Lest We Forget

remembrance_day___poppy_day_by_daliscar

Today is November 11th, which is Veterans Day for those in the US, and Remembrance Day for those here in Canada. A day that, we are supposed to put aside an hour or 2, to respect the past and present members of the military, as well as those that lost their lives, in getting us the freedoms that we enjoy today. Leading up to this day (in Canada anyway, not sure about US customs and traditions), one is supposed to wear a poppy on the left side, as for it to be over your heart.

Like many other traditions that our society holds dear, this is one that I have stopped following

Going back to when I was a kid of 10 or 12 (I really do not recall), I remember dropping a lonnie or 2 into the little plastic bucket, and wearing my poppy proudly for a week or so (until I lost it lol), and to the remembrance day ceremony that always preceded the day itself (if I remember right, their was no school). And of course I wore the poppy throughout the day itself (assuming I still had it).

It was afterwards, that I found a bit of a conundrum. What is the time frame of which one must keep wearing the poppy? Some have told my father that it is disrespectful to wear it  after the 11th is over. But this seems silly (how is showing you care, disrespectful?).
Most of the time I had lost it long before anyway,  but I never could get a real answer to the question.

Today, I no longer  wear a poppy in the lead up to, nor on Remembrance Day  itself. Not out of disrespect for veterans and what they fought for, moreso on a basis of, not wanting to participate in an activity that is in modern times, half assed at best.

In my opinion, if there is one day that should be a holiday (as in businesses are closed), then remembrance day should be it. But though the businesses are only open for a limited amount of hours on the 11th, this still strikes me as, not right. And I am not really pointing my finger totally at the businesses either. More so, at the consumer who could not wait one day, to make that unnecessary purchase.

I am not talking about milk, bread, gasoline or any sort of staple. But snacks, or pretty much anything else that flies under the banner of “unnecessary”.

There are other holidays of less important reasonings (religious primarily) that get the full on treatment, of stores (and most businesses) closed, and we have figured our way around that obstacle. So why not the 11th of November also?

Micheal Moore – A True American Patriot

Though I reside in Canada, technology keeps me connected to the happenings and situations in places all over the world, including those in the US. And the picture is not pretty. The trajectory the leaders of the nation have put the country (and by extension, the world) on, can not end well, when looking in the long term. And the thought of changing it at this point, seems impossible.

Which can make the world a mighty depressing place if your a person like me. Kind of like watching the iceberg coming, but having no one else share in your fear.

But fortunately, not everyone is complacent in the status quo. There are many famous names that do there best to wake up the herd. George Carlin (RIP) and Bill Maher are a couple of my favorites. But one that I have followed for a long time, was Micheal Moore.

The first film of his that I seen, was Fahrenheit 9/11. I remember that, because it was not long after it came out (2002 or 2003). My family and a family friend seen a screening of it at the university theater.

A few years after that in high school (grade 10 I think), we were shown his film “Bowling For Columbine”, of which I also liked.

Now before I begin, to the naysayers who will raise an eyebrow and fight the urge to smash the keyboard upon reading the title of this entry, I must say that I have seen this from both sides. Seeing the documentary film “Micheal Moore Hates America”, did I admit, open my eyes a bit. As it turns out, some of his movies may (at the very least) be borderline propaganda, and may not always show the entire picture. Though much  of  Fahrenheit 9/11 was debunked long ago, some of his other  films (including my personal favorite, Bowling for Columbine) are not as honestly filmed as I would like.

But, even saying this, I still remain a fan, because his heart seems to be in the right place. Having seen pretty much everything between Roger & Me and Capitalism: A Love Story, he always strikes me as a man who is willing to do almost anything, in order to stand up for the American people. My recent discovery of TV Nation,  is full of hilarious situations in which he does this, but as are his films.
And he even has a fictional film to his name called “Canadian Bacon“, of which he cleverly has a cameo part.

With the state of America, and the world today, we need more people like Micheal Moore, to get the word out. Which is why even though he can indeed be a bit dishonest in reporting, he is still a true American patriot. When compared to many of the  people who currently label themselves “patriots” today, there is no question who fits the profile more.

Blackout Clarity + War On ________________ , How Many Do We Actually Win?

This is a post regarding 2 recent thought processes I had between yesterday and today. Since both are reletivly small pieces I will throw them both together.

Blackout Clarity

A day or so ago, there was an early morning blackout here in the city I live (Brandon). Im not absolutely sure of the specifics, but apparently a car nailed a hydro pole, which kick started a bit of a chain reaction, which left half the city in the dark, for various amounts of time.

