop these people? Are you carrying a sign each time they come after us? Whether in the streets of Ferguson or Wall Street. Whether at Charlie Hebdo or church pews. Whether the blue eyes they give women through their violence or the blue sky they choke with their burning of old trees dug from the earth. Whether it is the hunger they refuse to fill or the future of the kids that are nil.

Tell me Charlie. When do we say enough is enough. When do you earn the right to say “Je suis Charlie”.

Je suis Charlie?

And what about the others, Charlie?

Every kid going hungry. Every worker denied a right. Every cent under-earned by women. Every African dying of a preventable disease. Every African American killed in the streets. Every school teacher throwing themselves in the path of the bullets being sprayed at another school. Every cop being shot when dealing with the dregs of our society. Every farmer struggling because the corporate machine squeezes another drop of profit. Every tree felled for a bit more palm oil. Every specie dying because we choke the earth with our fossil fuels. Every student getting raped. Every person denied a vote. Every women forced to cover herself. Every gay marriage not allowed. Every immigrant exploited. Every injustice committed. Every freedom denied. All that and so much more. Every. Single. Thing.

Those are our people Charlie.

We can’t deny it. We can’t unsee it. We can’t refute it. We can’t unfeel it.

Je suis Charlie?

Je suis Charlie.

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Really? Maybe not...

America is a bit like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. But one thing is for sure, it seems as if everyone has an opinion about America. How great America is or how bad it can be. It all comes down to the problem with America. What is the problem with America?

Well, as a start, part of the question relates to a little thing called dependency. They are the big guys on the block. Pretty much “the dude”. They sneeze and we catch a cold. And we are a bit like the media – we build them up and then want to shoot them down when given half a chance. Why? Because we can’t live without them. We are dependent on them. And that makes us pissed and jealous. But that’s not the problem with America.

The simple answer is that we know that the problems of the world won’t be solved without America. Whether we want peace or the end of poverty or someone to deal with global warming or a fairer world trade regime – it doesn’t mean jack shit if you don’t have America inside the tent. Oh we can ask the Europeans to do their bit or ask African leaders to be a bit more responsible or get the Chinese cut their own carbon footprint. The reality is that none of that will work if America doesn’t come and play. It’s always better to have them in the tent pissing out than having them piss on our little parade.

We can’t solve it or deal with it at a global scale without America. That’s part of the problem. But that isn’t the problem with America.

Part of the problem is that sometimes we don’t like the answer we get from big brother America. Want a global legal system dealing with global crime? Sounds like a good idea. But a bit toothless because America refuses to sign on the dotted line. Want to stop landmines from blowing kids up after a war? Great! Get an international treaty to deal with that. But we know it will continue to give the bad guys a cop-out as long as America refuses to support it. Want to deal with those computers being dumped in Africa and the kids inhaling the fumes of burning computers for copper? Let’s all agree to keep our electronic shit at home then. Sounds like a great idea. But pretty useless because America doesn’t support the idea. That’s a problem. Sometimes we don’t get the answer we want. And we don’t like it.

Sometimes it just looks like America is in it for themselves. Thinking about what is best for them. What America needs. Instead of thinking of what we need. But that is not the problem with America. That’s just a problem with those darn humans.

Tell me. What do you want from life? Have you noticed how that involves you? Most answers are about the self. The human aspect. Sometimes it’s materialistic things we want – a bigger car and a bigger house and a  bigger telly and more bigger things. Supersize my life. But even those nice warm fuzzy answers are all about the me inside. A peaceful life and some love. You are thinking of you. And your only interest in the outside is how they might impact on your life.

When your government decides to help those on the outside. Do you bitch and remind them of the problems at home? Do you constantly try to tell your government how to make the world a better place or just your little world? I don’t mean the one off donation or being pissed at your government not doing more about Zimbabwe. We all have our moments of madness. Most of the time it’s just me-me-me isn’t it? Oh you cloak it in nice fuzzy language and make as if it is for the whole world. But it’s really about what is good for you and your country in most cases. I haven’t seen it any other way. I don’t judge this. I’m not saying it is wrong. I’m just saying…

Oh I know there are groups out there doing work on a global scale. Mostly crap like global religious fanatics. But I am talking about the good stuff. Making the world a better place. Even when working on these issues you think of yourself and your way and not the others and their way. Or try to find an “our way”. Oxfam? Love them to bits but over 90% of senior management in the UK was British. Sorry, that’s not really global. It’s just colonialism cloaked in goodness. Like the original one. Greenpeace? The luxury of fighting for whales while people die of hunger. None of these people are bad. They are just in it for themselves. But cloaked in goodness and all things nice.

