Time to Repeal the Second Prohibition

marijuana-3000-2000-wallpaper

A generation in the United States that has already had a big enough influence to impact legalization of gay marriage and universal healthcare is well on its way to achieving the next goal: Federal legalization of marijuana in the United States. Having recently been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, the legalization of marijuana has to become a hot topic as of late, so I figured it is time to officially weigh in on the matter.

Like alcohol, marijuana was banned throughout the country beginning in the early 1900s. Unlike alcohol, laws banning the possession, sale, transport, and cultivation of marijuana have not been repealed since. Several reasons have been given for the federal ban on marijuana, some being valid and others being outdated. Let’s break down each one to determine if it is rational or not.

gateway

Probably one of the oldest and least informed arguments is that marijuana is a gateway drug. This argument makes the assumption that smoking marijuana will lead users to try more dangerous drugs that can be very dangerous to your health. Many researchers have since found that there is no causal factor between the smoking of marijuana and the use of more dangerous drugs. Out of over 100 million Americans who have tried marijuana, only one-third of them have tried cocaine and just four percent tried heroin. There is strong evidence to suggest that even the minority who did go on to use hard drugs most likely did so not because of marijuana, but because of mental health or stress related problems. The Institute of Medicine stated that “Marijuana does not appear to be a gateway drug to the extent that it is the cause or even that it is the most significant predictor of serious drug abuse.” In fact, tobacco and alcohol are much more likely to be used as gateway drugs.

The most common argument for the prohibition of marijuana is its negative health impacts. First off, there is the concern about potential addiction to the substance. It is possible to become addicted to marijuana, but the chances are very low. Marijuana does not cause biological addiction from which your body becomes depedent on the substance. It becomes a psychological dependence for some people. Furthermore, a 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine showed that 32% of tobacco users develop a dependence, 23% of heroin users, 17% of cocaine users, 15% of alcohol users, but just 9% for marijuana users. To look at those statistics in another way, you are more than three times more likely to become addicted from legal cigarettes than illegal marijuana. The study concluded that few marijuana users develop a dependence, and the depedence for those who do is far less severe than other drugs.

10 reasons

The second health concern is the possibility of developing cancer as a result of smoking marijuana. In fact, there is no clear causal connection between the smoking of marijuana and lung cancer. Granted, part of the reason for this is the lack of data available due to marijuana’s illegal status. What is known is that marijuana contains a fraction of the carcinogens found in cigarettes, which are directly related to lung cancer. A study conducted in 2012 found the heaviest smokers of marijuana could develop bronchitis, but that moderate smoking had little to no risk. Marijuana can increase heart rate and blood flow, but experts say this would not pose a health problem to people who are old or don’t have heart problems to begin with. Furthermore, unlike alcohol and tobacco, there is no clear connection between marijuana and any sort of deadly disease, and it is not possible to overdose on marijuana.

In 2010, an independent scientific committee compared the harmfulness of 20 drugs based on the damage they caused to individual users and to society as a whole through crime, family breakdown, absenteeism, and other social ills. The results showed that the most harmful drug was alcohol, and marijuana ranked eighth on the list with approximately a fourth of the harmfulness of alcohol. The government’s response to the seemingly much less harmful marijuana was that the damage would increase a lot more if the substance was legal because there would be more use. However, the World Health Organization refuted this by saying that even if marijuana use rose to the same levels as alcohol and tobacco, the public health costs would still be far less than the two legal substances.

alcohol vs weed

Many of the dangers of marijuana come from the fact that there many different strains that could be laced with anything, and users don’t always know exactly what they are smoking. Regulating a legal marijuana industry would greatly reduce this problem. In addition, it has been proven that there are ways to ingest marijuana that are even less harmful than smoking, such as using a vaporizer or ingesting it through edibles. Also overlooked is the myriad of benefits that medical marijuana has provided, ranging from assisting with simple to body pain to being able to help with depression, seizures, and even HIV. Early reports out of Colorado have indicated a 10% decrease in crime rate since the legalization of marijuana, and an infusion of millions upon millions of dollars into the economy, two critical societal benefits.

health benefits

One legitimate concern from the legalization of marijuana would be the increase in underage use. The brain undergoes active development until about age 21, and heavy use of marijuana (like any other drug) could impact the development of the brain. Like any other threat in society, education and strictly enforced minimum age laws would need to be enacted to try to keep those who are underage from using.

weed economy

In my opinion, it will only be a matter of time before marijuana becomes recognized by the federal government as a legal drug throughout the United States. It is not a completely harmless substance, but it is one of, if not the least, harmful drug out there and has untapped potential for benefiting society. If nothing else, it times for the laws to at least become consistent. A War on Drugs in which two of the most harmful substances out there are legal, and one of the least harmful isn’t, sends a contradicting message on exactly what the whole point of the War on Drugs is.

