The Year of the Mask, Hatred & Other Stupid Stuff

Maybe It's Time To Have Faith In One Another

Jeff Walker, Over Opinionated Writer

Opticians and optometrists agree that 20/20 is the optimal standard for eyesight. If you have 20/20 vision you can see things clearly. But in the year 2020 even if your eyesight is near perfect, you can bet your thoughts and actions are as blurry as ever.

2020 has become the 'year of the mask'. 2020 has also become the year of uncertainty, as well as political and civil unrest. The world has become restless, bored, tired of self isolation, and just plain frustrated with all that the Corona Virus, senseless deaths, protests, and economic uncertainty has brought upon us.

For Christians like myself, we agree that all the evil and bad that happens comes from the Devil himself. Christians believe God is in control, but He allows things to happen due to our sinful nature, ultimately bringing us closer together, and bringer lost souls to the saving grace of Christ Jesus.

While I've often said, "I'm more sinner than saint', I have been a follower of Jesus since my early teens, and that has been since the 1970's. Hopefully it helped shape my thinking and views toward other people. I grew up in New Jersey, went to school with blacks, and never thought much about the differences the two races faced, mainly because it never crossed my mind. Call me innocent or naive, I just befriended everybody.

It is my hope and prayer that all true followers of Christ, no matter their color or ethnic background feel the same way. The Bible teaches me that God created man in His image, thus I believe God resembles black, white, and every other color on the planet. His word teaches us God is not a respecter of persons, so he does not favor any person (male or female) over another. In God's eyes we are all the same.

Having said that I am also a realist. I see what is happening around the world and right here in America. Because I don't have pure hatred for anyone, it's hard to imagine or understand those who do, other than the fact they don't have real joy in their lives, and are fueled by someone other than the Holy Creator.

It's hard for me to believe that by the dawn of the 20th century that racism still existed. You would think a couple of generations after the Civil War ended, which allowed the black community to be free, that people here in America would have gotten along better, and we would accept each other for who we are, and not judge solely on skin color, or other outwardly differences.

Fast forward 100 years. A century removed from the Civil War, consider all that Martin Luther King and his followers, including a young baby boomer generation did to eradicate racism. Yet more than 50 years later racism still exists. It's sad. But keep in mind, it is only a small fraction of the populace that think that way.

I've said it before and I'll shout it out again. There will always be people who hate for whatever reason they find necessary. People hate due to skin color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. While they thankfully are in the minority, they are still out there, fueled by pure evil.

Whether they are members of the KKK aka Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nation, extremists, or Skinheads, there are sects out there that hate pretty much everyone who don't look like them, and especially think like they do. Sadly they are narrow minded.

That small group of haters can be found in various professions. They can be politicians, teachers, law enforcement, everyday business owners, or member of the clergy. There is a small element or crazy, stupid, haters in every walk of life. Believe it or not, whether people are Christian or non religious, we still prescribe to the same ideals, whereas we share the planet and care about each other. Maybe not in a perfect way, but we don't wish ill will on one another.

No matter where you side politically, history is still history. Abraham Lincoln who was a republican president was opposed to slavery, and he and his followers allowed for a civil war to break out in the United States, just to be able to free slaves. It was the democrat party who wanted to keep slavery intact.

Another not so announced fact is the first wave of the KKK was formed by white nationalists from the democrat party who resisted the free the slaves movement. So two of the greatest movements to keep slavery alive and attack blacks have been backed by the democrat party. Have there been republicans who have been racist or who are racist? I have to believe the answer is yes. Many people can hide behind a sheet, or a false sense of Christianity.

Racism, prejudice, and bias exist in the world, and sadly even though we continue to make strides to combat the injustices, they still are rampant in society. The God's honest truth is politicians, the media, and the entertainment world have stoked the racist fires for generations.

Although they seem to have come around in recent years, Hollywood has been racist and biased for many decades. When Hollywood took shape back in the 1930's it was a white male run industry, with most of the moguls rich Jewish men. All the male movie stars were what the industry created, so called good looking men they hoped would draw audiences in. And the ladies aka starlets were what the moguls claimed to be gorgeous and voluptuous females, who they promoted as sex symbols.

Hollywood has never cared about the everyday, run of the mill actor. They want beefcake and bombshells. From Errol Flynn and Clark Gable to Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and from Burt Reynolds & Tom Cruise to George Clooney and Brat Pitt, Hollywood only cares about a certain look. The same can be said for the ladies, from Marilyn Monroe to Julia Roberts. Publications such as People and their 'Sexiest Man Alive' or '50 Most Beautiful Women' only add to the false narrative.

Hollywood has always been biased, and have only given token nods to black actors. And don't get me started on the whole casting couch era, where powerful men traded sexual favors for a chance at stardom. That pathetic movement went on for decades without anyone saying anything. It's sickening. And now they think the whole #metoo movement is supposed to be enlightening. A little late if you ask me.

It's not just the movie and television industry that was and is still biased. At the dawn rock n' roll in the mid 1950's, record companies did not want to employ black artists, and concert promotors and radio stations did not want to book or play black artists. Does that sound inclusive? Not at all. And that is the entertainment industry, who have always claimed to be inclusive, or as they imagine 'in touch with America'. Far from it!

