Saturday, July 23, 2016

Everyday People

Sometimes I'm Right, and I Can Be Wrong

Funny how some songs will lay dormant in your head for years, only to awake at a moment of contemplation. (If you click on the lyrics, you can hear the song) And A song like Every Day people becomes more than just a happy cultural pop tune. It become a statement of the who we are, or who we should be to each other. The divisions in our society seem to be widening almost everywhere we go. Politics seems to be the most evident these days where the lines are even more blurred than before. Religious beliefs are taking strange turns, and of course racial tensions are at a fever pitch with no no obvious conclusions in sight. Both men and women seem to be drawing new lines in the sand. Brene Brown, therapist and public Ted Talks speaker noted: 
"the other thing we do is we make everything that uncertain certain. Religion has gone from a belief and faith and mystery to certainty. I'm right you're wrong shut up! that's it--- Just certain---  The more afraid we are--- the more vunerable we--- are the more afraid we are. This is what politics looks like today. There's no discourse anymore. There's no conversation their just blame" -BrenĂ© Brown: The power of vulnerability: TED TALKS

My Own Beliefs Are In My Song

One of the biggest problems in advocating against sexual assault in the military or college campuses or society is that the issue gets divided up, analyzed, and marginalized by those who are suppose to be the biggest supporters. When you hear the word rape, do you think of only a gender or race, or a status in life? Sexual assault and rape breeds apologists, victim-blamers, gender defenders, number grumblers, and political speculators. After you've read all their op ed pages and blogs, and online comments you don't know if the subject really makes sense.

I want to restate so that everyone reading this gets it: Rape is wrong, Rape is a crime. People who rape should go to jail. And if this happened to you, then you are not the blame.
We are everyday people. Men, women, and children. No matter what our color is, or economic status, or our politics, rape does happen to everyday people.
I've talked to and tweeted many survivor-victims who have the courage to say "this happened to me." And "This person did this to me." Victims are not looking to indict all men, or all women, or a certain race. They're trying to bring an issue into the light. It's great when we come together to illuminate the problem by stating "Rape is wrong. What can I do to help?" Shockingly I've seen responses such as "Young white girls get more attention." Or absurd statements like "women rape as much as men do. Maybe more." Some of this comes from an honest place of hurt and feeling treated less important. But then there are those who fear they're on the wrong side of an issue. So rather than to admit you could be right, they say  "try to include both sides in the issue."

You Love Me, You Hate Me

Many times the media, and even we bloggers are guilty of running after the low hanging fruit, but personally I feel that a victim gets re-victimized again by the very people who should be in his or her corner. Everyday people who are rape victims need to understand that nothing in your background makes rape less or more qualified to have your voice heard and to stand with others in this Invisible (Or maybe not so Invisible) War.

Matt Rogers and Franchesca Ramsey Social Justice Warriors
Franchesca Ramsey does a very good job with humor and truth sharing the complexities of making a difference in a world where scoffers and haters will attack you for speaking up on issues like truth and equality for all. You should check out her MTV video: Social Justice Warrior Training Video, LEAKED! While it has the feel of a parody about the military mind set, if you've ever known how it feels to be hit with a false narrative in the face of an issue, then you'll appreciate this funny video of how we need to "boot camp up" to deal with misogyny, racism, and what's the difference in being respectful versus politically correct. I like the idea of dealing with what it takes to stand up for basic human dignity. Because no mater how real and tangible the truth can be, the loud angry voices of shame and criticism will always try to overwhelm and drown it out. Speaking the truth (And again I'm borrowing from this video) can be as overwhelming as being locked in a room full of gas. (We went though this in basic training to simulate being captured and tortured by the enemy.) It burns your eyes, lungs, and overwhelms your senses. That's how it can feel when you're on Twitter, Facebook, Reditt, or other social media. Have you ever read the comment section of YouTube after enjoying a good video? Proceed at your own risk.

Rape is an ugly, vile, and disgusting crime that should not be spoken in political terms. Those who want to make this issue go away, will label it as a women's issue, which only feminists shriek the loudest about.

Different Strokes

Sexual assault or rape seems to be regarded like a screaming infant with a dirty diaper. When the institutions can no longer hide the crime, they speak with tones of surprise, maybe some outrage, and even the promise to "address the problem." Now those who are in earnest will work with authorities, the victims, and others to resolved the problem. They don't give PR spin, or try to turn your attention elsewhere for the sake of their institution.

And the not-so-ordinary people have been putting their foot into our mouths and speaking out of turn such as Conservative Journalist Liz Trotta.

