“I’m not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity.”
Ingrid Newkirk, PETA founder, New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003
Many of y'all are scratching your heads wondering why I would pick such a ridiculous quotation to lead off my blog.
It is a ridiculous comment, isn't it? What person in their right mind would compare having children to breeding purebred dogs? Whose mind works that way?
I showed this quote to a friend of mine and she pointed out that it wasn't really that crazy. She said that if you ignore the word "purebred" you can see Newkirk's point that many people's insistence on only having a child of their loins is as bad as folks who only want a purebred dog. She said I was putting too much emphasis on one word.
Well, of course I had to disagree with her. That's what I do, I disagree with people and get into arguments. It's why I have this blog.
I pointed out to my friend that certain words have the power to invalidate the most insightful messages. For example, if a white person was giving me the solution to black on black crime, but that white person kept using the phrase "you people" well it's unlikely I would get his point because I would be caught up in his words.
A few years back, the mayor of New Orleans promised some black residents that the city would remain a "chocolate city" despite the forced evacuations Katrina caused. His comments ignited a firestorm of controversy, mainly because many white people felt like he was telling them to leave and never come back. Now, I didn't think he was saying that, and I actually thought he was addressing a real concern in the black community. But, the way he decided to word his statement is what got it interpreted as an attack on white folks, and his administration has never been the same.
Words mean something.
How often have you tried to discuss a topic with your spouse or significant other and had them say, "I just don't like they way you're talking to me." Sometimes they express that sentiment because of your tone, but often it's because the words you're using aren't the words they want to hear, no matter how justified or accurate they may be.
Communication is all about imparting information in a way that sticks with people and makes them want to understand your point of view. Our new president understands this, as do most people who effectively impart knowledge.
I can't help but wonder how many of the people who make a living "communicating" actually understand this simple truth. How many of them really want their message to stick with us? How many of them are satisfied if they just touch off an emotional response?
What about you?
How are you communicating?
(Being president is so nice, Obama decided to take the oath twice. I can't blame the brother for being cautious. He's like, "You bitches are stuck with me now!")