For the billionth time, church is out, and a new single from a good friend …

Dear Readers,

I’d like to start this blog entry on a positive note. Esoteric Quality is about to release his second single, entitled Conniving Mastermind, and let me tell you, it’s a huge improvement inn the beats and vocal volume. The content of the song speaks loudly about everything from pathological liars to women to colleges to … well, everything. Anything that could be associated with the word, conniving mastermind, is associated with this. I won’t spoil it any further, but please stay tuned to your favorite iTunes artist accounts and charts, new singles, etc., or go to http://www.blindeq.com to check out Esoteric Quality and his bio and all the music he’ll be working on, and I’m proud to say I helped him with his bio. I wrote it in third person as it should be, and he collaborated with me on it, which is cool.

Now, I’d like to turn your attention to some previous stuff I’ve written. I know some of you have been concerned about spiritual health and enrichment in my case. But sadly, I’m not going to church, temple, or mosque or anything for any reason. Religious organizations simply don’t hold themselves and their governing bodies accountable for enabling ableism in their ranks. Therefore, go back a few posts and read what churches, temples, and mosques should be doing to protect disabled people. I should add that mosques should accept service dogs, regardless of religious objections, because these animals serve humans in ways humans sometimes aren’t willing to serve each other. And for you Catholics out there, St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, who else?, he would not object to guide dogs in the nunneries, convents, and Catholic churches because believe you me, I heard a story of Pope Francis blessing a man’s guide dog for the service she did, I think it was a she. So otherwise, go look at why churches and religious orgs should follow the Americans with Disabilities Act, and read through every point. If I get thrown in to the Potter’s House, who cares? But I do care about my physical health. Spiritually, I can’t be associated with religions that promote second class citizenship of women, blind people, and other such disabled and different types of people.

News – Monkey bites kid at restaurant in…you guessed it…Florida

Dear Readers,

It’s definitely not every day that a kid goes home with a bite from of all things an exotic pet. The lesson here is keep your exotic pets out of restaurants, and don’t invite them in in the first place. Carabbas Italian Grill in Florida should be ashamed of itself because monkeys, birds, and other animals simply don’t go into food eateries. Guiding dogs are an exempt species, but not exotic pets, people. Below in the link.

News – Monkey bites kid at restaurant in…you guessed it…Florida

https://justgrubbin.com/2018/08/28/news-monkey-bites-kid-at-restaurant-in-you-guessed-it-florida/
— Read on justgrubbin.com/2018/08/28/news-monkey-bites-kid-at-restaurant-in-you-guessed-it-florida/

LEt’s Talk Reality About Entitlement

Dear Readers,

Recently, I wrote here that education in AMerica should be free. Well, we pay for bills, we pay for houses, and certainly taxpayers pay the education bill whether their children attend school or not. What would a world be with people who accepted this as reality?

Not one person would say what this one guy said on Twitter. Sadly, this guy is blind, developed a few apps the community claims to use, and treats his customers like garbage. And this guy said my education post was entitlement. Well? Let me take you on a journey into a world where girls don’t go to school, where young girls are sold as brides to old men, and where agrarian society laws and norms rule. Where disabled girls are born, there is death, lack of nurture, and neglect so the little disabled girl or boy dies. In Mexico, a baby boy was prayed over so he’d die. In Tibet, many young men and women are abused and their land holdings are confiscated for being blind. You call me entitled? I’m further from it than you, Mr. Negative Comment Man.

What entitlement does to people in general is a dangerous thing. It makes them act like the Donald, who swears up and down he didn’t “grab ’em by the pussy” but he truly said and did just those things. It makes you act like the twitter user who called me Lady Madonna, and in no good effort to insult me, he shut up when he learned from Clayton Jacobs, the man known as Esoteric Quality, that Madonna herself is a justice advocate, women’s rights person, and definitely a musical innovator in the ’80s. So what has to give? The comment of course.

As well as the money, the apps, and all the bad crap that is ever spoken to me on this blog.

While I have supporters like Clayton, who read this blog and see the points where experience and knowledge collide, there are just as many haters like the twitter man. I won’t name him unless anyone in the community is interested in the Lady Madonna hashtag, which to me was a poor choice of insult not only because it went against me, but against a royally rich singer who makes it her mission to fight women’s inequality in the world. Madonna was seen as bad for little kids, but who knew she’d come out on top? Who the hell knew!

