By Holly Schepisi | The Save Jersey Blog
I have thought long and hard prior to posting this. As a Republican Assemblywoman from New Jersey but more so as a rationale compassionate human being, I am stunned by the level of insanity put forth lately by the media, politicians from both parties as well as lay people through social media.
As we enter into Thanksgiving I’d like to share some thoughts:
1. TO STUDENTS AT OTTOWA UNIVERSITY – YOGA is Not Culturally problematic – in what universe does Yoga create a cultural genocide due to Western Supremacy? Are you KIDDING ME?
2. TO THE WORLD OF FACEBOOK – A student studying in Israel who is murdered in a terrorist attack should be mourned as much as a Peace Corps member working in Mali as much as a person in Paris and as much as students in Kenya. We should mourn all those murdered by terrorists, regardless of where they were executed, what their country of origin may be or what religion they practice.
3. TO STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA – REMEMBERING 9/11 IS NOT OFFENSIVE TO MUSLIMS. Thousands of people died on that day. I personally was friends with some of those who died and many of those who survived. It is beyond appropriate to have a moment of silence to remember those who were murdered. It is absurd to think a resolution to have a moment of silence might make a space that is “unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe.” To the student government representatives at University of Minnesota – get a clue.
4. Having concerns regarding terrorists taking advantage of a refugee crisis to infiltrate Western countries does not make you a bigot or a racist, it makes you human. That being said, there are many good people worldwide escaping from their respective countries not for nefarious purposes but to protect their families. We should be compassionate and work together to come up with a humane and safe way to help those who need it the most. Children should not be dying because everyone wants to take a “not it” approach. Any country that receives financial aid from the United States or NATO should be required to shelter a certain number of refugees until a more permanent solution can be worked out.
5. All Muslims are not terrorists. Most practicing Muslims are as horrified by ISIS, ISIL, Daesh or whatever the group is called this week as those of other religions and faiths. In fact the terrorists have killed far more Muslims than Christians, Westerners or minorities during the existence of its reign of terror.
6. ISIS is a cancer. There is no negotiation, no discussion, no middle ground with a group who’s sole purpose is to murder those who do not share its medieval beliefs. Being nice to them will not make them hate us less.
7. Woodrow Wilson was our president and deserves to have his name stay on buildings at Princeton University. Yes, he may have held racist beliefs but this was in 1913, not 2015. Many of his beliefs were reflective of that time. As a society we cannot afford to try to scrub history clean. While President Wilson may have had flaws, do those flaws negate his advocating for such progressive items as a woman’s right to vote or the 8 hour workday? Should we similarly eliminate all references to Thomas Jefferson? Although he drafted the Declaration of Independence and championed religious freedom, he was a slaveholder. What about George Washington? Andrew Jackson? Lyndon Johnson? Does that mean we should knock down the White House because it was built by slaves? Should future Presidents refuse to live there as a matter of principle? I think we all need to take a step back and have a reality check.
8. It is not offensive to say “Merry Christmas.” Nor do I care if the chain store I get coffee from has Merry Christmas on their cups. And although I am an ardent support of free enterprise, retail stores can stay shut several days per year for major holidays. Be human, allow your employees to spend time with their families. You do not have to be open 365 days per year. You are not an urgent care facility.
9. The First Amendment is important – it was important enough to be the first one. Our society is built upon a document known as the United States Constitution. Free speech is the most important component of that document. There is no constitutional right not to be offended. People will say things that you may vehemently disagree with however that is a core component of why the United States exists. We cannot embrace a society that seeks to ban all things that may not be viewed as “acceptable” to all groups.