Connect with us

Opinions

[OPINION] Confederate Statues Are Being Torn Down. What’s Next?

Published

on

OPINION (FNN NEWS): Political analyst Randy Ross tackles the current wave of confederate statue takedowns. Image courtesy of Randy Ross.

OPINION (FNN NEWS) – What’s next … will we need to change our currency images?

Will streets and roads throughout the land need to be renamed?

What about the names and slogans for some schools and hospitals?

Will bibles and American flags be burned in the streets as a freedom?

Jefferson Davis Highway sign. Photo: Washington Post.

Photo: Washington Post.

Will we now look into the biographies and resumes of other history makers and find some position or philosophy they held and remove their statues too? You know, pedophilia, bigamy and incest are not isolated to today’s culture. My guess is even if evil is learned regarding some history makers, it will be ignored by extremist and certainly the mainstream media.

It was in fact Martin Luther King Jr, when writing a column in the late ’50s, who advised a young boy about his thoughts on “liking boys the way he should like girls,” who shared his bigotry and prejudice disguised as advice. King wrote:

“Therefore, it is necessary to deal with this problem by getting back to some of the experiences and circumstances that lead to the habit. In order to do this I would suggest that you see a good psychiatrist who can assist you in bringing to the forefront of conscience all of those experiences and circumstances that lead to the habit.”

 

Clearly a change agent and history-making civil rights leader thought being gay was a mental disorder. And with all due respect to this legend, being gay is certainly not a “habit!” If it were, like any habit created or unlearned over time, many gay people would lose the “habit!”

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Should King’s statues come down? Roads be renamed? Is King no less a hero because he denounced homosexuality? In fact, there have been many in the LGBTQ community aligning with the remove-statues-at-all-cost movement. I doubt many gay people even know the uniformed side of this historic figure. As an openly gay conservative, I choose to remember King’s tireless work for civil rights over his ignorance regarding being gay.

Why are we sanitizing history versus using it as a teaching tool for generations to come? What will the history books used in institutions of learning look like in the future if this approach continues? Sharia is already visible in some U.S. text books. Is it already too late?

Why is there a desire to sanitize statues of learning and history? I’ll tell you why: we’re spoiled in our freedoms and riches being an American provides, forgetting that the actions and representations of evil are also part of how our great nation developed.

The Americans I engage with are not going to sit back and just keep accepting the abuse of the First Amendment in the veil of political correctness. Don’t forget, he’s one president, but he has 63 million soldiers.

Racism and prejudice are alive and well in our country. Social media highlights it. But don’t be fooled, it’s not our president who is responsible for our current unease. No, it’s each and every family that failed to teach their children that all lives matter. Families that teach their children to not respect our police versus holding those men and women in high regard. Families that teach their children that tearing down a statue has no consequences.
Changing the hate in our culture starts at each and every dinner table in this country no matter your gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religion or race. Hate is learned at home, in our streets and in the media, not by walking through a park by a historic statue of a figure most will never take the time to learn about anyway.

To the politicians thinking their statements denouncing the sad events this past week are any more powerful than the words of our President, you’re wrong. I believe those figures are opportunists to yet again attack our president out of convenience versus sincerity. Otherwise, those words and statements would be inherent in their political platforms and work, not after another senseless killing or tragedy.

“Make America Great Again”? It’s not just a slogan… it’s our only option.

__________________________________________________

Randy Ross is a political contributor for Florida National News.

Opinions

[OPINION] The Pro-Life Party is Now Targeting Children

Published

on

George Washington University's Kye Allums competing at the BankUnited Center against the University of Miami Women's Basketball Team on December 28th, 2010. Photo via the Miami Herald.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Despite the current host of urgent issues plaguing America, Florida Republicans (and the national Republican Party) have chosen to focus their efforts on curbing civil liberties for historically underprivileged minority groups.

We’re grappling with the substantial increase in chronic homelessness, Florida being the fourth most uninsured state in the nation, an uptick in racist attacks against AAPI and other marginalized minority groups, and a rise in white supremacy.

And they are getting away with it.

Aside from the excessive voter suppression laws and anti-protest laws that give little regard for the first amendment or fifteenth amendment to the United States Constitution, Florida Republicans waited until the last minute of their retaliatory legislative session ending in the last week of April to strike a blow against school children who identify as trans, particularly trans girls.

