America’s Epidemic

We’re at risk. All of us. There is a dangerous infection spreading through our nation. It is taking and destroying lives all over the country. If left unchecked, it could consume us all. There is no vaccine and by the time most seek help for their ailment, the virus is too far advanced rendering any treatment ineffective. The best way to ensure that you do not become one of the millions afflicted by this disorder is to take preventative measures.

The problem: Ignorance.

The Solution: Knowledge. Actual knowledge based in unbiased fact and research, rather than stereotypes and prejudices.

Ignorance is what is keeping us from being more accepting of others that are “not like” us. It fuels hate and leads to dissension and tragedy. Ignorance is the second leading cause of teen pregnancy, preceded only by sex itself. Ignorance is what drives an armed man to pursue and kill an unarmed teenager. Ignorance of other religions and traditions is what widens the gap between us. Ignorance is what is preventing everyone from receiving equal rights and powering bigotry and racism.

I’ve seen too much ignorance of late, it’s everywhere.

There are people bashing homosexuals, declaring that their lifestyle is wrong, making assumptions about the way they live their lives, insisting that they are essentially forcing homosexuality on the masses.
Who says it’s wrong? Your religion? Have you forgotten that this is America and religion has no basis in our law-making decisions? Or at least, that’s how it is supposed to be, though religion always seems to come up anyway.  How can you make assumptions about a lifestyle that is not your own? Are you not aware that infidelity and divorce are not “homosexual issues”? Some are even enraged that many gay people are proud to be so. But why?
A friend of mine, David, someone for whom I have a great deal of respect, came across a Facebook post just yesterday in which someone asked why it was so important for gay people to show their pride and had it not occurred to them that they are forcing their lifestyle down people’s throats?
His reply:  “Straight people are not put down their entire lives. Straight boys are rarely bullied in school to the point of suicide. Straight people don’t have to listen to religious leaders and Republican candidates telling them they are an abomination and not equal in the eyes of their country. Straight people do not have to announce their pride because they have nothing to overcome when it comes to being straight. Straight people don’t need a parade because all of LIFE is a parade for them. Being straight has never been a problem for straight people. Straight people are not told that who they are is a choice, not a product of what they were when they were born. Gay people, on the other hand, are made to feel all through their formative years that there is something wrong with them. They are constantly told their affectional orientation is a “choice” and they “can change,” even though that is a biological impossibility. They HAVE to assert their pride not only because their self-esteem demands it but because they HAVE to show straight people they are not victims, abominations or people to be pitied. That is the difference. If ANYONE’S sexuality is shove-down-your-throat it is heterosexuality. Gay people live their lives as audiences to the heterosexual experience in movies, books, TV and on the street everywhere they look. Yes, we had Ellen and Will & Grace, but the VAST MAJORITY of experiences people are exposed to every day, day in and day out are those of straight people.”
No one could have said it better.
So many believe that it is a choice rather than a biological trait. To them I ask, did you choose to be straight? Doubt it. It’s because for you, just as for ‘them’, there was no choice to be made. There was never another option.

It’s been my experience that the only people who have problems with someone being proud of who they are, are the ones who are unsure of themselves.

Ignorance is ever-present in politics. You have the blatant idiots who can’t seem to pronounce simple words and then you have the real dangers, the ones attempting to rid the country of easily accessible contraception and sex-ed classes. Tell me, what good is that going to do for the nation?

Do you think that by taking away condoms and birth control you’ll effectively prevent sex? The idea is so utterly ridiculous that it’s damn near laughable. Too bad it’s not a joke.
Do you believe that you can prevent your teen from having sex merely by forbidding it? Do you think if you don’t talk to them about it, they’ll never figure it out? Sex isn’t a lesson to be learned, it’s a basic animal instinct ingrained in our biology and coded in our DNA.
I’m not a parent but if I were, I’d rather be open and honest with my kids and know that they’re being safe than pretend that it’s not an issue and end up the mother of a teen parent. Teach them! My sex-ed class, or maturation as it was called in my school, didn’t inspire me to have sex. It informed me of the risks and made me aware of the options available to me for contraception and disease prevention.
If we don’t talk to our children about it, they’ll be forced to learn from experience.

Ignorance breeds prejudices, stereotypes, and propagates racism. It is ignorance that makes us think that someone who looks different from us, must also act different. Ignorance is ultimately to blame for a white man perceiving a black man as a threat. Ignorance is the reason Trayvon Martin is dead at 17. It is also the reason that his killer has not been brought to justice. Ignorance is the cause for racial remarks against the casting choices for The Hunger Games.

Ignorance is why some people are given special attention at airport security. It makes us assume that “they’re all the same.”
All Muslims are terrorists; all Mormons are polygamists; all blondes, stupid; all women, weak; all black people, dangerous; all white people, arrogant; all gay people, sex fiends; all Pitbulls, vicious.

Beware of vicious attack dog!

Ignorance of other cultures, ignorance of other lifestyles, of other races, of basic human anatomy. Ignorance of the fact that we are individuals.

It’s everywhere! How do we stop it?
Learn something.

I’ll get off of my soap box now.