Fandango’s Provocative Question #166

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

It happened again. Yesterday, another mass shooting in the United States occurred just ten days after ten people were shot and killed in a supermarket in Buffalo. As of when I’m writing this, 18 students and a teacher were killed in a mass shooting at a school in the small Texas city of Uvalde. An 18-year-old Uvalde resident entered the school with a handgun and a rifle. Inside the school, according to Texas’ pro-gun governor, Greg Abbott, the teenage gunman “shot and killed — horrifically, incomprehensibly” more than 18 children and a teacher.

The gunman, who legally bought the weapons used in the attack shortly after his 18th birthday on May 16, was shot and killed by officers responding to the scene. Abbott added, “It is being reported that the subject shot his grandmother right before he went into the school.”

This massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States so far this year. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization, counted at least 215 such shootings, defined as one in which four or more people were killed or injured, through mid-May. Today is the 145th day of the year, meaning that there has been an average of almost 1.5 mass shootings a day in America this year! Ponder that for a moment.

I am so pissed that I can hardly contain my anger and frustration. State governments all across the nation are passing laws making it easier for people to get guns, allowing both open carry and concealed carry. They are liberalizing or eliminating background checks. Gun sales in the United States are at an all-time high. Gun deaths are soaring. And our elected officials — particularly the Republicans — are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses offering their thoughts and prayer.

President Biden spoke about this heinous mass shooting in Texas, saying…

“As a nation we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? How many scores of little children, who witnessed what happened, must see their friends die as if they’re in a battlefield?

I am sick and tired of it. We have to act. And don’t tell me we can’t have an impact on this carnage. For God’s sake, we have to have the courage to stand up to the industry.”

My provocative question this week is similar to what I asked last week after the Buffalo mass killings. I am looking for your reactions and thoughts about this kind of gun violence that is endemic in the United States.

Do you feel that President Biden’s plea to take action and to do something to stem the rising tide of gun violence in America have any impact? Or will lawmakers at both the federal and state levels do nothing more than offer their useless “thoughts and prayers,” which is all they ever do?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #165

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

You may have read about the tragic events this past weekend in Buffalo, New York, where a gunman shot down 10 black people at a supermarket. Before committing that heinous act, he had stated his intent was to “kill as many black people as possible.” He wrote these words in a 180-page manifesto published online before he carried out what investigators are calling a hate crime and a racist act of violent extremism.

The 18-year-old white man, who claimed to target a specific zip code in Buffalo because it “has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live,” repeatedly lamented about immigration, which he feared would result in “ethnic replacement,” “cultural replacement,” “racial replacement,” and ultimately, he wrote, “white genocide.”

This is the “white replacement theory” or the “Great Replacement” that has motivated similar mass killings in recent years. It is a racist conspiracy theory that holds that, through immigration, interracial marriage, integration, and violence, and at the behest of secret forces orchestrated by “global elites” (i.e., Jews), Christian whites are being disenfranchised, disempowered, and pushed out of “white nations.”

This notion, which serves as a justification for violence directed at Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, and Muslims, is being justified and promoted aggressively by the far right in the United States. At the same time, those on the right (and not just on the far right) are condemning teaching or discussing Critical Race Theory (CRT), which is an academic concept the core of which is the idea that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies. In other words, it’s the study of how American racism has shaped public policy.

On the one hand, “white replacement theory promotes violence against any group that its proponents perceive as a threat to the purity, the supremacy, and even the survival of the white race. “Critical race theory,” on the other hand, is a non-violent way of trying to understand the systemic racism that pervades society in the United States.

My provocative question this week is a bit unusual in that I’m not looking for a specific answer as much as I am your reactions to, and thoughts about, what I have written above. So…

How do you feel about what is going on in the United States in regard to racism? Do you see any way of reconciling the concepts of White Replacement Theory and Critical Race Theory?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #164

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

As almost everyone knows by now, mega billionaire Elon Musk is buying Twitter for $44 billion. If his deal to acquire Twitter goes through, Musk said he would “reverse the permanent ban” of former President Donald Trump on Twitter and let him back on the social network. Musk said, “I do think that it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country, and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.” He added that it was “morally wrong and flat-out stupid” and that “permanent bans just fundamentally undermine trust in Twitter.”

My provocative question this week is…

How do you feel about Elon Musk’s intention to reinstate Donald Trump’s Twitter account and his rational for doing so?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #106 Revisited

FPQ

Note: Because I am participating in the A to Z blogging challenge this month, I will not be posting any new provocative question until May. Instead, I will be revisiting some previous provocative questions that you might have missed. This one was originally posted on January 27, 2021 and can be found here. Please feel free to respond to it if you haven’t already.

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Blogging is a medium of words. All of us who blog are wordsmiths. We use words almost exclusively to express ourselves, to tell our stories, to weave our tales, to write our poems, to help others to understand and possibly even appreciate our perspectives.

In the real world, words can take on different meanings depending on context, inflection, facial expressions, body language, and other countless factors. But in blogging, such visual cues are, for the most part, absent. Thus, the challenge of conveying your intended tone and the underlying meaning of what you write can be daunting. It gets down to the age old writer’s dilemma. Is the content what matters, or how the content is portrayed or presented?

So, as we are all writers who use words to paint pictures, my provocative question is simply this:

In the context of blogging and writing, what do you think is more important: what you say or how you say it?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

Fandango’s Provocative Question #70 Revisited

Note: Because I am participating in the A to Z blogging challenge this month, I will not be posting any new provocative question until May. Instead, I will be revisiting some previous provocative questions that you might have missed. This one was originally posted on May 20, 2020 and can be found here. Please feel free to respond to it if you haven’t already.

FPQ

Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

When I was doing the A to Z Blogging Challenge last month, I posted old sayings or adages daily and in alphabetical order, A through Z. One of the old adages I came across, but did not use was this: “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes.”

The suggestion to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means that, before passing judgment on someone else, you must understand his or her experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. In effect, it is a reminder to practice empathy.

And that brings me to this week’s provocative question.

If you could choose anyone, past or present, and walk that proverbial mile in his or her shoes, who would you choose, and why would you choose that person?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.