Friday, January 29, 2016

made by people

"I wanna talk today about the refugee crisis going on around the world but let's begin with an old saying often attributed to that great expert in the field of human evil, Joseph Stalin. 'When one man dies, that's a tragedy. When thousands die, that's a statistic.'
Large numbers can feel cold and distant and even kind of comforting because they don't feel like people. And I think that's one of the reasons much of the world was able to ignore the years old Syrian refugee crisis until recently. But then, after thousands of refugees died this year trying to get to Europe, one three year old boy's body washed ashore in Turkey. His name was Aylan Kurdi, and he drowned with his five year old brother and his mom trying to get to Greece."
- John Green

I have thought a lot about what John Green said, and I think it's very true.

More than a million people reached Europe in 2015 in the continent's largest refugee influx since the end of World War II (statistic). Nearly 3,800 people are estimated to have drowned in the Mediterranean last year, making the journey to Greece or Italy in unseaworthy vessels packed far beyond capacity (statistic).

Ai Weiwei has said, "The border is not in Lesbos, it really (is) in our minds and in our hearts."

With Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton has let us see into the lives of 12 different Syrian refugee families preparing to embark to the United States.

All of this is a lead up to say... we get lulled by statistics to see unique individuals as less than who they are... humans. Distinct, singular, exceptional people.

Volvo has come out with a new advertisement that is definitely worth your time to watch... 

Monday, January 18, 2016

provide a safe environment for everyone

"It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people." Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Saturday many of us met at the Idaho Statehouse to rally again for legislation to provide civil protections to all Idaho citizens across the state. 

It had been reported that lawmakers (Republican State Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill) and the ADD THE WORDS movement were meeting to come to a compromise on civil protections under the law. However, nothing could be further from the case. How do you compromise on civil rights and human rights? The lawmakers appear ready to provide gay and lesbian citizens of Idaho civil protections, but not transgender citizens. That is not justice.

Advocates of adding anti-discrimination protections for Idaho citizens based on sexual orientation and gender identity have sought legislative action to add the four words to the Idaho Human Rights Act for nine years.

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I ask those against ADD THE WORDS why protections should be limited for transgender citizens, the answer I receive always devolves into something to do with restrooms.

Yet, the other day I saw a wonderful sign online... 

It said: 

We have a unisex bathroom because sometimes gender specific toilets put others into uncomfortable situations.

And since we have a lot of our friends coming to see us, we wanted to provide a place for our friends who are:

  • Single Dads with daughters
  • Single Moms with sons
  • Parents with disabled children
  • Those in the LGBTQ community
  • Adults with aging parents who may be mentally/physically disabled
Thanks for helping us to provide a safe environment for everyone.

So, on this Martin Luther King Day, I'd like to simply ask the Idaho Legislature to help provide a safe environment for everyone.

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