Now what is wrong with that? What is the problem with that?

What is the problem with us?

What is the problem with America?

Maybe we are asking the wrong question here. Maybe we shouldn’t be asking what the problem is with America. Maybe the question should be what’s the problem with us.

Maybe the problem with America is that they are just a little bit too much like us. Americans are just a tad too much like me and you. Just your average people trying to live a decent life. Their life. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe the problem is that America is in all of us. America is us. And we are America.

Yes, the problem with America is us. You, me and our American friends. All of us. That’s the problem.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that once we realize we are all one then we start looking after ourselves.

All of us.

Us Americans.

I hope he is the "1"...

I hope he is the "1"...

“An unreleased Pentagon report provides new details concluding that about one in seven of the 534 prisoners already transferred abroad from the detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has returned to terrorism or militant activity, according to administration officials.

The conclusion could strengthen the arguments of critics who have warned against the transfer or release of any more detainees as part of President Obama’s plan to shut down the prison by January 2010.” (NY Times, 20 May 2009.)

Okay…

WTF? Huh? Are we stupid or what to fall for this one?

Let me just read this again…

1 in 7 returns to terrorism or military activity…

There are just SO much wrong with that statement and this whole load of bull.

Firstly, and a minor point, they did not “return” to terrorism or military activity. You can only use the word “return” if you actually found them guilty of either of those offenses in the first place. Come on. Don’t drink the Kool Aid. Report. You are journalists right? You call yourself a “proper” newspaper. And really, CIA, can we now officially remove the “intelligence” part?

Let’s say this again…

THEY CAN ONLY “RETURN” IF YOU FOUND THEM GUILTY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Get with the program people. This is what we have been arguing about since Guantánamo Bay Torture Camp opened for business!

Secondly, and more importantly, this “1 in 7” little issue…

My question: What about the other 6?

The missing Guantánamo 6.

They did NOT return. Right? We can assume that from their “intelligence” report.

So…

6 people were stuck in a… hum… “detention centre” for nothing? Those are pretty bad odds if you ask me. 74 out of 534. Mmm… I am no mathematics boffin but that’s around 14% right? Let’s think a bout that for a minute…

I call it a failure. If my daughter came to me and say that she got 14% of her exam answers right…

Shhh… Hush… It. Is. A. Fail. Try again. Oops… You never wanted to “try” them…

So you held 6 “innocent” people in a torture camp, sorry I mean, “detention centre” so you could hold one guilty party. Now we say “innocent” and “guilty” because we don’t actually know. We’ll use the principle of innocent until proven guilty for a minute. I know it is a far out idea but hang in there for a minute.

Let’s use the 6-for-1 rule you just created. The one that says it is okay to hold 6 innocent people in jail/detention centre/torture camp if it means the 7th one might be guilty. Okay. Let’s use this method to get rid of criminals…

How about putting all high school boys in jail for life? Hey, 1 in 5 girls in school is physically or sexually abused by their partners. That will keep them safe right?

Or how about all men actually? Have you seen the rape/murder/abuse/etc rates in the US? At least 1 in every 7 men out there are bastards. Get rid of the lot I say.

Don’t sweat the little stuff like charging them or taking them to court or finding any evidence or any of that crap. Who needs it, right? Why the hell should you want to do that now?

You’ll stop the crime, right?

Stupid.

I don’t even know how to rant about this because it is so obviously ridiculous, pathetic and stupid. How the hell can this be something that supports keeping Guantánamo Bay open?

Thirdly, and almost important, note what they actually say the “1” did. They “returned to terrorism or military activity“. Huh? WTF? We’ve dealt with the “return” part but what is this “military activity” you are talking about? As I recall these people were never part of a military activity against the USA. Remember the reason why Guantánamo Bay was given the okay? The people there were very specifically NOT military opponents but rather enemy combatants. So they can’t really return to military activity because you told us they were never part of a military group/activity. Remember? Please get your story right…

We’re not that stupid. Sorry. I take that back. We have been that stupid. For a long, long time.

Lastly, and not so important either – lies, damn lies and statistics. You know that out of the 74 people they claim “returned” to terrorism or “military operations” they could only verify 29? Actually, “verify” is a bit of a strong statement here. Many of the 29 are simply described as associating with terrorists or training with terrorists, with almost no other details provided.

