White Supremacy Is a Personal Issue for Me

Dear readers,

Due to the recent clashes between Clayton Jacobs and Twitter, I’d like to highlight why his work is important. It is a personal mission for me as well. Why is this, you ask? Well, you can ask people like Michael Bonnehomme and Orien  Henry who are both black and Caribbean. You can ask Trenton Matthews, who is African American, or you could ask Elijah Cummings. He’s a black Congressman who experienced racism as a child.

Or you could ask the late great Mary McCleod Bethune’s children what their mother went through as a child. Mary Jane was born to parents who were slaves but by the end of the Civil War, she was the first freeborn child among others who were born to Patsy and Samuel McCleod. or you could ask Martin Luther King Jr.’s family how the assassination of their patriarch affected them.

But for me, racism and white supremacists fighting with others who are minorities is a personal and hot issue for me. What will happen when they win the war? I’ll tell you what:

  1. I will be denied the right to marry or associate with people of color. Children born to me and a man of color will be deemed bastards and unable to inherit things, land, and estate money. Southern law will apply, so if it was me who was the person of color, then my kids will not get anything from their white born father. But, yes, that’s what these people want.
  2. We went to a Chili’s on Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood to celebrate the 92nd birthday of Trenton’s grandma. Imagine the horror of what we might experience if we walk into that same Chili’s and are told, you guys can’t sit there because you’re black/colored. Imagine me being bullied into silence while my in-laws are pushed out to the back, served scraps, and not given proper customer service.
  3. As a person who has some black in the family, and yes, Cajun, I feel that this is often misunderstood. If the White Supremacists win, they will also allow Proud Boys members to harass and intimidate Trenton and I into silence on the Internet, as the trolls did to Clayton. This is unacceptable behavior and Twitter should have sided with Clayton because he is a protected class. And if the Proud Boys have it their way, I could be used as a birthing tool or incubator for a white man’s child, pure and simple.
  4. Read the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Then watch either Guess Who or Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. What world do you want to live in? The world of commanders, Rachael and Leah centers, and forced sexual servitude? Or do you want a world in which we can have our opinions, disagree doing it civilly, and let people live their lives? The proud boys and White Supremacists want to impose themselves on minority groups.

As a white woman, I’m still vulnerable because of my disability to having a multitude of crimes committed against me if Gilead became a reality for me. If I couldn’t carry a baby to term, I would be punished under Gilead law. And associating with persons of color would become a fraternization crime under Gilead law. The African American girls would be probably decimated or forced to serve men in slavery, and the men? No better. It is not a really easy or rewarding task to be a house slave. Imagine, just for this moment, that an African American woman was your house slave. What is she feeling at this moment? While she has to look after the planter’s sons, what is she thinking? Even though she doesn’t have to taste the biting whip of the overseer, she could still be yelled at, raped, or worse, killed by her master for not doing what he asks. This would include sexual advances. White women would become slaves, too. There would be no rights for any except for males, and according to Clayton, I have seen him write about the Masons and such. I need to study how Masonic society had something to do with slavery. It had a huge impact on that, and they were the dehumanizers.

Now, here’s the personal thing I want to discuss. I am going to stay with a man of color, and his family has treated me well. He doesn’t have an abuse record or anything, so I’m happy in this relationship. If the Proud Boys get another stint in the White House,  they will try and undo Loving. Watch that movie if you will, and watch what happens when hateful judges try to use hateful rhetoric to say, certain races belong on certain continents. This is highly offensive, but for the sake of posterity, let me say that Orien is a mixed race young man, though the white part of him is smaller and he’s only a quarter of that. But it doesn’t matter how much white or whatever blood he has. This man’s blood like everybody else’s is blue. Yeah, until it hits the oxygen in the air, then it turns red. Why? The red blood cells do that. That’s why we say blood is red, but who cares? And as for Trenton, he doesn’t let this get to him. But if he were to be told to leave me, I don’t know how he’s going to react when the Proud Boys and White Supremacists try to hold it against us for being together. We have an equal partnership, despite my mental health issues, despite disability and torture I’ve endured for being disabled. All disabled families and disabled people in general face abuse, harassment, and intimidation.

 

I have other friends who are black, including Orien. And I want to say very clearly, nobody should tell me otherwise. Orien’s family is Christian, and the teachings of Jesus state we are to love our neighbor. People tend to twist the word of God to benefit supremacy and other forms of discriminatory teachings. Jimmy Carter, may I remind you all, is no longer a Baptist, but still believes in a Bible, but he wants an inclusive world. President Carter and his wife are 73 years married, and he respects women like nobody’s business. And he doesn’t care what color someone is, and like Mary Poppins says clearly when singing to Bert in the movie, “Underneath, your blood is blue.” Everybody’s blood is blue, so where is the racial divide? I don’t give a crap about race, I just know that I’m in a relationship with a guy of my same species, okay? I’m not doing bestiality, for those who don’t think this is serious. I’m totally serious.

Here’s what we need to do to make the world a more inclusive and race blind place. This applies to places where the Proud Boys are, where “Heil Hitler” is still uttered, where the Africans are still marginalized.

  1. I think a good exercise should be taught in schools across the country. A modified version of the Blue Eyed Exercise should be taught to children. Yes, I said this right.
  2. Blindfolding kids in school and having them interact with each other blindfolded would work wonders. Imagine the thought of a black man, Martin, interacting with a Mexican girl, Juana, and not knowing she’s Mexican, not caring. Another element to this is stated below. But imagine seeing the mix of the two races together. If the young Martin and Juana were paired up to do projects in school blindfolded so they couldn’t tell the color of skin, they might be able to talk about more serious subjects like what’s happening or the weather.
  3. Ethnic learning should be encouraged in all schools. Let’s take a young Kenyan girl who moves here to the U.S. and can only speak Swahili and some British English. Or perhaps a Masai girl. This girl is going to want to hear songs and dances from her homeland, and she should be able to be proud of her culture, and talk all day about how she feels connected with her homeland, but she can talk about why she came here. I’ll use Orien’s example here as well. He came here from Antigua off the coast of Hispaniola, but thankfully Antigua has English as a primary language to speak with. However, he has different musical tastes, and music of that culture is very specific and distinct. So why not have ethnic days at school? Let a young girl from Israel bring in some real Israeli food. We did this in Parochial school. This was assigned by the great Mrs. Miller, and she said to us, bring food from a different country. Okay, so what? Why not study a country that is not yours? I did this, a report on South Africa I did with a partner. Yes, this is possible. Also, study the indigenous populations. Learn the language of the Navajo, Chippewa, and other tribal things. Just open up your mind, let the familiarity breed respect and love.
  4. Bring back the statue of liberty. We need to seriously reeducate any white boys and proud boys out there. Remember, the statue has a poem on its base. I’ve practically memorized it, and it’s by Emma Lazarus. It says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” That is the most famous set of lines from that poem. We need to educate immigrants, yes, but let’s talk about America as a fabric of immigration. Okay, let me tell you now about my personal family lineage.

