Tag Archives: Barack Obama

My opinion matters. Yours does too.

24 Oct

Let your voice be heard.

There are so many things on the table in this year’s election. I don’t think Aaron Sorkin himself could have written a better storyline. Ours is a nation divided, and the stakes could not be higher.

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m an impassioned liberal Democrat who uses social media to editorialize, share links and facts, promote TRUTH, and generally add to the discourse with humor, photos and whatever else is relevant. Over the last few weeks, however, my online interaction has landed me embroiled in some gnarly Twitter and Facebook debates with friends/followers who don’t believe such platforms are appropriate for political discussion.

I couldn’t disagree more.

What – you thought Facebook was just for pictures of babies, updates about epic soufflé recipe fails and witty someEcards? Sure, we love to see those things. They’re topical. Lighthearted. Cute. But really, given how much time we spend on these networks each day, shouldn’t we actually drop some real knowledge on one another? Share real, scalable content? Isn’t that where the power really lies? Don’t get me wrong, Facebook friends… I love seeing the pics you post and the funny, innocuous commentary. This is how we stay in touch for the most part — how we stay “connected”. After all, between family obligations, work obligations, Real Housewives obligations, I really do cherish the time I get to spend perusing your goings-on and such. So please, bear with me

I am simply making the case that social media is ALSO the place for us to post interesting, relevant political content. It’s called engagement. It’s called helping ensure that we all remain informed so that we can make our own evaluations and decisions! Really, shouldn’t it be all our responsibilities to make sure that “low information voters” become “information voters?”

Look, I didn’t friend you on Facebook just so I can photo stalk you (although I like to do that too). No, I friended you on Facebook because I’m interested in hearing what you have to say. And the great thing about Facebook, and Twitter? It’s opt-in or opt-out at your convenience! You don’t like hearing about how Jennifer’s potty training is going? Hide her mommy’s statuses. You don’t want to see any more pictures of cats using the words “iz” and “cheezeburger?” Hide ’em! Block ’em! Unfriend ’em!

But don’t — DON’T make me feel guilty for posting my political beliefs, my opinions, or sharing FACTS within my networks. And ladies, I’m talking to you! It’s bad enough Republicans want to take away all of our other rights, like our right to equal pay, or our right to birth control, or our right to make decisions for our bodies that we have already fought (hard) and won (fairly) for the rights to. I don’t want to have to fight for my right to party politically on Twitter or Facebook too. That’s just not cool.

Listen, I love a cat video as much as the next person, and I love knowing that my friends and followers have senses of humor and soft spots. So keep ’em coming. But the next time you get uncomfortable reading about my strong political convictions, consider exploring why you feel such discomfort. Do it for your mom, your sister, your gay friend, your daughter, your BFF, your grandmother. Do it for yourself. Explore that unease. You may find it comes from a natural fear of having your rights threatened. Which they are.

And whatever you do, whatever you believe in, whichever candidate you stand behind, ROCK YOUR VOTE on November 6th! It’s our inalienable right, our obligation as citizens, and in an election this critical, every vote counts.

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Obamamania!

10 May

Yesterday was a really interesting day of news stories. Etsy, one of my favorite brands, raised $40 million to help grow themselves into a one-stop shop for creative independent businesses, though it hasn’t quite defined what that means. I almost feel like, who cares what it means. I’m just super-excited to see their growth, period. They are in essence, my generation’s creative, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and they do it like no one else.

Then there was the news that Vidal Sassoon died. Having spent six years of my career with Matrix (L’Oreal), this was especially sad news. Those six years working within the hairdressing industry taught me so much about Vidal, and his story, and how he’s inspired thousands of people to get behind the chair and explore the question, “what is beauty?” I was sad to hear that the industry lost their iconic leader.

But the real powerful news yesterday, for me at least, was hearing our awesome, amazing, ballsy Prez take a stand in support of gay marriage. Not just domestic partnerships, mind you. GAY MARRIAGE. I nearly cried when I watched the video clip. To me, yesterday will forever be marked in history – the same way women’s lib and desegregation and prohibition repeal were – as an event that changed this country.

Forget the fact that as a progressive, liberal New Yorker, I find it mind-boggling that the LGBT community is still fighting for basic rights in many parts of this country. Let’s not even get into the news that came out of North Carolina yesterday (DISGRACEFUL). But the fact that we as a country (still) treat certain people so radically differently is shameful. Reading some of the “comments” that people posted on various sites online in response to Obama’s stance yesterday makes me despise ignorant people even more than I already do. These people should be ashamed of themselves for their small-mindedness and hate mongering. Even right here in Westchester, on our very own Chappaqua-Mount Kisco Patch, some of the comments in response to the Prez’s statement are so despicably ignorant I’m kind of embarrassed. Who are these people?

Yesterday made me proud; but it also made me spend some time reflecting back to my late friend Thomas, who committed suicide six years ago, after a lifetime of depression and addiction. His family didn’t support his lifestyle. During his teen years (in the late ’60s), they tried to “change” him through shock therapy. He spent the rest of his life dealing with the side effects of that, until he killed himself. I wish he were alive yesterday to hear our black President publicly condone his right to an equal, peaceful existence. He would have been floored.

Gay people fight in our military and protect us against dangers we couldn’t even imagine. Gay people treat our children in hospital ERs. Gay people comfort our elderly family members in hospice. Gay people create beautiful art that transforms us. Gay people fly airplanes that transport us across oceans and mountains… safely. And yet we treat them as second class citizens – No, worse: we don’t even let them grieve for their loved ones. We don’t offer them protection within the law. We should really be ashamed of ourselves.

A friend of mine posted this video on her Facebook page yesterday. It’s moving and powerful, and puts in perspective how unfair it is to be treated with inequality. I hope you’ll take a few minutes and watch it. And think about yourself and the own people you love. Imagine if this were your fate – or theirs?

The gay community has given us Ellen, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Jann Wenner, Nick Denton, Andy Cohen…sigh, should I go on? Without our gay community we’re kind of just stuck with a lot of assholes, like… Michele Bachmann. And Bill O’Reilly. And Ted Nugent. Is that really something to be so proud of, America? I think not.