Trash Talking doesn’t help Our Community

In a recent editorial in the LGBT Weekly, Stampp Corbin, the publisher, skewers one of his regular columnists for recent statements made by Nicole Ramirez. While I have been on the chew toy end of the Nicole puppy drivel, the recent public “spanking” by the publisher certainly made me cringe.

Though I am no fan of Nicole’s column and lack of research, I guess I was always taught to correct and guide in a private setting. I have never been a fan of the strategy of public humiliation and horrific embarrassment.

For years, Nicole [Murray] Ramirez has enjoyed a liberal leash to attack and question the integrity of others in the community. The publisher defended the column since he invited Ramirez to write and began publishing Nicole’s articles.

Regularly claiming a right to provide a forum of conversation, I believe it became a hope that this type of columnist would improve distribution. I only can surmise that Mr. Corbin secretly enjoyed the animosity it created and the hurt it fomented. I certainly read comments from engaged community leaders on Facebook that were increasing after recent commentary by Ramirez. Only with the recent pro-Republican and anti-[Susan]Atkins comments did he consider it threatened the viability of his paper, or rather him, personally.

The article was strong. The “he is simply crazy” kind of victimized put-down in a public forum, the kind of editorial I guess I should expect. The publisher could have easily stopped publishing Nicole’s articles and offered up a public yet humble apology to those over the years who have been maligned. Yet, he did not.

Instead, without any previous known corrective action or community-engaged process other than to suggest those maligned comment in a letter to the editor, Stampp Corbin smears and lampoons Nicole [Murray] Ramirez, thus continuing to pander to the basest form of communication in our community: public humiliation.

Further, Stampp Corbin does not take any responsibility for the commentary posted for years in his paper — while admitting in public forums that his editors actually have edited Nicole’s published commentary — much less have a responsible process of researching the claims written and published.

I, for one, have never relished Nicole’s columns, especially when being the subject being diced. Yet, editorial slicing and dicing of Nicole for the entire community to review is the same kind of pandering. Perhaps in Corbin’s wise judgment, it needed to be in print, just as Nicole’s judgments have been.

I guess I just tend a little further toward mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I feel harsh attacks and overwhelming public disgraces aren’t actions to take when one hopes to continue future interactions of positive worth.

I have valued the volunteer contributions and leadership efforts of both Stampp Corbin and Nicole [Murray] Ramirez. I do not always agree with the efforts of others in the community, but I do support their sacrifice and contributions for others. I do not value the way this paper has allowed communication or smearing of character to run amok.

I hope that the community will learn something about how we should engage and communicate with each other about our differences. I also hope we learn that when you start to throw hand grenades, you sometimes forget that you might already be in a minefield.

Either way, it seems like war and you might not know whom you will lose — or learn how you have been injured — until it’s too late. And, frankly, that is not a fun way to build community.

I am a proud compromiser.

I am a proud compromiser.

I allow people to pull ahead of me in traffic.  I may flip them off because they cut me off, but I don’t drive headlong into their rear bumper.

I allow women to go ahead of me, as I open a door.  Not because they need to go before me, but because my dad would come back from the dead and give me a severe spanking if I didn’t.

I often don’t get my way.  I don’t get the first parking spot, I don’t get to attend the concert of my dreams and sit in the front row, I don’t get to go on a cruise every year.  But, I don’t attack those who focus on those benefits as necessary for their lives to be complete.  I don’t reject the idea that concert halls, sports arenas, and schools need to be built even when I can’t afford the events and won’t every have children that attend them.

If I wasn’t a compromiser, I would vote down every school bond issue, saying I don’t get a benefit, and that my taxes shouldn’t go to where I don’t get a direct benefit.  Families should pay for their children, and not get a tax break for them.  If they are stupid enough to have four children, let them be charged a surtax for any about two.  But, I don’t go around attacking school budgets.  In fact, I would prefer that my share of school taxes go to music programs.  But, unfortunately few music programs have survived.

