We Need to Address Racism – What Happened at Christchurch and to the Muslim Community

First thing, I would like to extend my thoughts and support to the Muslim/Islamic community and towards our global friends in New Zealand. If anyone needs some support after this event, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local support services. I also extend this post as an invitation for anyone affected to message me on my social media or email if they need to discuss what happened. (Those should be in the side bar or bottom bar)

Second thing, please consider donating to support the victims here:

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings#!/

Every racist persons needs to be held responsible for the creation of this tragedy. Every man, woman and smart-ass person in the comment sections on Facebook need to be held accountable for what happened to the Muslim community. Every politician who victim blames needs to be exposed for the supremacist they are.

Although censorship is always a tricky area, contributing to knowledge on this disgusting event by watching his video or reading the work does nothing but exalt radical right-wing ideologies. Please, do not expose yourself to it. Do not give this horrid creature what he wants.

Instead, support our Muslim friends, our Muslim children, our Muslim family, workmates, students, religious leaders and even strangers of our community. I am very much invested in the concept of Ubuntu (“I am because we are”) and since I found out what happened, I have been hurt and shocked.

For people who say this happens to other countries regularly, I am hurt for them as well. But the reason I speak about this more is because I am accustomed to western society. This happened in the western world, in a country so small and so close to where I live. In terms of number of deaths, it was equal to 3,125 people if the same percentage was in America.

Please consider donating to this link:

https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings#!/

And please in this distressing time, take care of yourself. Right now, I am fuelled by anger towards how this could have happened. Because I know how. Racism created this terrorism. There is no other way of putting it. Xenophobia, ignorance and hatred has been stained onto the Islamic community, unjustly! A community that I share knowledge and culture with has been traumatised by the acts of terror.

Don’t forget that racism created this terrorism.

Happy International Women’s Day from Christoast!

Today is International Women’s Day! I want to take the time to mention some of the positive women who have influenced my life!

First would have to be my mother:

Most of my values of just being a good human being and respecting other people have come from her. She is a sweet, fierce, kind, forward-thinking, collected and assertive woman. She has helped help shape my values of helping others in my profession but also with being genuine and real with people.

Secondly would be my sisters:

All three have taught me different lessons, about being myself, about how to take-care of myself and how to stand-up for myself. Those three have really shaped how I assert my self in my everyday interactions and how I keep things mellow.

Thirdly would be my friends:

I would mention them all by name, but in reality all of my female friends have impacted how I am a man. Many have taught me emotional tolerance, inspired and instigated my own creativity, and have given me the avenue to explore my hobbies and interests.

Thank you to all the females in my life! Thank you for making me a better person. I aspire to help in anyway I can to contribute to equality!

You’re a Feminist but you just don’t know it yet!

Sometimes, people are so afraid of being labelled a ‘feminist’ they will start their sentence, thought or idea by saying…

“I’m not a feminist but women should be treated equally.”

Some guy at some point in time, probably.

Feminism as a movement has been and will continue to be about getting equality for women and advocate for the same rights and decency that men experience. Although some people think ‘Egalitarianism‘ is a good word to describe it, feminism focuses on gender usually (without going too deep).

“But Christoast!” I may hear you say, “I’m not a Feminazi!

To which, I would reply with the following. You don’t need to be afraid of that term, and you should really reconsider the usage. ‘Feminazi’ is used badly as another way (well, as suggested by the oxford dictionary for political slang) of saying a ‘determined feminist’. It is actually quite a derogatory term and when someone is labelled a feminazi, it usually isn’t because of their radical ideas but rather miscommunication or vilification. There may be extreme ideologies but you will find them so few and sparse within the theory/movement.

You are a feminist if you do these things:

  • Respect women (and not for your own benefit but because you genuinely respect them)
  • Thats it. Thats the catch-all.

Some who may be tilting their heads may say, “But men suffer problems and don’t get attention and have higher suicide rates and not being able to express emotion… etc.”

And if you are concerned about those problems, great! You are even more of a feminist! Because those are feminist issues. Because toxic masculinity deems you cannot cry, you cannot express emotion and permits this harm. It categorises emotion and ‘girly things’ as ‘not manly’ and as such, you become a target for expressing any femininity. Yes, those issues stated may affect men, but they are rooted in assumptions of what is appropriate gender expression for a man which is often seen as not anything that woman can do.

I wrote this article/blog post in response to common people being afraid of identifying as feminist. You need to know, that being a feminist is not a bad thing! This is particularly targeted to men and women who think negatively of the term feminist to help challenge assumptions about the word and about the lens and movement.

However, I am always interested in continuing this discussion so leave a comment if you so inclined or hit me up on one of my social medias!

What “No Politics” actually mean for forums and comment sections?

Comment sections and forums across the internet often have some kind of ‘no politics’ rule. Depending on the type of post, this usually robs a certain voice that must be heard. Of course, if it is a picture of a puppy liking peanut butter, then I better not hear about Trump’s wall in that comment section. But if it’s a discussion on say, Liam Neeson and the recent confusion of a journalist for a psychologist, the implications of his thought process have larger ramification that need to be addressed.

