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Entries in president elect (2)


This is Totally Normal

I realize it's been a while since around November 8th when John Oliver crafted the #ThisIsNotNormal thing, but I continue to have thoughts and feelings about it.

You guys, this racist bullshit that you are experiencing that's masquerading as the executive and legislative branches of the government?

IS TOTALLY NORMAL FOR AMERICA. I'm over here rolling my eyes at people who are sharing these posts of people being detained at airports and hashtagging it with #thisIsNotNormal.


This is not normal FOR YOU, BRO.

Two months after 9/11, my dad was taking a flight to North Carolina. He was pulled aside, detained and questioned. This was a domestic flight from Florida to North Carolina. My father, at the time, was 67 years old, had lived in the U.S. for thirty two years and had been an American citizen for nearly fifteen years of those years. Since then, between my parents, in laws and extended family, this family has had over half a dozen encounters like this. 


This is totally normal for US. 

So, why? Why bring this up in the first place? 

Well, look, there's two major kinds of racist/xenophobic/discriminatory paradigm:

1. Superiority Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says, "America is amazing and wonderful, white people made America, foreigners are terrible, gays are deviants, the only black people that get shot by the police are criminals, blow all of those sand people up and we'll be safe, etc."

And, then, there's:

2. Cluelessness Based Racism/Xenophobic/Discriminatory Paradigm: This says that the current climate of racism, xenophobia and discrimination is some sort of aberrant occurrence and totally ignores the pesky yet relevant fact that this triumverate of bullshit (racism, xenophobia, discriminiation) is somehow NOT woven into the tapestry of the American story.


You know.

I like John Oliver.

But let's not forget John Oliver is the great grandson of an Imperialist Britain which used racism, xenophobia and discrimination to dominate over half of the world's population in throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

And then let's not forget that all those people who are using #thisIsNotNormal are the great great great grandchildren of people who appropriated North America from native peoples with their slaves in tow captured from Africa all of which was justified by racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

Barack Obama, our great hope, our American dream... was not normal.

This guy? P45? Is totally normal.

And he will never NOT be normal if you don't own him as a product of who we have chosen to be as a people for two hundred years.




White House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta

He was one of the People's Sexiest Men Alive in 2003.

He demands that you use an earpiece when you're using a cell phone.

He graduated from medical school when he was, like, ten.

And, now, President elect Obama wants him to serve as Surgeon General of the United States.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you CNN correspondent, neurosurgeon and fellow American desi, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

I love this time.  When all these positions start getting filled and I get to look up answers to questions such as exactly what does the Surgeon General do?

In short, the Surgeon General tells us what's good for us, what's bad for us and formulates policy for the public health system.  Despite being a general, the Surgeon General does not have troops.

Although wouldn't that be cool?  Someone lights a cigarette and commandos drop down, "Put the cigarette down, scumbag!"  Random raids on Popeye's Chicken and Taco Bell.  Everyone takes a multivitamin or gets a bullet to the head.  You get the picture.

But, really, that's all he does.  The website of the Office of the Surgeon General goes into further detail. It says what I just wrote, but in the classic style of the government with way too many words.

If you clicked that link, you've just reached a whole new level in terms of the people I respect.

You would think that this isn't a controversy laden position.

But it can be.  I recall reading somewhere, for example, that former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop actively worked in the 80s against making AIDS a moral issue and promoted that it be treated as an infectious disease.  He essentially defined the parameters by which we approach the disease today.  In truth, I don't remember much about it because I was five.  Plus, I don't like to read about the Reagan era because it depresses my liberal sensibilities.

I'm also assuming that the Surgeon General also has some influence in sex education, reproductive rights and, as all that bureaucratic speak up there put it, "research priorities."  It may be worthwhile to examine Dr. Gupta's position on issues such as autism, abortion, sex education and cancer research.

Heh.  You thought I was going to do that for you?  Oh, dear, sweet Internets, I think I'll let you bear that civic burden for yourself.  Right now, is when you have to ask yourself how much you really care about those things.

The appointment of Gupta is already sparking controversy.  Most notably, Obama's choice is being questioned on the basis of celebrity status and what some deem less than adequate qualifications.

And it would surprise you (or not) as to who is doing the questioning.

Personally, the only thing I'm wary about regarding Dr. Gupta's appointment is that he doesn't seem to have much experience managing large organizations and creating public policy.  He was an adviser to Hillary Clinton in 1997-98, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing.  As I browsed the CVs of the last three surgeon generals, I noticed that they were a bit more intense than that of Dr. Gupta.

Still, I don't think this stands as grounds for disqualification.  (Ding, ding!  Who ordered the dashingly handsome junior senator as President elect of the United States?  Anyone?)

In fact, perhaps having a Surgeon General who is already highly visible, very personable and generally well respected may render Americans more apt to listen when he says, "Quit smoking, eat better and get some exercise."

Although, a twitter friend made a good point when she suggested that Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew should also be considered, then.  Maybe not Dr. Phil.  Personally, I get all my health advice from Dr. Oz.

All that said, I have to post this clip from "The Daily Show" regarding Dr. Gupta's possible appointment. Please watch it until the end.  Because if you squint your eyes for the last two minutes, it'll be just like sitting across from my father at the dinner table.

Welcome to my life, Dr. Gupta.

UPDATE: As of March 5, Dr. Gupta opted out of being considered for the Surgeon General.  Thus proving he's not a very good Indian, after all.  :)