One of the fiercest proponents of the bill, Senator Kelli Stargel (R – Polk County), has tried to frame the language of the bill around equality, arguing that girls’ sports should not be open to “male students” and competitors should have “equal” genetic dispositions. Senator Stargel has faced opposition not only from Democrats, but from her own daughter. Laura Stargel, a climate activist, wrote an op-ed reasoning with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to veto the transphobic legislation, at one point stating:

“This legislation relies on birth certificates at the time of the player’s birth to determine the gender-assigned team. The policy is rooted in a false stereotype of girls being unable to compete against boys. It oversimplifies sex-neutral characteristics such as skill, weight, height, strength and/or testosterone level, and the tremendous variation in athleticism within the sexes; variation that has produced incredible female athletes like Serena Williams and Simone Biles.”

The legislation has caused a series of disagreements about whether trans kids should be forced to sit out on sports or a league of their own must be instituted. In fact, neither should be the case. Transgender individuals playing sports has been a non-issue and Republicans are attempting to spark a so-called culture war.

Unfortunately, there is a grey area: One side of this culture war is completely misinformed. According to Dr. Eric Vilain, Molecular Geneticist at George Washington University in conjunction with NPR, people born with XY chromosomes often perform 10% to 12% better than those with XX chromosomes due to testosterone and that is typically presented in a small number of athletic competitions such as 400 meter runs and hand-tossing.

The difference between athletes is even smaller for Florida’s target, which are little kids. Before the age of 13, there are very minimal differences in athletic competition between those born with XY chromosomes and those born with XX chromosomes.

Without even counting the significant changes that transgender individuals go through when taking hormone-blockers – which lowers bone density, making them weaker – there are natural advantages in certain sports that far outweigh the average differences between those with XY chromosomes and XX chromosomes. To deny the significance of training, other differences would have to be made in regards to athletic competitions if legislators want to lock transgender women out or make them separate but equal by promoting a league of their own. Taller individuals have an advantage over shorter individuals when playing basketball or volleyball and shorter individuals have an advantage over taller individuals when ice skating or rock climbing, therefore, it would only be “fair” to exclude certain people from those sports as well. Instead, people appreciate the diversity between athletes.

Furthermore, such blatant legislation will only increase discrimination against transgender individuals, especially in women’s sports where many women are already targeted for the way they look or the way their body is built.

Florida is one of the fastest growing states in the country, and it is truly unfortunate to see Florida Republicans taking significant steps to curb civil liberties and rights, especially now targeting those they frequently toss into speeches about protecting. The Republican Party is no longer the conservative party of the past built on fiscal responsibility or so-called family values–they are a reactionary party grounded on conspiracy theories and social discrimination.

I urge readers to take the NCAA’s word on this: transgender individuals in sports is a non-issue. Stand with those who are transgender and defend every child’s right to play the sport that they love while learning how to work with a team and improve themselves physically and mentally.

__________________________________________________________

Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor Nate Douglas is a Florida National News contributor. He was the youngest person elected to public office in the state of Florida during the 2020 election is currently Vice Chair on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District board. | info@floridanationalnews.com

Continue Reading

Opinions

[OPINION] Destroy Gerrymandering Before it Destroys Democracy

Published

on

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – In 2010, more than 60% of Florida voters opted for an amendment that would outlaw gerrymandering. This was ten years ago, yet the amendment is still relevant today. In the United States, only six states have non-partisan commissions to redraw legislative and congressional districts, apart from those six states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, and Washington – districts are redrawn by state lawmakers (with exception of New Jersey, which has a more complex process).

Partisan redrawing presents an issue for voters, especially Asian, Latino, and black voters. One of the most famous examples of this disenfranchisement is Florida’s 5th congressional district after the 2010 census. Prior to the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to take it upon themselves to fairly redraw districts, Florida lawmakers drew a district that stretched from Jacksonville to Orlando, encompassing primarily diverse urban areas.

Gerrymandering is worrying activists as well, particularly in southern states like Georgia, where there were increases in the black turnout.

GOP operatives have also made their intentions to gerrymander districts clear, with states like Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia set as the primary targets. This will be a problem for Americans because partisan gridlock in government does not help deliver promises, it only benefits Wall Street and those at the top.

