Sunday, April 29, 2007

Using religion to justify prejudice and ignorance is wrong.........

As it is written in James 1: 26, it is written "If anyone amongst youthinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives hisown heart, that person's religion is useless." Many of our TGActivists do not understand this. It is this verse and other like itthat can do more damage to the religious right than charts.Believe me, I have met many like you. You still assume that we sharethe views of those you dislike. That is not the case.

Currently, I serve as a member of the Diaconate and I am a former Chair of Christian Education for Edenside Christian Church. I see people everyday who are without faith, many of them GLBT young persons. African American and Caucasian, more so Caucasian. Am I PREJUDICE ? I desparately tried not to be guilty of such a sin. Many times, I've had to pick up the emotional wreckage suffered by these young people. I know of many young people who were tossed from their homes because they were "different", and that difference didn't fit with their family's view of the Bible or oftheir family's clergyman. The worst part of this is that the very people who use the Bible to hurt others are the very people who should instead be using the Holy Word to comfort the sick and bring rest to the tired, as Jesus Christ did - repeatedly.

In Mark 9:38-42, Jesus talks about people becoming a stumbling block by using their own personal prejudices that turn people from Him. Inother words, any parent who professes faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and uses the heavy-handed tactics of abandonment, ridicule, scorn, and disapproval is completely wrong. According to Jesus, it isbetter if that person were never born. Their fate awaits them forcausing their kids to turn from the Word.

In Matthew 7, the Sermon onthe Mount, Jesus speaks in chapters 1-15 about hypocrisy; saying onething and doing another. That's exactly what our friends(?) JerryFalwell and Pat Robertson do every Sunday. They profess love andcompassion, yet they are more preoccupied with who's making thelargest contribution to the Christian Coalition or Liberty University than caring for the young person dealing with a race, gender or genderidentity, sexual orientation, or other personal issues, whether it be their child or not. I cannot tell you how many times I have held these children in my arms who have been in tears, heartbroken, wrenching myrobes because of the insensitivity of a few who call themselves Christians, but who don't do what Christ would do.I am deeply ashamed of these New Jack Christians who spend their time comparing the newest editions of the Bible, instead of interpretingand understanding what the Lord is really saying in it. I think Paul said it best in Corinthians 13 when he speaks of the true meaning oflove; it doesn't mean sex, it doesn't mean self-worth, it means compassion, caring, forgiveness,charity, and faith in things seen and unseen. It is a foundation that life itself should be built from. To take that away from anyone in the name of a personal ideology is asin. People are programmed to be ignorant and taught to hate that which they don't understand; children are not born that way, it is learned behavior.

I do not condone this and nobody should tolerate it. Sometimes, it takes something happening in one's own family to make us change and accept that which we have not known before. It is my hope and prayer that you understand this journey we AfricanAmerican community take in the effort that will provide a bulwark against those who would use the word of God to justify their own personal prejudices and hatreds.

My Prayer for all of us is that the Lord bless you doing this year. May the Lord also bless you and your faith, in this, your personal journey.
Dawn J. Wilson

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Completing the circle

It is quoted in Isaiah, "the race is not to the strong, nor to the swift, but they who endures to the end . "

One thing, I can say about fencing saber is that "speed kills" but good skills kill faster. Many saberists try to use speed to disguise their lack of physical control and lack of basic skills. Speed will come but without skills you be very sloppy and unbalanced . If it is one thing that I am grateful to Maestro Stawicki is his focus on the basics. Because of that focus, I was able to escape many a tight spot I was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat .

Remember the old joke about " How do you get to Carnegie hall?" The answer was practice, practice, practice. Practice will get you the perfect combination of speed and skill that will be required to advance to nationals. I have only been fencing since 2004 and I made my first nationals last year. How did I do ? On that Friday of nationals, I pulled "a Tiger Woods " failing to make the cut in DIV 2 after going in to my pool bout ranked well. It was a crushing experience. The combination of poor diet and nerves was enough to do me in. Fortunately, I was able to recover on Saturday winning 3 bouts in the DIV 3 pools and advancing to Direct Eliminations. In my first DE, I won 15-14 but I lost my 2nd DE 15-8. As a results I finished the day in DIV 3 ranked 53 out of 107 competitors. That is a good showing and I learned a lot.

What I learned was how to pace myself and play my game, not someone else's. Last August, I put this to good use as I participated in the 2006 Summer Bluegrass State Games in Fencing. Due to my experience at Nationals, I was able to win 4 bouts, losing only 3 to higher rated fencers. The Gold medal for Women's Saber was decided in the quarterfinals after I defeated my fellow team member 15-5.

