by cutter slagle

millennial matters I STANDING UP? ARE YOU

t’s much easier for me to write about frivolous things. You know, stuff like sex, relationships, finding the perfect man. Update: He doesn’t exist. Given the task to present a perspective — my perspective — on current events is much more difficult. Mainly because I don’t know how to eloquently state: “This

world is a fucking mess!” Truth be told: There is still a lot of good in the world. We may have to look harder

and deeper to find it, but it’s there, oftentimes in the form of a helpful neighbor, loving friend or smiling stranger we pass on the street. Unfortunately, right now, the bad outweighs all of that good. Even if you’re an optimist, always seeing the beauty in everything, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

What is the solution? Is there a solution for existing in an ugly world that’s so full of hate or, more

appropriately, full of shit? Honestly, I don’t think there’s a Christian Louboutin boot high enough to wade through all of the shit. And also, a bitch doesn’t have any Christian Louboutin footwear. Step 1 is admitting that there’s a problem. Done! There’s a big fucking problem. A big fucking racist, bigoted, homophobic, redneck problem.

What are we going to do about it? The obvious answer: Vote! We’re going to vote the problem away, right? Yet,

that particular voting opportunity doesn’t occur until Nov. 3, Election Day. And even if Trump is kicked out of the White House, do we honestly believe all of the ugliness and hate of the world will just evaporate? It’s not fair to blame Trump for every single person’s backward beliefs. But he did make voicing and publicly practicing those beliefs seem not only acceptable, but common for some folks. Let’s be clear: There’s nothing acceptable or common about being a racist, a

bigot or a homophobe. The problem isn’t Trump, or it isn’t just Trump. Once Trump is gone, the racist,

bigot, homophobic rednecks may not feel as inclined to be so open with their hate, but the hate will still be present and as toxic as black mold.

What’s our next choice, then? Try and educate others? Listen and talk to one another? Expose the ones who

are so blatantly and unabashedly spewing their nonsense? Can we really have an open conversation with these types of people? Do we even want to?

It’s been said that racism and homophobia — hate, if you will — are taught. In

that case, this hate should be able to be untaught. Except, once you learn how to drive, do you ever fully forget how to start the car and step on the gas pedal? What about tying your shoes, writing your name, making your bed? Can you be untaught any of those tasks? Therefore, can we sincerely expect hate to be any different? No two situations are similar. Some people can and do learn from their mistakes. And, again, depending on the specific situation, sometimes second chances are warranted. Yet, there are also times when wrong is wrong. Period. There is no gray area, no excuse or apology justifiable, and definitely no room for a second chance. One of the best aspects of being an adult and having full responsibilities over

our own lives is that we get to choose who we surround ourselves with. As nice as it would be to love one another despite our differences, embrace our differences, celebrate our differences, it’s not necessarily realistic. Not with everybody. As a result, the only logical thing to do is leave those people behind. And, yes, they will most definitely get left behind.

Change is possible While it appears that change occurs very slowly (at a snail’s pace, to be exact), it

can happen as long as we continue fighting for it. Is it sad, ridiculous, unbelievable, infuriating that in the year 2020 we have

to protest for black lives? That we’re constantly struggling to prove the LGBTQ community deserves equal rights? Without a doubt. It’s unfathomable that there are people (they don’t even deserve to be referred to as people) who judge by skin color and sexual orientation. Yet, we must keep pushing for these lives and these rights. Remember, whether you win or lose, stand up! We will win, too, eventually.

Why? Good always wins. Love always wins. But until that happens, remain standing — however you choose to stand. Whether it is by protesting, signing petitions, donating to organizations, posting on social media, just stand up!

Cutter Slagle is the published author of suspense, horror and crime fiction works. You can visit his website at for updates on his writing.

July 2020 | @theragemonthly 29

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