Racisim Regardless of what people and politicians may say in public, there is still racism and racial inequality in our Commonwealth, our District, and our Community. We often hear that the world should be “color-blind”. I don’t agree with that. The world should be, first and foremost, EQUAL. But every person of color should be allowed to embrace their ethnicity and heritage and celebrate it. But nowhere should that be allowed as a measure of justice, equality or fairness. Our Constitution states most prominently “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” All mankind IS created equal. It’s just that some of mankind has decided that this is not the way they want it to be. They view the world as Geoge Orwell stated in his novel Animal Farm, “All men are equal, but some men are more equal than others”.
My heart breaks when I hear mothers and fathers of African American young men relate their stories about having to have “The Talk” with their sons. I heard these stories once again at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day services I attended in January. To hear a parent need to explain to their son how to behave so as not to be shot and killed when pulled over by a police officer should disturb anyone who hears it. No one, anywhere, should have to hold such a talk. But the sad fact of our world today is that it is indeed a necessity.
I will do everything in my power to serve and represent and be the voice of all citizens of the Commonwealth, regardless of race. And my door will always be open to everyone. And I hope that those of different races than mine will continue to educate me, share with me, and lead me on this journey to racial equality. I will be the first to recognize I am an “old privileged white guy”. But I hope that doesn’t completely define me. I need the help of all those who are different than me to help me in my growth as a person and to celebrate our commonalities and our differences.
LGBTQ+ and Gender Identity No segment of our society should have to grow up and live in the shadows, hiding away from the world the person they truly are. Far too many young men and women are doing just that. When they reach an age where they realize who they truly are, they must hide this reality for fear of bullying, hostility, and outright violence. No one should be treated differently because of who they love. Because of who they are. No one should be denied a home, a chance to raise a family or to pursue any goals simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I will not support any legislation that discriminates against someone because of who they love, or that allows anyone to hide behind their faith to discriminate against this community or that supports the idea of conversion therapy.
No one should be denied services because of their sexual orientation/gender identity. If a business is a public business, then it must serve all of the public. It’s really as simple as that. If we allow a business to not serve a gay couple because it is against their “deeply held religious beliefs” then what do we say when a business refuses to serve a black man or a Jewish woman because it is against their “deeply held religious beliefs”? Your right to believe as you wish and practice the faith you wish extends only so far as until it impinges on the personal and civil rights of another person.
Women’s Rights It’s amazing to me today that women are still treated as second class citizens in many ways. Women in Kentucky still make twenty-one cents on the dollar less than a man makes for a comparable performance on a comparable job (https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2020/04/06/gender-pay-gap-women-in-kentucky-earn-79-cents-for.html). So for every $1.00 a man makes, a woman makes only $0.79. That’s 21% less than the man. So if a man makes $40,000.00 per year, the woman only makes $31,600.00. That’s $8,400.00 less. And that is simply not acceptable today. I will support all legislation that raises women’s pay to the same as men.
Kentucky has also seen an attack on women’s reproductive rights since the Republicans gained a majority in the House and Senate. The only people that should be involved in the decision on whether or not a woman seeks an abortion (which is legal) is the woman herself, her physician, and if she chooses, her personal counselor/advisor/person of faith. It certainly shouldn’t be a bunch of middle-aged men in government playing politics with her uterus. I will not support any legislation that takes away the right for a woman to control her own body. The problem is, the “Pro-Life” supporters are trying to legislate morality – their morality. You can’t legislate morality – it never works. Banning abortions will not stop abortions. I will simply mean a woman will die getting unsafe abortions. Barren County was a dry county for decades. Did that mean there was no alcohol consumed here? Of course not! Maybe the conservatives felt better about themselves and their spiritual smugness in keeping alcohol out – but it didn’t ever really keep it out. You can’t force your “moral ” choices on others – even by statute.