I rest my case…

Actually, we shouldn’t. We should be vigilant. These stupid guys ran the US name and reputation into the ground for over 8 years and they obviously won’t stop now. Don’t give them an inch of hope for more war mongering and playing on the fears of people. They should be history.

Let’s fight the real terrorists please. Like those bastards that just got caught in NY. Lets stay on the side of justice here. Let’s put them on trial. Let’s not give them reason to be the “1”. And let’s keep the Guantánamo 6 out of it. Let’s fight the real terrorists for a little okay?

The Guantánamo 6. Evidence of failed policies. Proof of the failure of justice. A picture of missing backbones and living in fear for too long.

No more. Not now. Not ever.

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I don’t give up easily. Especially not on hope. I always see something good. Some hope somewhere. Hope is stronger than the bond of love and the chains of hate. Hope lives even when souls die. Hope never gives up. But sometimes even hope dies. And with it everything else…

I look at my beloved Africa and I see hope. I see the madness in the Niger Delta area and I know that there is hope. Hope in the people living there. Knowing that they don’t want the lives they live. That someday it will be better. There is madness and death but there is also hope.

I look at Sudan and know there is hope. I see the kids dying and the people murdering and I see darkness. But I also see a spark of hope. Just a little candle light fighting the winds of hate and mayhem. I know the smiles of people and the hope in their eyes.

I see the Congo and can smell the hope in the air. I see evil taking our kids and making soldiers of them. Little kid soldiers willing to pull the trigger and end another life and their own. But I see these kids kicking a soccer ball and know hope lies inside.

I see my people dying of Aids… Suffering at the hands of warlords… Wasting away in the sands of hunger… Begging for life in the fields of poverty… I see all that and I still see hope. I see it. I smell it. And I can feel it. It’s in their eyes and in their souls. Hope, love and peace. It is there. Not strong and hardly standing but it is there being cradled in the arms of a mother feeding her malnourished baby and being carried on the heads of African women coming back from the watering hole. Small and weak… but hope is still there. I see a better tomorrow. I see a hope growing at the pace set by African time. It will come to those who are patient. Hope… Lives…

I see hope in Burma and I see hope in Iraq. I smell hope in North Korea and can hear it in Tibet. I can see it in the darkest of places. No matter where it is. No matter how dark and cold it gets on our world. I always see a little hope flickering in the wind. Sometimes it is just a little glimmer of hope. Not much. Just a little look in the eye. Or a hint of a smile. The soul inside shining through for a split second. Hope…

But what happens when I see no more hope? When there is no light fighting the darkness anymore? When hope is gone? What then?

There is a place where hope no longer shines for me. I see nothing. No life. No reason. No smile. No belief. No light. No nothing. I see no hope.

Israel and Palestine…

I see nothing there. Nothing…

I am not picking sides on this one. I can’t. I refuse. I won’t.

My world is not black and white. I am not either for you or against you. I am for justice, freedom, liberty and equality for all. But most of all… Most of all I am for hope, peace and love.

Come… Give me the reasons. Give me the belief. Give me your heart. Give me whatever you want to give me but I won’t believe in you anymore. Either of you. I see no hope and have given up hope.

I see no end to you killing each other. I see no end to you blaming each other. I see no end to either of you. I see no end to kids dying by your hands. I see no end to the blood of the innocent flowing from your rockets. I see no end to you murdering hope, love and peace…

Both of you…

Don’t give me excuses. Don’t give me the school kid arguments of “they did it first”. I don’t give a damn.

Stop!

Let me repeat that slowly for you. Read it carefully.

I… Don’t… Give… A… Damn…

Or put in another way. Just in case you didn’t understand me the first time.

I… Don’t… Give… A… Fuck…

You have excuses for killing the children of the other. You have excuses for murdering the innocent. You have excuses for every person who dies by your hands. But you have no excuse for killing hope.

Collateral damage…

It’s murder when you know it will happen. It is murder when you know that innocent people will die because of what you do. It is murder when you know all that and you still do it anyway. It… Is… Murder…

I see no hope. I see no hope…

It was killed by you. Both of you. Slowly but surely murdered when you put your hands on the throat of hope and squeezed the life out of love and peace.

You are dead to me. I will not give you hope. I will save that for those who want to live. Who want to peace. Who want love. And who want hope.

I see nothing in your eyes. In your face I see no smile. In your words I see no truth. In your hands I see blood. The blood of hope killed.