It happened at around 6am. Normally I would likely have been sleeping at that time, but a late night coffee or 2 had me up, so I was watching a show in bed on the computer (no, not porn lol). With no lights on at the time, and being on a laptop, I would not have even noticed the outage, had I not been streaming the show (of course, it happened just before the good part of the show). At first I thought it was my connection acting up at first, but I soon realized that all the solid and blinking lights of the technological gadgets around me (dvr, cable modem, wifi router, alarm clock) were dark.

Though I was annoyed at first, after powering off  all my battery operated devices (to conserve the power, just incase), I realized that it was quiet and dark. Peaceful.
Though the outage only lasted a half hour or so, I didn’t really mind it. That is, minus the fact that the DVR has been nothing but a glorified cable box since coming back on-line.

The War On ______________________-

I find it interesting how many in society today, like to take on subjects that they disagree with for any reason, by throwing the term “War” into it. The War on drugs, The war on piracy, the war on Christmas are only 3 of the more famous ones of recent years.

On the surface, one would think it to be a good tactic, because it vilifies the targeted group in the eyes of third parties, without any information about the targeted group even needing to be relayed. After all, if your going to “war” against something, than it must be pretty bad.

And in some cases, a few things that we go to “war” against, are justified. For example, the war on drugs is somewhat justified, when you look at the nasty addictive affects of some substances. But now it seems like every group with a beef with something or other, has to go to “war” against the offending subject (for example, the War On Christmas).

Besides the whole hijacking of the term “war” for silly purposes , even the more justified causes, often leave a lot to be desired. One of the bigger ones in this regard, is the war on drugs.

This legislation is riddled with problems though and though, but that is a whole other post in itself. My problem is more with, how this battle  (since it is a war), is fought and carried out.

When it comes to the war on drugs, one can not have an honest conversation about it, without pointing out the benefactors of the system as it stands now. One of them, being the private prison system of the US. Continued minor drug arrests ensure a steady flow of revenue into said facilities. And of course there are the legalized recreational and pharmaceutical drug interests. The legalization of marijuana, and other drugs  possibly, is not good for there business if people find natures best herb, is a good alternative to whats been available to them previously. Keep in mind that the drug aspect is only a part of the whole picture. If you take hemp into account (which has a laundry list of potential practical uses), the list of conflicting interests gets even longer.

So we know some of the benefactors to the war on drugs. Now lets look at the other side of the fence.

One of the groups that suffers at the hand of the war on drugs, is pretty much anyone who gets caught up in it, by being busted for possession. Not just because of the likely prison trip, but also because of the permanent record that one is stuck with afterwards. And of course, there is the fact that most of the people caught in this problem, happen to be minority populations.

And then there is the bigger picture, with the costs associated with the fight coming out of the pockets of tax payers. Billions spent on essentially, an eternal game of whack-a-mole.

One of the more obvious examples of this, was on a CNBC program I seen a year or so back, about the business behind marijuana. One part that stuck out to me, showed how a small part of the KY DEA had the sole job of flying over the forests of the state, and picking off what outdoor grow sites that they found.

Of course, the group itself thought there task made perfect sense. Even though in reality, its about as futile as pissing into the wind and trying not to get splashed. Spending billions on equipment and wages, just to make a little dent in the “problems” caused by a mostly harmless plant.

Another “war” that has grown more well known in the last decade or so, alongside  the growth of dsl and cable broadband, is the one against digital piracy.

Let me first say, that I am not even sure why the term “piracy” was attached to these online activities. When I think of a pirate, Black beard, or the pirates from Captain Philip’s come to mind.  Not the people that download the movie.
But even though I don’t like the term, ill use it, since its the most well known terminology.

I am not going to go much in depth into the subject, but just focus on how the battle is fought.

For example, recently the MPAA scored a victory by getting popular torrent search engine ISOhunt to shut down. But despite shutting down one of the more popular web addresses associated with digital piracy, there was not even a dent in the problem of digital piracy. Because like marijuana plants in the forests of the deep south, for every 1 you cut down, there are 10 or more to replace it.

Where you stand in terms of the justification of either of the above “wars” (as well as others) is not as important, as the tactic itself.