Liz Trotta
"Just a few weeks ago Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on a new Pentagon report on sexual abuse in the military. I think they've actually discovered there's a difference between men and women. --- and the sexual abuse report says that there's been since 2006 a 64 percent increase in violent sexual assaults. Now what did they expect? I mean these people are in close contact; the whole airing on this issue has never been done by congress. It's strictly been a question of pressure from the feminists."  -Liz Trotta on sexual assault in the military- YouTube Feb. 13, 2013
 Just recently a writer for the Washington Examiner noted that college campuses have become a place which harbors "Snow Flakes"
This past school year, colleges and universities saw some of the most embarrassing displays of student and faculty behavior ever witnessed in modern history.
Bolstered by a grievance culture that promotes victimhood, campus protesters demanded "safe spaces" from ideas they disagreed with and "trigger warnings" on readings that might make them uncomfortable. They accused those whose comments might seem slightly insensitive of committing "microaggressions." -What's Next For College SnowFlakes?
Please note the obvious political dog-whistle words. Someone has been sexually assaulted on a college campus, perhaps the alleged rapist is still there. A student/victim of this crime which haunts her is called a cup cake because they want refuge from either their attacker, or from the politics of it all.  While any student should still submit to their courses set before them, in my opinion this should happen in a safe environment where they can attempt to study without further harassment or from retaliation. The lack of empathy by some so-called enlighten thinkers, on the subject is staggering.

We Are The Same, Whatever We Do

SJW-Dealing With Anti-Equality Advocates
I have an obvious bias when it comes to the issue of sexual assault. You can never water it down in the political arena and expect an real truth to come out of it. Those who want to quiet the voices of every day people who are victims or advocates, will attach side issues of gender inequality, or what the statistics are. Also while harboring a dislike for women, they make it a feminist issue. (And of course feminist is a "bad" thing.) This creates an air of feeling defensive or being ashamed for defending victims. Some advocates find themselves tangled in arguments on social medial by slick, well-versed, spoiler-types, who troll this issue to silence it forever. If you spend any amount of time on social media you'll run headlong into those who try to disarm this issue with accusations of people who care too much about this issue, are too stupid, or too bleeding-heart, and who perhaps should be raped themselves.

You will never win with these people, because while your agenda is to make them understand, the issue, their agenda is to hurt and ridicule you. My friend Catherine, a retired therapist, always tells me: "Kevin don't let them rent space in your head." Meaning block and move on because their goal is to always disagree with you.

We Got To Live Together

The worst part can be is when victims/advocates lash out at each other, and then we begin to lose
ground. It's sad when we start out coming together as allies, and then when politics creeps in, or we see each others imperfections we walk away, while this crime against us all continues to destroy us like cancer. We are all different in so many ways. We must give each other room to be who we are.
We may not all be religious, or have the same political views. But our common ground must be in coming against sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and other things associated with them. The number of victims are being added to the roster each day, regardless of race, age, who they voted for, men, or women, straight or gay. Haters, blamers, and shamers, will always study us, and try and whisper words or doubt, and stand back to watch the results.

Our goals need to be focusing in on helping victims who don't know where to turn. Someone right now, may be a victim of homelessness, fighting for their VA rights, contemplating suicide, or just needing someone to talk to because they couldn't sleep last night. Many could feel a real loss if all they see is backbiting, distension, or hurt. Because in the back of their minds they're no doubt thinking... "It maybe a matter of time when they begin to whisper about me like this." So let's not be the third wave of victimization. We can claim that we're diverse, but are we really unified as Everyday people?


Every Day People-
Social Justice Warrior Training Video Leaked
Liz Trotta On Sexual Assault-
What's Next For College Snowflakes- Washington

Special Thanks To

Vera Santa Clara 
Who got me started thinking about the danger of division with advocates
Denise (Dancing Paint Brush)
For your invaluable editing and spell checking powers
Catherine (Deja1422)
This has been an emotional month my friend with personal loss for us both

This Blog is Lovingly Dedicated To my everyday Twitter friend, Jan "Jipso" Goss
RIP Jan. You showed us how life was suppose to be. You will be missed

Previous Blog

I Dreamed a Dream: The Reality of Rape And Sex Trafficking


  1. Amazing as always, Kevin. What would we do without your voice, my friend?

    1. Thank you Shelby. The pathway to understand needs to be one with empathy, and respect for those who have no voice. As usual your feed back is so appreciated.

  2. You are magical and poetic with your words...this is why you are so adored and loved..

    1. Ginny, I wrote this partly in an honest effort to help those of us who are advocates to see that we must protect not only our work, but our relationships with each other. Damage from within the framework can be more irreparable, than from the outside. Thanks my friend. Take care of those you love and who loves you.

  3. You are magical and poetic with your words...this is why you are so adored and loved..

  4. Kevin ... Thank you for sharing ... perfectly written as always. Loved the dedication to Jan ... she is loved and missed.

    1. Hi Annie. Yes Jan will be terribly missed by us all. Thank you for your kind thoughts.

  5. This blog is poignant Kevin! As it reminds me of how we struggle in our relationships. From being hateful to loving and what we do to each other struggling to be human even when we dehumanize. It's about those relationships Kevin, it is about our humanity, our frailties but also our power and will to do the right thing and look upon one another with dignity and respect. It reminds of this bible verse (and I'm by no means a bible scholar) but I find it uplifting, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind"! Ashe, Kevin! Barbara @Nyota_nuru

    1. Barbara,
      Thank you for your constant vigilance and keeping me informed of what been going on. Sad that we as people have not learned to come together, and help to push this crime back, forcing those who are in power to deal with the real criminals. Thanks also for the spiritual insight as well.