Tuesday, July 14, 2015

OK GOP: Feeding the Animals and Food Stamps

First of all, here are three political truths about me, Rose Marie B, proud Oklahoma citizen.

1.  I'm not the most politically savvy person in my state or even in my household but I am a registered voter and cherish the rights given to me by the United States Constitution. We're all about "by the people, for the people..." right?

2.  I don't read the newspaper every day and I shy away from political discussions; mostly because I'd rather find common ground than argue party lines. More importantly, I know how I feel about mankind and some political views make me feel super blue, even though I live in one of the loudest red states in the union.

3.  I've never been a fan of straight party voting but in the last state election, I voted against every incumbent on the ballot to demonstrate my displeasure with current conditions and exercise my democratic privilege...even though it felt like it didn't matter.

Yesterday, the Oklahoma Republican Party posted this on their Facebook page.

Oklahoma GOP's Facebook post, July 13, 2015

When I saw the discussion on Twitter about this post and read it last night - I didn't need political prowess or even a newspaper education to recognize the flippant, smug, degrading, and borderline hate speech aspect of this "lesson in irony."

I'm not saying that our current system is fool-proof or that no one abuses it. But in my opinion, this post wasn't about encouraging change as much as creating waves of judgement, separation, and blame. As soon as I read it, I felt sad, ridiculously angry, and deeply humiliated for the 46 million people who had been compared to animals being fed by the superior humans at a national park.
This post is divisive.
This post is elitist.
This post offers no suggestion for solution.
All this post does is negate the genuine needs of the constituency of the Oklahoma Republican Party; for instance the elderly, veterans, children and the disabled.

After I expressed my disagreement with the statement and the ideology behind this post, my social media accounts were systematically BLOCKED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF OKLAHOMA. (I had to type that in caps, because it's hilarious.) My dissenting comments were deleted, along with hundreds or maybe thousands of others from citizens who felt the same way. This wasn't a discussion or an open dialogue - this behavior was a poorly executed PR disaster and simple cowardice of the person responsible for the post. You can dish it out but you can't take it? The best hashtags of the night were #NotOKGOP and #ThisIsWrong.

So today, this post was FINALLY uploaded to the OK GOP Facebook page...it breaks every rule of a sincere apology; what do you think?

To paraphrase - I'm sorry you were offended by what you thought you read.

So here is my response to Randy Brogdon, author of both Facebook posts and Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party:

If you want to start a conversation, start one. Don't try to be clever, because you clearly failed. Don't hide behind your screen, a faceless bully, posting incendiary and hateful opinions in a public place like Facebook and then deleting/blocking the responses of those who disagreed with you. You truly missed the opportunity to engage and facilitate an intelligent conversation on the subject but I don't think that was your intention either. I notice you didn't sign your name to the first post, why not?

From what I can tell and thank goodness you DON'T represent your entire political party in Oklahoma. There were those Oklahoma Republicans brave enough to stand up against this clearly intentional stab at those less fortunate and I applaud them for taking a stand.

I'll be sending a copy of my post to every legislator who represents my area of the state, including the governor. I want them to know how I feel as a citizen of this great state, how wrong I think this type of party propaganda is and why I think it's a mistake to have someone like yourself in charge of the social media accounts. You are not doing your party or MY state any favors in the public opinion or news arenas. Once again, our state appears hateful and backward and small-minded. 

As a proud Oklahoman, all I can ask is that we act decently to one another. We don't have to agree on everything to be respectful of one another. For the greatest strength, we need to work together to correct the problems in our society. This post was wrong and surely I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Republican, Democrat, Independent...I don't care what you are as much as what you do for others.

"I'm mad as hell and I'm NOT going to take this anymore!"

Rose Marie B

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Writer's Workshop: Zombie Salesman in 15 Lines + a PS

(This story is true and was created for Kat Bouska's Writer's Workshop. Well maybe the Zombie part is a stretch but...)

A salesman boldly appears at our badge-entry, employee-only office door, calling my phone to let him in.

"I can never get anyone to answer the phone here, so I flew into Oklahoma City to meet with someone."

I tell him no one's available to meet him without an appointment and he says "I can meet with you and then I know someone" so I politely relent.

I've spoken to him before on the phone, explaining the protocol but he never emailed the requested press kit. He denies ever making contact with anyone in our office "after 20 calls", he's lying and I regret being polite.

True to his story, he's dragging his luggage with him, standard black carry-on with a black satchel hung around the neck of the handle. When he hands me his business card, it feels as flimsy as his no-one-ever-answers-my-calls story.

He wears a Glen plaid sport coat with a stripe of blue to match his dress shirt; a hint of Bill Paxton but not in an adorable way. The gap between his front teeth is devilish instead of endearing and the blue of his shirt is reflecting strangely onto his face...he looks oxygen deprived or undead. I jokingly think to myself - he's a zombie salesman!

I listen to his spiel and he makes a veiled threat/joke to have the governor call on his behalf so that we'll make an appointment with him. I guess Zombies are not good salespeople.

Back in my office, I type in the web address for his company...it's a WordPress page, devoid of any content, at all! Only a Zombie salesman would hand out business cards with a 'web address' like this, right?

Zombies are rude,
Rose Marie B

PS  Here's the point of this post...why are there people in this world that know less than me but are doing more? This guy's card has PhD after his name but he's not savvy enough to know the basics? He listed his phone number like this; +1 (area code) 555-1234 - who does that? His address on the card includes an apartment number. Oh my gosh...why am I answering phones and not Queen of the World already? Any suggestions are appreciated.

Photo credit: Steve Rainwater (license) via PhotoPin