My lineage, if anyone should know, is Irish, English, German, Cajun, some African, a splash of Native American, maybe some others. Yes, I am a proud and comfortable mixed personality. My blood like everybody else’s is blue. My hair is brown, but tightly curled. Someone asked me if I was mixed, and I bet I could tell you the answer is yes. Let me explain a few tidbits of my family. The Heberts, a Cajun family, came here from Canada, and like about 99% of the Cajun population, settled in Louisiana. That’s where the Creole and French thing comes in. Hebert is a French last name, and I’m mighty proud to say we’re a strong family. My grandmother’s family, however, is English and Irish, but they have a story to tell. It’s a few or maybe even six generations ago that the Wades and Lights came here from England and Ireland. Clara Light, an English born lady, married a James Wade, an Irish post guy. The story goes that he was buddies with the sheriff, who said when the Klan came to call at James’s door, “Stop messing with that guy and let him work.” The Klan were known not only to harass blacks and such, but they went after the Irish. My adopted father has family that emigrated here some generations back as well. The Taurasi family was originally builders and peasant farmers, but look how far my father, as much as I resent him, came. He was the first in his family to do scientific work in college, major in a technically advanced field, and do something impacting the world of aerospace engineering. My mother got a degree in mechanical engineering, and despite being pregnant and having me, she still found protection and security in my dad, and they married soon after meeting while working at NASA and such, Lockheed Martin if you want to be technical about it. Dad worked on for contractors and so on fixing shuttle parts, then got managerial jobs until the program ended and later, he got other jobs in different capacities. Both of my father’s two sons got engineering jobs doing technical things, which is all well and good, but since they are both white and not disabled, they will never understand the personal mission I’m on. Here’s my story:

I was born in Florida in 1986, and though born blind, I still write this blog today because doctors might have said one thing, but I did something different. I grew up Catholic, but who needs a God of exclusivity and patriarchy when you have deity worship that doesn’t need that? I tried college, but collecting benefits is the only way for a survivor of fifteen years of guardianship hell. My parents, using white privilege and not understanding the fruits of their immigrant ancestors, decided to label me incompetent and a foundling among other things. It has been fifteen years of not being able to do things the normal way, being told to stay away from my friend Michael because of his “sexual experience” but I wonder if it was because he was Haitian, and many other issues that could have landed me in the morgue. I am not done yet.

I’m 32 years old, and I want to say I’m expecting a child one day. But for now, because of racial profiling in vendors, because mortgages are for working people only, we’re stuck in an unhealthy rental situation and the apartment has asbestos in it. Yeah, it’s getting better, but the number one concern is the old lead paint on the walls. I will never let that down. And yes, I’m not done yet.

Because Trenton is who he is, he could get higher mortgage rates from lenders, so I have to be the one to call these folks up. I will not give them info about our ethnicities. Only family circumstances. I want no white Supremacy in house searching.

In any case, I don’t like Supremacists because of how my friends would feel if I did. I share a bed, food, and lodging with a black man, and to me, any good man is a blessing, but Trenton is the best blessing I’ll have for life. I don’t want to see him get EMS services called on him for doing ordinary activities. I don’t want to see him get mugged by a guy shouting, “Heil Hitler” at the top of his lungs. I don’t want to see my son of the future join a gang to survive. Gangs are not for children, not for anyone rather. I wish I could interview my friend Henry Vasquez who is Mexican, lives in California, and got a license to become a gang dropout counselor. He knows the gangs and streets of L.A. better than I do. But Los Angeles is just one place and one city, so imagine the gang activity in Denver and Atlanta. Think about it. I don’t want my daughter of the future to be raped by a boy who says he wants to marry her, whether black or white. I will never marry my daughters off unless they say yes and they pick the man. I don’t want my teenage daughter of the future to have zero exposure to things like sex and birth control protection and such. IF a girl bleeds, she needs free tampons and pads in school. IF my daughters of the future get pregnant, I will never fault them. I will track down the baby’s daddy and make him responsible and pay child support for my daughter’s baby if he’s able. Otherwise, the family he has will have to pay some Hell because teenagers shouldn’t be moms so early. Don’t let me watch Teen Mom, I’ve seen the teenage pregnancy thing right in front of my face. African American girls who get pregnant while young don’t get the same attention as whites. This is sad. I want my future little children to go to parks that are open to them all day, as Martin Luther King Jr. wrote in his Letter to the Birmingham Jail that he had to explain to his little daughter that “Funtown was closed to colored children.” He couldn’t understand this. Dr. King’s children had to grow up with racism, hate, and bigotry. Can you imagine if Disney World was closed to autistics and blacks? IF I ever have to tell my little children in the future that “Universal studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter is closed to all colored or mixed kids”, I’m going to have those people sued. Racism has no place in this country, and I want to open my children’s eyes one day to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Of course, I will never have to actually say that Elitch Gardens is closed to children of this race, but you would have dealt with that in the 1960s. This is 2019. If anyone tries to impede on my or my family’s experience at a theme park, a store, a restaurant, or worse, government buildings and schools, public restrooms, anything, there will absolutely be some educating and hell to pay. My friends and loved ones have every right to experience the world as others do, whether they’re black or blind or both.

This is why the whole clash of Supremacists versus the other side is so personal to me. Learn from the family stories I’ve put here. For posterity, I will be telling the stories of other people. But I want to tell my story to the world, and if anyone thinks this is crazy, it is crazy that I have to teach ordinary adults American history as I was taught the same one.

Here’s another thing. If you want to fight and kill or die for your cause, read authors like Liam o’Flaherty, because they and he write stories about the wars in Ireland. Read the Red Badge of Courage, and see the price war does on the country. Study the Civil War as it was meant to be studied. Read Harriet Jacobs’s book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and realize the bondage these women faced. The ancestors be praised, that book is amazing. Anyway, off to bed with me, and please, no more trolls and silence for people who are critics of racism. Nobody has the right, also, to threaten to shoot someone in the head as one officer tried to threaten a freshman squad lady member. Whoever did this put my friend Clayton in absolute terror for not only her life, but he said he was willing to give up his own. That says a lot about where he and I stand. IF I was able, I’d so give my life for Trenton as well, I’d give my life for the beautiful families and the history behind each one that come to America seeking a better life. I don’t want to hear another word about “open borders” and such. Would you rather suffocate Latino Americans in their home countries with gang violence? Give these people a place to call home, jobs and a place for the child to go to school. Let them bring their food and culture with them, the good parts that is, and let them teach us their languages and let us borrow more words. That’s how we got waffle, for example, from the Dutch who emigrated here from Holland. So there you go.

Thank you for reading.

Beth

Is it worth Making Peace with Someone Who’s Known to be Abusive?