When it comes to the war on drugs, if the goal is elimination of these substances, for the health and safety of the public,  then it should have been seen as a failure a long time ago. Otherwise law abiding people are being stuck with permanent records for minor drug offenses, tax payers are footing billions of dollars in expenses. And yet, the drug problem never EVER gets any better. The only thing that does change, is the nastiness of the drugs available. A recent example being Krokodil, a nasty combination of codeine and gasoline/oil, which originated in Russia.

If a business model is getting a company minimal (or no) results, then that model is not going to be utilized for long. If any government organization is having minimal or no impact, then it will not be operating in that way for very long. Which is why I have to ask, why does the DEA get a free pass?

And on a general level, why do we keep going to “war” with things, when that tactic is clearly not working?

Breaking News – Sometimes Waiting Is Best

Ever since being in high school, I have been very focused on the world around me. When most people look at the news around the world in kind of a secondary sort of way (their lives and therefore local news (if they seek any news at all) comes first, and the rest of the world news comes 2ed), I am reversed. I like to stay informed on news and information from around the world (mainly US news, for obvious reasons. They are the superpower), on top of local, provincial and even national news.
In fact, this has more then once caused me to be bitten in  the ass by such local, provincial and national  events as elections, as I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. To me, they seem unimpotant (with the exception of national elections), in comparison to whats going on in other areas of the planet.

Don’t get me wrong, I vote, and have voted in every single election that was held since I reached voting age at 18. And I make as informed a decision as I can. But local and regional issues, just aren’t as important. Healthcare has its problems here, but its still better then even Obamacare. Oh, I know that Obamacare IS a  step in the right direction, but its still not all inclusive , and still enriches the broken system around it.
Our state of healthcare (and any number of other local and regional systems) is still better then many of our friends south of the boarder, even if people here think otherwise. I would rather have a heart attack or break a leg here in Brandon MB, and anywhere else in Canada, then anywhere in the US.

But I have gone a bit off topic to my original subject. If you have a problem with my Obamacare stance, take it up in the comment section.

In any case, twitter has become an important tool in my quest for news. I still use  TV, newsletters and facebook (amongst other web sources), but twitter is great because its a steady stream of information (in fact sometimes the stream is a torrent, depending on if its a fast news day). I just follow as many news organizations as I can find  (from all over the world), and let the information come.  Info from sources of all colors, stripes, and backgrounds, I like to sort though it all, and to even comment on some VIA a reply if I have an opinion. I love it.

And one of the great things about twitter, is when breaking news occurs, it can be transmitted in almost real time. And unlike conventional journalism, anyone with a smart phone and a  social media account on, or near the scene can add to the flow of information. Which on one hand, is great.

BUT this also comes with its limitations, because not all information coming out of a situation that is in its infancy, is CORRECT information. People in the situation are paniced, fearful, and otherwise disturbed. They may not even realize that their information is wrong, or flawed, which is why its up to the media to sort out the trash, from the good stuff.  A task that takes time.

Unfortunately, today with everyone scanning social media and wanting steady information, no news organization wants to be the last to report something. So as such, many will grab on anything that they can get their digital hands on and facebook, tweet and otherwise spread it far and wide. And the people repost, retweet and otherwise spread it even further and wider. Which is a great way to inform the public, without much cost or effort. So long as the information is GOOD information.

The problem is, there have been more then a few cases in which a big, seemingly “credible” news organization, has run with a tidbit, only to have to retract it later. But meanwhile, the info is already out their, and with attention spans the way they are today, the false info might not reach everyone.

This is why, when it comes to breaking news situations, I will no longer retweet or otherwise spread “up to the minute” information. Though having access to information from an event early in the game is great, its still better to wait a bit for a clearer image to appear, later on.

Lots of information is great. But not if its inaccurate.

Also see Memes and Misinformation

Amazing Rant On The State Of America

Here we have a TV news anchor, who is clearly fed up with the actions and impotence continually displayed by his nations government. Judging by the workers in the background turning around, you can see that this clearly does not happen every day. But that is why I like this video.

We need more Americans to just, flip out. Until that starts happening, the politicians will not think twice about walking over the majority, in their quest to kiss the ass of the minority. All at the expense of the the people, the nation, and in the broader picture, the biosphere.

Obama Vs The Right – The Neverending Shit Show

Where is the line between disagreement and treason?

Many on the right, insist that Obama is terrible. And they throw the term treason around, in regards to him and his actions. Not at all surprising, as any word that fits, is usable in the bubble (no matter how irrelevant, or wrong, it may be).

