Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I have hazel eyes.

I don't base my identity on my eye color. Having hazel eyes is just a part of me. I'm certainly not proud of having hazel eyes, but I'm not ashamed, either. Most of the time, I don't even think about it.

But if the government told me I couldn't get married to someone else with hazel eyes, or that I couldn't be in the military unless I wore blue contact lenses, or if people stood outside my eye doctor's office with signs that read "Hazel-Eyed Go To Hell!," I might start to think that my hazel eyes were pretty important. I might start to resent people who disliked me just because of my eye color. I might start spending more time than is necessarily healthy wondering what it was about my eye color that got certain people so riled up.

I might get angry when people said absurd or bizarre things, like that I shouldn't be able to teach children unless I wore sunglasses to hide my "condition."

But that would never happen, right?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy to have a job

"Brain drain? Perhaps, in the short run. But maybe Wisconsin will see new infusion of brains as younger workers step up and take those positions, happy to have the jobs even without the lavish pensions of yore."
-comment on "The Costly Brain Drain in Wisconsin," by Ruth Conniff, The Progressive

One of the phrases that has "angered up my blood" the most during this Wisconsin war on the middle class has been the line: "You should be happy to have a job at all." Often followed up with some variation on "Suck it up, you lazy parasite."

This is so disturbing to me because it means that the right-wing crapweasel propaganda has seeped so deep into the psyche of the lower and middle classes that they are willing to throw their lot in with the employer and say, in effect, "I am only worth what my employer says I am. I only deserve what my employer is willing to provide, however meager. Not only am I content with ceding power to my employer, but I demand it."

That attitude is sick and wrong, and resembles nothing so much as an abused spouse telling a friend, "He wouldn't have hit me if I had just put dinner on the table on time."

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." This isn't just about taking our government back - it's about taking ourselves back. We better start now, before it's too late.