Dear readers,

I’m lost. I’m having to process a big thing that happened yesterday. I was told to let a friend know if I even want to make peace with a man I’m sure you all know has been abusive to girls with disabilities. Girls with disabilities are a protected class of individuals, myself included in this group. Girls with disabilities have a wide range of needs, wants, and safety concerns. Here are just a few:

  1. Blind and deaf girls who get raped often don’t get justice because they’re blind and deaf. Deafblind girls should be at least given the rape kit and DNA tested so the bad guy can be caught. And because she may never be able to identify the guy, he could walk free and do it again. This is a major safety concern in India and other places, but the United States is not far behind.
  2. Girls with developmental disabilities are manipulated by others to believe that their rapists were nice people, that the girls wanted the nonconsensual sexual advances, etc etc. That is always a safety concern at work. Example, the Katie Talbert story in Law and Order Special Victims Unit. Olivia Benson and Eliot Stabler confront a man who’s supposedly responsible for giving Katie “exercise time.” Well, that is actually sex, and because of Katie’s sheltered life, she finds herself unable to process sexual information to the tune of a pregnancy and a baby boy. Well, that just highlights why parents should be teaching their developmentally disabled female offspring about sex, showing them pictures of the body and such. I’ve written extensively about this, and how it should be no exception that these girls should be learning sexual advance etiquette as I’d like to call it. Consent should be a thing developmentally disabled females should be taught along with their male counterparts.
  3. All girls with disabilities who can’t move could be subject to serious violence by their families and others outside the family. If a girl is in a wheelchair and worse off, in state care, she is subject to unwanted sexual advances and custodians abusing her and not giving her the services she needs. There are plenty of characters in the book Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nusbaum that perfectly capture what happens with girls who have disabilities in state care. For example, Mia, the “hot Mexican mama” that Teddy talks about in some of his narratives in the book, is only sixteen and is not given a motorized wheelchair. Mia has suffered abuse at the hands of her family, only to be almost raped by a custodian in the building. I am one who would empathize with Mia because Mia’s story is every paralyzed girl’s story. Some girls with disabilities may need attendant care, and that puts them at severe risk of being raped and so on. If the girl is not taught the proper way to handle fired caregivers, she could die or worse, be pregnant by someone associated with care. Most disabled females are taught to be pliant and obedient to caregivers, which can be a bad thing. As a lady with a disability once said at an Atlantis support group, it gets a bit awkward when care is administered in the most intimate places. Caregivers who have to steady a girl in her bath, help her with bathroom related tasks, or other things might find it easy to get her knocked up if it’s a male doing the job. Example, a case in SVU called Disabled, involving a lady named Kira who has a severe form of MS, involves a man who claims she wanted the sex and he was a bus driver no less. Kira was an opera singer, but she ended up being beaten by her sister and in a nursing home, which could have meant more abuse. The sister was envious of Kira because of her once loyal fans and singing talent but in her rough words she said, “I want her to have a taste of the regular world.” Sadly, the regular world doesn’t want people with disabilities, females especially. However, when Kira finds out that other people on the handicapped bus have been touched inappropriately by the man, Anthony Griggs, she knows to speak up for them. Though she can’t speak with her voice, is unable to move, etc., Kira understands people’s speech and mannerisms, and all that to prosecute a man who rapes a disabled woman. And he said in one instance that he didn’t feel like she was just a woman in a wheelchair. But there’s no license for any person in a disabled girl’s life to rape or abuse her, whether she can move and identify the attacker or not. There are many Anthony Griggses out there who would be more than willing to rape a few girls who can’t speak for themselves, but when Kira does her job of identifying the victim, with much effort, I believe the man will go to jail. There are a lot of angry Kiras out there who will do anything to see the men being prosecuted.

These are safety concerns that disabled females face, now I want to tell you about my own concerns.

 

  1. The man I am being asked to make peace with has a transphobic and homophobic as well as racist viewpoint of the world. He cannot really date black women, but chose to cheat on several girlfriends with a woman who had HIV. Yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to do something like this. The girl who suggested I make peace with him doesn’t want me to “blast” him, but this could be outward signs of manipulative behavior.
  2. This man has also made fun of the way people who live on their own with disabilities do things. He should also never talk badly about Latino Americans, especially by calling them “beaners.” Which is worse? Being called the name I just wrote or being attacked? I say neither is worse than the other.
  3. Whether anyone believes the thing about Sabrina or not, the man I speak of should not engage with me. I could say that making peace is one thing, but I can’t talk to him or hear his voice ever again. And I wish to keep it that way. I feel unsafe talking to this guy whether with someone or alone. It doesn’t matter, he doesn’t interact with his friends in a good way. He sits there watching TV and playing music, which those things alone aren’t necessarily bad, but he opens his mouth regarding race issues and doesn’t get it.
  4. He lied about my ex, and tried to turn others against me. And here he goes asking me to make peace with him. Well, if he wants it, it will happen without me talking to him or being caught up in a situation I don’t feel safe in at all.

Here are the conditions on which peace is ever made with an abuser:

  1. He doesn’t repeat behaviors he did while abusing girls and women.
  2. No more manipulation and brainwashing people and turning them against each other.
  3. Racist and homophobic/transphobic behaviors must end. Now. It is unsafe for him to talk while he still makes fun of my transgender and gay friends.
  4. No more inaccurate facts about Africans. They don’t all have HIV. IF they do, it’s their business, and I haven’t dated someone who is HIV positive. Trenton is not HIV positive, so get that out of your head, people.
  5. That thing where women are under men? Well, let’s make this guy serve women. He should spend the rest of his life serving women, giving women what they want instead of the other way around. Being racist against Asians wouldn’t matter. One more.
  6. No more psychotics and behaviors against me. If this guy is in league with people on the Internet against me, he should simply stop doing it. I won’t fall for that clever trap he’s placed. I will not fall for it.

The kind of behavior I’ve seen in guys who truly abuse women is disgusting at best. Child abusers are the same way, promising not to abuse their child, and then they turn around and do it. My own parents had done some subtle manipulation and such. So I know what that looks like. Please understand that trolls are not allowed here and if anyone wants to swat me, you’re asking for prosecution by a state district attorney and so on. I don’t put up with swats at all.

Thank you for reading, and have a great day.

Beth

An Appeal to Good Stewards of the Internet

Dear readers,

The following is a very important thing that we must do to keep the Internet safe for everyone. First and foremost, child predators should not really be allowed to view children under age eighteen (18) on any social media platform, but the trickiest thing about being good stewards of the Internet is blocking out potentially violent and marginalizing behavior.

Let’s take a few examples.

1. President Orange, as I’d like to call him, wrote a disgussting manifesto in 280 chars or less, basically saying that my ladies in Congress should go back to war torn Somalia, should go back to lawless Palestine, should go back to gang ridden Central America, should go back to desolately poor and corrupt countries in Africa. I’m not kidding. He didn’t use the words, but he did get points from twitter and the GOP for putting that disgusting display of his narcissistic behavior up on Twitter. But the way the algorithms and moderation tools are set up, a second man is disadvantaged due to his disability and his class in life.

