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The World Cup Reminds Us to Say No to Racism

The World Cup, in all its global glory, reminds us each day: say no to racism. This week, a movie icon reminds us that racism is up and running (off at the mouth) and very much alive.
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Sometimes the media gives us all a chance to look in the mirror. Michael Jackson's song is a musical way to see it

"Man In The Mirror"

I'm Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My
Favourite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See
Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere
To Go
That's Why I Want You To

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change

It is a tragedy he couldn't follow his own advice. This week has given us all a chance to look in a mirror. The mirror of our hatred, racism and the sad, harrowing realities of addiction, enabling and omnipotence run amok.

The media exposure is just that, exposure. Bringing something unseen to view. The World Cup, in all its global glory, reminds us each day: say no to racism. This week, a movie icon reminds us that racism is up and running ( off at the mouth ) and very much alive.

Addiction and all its descendants, enablers, co-dependents, co-defendants, co-conspirators, warring parents passing the blame like athletes pass the ball as we are watching oil executives pass on the responsibility... all of this is available for our absorption and hopefully our discussion.

Are we discussing? Or, are we feeling like we all dodged a giant bullet, that thank god it wasn't us who were caught on tape or us that weren't caught speeding under the influence, (yeah right, you never drove with too much in your system) or us that never threw away something that missed the trash can, or threw away batteries or old paint instead of the proper way of getting rid of something. We all are involved in something that we need to look at, we are human and therefore imperfect and flawed and contradictory. The problem is that we like to point and stare and then return to the dark. The lights are on everyone, we just have to see it. The images of the oil in the Gulf illuminated by UV lights that cause an eerie glow are stunning reminders of the devastation, with a new perspective.

The audio of Mr. Gibson is another new perspective. It is the audio of millions of people all over this country. And the images of Ms. Lohan weeping in court and soon, in a prison uniform, are the images of hundreds of thousands young inmates, with no flashy lawyers or media outlets chronicling their exploits. They are alone, living with the realities of their actions and the system's reaction to it.

I was also shocked at the vitriol and spew being leveled at Lebron James. Yes, the special seemed over the top but he was and is allowed to make a choice that is his, with his team of advisors and his mother's words of "to thine own self be true." The Cav's owner, instead of thanking him for all his years of skill and service to his team and town, instead eviscerated him like the mob in France with King Louis. The origin of the red flag of revolution being the Red Guards -- after the King's protectors' uniforms were ripped from their torn and savaged bodies, the red uniforms were turned into flags on sticks representing revolution and its bloody aftermath. They burned Mr. James' jerseys. Burned them. Really?

So here we are, world cup fever at its peak, the final match, the champions to be decided. We will all get to see those beautiful young children holding the hands of the players as they walk them out onto the field of play and we will all weep as they unfurl the banner... SAY NO TO RACISM. The question is can we peacefully raise the red flag against it and revolt and boycott and protest and put democracy to work against this enemy?

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