Can’t Say I Told you So

Dear readers,

I can’t say I warned you all ahead of time about the abuses of some blind men, within and without the National Federation of the Blind. Unfortunately, my story had a bad ending, and I was banned from the NFB National Association of Blind Students Mailing List, so I dropped out of college twice. I hate being a dropout, and I wish I could get more support from the disability community, but alas, that was not the case. With people such as Wes D. and Bill B. harassing and intimidating people like me, it gets a lot worse. They rallied around Jason and hee has been known to be a predator since he started dabbling in dating young girls. I don’t know if he was a member of the Georgia NFB, but it pains me to write that the patriarchy’s days are over. It’s time for women to band together and stand up for what has to happen next. Here are the reforms I will suggest to the higher ups if I must, but I want all of you to write these things down in your notes on your phones or tablets for safe keeping.

1. We need a female leader in the NFB, someone with passion and power beyond a white person’s understanding. I think that delegation should go to Monique Melton, my former travel instructor at Colorado Center for the Blind, if she still does things with the NFB. She’s a no nonsense woman who would say, “Enough of that lady crap.” She’d make us repeat the same damn routes, certainly, but with greater precision she’d map out what we needed to do. I was one of her star students, I knew the address system, and funny I can still repeat it back if asked. I nominate Mo because not only will she represent blind people and females, but those of color as well. If I’m not mistaken, she will represent all of us, color or no color. But we desperately need a female who can rule the federation with an iron will, someone who can do the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher, sort of, but it might offend some Irish folks if I wrote that. Thatcher was a tyrant to some poor Irish folks, so I don’t know what to use as an example, but Mo wouldn’t put up with men and their bullshit, not at all. She’s a powerhouse that I think works at DVR but she’s doing great things wherever she works. She should be given the leader position over any of the remarkable Marks or whatever because that’s who she is. She’s a born leader.

2. We need a survivor’s panel to discuss matters of the conduct code investigation, and no tribunals should be done at all in the org itself, rendering any defense of the accused null and void. IF someone gets accused of sexual or other misconduct, please report this to the NFB Code of Conduct people, I’ll post an email address below for those who want it. There is a phone number but I don’t want to be blindly accused of posting phone numbers in the blog, so I’ll do an email address instead. In any case, we need a survivor’s panel and an advisory board on this matter to investigate and interview victims with empathy and all the things that come with gentleness. We need to gently get the stories out of people who are abused, whether in or out of the organization. This may include some children in the summer programs, Buddy and Step programs included, and some in our Earn and Learn High School program in Colorado. I’m serious, this is something near and dear to my heart. We need to make these changes soon.

3. Any man who is accused and adjudicated by local authorities, including those in Louisiana and Colorado should be thinking about what they did wrong. They should be placed behind bars, under armed guard for a few years. Then, when they are released on parole, they need to be on probation, under strict controls just like nondisabled offenders. They need to be in psychological counseling and group therapy with nondisabled and likely other types of offending persons. IF they are male, they go to a men’s group. If female, the same. I know for a fact that there are pedophiles in every aspect of the world, including the disabled community. Situational molesters should be taken a lot more seriously though, and that’s because pedophiles are more often caught. We need to educate all our young people to watch for the Five Stages of Abuse, something I will write about and talk about later in the blog. Stay tuned.

4. We need to make consent classes mandatory for all students, regardless of gender identity and sexual preference. LGBTQi+ peoples are not exempt from bad behavior, and. pedophiles are not a sexual orientation, let me be clear. It’s a mental disorder that harms children. Situational molesters are harder to spot, more cunning in their seduction and the moves they make, so can easily go under the radar. What we need to do is do consent classes for all future students and staff at all live in training centers for disabled people, including the structured discovery places for blind people. Poor behavior should not be an excuse to dismisss a girl who’s going through shit, and if catcalling is detected in the halls, let the men who do it be called out for their actions.

I’m sad to say that the NFB did not take people seriously, so if you have a story to tell, please email them at the following email address: code@nfb.org

Please email your story to the email address I just provided and let them hear you. Vote out all the males in the top leadership positions, and we also need to nominate the right peeople to run the organization. Monique, if you’re reading this, I hope you forgive me for nominating you if you don’t want the job, but we need something other than a white privileged or white male leading this organization. There is so much intersectionality within the disabled community, and the indigenous peoples of that community are hurt most of all, especially because of lack of access to healthcare, frequent sexual abuse, and so much other crap. Minorities like Hispanics and Blacks are frequently targeted, but speaking out should not be a means for punishment. Please, Julie D.and others who are reading this, call on your staff to make reformatory decisions regarding the Colorado Center, and if Pam in Louisiana reads this, do something fast. To those who are at the training centers currently, I haven’t forgotten about you. BLIND Incorporated also needs to be a part of the conversation, and this may result in a firestorm, hopefully not too bad of one, but one of change and reflection on why the organization failed to protect its young people. Thank you for reading this blog, and for those who support the NFB, please do better. Fluffy press releases and codes of conduct must at all times be reevaluated, and they won’t do enough. Don’t just cover yourselves, and I don’t want to see death threats aimed at me. I don’t have the money for extra security for a building with a gated area. So please, if you’re the Karen in Avilar who thinks it’s funny to make death threats on me, don’t. Anyone who makes death threats will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement, I won’t bother publishing your number anywhere. But do know this: sexual abuse survivors I am on your team. We will march together as women, banded together by determination to dismantle the male privileged society that we can’t live with anymore.

Sincerely yours in service,

Your sister,

Beth