Both of you…

You two deserve each other. Hatred like this kills. It kills everything inside of you. Until there is nothing left but shells… Go ahead… See how much love that bullet carries. See how much peace are shared in the grenade. See how much hope explodes with each missile. The empty shells are you…

I know what to do when hope is gone…

I walk away and embrace the hope of the innocent. Elsewhere.

Ubuntu – I am because we are…

You two are not part of my “we” anymore.

Only the dead, the innocent and those suffering because of your hopeless war will be me. For them I reach out and say, “I am because you are”. But to those who war – I am not you because you war. You killers of hope.

When hope is gone…

That is when I nurse it an nourish it. Hold it and protect it. Care for it and love it. For those who really want it. And for those who deserve it.

Long live hope…

cryingangel

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Note: This was not easy to write. I have always stayed away from writing about the Israel-Palestinian war. I have friends there that I love and care for. People I hold dear. People that mean something to me. This is meant for the war itself. Not the people caught in the middle. Not even for those who seeks justification for this war. I know they have reasons. They see reasons. I see excuses on both sides. I see no peace. I see no end. I see people who are willing to kill each other until there is nothing left of the other side. Until there is nothing left anywhere. My ubuntu is with those who suffer no matter what the reasons and excuses might be. But this war… This endless war… Killing hope. I just see no reason for hope anymore. And I pray for them to see hope somehow. But I know not where…

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I’ve been asked about my “anger” many times. What do you have to be “Angry” about? Why are you the “Angry African”? Why indeed…

I would rather have a good meal. Maybe help my wife prepare the food. Get the table ready. Talk about whether we should have brocolli or peas or carrots to go with the maple syrup chicken and roast potatoes she just made. That’s what I would rather do. Just have a good meal together with my family. Sitting at the table and laughing at the silliness of my daughters. Making funny noises and joking with their mother. Good times. Me, my family and a good meal. I would rather have a good meal. No need for anger here.

But how can I? How can I just have a meal when I know that somewhere out there in Zambia is a family arguing about how they divide the last of the nsima. Maybe this will be the last meal they share together. Because tomorrow brings no food and no hope. Maybe tomorrow the kids will have to go down to the charity handing out food and slip some away for ma and pa back home. But will grandma make it? Can she wait another 24 hours before she gets a little something to eat. No laughing or poking of fun. Not when the bones on their bodies are poking hard at their skin. How can there be no anger?

I would rather watch telly. Just vegetate and do nothing. Stare blankly at the screen. Flip channels because I can’t decide between CSI Miami or Kitchen Nightmares. Or maybe I should watch that Bond movie I taped? Or watch Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King again? Yeah. That’s what I want to do. Just stare at the telly and think of nothing. No anger here.

But how can I? How can I stare at the telly when tonight someone might be staring at the barrel of a gun somewhere in the Congo? No channels for them to watch. Maybe tonight will be the last time they see anything. I can change the channel but they can’t change their lives. I can play with the remote but they are here. Waiting for me to think of them. Always hiding somewhere in my conscious. Waiting to flip the channel of my brain to their station. No static. Just their lives waiting to be changed while they live a reality life. How can there be no anger?

I would much rather read a good book. Maybe just finish one of the many I am reading right now. Should I go with Mao and his killing or read about hope through the eyes of Obama? Maybe just get away from all that stuff and laugh at Bill Bryson telling me about A Short History of Nearly Everything. Aah. That what I want to do. Just read my book and let my mind slip away for a little bit. No anger here.

But how can I? How can I read a book when tomorrow the children will go and work those cocoa fields? The pages they flip are the pages of their life going past. One empty page after the other. Or maybe it is a horror. The horror of their lives. Living a Stephen King life larger than even he can imagine. But maybe some khat will help numb the pain. At least it will take away the glint in their eyes. And the empty pages of their life can be seen in their empty stares. How can there be no anger?

I would much rather play with my kids. Play outside like the crazy gang we are. Wild splashing we call swimming down at the lake. And go down that snowy hill when winter comes. Just me and my girls. Crazy, crazy, crazy. All I want is to hear their laughing and more laughing at their silly dad. Egging them on. Come on! You can do it girl! That’s what I would much rather want. Me and my crazy girls. Having fun. No anger here.

But how can I? When the other kids are running away from the warlord down the road. Playing dodgeball with the bullets. Not a sound of joy and belly laughs to be heard coming from their mouths. Just cries of pain as the bullets hit. Lucky if it misses. Dodge, dodge, dodge. That the games they play in the Congo. How can there be no anger?

