Tuesday, November 3, 2015

We Are People, NOT Labels!

You know, I walk around in this world of ours and it just astounds me how arrogant people sound when speaking about each other. The fact that it's nearly 2016 and I still hear people being referred to/ described as:   "Black, White, Cuban, Asian, etc. (and their “slang” counterparts)  is utterly ridiculous.  Sadly, it doesn't even stop there.  Aside from using racist remarks, we have now seemed to become a society that marks people according to their weight, religion and sexual preferences too.  It’s gone on long enough!  We are not a “stupid society” and yet we act like it, every chance we get.  No matter where you turn,  It seems that we are all "Labeled" something, instead of just simply calling ourselves "human" instead.  

I read a Face Book post the other day from a dear friend who has a beautiful little boy, that happens to be a wonderful mix of Italian and African-American origins.  Sadly, it seems that he is already feeling the cold grips of racism, after another little boy in his class refused to stand next to him because his "hair" was/looked different than his own.  Insanely sad!  It broke my heart to read such a thing. Now, I get that children are innocent and will simply comment on what they see but, it's up to parents, families and teachers to nail this as early on in their young lives as possible- that we are all the same. One human race. One love. Period!   We are not born racist or sexist- we are taught to be. It's a fact.

Now, I know that I’m going to feel the heat of this blog from parents everywhere, but so be it.  I think we have all tip-toed around this subject for far too long and I am personally done!  I am holding adults everywhere, responsible. 

No, we cannot be with our children at all time and yes, what they hear/pick up at school cannot be made to be the parents fault.  OK.  But I ask you this:  Where do the children from the playground, class room, daycare, neighborhood or party get these labels from?  That’ s right, from you – the adult.  Where did we get it from?  From the adults we were around.  It breeds itself into oblivion, don’t you see?!  So we have to all hold ourselves accountable for the terms we use and actions we make.  It’s that simple. 

It stems from a lot of different sources, I understand.  The TV shows, music and gaming kids are exposed to these days is crazy and it’s hard to be there, every waking moment to flag this kind of messaging and that’s fine, but we've got to try harder.  Something as simple as how you speak to your spouse/partner in the household is a great start.  Children pick up EVERYTHING.  And sponges don’t just soak up all the clean stuff, they mop up and absorb all the dirty stuff too.  As long as you embed the basics into your children that’s all you can do!  Education, mannerism and humility start in the home.  And don't wait for situations to arise, make this a daily, weekly and monthly conversation.  Teach those around you about people, ethnicity, etc. All you can do is enable your child with the proper tools and let them go out into the world – hoping they make the right decisions and choices as human beings. 

I have nieces and nephews myself and as they grow there are always instances where they will make comments about weight, race, creed or color.  They are at an age where their minds are so keen on the differences they see.  So naturally, they become inquisitive.  It bothers me endlessly when I hear certain things come out of their mouth.  It literally hurts my heart.  In the past, I've shy’ d away from saying anything, saying to myself:  “Oh they are just children Gia, they don’t know any better.  It means no harm.”  But, it does and they should be aware of it.  I don’t ever want them to go out into the world to bully or be bullied to/by others for being different – so I will help teach and shape them in that way because it’s my responsibility to do so.  If I don’t and just ignore it if/when it ever comes up, than I am just doing a dis-service to them and the world.   

Take a moment to watch this incredible video and truly pay attention to the message. After all, change starts with us.  So, we must “be the change we wish to see in the world” – and today, I am starting with all of you!

In the words of Bono … “One love, One blood, One life.  You got to do what you should.  One life, with each other.  Sisters. Brothers.  One life, but we’re not the same.  We've got to carry each other.”

I really hope this blog has touched / ignited something in all those who read it.  Bad or good, I’d like to hear from all of you.  Your comments are always welcome.


