I rarely write introductions to blog articles but, felt that this was an important one to address, especially given the current state of global affairs. Philosophically, no one knows what’s going to occur, which is why being able to acknowledge others is very important. As important, as it is to acknowledge Black History in February and LGBTQ in June, it’s equally important to acknowledge throughout the year. Why not eat Easter eggs in September, Halloween candy in August, Valentine’s chocolates in October or red poppies worn all year not just in November? The time of year is inconsequential, what’s important is comprehend that people are unique in their: sexual orientation, creed, gender, race, or religion thought process of comprehension should never hate motivated.
In any decade, let alone 2020 the concept of bigotry and ignorance with all the knowledge at our fingertips, should have diminished. Joseph A. Federico had posted a micro piece on Facebook, which I requested that it be transformed into an article. I felt the information was tremendously relevant to our contemporary technologically advanced world. Bottom line bigotry and hatred need to stop! It needs to stop! Sooner than later as individuals having to fight for a basic rights and respect is wrong.
Rania M. M. Watts, Founder CCIQ Press
Staying Un-racist Amidst A Politically-charged Pandemic
By Joseph A. Federico
It’s with a heavy heart I even have to be writing this, alas, someone has to do it. As a queer writer and business owner, I feel, especially today, that I am called to stand against any form of hatred, racism or xenophobia that may cross my path or those around me.
I’ve been lucky enough to not have been faced with anti-LGBT slurs or biases – in my youth or as an adult – however, that’s not to say it doesn’t exist. And I’m attempting to utilize my “entitlement” and leverage that to combat hatred in today’s society.
But, like anything else, there’s a story behind this – a personal story that has led me on this journey. Back when “Love Simon” was released in theaters, directed by Greg Berlanti, my partner and I made a commitment to be more open and accepting to how other people lived, loved and expressed themselves freely. We made a pact to become more educated on LGBT topics, history, trends and lifestyles. That’s how change starts, truly from within.
And before “Love Simon” was available to the general public, I had even made a personal promise to myself that if I were to ever come across a hate crime-type of situation, I would intervene as best as I could. As long as I wasn’t to place myself directly in harm’s way, I’d step in. That counted for protecting anybody that may be LGBT, African American, Asian American, Latino, Indian or otherwise…anybody that would otherwise be unfairly harassed simply because of their differences.
And that leads me to what’s currently happening today, a world that has been turned on its head due to global panic – a Coronavirus-charged world.
I’ve seen and read and played content that turns my stomach all across social media. There are stories of Asian Americans getting harassed in their cars, at grocery stores, at gas stations because of how they look. That’s pure madness. And most of them are members of OUR society that have NEVER been to their country of origin. And because of hate mongers and a fear of the great unknown of where this virus may have originated, we’ve allowed misinformation to take hold and rear its ugly head.
So, how may we change? How may we proceed with raising our vibrations and evolve our mindset? Start the conversation today with those who may be affected by the hatred, the misinformed and rampant xenophobia. Check in with friends, family and loved ones who have a story to tell and ask if there is anything you can do to lessen their blow. Sometimes, listening can be the best way to assure you care and let other humans know they’re not alone.
And, as author Anne Rice calls us, “people of the page,” get out there and write! Use your blessings and gifts of the written word to make a difference, especially if we are all to be “social distancing” the next few weeks…it’s all we’ve got.
The change starts with you. Brighter days are ahead. And so are times when we won’t have to be warning people to be kind.
Joseph A. Federico (JosephAFederico.com) is a two-time published author and social media strategist, currently working on his next novella, VOUDOU JUICE ORIGINS: CODY’S STORY. During this time of mass panic, he would like the public to know that his social media agency is open for business, assuring that startups and companies run without interruption. He is also currently available for personal phone calls and emails, to answer any questions you may have about this time of uncertainty, business-related or otherwise. If you need to talk or walk away from the world temporarily, reach out.