Entitlement is a dangerous word for disabled people because it denotes privilege, most of us not having it. Six figures in your salary? Don’t count on it unless you’re the arrogant blind person in Alabama or Texas who said that his clients were paychecks and the attitude he held was awful, and he was looking for his own clients on Vorail. ANd the other six figure earners are people who don’t usually talk to the lower class strangers like myself, who is tirelessly blogging hour after hour after freaking hour to open the eyes of the blind to their own toxicity.

One man in the Disability Wisdom group I’m in, when I brought this up, said that people think they can use the words “entitlement” or “entitled” to shut another person down if they don’t have anything healthy and nice to say. Well, this twitter user didn’t have anything nice to say. What he doesn’t understand is that without free education, it is proven that girls would stay at home and wait to be married, boys would be favored, and girls and disabled children would likely die at birth or before age five due to childhood neglect. This happens in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and countless places in Africa and Southeast Asia. Imagine life in Laos. You could be killed by order of the King if you were blind or disabled. Don’t scream entitled at your blind or disabled neighbor if you don’t know what the neighbor went through. Ahmed Chaing was a Sudanese blind guy who went blind in a tiny village, and he had nothing to wear or spend on food or anything else, didn’t have a job until he reached America. HE wrote eloquently about this in an NFB publication, the Braille Monitor, but there’s no arrogance in him. Sudan is a poorer Muslim country, but most disabled people in places like Sudan, Somalia, and Somaliland are simply left in the hills to die, but a girl is not rejoiced over either. Most schools for the blind in Africa, for example in Lesotho, become orphanages for the blind girls and boys alike because parents don’t think their kids have potential for their agrarian ways. Tibet’s Braille without Borders, founded by a renowned German blind tibetologist, graces Lhasa but then parents sometimes won’t look at their child again after placing them there. Blindness is higher incidence in these countries, and yet education is billed. ANd what happens when you bill a poor farmer and his wife trying to sell their crop? The girls end up as bait so their brothers can go to school.

We have mountains of evidence suggesting all this, yet the man responsible for the entitlement hashtag is not seeing it. One, he’s a male. Two, he lives in privileged America, and Three, he’s probably Caucasian and has arrogance written in the way he treated his customers. I’m a fighter, and I don’t take this stuff well, so before you write that I’m an entitled blind person, check your privilege at the door. Think of who else you hurt with your comments and statements, and go quietly. Thank you all for reading.

Beth

Why we shouldn’t bill parents in the United States for educating the kids …

Dear Readers,

Imagine your school days. Did it ever occur to you that your mom and dad would one da have to pay for the great memories you make at school? In Brian Crosby’s book, Smart Kids, Bad Schools, he proposed billing parents a nominal $339 per semester or per month, I forgot which one, but here’s the problem with this billing:

1. Immigrant parents who are particularly poor and don’t make enough could have their daughters stay at home.

2. Girls would be sold into arranged marriages in such families.

3. Children would be restricted to common core curriculum because of financial inequality with their peers who are rich.

4. Religiously framed homeschools such as that of Muslims would spring up all over the United States. We may have more liars too, folks who homeschool but really abuse the “students.”

5. Poverty for parents with disabilities would be more pronounced. Trenton and I would never pay for school uniforms, books, or any form of tuition. We’d want education for our kids of the future, but paying for it would mean prioritizing boys over girls, or if there are no boys, prioritizing able over disabled. And I’m sorry, but the billing of families would make inequity more of a problem.

There are kids like Cassidy and Harmony, two girls who want to do wrestling, but their parents have disabilities and might not be able to afford the girls’ wrestling accessories. Their mother wants them to do sports, which is all well and good, but imagine she’d been billed for those uniforms, food, and bus trips for the wrestling team. Oops! She has no boys, and all her kids are able, but let’s face this fact head on. She and her husband have poverty chasing away everything they want for their girls, and I hope this doesn’t include thir desire to wrestle. In any case, children should be allowed to find themselves and know their creativity in school without inequality and poverty getting in the way.

How to Stand Up to Hate and Bigotry in our World: the Charlottesville Anniversary Going Forward

Dear Readers,

It is amazing what support I do have for this blog, and the best thing is, it came at a time when standing up to hate and bigotry is most important. I am against the Alt Rights, the White Supremacists, KKK, and Neo Nazism, and all this because it affects me personally.

