Update: Cultural Changes

The past few months of uproar and chaos have brought me some new insights. Briefly,

Ethnic studies

The California State University system will now have a requirement of ethnic studies. When I was an undergrad at SF State there were fist fights over whether we needed a “black studies” class. We’ve come a long way, baby.

This land in your land

God I love singing this song, especially in a big crowd of liberals at some “feel-good” rally. Maybe a newer rendition, if Woody Guthrie were alive to re-write it, might say something about how us northern Europeans took this land by force and violence from the people who had lived here for thousands of years. And.., if you want to put a fine point on it, except for the National Park System, who really owns this land are the wealthy elite who own everything else, including the Congress. So, with our guitars and all our liberal friends, singing Gutherie’s famous song, let’s try going onto John Malone’s 2.2 million acres, or Jeff Bezo’s 420,000 acres and tell them that “this land is your land / this land is my land.” Ha, ha, ha. Here comes the sheriff…

All men are created equal

The Declaration of Independence tells us: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is wishful thinking nonsense. Written by men who owned other people, what they really meant was: “white land-owning males” are created equal. Certainly not non-white men or women of any color . We are in no way created equal. Some of us are born into poverty with horrendous biological challenges. Others into wealthy families with all the advantages that go with money, status, and education. Furthermore, there are no “unalienable rights given to us by ‘our creator.'”

We are all flukes of the universe with no creator at all. It seems to be all random. What is great about the American experiment is that we can create a man-made government (not divine) that will try to give everyone an even shot at happiness and success – regardless of race, gender, religion, economics of our birth, etc., etc. What a concept. Doubtful these days if we can keep it.

We’re all in this together

We hear this a lot in regards to C-19. More nonsense – like calling delivery truck drivers, hospital janitorial staff, and store clerks “heroes.” They are not. They are victims. If I live in a Hillsborough mansion, or a Manhattan high-rise with a doorman, where I get all my food delivered and have lots of entertainment on Netflix during this “lockdown,” I am not “in this together” with a single mother of three in a one bedroom apartment in East Palo Alto who has just lost her job and has to stay home with her children because school is closed. What a mess.

Junteenth

I heard a commentator say, “This is a holiday celebrated by blacks that marks the end of slavery.” Hmmm? Maybe this should be a national holiday. Why wouldn’t ALL OF US celebrate such an American breakthrough?

“I was put in this world to do what I am doing,” Jane Goodall, WSJ, 7/11/20.

Who doesn’t love Jane Goodall and her work with chimpanzees? She is a PhD scientist. Of course, she understands how evolution works. We know that genes mutate randomly. There is no divine plan. Similarly, we are not put here for any “purpose.” Sorry, Jane, your life is as random as mine or the chimps you work with.”

Need artwork for your home or office?

This wonderful print, which has graced the training room wall at PowerSpeaking for 20 years, needs a new home. It is 4′ X 5′ – great for a lobby or large work space. Let me know if you are interested, rick@rickgilbert.net.

One thought on “Update: Cultural Changes

  1. Hi Rick!
    I like the reminder that this land is not our land.

    I also like this line: “What is great about the American experiment is that we can create a man-made government (not divine) that will try to give everyone an even shot at happiness and success – regardless of race, gender, religion, economics of our birth, etc., etc. What a concept. Doubtful these days if we can keep it.” It is a great concept, and maybe NOW will be the time to make it work.

    I only wish I had the space for the photo – and all the great memories it brings!
    Thanks,
    John

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