Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Don't Understand Why This is a Bad Thing

I am being totally serious. I saw this poster in a few local businesses downtown, and it made me think about Juneau in relationship to the rest of the State. 

Juneau gets a bad rap in Alaska, unfairly in my opinion. Everyone loves to knock Juneau for its crappy weather, its isolated capital status, and its attempts at "leftist" (or some might say, inclusive and kind) social ambitions and initiatives. Many residents of other areas of the State (where I have lived) love to malign Juneau as a useless island of bloated state government, overpaid state workers, and "leftist libtards," (which I think is a new "un-PC" portmanteau of "liberal" and "retarded" that I've seen on social media lately).

Most of Alaska would be happy to see Juneau and at least half the people in it drop right off the map and into the ocean forever.

That's fine, but I honestly don't understand why the message on this sign is so bad. It's not forcing anyone to get gay married or say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. Clearly, it's been prompted by the indisputable hate incidents the recent presidential election has inspired across the country directed at Muslims, women, LGBTQ people, Jews, and others like me who are not white, Christian men. 

It's affirmatively saying that stuff is not okay, and to my mind that is not a bad thing. To be clear, I don't know that this specific sign is currently getting shit from anyone,* but I do know lots of folks are fundamentally opposed to the general concept of "shoving" equality "down people's throats," which is arguably what this sign is doing.

When I lived in "real Alaska," I found it to be isolating and lonely precisely because this message did not exist in my own personal experience. I wasn't part of a church and therefore it wasn't easy to make friends. I tried to find community, but I felt lonely and ultimately unwelcome. You could find religious tracts everywhere from the dentist to the donut shop, but never a sign like this. Having been born and raised in "the bubble" of New York City, I told myself that living among "real Americans" would be an education. And although I did make a few friends, overall it was an education in loneliness. 

Now I know I'm as American as anyone else.

I don't understand why the overall message of this sign and others like it is controversial. It's inclusive and kind. Why is that a bad thing? 

Wait, don't answer that. 

Here come the comments where people write things they would never say to my face. Where they call me names, and tell me I'm a dumb, naive, reprehensible cunt who belongs with the rest of the Kumbaya pussies down in Juneau, in my elitist bloated government bubble with all my PC libtard friends. Good riddance, don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya and all that. They'll do it now, they've done it before: If it's three things I can count on in this life, it's death, taxes, and trolls. 

So I saved the latter some trouble.

And you know what? I'm totally and completely cool with being called a PC pussy libtard over a sign like this. As long as I live--and no matter where I live--I will never take issue with its message.

*Correction/Update/Note: An attentive reader pointed out that this sign was created by Anchorage activists. So, I hereby place both credit and blame where it's due. Full disclosure, I have never lived in Anchorage. Also, another attentive reader pointed out that this sign is in fact and wholly unsurprisingly getting shit, and plenty of it. See comments (or don't) on the above-linked ADN article.

1 comment:

  1. This sign is a fantastic idea; it's just too bad that there is a need for such a thing. We have come nowhere near as far as a nation as many of us believed.

    Linda Shore - Anchorage

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