Here’s a few examples of how, on the other hand, you can stand up to bigotry and hate and prejudice from all sides of the cube.

1. Talk to a person in a minority group. This example comes straight out of Remember the Titans. Coach Boone, that is I think his name was Charles Boone, was a black football coach who said to his players, “Speak to a teammate of a different race.” He made them pair up, then absolutely made them talk about each other’s lives, families, and other things. You’d be shocked at what you can learn about your coworker, classmate, or your potential son or daughter in law.

2. You can also attend a church of a different denomination, a Jewish denomination you’re not familiar with, or a Hindu temple. Try any religions you’re not familiar with, and remember, this happens only after you complete step 1. IF your new friend is Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever, go with them to temple, church, mosque, etc. Learn about the religion, but don’t just convert without doing your homework, and then you can have more meaningful conversations with that person about their beliefs.

3. After completing steps 1 and 2, invite a group of different people to a dinner party whether it be a restaurant or your house. You don’t have to complete step 2 for this one, but step 1 should be done a few times over. Let’s suppose I stopped by my friend Tanya’s house. Tanya is Jewish, so then I stop by an old classmate of mine, Amit’s house, and then stop by someone else’s house, and so on. LEt’s suppose I invite Amit and Tanya and my fiance Trenton and a few other spices and icings of different people to a party. Let’s suppose I made a vegetarian meal, something Amit and Tanya could enjoy. No beef or pork, so I’d stick with chicken, but if someone doesn’t like chicken, no meat. While getting to know your friends’ favorite foods, discover the kinds of cuisines they’re into, such as Italian, Israeli, Indian (from India), etc.

4. In school, participate in a group that advocates for inclusion such as Best Buddies, or diversity, such as NAACP or any other organization you can think of.

5. Sit with a classmate who is repeatedly excluded from groups at lunch. This step only applies if you go to school or work and you notice a coworker or student classmate who’s excluded. Find out why. Could it be that they were the survivor of sexual assault? Could it be that the student is the only mixed or person of color in a crowd of white people? Anglo Americans should take note that persons who are African Americans or African natives by blood are people just like us, and they are not aliens. Got it?

6. Ask a minority on a date. If you’re in love but live with a hateful group of family who doesn’t get it, dare yourself to act and ask someone in a minority group on a date. Doesn’t matter what coupling, dating is for everybody. If you just want to hang around with your gay buddy, that’s fine too. Ask your potential partner what he/she’s been up to, what she or he has suffered as a result of being LGBTQ or whatever. Talk about whatever floats your boat, and watch your relationship grow if it does at all.

7. IF it is possible, introduce your new partner to the family. Pick the family that shows more acceptance to your partner, like I have to do all the time. Trenton’s mom and I are on speaking terms, thank God, but my family? Hmmm, not much is said except happy holidays and Merry Christmas, of course. Lip service doesn’t pay, neither does crimes against humanity.

8. IF the steps 6 and 7 are completed successfully with acceptance, plan a wedding. If your finances allow, you could also go to a perfectly acceptable honeymoon, and plan to visit a country that won’t judge your interracial or interfaith relationship. For example, I wouldn’t recommend India for anyone, not at all, even if it was your ancestral home because of rules regarding kissing in public, arranged marriages on the fly, and village child marriage that could possibly damn the vacation. Don’t go to countries that bear the banner of nationalism and exclude certain races or mistake them as gypsies. Trenton, for example, has a darker hue than me, but if we travel to Greece or some other Balkan nations, we could end up in hot water because Trenton could be mistaken for a Roma, a Gypsy or other weird form of tribe nobody’s familiar with, and as a result, I could lose him in a brawl. I won’t let this happen. Germany might be a better choice, but we don’t spreghensi, … like we don’t speak German, so yeah. England, Scottland, or Wales would probably be good for us since we have friends there.

I’d like to say that not every step is going to apply to everybody in the world, but remember, if you’re a Y.A. Book Nerd, those star crossed lovers could appeal to your situation depending on the relationship and how the lovers interact. Finding a minority in the coffee shop you frequent might be impossible, but if a Native American or black or whatever other person walks in, greet them with a smile. Serve them food, and if they want to borrow coffee money, do it. I did that, and received two rocks as a result.