What I really like to try emphasise in a lot of my academic, creative and social thinking is that we are all political.

I don’t mean that we are all eligible of being the Prime Minister of Australia in the next minute (although that is arguably highly likely considering) but that all of us have power to affect beliefs and ideas of others all around us.

So a comment section or forum that talks about some kind of news story or event or idea, which isn’t allowed to be discussed in a ‘political’ way means a whole voice is robbed. A whole conversation about the power dynamics of a post is lost. The voice that would want to challenge what’s happening isn’t able to be heard. Power remains the same, lost to the authority of the ‘no politics’ idea. This becomes oppressive and weakens the chance for civil opinions to be heard.

An example I want to use is, as alluded too, the Liam Neeson fiasco. The link escapes me at the time of writing but I came across a thread that basically said ‘Let’s not talk about the politics behind this and appreciate how good of an actor he is, regardless’ (not verbatim).

The article highlighted over his name suggests that if what Liam Neeson did was done to a white person, race would not have been involved and he wouldn’t have sought out a white person. This is due to the assumed whiteness that is vicarious in our western society. So in a comment section that disallows the voice concerned about racism, in order to instead celebrate the mans accomplishments… it unconsciously accepts the dangers of lived racism.

We need to talk about politics, but not in the way we all think. We need to recognise everything we do has weight. Every single action affects how those around us perceive their world and how they enact their lived experience of said world.

There is no such thing as ‘no politics’, rather, only the politics that certain people want to hear when it would otherwise challenge human rights and basic human decency.

For James (Poem)

Site version post can be found here

For James,

 

If I may be melodramatic for a moment,

Stars would do injustice to the number of times

His face has crossed my mind,

His heart has beat in sync with mine,

And those hands would, in my sleep, of mine would mime.

 

Now – that is over.

Two clasps hands, face on a pillow

With a mattress of peas or feathers,

It really doesn’t matter… matter,

 

What’s the matter now?

His smile.

 

Cliché? I think more-so than any other.

I’m a sucker for the same.

But only once a week, a month, oh no.

Perhaps that’s the biggest shame.

 

He may be the definition of spring,

But like a sea, I know no obvious season.

I splash about, waves more rouge than a mountain.

I’ve sunk ships and many men in my wake,

But in his gleam, I only paint the sand a different shade.

 

 

 

 

 

And from those sandcastles resting,

Are leaves torn, red and brittle – like gold –

That adorn it as spires do reaching up and up,

Like God knows he’s a sinner, but

God has not refused his imagination.

 

But he triumphs over that sore,

Hollowed out groves we will rest in.

Let the restlessness of pollen claim my every pore,

Bringing new meaning to the original sin.

 

Bushfires are just around the corner

And I am engulfed by that heat –

Of the metal to flesh that’ll linger –

Because fire’s never neat.

 

But I don’t solely live for the looks, that aesthetic.

Its is the choir, or perhaps the birds who have lulled .

It is a song that makes the renaissance look pathetic.

For he is an immaculate sculptor and his chisel would not have dulled.

 

Love poems are for dramatists,

To woo, or to instruct how.

 

My purpose is not a proclamation,

But a reminder

Of a trance that brings me sedation.

 

One of warm hearts, puckered lips and a tight embrace.

A unique calling,

But as endless as the tide.

 

© Christos Floratos 2019

Starting on the Left Foot

I think it’s no surprise to some that I am decisively all about human rights. Some categorise this as “left-wing . If I’ll honest, I really don’t think this divide should exist. ‘Right-wing‘ politics only benefits a select amount of people and I don’t think I’ve ever fallen into the categories of those people. Naturally, I would be drawn away from that.

As a future Social Worker, it comes to no surprise that I am absolutely in favour of human rights and social justice. Honestly, my profession is the definition of Social Justice Warrior.

I’m starting on the left-foot, letting you all know of where I stand, because we are all political. If you exist, you’re being inherently says something about you. And if my existence has to be determined by feet, I guess I’ll choose my left most foot to win the race.. But also, political stance is also used as a distraction at time so always be wary of that. But I need to let you know, as the reader of the blog of what to expect. Some of the following I support include:

  • LGBTQI+ Rights and Voices
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Feminism
  • Religious Freedom
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Racial Equality

These are just some of the crazy and wacky beliefs I support. Usually, in debates you’ll hear “It’s okay if you disagree” or “People can have opinions”, but I subscribe to what morally drives me. I just don’t think that’s the case when a decision challenges a persons innate dignity, not based on any harmful actions.

Christoast’s Thoughts

Hey reader!

I decided to start up a blog because there’s a lot on my mind, in terms of my creative/poetry writing life, academic life, hobby (DnD) life and all around a lot of different things I want to talk about and express. And this platform seems the most logical for a while.

Who knows where this will go! Maybe six seasons and a movie?

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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