But the fact is, if the roles of the current were reversed, and it was Obama’s democrats and the left that was in the place of the current right, there would be hell to pay. If it was Obama’s party that was crying fowel and keeping (and sacraficing) the nation over a disagreement, people would not stand for it.  They would use the word treasonous, and frankly, it would fit. Because from what I can see, that is exactly what this behaver amounts to.

Yet, somehow the right is the  “patriotic” side.

Don’t get me wrong, Obama is not without his flaws. He has disappointed me and many others in many ways, and has not lived up to the hype. Not to surprisingly in retrospect (I think many of us unknowingly wanted jesus, but were instead given a mere mortal, one of us). But even so, there are many things that could have changed, but didn’t.

Despite this, I can not throw the baby out with the bath water, and deny that his presidency has not been without its benefits. This new affordable care act, though far from perfect, is one example of the good he has done. Though a great plan would be to cover EVERYONE, this is a good start.

Obama does have a part in this, in not “selling” Obamacare to the masses nearly as well as the right has smeared it. But even so, the rights attempts to tear it down are not warranted.

When you see that a great majority of Americans will benefit from the act, the deliberate attempts to block it, send a clear message that the right does not give a shit about everyday Americans. It sends the message loud and clear, that there interest lies in the people that fund them, those that will be disadvantaged, the 1%.

If democracy is power by majority, and the right is deliberately sabotaging that for their benefit, I do not see how it could NOT be treason (funny how this fits with many other issues to *Cough* background checks!).

I wish the left would wake up from their slumber, and start speaking out. The republicans and the right are doing this with impunity, because the masses are allowing it.

SPEAK OUT!! Treat this like the treasonous activity that it is!

I guarantee that when someone is actually holding them accountable for their actions, they will relent. This is NOT a bullying attempt, this is just calling their bluff. THEY are the bully.

But only because the public is allowing it.

Forget Gun Control, Think Bullet Control

patrioticshellsrect

As most of us have heard by now, there was yet another instance of mass  gun violence to add to the ever growing list. This time at the Navy yard facility, in the US capital of Washington DC. The death toll this time, 12 or 13.

President Obama has wasted no time in using this as an opportunity to once again, call for more through background checks for purchasers of firearms. And though you will once again hear the same excuses coming from the “other” side of the room (“Now is not the time!”, “You are taking advantage of a terrible situation!”), I have to agree.

The 2ed amendment is a handy argument for many. But its a thoughtless (imagine that!) and foolish one. Because background check regulations  ALONE do not involve REMOVING weapons from their owners, nor do they in any way regulate the use of said weapons (beyond what is currently allowed, anyway). It is simply a safety check, one more way to try and keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.

Bullet Control?

There is one methodology that I do not think I have heard discussed anywhere, that is the idea of bullet control.

Like a gasoline powered vehicle is useless without gas, a gun is useless without bullets. With this in mind, you can turn the whole idea of gun control on its head. If people want to purchase guns, then lets drop the regulations that we throw up, forget about them. Allow the purchase of any and every gun, to be as easy as buying a banana at the supermarket.

But, have VERY strict guidelines and regulations regarding the availability of bullets and ammunition.

For me, this seems a good happy medium. Its still easy to get a gun, and collectors wont have to worry about getting caught up in a mess of paperwork, just for adding a new piece  to their collection. But at the same time, it also gives a mechanism for mitigation of possible damage newly purchased weapons can do. And (depending on the sources of ammunition anyway), this could also apply to illegal weapons.

One of the arguments against gun control, is that it does nothing about the weapons ALREADY in circulation on the street. Which is a valid argument. But controlling the bullet supply, DOES tackle this problem.

And the best thing about this regulation, is it does not favor the MINORITY but overexposed plague of mass gun violence INCIDENTS, over the whole of the problem of gun violence itself. Because it does not matter if the  weapon is in the hands of a gang member, a contemplating mass murderer or an angry and/or depressed person, they ALL have to jump though the same hoops.

Gun control has earned a bad name lately, and though that is partially on the part of the oppositions thoughtless reactions to even the idea of it, it is also because some parts of it, just do not make sense. And if we keep pursuing it from the same angles that we have been, were bound to get the same results that we have been all along.

Which is why I think we need to rethink, and rewrite, our entire argument.

Lets drop the “gun” out of the equation entirely. Bullet Control.

A new term for a newly revamped argument.

Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Former Football Player Who May Have Been Seeking Help After A Car Crash

Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Former Football Player Who May Have Been Seeking Help After A Car Crash

Officer Randall Kerrick, 27, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in North Carolina is facing charges of voluntary manslaughter after fatally shooting Jonathan Ferrell, 24, a former Florida A&M football player who had apparently been seeking help after surviving a major car crash early Saturday morning.

