Tag Archives: news

On Manny Pacquiao’s comments about homosexuality and the case for examining our thoughts

Manny Pacquiao was recently dropped by Nike over his remarks about homosexuals (click here for more). Manny reportedly said, amongst other things, that homosexuals are worse than animals..

Any form of discrimination should not be acceptable

Understandably, many people are upset about what the famous boxer has said. I myself am deeply disappointed as he is someone that many people look up to. Although nobody has ever suggested that Manny Pacquiao is an intellectual whose words should be treated as the truth, I fear that because of his status, success and undeniable popularity, his opinions may strengthen the backward beliefs of some and may influence the thinking of some.

I agree that people have the right to have their own opinions. However, I am frustrated when this right is abused. Sure, we are entitled to disagree and think differently from everyone else, but we must never think that another person is a lesser human being just because they are romantically involved with a person of the same sex. This is no different from any other forms of discrimination such as those based on religious and/ or racial grounds. How would Manny feel if he is publicly degraded by someone based on his nationality or religion? Would he be pleased? I think not.

The case for examining our own thoughts and beliefs

I can only ascertain that Manny’s comments are based on his religious beliefs which are passed on to him, perhaps by elders in his community as well as by pastors/priests/preachers. If this is true, this highlights the importance of examining our own thoughts and beliefs. We must ask ourselves the following questions from time to time:

  • ‘Why am I thinking this way?’
  • ‘Why do I believe what I believe?’
  • ‘Are my beliefs detrimental to other people’s lives?’
  • ‘Is what I believe supported by evidence?’
  • ‘Are there any alternative ways of thinking that are supported by better evidence?’
  • ‘How are those evidence collected?’

It is not a bad thing nor is it ever too late,to change our minds based on better quality of evidence. The reason why I am writing this is to explain that although Manny Pacquiao is an influential figure, not only in his country but worldwide, his opinions must be questionned, challenged and opposed. The same goes with the opinions of others who are more ‘powerful’ and have more authority than us.

Please, let us all use our brains.

RIP BB King

I’ve woken up to the news that one of my all-time heroes passed away. I’m terribly saddened. BB King was one of the most amazing musicians that ever lived. I was very forunate to have watched one of his concerts a few years ago – he even gave me a guitar pick in the middle of his set!! 

The world will miss you, BB, but your music lives on! Say hello to Jimi and Stevie Ray for us!

Read the full news story HERE

Autism LinkFest

Autism: How new therapies are helping people with ASC – find out newly developed therapies that may help people with the condition. Be aware that not all of these therapies have been evaluated!

Food, clothes, transport, beds and ovens: the aid schools are giving UK pupils – poverty is everywhere. Schools find it difficult to ignore the signs of poverty in students, and are doing the best they can to help.

Girls and Autism – How does Autism affect girls and what can be done about it?

Preparing for Halloween – how can we prepare people with Autism for halloween?

I am not Kelli Stapleson – a brilliant piece written by a mom with unconditional love for her child

What can be done for adults with Autism? – there are not a lot of studies, provisions or help available for grown ups with Autism. The system seems to forget that kids with Autism grow up to be adults with Autism. What can be done?

Parents of 11 y/o Boy with Autism Arrested for Keeping the boy In a Cage

The Daily Mail reported that the parents of an 11 year old boy who has Autism were arrested after discovering that the boy was kept on a cage. The parents reasoned that the boy was kept on a cage that is big enough for him to move in natural positions because of his severe Autism. The young boy apparently is unable to communicate and often has violent outbursts. The parents put their son in the cage to protect themselves and their other children.

The parents are charged with suspicion of felony, child endangerment and false imprisonment.

The children are reportedly with the Child Protection Services.

This distressing news highlights the need to educate and continually support parents and carers of people with Autism.

UK Supermarkets Asda and Tesco Apologise for Disgraceful and Offensive Costume

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asdaUK supermarket giant Asda has apologised for their hugely inappropriate halloween costume marketed as the ‘Mental Patient Fancy Dress Costume’  which featured fake blood, a mask and a fake meat cleaver. They have withdrawn the sale of the said product and pledged to donate £25,000 to Charity Mind after they were bombarded with tweets from offended individuals such as ex-footballer Stan Collymore and charities such as Rethink Mental Illness.

Tesco, who had a similarly absurd ‘psycho ward’ costume (boiler suit, mask and machete) also withdrew their product subsequently and like Asda, have issued offical apologies.

tescoAs an advocate for teaching mental health awareness and diversity, I am hugely offended and horrified by the sale and  advertisement of the costumes. We are still living in an age where people with mental illnesses are stigmatized, and stupid publicity stunts such as this is totally unacceptable. Not only does it fuel the negative stereotype but it also gives the masses an opportunity to publicly mock those who are living with mental illnesses. I am sure that they are aware of the fact that several people have killed themselves because they could not live with the stigma.

In addition, neither of these costumes accurately depict people with mental illness. Having visited many psychiatric wards and mental institutions, and having worked with people with psychiatric conditions, I have not seen anyone who dressed and looked like the pictures on Asda’s and Tesco’s  advertisements. The mentally ill need support, understanding and acceptance. They certainly do not need any public mockery such as this. Apologies and donations are not enough.