That being said, a bill has been introduced in Congress, and you can see the summary in the link below.

https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/499

Sources: New York Times: “What Science Says About Marijuana” By PHILIP M. BOFFEY

Thanks to everyone who read this post, please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Final Thoughts on the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

world cup

World Cup Fever has been raging across the world for the last month, with many exciting moments, big surprises, unlikely heroes, and an epic conclusion. From the perspective of someone who only tunes into soccer during big events such as the World Cup, here are my thoughts on everything that has happened in Brazil over the last month.

group of death

A collective groan was heard across the country in December after the United States found out what group they would be to start the World Cup. Nicknamed the Group of Death, Group G featured #2 ranked Germany, #4 ranked Portugal, and a Ghana team that had knocked the USA out of the last two World Cups. This was a group so tough, even coach Jurgen Klinnsman told US fans not to expect the United States to win. Controversy rose once again when one of the best players in United States history, Landon Donovan, was left completely off the roster.

Despite the odds being stacked against our country, many people, including me, still believed the USA had a chance.

And they did not disappoint.

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186512/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186483/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186469/index.html

http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/videos/highlights/match=300186497/index.html

The United States posted a 1-1-1 record in the group stage, with an even goal differential, and their only loss being a 1-0 contest against eventual champion Germany. They would fight to the bitter end in the knockout stage against Belgium, finally losing 2-1 in extra time despite an all time great performance from goalie Tim Howard. I watched this World Cup first as a United States fan, and second as a sports fan. I was proud of what my country was able to accomplish: Surviving the Group of Death, advancing to the knockout stage in back to back World Cups for the first time ever, being able to overcome adversity such as Clint Dempsey’s broken nose and Jozy Altidore’s leg injury, having everyone from star players to substitutes to the goalie give 100% effort at all times, and making it farther than Italy, England, and defending champion Spain.

super stars

brazil

belgium

tim howard

usa fans

This was the second World Cup that I followed in depth, the previous one being the 2010 South Africa World Cup. I learned a lot more this time around and realized that this event was about far more than soccer, and that even non-soccer fans and non-sports fans can get excited and rally around their country for this event. I learned that the United States truly does care about soccer and that their programs are moving in the right direction. I was surprised at how many hardcore soccer fans there were here. The World Cup certainly brought out a lot of the bandwagoners along for the ride, but gave the true soccer fans a chance to get excited as well. I think the World Cup as a whole was very exciting this time. Whether it was powerhouses like Spain, Portugal, and Brazil getting eliminated shockingly early, underdogs such as the United States and Costa Rica advancing farther than anyone thought, witnessing the second highest scoring World Cup, a 95th minute World Cup saving goal, epic penalty kick shootouts, the biting incident, the final goal in extra time of the championship, or all of the mayhem surrounding Brazil in general, it was certainly a memorable 4 weeks.

stadium

copacabana

trophy

I found the culture surrounding the World Cup very interesting as well. Copacabana beach and Rio de Janeiro were big party scenes during the event. Most people would vacation near a stadium, watch all the games of the teams that came through, and then party hard during the off days. Other than an overhead passing collapsing, I think Brazil ultimately was a success with no major crime reports or other infrastructure problems occurring, despite completing only 10 or so of a promised 52 projects for this World Cup. The biggest disappointment for me, other than the United States loss to Belgium, was the injury to Brazil superstar Neymar. I wasn’t particularly rooting for Brazil in general, either because I liked them or because they were the home team, but I think the semifinals and finals would have been a lot more interesting with one of the world’s best players playing in his home country. One of the biggest highlights for me was actually during the final day. Snapchat introduced a Rio Live 2014 account that gathered all the snapchats from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil during the final game. It was really cool to see the event through the eyes of the fans.

