Thursday, July 05, 2007

Bus Stops and Babies

AW: Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice that you are waiting here alone, at the bus stop, WITHOUT children.

RW: I beg your pardon.

AW: Oh, please, don't be ashamed honey. Lots of girls have your problem, but -- thanks be to heaven -- there is hope!

RW: Listen, I don't know who you are, or why you think you have the right to judge me and my life, but I will have you know that I am quite happy with my situation. The fact is that I have no problem whatsoever. So, uh, have a nice day.

AW: I see, you are still in denial. Your internal suffering is so great, subconsciously, you simply refuse to acknowledge reality.

RW: I really do not see how any of this is your business, and . . .

AW: I can't help you, sweetheart, if you keep pushing me away like this. The fact is, though, that if we change you out of those frumpy clothes, fix your hair, add a little make-up, and . . .

RW: [Gasp!] Why, I have never . . .

AW: . . . Been on a date? Trust me, we can fix that. You really are a lovely girl . . .

RW: Do you have any clue as to how incredibly rude your behavior toward me has been? My reproduction, or alleged lack thereof, is none of your business. I would thank you to please just leave me alone!

AW: Ahhhh, I see. What you need is to read an article in the local newspaper that extols the wisdom, indeed, heroism, of defending human reproduction -- regardless of the taboo associated with it.

RW: What? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. What kind of a person would ever write . . .

AW: Did you know that the crisis of low birth rates in developed countries is so great that the French government will actually pay a French woman to stay home and have children? And, did you know that the Russian government has recently introduced a similar program for its country? Truthfully, if it weren't for the infusion of Mexican workers into the United States, we would also be in a world of hurt. What we are witnessing, my dear friend, is cultural Darwinism. The self-centered and the materialistic among us simply do not reproduce. (Thus, they have been naturally selected for extinction.) Those that do reproduce are God's people, the humble, those who actually see children as a blessing, and who would not even consider taking the life of an unborn child. Because of that, the future belongs to conservative Catholics, Evangelicals, Mormons, etc. -- you know, Republicans -- and beautiful brown poor people with lots of children hanging all over them at bus stops. I guess some find that idea offensive. I do not.

RW: Wow! Before, whenever I had seen a woman with many children, I had simply assumed they were all unwanted accidents attributable to reproductive ignorance. . . .

AW: Please, dear, don't beat yourself up for being presumptuous and condescending. You simply did not know. I can tell that you are actually a nice person . . .

RW: Presumptuous and condescending? Uh, that wasn't what I was going to say. But . . .

AW: Don't mention it. It was my pleasure to help you to think about these issues. But, ultimately, the person you should really thank is your mother, the person who gave you life -- not some racist, past or present, who wants to decrease the number of brown babies born into this world.



I wrote the preceding as a parody of the Rebecca Walsh column entitled "Birth control still touchy Utah topic" appearing July 5, 2007 in the Salt Lake Tribune:



Rebecca Walsh: Birth control still touchy Utah topic
By Rebecca Walsh
Tribune Columnist
Article Last Updated: 07/05/2007 02:42:07 AM MDT


Laura Stevens is a very imperfect, modern-day Margaret Sanger.

Like the birth-control activist of the early 20th century, Stevens believes women should have control over the number of children they have.

But unlike Sanger, Stevens apparently offered her advice to just one woman - a Latina mother of six rowdy kids climbing all over the Logan bus depot a few weeks ago. Stevens suggested the overwhelmed woman try a hormone patch.

"I didn't mean to be mean," says Stevens, a 76-year-old retired medical secretary. "Maybe this woman doesn't know how to use birth control. That was the only thing I had in mind."

It wasn't the first time Stevens and the woman had words.

She ended up charged with trespassing and was briefly banned from riding Cache Valley Transit Authority buses. Outside justice court this week, she said she'd be willing to serve time in jail to prove her point. But after a stern talking-to about appropriate bus bench conversation, the charges could be dropped.

"We need to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable and no one feels intimidated," says Todd Beutler, transit authority general manager.

Stevens is a clumsy heroine to champion in a politically correct world. She says what most of us are thinking. She speaks out loud things that are whispered - about welfare moms and polygamists and Mormons and Catholics and immigrants - between close friends and family (the ones who won't judge us). She's easy to label racist or senile. But maybe she's just a pragmatist.

The mother of one and grandmother of none worries about the world's population. She figures America's growing immigrant population will drain the country's resources. She quotes population statistics: 6.6 billion people in the world; nearly 80 million new babies added each year. And demographic studies: the higher a parent's education and income, the smaller the family.

"It's poor people who have child after child," she says. "If we could take care of them, that's fine. But these are children born into a world of need and want. It breaks my heart."

Planned Parenthood Director Karrie Galloway cringed when she heard about Stevens. Over the years, Galloway has mastered the soft voice and gentle demeanor that will be least threatening to conservative Utahns when she says "contraception."

Despite the backlash, Galloway says, the Logan woman has started a debate about family planning that Utah desperately needs to have.

"These types of comments can spring from nobody talking about family planning as an important public health issue," Galloway says. "It's taboo. We don't want to admit that family planning is good."

So for that, thank you, Mrs. Stevens.

walsh@sltrib.com

8 Comments:

At Friday, July 06, 2007 6:46:00 PM, Blogger Voice of Utah said...

Perhaps we could set up different benches for those with different educational needs. Too Many Children (In My Opinion)--over here. Too Few Children (Thus Allowing 'Them' To Take Over)--over here.

I didn't read enough about this incident to know whether we would need sub-benches, e.g., Too Many Children (Bad Kind), Too Many Children (Good Kind), etc. But it's just in the planning stages.

