Mr. Toupee

I attended a Mexican Dance Company performance. The dancers were young boys and girls and teens. I thought: how beautiful that they had ethnic pride at such an early age. How beautiful that they’re keeping the traditions of their culture alive in America.

I don’t like the direction America is going in. I don’t take kindly to racism–most likely because I have zero tolerance for hate.

The word tolerance disturbs me. It signals that a person merely tolerates another person’s differences. Why not use the word acceptance? Why can’t people “embrace and admire” difference instead of “tolerating” it?

I’m embarrassed to be the same skin color of a person like Mr. Toupee (you know who I’m talking about.) He is going to be our next president like it or not.

What impresses me is Muslim women because they embrace each other. Some of them wear a hijab; others wear a headscarf and jeans and a shirt. Some of the headscarves are patterned or bright colors.

Whereas if you’re Catholic, you’re crucified like Jesus if you use birth control or are forced to choose to get an abortion. There’s no acceptance of variations of faith among church-going Catholics. I’m disappointed that Pope Francis didn’t have the guts to come out and say: stop being homophobic in the name of God. Stop hating women in the name of God.

Muslim Americans come here to have a better life for themselves and their families. In the Middle East women couldn’t drive a car or vote in an election until about two years ago. Would you subjugate yourself to living like that for the rest of your life? Would you accept being stoned in public for being an impure woman because you were gang raped?

Oh? No? I rest my case. Immigrants come here to have a better life. Everyone here is an immigrant unless your ancestors came here on the Mayflower or you lived here before and were taken over and interned on a reservation–the Rez.

We each of us are the children of people who lived somewhere else before they came to America. So–cut the crap–Mr. Toupee. (He’s going to be our next president–don’t think it won’t happen.)

Hate is poison that infects people. Racism is a disease.

Listen to me closely: you get what you vote for. By all means, vote for Mr. Toupee if you think you’ll have a better life under his rule.The point is to get out and vote.

Republican, Conservative, Democrat or Liberal I’m no fan of any political party. Ordinary Americans don’t have the big bucks to influence government policies.

Thus in my estimation change starts–and I’ve said it here before–with ordinary Americans taking action to help each other out.

I’m going to write more about these kinds of hot topics in the coming blog entries.

One topic is near and dear to my heart: the failed war on drugs.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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