game winner

The World Cup returns in 2018 in Russia, but for now we are left to appreciate, celebrate, mourn, and take in what was an unbelievable spectacle this year in Brazil.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Celtics Draft Reaction and Free Agency Predictions

smart young

The 2014 NBA draft wrapped up a couple of weeks ago, and now that free agency is in full force it’s time to take a look the future of the Celtics and the NBA. Boston had two first round picks in the draft, #6 overall and #17 overall, with the 17th pick being acquired from Brooklyn in the Pierce/Garnett trade. They chose star point guard Marcus Smart from Oklahoma State with #6, and I was not a big fan of this pick. As a huge Rajon Rondo fan, this likely means that his days are numbered in Boston. The Celtics already have three players that can play the point, with Rondo, Bradley, and second year man Phil Pressey. I also dislike Smart due to his flopping reputation and immaturity at times. I would have liked to see them draft Julius Randle, who went to the Lakers with the very next pick, to give them some inside toughness and rebounding. On the other hand, I like the James Young selection at 17. The 6’6″ freshman shooting guard out of Kentucky provides a dynamic scoring option in the backcourt that I think would complement Rondo and Bradley very well.

melo

One of the two biggest free agents this summer is superstar forward Carmelo Anthony. The 2012-2013 NBA scoring champion spent the last few years on the New York Knicks before becoming a free agent on July 1. Potential destinations for Melo to land have been rumored to be back to New York, Los Angeles with the Lakers, Chicago to team up with Derrick Rose and the Bulls, Houston to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard, and even a mega deal to go to Boston along with Kevin Love. At this current moment, it is being rumored that the Lakers are the Knicks’ top threat to land Carmelo Anthony. I am skeptical that this will happen. At this point in his career, Carmelo is looking to join a team that will contend for the next several years. The Lakers were awful last year, and even if Kobe Bryant comes back healthy, Kobe is nearing the last couple years of his career and there is no supporting cast in Los Angeles.

I definitely don’t think the Kevin Love/Carmelo Anthony deal to Boston will happen. It also wouldn’t make sense to go to Miami because he is too similar of a player to Lebron. Of the three options left, I think it makes the most sense for him to return to New York. The Knicks clich├ęd the #2 seed in the East just a year ago, and with Phil Jackson running the show now, Melo can be sure there will a valiant effort to put together a championship team. Houston would be my second choice for Carmelo. He would thrive in that high-powered offense and create a dynamic big 3 with James Harden and Dwight Howard, not to mention Houston is already a playoff contender. Third choice would be the Bulls. The health of Derrick Rose is a main reason why Chicago might not be able to pull this off, but if they could and Rose remains healthy, Chicago will instantly contend for the East.

lebron

The biggest decision in the NBA this summer will be the future of the Big 3 in Miami, who have opted out of their contracts to become free agents in order to give themselves more flexibility in the future. Rumors have swirled that Lebron might return to Cleveland to join his old franchise and pair up with young starts such as Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins. One reason for not returning to Miami would be the health and consistency of Dwyane Wade, who carried the Big 3 in the early years but has been injured and inconsistent at times during the postseason. Despite this, the Heat were still a title contender until they got smashed by the Spurs in the Finals. Rumor had it that Lebron essentially forced the Heat to trade up in the draft to acquire point guard Shabazz Napier. Other rumors have it that the Heat are trying to acquire guards Kyle Lowry and Luol Deng. With Miami being one free agent away or so to being able to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference, I think Lebron will ultimately return to Miami with Wade and Bosh under significantly different contracts.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 NBA Finals Preview/Prediction

heat spurs

For the second consecutive year, the Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat will face off against the Western Conference Champion San Antonio Spurs. Both teams once again dominated the regular season and took familiar paths to reaching the Finals, but this time the Spurs will have home court advantage thanks to earning the top seed in the playoffs. Much has been made about the disparity between the Eastern and Western Conference this year, and as a result the Spurs are much more battle tested in the playoffs than the Heat. San Antonio battled an 8th seeded Mavericks team in seven games, a sharp shooting Portland squad, and the second seeded Thunder led by MVP Kevin Durant. Meanwhile, the Heat swept a pathetic Bobcats team, overcame an old Nets team, and knocked off an incredibly inconsistent Pacers team. Nevertheless, both teams still feel like they have something to prove, and the rivalry aspect of this series should make it a good one.

lebron duncan

Tim Duncan will be looking to avenge last year’s heartbreaking Finals loss and cement his legacy with his fifth NBA championship, while Lebron James will be looking to match an accomplishment done by Michael Jordan (twice) and Kobe Bryant by winning his third consecutive championship. The Heat are the younger and more athletic team, capable of playing high-flying offense and lock down defense. The Spurs are the more balanced and well-rounded team, with a deep roster of both veterans and young players. On the coaching side, the advantage clearly goes to Spurs coach Gregg Poppovich over Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. One important factor to look out for at the beginning of this series is the status of Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who missed the second half of game 6 of the Western Conference Finals with an ankle injury, but is expected to start Game 1 on Thursday night.

coaches

As everyone remembers, the course of last year’s NBA Finals was dramatically altered by Ray Allen’s three pointer in Game 6 as the Heat went on to win the series in seven games. I think this will be another hard-fought series, similar to last year, but in the end home court advantage helps the Spurs take home their fifth NBA championship in seven games.

