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Characters Unite: Take the USA Network Pledge Against Discrimination

CharactersUniteI don’t have much tolerance for intolerance, prejudice, and discrimination of any kind, which is why I am happy to feature Characters Unite. In a world where children are bullied to death and people fear and hate others because of race, religion, sexual orientation, or other differences, we all need to do our part to help create more tolerance and acceptance among people.

The Characters Unite campaign is a movement and pledge created by the USA Network. When you sign the Characters Unite pledge, you are making a commitment to combat intolerance, prejudice, discrimination and hate. You pledge to promote greater acceptance, understanding, and mutual respect.  For every pledge made this month, USA Network will donate $1 to its Children’s Defense Fund, National Council of Women’s Organization, and other non-profit partners. (continues…)

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In Honor of 9/11: Something to Remember While We Never Forget

(photo courtesy of Think Progress)

Islamic Fundamentalism is to Islam as  ________________  is to Christianity.

The answer?

The KKK.

If you’re a fan of West Wing, then you may remember the thought-provoking episode that aired shortly after the 9/11 attacks (portion embedded below my signature). In that particular episode, the character Josh Lyman explains to students that it is wrong to judge an entire religion based on a handful of lunatics that use their religion as an excuse for inhumane acts. We don’t think of the KKK as Christians and we don’t attribute the KKK’s actions to the Church.  So why would we attribute the horrific acts of Islamic fundamentalists to the entire Muslim religion? As a shell-shocked nation searching for blame, we needed to learn that lesson. Nine years later, many are still struggling with that task.

Between the debate over acceptable locations for a Muslim Community Center, physical violence against Muslims, and the burning of Quran’s, the persecution against Muslims seems to have only worsened.

When does it end?

Americans need to be careful to make sure that the freedom of which we boast  is a freedom consonant with American values, and not an America premised on euphemism, bumper sticker mentalities, and flat-out hypocrisy. Americans cannot claim to believe in and stand for American values — values that stand for pluralism, equality, tolerance, and coexistence — while demonizing an entire religious group. We claim to be better than repressive governments that are intolerant of difference. So let’s either be better or abandon the pretense.

Don’t fly the flag of tolerance while extolling bigotry. Don’t claim to believe in freedom of religion while protesting the construction of an Islamic Community Center.  If we’re really for freedom of religion, then any street in this country should be able to peacefully house Churches, Synagogues, and Mosques. (continues…)

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Gay Rights: Why Mamas Need To Take A Stand Against Inequality

Married and Straight Against H8As a woman, I often think about the time before my birth and what my female ancestors had to endure.

For centuries, women have had to fight to establish equality in a very paternalistic society. Women had to band together to form the Suffrage Movement. Women fought for equality during the Civil Rights Movement and created the Feminist Movement when society still treated them like second-class citizens. In the last 100 years, women have been incredibly successful in overturning anti-discriminatory laws and creating new laws to protect our rights. There is no doubt that the time we live in now is markedly different than the era of our mothers and grandmothers.

As women:

  • We lived without voting rights until 1920.
  • We lived without FDA-approved birth-control until 1960.
  • We lived without discrimination laws and equal opportunity in the workplace until 1964.
  • We lived with sex-segregated employment ads until 1968.
  • We  lived without the Equal Pay Act until 1970.
  • We lived without Title IX until 1972.
  • We lived without reproductive rights until 1973.
  • We lived without the Pregnancy Discrimination Ban until 1978.
  • We lived without the Lily Ledbetter Act until 2009.

From our mothers to our great-great-great grandmothers, women have worked hard to ensure a better future for their daughters, and the women of today continue to take a stand against injustice and inequality. As women, we have lived with discrimination and intolerance. We have lived as second-class citizens. We have lived without laws to protect ourselves and our rights. So, I ask my mama-sisters, why aren’t we working harder to ensure a better future for our children and grandchildren?  Why aren’t we doing more to stand up to injustice and inequality? (continues…)

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