CMPD officials called the shooting “excessive.” “Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter,” said CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe in a statement. “It’s with heavy hearts and significant regrets it’s come to this… Our hearts go out to the Ferrell family and many members of the CMPD family. This is never something easy.”

The Charlotte Observer reports that the car crash was so severe that Ferrell likely had to “pull himself out” of the wreckage. He then walked to the nearest house, about a half mile away, to seek assistance. But the local resident whose home Ferrell arrived at was frightened that he was attempting to burglarize her after not recognizing him.

The resident then made a 911 call and three officers arrived at the scene. According to police accounts, Ferrell, who is African-American, acted “aggressively” and charged towards the officers. Officer Thornell Little of the Hickory Grove division of the CMPD responded with an unsuccessful attempt to fire his Taser at Ferrell. Police say that when Ferrell continued to charge toward the police, 27-year-old officer Randall Kerrick discharged his weapon several times, eventually killing Ferrell.

Monroe said that he did not believe Ferrell had threatened the woman who placed the 911 call, and that Kerrick’s use of excess force was unwarranted, according to the Charlotte Observer. No signs of alcohol were found at the scene of the wreckage, although officials said an official toxicology report will take weeks.

While the FBI keeps detailed information on the numbers and types of crimes that are committed throughout the United States, there is no comprehensive tracking mechanism for police shootings. FBI spokespeople have said there is no mandate for them to keep such statistics and that it would take an act of Congress in order to establish a database. Congress, so far, has refused to ask for one.

This story is unfortunate, and seems to illustrate 3 things about American society.

#1 Racism has NOT gone by the wayside.

Though it may seem premature to pull the race card here, this is one of those cases (alike in the Trayvon Martins case), where one has to consider the possibility. In a perfect world, the victims race will have had nothing to do with the reaction of the owner of the property, nor the course of action taken by the responding police officer.

But in reality, with the attitudes that tend to prevail in many areas of the southern states, I have to ask myself a question. That is, had the male victim been white, would the property owner have had a different reaction, upon seeing him walking up their drive way? And would the responding police officer have regarded him in the same way (apparently a threat), if he seen a white man approaching him?

#2 Gun culture

Though this case is a police shooting fatality, therefore not officially counted with the rest of the nations shootings, one still has to bring gun culture into the equation. Because, had the property owner owned a weapon of their own, its very likely they could have been the shooter.

If they were spooked enough by the man to call the police, chances are if a weapon was involved, the old adage of “shoot first, ask questions later” could very well, have prevailed.

#3 Fear Culture

Another aspect that affects a lot of people in the US, is the culture of fear. Perpetuated because it helps fuel a healthy amount of consumption, it also has its downsides. Which every once in awhile, culminate, as it seems happened, in this case. When the person was scared of someone walking up the drive.

I mention this, and make the connection here, because I have talked to a few people in these kind of situations (in various facebook forums, usually the pro gun and Christian ones ). People that do not realize it (being in the middle of it), but to my eye, are very few steps from being delusional (if not delusional). These are people, whom I would be afraid to walk in front of there homes in broad daylight, for fear that they would perceive me as a “threat”.

In most cases, these people are also proud owners of one or more guns.

Although its arguably to early to be speculative in this case, one can not help but see the simultaneities with hundreds (thousands?) of past cases, both high profile and not.

Esquire Makes Terrible 9/11 Mistake

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/11/esquire-911-mistake-photo-richard-drew_n_3907866.html

Yesterday esquire made an unfortunate mistake, a mix up in photo placement.

Pic1

Whoops.

But (presumably anyway), accidents happen. And they apologized VIA a tweet not long after the mistake was found out and corrected.

Pic 2

For me, it is a good enough explanation.

But, being the politically correct, oh so easily offended world we live in, naturally, people had to freak out.

Because of the day, people found not only the (now corrected) mistake itself seemingly unforgivable, but also seen the apology as quote “insensitive”. In fact, if you watch the video in the linked news story, even the 2 commentators see it as the esquire magazine people reacting to an over reaction. Though the apology is a bit horse, its extraordinarily terrible because of the day.

Time for me to inject me piece.

When I see this, though I can see how it can be seen as insensitive to the 9/11 victims and there family’s, and New Yorkers in general, I admit that I got a bit of a laugh out of it. And I am not ashamed to admit it.

