All posts by mariamcgeary

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*photo credit thetempest.com

We all say it with the best of intentions I’m sure. Sending thoughts and prayers. We’ve all seen the images. Pray for Parkland. Share this candle to remember the victims of Sandy Hook. Never forget the lives lost at Columbine. I could write a list a mile long of those people we are sending our thoughts and prayers to. We feel better about ourselves when we think of others, when we share an awareness post via Twitter or Facebook. It’s all well and good, but we need to take action. Our children are standing up and saying #enough and #neveragain. What can we do to ACT, not just think about it?
Here’s a good place to start!
https://marchforourlives.com/home/
http://sayenough.org/
Check out this Ted Talk by Cleo Wade. The entire talk is inspiring, but the part that touched me the most was, “change-making does not belong to one group of people, it belongs to us all….We just have to be brave enough to care.”
So whether you write a letter, call your congressman, participate in a march, donate to the cause…just show that you have had #enough and you stand by our students.

19 Years Later…had #enough yet?

19 years ago, I was sitting in a high school social studies class. My teacher told us about the Columbine school shooting. Little did I realize the magnitude of the problem of school and gun violence or how it would just be the beginning of so many more to come.

Our society has become so accustomed to tragedies, we move on, we forget.
B.J. Mendelson writes, “It’s like this all across America. Unless it’s tied to where people live and work, barring a threat to their safety or well-being, they don’t care. Not even if it’s 10 minutes away” Unless we are in the thick of it, we move on, we forget.

Today, there were protests, walk outs, vigils to remember the 13 slaughtered that terrible April day. 19 years later. We haven’t changed a thing. There are more gun incidents in school than ever before. 13 so far in 2018 alone. We need to stand up. We need to put our voices and selves out in the world. We need to fight this problem head on. We need to say #neveragain. I’ve had #enough. Have you? columbine pic

*photo credit thecleo.com

#Enough… Calling Students “Dumb”

Audience: Parents and others who support the 2018 Walk Out to remember Parkland school shooting and call for action relating to gun control.

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Thousands of students walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday morning. At 10:00 until 10:17,  they rallied in silent protest and in remembrance of the 17 victims of the Parkland school shooting one month prior. Some students held inspiring signs, other students banded together to form peace signs or phrases like the trending hashtag #enough. There were beautiful blogs and news articles highlighting the walkout…others were strongly against the walkout.

Why is it so hard to pass by with a simple click of the like button and NOT read the comments? It never fails to drag me in. How many times on Wednesday did I stop and put my two cents in when someone says “This is so dumb. Why don’t they do something productive that can actually bring change?” ARG! I feel an overwhelming sense of, I don’t know, rage? And just like that my fingers are on that keyboard like wildfire, feeling like maybe I can just change one person’s mind…unlikely I know, but I just can’t help myself!

These protests are not dumb. These students are working to bring about change. People who don’t believe one person can make a change, let alone a whole generation of students, made me think of the Tunisia Revolution of 2011. In Castells Prelude to Revolution, he tells how one person can indeed make a difference. In Tunisia a man ignited the spark of a revolution by literally setting himself on fire. A little more dramatic than we hopefully need here in the good ole USA.

Support our kids who want to feel safe in their schools. They can’t vote (yet!) so they are asking, begging for our help. Stand with this generation. They are powerful. They will not back down. I won’t either. So go ahead– unfriend me, unfollow me, block me. I’ll keep my thumbs on the ready to defend and encourage the students and other fed up citizens who are fighting for change.

It’s All in the Editing

It never fails to be a hot button topic. Abortion. And although it’s only 3% of all the services Planned Parenthood supply, they do in fact supply them. This makes for an oversized target on their back for protest and ridicule.

On their website, #ProtestPP describes themselves as “a coalition of state and national pro-life groups organized in response to the horrifying revelations in summer 2015 that Planned Parenthood has been involved in the illicit trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts.”

