Its interesting as I never thought myself really worthy of much attention or important enough to draw the disdain of a lawmaker. Yet when I'm mocked by a fairly powerful politician I begin to rethink my position in life. I'm a little unique I guess for my home community. A Muslim sounding name, Black children, highly educated, physically active and I engage in a lot of activities, research, and writing. The way others see me is not really the way I see myself and I think those superficial differences are difficult for some people to truly understand or accept.
It doesn't really matter the politician or his name because it isn't about damaging reputations; as each person is entitled to their good name. I don't want to be the type of person who tries to damage people for their ignorance but instead try and raise their level of understanding. I have no fear of calling out that person but it may be unfair to judge a persons full political career by a single act.
It took me a minute to grasp the deeper meaning of what was being said about my parents and what being insinuated about me and this person's perceived belief that I needed charity. I taught communication for years so I am pretty good at picking up tone, emphasis, tempo, body posture, and facial expressions to determine how the sentence structure and verb direction create a target. In hindsight, I didn't misinterpret.
I'm not a rich man and sometimes struggle like others but no one would consider me as needing charity so there is some type of perceptual disconnect in his head. I guess that is what bias looks like when the reality and the perception are far off because the brain is processing information incorrectly due to embedded distorted beliefs.
It was just an odd conversation all around. I wasn't upset. I just thought to myself, "He is making an awful lot of assumptions about things he couldn't possibly know about". I'm not impervious to the size of the town and how interrelated people actually are so Its possible he was swept up in the racially and religiously based character assassination.
I'm also not unaware of his deep seated religious convictions and controversy when in office. Sometimes our religion inspires us to be more open minded, more empathetic, and less judgmental. Other times it may push us to quickly judge and block out alternative information.
I have been judged many times for things people misinterpret; it sort of became a way of life. What started as a dissertation experiment eventually changed my life and opened a world almost no one on the planet can claim to have experienced. How quickly the perception of the same person can be switched from "All American" to well...to something a little less than that.
In my mind I did the American thing and explored my environment in a bold way that lead to new insight and knowledge. It was this behavior we should encourage because I can now put those discoveries to good use to make my country and the world a better place.
Eventually I will explain most of my story; save that which is most prudent to maintain private. Its not what people think. Kind of the opposite actually but it was definitely an experience I can teach other people; even this politician. I didn't walk a mile in one man's shoes before making a judgement...I just kept walking, and walking and walking until I finished my doctoral degree; then I changed part of my name to mark an era.
I'm outside the bell curve because I have a genius IQ based on multiple assessments and professional evaluation. It's weird because I forget things all the time and am a terrible speller. Very high fluid and creative intelligence. I'm also very open to new experiences and could live with other races and people just for the joy of it. I love to help kids and people in need. On top of that, I'm an explorer who engages in scientific discoveries, finding ships, diving and many activities that most people would shy from.
As complex as it sounds I'm also an entrepreneur with a number of failed businesses but seem to found one that tests the capacity to micro manufacturing in the U.S. From time to time I do a little art and play a little music but I never pushed any of these talents to be very good. So I have a well rounded skill set and abilities. that come with intense curiosities.
My biggest problem is that I'm sensitive, intuitive and empathetic. I put myself in harm's way more than once to help people that most people would have been too frightened to even look down in that direction. I can only say.....its sort of a fault....a tragic gift. So when a big politician mocks me for what it seems like protecting my family and enforcing my boundaries against what appears to be hate driven crimes I have to scratch my head and pause. I think, "Does this person understand the ramifications of what they are doing?"
I suspect they are acting without thinking fully or having all of the information. I'm always open to the possibility of misinterpretation.
Of course I won't likely receive an apology. I wonder if this politician feels that my perceived differences and choice in life mean civility is not something afforded to people like me. Maybe in his mind I am very important and sort of pin pricked his conscious and emotions. I'm not truly sure what the right answer is because it depends on what is going on in that persons head and what social networks they obtain their information from.
Yet I was debating whether or not I wanted to go into politics or not. I am becoming increasingly aware that perhaps some of the people we have elected are more showman than statesman. When I look at how well this politician has done I become increasingly aware that being "connected" can be very lucrative and helpful to ones business. I don't think that is going to be helpful for a polo mallet business so maybe I would be a very genuine candidate who is focused on his country more than raising my personal and financial status.
Having a high IQ with high creativity can be sort of time consuming that distracts me from "normal" life. While I make my way through my day I often make models in my head of how things work, why they work, and how to improve current systems. That leads to some really great ideas as the relate to an economic system, racism and inequality, foreign policy, educational reform, military development, bringing back manufacturing and much more. I think my ideas might have some merit and seem to be at least as good as some of the things that have been proposed to Congress. Some might fizzle out and some could be explored more.
You can read a little more about Adaptive Leadership and Cognitive Differentiation
Then I think about how people may really attack me because of my perceived racial and religious differences; civility seems to be lacking in modern day politics. It also might mean the best people are not coming forward. Being sensitive has its drawbacks. Yet over the past few years I've learned that people judge just to judge. Many people don't have enough insight into another person or themselves to really make any sort of accurate judgement about another. Sometimes they project their inner insecurities to make themselves feel better better for a short time. Its kind of like the pleasure you get when you eat your favorite candy even though you know its not good for you.
Of course there are some moral reasons to run for office. I had a lifetime of experiences that almost no one can claim in exactly the same way. There are people who had bits and pieces but no one had the complete mix like I have. So I guess I would like to give some voice to the voiceless. Talk for the abused, orphans, disenfranchised, religious rights, the poor, and the general downtrodden. I have been on the receiving end of religious discrimination and know the importance of having religious values in ones life. I want to protect the independence of religion and the right for people to worship as they see fit. Jesus and other religious figures teach us about life and the need to embrace each other with open arms so their message is still relevant.
The kid I was trying to protect from racial and religious based bullying has 160 IQ. Being a genius is rare and uncovering a Black genius with current methods is even more rare. Right now with protests and other issues of racial equality it would be helpful if our politicians consider the need to raise strong and healthy Black leaders for tomorrow instead of being part of the problem. While I can say he is the only diagnosed Black genius I know, I suspect there is another who has been pulling hard core philosophy, that even many of our politicians haven't read, off of the shelf since he was 7 years old. That one was thinking of being an engineer in the military. There are traits that come with being outside the bell curve. It would be nice if we open our hearts and our minds to do what is best for our country. I think these kids deserve a supportive environment.
My path in life and questioning the obvious have led me to be an evidence based decision maker capable of long-term strategic thinking that can lead to better legislation.
For example from experience I think the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 could use a little tweak to maintain effectiveness. It states......
“(1) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN.—Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerous weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person
What about if they didn't pick up a weapon but still engaged in other race/religious based crimes such as theft, encouraging violence, false police reports, misconduct by police officer with close associations to the perpetrators, public humiliation, putting children in harms way, etc... It would be even more important if they stated their religious biased intentions in public as to why they were trying to harm my family. While I am able to handle my own there were some places I avoided for a while because of the fear that others couldn't control their rage under the influence of liquor. You need to know some of the members of this group. My amendment might include, "Intended emotional or physical harm" to ensure those that try to hurt others but aren't fully successful in ending a life are held accountable.
I think I have a lot to learn about what it means to be a politician and I do appreciate the help in solidifying a few things for me. I don't know if I have the innate characteristics to be successful there but I think we might need some fresh values and ideas. For now I will just continue to share some of the things I'm learning in life.