Meet Clayton Jacobs, also known as Esoteric Quality, a dear friend whose Twitter as of this moment is permanently suspended on appeal. This is disgusting on so many levels, and not even his own white friends are willing to stand up and do something so that Twitter learns a serious lesson from disadvantaging a man who is not even halfway famous like Joey Groseffa, and so many such numnuts like Justin Bieber, who doesn’t seem to care much about anything but money. Clayton’s life is full of things that would make a rapper cry, things like abuse and divorced parentage, the parents later rushing to relationships, one of which cauht Clayton in the middle. He wrote extensively about this sort of thing, so I’m not expecting him to tel others, but he will one day. He was at this moment not allowed to write on Twitter, and they tried to suspend him a lot for calling out an inhumane Trump administration. Twitter’s job is not to bend over backwards for the Trump or the Orange administration as I’d like to henceforth call it. The Orange administration has repeatedly tried to turn this country into Gilead, the fictional republic as written in the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

2. I think people on social media are the ones who should be affecting change in our nation, but by silencing Mr. Jacobs, this Twitter platform as well as the Orange administration is doing nothin to solve the world’s, and more narrowly our nation’s, problems. Here are the things we should be working on.

First and foremost, Prez Orange is making it impossible for migrant families from places like El Salvador, Guatemala, and other Central and South American countries to flee to America for better lives. Well? Mr. President, you’ve lost me there. Why are you pushing people away with this savage interpretation of El Salvadorian people as members of MS13? I have a Latino friend named Henry who talks to people who want to quit the MS13 gang. And other gangs that roam around L.A. should take note. MS13 is not waht defines the people of El Salvador. Henry’s family are third generation Mexican immigrants. I was lucky to find him, but third generation immigrants such as Henry will have it hard. He would find it harder to do things in Mexico. What I’d propose is something like making Mr. President sit in his own filth at a “concentration camp” as defined by the great Alexandria Cortes. Alexandria Ocasio Cortes has it down pat. Those poor babies and toddlers! Those teenagers hving to look after the poor babies and toddlers, and Mr. President doesn’t know what it’s like to sit in his own filth for days at a time, nobody coming to anticipate your needs. He has his stupid and downright empty headed wife hugging him, and that should never happen if I want the desired effect. President Orange needs to keep his mouth shut about the conditions at the camps, and call it for what it is. It’s kids sitting in cages, something he’ll never have to face or so he hopes not. His administration is also enjoying Clayton’s suspension thinking he’ll never be able to tweet again, never be able to call out his trusted little lady friend, Conway. Well, George, back me up here. Is Clayton right to call out your wife for absolving Orange of his racist behavior? It’s the words he says that might land Omar, Talib, Presley, and Cortes dead on the floor or worse, raped by fanatics. Those women should just tell it like it is.

What is America to me? Well, as an American, I was brought up to understand that freedom meant I could have opinions. Orange is cozying up to dictators like Kim Jong-Un, who is not excellent, and if it were up to me, he’d not be there in the first place, and I’d rescue many disabled folks in goulags and other horrific conditions. I’d take the people, the little people out of their inferior little people village. I know what the little people want, because it’s waht I want. Acceptance. I know Rebecca Cockley, a little lady as I might call her, and she would be the first person I’d use to counsel the little people of North Korea into believing they can be accepted and not laughed at. Blind people in that country will, under my administration, learn Braille. And ENglish will become their proper language. Kim will be so furious but that’s waht he gets for being a bad boy, right? Orange would just treat him with kid gloves. Well, if it was up to me, and or Clayton, no more Mr. Nice Guy, or as Matilda would say, “No more Miss Nice Girl. No more pretty little prissy Princess for that guy over there. And MBS would be tried in the international criminal court for the crime of killing critics. He’d have to spend his last days with no title, just his name. No princely gold will ever buy him out of jail. I’d gather the evidence that Jamal was killed by order of MBS. And Saudi Arabia would be ordered to give up its royal family as a result. I’d allow the women to lead, choose what the holy land would be, etc. No more of the constricting clothing for women, no more being shut up in your house by law. Hey, Ilhan Omar would b great at that. The whole feminist advocating for women would be hers to do, and since she’d be a great asset to Congress, if she wants, I’d add her to the ambassadorship to Somalia, open up some diplomatic doors and such.

Good stewards of the Internet imagine what it is like to have a world free of white supremacy. Here’s one other tip: blindfold everybody in the world. Or give them special glasses that blot out color of skin and hair, and make them to read books about people without mention of ethnic backgrounds and such. Perhaps for the avowed nationalists, a Giver style world might be appropriate. Clayton’s blindness is his asset, and for others, it might seem tragic. But for Clayton and me and countless others, we see blindness as a characteristic and asset.

I’d appeal to all of you readers. Please overrun the social media sphere with Clayton’s story and tell the world what disadvantaged disability activists like him have to deal with.

Look for Struggles of a Blind Man available everywhere, even Apple Music.

Beth

Is Twitter Siding with White Supremacists?

This entry is for Twitter users. Have you noticed a pattern? Twitter is doing some dirty deeds upon people of color, people who are activists in the disabled community, and siding with white supremacists and nationals when it comes to big name news topics. Esoteric Quality is an ideal example of what Twitter is doing wrong. A twelve hour suspension resulted from him calling out a white supremacist, or rather, someone who asked a reporter what their ethnicity was. This is by far the rudest thing Kelly Anne Conway has done so far, and her husband isn’t doing anything to stop it. And yes, EQ is on the bend, trying to reason with people because what she said was rude, and he gets censored, suspended, unfairly treated by a platform that is popular, has his fan base, and so on. This is unacceptable, and cannot be done any further.

There are a few things I want Twitter to do, and I even asked EQ to email their support team to stop their needless suspensions and silencing him because of his criticism of an administration that lauds its cruelty over others.

  1. This is the top thing: don’t allow people who are white nationals to speak and impose their will and viewpoints on others.
  2. 2. Suspend others who are supporting white nationals, because we know what these people are capable of. White national opinions are shameful and lead to everything from lynchings in the 1930s to burning crosses in the front yards of black people to the gunning down of EQ’s sister. This is all thanks to ableist and white nationalist behavior.
  3. Delete President Trump’s twitter account when he leaves office. If it has to be done, it should be done. He supports conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones, who was permanently suspended from the system as well as his Infowars podcast being removed from all channels, including Apple, Spotify, and others and he denied the Sandy Hook massacre, saying it wasn’t real. Why should governments allow officials in a free democracy to support such heinous conspiracy theorists? Alex Jones is dead to all places on the Internet because of his actions, not the actions of the administration. But by deleting Trump’s twitter account, it saves a lot of people grief.
  4. Make sure that any Twitter user of color such as the squad in Congress and others who are associated with them receive ample protection. Let’s use a poor unfortunate soul as an example. @blindbirder called a congresswoman a jihadist, which nearly got himself a good mark on his own physical body by EQ. Ilhan Omar is not a Jihadist, and if I were to sit down and talk with her, I’d have to tell her that I left Islam because of men treating women like they were car models, not necessarily the Jihad thing. But Jihad should be thrown off the doctrine table and it is written in the book, the one called Heretic, that Jihad is a charter for terror. Ayanna Presley is African American, lives in Boston but is in D.C. of course. Ms. Presley is prone to attacks because she is a woman of color, and Trump doesn’t help the situation. Let’s go to Rashida Talib. She is amazingly optimistic. But she knows what’s up. She and Omar are having to deal with threats, threats to harm them from men. This must stop, and Twitter must not allow people such as these guys to threaten the most vulnerable among us.
  5. Anyone who threatens another person, especially if that person is a protected class, should be barred from tweeting. Trump threatens the jobs of the squad ladies, so in essence, he should really be having about 80% of his tweets hidden behind a warning curtain. Hey, Twitter should take a page from Mastodon, a decentralized social network, and hide things behind a warning button. Not only for Trump and world leaders, but for everybody. For example, if EQ wants to write something a bit sexy or a bit colored in some way, he could press a button on the twitter tweet thing that would allow him to hide that weird tweet behind a curtain that would say the following, “This tweet contains sensitive information.” Problem solved. But threatening messages and tweets should never be tolerated.