The conservative-leaning United States Supreme Court ruled less than two years ago that federal courts do not have the authority to block gerrymandering. This Supreme Court vote was gross negligence that had little regard for the racial discrimination and voter suppression that gerrymandering presented for American voters.

Although the Supreme Court neglected its duties to protect American voters, there are solutions that could be considered to bring gerrymandering to a halt.

States should be responsible enough to put independent commissions in charge of the redistricting process. Independent commissions ensure that voters are picking their representatives in a fair manner instead of the system that many states have, where representatives are picking their voters. Redistricting commissions should be headed by citizens as opposed to politicians.

Furthermore, gerrymandering hurts voters in communities of color most, by ensuring that their representation is capped to only a few representatives. Independent commissions must make it a priority to get communities of color equitable and fair representation in the redistricting process, ensuring that their votes are no longer drowned out.

Gerrymandering is a corrupt process that prohibits citizens from getting equal and fair representation, oftentimes subjecting citizens to minority rule. Gerrymandering has usually been a tool used to keep members of congress in power, but states like Pennsylvania are now trying to extend the minority rule to judicial representation as well. This effort was first brought about during Republicans efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, seeing how unrealistic that was, state Republicans put their energy into retaking power of the legislative and judicial branches.

During the 2022 redistricting process, gerrymandering may help Republicans secure the seats of the representatives who voted in favor of overturning the election results after the Capitol riots on January 6th. Gerrymandering will not only have an adverse impact of communities of color, it will also lead to increased corruption. United States Representatives who undermine the democracy of the United States, such as Marjory Taylor Greene of Georgia will not be held accountable because as long as their party is able to hang on to state legislatures (through the process of gerrymandering), they will be able to gerrymander their way to holding on to those seats.

______________________________________________

Supervisor Nathaniel Douglas is the youngest ever elected to the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors in Orange County, Florida, and the youngest elected to public office during the 2020 election. He is a contributing political opinion writer for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

Continue Reading

Opinions

[OPINION] Joe Biden: An Extraordinarily Normal Inauguration

Published

on

President Joe Biden takes the Oath of Office on January 20th, 2021. Photo: Sgt. Charlotte Carulli.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Under the circumstances, I think it’s safe to say that everyone expected Joe Biden’s inauguration to be extraordinary. And in a very real way, it was…by being anything but. From the moment the guests arrived at the Capitol to the one where the 46th President took his seat in the Oval Office, I was surprised by how absolutely… normal everything felt.

Nothing leading up to that day could be considered normal by any definition of the word. The fact that Biden himself would have been the Democratic contender. The absurdity of that first debate. The cries of fraud on Election Day. The horrifying assault on Congress on January 6th, just a week before. And how can we forget all that happened while a pandemic erased so much of what we considered a normal life?

I watched the ceremony with something akin to envy. Where I come from, there hasn’t been an actual inauguration in over twenty years. While democracy has been assaulted here in the States in a very real sense, in Venezuela the word itself has lost all meaning. I did not welcome, in fact, the feeling of familiarity that came over me on the 6th (not the first time I’d felt it in the past four years, by the way). It was one of the reasons why I was still nervous, even scared, two weeks later. If things like this could happen in one of the oldest democracies in the world, how could we, as a nation, recover?

Please don’t get me wrong. I believe the Inauguration was filled with many out-of-the-norm details. Let’s start with the fact that a woman of color and Asian descent took oath as vice president. Let’s single out a breathtaking poetic performance that promised, “we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.” While we’re at it, let’s see how many women were front and center, what a diversity of faces and races graced the audience. We even had a moment that was charmingly meme-worthy.

Did I feel hope, though? I’m sad to say, I didn’t. Not much. Biden takes office in a country sliced in half. He will have to work with people who question his legitimacy. He has to convince citizens (especially many of my countrypeople) that think he is part of a plot to destroy us all that he is, in fact, there to unite, to repair. He faces a world where America’s spot at the table is not as close to the head as it was. And he faces a pandemic.

But Biden knows this. And the first thing he grabbed was a pen, to sign twenty-three executive orders to start repairing damages. His first hour in the office was spent working. That told me, “I’m not here to mess around.”

Though the uneventful-yet-event-filled inauguration didn’t bring me the hope I longed for, it did bring me something that perhaps was more needed. It brought me peace.

_________________________________________________

Juan Carlos Rodriguez is an entertainment and politics writer for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

Continue Reading

Trending