I would must rather lie next to my wife. Falling asleep and hearing her breathe next to me. I can feel the stress of the day just slip away. Here is where I belong. Always telling her how much I love her. I can never say it too much or too often. And I run home because that is where I want to be. Just there next to her. My lovely wife. The one who gives me meaning. No anger here.

But how can I? When the women in Africa have to walk miles and miles just to get a drop of water for their homes. Every day. Down to the river and back. In the rush forgetting to boil it clean. And they see their families die around them. From a simple thing like drinking dirty water. How can I look at my wife and not see those women carry Africa on their backs being beaten and beaten and beaten. Day in and day out. Rape and murder. That’s what lies next to them at night. Death and destruction giving them meaning. How can there be no anger?

I would much rather just go on holiday. Maybe take a trip to Europe and visit those fancy French. Some cheese and red wine. Aah, that’s the life. Or laugh and point at Mickey and Minnie down at Disney. Maybe get away for just a week or two and visit my friend back home. Another trip to Bucks County would be nice. Just me and my three girls. Hanging out in New Hope for a drink and maybe a small piece of memory for the mantle. No anger here.

But how can I? When the only break my people get is another trade deal that fails. Or another empty promise for those dying of aids or malaria. Or the breaking of another leg as the torture continues in countries down South and East. But also here in the North and West. Broken promises to go with their broken lives. How can there be no anger?

I really just want to hang with my friends. Or drink a coffee by myself. Sip by sip. A braai and a good old fire. Learn to play the guitar like I’ve always wanted. Or write that bloody book that’s been bugging me for years. Save some money and retire early. Go for a drive in my car to watch the leaves go all rainbow in fall. The good things. That’s all I ever really want to do. Take it easy and stay easy. A smile, a laugh and good times.

I don’t want anger. I hate anger. It’s not nice. And it is not me.

Why am I angry?

I know happiness. I know what it is. I have it. Oh boy, do I have it. But I can’t enjoy it. At least not the way I want to enjoy it… Fully. I want to give myself totally to happiness. I want to live my happy days by throwing myself at it. Just living it 24/7.

That’s what pisses me off. That I can’t just enjoy life because of bigots. Because of liberty for some. Equality for those who can afford it. Freedom for those who were born free. Justice for those at the top.

I am angry because I can’t enjoy my life thanks to oppression of others. My right to have a fun time is shot to hell because of the rights of others being shot to hell. Bullet by bullet. Every warlord pisses me off because they remind me of what I am missing because of them. They are taking away my happiness because they are taking away the happiness of others.

I am angry because my friends and people I don’t even know can’t just love who they want. I love my wife. I love my wife. But the more I love her the more I am reminded of those who can’t love the way we love. That their love is somehow less meaningful than our love. I am pissed at bigots taking away happiness because they are taking away the rights of others.

I am pissed and angry for purely selfish reasons. I don’t want to fight for the rights of kids to have a shot at a life. I don’t want to fight for justice in the world trade and aid system. I don’t want to fight for the freedom of African women. I don’t want to fight for the equality of my gay friends who want to get married. I don’t want to fight for the liberty of the slaves working the sweatshops or farms in China or Africa. I don’t want to do all this crap. I want nothing to do with any of this.

I. Do. Not. Want. To. Do. This.

I just want to sit back and enjoy my life. Just me, my girls and my friends. Happy times. Good times.

But I can’t. And that is what pisses me off. That is what makes me angry. That is what makes me the Angry African.

I can only go do nothing when there is nothing to be done. When others can afford to do nothing. When everyone has a shot. You bloody people. With your rights and freedoms and liberty and equality and justice. Just have it already.

Fuck. Dammit. And everything and anything else that go with that.

I am because we are. Ubuntu.

I can only stop caring about what to watch on telly when there is nothing to care about. I can only be happy watching my kids go crazy when you have a shot at happiness. I can only have the liberty to drink my coffee sip after slow sip when you have liberty. I can only have my braai in peace when you have peace. I can only be the equal of my wife when we all are equal. I can only have justice when you have justice.  My freedom is your freedom…

I can only be free when you are free.

I can only be me when you can be you.

Until then… I am the Angry African.

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We won and we lost. Obama winning helped to put one piece of injustice to sleep. But injustice is still with us. Discrimination is still lurking in the laws. Liberty is still for the select few. Freedom is still not for all of us. Equality still hunts us down like we were on cotton plantations.