Twitter, if you’re reading this, there are many white nationals on this platform who could hurt or destroy people’s lives. This is getting quite out of hand. Suspending people for calling out white nationals is and should be a crime of free speech. Hate speech should cover the following statements:

  1. Threats to harm or harass individuals;.
  2. Descriptions of a subject’s body, especially if that writer is describing someone’s graphic demise like if they want to mutilate someone.
  3. Pictures of that person looking pasty or dead, and any captions that state that “this will happen to you.”
  4. Blatant attacks on races like my fiancé Trenton’s. African Americans will not simply rob delis to become successful, right, Soto? And may I add, my fiancé doesn’t affiliate with any African American gang on the streets, does not sell drugs, and doesn’t intend to do either. So leave all that out.
  5. Blatant attacks on women and disabled people. This is not protected free speech because when you read this sentence, you will scream. Well, to illustrate my point, let me show you a sentence, and this is only an example. The sentence “Women don’t belong on the Internet.” This is an opinion statement, but this, as follows, is not. “If you, lady don’t get off the Internet, stop speaking your mind, and just don’t drop down pregnant, we will come after you.” Remember, that sentence is not protected under free speech because it threatens women. I would never threaten my own female sisters out there, but the following sentence structure I found here on WordPress perfectly captures what I mean: the structure contained an attack on my mental health problems, and contained the phrase: “bitch, get shocked and shut up.” I was called a cunt and a bitch in several structures like these, and they are NOT protected under free speech. I’m only writing these in quotes so you see what kind of things AOC, Omar, Rashid, and Presley have to deal with on a daily basis. And I could have been swatted by the same troll.

What to do if a troll swats you:

  1. Follow police orders. If you have a gun in your hand, put it down. If you can’t hear the police, be sure to sign, “I can’t hear you” clearly in ASL. If either of these tactics don’t work, freeze and don’t move but make sure your hands have no weapons.
  2. Tell the officers everything you know. If you’re comfortable speaking with police and deputies, please make sure you tell them that there is no crime and that you are a victim of swatting. Show them all trolling comments on blogs, twitter, and so on.
  3. Make sure you have the IP address and email of the blog comments as I did, and if the police show up at your door because of a swatting call, be sure to inform them that you’ve been threatened. If you live in an apartment rental, make sure the officers have your door code. I had to do this.

How to protect yourself against threats:

  1. If you live in an apartment, make sure you have a safe entry point. A three digit door code is sufficient, but some buildings have a multi button code like one of my friends has. What you do to get into her gated community is simple but can look daunting at times. You have to press multiple buttons to get into the apartment, and the buttons spell out the resident’s apartment number, which is consistent of a letter and numbers. Then, the resident is expected to use an intercom device at the door to let you in. In my building, a three digit code is typed into a front door key pad, or the gate code is used for driving residents. We have security at the front and back of our building. We have also got good guys who can look after one another. I will admit the first line of defense will be the code at your door.
  2. If you live in a house, modular structure, or condominium, make sure you have a security guard looking out for you twenty four hours a day. The more security, the better. Make sure that if you live in a private property, use smart locks and Ring doorbell from Amazon for instance to secure your home. Cameras are a best friend here, and make sure you have them inside and out.
  3. Here’s another tip: if you wanted to, you could get a big intimidating looking dog to secure the property, but if you can’t afford the food and care of the dog, you could still put “beware of dogs” signs and make your security alarm signal sound like a big attack dog. If that doesn’t work, place a dog dish in your backyard, and come up with an intimidating dog name like Killer or Brutus for example to ward off attackers. Nobody will notice but putting a dog dish on your protective areas in your home might intimidate folks who want to commit a serious hate crime against you.
  4. If you are attacked, make sure you have a great relationship with your local PD. If not, save all footage, and call the FBI if this is a multi state issue. IF someone in Georgia attacks a woman in Hawaii, for example, the FBI office in both areas should be notified. Make sure you have the alerts saved in your smartphone’s notification bar, and don’t erase them until the screenshots can be taken and the attorney for that area charges the attackers with crime.
  5. IF you dare to own attack dogs on your property, well, I wouldn’t recommend it. Dogs should always be well socialized and their handlers should communicate with all people around them, especially when a canine officer is in contact with a guide dog handler. My friend Sassy wrote about the importance of this on Facebook, so I won’t go into detail. But if you own dogs, be sure they have current rabies vaccines, are fed well, socialized, and are trained to perform whatever task you need them to. Do not allow the attack dogs to go after canine officers, as they do a very complicated job in and of themselves. If you have been threatened and you are indeed a canine officer, you have every right to protect yourself and your dog.
  6. If you can’t afford security detail twenty-four hours a day like some celebs, make sure you have all the threats saved in your hard drive, phone notes, or take screenshots of said threats. If an officer who saw the swatting absolutely can admit it was swatting, make sure the officer has a record of the phone call.

If 911 is misused for racial purposes:

  1. Never call 911 unless you’re bleeding or dying or your loved one is bleeding or dying. Never ever use 911 to report someone because they are of a different race than your own.
  2. When you use the 911 service, you are specifying a fire, harassment/threats, or emergency situation. Use the EMS or 911 system to report amber alerts or a child missing is found,. But solely using 911 as a means to deter black people from doing activities is illegal and could constitute fines and prison time.
  3. IF you have a current restraining order against someone, a spouse who was abusive for example, use 911 to call out the presence of your abuser. If a child predator abducts a child, then you can also use 911.
  4. If the house is burning down, obviously, call 911 and get the fire department in immediately.

I hope these tips help the Squad ladies: particularly Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib, and Ayanna Presley as well as AOC. If you guys are willing to read this, feel free to make sure you have all the security details checked off your list. While AOC might not have the money to afford bodyguards, it might be essential to her well being.

As for Twitter, threatening comments and insults are technically not protected under free speech as illustrated above. Please, if you want to send a tweet, here’s what’s protected under free speech.

  1. Opinion statements: I think squash is gross. That is an example.
  2. Fact statements: Whales are enormous creatures who live on the beach. That is an example of fact.
  3. Expressive statements like, “I wish Star Trek came with more episodes. CAAAAAN!”
  4. Religious positive statements like, “Jesus loves you” or “I am a proud Jew/Muslim” are protected by free speech.

Thank you all for reading, and for more tips on trolls, check out the previous entry.