In any case, I hope this entry presents many ideas for people to ponder on how to break down race and other barriers making friendship or a loving romance impossible. Thank you all.

Beth

P.S. Correction: the Titans’ coach was Herman Boone, and his friend was a Bill Yost. So there you have it, my bad, if you’ve ever watched Remember the Titans, remember what Coach Boone said to his players.

Nervous as Hell. Social security is reviewing the obvious.

Dear Readers,

While I was going through the mail, I came across a letter that said we (both myself and my fiance Trenton) had to do a work and health review about our disability. Well? Let’s look at a few figures.

  1. Blind people are 75% or higher in the disproportionate unemployment rate in the nation. About 80% of employers are uneducated about blind people and their abilities. An ability based resume doesn’t seem to work for a lot of my friends, including my friends Blake, Josh, Jason, Clayton, and so many others. Four males who have spent their lives unemployed could tell you, especially Clayton, that job hunting is especially hard. Imagine 30 job applications a day, and do the math times the number of days in a year. Times that by 365 and you get a very high number, over a thousand. Compound the applications themselves with print only and access barriers you get lots of unemployed blind people.
  2. Compounding this with being female, most blind females are seen as valueless, naive sexually, a target on their backs for executives to take advantage of them. Rape culture is written into school and work handbooks, their dress codes, and worse, their corporate manners. IF I try to do manners like I have seen in an etiquette book, I might have a man pull out his junior executive and expect me to suck it, which I won’t. The blind men and women with jobs are lucky, lucky as ever, and most of those blind people with jobs are Braille readers, but women who are blind are also subject to the gender based pay gap. I would earn 50 to 75 cents out of every 1 dollar, whole dollar, that my fiance would earn. I won’t have this happen to me, and even if I ask for a raise, I would probably have to sleep with males who aren’t my husband. THis could hurt our marriage and relationship down the road.\
  3. What are the consequences of today’s corporate rape culture? For the men, it should be the high profile headlines like Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein, and others being thrown out. Matt Lauer was a Today show host, but because he sexually harassed colleagues at work, he was thrown out. But there are many more Matt Lauers and Harvey Weinsteins out there who expect, not respect, sex with women at work. Though Matt’s and Harvey’s stories brought it to the forefront, I wish this had been addressed earlier. Not only that, but I wish they’d address blind females at job sites being harassed because of blindness. Blind females have a huge consequence that I can’t bear to think of. Pregnancy at work. Can you imagine yourself in my shoes? Blind and pregnant? Because of a boss? I didn’t think so.
  4. Most of the SSI and SSDI rules make marriage impossible, but with Trenton’s affiliation with two Native tribes, we could get better resources, we could possibly together work to build a better future. Not on a reservation, however. The unemployment of reservation residents, especially at Pineridge in South Dakota, according to some church data I collected, is staggering. Try being blind, female, and black (person of color) or a minority racial group, religious group, etc. A Jewish blind female could suffer the same consequence as any other if harassed or forced to have intercourse with bosses who don’t think that their playing around, their sweaty fumbling as one guy in SVU once said, could lead to eighteen long and hard years of responsibility. I would never want my boss to be the father of children that I, Beth, would be forced to carry, raise, and or adopt out because if Trenton finds out a colleague in the upper office rank slept with me, the consequences would be damning.
  5. For females who are harassed in any way whether it be school or work, when the assault is done, the damage is done. I have been called slut before, and it hurts. Imagine if a boss violated me and nobody believed me and instead called me names, wanted nothing to do with me, and took things from me like friendship, relationships, and so on. This is unacceptable, and my body is as valuable as anyone else’s, and is not a vessel for someone to throw their broadsword into. That’s what my friend Tim calls the man’s body member. A woman’s body should be respected, and when I say no, I mean those two letters, n, o. Nothing more nothing less. I mean, leave me alone, don’t touch me, don’t advance on me, do not sleep with me, do not get me pregnant. Don’t upset my relationship with Trenton. No means no, and all those other things are important.

I have many profiles of persons both male and female on Facebook who work and are blind, but they come across access barriers at work. There are some who are expected to log visual information, use a visual software that can’t be rendered by a screen reader, and sometimes these ladies have no way to do proper clerical work. Clerical work requires you to read emails, collect data, etc. Oh well.

