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January 26, 2009

We still must work on equality

I am watching with amazement the profound impact the election of Barack Obama is having on this country, inspiring a connection between people and politics we haven’t seen since the ’60s. Whether it’s a reaction to the deterioration of this country under George W. Bush or the charisma of President Obama, this country’s energy is undeniable.

In this context I recently had a stunning conversation with a female high school student I work with. She told me she joined the electronics club at school but was having trouble because the male-dominated club referred to her as “the pretty face.” She is in a higher level of math than most club members, but they refuse to let her participate — except to take club photographs.

In the context of electing our first African-American president, I found this to be a sober reminder of the work still to come.

Elizabeth Weidling
Overland Park

Comments

solomon

That sort of boxing would be a "salad" approach".

Did you ever get to fire a person for spitting in someone's coffee cup when they thought they would not be seen? I'm sure if the name calling here bothers you, you'd have enjoyed the job of firing her. Did you ever have an employee come into your office and start discussing how low some races are?(Although in your days in the workplace that was acceptable). It was a pleasure to show that person the door. Did you ever get a chance to fire someone for intimidating a meek(maybe gay, but his business) person daily because they shared an office. Another day I went home feeling good. I wrote up a store manager once for instructing a department head that he wanted no blacks (although he used a different word) in a certain department because it would "scare off the good customers". This jerk quit before I could fire him, and I was disappointed.

Engineer

solomon
Perhaps you have stated the key to the differences in our feelings and approach.
"I've fired people for less, and enjoyed it.' I never in my life came close to enjoying firing anybody no matter how I was driven to it. I boxed some, too-amateur. I was very hard to hit but I didn't hit a lot either. Salad approach I guess.

solomon

BTW, only one thing I've been called here bothers me. I do dislike being called a liberal, as I have never taken a Dem Party or liberal stance in all the time I've spent here.

solomon

I appreciate your words, as you are from the generation that my dad, who was a fantastic person, came from. He grew up in a world where words like nigger and spic were acceptable, yet I never recall him ever using them. I can recall a guest leaving our house in the early 60s in a huff and a hurry because he thought it was ok to say them in my fathers house. I would like to think its different now, but just last Wednesday a co-worker of my wife said one of the managers of an out of town branch had sat down at her desk and said "well, we've got a nigger in the white House now". The response from the branch manager here was,"he was just making a joke".

I've fired people for less, and enjoyed it.

I have fought for my life and I have fought in the ring, I get aggressive when I get upset or think a line has been crossed. I do spar verbally here, and have been called more names than I can count. I am disappointed on days when unbridled racist or hateful words go unremarked upon by ordinary people who would just stand by and let it go.

You told me once that the reason you don't engage people who say these things is that it is the way you like to comment here. I feel like that is a salad bar approach to life. You can't live on salad.

On the brighter side, I always try and find a name to call someone that suits them, whether it is calling BuddyT a peckerwood or someone else "Uncle hermann" it is fitting of their blog appearance.

signed,

Ike Turner Farakhan the anti-semite woman hater who is very ignorant RaceCard dunce......as I said previously, the titles I have earned here are too long and illustrious to list.

Engineer

solomon
The name calling in his posts bothers me bit. However, in a way, that in yours bothers me more because of my high regard for you. Apparently Tina was bothered less than a number of us were. A proud and resilient lady. Also, as a relic of another age and culture, perhaps I expect hard words to mean more. Growing up among farm hands, then in locker rooms, then in the Army any "stand up" guy who talked like that expected bruises on his body and blood on the floor. Times change, people too, but slower.

solomon

Engineer,

You remember the kids board game "chutes and ladders"? Anytime you think that BuddyT is owed an apology, and I can only go back the year and a half I've been here, after his almost daily racist, sexist and hateful remarks, you've landed on the longest chute on the board.

Please don't tell us, most of whom respect you, that you think his posts don't fit my description.

TinaMcG

Forget about any apologies. He made a scurrilous and racist remark, and I called him a racist pig. He countered the way I thought he would. So we're even.

I can't tolerate racists or racism, no matter which race is guilty of the prejudice.

Engineer

Jim/solomon
He should appologize to Tina, but she should also appologize to him. Im this case you might say she started it. If you are going to call names you are apt to get something back. If we would all refrain from persomnal remarks we would have a more interesting blog, IMO.

solomon

Dearest Kate,

I was on 2 long conference calls today, otherwise I'd have been all over him for it. I have great respect for TMcG, yourself and all the other honest women on these threads.

Jim,

I can think of a good one for him, but it would get me banned. I'll give you a hint, compound word, first part can be used as v,n, adv or adj.....second part "head".

Jim

Kate,

The past few days have been rather odd on here, from the Phelps clan dropping in to Arminius' hijinks and our obsessions with them to BuddyT's sexist language. A re-boot would probably be helpful. Trudy, feel free to ban us all and start over!

I wonder what BuddyT's next username will be.

Kate

Jim, I missed it. Quite frankly, I started reading the posts today and got fed up with the constant name-calling and personal attacks. Given my posting history, I’m loathe to criticize anyone, but the past few days have been much for even me. So, yeah, I think it’s really low, and using profanity is a sign of unimaginative thought, and Tina deserves an apology.

Maybe we should all be banned, so this blog can start over on a better note. Bonus points to you for being the only guy to point it out.

solomon

He actually said it, rather than just a presumption.:-)

Maybe the * was the middle of the word bio-tech, and as usual he misspelled it.

Jim

Kate,

I'm curious to know how you feel about BuddyT calling a fellow female poster a b*tch. You didn't address it in your comment.

Pub 17

Yeah, and anti-Semitic? How dare you call me anti-Semitic? Hey, I voted for a guy who was half-Jew back in '64.

Kate

On the one hand, it is a shame to hear of any student who is not allowed to fully participate in club activities because of other members’ biases. On the other hand, I remember some girls in high school using their looks to get their way when they wanted something. And it hasn’t been that long ago that my daughter would come home from high school and whine about how unfair EVERYTHING was - at school, at work, and at home, so I’m tempted to take the girl’s complaints with a grain of salt.

If I were her co-worker, I’d tell her to talk to the faculty sponsor of the club and ask for more demanding assignments or an explanation for what is perceived as unequal treatment. The least effective solution would be writing a letter to the editor with a second-hand version of one side of the story.

mianotkia

Thanks Tina, I will wear that badge proudly, btw I supported the nomination of Clarence Thomas, ten to one you did not, racist B I itch, emphasis on the b i itch.....

Pub 17

But don't that lipstick look fine?

TinaMcG

Racist pig, emphasis on pig.

mianotkia

Don't worry Liz, the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons will never let the poverty pimp and race business die, count on it.

TinaMcG

"Gee, a bunch of high school boys call a girl "the pretty face". What a rough world she lives in."

Jack, I'll give you a pass on that comment because you can't possibly know what it feels like to be the victim of that type of left-handed compliment. And I do mean victim. When you hear it over and over, you can begin to believe it yourself, that you are nothing more than a pretty face. If you do not already have the self-assurance and confidence to stand up to it, you might lose confidence in yourself or even give up some of your dreams.

Girls or boys -- it doesn't matter. When others belittle you or try to make you seem inconsequential, you have to stand up to them.

 
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