    It had to be said. I'm a mother of 5 beautiful children that I have raised all on my own after my marriage failing. I teach my kids EVERYTHING. I don't wait for the school system or video games or society to do that. It starts at home just like you said and by God I will do everything in my power to raise decent, respectable and kind kids. Life is hard enough out there without the labels that are put on us in any fashion. GOOD FOR YOU for having the guts to say that it starts at home because it does. The shit I hear in the school yard with the moms talking to one another waiting for their kids to get out is crazy! I actually hurt them commenting on some of the mixed race kids too. So it does start at home with parents 100%
    Good on you for writing this piece. It speaks volumes! Great article!!!!!!!

    Mena Pilanco

  2. Racist language of any kind is absolutely forbidden in our household. If I so much as catch a glimpse of that kind of behavior or comment from any of my kids they are punished immediately. You have to embed it early on i think. If you don't, you have a better chance of society getting into their heads a lot faster. If you teach them that saying anything hurtful against another person is wrong then they will more than likely (or at least we can hope) that they will not engage with others that do so. But we can't be everywhere. We can only pray that what we teach them sticks.
    I'm proud to know that there are Writers like yourself that aren't afraid to say it like it is. Yeah, some parents will tear a strip out of you but, that's just because they know you're right and it's their way of being defensive. All we can do is try, right?
    Good on you though! Good on you!


  3. I'm tired of articles always making us parents out to be the bad guy. We can't be everywhere. Some of us have jobs and careers and we cannot be with our kids every waking moment. So ownership of behavior should also be put on teachers. Like jobs, kids stay in school most of the day so that's where they pick up most of this crap. So don't blame the parents.

    Mary Gallo - Proud Mom

  4. WOW! So now if you're a working parent you're not responsible for your child's behavior???? WTF is that??? I'm sorry but that right there is just another stupid thing to say. Your No. 1 responsibility in this life is and always will be YOUR KIDS, not your job! That's the problem right there. To many nannies, daycare workers and teachers being made out to be the caregiver, disciplinarian and parents to so many kids. That's so wrong! If you wanna have kids, you better raise them. It's YOUR JOB!

    Jeff Antler - Proud Father and Director of A Multi-Million Dollar Firm (and ALWAYS have time to teach my kids first hand about EVERYTHING)

  5. So basically what you're saying is that kids who grow up to become racist, sexist people have only their parents or the adults around them to blame? I don't think so! I don't have control over what someone thinks or feels. Just as I cannot help those who choose to be bisexual or homosexual. They are who they are. It's not my fault as a parent.


  6. Read the article again Irene. It's not about fault but about responsibility. That's what Gia is saying, and I couldn't agree more. Think about it for a second. If people grow up to become racist or sexist etc, is it not taught from somewhere? I know coming from a European household, it sure as hell was taught at home! My family migrated from the homeland and came to Canada very young. All they new was about race, creed and different class of people because it's all that was embedded in them as children from THEIR PARENTS. So it was instilled in me too. Sure, I heard stuff at school but where do you think those kids got it from? THEIR PARENTS. It's a damn cycle. So don't blame her for saying the truth because that's just how it is. Our parents being immigrants didn't know any better. Because of that, I grew up for a time fearing other races for a lot of different things. But now that I have a baby daughter, she will never learn what I was taught because I will teach her to be different. To be better than that!!

    Deliena S

  7. *applause to Deliena's comment above* Well said! Hate breeds Hate. Period!!!!!!
    Ohh and Irene....... being Bi or liking the same sex is not taught.... it's how you were born. Educate yourself Doll.

  8. You have got to be one of the greatest writers/bloggers that I know.
    Every single time you write or post something I am in awe of you. Just brilliant! I'm so glad you are writing again. We've all missed it. Just ask around! Your fans will always be here waiting for when you want to write again. Hopefully it's now on a daily regime.
    You are so passionate. Now wonder it's what you were born to do.
    Love your stuff!