Who do you think will win the 2014 NBA Finals? Vote in the poll down below.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 Stanley Cup Final Preview/Prediction

rangers kings

The Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 20 years to clash against the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings, making their 2nd Cup appearance in three years. Most people assumed that either Boston or Pittsburgh would represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, but after the Bruins were upset in seven games by the Canadiens, and the Rangers came back from 3-1 against Pittsburgh, that was not to be the case. Meanwhile, the Kings have been an even bigger surprise coming down from 3-0 against San Jose, 3-2 against the top seeded Anaheim Ducks, and from down 4-3 in the 3rd period to knock off the defending champion Blackhawks in overtime. The 6th seeded Kings will have home ice advantage in the series due to finishing 4 points ahead of the 5th seeded Rangers. The teams split their two matchups during the regular season.

goalies

Henrik Lundqvist has been praised as one of the elite goalies in the NHL for the past several years now, and a key factor in the Rangers Stanley Cup run. However, Jonathan Quick has one thing that Lundqvist does not: big game experience. Aside from being the starting goalie for the 2012 Champion LA Kings, Quick was also the starter for Team USA in the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year. These are two of the premier goalies in the NHL, so expect some big games and clutch saves from them throughout this series. On the offensive end, the Kings are led by Marion Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Jeff Carter, who have combined for 21 goals and 65 points this postseason helping the Kings to a 3.5 goals per game average in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Rangers have averaged just 2.7 goals per game and will need Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and company to step up big in this series.

kopitar

The Kings have not only become the first team to win three consecutive game sevens to make it to the Stanley Cup Final, but they won them all on the road by coming down from 3-0 in the first round, defeating the top seed in the second round, and beating the defending champions in the third round. I think the Los Angeles Kings have the momentum and will emulate what happened in the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, winning the series in six games.

Who do you think will win the Stanley Cup Final? Vote in the poll down below.

Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

Summary

After mysterious radioactivity is detected off the coast of Japan, scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) makes it his personal mission to uncover the truth. 15 years after what was thought to be an earthquake destroyed his lab and killed his wife, the true nature of the radioactivity is revealed and it is up to Godzilla to save the city of San Francisco.

What I liked

I was entertained for the first hour of this film. I thought the movie did a good job of setting up the background to what was happening, and I think Bryan Cranston did a good job in his role as well. The special effects were impressive, and it was fascinating to see director Gareth Edward’s portrayal of Godzilla. The movie kept the plot line relatively and focused on what everyone wanted to see: an epic battle between Godzilla and the evil creatures destroying the city of San Francisco.

What I didn’t like

I thought the second half of the movie was rather weak. I eventually got bored with all the fighting and action and think the movie was about a half an hour too long. Furthermore, there wasn’t much creativity outside of the Godzilla battle; many of the themes and scenes were unoriginal and have been used in many other movies. Furthermore, Godzilla doesn’t really appear until towards the end of the film, but instead we are trying to figure out what these radioactive MUTO things are and what they are doing. Finally, some of the scenes were unrealistic, for example the classic guy getting saved conveniently right before the monster is about to kill him.

Rating

IMDB: 7.3/10
RT Critics: 73%
RT Audience: 73%

My Final rating: 5/10

Thanks to everyone who read this review. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

2014 NBA Conference Finals Preview

conf finals

The conference finals matchups are set, and I’m here break down the two series and give my predictions for who will play in the 2014 NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference Finals: #2 Miami Heat vs. #1 Indiana Pacers

ECF

For the second consecutive year, the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will face off in the Eastern Conference Finals. The difference is that this time Indiana has home court advantage. The Pacers have been remarkably inconsistent in their first two series against inferior teams, but have shown signs that they are pulling it together in the Washington series. In order for the Pacers to have a chance in this series, they are absolutely going to need consistently good efforts from Paul George and Roy Hibbert on a nightly basis. They cannot afford a 4-17 shooting night from George or a zero rebound game from Hibbert. In contrast, Miami has been playing consistent basketball, posting an 8-1 record to begin the playoffs. Dwayne Wade looks healthy and is playing very well, and the Heat are playing good basketball. The matchup to watch in this series is going to be Paul George vs. Lebron James. Unlike the Nets, who had to use several players to guard James, the Pacers have had success with George guarding James. Paul has the edge defensively while Lebron has the edge offensively, so it should be fun to watch. The Pacers are more than capable of winning this series, but they just haven’t shown enough consistency in the second half of the season and early in the playoffs. Heat win the Eastern Conference in six games.