Its been 12 years. Though just under 3000 people died that day in 2001, the ensuing wars thereafter killed many more, on both sides. Though the nation was already on a bad course, on a slippery slope, adding 2 more wars on a credit card, while simultaneously letting domestic infrastructure go to shit, certainly didn’t help. Though the popular motto of 9/11 up to this point is “Never forget”. Though no one gives any thought before saying (or typing) those words, I think this is a good time to start doing so.

After 9/11, the fear felt by us all, ended up turning into a blank slate, and a blank check, of which the US  government quickly put to good use. The Patriot act, amoung other amendments between September 2001 and now, gradually withered down the civil liberties Americans once had. They were willfully traded away, out of (then) a genuine fear.

And not long after that, the war machine whipped into action, fighting a seemingly ceaseless and un-winnable war  in the boarders of 2 sovereign nations. Of the 2 wars, at least one was started on very shaky ground (“Weapons of Mass Destruction“!). To this day, we continue to fight both wars. Seemingly throwing money and lives away, without anything to show for it.

I get it, people lost friends and relatives, on that day. The world was collectively moved, that day. We all have our 9/11 stories, how we reacted when we heard the news.

But though there is nothing wrong with honoring those that were lost that day, keeping their memories alive for the family and friends, we must let the wound heel.

The reaction to the unfortunate Esquire error, is but a microcosm of a bigger problem. The US seemingly as a whole, keeps the September 11th wound as open today, as it was 12 years ago. Though the family’s, friends and relatives of the deceased have a reason for doing this, we the public, uninvested in the tragedy (outside of just due to being citizens of the nation, and the world), do not.

We collectively and thoughtlessly, keep the wound open. And as long as we keep doing that, it continues being a tenant of persuasion and fear, an excuse for whatever the government may want to do, or spend. Not to mention, the people of Manhattan, New York, and the surrounding suburbs have done a great job in moving on in the years following.

Its time the rest of the nation, and the world, followed their lead.

Racial / Ethnic / National Pride – Why It Has To Go

Something that has become noticeable to me throughout my life, is the importance that is placed upon ones heritage. Everyone is proud to show there colors off. Whether its ethnic, racial or national pride, people love to fly there colors for all to see.

I used to proclaim my pride for my heritage to, like many of us do. Canadian, and of Metis origin, I had 2 things to seemingly be “proud” of.

But as I have moved on and learned more, I have come to the realization that such pride is not as harmless as I (and its believers), think it is.

The first thing I want to mention, is the seemingly obvious (yet unseen) bias often perpetuated by believers of various forms of ethnic pride, against one form of such pride. The form of pride that is looked DOWN upon, is White pride.

One can have a pride parade, or otherwise show off, for pretty much any ethnicity, and its not considered offensive. But if one puts on a White pride parade, the claws come out. Even those whom are white, often use the word “racist!” right off the bat.
Though “White Pride” does have a bad name from its past usage, showing pride for there WHITE heritage is no different then showing pride for any other back ground. AKA, if you see no problem with being openly proud of your heritage, you can not be intolerant of another of a different heritage, doing the same.

Moving on, one of the bigger problems of racial pride, is the “were better then ________” attitude that sometimes accompanies the mindset.

Being in a city with a lot of immigration, I get to see this a lot first hand. In fact, one of the most racist people that I ever met, was an African American kid I worked with at a job for awhile. I do not fully blame the kid for such views, knowing that a BIG part of who we are is our parents.
But it goes to show, that pride of an uncontrollable aspect of ones life often results in friction. Its not hard to spot this when you look anywhere in the world.

When it comes to bullying, a big reason why I see it happening, is societies  tendency to keep people in groups.

Parents start the process, by passing on there personal beliefs, whether they know they are an influence or not. But also, industry does it, right from an early age. In high school especially, cliques are important. Being in the right one, not being in the wrong one, and CERTAINLY not being OUTSIDE of one. Though cliques create friction in schools, they also sell a whole lot of clothing and accessories, for the companies that make the products in that category.
Though A&F is most vocal in terms of having a clique as its main source of cash flow, they are all the same.

Then when people grow up, the same mentality remains, only the cliques change. The US is dominated and being torn apart by cliques.

Though industry driven grouping and personal pride in heritage are 2 seemingly different things, they are one in the same, in that they divide us. They keep us distracted and infighting, and keep our eyes off of the bigger problems. The people selling our future off for a short term profit.

We must celebrate the things that make us human, the same. Not the things that divide us.