I have seen blind men at work. All but one of these blind men at work have shown their true colors. Maybe even two. I’ve got a few blind friends who work, but most of them work in sheltered places. Some of these guys are entitled, others have committed predatory acts in the past. See a medium post I wrote, and I was going to reprint the blind sex offender post, but I want to make a reference to that post.

Now, what is the punishment for sexually violating blind girls? The answer should be, jailtime, not just probation. One man raped a thirteen-year-old girl in Oklahoma, but used his disability to get off easy. This should not be happening.

There are probably many among us who would decry the presence of all sex offenders, but those who’ve committed sick sexual offenses against blind disabled females, or otherwise known as females with any type of disability, they should be in jail for a few if not ten years. They should have probation, a restraining order that prevents them from contacting their victims, or finding more potential victims, and this goes for all male sex offenders. The sexual offense battlefield is 90% male, 10% female. I for one am not one to assault a child, and I would never touch a child because sex between an adult and a child is considered abuse, and yes, it is abuse. I wouldn’t dare.

As for males who think it okay to say that there are no sexually aggressive females, there are. Sexually aggressive females are rising up, not in response to man, but in response to their inner wiring. Same thing with guys, they feel they can do deviant acts because of a choice they make based on wiring.

One such lives in Arizona, I’m redacting her name for those guys who think they can say she’s a dream. She’s not.

I’ve seen what she’s capable of, the things she says about the LGBTQIA community, and the worst thing she ever said was something to try and get someone she stalked to have her for breakfast. She might have had a brain tumor at twelve that took away her sight, but the brain tumor is not an excuse for her behavior. She must receive one on one and family therapy, treatments to prevent deviant sex acts, and stay away from guys.

And she certainly can’t go to work, not even with her loads and piles of money.

But what I’m nervous about is Social Security Administration taking away Trenton’s and my payments, and we have an audit to do on Tuesday, and they want to review whether I’m healthy enough for work. It’s not a question of health, rather it is a question of social status as to whether I can work or not. I won’t be able to do job training, work related programs, etc., and Trenton certainly will have to do something in order to get us a home. A house, a town home, a whatever, is the only way we can have the future we deserve. But SSI rules prevent us from getting legally married, so we won’t be doing it legally. Tim understands this, though he works. He and my friend Jessie are probably the best two blind guys who work, have good standing in the world, and do crazy stuff that makes all of us happy.

How many females work along with their male colleagues?

Not many. I hope the SSA does not take away mine and Trenton’s paycheck because we won’t be able to get a paycheck or food or anything if we don’t have payments.

Beth

P.S. For those who are pro guardianship, refrain from commenting. If we lose our SSI payments, I and he won’t be able to live on our own. Meaning, Trenton and myself, that is.

Open Letter on a Little Known Problem

Dear Ms. Prout,

Yes, I’m writing a letter to a very courageous survivor, dynamite future lawyer and prosecutor in the courtroom. Who couldn’t forget the name, Chessie Prout? I’d like to first of all say that I’m in the middle of poring over your book, and I’m loving it. I love the fact that someone took down at least one predator in the world, and even more so, the guy has to be a registered sex offender. Even more so, I’ve almost become victim but came out on top because, well, how do I say it? I studied lots of cases of sexual assault, and rape, whatever you want to call it. I support the rape survivors, not so much because I am or was one or because I’m not one, but because this is a huge problem. It’s not just a general thing either.

I’d like to throw your attention to a few blog posts I’ve made about how unsafe college campuses might become under the new Donald Trump administration, and I bet they have. Rape culture is permeated in the St. Teresa’s Catholic School dress code, not just that but sex preferences or sexism culture as well.