Beth

Female Gamers Beware: How to Hunt Down and Stop Trolls Before They Troll

Dear ladies,

I was watching an SVU fierce women episode, something about a female gamer named Reina. No, not a famous Reina anyone knows on any social media platform, but the name was supposed to be of a female gamer CEO who launches a video game called Amazonian Warrior. In the episode, people threaten and harass this character, and she receives sexually violent threats and threats of harm and such. Ladies, if you’re going through things like this, always remember a few different rules:

  1. Trolls are bad.
  2. Trolls like to be right all the time, but they’re really not.
  3. Trolling gives the troll a sense of so called power and control, something I’ve written about extensively.

Now, ladies, listen up. If you want men to silence you, skip this. But if you want a man to listen, read on.

I recommend that first and foremost, watch for trolls and hateful comments on all platforms, especially Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re excited about that latest Xbox game but guys are calling you fake, if you’re dying to see the cover art and make fancy portraits of it, or if you’re that awed by the latest Battle Toads or that new game starring … what’s his name? Reeves? Whatever, that game called Cyberpunk. If you’re that excited, be that way, and don’t be afraid to show it. But first, if you want to be smart, follow these steps.

  1. Do not allow hateful people to comment on your post without tearing it up. I tore at trolls in the past, and I think for the most part it worked. Trolls should be lurking in caves in Norway, in folklore stories, not lurking around the Internet harassing women. So put the troll in his place by calling anything out you want to call out: bad English, bad use of a picture, anything you don’t like and especially if the trolling is xenophobic, anti LGBTQI+, or sexist.
  2. Make sure to report the comment to the appropriate platform. Facebook might not listen as much unless you repeatedly report a commenter for being hateful and posting hate speech. Please read Facebook’s hate speech guidelines. They are pretty narrow and pretty good with what hate speech is and what it does. If I wrote something like what was written on Reina’s page in the SVU episode, I would surely be kicked off Facebook in a heartbeat. So, I won’t bother demonstrating anything. What I will do is demonstrate what good online citizenship looks like for women and men alike.
  3. If you receive any threats of violence against you, whether you’re a female CEO or COO or whatever, or if you created a video game yourself, make sure you report the threats to the law enforcement department in your area. The United States departments of law enforcement are amazingly well trained, for the most part, in dealing with these types of threats. If you’re not comfortable with your local PD, please go to your local FBI office or another PD but be careful to warn the PD from the commenter’s home state about this. I was threatened by Jason Owens, and the cops went to my home, and the weird thing was that he did get away somehow. Cops could not find Jason, but I showed Denver PD a threatening letter I got from Jason, whose contents I forgot what they were, but they seemed threatening. I followed the instructions of the cop and wrote to Jason at his email address he wrote me on, telling him NEVER to contact me again. That solved the problem, at least temporarily. I wanted him to understand that he had crossed essential boundaries with me, and tried to put a stop between me and his then girlfriend, the late Jennifer Weaver. This story is not meant to frighten anyone, but demonstrates the importance of having the boys in blue on your side of the fence. Now, if anyone like Mesa PD, who shot and killed a friend’s sister, was present, I’d be a bit jittery. So FBI offices and cyber crime divisions are likely candidates for cases like mine or your case involving video game harassment.

I would show you guys the threatening emails I got but they’re gone. But what I’m saying here is that any threat of violence should be taken to the law enforcement folks;. Only the ones you are comfortable with. There are many ways you can help others deal with this problem. The big thing is if you see something, say something. If you see a hateful comment on someone’s social media platform, be like my friend Ayla and say something. She said something along the lines of a certain comment was transphobic, and I backed her up. Anyway, thank you all for reading, and for more on hate speech and terms of service, simply go to the bottom of Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site.

Sincerely,

Beth

Dope, the Drugs We’re Doing Now, and Why They’re Deadly

Dear readers,

If any one of you has ever visited Mexico, you could tell me one thing about it. Mexico has become synonymous with the drug trade, however, and the Cena Loa drug cartel is trading something deadly fierce. It’s called fontanel, and it’s so bad it kills thousands a year.

Some people might think the narcan that revives heroin addicts should not be used and addicts should die for being addicts, but that’s not what this post is about. I want to bring your attention to why people are selling and doing fontanel.

For one, heroin doesn’t give them that high anymore. Heroin laced with fontanel might kill you, could kill you, or will kill you depending on the batch. The big debate I want to spotlight is should drug dealers suffer life sentences or the death penalty for distributing this deadly narcotic? I don’t think so, and here’s why.

Sometimes death doesn’t deter, and it never will. Death is the ultimate liberation of a person, but putting a poor disenfranchised Latino drug dealer away for life isn’t the answer. Prisons are overcrowded, and drugs and drug trafficking and possession should never be a reason to go to jail for life. El Chapo was put in the clink for reasons other than just the drugs. He ordered people to die at the hands of hitmen. Joaquin Guzman will likely never see his family again outside lockup. That is the sad truth of things.

The other side of the fontanel debate lies with who gets to be dealers and distributers of this devilish death trap. You could call this drug “quick death” for the way it kills you after you shoot it up, mind you it kills you painlessly. But the people who deal in this deadly thing are mostly blacks and Latinos, some users are white and they prostitute themselves so they can get high. This drug thing is precisely why we need a better plan for sex workers. Not all sex workers take drugs. Though there are a great many Floozy Susies on the corner who do take drugs and deal in crime, there are those in Vegas who don’t do this.

Sometimes, as I’ll state in another post and as I’ve stated before, sex work isn’t just a man throwing a female around and all that. Sex work should be about showing couples, single guys, single ladies, whatever, how to communicate with each other. In the days of legal sex work, as one sex worker wrote in an opinion piece and in her story in the Huffington Post, people lack communication and sexual intimacy that is healthy or without chaos. I’m sorry, but people have the wrong idea about prostitutes and sex workers in a legal standpoint because of drugs and crime.

There are many females who can’t find jobs anywhere, so sex work should be legal in that sense. As long as the female is treated with respect, and they get to dominate the experience, things won’t be so bad. And the female who works and deals in sex should never have to do it in place of a normal job unless she really thinks she has what it takes to do it like they do in Spain. Now, the fontanel fix does come to some of those women, and I saw two or three of them injecting themselves with drugs and such.

The big problem is overdosing. Tristen should probably consider going to a safe injecting site, where someone can clean up after her and take care of her so she can get her fix safely. Overdosing doesn’t just happen behind closed doors. Supervising people like doctors should take the lead in making sure heroin users stay alive, and have their fix. Fontanel from China should indeed be illegal, as it is, but there are still border mules in Mexico and so on bringing this “quick death” to Boston and NYC. It’s sad.

Here are a few recommendations, if any, that could help in this situation.

  1. Safe injecting sites are my top thing. I would never use unless someone was watching me, and if I showed signs of overdosing, maybe it would be a good thing I was at a safe injecting place because then, the persons supervising would be able to revive me and keep me from overdosing. That is the lead problem with addicts.
  2. Education always helps. Knowledge is power, nothing wrong with a little drug awareness training. Nothing like Dare or Scared Straight, but something that could use science and anatomy to teach about drug use and how it affects the human body, mind, and sexual things as well.
  3. In the safe injection sites, let’s make sure the needles are clean and sterile. This is definitely a plus because then the users don’t have to worry so much about catching diseases like HIV. That can kill you more slowly than the fontanel but still.
  4. We should never sentence dealers to death or life in prison. Maybe regulating this drug would be a good thing. If you put a ton of tax and revenue and prescriptions on something, then it’s legal. Controlled substances like opiates should never be used outside a doctor’s care, period. Drugs that give you highs like heroin does, in all ways, should never be prescribed unless there are no alternatives that are legal. If opioids are used, especially if you’re a known addict, doctors should no doubt closely monitor you for signs of use and abuse of the leftovers, or they should ask when the last time it was you had methadone or fontanel. There you go.