Let's dig a little deeper. Why has the entertainment industry segregated listeners and viewers. When rock n' roll was taking shape, the industry called music recorded by black artists, 'race music'. What the hell does that even mean. There are all kinds of races on the planet. I prefer just listing us all under the human race category.

Wake up and smell the coffee. If you like something, just enjoy it and don't worry about how it was classified by the management assholes. Categorizing music and movies for a certain segment of an audience only separates us more.

Why are entertainment industry types always trying to categorize music and movies. I love rhythm & blues, soul, and Motown music. I know many younger white people who enjoy rap music. Stop trying to put music in box. Labeling music, television shows, movies, and TV networks only belittles the industry overall.

It's clear we will never get it right. We will always have opposing views on many matters concerning education, welfare, politics, religion, income, and a host of other important topics. I support protests, as long as they are civil. Looting, as well as defaming and destroying property only demeans the cause, and takes the purpose of the cause to the lowest level.

I would absolutely love to do away with the police. I would love to live in a world and community where no one robbed, maimed, murdered, or raped anyone, and we didn't need police to serve and protect us. But the reality remains, there are thugs, jerks, and perpetrators out there who thrive on violence, mayhem, and illicit debauchery.

So yes, we need the police, and thank God for the good ones. Those doing their jobs should be thanked, because being a decent cop is still one of the toughest, most underpaid, and under appreciated professions out there. The same can be said for the men and women who serve in the military.

Let me touch a little on statues, since that is a topic of discussion nowadays. I've never been a fan of erecting statues to politicians. It's a waste of taxpayer money or anyone's money. Statues only serve for birds to crap on in the park. Politicians don't need to be immortalized for doing their jobs. That's what history books are for.

Little known fact. Our 28th president Woodrow Wilson and former governor of New Jersey, was a life long supporter of segregation. He wanted to keep blacks out of Princeton University among other educational facilities, as well as limiting blacks from government positions and specific social services. Hell yes, Wilson was a democrat.

For more than a century the democrat party did little to promote equality, rather they talked a good game while secretly trying to suppress the the black community, and forcing blacks to subsist off the government.

Sadly history is becoming one of the subjects in school that is often glossed over. Aside from a few students, most think American history only goes back as far as they've been alive. Many don't know or understand the men and women who shaped the United States.

And yes, a majority of them were not the all history represents them to be, but we still need to recognize what they did. I support adding written addendums to statues to fully educate the public on all our ancestors did, both good and bad. I also support ending the naming of buildings, venues, bridges, and parks after politicians. Do we reward them for just doing the job they were elected to do.

Unless you've made a significant impact on a field of study, work, or society, than we don't need a building or statue erected in your honor, simply because you were rich enough to donate money to an institution. You don't see that in other fields of work. No one is naming parks or schools after everyday workers, the kind who spend 40 years doing their job faithfully.

We live in crazy times. Chaos is unfolding all around every day. Our legal system is a joke. Most Americans, whether they are republican or democrat have little or no faith in politics. Social media formats have become the modern day 'let me bitch channels'. Most Americans don't know what to believe anymore.

We are our own worst enemies in America. The more we shout equality, the more we separate ourselves. Why do we need titles. Why do we need all black colleges, so called black music, black magazines, black movies, etc. I love Motown (some of the best music ever), as much as I enjoy rock, pop, and country music. If you enjoy something than embrace it. And what of black churches. Don't we all serve the same God! Let's worship together as one.

I don't care if they cast Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt in a movie. If the movie is entertaining, who the hell cares who the lead actor is. You can damn well bet Hollywood does. It was only five years ago the entertainment world reeked from the hashtag #oscarssowhite. And another thing don't let the elite actors in Hollywood frame your thinking.

The only ones crying foul or for injustice in Hollywood, are those who've already made a name for themselves. They sit high and mighty in their pricey mansions, behind gated communities, with tens or hundreds of millions in their bank accounts. They only offer up their voices to appease their fans. Most of Hollywood have no idea what real Americans (democrats or republicans) go through. But because they are among the elite, Hollywood thinks they speak for you and me!

We have real problems and concerns in America. Race wars have less to do with God fearing people, than it does with the small minority of people who just plain hate. They hate for color, diversity, religion, disability, gender, and a host of other stupid ideologies. Even though I'm a Christian, my secular side screams out 'I hate those who hate for no good reason'.

Maybe I'm still a bit naive, whether you are close to God or not, why can't we all just get along. I know that sounds simple. America with all its flaws and historical bumps in the road is still the greatest country on earth. Rather than separating ourselves, let's become the 'United States of America Again'!

No doubt Time Magazine will declare 2020 the 'Year of the Mask'. I can't wait until it's time to rid ourselves of the protective face wear. However there are many in Washington DC as well as in other forms of government I wouldn't mind keeping their masks on. It seems they've been robbing us blind for decades, so the masks, like the bandits they portray are only fitting!

I have a suggestion for all those haters and extreme protesters out there. Let George Soros and the his fellow ultra rich cronies buy some un-inhabited island where you can all move to. He can be your exalted ruler. Take bad characters with you. We don't need your type here in America. The rest of us will hopefully live together as one, exemplifying the Biblical passage, 'love your neighbor as yourself'.

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