 
At Saturday, July 07, 2007 6:19:00 PM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Voice of Utah,

My vote is for just one kind of bench:

"The go ahead and attempt to make conversation with other people, and if you think you have something they need to hear then try sharing it, but if they act like they don't want to hear it, then please just leave them alone type."

Obviously, within these generous parameters, each of us must use good judgment and good taste. Unfortunately, and with all due respect, I sincerely believe that Ms. Stephens employed neither of these in her efforts to spread the good news of family planning.

I suspect that most of us, regardless of where we come down on the issue, recognize that she violated some clear boundaries of propriety. But, that is not what prompted my parody. Even more than by her approach, I was troubled by her doctrine.

From what I have been able to gather, the counties where her objectives have been realized are actually in crisis, or on the verge of crisis.

Europeans are not reproducing -- what population growth they do have is the result of immigration from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. (Places that may not share liberal Western values.) And, the massive social programs many of these countries employ depend upon a growing population for them to even approach sustainability. Thus, they are facing a major crisis.

The Japanese are not reproducing either, and they too will face similar crisis.

The one child rule in China resulted in millions of aborted baby girls. Eventually, the bubble of millions of single Chinese young men without hope of ever finding a wife is going to burst with major consequences for that country, throwing it into crisis.

Obviously, all things should be done in wisdom and in order -- especially creating a family. Thus, as long as abortion is not employed, I have no problem with people using good judgment in spacing their children and in limiting the number to that which they can personally handle.

But, I strenuously reject the anti-family ethos reflected in the extreme secular left. They are so focused on supposedly saving the planet, that they have lost sight of what the planet should be saved for -- our children.

The ironic thing is that our only hope of saving the planet lies in the development of new technology. And, the implementation of such realistically depends upon a growing economy in order to meet the costs involved. And, a growing economy depends upon a growing population.

As populations fall, economies fail. As economies fail, older and dirtier technologies are employed. This results in greater pollution and damage to the environment.

Also, the resulting economic problems, famines, etc. increase the likelihood of war. This not only causes tremendous human suffering, but also extreme damage to the natural environment. It is a vicious circle.

I do not claim to have all of the answers. I just wanted to help Rebecca Walsh see that the Ms. Stephens' of the world do not have all the answers either.

Thanks for dropping in, my friend.

Sincerely,
A.W.

 
At Tuesday, July 10, 2007 6:32:00 PM, Blogger TrueRedUtahn said...

"and beautiful brown poor people with lots of children hanging all over them at bus stops."

What makes them beautiful? The fact that they have brown skin or the fact that they have kids hanging all over them? Are those of hispanic descent who do not have kids hanging all over them ugly? What about black people or white people or Asian people with kids hanging all over them? Are they beautiful or is that just reserved to "brown people"?

 
At Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Trueredutahn,

Thank you for asking these questions. It is very important to me that I be understood completely. Therefore, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity you have provided to clarify myself.

In my opinion, what makes "them" beautiful is that they are at the bus stop. Yes, that would be it. The bus stop makes all the difference. If they were standing at, say, a snow cone stand, for example, I'm afraid that I would not be so generous in my appraisal.

But, of course, this would only apply to brown Hispanics!

White and black Hispanics, as a general rule, are best seen on escalators if they have children, and in restroom stalls if they are without. Nothing is a flattering to "their kind" as to be seen in a public restroom. It's the lighting.

But, you know this already, right? I sense that you and I are actually kindred spirits, and that we share the same world view. Now, some less erudite readers might have assumed that I only described brown people with children as being beautiful because the lady supposedly being harassed at the bus stop happened to fall into that category -- allowing for the possibility that I might actually love all of God's children, regardless of color, location, or procreative status.

But, you saw through that, didn't you? You are so clever.

Have you ever seen a brown Hispanic buying a newspaper from one of those vending machines on the corner? Uh . . . not a pretty sight! Hello?

Now, if by chance, I may have unintentionally slighted you -- hurt your feelings -- by not mentioning my love for true RED Utahns, then please let me be very clear: I do love you too, and I think you are beautiful too!

That last part is the truth, my friend. (But, you Reds really should stay away from fire hydrants. Trust me, it's not your thing.)

Sincerely,
A.W.

 
At Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:01:00 AM, Blogger TrueRedUtahn said...

I'll keep your admonitions in mind whilst I make my travels.

My point was merely to demonstrate that your comment seemed racist. A nondiscriminatory approach that views all "brown people" as beautiful promotes a people simply because of their race. I just don't see the merit in that.

Like me, you are a shy guy who wants to hide his identity from the world in case you say the wrong thing. So, perhaps you are racist, I don't know. Your comment seems to promote that idea.

I'll grant you that there are a lot of people who are of hispanic descent who tend to be more humble than us prideful whites (perhaps I've said too much and given away my identity). However, I fail to see how blanketing one entire race with a trait, characteristic, or attribute is anything but racism.

Do you suffer from white man's guilt? If so, see Dr. Sharpton, I think he's got a cure.

 
At Wednesday, July 11, 2007 11:56:00 AM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

Dear Trueredutahn,

I am sorry that you feel the way you do. (And, yes, I suspect that I know exactly who you are.)

Sincerely,
A.W.

 
At Wednesday, July 11, 2007 12:44:00 PM, Blogger TrueRedUtahn said...

You are too clever.

You have yet to respond to my question or clarify your meaning of your statement regarding beautiful brown people.

 
At Wednesday, July 11, 2007 9:16:00 PM, Blogger Alienated Wannabe said...

TrueRedUtahn,

I answered your question when I wrote that I ". . . actually love all of God's children, regardless of color, location, or procreative status."

A.W.

 

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