Category: Social Justice

Artist’s writing about social justice.

Judge Roy Moore represents worship of power and money

I’ve changed my belief that heroes are right saving everyone. Heroes should save children. Assholes will save themselves trumping over everyone around them in any situation. Assholes find a way out by cheating, lying and ignoring principles of morality.

Predators, like the Alabama GOP candidate for US Senate judge Roy Moore stay in power because they reflect the society. Not everyone, but enough people who support a child molester for greater good. When I’ve heard of Roy Moore’s allegations I was also skeptical at first. But his interview made it clear. Roy Moore admits that he “always asked for mother’s permission” to date a girl. There is no need to ask for the permission, when the girl is 18. Moreover, how creepy could you be to be banned from a mall or to call to school? I think 9 women who have already stepped out make plenty of evidence to investigate the case. Yet, many support a person who is for Christian values pissing on the Bible with his actions. Society closes its eyes on Roy Moore because it’s important to win the election to resist the democrats and to unite in a “fight.”  For what I wonder? Definitely not for the rights of teen girls that are traumatized for life by Roy Moore and men like him.

You can’t vote for this man because of other beliefs he supports. Principles of morality can’t be separated and compartmentalized to cherry pick one over the other. His supporters are in denial of the obvious and pretend that those women just came out because of the election. And I agree it’s the case. Why? Because it’s the only time when they finally have a chance to bring him down. They wouldn’t be able to do this 20-30 years ago because women were shamed for actions like this one. Now is their time to come out of obscurity, and to stop being afraid.

Where do we go from here? Why do we fire one man for sexual harassment instantly and this one gets ‘forgiven’ for what happened decades ago? How could he possibly stand for conservative values, proclaiming himself as a defender of marriage when it’s one big problem he doesn’t want to deal with.

And if Roy Moore wins this election, it only means that the society as a whole is not ready to think and act in terms of love and compassion for others (abused children), rather people still prefer thinking in pragmatic terms of monetary rewards and promises. If child molesting is your principle, please don’t justify it by your Christian values. That’s precisely why some people like me don’t believe in the institution. This worship of power and money won’t make America great again.

Gun violence in America: how we can make a positive change

The second I saw the face of an alleged school shooter in Parkland, Florida, my mind threw me back in time when I worked as a visiting artist in rural schools of Pennsylvania. The arts grant allowed for artists’ placement in public schools to teach their particular art form to every kid in class. The school children usually had a very limited exposure to the arts, living in small towns or rural communities. Those were sobering moments in my life because I began to see how poverty, incarceration of family members, and the ‘no child left behind’ policy affected children every day. Parents and politicians often blame the teachers for bad education, but teachers are not the real problem. I saw care and commitment. The problem was the educational system and poverty. In such work, I met a teenage boy who seemed focused, polite and content on one day, and the same kid would emit incredible amount of anger on another day. Sometimes, I felt like he could hit me for no reason when I stood next to him, and one day he got handcuffed in class by a policeman to be escorted out of the classroom. While I wasn’t his target, I felt shaken. Later I learned that someone from his family was jailed for drugs, and his crazy behavior was the result of his family conditions at home. The teenage boy became the outcast because both his family and society failed to protect his broken heart…

As cruel as it sounds, it’s not the last mass shooting happening this year. We almost get accustomed to these chilling events when parents drop their children off at school, and some kids never come back home. Instead of looking into the gun laws and prohibiting the military-style weapons from purchases, we are offered prayers, condolences, and the denial of the obvious. Politicians will always serve their agenda, financially depended from the NRA.

The U.S. is the only highly civilized country in the world that shows consistent outbreaks of gun violence. Its free and democratic society allows people to shoot on the streets, in movie theaters, college campuses, schools, and even churches. I’ve never seen so much violence in my life as I see in the news here, but we can’t really blame the media for that.  Gun ownership is more than the right. What I see is daily conditioning of the young, growing up watching unbelievably realistic violence in movies, killing people in video games, and seeing cruelty online. Often times the depiction of heroes or “cool” men with multiple weapons somehow justifies their actions, raises them to the pedestal of manliness, and shows them as the singular and the most just defenders of American freedom. The Hollywood movies impress  me with depictions of cruelty happening on big screen. Why does “the Game of Thrones” receive such accolades when every few minutes someone is violently killed or mutilated? Of course, there is an argument that it’s the reality of our world and humanity, but I have to say that teens live and learn from that, develop ideas and become accepting of the horrific events, instead of learning to appreciate the acts of kindness, love, and forgiveness. This twisted social norm affects generations.

While viewers get horrified and sob over the innocent people killed in the movies like “the Hunger Games,” we as a nation have no problem sending our children to war. Barely out of high school, these children become the “army proud” and “army strong,” serving our country or maybe serving the views of the elite controlling the end game. In a high school graduation ceremony of my son, I witnessed complete insanity. After all the students received their academic awards, only two of them deserved a standing ovation. Those students stood on a podium to accept the society’s loud appreciation for going to become soldiers.  No academic achievement caused even a quarter of loud applause they received. Why are we so proud of sending children to fight and get killed? This country is my home, but its actions often make me shiver.

I believe that the real change will come with the new generation taking charge of the U.S. Congress.  It will come when the culture embraces emotional health and beauty in school classrooms by offering classes that take care of our feelings, not just brains. When we see a lot less violence in the movies and video games. When we feel the need to be responsible for the community and people around us. We never know where or how we will lose our lives, but the immediate solution is to offer love and care to others every day, no matter how hard it may be. Maybe then there will be a place in time and space when everyone becomes peaceful and kind, and not overwhelmed with grief, frustration and pain.