November 12, 2016

Why I cried after the election...

I cried during election night coverage. I cried as the results came in. I cried throughout the following day. And Wednesday night, I stopped crying and drowned my sorrows in junk food.

I didn't cry because Hillary lost.
I didn't cry because Trump won.

I cried because the symbolism of Trump won.
Not because Republican legislative or social policies won.
Not because Democratic legislative or social policies lost.

I cried because millions of people were not only willing, but able, to look past the hurt, and still vote for the person who caused it.

I cried because a political majority rejected the significance of isms and embraced standard political "change" over the election's ugly underbelly.
I cried because the same old tired story of republican values versus liberal elitism was more important than a new game changing narrative of us versus them.

I cried because ignorance and hate won.
I cried because millions of Americans were willing to overlook all of the hurtful things that Donald Trump has said and done. And held Hillary more accountable for her past than his present.

I cried because instead of holding him accountable for his seemingly casual discussion on sexual assault, his words were written off as "normal" and "OK" and "locker room talk."
I cried because millions of Americans see no problem here.

I cried because the significance of a threat to build a wall or deport thousands of people was lost on those who view undocumented residents and their families not as survivors, but as problems.
I cried because the devastation in countries from which many of these people have come from is not of concern to many Americans.

I cried because too many Americans think that the Black Lives Matter movement is about who matters more, not understanding that the message is Black Lives Matter too.

I cried because when I'm tired of talking or hearing about race or White privilege, I can just, stop. Take it off. Let the noise rest somewhere else for a while. But many others cannot.
I cried because so many have chosen not to carry this burden at all.

I cried for my son, my sweet beautiful, innocent boy, who may one day be bullied because of his speech disorder, and not find support in a crowd of strangers.

I cried because, even though we are free to worship any way we please, those who choose to worship differently are not trusted, made to feel unloved, and seen as evil.

I cried because I have committed my work and my education to ensuring that all students on my campus feel safe and welcome, that they will be successful. But I was told that there is no value in this. That all of my efforts are for nothing.

I cried because many Trump supporters think those of us who cry are sore losers, that we cry because we are wimps and whiners who need to get over it. Who need to stand up, brush ourselves off, and act like real Americans.
I cried because I fit the acceptable, stereotypical mold of a real American, but others do not.

I cried because they either don't know or don't care why we're crying.

This is why I cried. This is why I continue to cry.

January 4, 2016

My two cents on Stanford's stupid cow...

Most Hawkeye fans were fairly annoyed with the ridiculous antics of the Stanford marching band at the Rose Bowl. Myself included.

Referencing cow tipping, creating a corn maze, and playing the jingle revealed a low-level of professionalism and lack of respect the band and its director have for Iowa's farmers. However, what frustrates me even more about the whole situation is the way people have responded to it. Most have had one of two reactions:

1. Hey Stanford, we're aren't all farmers, duh.
2. Hey Stanford, cows aren't really Iowa's thing. Try again.

The unfortunate thing about these arguments is that both try desperately to separate themselves from farmers, or at least Hollywood's stereotypical depiction of them.

However, the real argument here should be that, once again, farmers were inaccurately portrayed as uneducated, small minded, slow to comprehend, sporting overalls, and poor.

Let's set the record straight. Let's take a moment to talk about what a farmer really is. Let's discuss what it takes to be a successful farmer in today's global economy.

1. Farmers are veterinarians, mechanics, economists, small business owners, accountants, chemists, engineers, and teachers. Farmers have to be smart and must possess effective communication skills, both written and verbal.

2. Farmers feed the world, help power our temperature-controlled offices, and keep our economy moving forward. They know more about the weather than the average bear because their livelihood depends on it.

3. Farmers can't do their jobs without equipment that is often valued at more than what most of us will ever spend on a house. Banks respect them. And so should we.

4. Farmers have better work ethics and push themselves harder than most of us. And when they take care of their family members and neighbors they aren't being taken advantage of, they're showing the rest of us how a civilized human being should act.

5. Farmers get to enjoy nature every single day. While we are longing for a weekend hike or forking over money to rent a cabin, farmers are living in and breathing the fresh air of God's green earth from sun up to sun down.

I grew up on a farm and moved my family to the country so that our kids can also experience the wealth of benefits that come with living in a rural setting. I wouldn't trade a single bit of knowledge that I gained from living on a farm.

Stanford showed a lack of good judgment, but as we so very kindly point this out, perhaps we should take this opportunity to more closely align ourselves with these brilliant, hardworking folks that we have the privilege to share our state with.

Because, after all...the helmet is correct.
America. Needs. Farmers.