Western Conference Finals: #2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs. #1 San Antonio Spurs

spurs thunder

These two teams will clash again in the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years. MVP Kevin Durant and the Thunder will face defending Western Conference Champs Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Two years ago, the Spurs took a 2-0 lead before the Thunder won 4 straight to advance to the Finals. Both teams are desperate for a shot to get revenge at Lebron and the Heat in the Finals. Both teams are battle tested and have proven themselves as the league’s best in a very competitive Western Conference. I expect this to be a very hard-fought series. I’m looking forward to future Hall of Famers Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook match up against each other, as well as Kevin Durant and Tim Duncan. The Spurs might have the all around better team, but I think Kevin Durant is on a mission this year. He is tired of always being second, being called unreliable, and many other criticisms in recent years. I think he puts the team on his back this series and explodes in Game 7 to upset the Spurs and reach the Finals.

Who do you guys think will win the NBA Finals? Let me know in the poll down below.

Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Long Term Relationships

I found this video very interesting to watch because I think there is a lot of truth in it, and that not many people understand the truth when it comes to long-term relationships. Jason Silva is spot on when he says that anyone would take the honeymoon period, but it is much more difficult to sustain something long-term. I have seen this play out dozens of times in my own life. People get into relationships that work in the short-term, but are destined to fail in the long-term. People just don’t think far enough ahead sometimes. For me personally, I am always trying to look at the big picture, and think three, five, ten years down the line. I prefer to make a long-term investment rather than gambling in the short-term. Unfortunately, there is the pressure that society puts on us. You are told that you have to be in a relationship in order to be happy, and you get judged as a loser if you are single for an extended period of time. Again, I have experienced this personally, but would rather be judged than get into an unhealthy relationship. I also know that it is possible to be single and happy as well.

This idea of seeing your partner as a self-sustaining whole rather than your other half in order to sustain long-term desire is a very interesting one. I have personally seen the relationships where people are just way too dependent on each other and need attention every single minute of the day, and obviously that’s not going to last very long. I like how he said in the video that you need to keep a certain distance in order remain attracted to that person. It is seeing the other person as a separate individual and not as a half of a couple that makes us desire them. I think in the end it also comes down to a maturity factor. Relationships in high school and college are much different from relationships as adults. When you are an adult, you are responsible for yourself and you are no longer depending on your parents. You would expect the same thing from your partner. You are no longer relying on each other but rather working together as separate individuals to maintain a happy relationships and successful life.

Before I end the blog, I have to cap it off with a sports analogy. It is very easy to play a sport in high school, much like it is easy to get into a relationship for less than a year. However, out of those thousands of high school athletes, only a very small percentage make it to the professional level. Likewise, out of all the relationships that exist, only a very small percentage will last a lifetime. Maybe I’m just being too much of a perfectionist, but I don’t like failure, and if I decide to get into a relationship it’s going to be with the notion that it will be a long-term thing. I would rather be patient and enjoy the happy single life than make the mistake that I’ve seen dozens of people make throughout my life.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

A Comparison of Two Modern Dynasties: San Antonio Spurs vs. New England Patriots

patriots spurs

In today’s era of parity and competition in professional sports, two franchises have risen above the rest, and it is no coincidence that they have much in common. The 3-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and 4-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs have dominated in their respective leagues, and are among the most consistently successful professional sports franchises that the United States has ever known.