Beth

NFB Resolutions: A Brief Summary of How the Federation is Doing Better

Dear Readers,

I’m writing this on my Mac, with a pair of headphones attached to my Yeti microphone. Thankfully, the website is accessible, after all this is WordPress we’re talking about. The National Federation of the Blind, the presumed oldest and largest organization of the organized blind, is doing much better at addressing a lot of issues that we the blind have to face on a daily basis. Here are the highlights and what still needs to be addressed in resolutions for this organization.

 

  1. First and foremost, Uber and Lyft and guide dogs was addressed. This is a great start to a huge problem, something that so many friends of mine have reported on using social media platforms, more on those later, but so many guide dog handlers have been denied service on Uber and Lyft because of their dogs. This is clear discrimination, and reeducation of certain drivers is not what the NFB wanted to begin with. Let’s break down the demographic of Uber and Lyft drivers. Take those in Dearborn, Michigan, a large Muslim city. The drivers might say that dogs are dirty, which in the Islamic sense, yes, dogs are supposed to be forbidden as pets in Muslim homes. However, I have an example of a Muslim lady who has a guide dog, though she’s never brought the dog to mosque as far as I know. Ginny Quick is amazingly capable of putting up with two kids, and if she wanted Lyft or Uber, she would need it. No matter what the situation is, a driver should never deny Ms. Quick a ride to anything from her prenatal visits if she chooses to have a child, to her son’s or daughter’s doctor’s appointments. This is highly important stuff. Ginny and I have been friends a while, and I sometimes wonder how she would handle denials on uber or Lyft in Winter Haven, or another locale in Florida. Dearborne is a strong Muslim community, however, and getting people to abide by a service animal policy might be tricky over there. The NFB must have some more efforts to educate the Middle Easterners who tend to populate the transport industry, i.e. Lyft or Uber or medical transit, about the importance of service dogs such as guiding dogs, hearing ear dogs for the deaf, medical alert and wheelchair dogs, many other types of hero dogs that help the disabled.
  2. The NFB finally addresses Facebook accessibility. I hope it passes, but I’ve heard lots of complaints about that too. People have often complained about Facebook and its buggy feature set or sets of features that don’t include the blind. For one, we live in an increasingly pictorial world that doesn’t like the blind. Even in kindergarten class, you see many pictorial worksheets that don’t exactly include the blind child or parent helping a sighted child learn their ABC’s and 123’s. How the hell is anyone going to be included on Facebook with the ever infamous “awesome text background” some people complained about? Text embedded in images often can’t be read, so I am shy about asking friends “What did that picture say?” Imagine my horror at asking these folks, sighted as they are, about images with text and faces I can’t see. I have to tel them that the FB AI algorithm can’t tell me what their text image says. So the NFB has this right.
  3. Scooters. Boy this is interesting. Scooters are going to be a huge problem. I’m sorry, but we need to make a world safe for blind pedestrians because these scooters, according to the NFB resolutions, are dangerous and don’t seem to make noise. If the Trump administration wants to allow electric cars to be silent, however, the same scenario could happen with these dangerous scooters. And why should anyone write the number and company name on the scooter in Braille? With only 10% of blind people literate, how is that going to help? I could benefit from the format thing, but then what about the phone apps for filing complaints? This is a good resolution, but I’m going to have to play Devil’s advocate here and ask some very important questions. Do the sighted scooter manufacturers understand the consequences of making scooters at all on sidewalks? And laws regulating the placement of such are only going to make some irate drunk sighted people mad. Like this, “Why should we have to accommodate a bunch of blind people? They’re a small niche population, so I or We don’t have to do anything for them.” And the government and current administration’s views on blind people, with the exception of books, has been degrading and at best very belittling toward blind people. Trump is only going to care about what benefits him and his white rich cronies, and doesn’t seem to care about the welfare of anyone, not even the blind, immigrants, and so on and so forth. So scooter legislation might not fly with this administration, so I think the NFB should urge them to be elected out of office as soon as possible in order for the scooter thing to work.
  4. Next, secret ballots. I had to have someone mark a ballot for me recently because we don’t live near an accessible polling place. Ugh. So the NFB’s views on this is refreshing. Thank you for this one. They basically said that the accessible marking devices should be made usable for all disabled voters, and they should have more of those in polling places. If only it were that simple.
  5. There are two resolutions dealing with 14C of the FLSA, or Fair Labor Standards Act. Exploitative companies are still paying disabled people pennies per hour. And there’s more to this story. The NFB is really pushing demands that 14C be dropped and competitive employment be found for disabled people. If only that were simple. According to this resolution, parents and guardians push 14C on anyone who will listen, pretty much, to paraphrase it all. I would never do this, even if I was the guardian or parent of a child with a disability. Why? Because 14C doesn’t let the disabled one buy a decent house or apartment, buy good food, or stay out of an abusive group home situation. More on that later.
  6. Chemistry exams are a thing now? The NFB is pushing for access to chemistry exams. What a wonder. I took chemistry in Braille, and I daresay I pulled either an A or B in this. Ms. Hinkle, a friend of mine’s mom, was the chemistry teacher, and I got extra credit for writing and entering in an essay for a science contest. I wrote about the then popular JAWS, job access with speech, for windows. What I should have written about is screen access software, but none of the other software really hit it off till later. If Ms. Hinkle knew that the chemistry tests were not doable, she’d be mad. She’s since retired, who knew. But I hope never to have to take bio, chem, and physics ever again. If my child has to manipulate diagrams then I know that a blind person would never succeed in chemistry, not because of the science itself or the student, but the access buriers. Those need to go, and the NFB’s position is clear.
  7. I think the NFB should address Hulu, but it does address the authenticity of blind characters in entertainment. Sighted women should not play blind women. Whitewashing should be illegal too. But offensively portraying my kind of person is a real big insult to me. As a blind woman, I don’t want to be portrayed as a slut, a miserable oaf, or worse, dead. Blind women are not portrayed well by the sighted, and consulting a blind writer of script and a blind actress is what the NFB said in its resolution would work for everyone. Try telling that to the BET, CBS, CW, and so many entertainment outlets. Playing someone with multiple disabilities should be done by the multihandicapped actresses and actors as well.
  8. Wow. As if it gets better, they finally passed or adopted a resolution on website accessibility in all forms. It’s pretty much saying that we need this kind of thing, no matter what, and that we must be able to use websites independently regardless of the situation. There is also a resolution on digital tech and appliances and exercise equipment. My friends who can’t or won’t exercise would be happy to know that at least the NFB agrees with me in that these machines should be made to be accessible, should talk, and that technology is out there in a low cost form to make these things usable for a blind person. Same with glucometers and medical devices. We must be able to exist in the world, and the NFB is all too aware of this.

