Sunday, August 7, 2016

In Praise of Political Correctness

These days "Political Correctness" receives a lot of flack. Clint Eastwood, a wealthy, famous, old white man decries our pursuit of political correctness. He pines for the America of his youth. Of course, the America of his youth included state sponsored racial segregation, married women who could not get credit cards in their own names, and the criminalization of inter-racial marriage. But, at that time, there was a certain group, of which Clint Eastwood is a member, in charge. No African-American or female would dare seek the Presidency. 

Why do people hate political correctness anyway?  Freedom forum politcal correctness is freedom to bully others without recourse. Refraining from using the "n" word is politically correct. What's not politically correct?  Racial slurs, sexual harassment, jokes about Hipanics, people with disabilities, women. 

For some people, it makes them feel better about themselves if they can insult and denigrate others. Bullies have thin skin, are insecure and have low self-esteem. Perhaps they were bullied, or were abused, maybe verbally, physically and/or sexually. Sometimes, the oppressed becomes the oppressor. We do not really explore what oftentimes makes bullies - generations of abuse. Bullies create other bullies.

Political correctness is synonymous with treating others with respect. Treating people with respect is contagious. Compassion brings out the best in others. Bullying brings out the worst. I like political correctness. It shows we as humans are improving as a species. Treating others with respect is the best way to live. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why We Need A Woman President

I know that many people, including women, do not see the need for a female president. They think that women are capable, women head other countries, and a woman will eventually be president anyway. Many of these women are young and have experienced no sexism in their lifetimes. Perhaps, for them, once they bear children, society will treat them as well as men and there will be no pay differential. Perhaps, my representation of women in employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases will dry up, because sex discrimination will be obliterated in this new, open-minded society. However, we are not there yet.

I know things are better than when I was a girl. We no longer have want ads that separate "men's" and "women's" jobs in the newspaper, like we did when I was young. Women can no longer evade jury duty simply because of their gender. Perhaps the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Vatican won't prohibit women with sleeveless blouses and shorter skirts, like I was banned in 1973 when my grandmother took our family to Israel and Rome. And, at least in the Kansas City area, judges can no longer ban women in slacks from their courtrooms, as one judge did early in my career. Perhaps bosses no longer will try to order their employees back to work 6 weeks after giving birth, as my boss did. I refused and stayed off for 3 months, but I caught hell for it.

Perhaps judges no longer will chat only with male lawyers about hunting and fishing during a trial while ignoring rye female lawyer, as happened to me even though the male lawyers were incompetent and unable to ask appropriate questions and make an appropriate opening statement, as happened to me early in my career. Perhaps judges will no longer order me and my female clients to refrain from "crying" during trial, while requiring no such behavior from male lawyers or witnesses.  Perhaps rural male judges will not tend to believe male trial lawyers in contested trials over female lawyers, ruling in favor of the males most of the time as happened to me just a few years ago.

Perhaps girls will automatically be paid as much as boys, unlike the young pizza restaurant employees in KCK, who spoke at the Democratic convention.  Perhaps people will recognize the substantial women breadwinners instead of statements made by Donald Trump's campaign director, claiming women will vote in the interest of their husbands/breadwinners.  Perhaps sexual harassment will just stop suddenly.

Women have had the right to vote in this country only since 1920, when my grandmother was 15. While three women are on the Supreme Court, I don't think it is a coincidence that only one of them is a mother. It is much easier for male lawyers to be parents than female lawyers.

Whether you see it or not, we need a female president. It will make a difference In the lives of millions of girls.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Russia

Why so many hits from Russia on this blog?  Did Donald Trump send you?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Inclusion - No Donald Trump Baloney Today

Mark Twain famously declared, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our  people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."  

WHEN YOU TAKE THE TIME TO GET TO KNOW PEOPLE WHO APPEAR TO BE DIFFERENT TO YOU, WITH A GENUINELY OPEN MIND, YOU WILL PROBABLY DEVELOP COMPASSION AND EMPATHY, THE OPPOSITE OF HATRED AND FEAR.  

Consider the Hispanic boy in kindergarten who is in your son's class, or the African-American employee you know. Engage those people. Listen to their stories. Find about their families   People in different cultures oftentimes have similar values. 

In 2007 my husband and I were in France and we need a cab driver around 4:00 a.m.  The driver obviously wanted to get home and was somewhat cranky. I asked him where he was from. He warned slightly and said he came from a mountainous region between Spain an France. I asked him if he was a Basque, people living in that region who want independence. We then discussed the geo-political events, and totally bonded. By the end of the ride we had a wonderful conversation, which I remember to this day. 

IT'S TIME TO WORK TO ELIMINATE INHERENT BIASES IN SCHOOLS, BUSINESSES, AND SOCIETY AT LARGE. WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT RACISM, SEXISM, LGBT DISCRIMINATION AGEISM, AND DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION IN OUR SCHOOLS, IN OUR HOMES AND OUR WORKPLACES. IF WE ARE GOING TO ERADICATE UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION, WE MUST TALK ABOUT IT. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Always Look At The Bright Side of Life..."

I love Monty Python's "Life of Brian". Before South Park, before Louis CK, before Borat, there was Monty Python, lovely, dark and sacreligious.

Times are dark now. It's almost like the 60s when the Temptations sang "Ball of Confusion,"

"People moving out, people moving in
Why, because of the color of their skin
Run, run, run but you sure can't hide
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
Vote for me and I'll set you free
Rap on, brother, rap on
Well, the only person talking about love thy brother is the preacher
And it seems nobody's interested in learning but the teacher
Segregation, determination, demonstration, integration
Aggravation, humiliation, obligation to our nation
Ball of confusion
Oh yeah, that's what the world is today . . ."

So, I am taking a break from Email-gate, Trump-land, police-killing, Black men killing, and media-fest sensationalism. I am going to follow the first Kansas City Royal since George Brett in 1981 to get the most MLB All-Star Votes -  Profesor Salvador Perez to San Diego. Mr. Royal Perez, the nicest man in baseball, brings joy and caring wherever he goes. I am sure he makes his mother proud. He makes me proud. And, I get to follow this gentle, kind and funny man to San Diego to watch him play for the American League. I hope to have nothing but fun and relaxation before the disaster of the Republican Convention starts next week in Cleveland.  And then, I am going to watch the Royals, with Salvy's help, beat the unfortunate Cleveland Indians while they flee to KC to escape the crazy convention in their town. 
GO, SALVY, GO!!!




Saturday, July 2, 2016

Monsters

Over forty people killed in Turkey. Twenty people killed in Bangladesh. That's just in the last few days. What is wrong with these people?  How do we stop them?  These killings are senseless. How do you reason with people who are willing to strap bombs on their compatriots to kill innocent civilians.

What causes radicalization?  These killers are radicalized Muslims.  Are they insane?  Most Muslims are decent human beings. How do people end up becoming monsters?

They weren't born wanting to commit mass murder. What makes them behave this way?

I could research the process of radicalization, but right now, I don't want to. I don't really want to empathize; I don't want to understand them. There's really no excuse. How awful. How evil. Most people are good. Not these folks. Evil.






Sunday, June 12, 2016

Enough!

What is the matter with us?  Why do we sell AR15's?  Why do we sell ammunition for assault rifles? The Second Amendment does not say that Americans have the right to keep assault weapons. This is crazy. One man took out 50 people and injured another 53. Should we just ban white males?  That makes as much sense as banning Muslims. All mass murderers are white males. Perhaps what we really should ban are assault weapons. Enough!