This Saturday, I will be back at it again. It is the divisionals and I will be applying the lessons of the past . As I said before, the race is not given to the swift or the strong, but to she who endures til the end. And in the end nothing else will matter.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Prayer for the Redeemed

"I have never craved the system's sympathy
I get restless over pity's minds
Some precaution wouldn't harm my history
If I have the will to wait a little while

You cut the silence like a knife
You know I can't repent for wrong
Moonlight falling over me
Sail on where the shadows hide
Moonilght crawling down on me
Just like you could not compete
With my pride

Compensation for a misconducted life
Is it way too much to ask
Hard to wake up with your heart and soul deprived
When the morning comes to second to your last

You cut the silence like a knife
Like the edge of my last defence
You cut the silence like a knife
You know I won't repent for all
"Moonlight by Kamelot

The other day, I while I was at work ' I was greeted with " hello trouble", a common greeting that I receive due to my past indiscretions at the office. So what crime did I commit for that scarlet moniker? The crime of the truth. A crime in which I dared to tell the brass that they have " no clothes" . So from that point forward I was trouble .

I wish I could say that the tag is new but alas it is not. It is a title richly earned at the expense of personal success. A title taht has been applied to me once before in the past by those who find my constant adherence to common sense and reason threatening to there very existence. I am especially trouble for those who revel in the champagne of the status quo. That is why I am called trouble. Because, I spurn the drink of champagne named blind obedience ne' the status quo. You see any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more difficult than need be. But it takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction. A direction that is benefical for all, not just expedient for a few.

Where I stand

Herman Hesse once said " People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest." This unfortunately is true. No matter how hard your try to stick to your morals and core foundations, Someone will find a way to make you out to be the villian. I know . Been there , done that .Case in point, the disgusting drag performer Shirley Q Liquor. Here is a white gay man doing blackface. You know the Al Jolsen bit, " mammy " . But this is worse . He compares African American people to Veneral Diseases. Chuck Knipp’s Shirley Q. Liquor character is portrayed as an alcoholic African-American ‘welfare mother with 19 chirren’ named after discount stores and venereal diseases. Knipp also does the character in blackface. Since 2002 it has been shut down in numerous locales across the country after protests from African-American and allied groups.This show is considered offensive by African-Americans because of the demeaning racist stereotypes Knipp perpetuates with this character show and the use of negative minstrel show images. The show has been vociferously condemned by gay groups such as GLAAD and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in addition to The Fairness Campaign..But there are some who feel silencing this behavior is stiffling free speech... Horse hockey! ( as Sheman Potter would say ) This is offensive to me on all levels and I have not only the courage to say so but the means to fight it at it's core !I am a proud person of color who did what was necessary to graduated fromTransylvania University (where Jefferson Davis graduated) with a political science, and later graduated (as a woman) from theUniversity of Kentucky with M.B.A. in business and informationsystems. I also have served as a chief legislative aide for Sen.Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and earned a Senatorial citation for work with the Federal penal system, agriculture, and Social Security.I'm sorry but I am not a joke or a veneral disease.Prejudice still exists, both against people of color and against GLBT people, and education is our best chance to break the cycle of bigotry. Chuck Snipp needs that education, So do many in the GLBT community who constantly clamor for respect and rights but turn a blind eye to there own dark quarters. Last year, at TDOR, I spoke of having the courage to stand up. I stand by those words. This year, I was taking action, helping young people obtain the education they need to make a difference to our world, and in their own lives. Education gives us the ability to listen to almost anything without losing our temper, our self respect, or our self-confidence, and causes us to question the preconceived notions of the past and develop new ideas for the future. I was educating parents not only about my school, but by my sheer presence and example, as an African American graduate of a insitution of higher education, about tolerance and respect - and, at the same time,earning the respect of many movers and shakers in the business, medical, legal, and political communities and breaking some of their misconceptions about us.I am sorry that the white gay male population who support the humor of SQL feels that being African American is a joke. It is people like you who will continue to cost the GLBT community due to your negativity and prejudice of others. Due to that negativity the GLBT community will never reach the point of respect and power it could possibly have. It is the responsibility of all of us to learn to mix with and do business with, the entrenched power brokers of society, on their own turf. We cannot afford to miss a chance to be a positive example to others. Each of us should make an effort to not just be activists within our own community, but to become visible and productive in society in general. That will break the cycle of bigotry fed by misconceptions, that we all face. Hopefully those who support the bigotry of SQL will come to realize that before it is too late .

April Fooled!

My Aunt and Uncle used to have a saying when I was growing up. The saying goes like this "even the best boxer in the world got beat". This was usually applied when I had rough day no matter the circumstance. That weekend was a great example of this quote. No, I am not the best of anything but I can be a bit of an egoistic. In this case I was neither. That Sunday, I fenced at the Great Lakes sectionals. In pools, I went 2-2 and my "partner in crime" Natalie Miller went 1-3. Since I had beaten Natalie before in pools I took it for granted I would do so again. But Natalie turned " nasty" even as I had gone ahead 11-9 Natalie did not fold like usual and she beat me 15-11. This might seem strange but if anyone was to beat me I was glad it was Natalie. I am very proud of her. I have always thought that she was good, what happened next proved it. Natalie went on fence two more matches back to back. After almost getting to the championship, she pulled a Ken Hagan ( who fence for and won bronze at sectionals.) Natalie led the girl 8-6 at the break, then went on to break her down 15-9. She did a great job! Now for divisional and as far as I am concerned It is time for all of us to have our "A" game, cause it looks like Natalie found her's.