13 Things You Can’t do (and be Honest) in the United States

  1. You cannot deny that racism exists, especially if you’re “white.”
  2. You cannot deny that sexism exists, especially if you’re male.
  3. You cannot deny that classism exists, especially if you have transportation, shelter, clothes, water, and/or enough to eat.
  4. You cannot deny that heterosexism exists, especially if you’re heterosexual.
  5. You cannot be antiabortion, especially if you’re pro-death penalty, in opposition to any health care reform, you think welfare is abused en masse, you have no training in science or medicine, and/or you’re a male
  6. You cannot be apolitical: this means you must vote, write letters, and speak out.
  7. You cannot ignore injustices – any of them.
  8. You cannot claim that our legal system is fair, especially if you’ve never been arrested, never dealt with police harassment, or have never faced a judge.
  9. You cannot assume you know anything – in fact, if you’re going by what you learned on television or from high school or by what your uncle told you, assume you’re wrong.
  10. You cannot have an opinion about topics of which you know nothing or have not directly and personally studied without removing (as much as possible) filters of time, place, translation, etc.
  11. You cannot deny science – evolution and global warming are real.
  12. You cannot think your religious practices or lack of religious practices, outlooks, or ways of life are the only right ones. There are almost 7 billion people on the Earth right now.
  13. You cannot take anything for granted.


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In the comments, I’m sure we can think of more than my quick list of 13 things.

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Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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14 replies

  1. #14, you cannot know your “opinion” on an issue only by the political party (or school, religion, etc) you are or aren’t affiliated with.


  2. #15 You cannot judge someone by the school(s) he/she attended.
    #16 You cannot assume that someone does not have a disability because you don’t see a wheelchair, crutches, etc.


    • Thanks, Karen. Both are so true. I especially like #16 and relate to it. I have a leg brace on my right leg that goes from my knee to my toes. I’ve had to use this since 2000. Most people don’t know about it. But I have to use disabled parking and can’t always walk far or occasionally at all.


    • I wear a knee brace (result of an injury slipping on ice on campus a few years ago). Sometimes my knee doesn’t give me trouble; sometimes, it does. My campus is not flat (literally, I go uphill both ways when I walk from my office to class), and occasionally I have to drive to class–which, without the handicapped parking permit, would make getting to class almost impossible. On the bright side, I do know that the brace sets off metal detectors.


    • College campuses do need to be more accessible! At UH, even with my disabled parking permits, unless I get there before 7:30 in the morning, there are no spaces within anything like reasonable distance. And oh, speaking of hills, even the little hill from Agnes Arnold Hall to the library is too much for my legs most days. I’ve only been on an airplane just a few times because it is so much trouble with my brace and all the metal on it (not to mention all my medications that airports don’t like), especially in this post Sep 11 world. But we gotta live on. 🙂


  3. I just recently discovered this blog. Regarding healthcare reform: are you suggesting that the government’s role in regulating markets is a foregone conclusion?



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