I’ve done some thinking back, and believe you me, Chessie, the culture of my Catholic school was sexist in its obvious choice of dress code policy. Girls had to be modest, wear pinnafore jumpers in the younger grades, then these ugly skirt things in the upper grades. But that wasn’t all. Boys got pants, and up until my seventh grade year, girls had their thighs hanging out with these knee length primitive looking plaid skirts we had to wear. Girls had to dress like girls to Mass every Friday, no questions, except when the girls got pants, I started wearing those in the winter. Boys had these short shorts, and it’s just not stopping there. They had to cut their hair short, no jewels worn, except a Catholic cross. While I understand you went to Catholic school, I see differences in the boys and girls stuff they wore at STS (St. Teresa’s School) as a sign that they prefer boys over girls, or they stressed a sexist view of girls’ wardrobes. A better dress code would have been something like this:

All students must wear the prescribed uniform which could mean something like a pair of plaid pants for all grades and a polo shirt with the emblem on it. Fine. Gym clothes would be a nonissue. No conservative dress for girls would be prefered, and even worse, girls would be allowed big hoop earrings, except during phys ed. Of course.

Why not drop the plaid uniform and instead insist on blue and white for shirts, and all that. But clothes don’t make the man or woman, right? And they’re just the surface of rape culture in the United States.

Another rule STS should have probably thrown in their handbook would say something like this: This school does not permit sexual violence, harassment, rape, etc., not even based on what a girl a wearing at all. Sex without consent is sex without responsibility. That’s what my old pastor would have said.

But that’s not all. Imagine if my high school had gotten a hold of a rule like this, and went further and taught boys how not to rape. This should be done in health classes all over the States. WHile you did attend great schools, not all the schools in the U.S. are half as bad as St. Paul’s was. I read the book, and I admire your strength and courage and sacrifice to come forward.

It reminds me of a sheriff, Donna Matoon, who worked in Toole County Montana, who instead of taking the easy way out and saying, “Oh, just a bunch of collies in cages, I’ll let the breeder go,” she did the right thing. She arrested the people who hurt 180 collies in Great Falls. It takes courage to come forward and report any crime, which includes everything from robbery to sexual assault to puppymilling and animal cruelty. I love animals, so the thought of mistreated dogs in a cage bothers me a bunch.

Chessie, I want to point now to a problem that you might want to address. Blind females might not be on your mind right now, but I want to tell you that I have been indirectly the witness of several sexual assaults by a disabled man in two different situations. Once, there was a blind man who had nineteen different heart problems who went and assaulted my girlfriend Bree. I heard her story, and I want her to come forward one day.

HEre’s a figure you might not have thought of: 80% of blind females are prone to rape by either friends or family members. I would say that number goes up by 10% when you look at the number of blind and handicapped women who are victims or witnesses to sexual assault. Sex abuse is not a fun topic for me or anyone to discuss, but I’m a fervent supporter of the survivors of such. Bree is one such, and she deserves our backing. Like your attacker, the guy who attacked Bree lied and lied and lied. Believe me, learning about this stuff has taught me to read people’s words, patterns you might say.

A bit about me. I’m a blind woman who lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, sort of, and I love Denver’s openness and honesty and the way things are hammering out. I’ve been blind since birth, and have adapted to blindness pretty well for myself you might say. Questions people ask me are things like “Can you open your eyes?” “How do you do this or that?” One guy had a lighthearted question answer to the thought of how do you have sex. He just laughed and answered, “Like everybody else.”

Chessie, I may not know you personally, don’t think I’m trying to be weird. Well, we’re all weird. But after reading your book, I feel called to action. And here’s what needs to happen.

  1. Females with disabilities should be acknowledged and trusted during a rape case.
  2. It’s always going to be the attacker’s fault, and when I confront those who tell me that they assaulted females with disabilities, I’m going to demand why. Then go further. Chop them into pieces, with words of course. I’ll say, and you thought this lady’s body was not valued because she was handicapped? Oh my God.
  3. Females with disabilities will get their day in court so they can confront their attackers as you had to do your own. Every lawyer should realize that just because I have a disability does not make it okay for men and boys to assault me or the rest of my disabled friends. Just because I may be blind, deaf, in a wheelchair, God knows, that doesn’t mean I am not able to have a stable and loving relationship with a partner. Even after an attack.
  4. Females and males with disabilities should be valued. Just as you felt devalued, you know you are valued yourself. I support your efforts on the general public’s behalf, but boarding schools for blind and disabled people have had rape by staff to dumbfounded students before. You should read some books I’ll recommend at the bottom of this entry.

