Respect – It’s More Than an Aretha Franklin Song

Today, while eating lunch, I was reading the news and came across Giuliani’s slam against Stormy Daniels, where he says:

I respect all human beings. I have to respect criminals. I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.

This is a subject I touched upon in my rant about Trump referring to some people as “animals”, and it is something I will keep emphasizing over and over: All people are worthy of respect. It is a characteristic of their being human; it is part of our shared humanity. That means we do not denigrate them based on the looks, their skin color, their religion, their orientation, their sexuality, their sexual behavior (or lack thereof). Anything that is a characteristic of the person — don’t make fun of it. And, yes, that includes those who you disagree with politically. Just as we progressives were upset when people made fun of Obama for looks, we shouldn’t be the ones fat-shaming Trump — or making fun of his skin color. We certainly shouldn’t be discounting the opinion of someone just because of their profession, or what society, circumstances, or economic position has driven them to do.

When they were a infant, were they worthy of respect? When a child? When a young adult? When an adult? Why should our ability to treat someone with respect change because of a career choice, or what they wear, or any other aspect like that?

Disagree with someone for what they say, but discuss the issue with them respectfully? Disagree with someone for how their positions influence their actions, but respect their humanity when doing so? If you dismiss them out of hand, they will ignore anything you have to say, and you move from a dialogue to a screaming match.

We have an administration that judges based on the superficial. Giuliani has made that clear, and so has Trump. But just because they do so does not make it acceptable behavior, and we need to point out just why that is unacceptable.

No one is less than because they have done sex work. No one is less than because they’ve been in a gang. For those of a religious bent, religion teaches that repentance is always possible. If they are worthy of respect after repentance, they are worthy before as well.

Treat people with respect. That is all.