Center for Medical Progress, created an undercover video which was proved to be deceivingly edited when the unedited version was released. But the edited version ran amuck amongst pro-lifers and resulted in the #ProtestPP movement.

#ProtestPP wants you to believe that if we defund PP, we will simply allocate the funds to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). These are clinics which provide an array of general care to an underserved population. This is not the bad part. PQHCs are a resource to provide healthcare to those in need, don’t get me wrong, but if you are in MN, you’ll have to travel to Minneapolis or St. Paul to find the majority of them. Planned Parenthood provides services to 19 different cities statewide. Not just urban or extremely underserved areas such as Native American reservations.

#ProtestPP, knows how to persuade their audience into thinking defunding PP is the only option. The extreme bias is shown in the simple statistics noted on their site. 4 out of 5 women will never visit a PP. While PP verbiage is 1 in 4 women WILL. It’s all about the wording folks! We need to acknowledge every protesting social movement is just trying to get the world to see it your way. Even if you have to bend the truth to get there.

CDC Director and Big Tobacco?

We all know the ill health effects of tobacco. Ad campaigns have drilled images of dead bodies, grandfathers you can walk through and people that have been so severely effected, they now have to communicate from a stoma in their neck.

Ok. So we know tobacco is bad. Really bad.

The government has hiked cigarette prices so high, now when I see people picking up used butts, as grossed out as I may be, I kinda get it. How can you even afford to smoke these days? Well, I guess I spend about as much on my Starbucks, so I can’t be too judgmental.

My point is: IT’S EXPENSIVE! I’ve assumed it’s our government doing its best to deter tobacco sales and promote healthier lifestyles, resulting in lower healthcare costs, etc. All until I saw the resignation of Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald.

ICYMI: According to the NY TIMES Dr. Fitzgerald had been invested in big tobacco companies, one being Philip Morris International.

So what’s the big deal? A doctor investing in tobacco? It doesn’t seem like all that ethical of a thing, but we all know it’s a huge profit company… the big deal is she was the DIRECTOR of the CDC! Center for Disease Control, you know the part of the government who are trying to get people to STOP smoking.

Of course, there are two sides to every story, but when she also had stocks in Japan Tobacco, the drug-maker Merck, and Humana, the health insurer. One can’t help but draw their own conclusion of unethical practice by a government leader.

Super Bowl LII = The Largest Sex Trafficking Event of the Year?

You’ve probably seen the posts flying around social media. “Super Bowl LII will be home to the largest sex trafficking event of the year!” Not really something we want to think about occurring in shocking numbers in Minneapolis, our hometown. I wanted to verify these facts to see is this is truly the case.

Dr. Lauren Martin, a U of M researcher, found that indeed there will be sex trafficking due to the Super Bowl, but how much?  “The Super Bowl just increases the concentration of people that are willing to buy sex, it doesn’t mean that sex is a bigger problem,” Martin said. So, although the ugly truth is large events like the Super Bowl bring this sad reality of sex trafficking to our state, it isn’t quite to the magnitude social media would like you to believe.

Local law enforcement is working closely with groups like MN Girls Are Not For Sale to focus on the victims of sex trafficking. They tell us by knowing the facts, being aware of the signs and making sure that everyone during this big event is safe is a great way to fight trafficking.

I do feel somewhat better knowing the facts, but only slightly. It sickens me to the core to think while millions of people will be gathering for a football game, there will be an increased number of victims of sex trafficking in our home state. The ugly truth of large events across the globe.

 

 

We First or Me First?

Angle: Persuade thinking of We First capitalism, how helping to create a new version of capitalism will establish them as partners in building a better world (Mainwaring, 6).

Audience: Millennial social media users who are already on the Left, or still developing opinions. Those who may not know much about capitalism currently (like me) but know we want the world to be a better, fair, equal place.

Goal: Persuasion- call to action

Outline:

  1. Introduction, including: Shocking Statistics, Quick definitions of capitalism, corporate social responsibility
  2. What the We First movement is
  3. Why you should care- making the world a better place
  4. What you can do: Social Media influence