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Joined: 2007-02-02

I sent Obama an e-mail last night:

Dear Mr. Obama,

My name is Brandon St. Germaine and I am an 18 year old student of Film in Duluth Minnesota. I consider myself an artist, an established slam poet, and a video game designer. I was living in Illinois for a period of time while attending DePaul University in Chicago earlier in 2006. Having already heard your speeches and platforms from your senatorial race, I was already very supportive of your efforts. After hearing about the overwhelming support you have received from the black community in Chicago, I saw far more of your importance to the future of America. Two particular elderly men had explained that they had voted for only their second time in their long lives when you were up for ballad. I’ve found that young black men don’t feel that they have a voice. You seem to fill that void. However, I’m sure that none of this is news to you.

I feel very strongly about a number of topics. I avoid partisan, but defend the fact that the Democratic party, however corrupt in today’s instance, secures all of our rights to govern our own lives the way we would choose to govern them. This includes my own personal conservative lifestyle. I’ve found that you are the only (potential?) candidate for the 2008 presidency that I can truly stand behind. The situations and topics that I do not agree with you on, I can at least see your reasoning. You are not a stupid or foolish man by any means, and so I am far more comfortable with disagreeing with you than I am with other particular democratic candidates.

There is one issue, however, that I’m not so sure I know your stance on. Political Correctness, and more specifically: Video Game Violence. You might say that these topics have nothing to do with each other. On the contrary, they are nearly identical.

I must clarify something before I am to continue: I was born with Diastrophic Dysplasia, a rare form of dwarfism that was unexpected by my family. Not only did I grow up with a very obvious physical disability, but my condition also financially crippled my already poor family. We were at a very low point in society when I was young. Since then, my parents have become the highest paid positions in their fields, regardless of their less-than-high-school-education. We have completely shifted in our financial situation, and I am proud to say that I can certainly understand both sides of the financial spectrum.

While I can claim that I have experienced severe social anxiety, I believe that we are all victim of prejudice at some point in our lives. I simply would like to make it clear that I have a very clear understanding of what it feels like to be belittled and ignored. I’d invite hate over the feeling of fearfulness and envy.

I bring this up because political correctness is something I am often referenced for. “What do you want people to call you?” The question always seems so naïve to me. Human? Man? Brandon? Something enduring? But they want to know what stereotype they can use. If “midget” will make me angry. I tell them all the same things: I am a dwarf, because my medical condition is dwarfism. There are midgets whose medical condition is midgetism (An older medical term for proportionate limbs). A majority of people with these conditions, however, prefer “Little People,” because to them, it isn’t hurtful or prejudice.

I am a poet. I thrive in the margins of good literature. Alan Ginsberg’s psychotic drug induced homosexual rants are the things of my kin. I am brother to the Leaves of Grass. Shakespeare has defined my method of loving women. You must understand that language is, for lack of a better term, something I own. Midget, dwarf, and little people are all simple words. They have harmed no one in the history of mankind. I consistently use worse terms to describe myself. It is not the words themselves that harm us—it is those that would use them against us. It is people who would see us fill with rage at the simple use of a word. Those are our incorrect politics: Not the words themselves.

No expletive has ever stood over a woman and raped her.
No term of bigotry has ever sold living human beings as slaves.
No offensive idea has ever sinned or offended any god.

People did these things. Their words and even their actions are irrelevant. It is their thinking, and what bred it that is the problem. Ignorance has bread men who teach children who grow into adults who are ignorant.

Video Games, and the violence within them has been a major topic of a particular presidential candidate. Her blanketing voice of uneducated reason is gospel to the mothers and fathers of our children. However ignorant and regrettable her impression is, to make this ideology into law is absurd.

It's a child's moral upbringing that will affect their view of the world, not how well they're sheltered from it. While I don’t approve of minors playing desensitized violent videogames, I do not believe it is the government’s right or responsibility to raise my child for me. The government’s boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not acceptable will not match my own. It is the responsibilities of parents to know what their children are playing, but first and foremost to know that their child, having grown up in their household, will have the moral tools to assess and logically evaluate a violent situation in a videogame.

We cannot expect to leave our homes without being offended. That’s the nature of freedom. The beauty of this system is that morality arises from self motivation, not from government/church requirements. Censorship laws of any kind are simple avoidances of the real issues we face today.

So I’d like to know your detailed stance on this subject. Where do you stand? Have you ever played videogames? Do you understand a parent’s right to allow their child to play whatever game they’d like to? Do you disagree with the thought that people who exhibit violent behavior and also play videogames are inherently violent in the first place, and thus, play videogames for that very reason? What stances will you take on this issue once you’ve taken office as the President of the United States?

Thank you very much for your time, Senator Obama, and very good luck in your presidential race.


Brandon St. Germaine

I'll be sure to post his reply. That is, if he himself replies.

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