Here are a few things they’ve improved on within the family as one man puts it.

  1. The code of conduct. The NFB resolution on intersectionality is a good step forward, but the NFB should prove its worth by electing a black person to be its president nationally, or electing a woman to lead the organization. Mark Riccobono and his ACB cohort Kim Carlsen are both white, though Kim being a woman is still a step forward. The Federation must elect a black woman who is blind, and that will show its commitment to addressing the intersectionality issues facing blind people of color, blind Native Americans, blind gays, etc. I know too many blind LGBTQI’s who meet this criteria. I know an intersex woman in Canada who is Sikh, black blind people, a gay blind man who is married to a sighted gay guy, transgenders who are blind, and more. Yes, I see all of you who intersect between communities, and I know the NFB is working toward common ground with these folks, but they still have a long way to go.
  2. Let’s address a real family affair. Intimacy with those folks who don’t want to have sex is a bit odd to some people, but this convention and other conferences with blind people tend to be called “blind fuckfests” or “blind mating season” for some strange reasons: blind men in particular use the conventions as a vagina shop so they can rest their penises in places they’ve never been before, to quote Rodney Carrington in a strange way. These blind adults should have been taught consent, and while the NFB is working to address this stuff in their code of conduct, I hope they fully educate youth first about consent and sexual etiquette as it relates to sexting and social media and … yes, dick pics. Blind boys can and could send girls dick pics. For more on the uses of social media for sex, read the book American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales. It is narrated by Teres Plumber, and is available on Bard.
  3. NLS bard on android. While the NFB did address graphics on Bard, I think a more important issue is how to get those graphics on electronics and a one page display that is cheap in the hands of all blind people who want it. But then, android doesn’t have robust Braille support, and the NFB has seemingly given up on our friends with Android devices. Amazon Fire kindle tablets have Braille support, period. Apple seems to have the most robust Braille things, but Android and its NLS bard app need work.
  4. Blind female rape survivors need support from the NFB. Yes, I kid you not. Especially those women who are raped in high school. I could name ten females I know personally who have been raped, and the reports coming out of the #whyIdidn’treport hashtag have been numerous and gory. Some resulted in unwanted pregnancy that the female should not have to keep. Some families are abusive outright toward blind females, and that could cost them their lives. Take Kelly M. Bond, a young woman from Tennessee that I didn’t know but my friend Lacey knows of her. Lacey suspected her murder while reading her obituary, which did not give her justice or attention. Katelyn Reichert is another victim of rape who might have been tossed out by her family, but now she rests in the arms of Goddess or God or whatever deity she worshipped, and I hope she comes back for some revenge on the family who tried to break her. This kind of behavior is unacceptable in any organization, and the NFB should act as a go between for families with females who are blind who are suffering abuse as a result of blindness i.e. rape, guardianship, isolation. Whatever it is, the NFB isn’t addressing it.
  5. Guardianship cases are still not being addressed by either organization. Does the community give a crap about those of us whose parents don’t feel we’re capable? They silence us when we discuss some things about civil rights. They tell us to “be grateful” or be punished for standing up for ourselves. This is also unacceptable behavior by a family. My family stole fifteen years of my life, not allowing me to enjoy my young life at all. They stole my prom tickets, took away my grad bash opportunity by saying I wasn’t capable of whatever I wanted to do, took my friends away by abusing me emotionally and verbally, and did not want me to go to Colorado to begin with because of their state guardianship. Well, it took them too long to realize I was indeed capable of doing the things I wanted to do. After repeated attempts to get organizations to listen, nobody has. It has fallen on deaf ears. What will happen if my child is removed from me by order of a red governor? What about if a child of mine visits my parents, and my dad decides to take a sick pleasure in raping his granddaughter? She will be mixed heritage likely, so you know what happens when white fathers find black girls in their families. Not all the time, but it’s an old habit. Slavery allowed white men to rape black women, and their ancestors did not like it at all. The products of rape by white fathers were frequently sold into slavery. I won’t have this happen to my child, whether my parents have guardianship or not. We won’t be in Titusville for any amount of time in Florida at all. And besides, there’s a Rabies warning in Orange County at this moment of press time because feral cats scratched a performer or two, and they needed shots. Ugh. The NFB should know that their silence is unacceptable and should never have happened. They should compensate me and other victims of guardianship a vast amount of time, money, and therapy. The NFB of Colorado in particular is not invited to me and Trenton’s wedding because of their actions regarding me and this other guy whose name I won’t mention. Only two people from the entire blind community will be there: Davina and another guy Eddie who’s been friends with Trenton forever. Problem is that Trenton hasn’t been on FB in a while.

Now, if the NFB wants to get better at doing what it does best,

  1. Please listen to your guts and help victims of rape.
  2. Do not allow slut shamers in your organization. Blind women are more at risk of being abused, so slut and whore should never be spoken in meetings or in private if you truly believe we should be above the sighted.
  3. Help blind victims of guardianship abuse.
  4. Do not advocate guardianship for those with multiple disabilities, and replace the entire one person system with supportive decision making with a team and so on. Do not allow families to have guardianship over members, preventing them from joining in NFB activities and so on. This would have saved all of us from harm.
  5. They should reverse all bans on me in the NFB email listserv forums. I’m this close to saying why. NFB should be helping victims of rape, and I tried to paint a true picture of what blind females go through at convention time, in centers, in all places and walks of life. I’m honest and blunt about these issues, and all the NFB people in power did was silence and deny me the right to speak on my behalf. This is unacceptable censorship, and should be labeled as such. I left all the NFB Net lists for that reason, and those of you reading my blog, you guys should know why I left. It was because not only have there been cases of females being raped and harassed in and out of the NFB, but nobody seems to want to help these women cope with their traumatic happenings. For more on this, I would recommend reading some books on rape and trauma, but my favorite is I have the Right To, and it’s by Chess Prout. She writes candidly about surviving sexual assault, and much of this applies to blind girls in high school too. Though this girl went to a prep school in New Hampshire, I think it would apply especially if a blind girl was involved in a non boarding school. The girl would indeed need extensive therapy, and her community needs to stand behind her. None of that happened here with the female victims of rape, and they should come forward themselves to report it. Without consequence, I want to help these young women. I could name so many people who’ve told stories in the #whyIdidn’treport thing I saw all over Facebook. This organization’s response to my concern is why I would have never reported my ex for rape in the beginning. While we did have consensual relations, this man is still dangerous and has bad energy floating around him. He has tried to make it right, but I’m glad to say I won’t fall for his crap. I am going to crusade on behalf of his victims, not him, and my ex has become a sort of phenomenon among the blind women I’ve spoken to.

If you are in the NFB or ACB and want to add to this, please feel free. I think the NFB is setting things up for success, but they still have a long way to go to being a safe space for all blind people, including blind women. Victims of guardianship abuse and civil rights abuses should be welcomed, and no guardian should have the right to curb members from doing what they want to do. Period.

Beth