I am comfortable paying into social security, knowing others who haven’t been as successful have safety nets for themselves.  I think everyone should have to save for their retirement, but I understand that people sometimes have life events that destroy their hopes and dreams.  I would require that companies be forced to contribute 6% of all salaries, and that employees were forced to contribute 8% into a retirement plan.  And, rather than simply wish them dead, I am proud I belong to a country that will help those who need assistance throughout their lifetimes.  I am proud that social security provides living assistance to women who are old, who weren’t given chances to compete with men only 20 years ago, and that social security – while discriminating against those women based on their incomes, or their dead husbands, still provides something.

I felt the implementation of Medicare Part D was a terrible idea, with many problems, which have been supported by the data.  Yet, I still provided education about it to my clients. And helped 90 year olds understand they had to use the internet.  And, I did it for free.

I felt that Medicare Part D should be improved by allowing Medicare to negotiate for all drugs, not just at the insurance company level, which would provide a better benefit to seniors.  But I am glad that seniors now have an updated Medicare solution, though the costs could be reduced.  I would compromise by creating  more efficient solutions that benefit all Americans, not just those who are related to the Pharmaceutical companies.

I don’t always agree with the majority (in fact rarely – because stupidity normally wins in a democracy), but I work toward a community of shared values, giving freely of my time.  I opposed both wars, even to the point when others called me a traitor, and experienced suspicion for my beliefs.  I was placed on the terrorist watch list for over four years by the Bush Administration.  Yet, everyone who knows me knows that I would never be violent.

I opposed the creation of Homeland Security because I felt it was the seedling of a new introverted America that does no good in the globalization efforts that are in the best interests of America.  I feel that it creates a suspicious environment where every American is suspect who doesn’t goose step to the majority party in power.   And, it was the most costly increase in government spending in 30 years.  Yet, I continue to participate in America.  Will we start consolidating all those Homeland security departments for savings?

I oppose demonizing of latinos, mexicans, and other darker skinned people from south of the American border who want to participate in the greatest country on the earth.  I refuse to call them “illegals” as I know that is a term intended to make them feel little more than slaves in our country. I oppose ignoring their plight, refusing them charity, hope, or help.

I want my taxes to go toward fixing our immigration policies so that everyone can benefit from an amazing America of diversity.  I want my taxes to address social ills.  I want hate mongers to go to jail, yet I want those who aren’t hurting people to receive treatment not isolation, education not prison.

I want a social safety net for those who need it.  I want America to stop going to war every single time that a politician wants to go to war.  I want our military out of Afghanistan and Iraq, Korea and Germany, as well as Japan.  And, I want a draft reinstated.

I want a Federal Investment into the cure for AIDS and Cancer, not just a profit focused response from multi-national Companies, because I don’t believe there is an incentive for cures, when companies can provide pills to simply maintain or keep the disease at bay.

I want a tax policy that actually creates jobs.  In the 50s and 60s, tax policy encouraged owners to create jobs.  With the reduction of taxation on income, reduction in dividends, reductions in capital gains, the encouragement to create jobs has been reduced 70%.  Tax reduction doesn’t create jobs.  Economic history proves that.  Drastic tax reduction increases wealth disparity which in turn causes social class warfare.  A strong middle class creates a stronger peace, less volatility in markets, and a more certain future.  Since the 1980’s, America has damaged the relationship between owner and worker, eliminated 90% of all pensions, left most retirement up to the individual at the expense of the community, transferred extraordinary wealth to the top 10%, and created a struggling poverty class that our country hasn’t seen since the 1890s.  If Social Security and Medicare are extensively destroyed, America will effectively return its population into similar demographics as we had in the 1890s which were abhorred by those at the turn of the 20th century.

So, I still pay taxes, I don’t threaten America’s future by destroying its present.  I work for solutions even though people get elected who couldn’t pass a basic economics class.  I still believe in America even when corporations are allowed to own media centers and call it journalism.  I still believe in America, even when it doesn’t recognize that it discriminates against me, denies me basic rights, and often threatens my ability to make an income.

So, yes, I am a proud to compromise.  I believe even stupid people should be allowed to live in America.  I accept that even churches that preach that I should be killed can exist in America.

Because I believe that as an American, we can live together in peace.  I pay my taxes, even though taxes are spent in ways I would oppose.  I simply want everyone to pay 20%, no matter their write offs.  My mom shouldn’t pay 23%, and the super wealthy only 18, as it stands now.

But, I would be willing to compromise.