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  • Writer's pictureDale Hanks

Feeling Powerless?



I have a confession to make.


I've been posting on this blog site for almost a year, and I've written close to one hundred articles. I've never been at a loss for words...until now.


Every day for the last week, I've opened my laptop to try and write something thoughtful and informative; but I find myself staring at a blank screen with my fingers hovering over the keyboard not knowing what to type. I'll start paragraph after paragraph, but then delete them all. In fact, the key I've been using the most these days is "Delete."


It's not that there's a shortage of important topics. Just look at the news--school and supermarket shootings, gun control debates, war in Ukraine, election fraud, the Durham investigation, the World Economic Forum and their planned digital ID, COVID-19, monkeypox, inflation, food shortage crises, gas prices, "wokeism," and on...and on...


I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. And powerless. I've been continually asking myself, "What's the point? What can I do to help change ANYTHING?"


Maybe you've been feeling the same way.


I'd like to share a personal story that made things a little clearer for me this week. It started with a troubling item that came across my news feed.


I saw a headline that blared, "State Farm donating transgender books for 5-year olds to schools in Florida." After looking into the story a bit further, I saw that the State Farm insurance company had partnered with the GenderCool Project, an advocacy group for transgender and non-binary youth, to donate books on these topics to local schools and public libraries. These books are aimed at children as young as 5-years old.


This all became known through emails leaked to the non-profit organization, Consumer's Research, by State Farm agents who were concerned that the company was actively engaged in promoting transgenderism to children.



Before I go on, let me be clear that what I am about to say is not a judgment of adults in the LGBTQ+ community. This is about the sexualization and transgender agenda aimed at children.

Now, back to State Farm...


Why, in light of everything else going on in the world, did this particular story really get to me? Because it felt personal. My uncle started a State Farm agency back in the 1960's and I've been a State Farm policyholder my entire life. State Farm has, up to this point, lived up to their slogan, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." I'm pretty sure you can even sing their jingle. It was always a family-oriented company with old-fashioned, mid-western, conservative values. Local agents sponsored community events and Little League teams.



But apparently, State Farm is no longer there to be a good neighbor. It is there to be a creepy neighbor by providing materials that encourage youth identity crises and gender-confusion. Reinforcement of gender-confusion has been shown to possibly lead to the use of chemical puberty blockers and surgical removal of breasts, genitals and reproductive organs. (The Biden Department of Health and Human Services endorses this, by the way.)


Here's a 30-second video put out by Consumer's Research showing that State Farm is no longer your "family-oriented" insurance company:



Upon reading this news, my wife and I were extremely disappointed and distressed. State Farm's actions went against our personal values and beliefs as to what is, and is NOT, appropriate for children. We talked it over and agreed that, when you believe in something, you need to take a stand--and so, we canceled our policies. I didn't even wait to talk it over with our agent. I did some research to find another company that lined up with our personal views, canceled our State Farm policies online, and transferred our business to the new company within the span of one hour.


And I felt MUCH better. I felt that I had at least done SOMETHING to make a statement and take my power back.


As it turns out, we weren't alone. State Farm received a lot of "backlash" (translation: canceled policies) and, in less than a day, announced that they were terminating their relationship with GenderCool. The company issued a statement saying, "State Farm’s support of a philanthropic program, GenderCool, has been the subject of news and customer inquiries. Conversations about gender and identity should happen at home with parents… we will no longer support that program.”


State Farm also apologized to their agents, but the damage had already been done. In a statement to conservative news site, RedState, a State Farm agent from the West Coast said, "This low level woke employee has hurt us so badly. We agents are independent and 100 percent commission. In addition to supporting my own family, I have three employees, including two single mothers, and I worry about this harming our business and possibly having to lay someone off. My own sister said that if it wasn’t for me, she would change insurance companies immediately."


As a follow-up note, it appears now that, after seeing what happened to State Farm, nine other major corporations dropped out of GenderCool Project's list of supporters. Capital One, NBC Universal, General Mills, Adobe, Indeed, Bank of America, Sprout Social, Oracle, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are no longer listed. Companies are realizing that they are taking a hit to their bottom line for dipping into politics. There's a saying that goes, "Go woke...Go broke." It seems to be holding true.


Disney also recently learned this lesson the hard way when they opposed Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" bill (misnamed by activists as the "Don't Say Gay" bill). Consumers then later found out that Disney executives are openly promoting a "gay agenda" and "promoting queer-ness" in their content wherever possible. When all this became public, Disney felt consumers' wrath in the form of canceled subscriptions to the Disney+ streaming service and declines in park attendance. The Florida legislature then piled on and voted to dissolve Disney's special tax preferences. (My wife and I also canceled our Disney+ streaming subscription; and, even though we are Florida residents, do not plan to visit Walt Disney World in the foreseeable future.)


As a final note to my story, I had no qualms about terminating our relationship with Disney; but I do feel sad about canceling our State Farm policies. Our agent is a wonderful young woman who is working hard to build her agency. Her entire income is 100% commission-based and she is now going to suffer financially as a result of her corporation's "woke" action. I wrote to her to explain our reasoning and to apologize to her, not for our decision, but that she is being hurt personally. She responded in a heart-felt manner and said she totally understands.


In the past, when a corporation enacted some woke policy or program, we conservatives (myself included) would whine about it for a short while and then just move on without doing anything further. But now, it's starting to feel that we're all--finally-- waking up and not cowering in fear of reprisal, name-calling and shaming. We're standing up for our truth. We're no longer the "silent majority." We are NOT powerless.


The point of my story is that each of us has a personal "sphere of influence" that matters. We may not be in Washington D.C. making policy decisions, but we ARE making everyday decisions that affect others. We are parents and grandparents who set examples for younger generations. We are employees, neighbors, and consumers who make decisions on where and how to spend our time and money. We are voters who have a say in our local, state and federal governments.


Small decisions we make in our daily lives may not seem like much in the big picture; but, they matter. And together, WE matter.


Together, WE are powerful.


The time has come for us to use that power for the common good--even if it's only one small step at a time.


"When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control how you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is." -Unknown


 

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Guest
Jun 03, 2022

Dale: Your latest post resonates with me because I have felt the same thing. It's overwhelming. So many social ills being thrown at us on a daily basis, it is becoming more and more difficult to articulate and to emotionally process it all. You did right to cancel and so many people are doing that for exactly the reasons you stated. The world has gone mad and we need to stick together for survival. Thank you for your blog. Keep up the great work.

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Guest
Jun 03, 2022

Dale, you know I read your weekly Blog and have written comments to most of them. I truly feel that the words you typed this week came straight from your heart! I also believe that the majority of true Americans have no idea how to respond or retaliate against all the horrific things taking place on a daily basis. I commend you and your wife for your reaction to what Disney and State Farm was promoting setting an example for the rest of us to follow. Thank you for enlightening us with your powerful weekly Posts!

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Dale Hanks
Dale Hanks
Jun 12, 2022
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Thank you so much. I appreciate your support.

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