Chessie, I have read books on the matter of blindness and such. I’ve come to the conclusion though while observing my friends and their relationship habits, their family issues, etc., and all that lies within, that they could have targets on their backs worse than what you had. Imagine yourself blind and in a boarding school, not necessarily the one you attended, but a state school for the blind. There have been rapes and sexual assaults in the 1980s and 1990s at St. Augustine’s Florida School for the Deaf and Blind. The students affectionately call it “The D&B”. While I never went there for school, I came to realize why the blind school model can be so harmful.

For one, staff and other students can assault blind females, whose bodies are seen as the lowest of the low according to the boys and or the male staff. Even boys are fair game. My friends have told me stories of their families asking, “Did anyone touch you the wrong way?” I tell you, Chessie, I read all this in a book called Walking Alone and Marching Together, and it didn’t just cover the assault problem. Two girls died in 1989 at the D&B. Since then, I’m proud to say that some of the students say things changed. Vaill Hall, where the Multihandicapped kids stayed, might have gotten a makeover. But I think the whole blindness school system needed a makeover from the start. Sexual assault on campuses is a real problem, especially for colored blind females. Those classified as African American and totally blind in my observations have more targets on their backs.

Blind people are the most feared by society, but I don’t want people to fear me. Chessie, if I met you on the road, I’d have to tell you personally, and this is serious, that I’m not afraid to speak my mind. I think you would be new to the blind thing, but trust me. You’d get used to it. Yeah, I’ve had to overcome some fears before, but trust me.

Think of it this way. I’m blind. My friends survived unimaginable trauma. I had my own. But hearing the conversations about sexual assault in the campus communities brought to light what could have been my fate at the D&B Boarding school in St. Augustine. My mother had no care in the world whether I liked it or not. She kept threatening to ship me off to blind school, but even public school would have no place.

No place for blind women. Blind people are 80% unemployed, disproportionately higher than the national average. And compounding the stuff that society refuses to talk about, sexual assault, we have a huge problem.

Chessie, I told my story to some people. But now I want to tell you who I am, what’s special about me, my strengths and weaknesses, and you be the judge. Am I valuable?

I have played piano since I was 2 years old. No kidding, I’m not joking. I’ve had many honors and awards, All State Florida musician for twice in a row, and even more, I’ve gotten superiors at Florida Bandmasters Association Solo competitions. Three years. I am smart, love to read, and love animals, and sometimes I think animals are better friends than some people.

Mind you, cats are good at reading things. Dogs are great too, but if I had a guide dog I’d have one hell of a best friend. A best friend like that wouldn’t tell me she isn’t gonna guide me because my hair looked like Ramen noodles or something.

Now, if this doesn’t scream person with a soul, I don’t know what does. When any survivor comes forward, it’s hard. I should tell you that the creepy guy that attacked my friend also begged me for oral, and I remember it vividly. I couldn’t have gone forward because it was across state lines, no DNA, no real evidence. This guy, I don’t want to write his name down at all, though I have in the past, this guy had Borat playing on his desktop, the raciest comedy ever. I remember nothing of the lights, but I do remember this guy and me, my head down. He wanted control, and even when I got home from visiting this creep in Georgia, we had no stability, no love, nothing. He made awful sexual jokes about me, almost to the calliber of a sex assault. He made all my honors, awards, brains, etc., into a trash pit where he could try to inject his toxic crap into. Well, never works, does it?

He’s read this blog, but this guy won’t ever talk to me again because, to tell the truth, I blocked him on everything. As I type this, a siren and firetruck has sounded outside my window. Someone must’ve died or gotten bit or something weird. Always happens this way.

I live in the stacks, the highrise building apartment I share with my loving fiance, who’s been incredibly supportive throughout this time of need. I’m a relatively happy woman, but it just makes me sick to know that nobody talks about females who have disabilities being assaulted by friends or male relatives, juveniles of all things as well.

I hope we can someday soon get to know one another, maybe even partner because believe me, four hands on the keys would make me sing. I would love a duet partner myself, and one day I’d like to produce music and perform some. Who knows. My life’s been torn apart partially because of the abuse I suffered at the hands of El Creepo, if I should call him that.

Anyway, thank you for your incredible memoir. Your incredible story has inspired me, moved me, and lit something underneath that fire that might make any attacker’s head explode.

You go get ’em, Chessie, and I hope you find this blog enlightening and … yes, we’re both going to move and act and find ways to make the world a safer place for all.

Sincerely,

Beth Taurasi,

Denver, Colorado