As with any franchise, success starts at the top. Spurs owner Peter Holt and Patriots owner Bob Kraft have done a remarkable job in making these teams successful. Both owners grew up in the area of their respective teams, and are extremely dedicated to not only improving the franchise, but the community as well. Then there are the coaches. Considered among the best, if the not the best, in their respective sports, Spurs coach Gregg Poppovich and Patriots coach Bill Belichick have a lot in common. Neither is a big fan of the media, and press conferences involve short, sweet, to the point answers. Both coaches have thrived by being able to maximize the talent on their roster, and consistently succeed year after year despite injuries, new players, and the parity of the league. Most importantly, each coach has won multiple championships.

belichick popp

Although one player was drafted very high and the other very low, both Tom Brady and Tim Duncan have come to represent the face of their respective franchises. They have been remarkably consistent no matter who their supporting cast is, and are still leading their teams deep into the playoffs in their late 30s. Both players have over a 0.700 career winning percentage with multiple championships to go with it. They are humble, they are team players, and they are extraordinary leaders. Division titles are a forgone conclusion for these guys, as are 50 win seasons for Duncan and 10 win seasons for Brady. Both have won league MVPs and Finals/Super Bowl MVPs. Both players have been with respective teams for their entire career, and more than likely will retire with their teams as well.

Whether you like or hate the Spurs or Patriots, you have to respect what they have been able to accomplish as sports franchises. All they do is win consistently and contend for championships year after year, and that’s something that’s extremely hard to do in modern-day sports. We should appreciate the greatness we are seeing from these two organizations from top to bottom, because we may never see something like it again.

Thanks to everyone who read this post. Please like the post if you enjoyed reading, comment if you have feedback, and share with others.

Thanks,

Jeff

Reverse Racism

The topic of racism in the United States has been brought to light once again because of the ongoing Donald Sterling saga. To be honest, I think there is a massive double standard concerning racism in the United States. Racism is a very sensitive issue because of the past history of this country, but it is time to move on. I’m so sick and tired of the absolute crisis that occurs whenever something even slightly offensive is said regarding race. Anything and everything regarding race is absurdly overblown in the media every time it is mentioned. There are far bigger issues to worry about than people saying offensive things.

The latest example of this is the Donald Sterling situation, which in my opinion might be the most blown out of proportion incident that I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Admittedly, he said some offensive things that he probably regrets, but lets look at this situation in perspective. He did not use the n-word or any other slur when referring to African Americans. He did not physically hurt anybody. He did not do anything illegal. The fact that his girlfriend illegally recorded his phone conversation is far worse than what he said, and that got completely overlooked. Unfortunately, that is the society we live in today. The racism card gets pulled in any and every scenario possible. Don’t like Barack Obama? Racist. Don’t think illegal citizens should be allowed in the United States? Racist. Your favorite athlete is white? Racist. There are completely valid reasons for thinking all of the above things that have nothing to do with race. Racism is still a problem in the United States, but 95% of the time people label something or someone as racist, it is complete nonsense.

This brings me to the whole idea of reverse racism and the double standards in society. It infuriates me now that people are blatantly racist against white people and completely get away with it. Whites are stereotyped as fat, lazy, stupid, arrogant, spoiled people by every other race and they can get away with it, but the second a white person says anything that can remotely be taken out of context, World War III is upon us. Furthermore, white people are now at a disadvantage for getting into college, getting a job, working in the sports industry, etc. because there are ridiculous rules put in place where you must have a certain number of minorities hired. This is blatant racism, you should be allowed to hire the best people to get the job done. Instead, you are forced to take race into account, which has nothing to do with how well the job is going to get done, and it screws everyone involved except the minorities who get to take advantage of reverse racism.

The fact is that all races are not created equal when it comes to certain things, and people need to realize that. What if the NBA had to fill certain quotas with whites, Asians, or Latinos? It would be ridiculous. Black people are generally better at basketball. That is not racism, that’s just a fact! The same applies with office jobs or other careers as well. Different races were brought up with different cultures and have different skills. Instead of trying to convince ourselves that everyone can be equally good at everything, there needs to be a reality check. However, we can’t fix this system because of all the idiots out there who get offended and assume you are racist if you don’t hire an equal number of each race, or even give preference to minorities. I don’t care what happened in the past in terms of the mistakes we’ve made, because I have not done anything wrong and I don’t want to be punished for being a white person because of what happened in the past.

What’s happening in our country now is just as bad as what happened several decades ago. Two wrongs don’t make a right, you can’t make up for racist crimes against minorities committed in the past by turning the tables and being racist against white people. I honestly feel embarrassed to live in this country, because I know other countries out there are just laughing out how ridiculous this situation is. The bottom line is that all races are different, race shouldn’t be a factor either way in determining anything, and most importantly it is ok to acknowledge the fact that races are different and joke around about it once in a while, instead of acting like your entire family got murdered when someone makes a casual comment about Asians being smart, French people being good cooks, or black people being superior athletes.

The diversity in this country is what makes us great, and if everyone could acknowledge their differences and move on we would all be in a much better place.

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