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American

American, dentist, Walter Palmer, Cecil the Lion, Zimbabwe

Have you seen this photo of Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota who murdered Cecil the Lion,  perched proudly above the remains of a dead lion? It proves that Walter Palmer has no respect for life.

There are bad people in the world that’s not a secret. I’ve always leaned more towards the crunchy, tree-hugging and animal loving side  of life philosophies. On most days, I prefer animals to people because most people suffer from some degree of hubris and I find that to be a most unattractive quality in humans. But on days like today, I’m reminded why maybe being at the top of the food chain doesn’t make you more evolved but more capable of doing wrong; damn walking upright and opposable thumbs. I’m talking specifically about the story of Cecil the Lion and the arrogant dentist from Minnesota.

Have you ever seen the hostel series? This is the vibe I get from this entire situation. Lesson number 1, Americans travel the world and act like assholes. This is our Achilles heel. We travel and think the entire world should bend to our will. We don’t learn the languages, we don’t respect the culture or the people and we basically think we can walk in there and own the place. This arrogance makes us vulnerable to all sorts of wrongdoing.

Walter Palmer is a big game hunter. He says he secured all the appropriate licenses and jumped through all the big game hoops that were dictated by regulations. Yet, the lion in question was lured off of a reserve at night (I don’t know maybe that’s when you hunt Lions?) when he was clearly in the national park and wearing a collar, which means he was not only protected he was being studied. In fact, not only was he being studied, he was the most famous of all the lions in Zimbabwe. But Americans, we can’t be held to the rules of native countries we are above these savages, besides he had money and if there is anything we are taught in the United States it is that everything has it’s price. He’s not the first person to think he’s above the law and he won’t be the last when it comes to murdering helpless animals.

And we wonder why the entire world hates us. It’s because we are a bunch of assholes. I see this all a little differently because while I am American, I have traveled outside the U.S. as a child with a native to another country and I was force learned to respect other countries; their languages, their people and their culture. I was not taught to travel and expect the world to bow to me. I was taught when in Rome (or Mexico in my case) behave as if in Rome, not as if you are in America because you’re not.

This dentist went to Africa, paid some people, greased some palms and had his hunt. He didn’t care how forbidden or illegal it was. He can backtrack all he wants now but why lure the lion off the reserve unless it was to do something illegal. He wanted the full experience of the hunt; the thrill of wounding, tracking and ultimately killing and desecrating the animal. He wanted his photo taken with the slain carcass and the head mounted on the wall. He didn’t give a damn about the law. He wanted to satisfy some desire in him to say he killed the beast.

American, dentist, James Palmer, Cecil the Lion, Zimbabwe

He was trying to get around the law because he has no respect for it and if the truth were truly known, I’d say the only thing he is sorry for is being caught and the financial repercussions he is suffering for this bad behavior.

I don’t know about you but I think Walter Palmer should be extradited to Africa and made to serve jail time, not just issued a fine because he has not only disrespected the animal itself, he has disrespected the law and the country. I feel like he thinks he is above the law. He needs to be shown that he is not.

If this bad behavior is tolerated, what’s next on his list? Hunting humans? The thrill of the hunt will grow and what happens when there are no more animals to be hunted? He will want something bigger, smarter and more of a challenge. Maybe next he will pay the right people to let him murder a homeless man in some obscure country where he thinks no one will notice. Maybe he already has.

What are your thoughts about Walter Palmer murdering Cecil the Lion?

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Sochi, Olympics. Winter Olympics, 2014, American, America

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics started last night and I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate the event than by sharing this amazing video of 1000’s of Kentucky State High School Choir singers singing the American Anthem on the Balcony of the Hyatt Louisville. I only wish I could have seen it in person. As it is, my heart swelled with patriotism and for a few short minutes I forgot about all the bad in the world this week. This is super cool.

In case you missed it earlier this week, I tackled the #SpeakAmerican debacle.  If you are in the mood for something less controversial, I gave you the low down on how to make some mommy friends ( because Lord knows, we all need them) and if you want a giggle ( because we all do) I wrote about Old Wives Tales of Pregnancy like wearing red panties during an eclipse to protect your unborn baby  or if you are in the mood for a good cry, I wrote this about loss on HuffPo.

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Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

I was going to write a post about my girls today, instead I am writing about Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, winning Miss America. Why? Because apparently racism is running rampant and it demands to be discussed so that our children know better. People are very ignorant and say awful things when hiding behind a computer. This story affects me and my daughters. We come from a culturally diverse background and this racist bullshit makes me mad! Fighting mad. I want a better world for my daughters to grow up in.

A·mer·i·can

əˈmerikən/

A native or citizen of the United States.

Americans are citizens, or natives, of the United States of America.

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, 24, won the coveted title of Miss America. For the talent portion of the competition, she performed a classic Indian dance fused with Bollywood moves. Her platform was “Celebrating Diversity Through Cultural Competency.” How ironic that the world has none for her. Twitter immediately blew up with angry hate tweets.

Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

Ms. Davuluri hopes to become a doctor, like her father, who is an obstetrician. For her question portion of the competition she answered a question about Julie Chen’s plastic surgery and answered with poise and intelligence with a message to be confident in who you are. Love yourself. She just happens to be the first Miss America winner of Indian descent.Does that change how American she is? If you are born in the United States, you are American.Because if we are not and are only the sum of where we descended from than NONE of us are American.

Davuluri is more than just a beautiful woman of Indian descent; she is an American that we should be proud to have represent us. Davuluri, a New York native, was on the dean’s list and earned the Michigan Merit Award and National Honor Society nods while studying at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a degree in brain behavior and cognitive science. She is passionate about healthy lifestyles after a personal battle with obesity and bulimia in her youth.

When I think of Miss America, I don’t think of “alabaster skin” being the top qualification for being a representative of our country. I think of a beautiful, intelligent, well-rounded young woman of high moral character who my daughters can look up to; a young woman with hopes and dreams, tolerance and compassion born in America.

The color of our skin should not be the litmus test for how American we are. We cannot be measured by the creaminess of our complexion. Exotic eyes and features do not make us love the United States less than our fair-skinned counterparts. In some instances, it may make us love it more because we don’t take for granted how great this country is. For us, this is the realized dream this is the something better and most of us had to work hard to get here.

Miss America, Nina Davuluri, Indian-American,Nina Davuluri, Miss America, Indian-American, Racism in the United States

The United States is a giant melting pot of assimilation. Unless you are Native American, you are not native. We are all foreigners. Let’s get that straight from the start. If you want to split hairs, I am 1/8th Cherokee and even though my father is from Mexico, doesn’t that still make me more American than most? Our country is diverse and many of us are first generation Americans. The skin color of Americans runs every color of the spectrum from milky white to deep chocolate, and we are all Americans. We all deserve human respect and rights.

People taking to twitter to complain that our new Miss America is Indian American is disgusting. The ignorant remarks about her religion and her heritage are racism at its worst. I take offense and I say we should not tolerate the bad behavior of a few racists. Our differences as a people in the United States is what makes us great; this is why so many people want to come to this country because it is symbolic of freedom, tolerance and supposed to be a place free of persecution but that is simply not the case.

Mis America, Nina Davuluri, Miss Kansas, #MissAmerica, Indian-American

As Americans we need to all look in the mirror and ask ourselves is this what we want our America to look like? I want to live in a country of diversity and tolerance. What do you want your America to be?

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