Because “they” are still not allowed to get married. “They” are still held as second class citizens. Tell me? Who the hell are “they”?

Bullshit. Bullshit I tell you.

It’s like playing that whack-the-mole game. You hit one piece of bigotry on the head and another one pops up. Whack! Whack! Whack! It never stops. But unlike the game, we can’t pull the plug on bigotry. Their batteries get charged by their own hatred.

Look. I am REALLY getting sick and tired of this. There is no “they”.

There. Is. No. They.

There is only us. “They” are you who are bigots. The only people who are “they” are those who preach hatred. Hatred for gays, hatred for Africans, hatred for African-Americans, hatred for rednecks, hatred for Jews, hatred for Muslims, hatred for Christians, hatred for… and more hatred and more hatred and more hatred.

You! Yes you! Bigot! That one who hates gays. Or who doesn’t want “them” to have the same rights as everyone else. All that separates you from burning “them” on a cross is some wood and matches. All that separates you from strapping a bomb to your chest and blowing them up is a book in your hand and a different language. Bigotry is bigotry. Hatred is hatred. It’s only the degrees that differ.

You think you are so different from those who kill innocent people elsewhere in the name of a jihad? You think you are so different from those policemen who killed Biko? You think you are so different from the Christians who murdered during the Crusade? You think you are so different from those who flew those planes? You think you are so different from those who kept slaves on the plantations? Who burned people at stakes? You think you are better than a Hutu or a Tutsi? You think you are better than the priests leading Jesus to the cross?

You are not. You are no better. You are separated only by the degrees of action. You speak the same language. You spew the same hatred. You can cloak it in nice words. But so did Hitler. So did Pontius Pilot. So did PW Botha. So did Mao. So did Stalin. So did everyone who believed they were better than “the others”.

You are no better than those who killed and murdered. You are them. Separated by a small degree of heat. A small step. One action separates you. Just one. They are your brothers. Your keepers. In thought and prayer.

Don’t ever call me straight. I am not straight. I am me. Who I sleep with and who I love has nothing to do with you. It has nothing to do with my bad fashion sense. It has nothing to do with my anger. It has nothing to do with defining who I am inside.

I have no choice about who I am. I am because we are. I have no choice about being straight. I have no choice about being gay. I am just me. Like the color of my skin is not my choice. And my gender is not my choice. Or where I was born was not my choice. It is who I am. We should not be defined by these parts of who we are. We should be defined by our love and compassion for others and for ourselves.

Hell, if I had a choice I would not have chosen to be a pale heterosexual male. Except for the fact that it helped me find the love of my life it is nothing to be proud of. It is nothing special. In fact, I don’t like many of those who look like me. Hitler, Bush, Stalin, Verwoerd – all white males proclaiming to be straight. Too many bigots wear the same “clothes”.

I don’t ever want to be defined as heterosexual. I don’t. Because I am not. I am just a person who met another person and who loves. It could have been anyone. It just happened to be someone from the opposite gender. I didn’t make the choice to love her. It just happened.

That’s all I want the world to have. Just to feel the same love I feel. I don’t care who you are. Jew, Christian, gay, Muslim, straight, male, female, black, white, Chinese, Russian. I don’t care.

I. Don’t. Care.

All I want is “us” to all feel love. And see a better future together. As us. Not as “them” and “us”. There is only us in this world. All of us.

There is no such thing as a “gay issue”. Any injustice is my issue. Our injustice. Any limitation on freedom is a limitation of my freedom. Our freedom. Any inequality takes away my equality. Our equality. Any time the liberty of others are restricted then my liberty is restricted. Our liberty. Any place love is threatened my love is threatened. Our love. There can be no “others”. There can be no “gay issue”. There is only my issues. And our issues. We all have freedom, liberty, equality, justice, life, love and opportunity. Or I have none. I am not gay. But I am gay. 

I am the “gay issue”. We are the “gay issue”.

Because… I am because we are.

All of us. I am us. I am the “we”.

We will not fail each other. Because there is no gay issue. There is only an us issue.

 

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A few other posts of mine looking at the “gay issue”:

The “gay problem” or The Idiot’s Guide to Bigotry

The Gay Agenda

And one more thing

How to solve the “gay marriage problem”

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A friend of mine just passed me this link to something Keith Olbermann had to say on gay marriages. I missed it completely as I don’t watch enough telly. But it seems as if Keith and myself have more in common than what I thought. Go watch what he had to say. It is long. But it is worth it. His questions are very similar to mine. Just more eloquently put…