  9. You know what else should be talked about? The ability of the human soul to love unconditionally. I'll give you an example. My parents are good people, amazing actually...however...my father has always blurted racial remarks throughout my childhood and adult life. All the while probably not even realizing how hurtful his words could have been falling on sensitive years. My point is this...although I totally agree with this whole article and even more so the integrity of the author...Sometimes. ..yes sometimes...the human spirit can figure things out on its own. I'm the perfect example.
    Great article...and the comment about work over chikdren, snap out of it...excuses only get you so far. That was actually sad.

    Amazing as always Gia.

    Enzo C.

  10. Really incredible blog post, Gia!
    I don't have any kids myself but like you, I have a bunch of nephews that I love very much. So, I try to sculpt their little minds whenever I can. With the world being like it is, we need to help each other LOVE every day. It's a sad place to live right now and I fear for them growing older. It's most likely why I never had any kids of my own. For fear of leaving them here alone some day to fend for themselves.

    Lydia P

  11. Tough piece to read for sure. I feel for your friend and the situation with her child. Devastating no doubt. As parents there is always heartache and heartbreak. It goes with the territory. If we teach our children how to be respectful of one another than it begins some sort of chain reaction. Well, we hope so anyway. As Enzo C said above sometimes the human spirit can and will figure out right from wrong. I would like to think that there are more decent people in this world than not. As Lydia said above, it's a very scary place to leave your kids in, if you believe otherwise.
    Well written blog in all respects, Gia. You should be very proud of yourself!
    Thank you for always writing such engaging and touching pieces. Someday, you will make an absolutely brilliant wife and mother.

    Jonathan P. Astiagoniso

  12. Maybe you should try being a mother first before preaching to other parents about how to raise their children!!!!!!!!! We have enough to deal!!!!!!

  13. Imagine that! A blog piece about hate and how it's wrong and here's some idiot before be spewing it in spades! What a class act!
    I love how fearless you are Gia. How fearless you've always been to just spit it out. To say it. Whether it's about yourself, the world around you or others. You just bring it like it should be brought. In light, love and truth... always!
    Haters are always gonna hate, no matter what. But it's nice to see that you're still untouchable in the land of the words.
    Always will I follow your written word, so preach on sista! You know how it's done.

    Your loyal fan forever!

    Paolo M

  14. Really great blog! Then again, they all are. I am so glad that I stumbled across you back 6 years ago when you were writing with Sir John Magazine. You were good then working with all those political men but you've really come into your own now. A strong lady in your own right!
    Keep it up!


  15. Still the most talented, beautiful, sassy, creative thing that I have ever laid eyes on!
    Very happy to see you back in the action. This world needs your voice in every way!
    You were missed...


  16. I'm new to this entire site. The only reason I came here is because a friend on Instagram follows and said it was a good read so I got curious and wanted to know what it was about. Well I for one do not agree with this article whatsoever! Sorry but it's true. I think it's dumb to think that everyone acts and feels like this. I know a great deal of people who have been stern about the teachings of humanity with their kids and they still use the N word in the school yard against the other kids. Some are just bad seeds and utterly rebellious that they will go against anything just because. I also disagree with the fact that most of the population acts like this. I think we have a few bad apples but not the whole bunch. So I don't want to be condemned for another's sins.
    I agree that awareness is the key to anything.
    WHAT I DID LIKE was the fact that you were woman enough to post negative (as well as good ) responses too. So that's kind of cool of you. At least you are willing to have ALL says be heard. So, I applaud you for that. It shows integrity and connection to your audience and readers. So... even though I don't agree here I will be back for that reason alone. THAT and the fact that you can actually write.


  17. You're the Gia that is always on with JJ and Melanie right??? You always represent The Flow 935 FM in Toronto. I recognized your picture from their website. Didn't know you wrote too. So you need to make a new song or somethin ...cuz your voice is smmmmmmokin hot and so are you!
    Are you on FB???? No worries I will look :D

    Freddy Prince Original