Succeed, Don’t Secede


A lot of people were bringing up, over the few weeks following the 2012 US Presidential Election, that “multiple states” have petitioned to secede from the US.

This is not actually true. People in a couple dozen states have started petitions at Whitehouse.gov to allow their states to secede from the United States. And by “people,” I mean a few thousand in any given state. In some cases, as many as twenty-thousand. So, as many people as could be found in a mid-sized or large university. The states themselves are not asking to secede. The vast majority of the populations of each state are at least reasonably sane and, therefore, do not want to secede.

You can start any kind of petition that you like on Whitehouse.gov. I can petition the US government to start funding a program to genetically engineer real Pokemon. They won’t do it, no matter how many signatures I gather (pretty sure that I can get more than twenty-thousand, by the way). How many petitions to end mountaintop-removal or to encourage the US government to terrify Uganda into not being evil have I signed? The US sure did not intervene in Sudan, and we have yet to crush Syrian President Assad and his government beneath our heel. If petitions were some sort of magical formula, a lot of good things and a lot of horribly stupid things would happen. They do not actually mean anything—petitions are a vehicle to show that a number of people stand behind a certain idea. On occasion, they are just a vehicle that people use to whine.

Honestly, I had to endure eight years of the Bush Administration. I know what it is like to, as I assume that most of those who have signed these petitions, absolutely despise your President. George W. Bush has been so far and will hopefully always be the worst US President in my lifetime. But no matter what I may think of Bush or what anyone else may think of Obama, neither of them are the worst President in US history. That honor belongs to Andrew Jackson, and we all know it. Andrew Jackson makes Sarah Palin seem like an intellectual, Ron Paul seem like a proponent of Big Government, Hernán Cortés seem like a friend to the pre-European inhabitants of the Americas, and Yosemite Sam seem like a responsible gun-owner.

Worst. President. Ever.

So when I say that I would not actually want for my state (which, ugh, is one of those in which some residents signed one of those stupid petitions for secession), or for any other, to secede. Not even if the nightmarish future depicted in one episode of Supernatural came true and President Sarah Palin became a reality (that’s a horrible future in which the Christian devil, Lucifer, has years to roam free and devastate the planet, by the way). We’re stronger together. I hope that Puerto Rico, where support is growing to become our fifty-first state, becomes fully integrated in the United States. Honestly, I would love for us to absorb Canada and, a decade or so after the War On Drugs and this senseless prohibition ends, absorb Mexico (where the cartels will lose much of their strength since the War On Drugs will have stopped feeding them). I look forward to when the entire planet—when the entire human species—is one nation.

Ideally, one that I rule. But I will accept a less perfect version, so long as we are all united and justice prevails.

Secession is a coward’s answer to a political disagreement. If you think that something is wrong, fix it. Don’t leave.



You Might Also Like ...

Can Violent Masculinities be “Deconstructed?”

A new program in Washington D.C. run by Men can Stop Rape educates boys and young men on how to be more respectful towards women and homosexuals, and to resist violence. The program called “Men of Strength,” or MOST, teaches men that the traditional notions of manliness are harmful to both men and women, and do not in fact lead to boys become the sort of “real men” they see in the media. In order to get young men to participate in these sessions on “the deconstruction of masculinity,” the organizer, Kedrick Griffin, offers them pizza in exchange for discussion sessions. While the group does seem to be making some progress challenging macho prejudices, its long term effectiveness in changing behavior seems somewhat more tenuous.

Although the piece does not actively state this, but given the demographics of Washington D.C. and its public schools, along with some of the subjects said to be discussed (rap, basketball, black role models), it can be fairly assumed that most of the young men Griffin works with are African American, more likely from backgrounds that would be considered working class or poor. As difficult as it can be to possibly deconstruct masculinity among urban white males, in my opinion, it would be far more difficult to do this among urban black males, as the messages that are presented to them do not always create a culture in which equality and non-violence are held as high ideals.
Continue reading



You Might Also Like ...