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

letter to the white people who call 911 or disturb the lives of black Americans

Dear white people,

Yes, this is a post dedicated to white people, especially those who think it okay to disturb the lives of African Americans and those with disabilities, and those without disabilities alike. I have a quandary for you to think on: blindfold yourselves. Underneath that blindfold, how do you feel? How does it feel to walk about blindfolded? Now, I want you to grab someone in the room, black or white, whatever. Don’t look at their faces, don’t stare at the curl in their hair. Don’t make fun of how they talk, walk, blink, or run a temp. Just go, grab that person in front of you and go sit down and talk to these people. What will you find out? The answers might surprise you.

You might find that black people’s lives are rooted in suffering and tyranny caused not by a problem in their nature, but by your very existence, presence, and interactions with them. They do not like what you say about them, calling them unpleasant names too vulgar to write in this blog, they do not like the way you shackle them to the walls while speaking to them. They don’t like the illegalization of natural medicine, including cannabis, and they don’t like so many of the other things you do to them to make their lives a living hell. Imagine if you had seen a sign on a black owned business that said, “Negroes/blacks only” and you walked in and said “I want service.” The black man behind the counter gets up, says, “No way, you paleface, get the hell out of my restaurant.” If you don’t, you get arrested. Imagine sitting in the bus while on the way to work, but imagine that you have to sit in the back, in a dirty seat covered with holes and crumby looking. then another black person steps in, and you are told to “Give up that seat.” You refuse, and get arrested for this. So you did this to black people, so don’t be surprised if the blacks try and upend your system, your little privileged system of white power and such. The Brethren of men who every day set foot in your jails, your prisons, your mental health crisis units, these men and women alike, these young children, they are God’s chosen people, they are his children. You have upended their empires, kingdoms, and matrilineal way of life, and replaced it with chattel slavery because you are of the opinion that these people lack the knack for inventions, and you steal the credit for these people’s work. Who really invented ice cream? Someone who’s black. Who truly invented the cotton gin? Don’t give that crap about Eli Whitney, so tell me who really invented the cotton gin? Don’t tell me cotton is king in the South, and don’t spew your nonsense about Gone with the Wind being better than a modern Korean movie, though I can’t speak Korean myself. Don’t bring your guns to protests, remember you are the seventeen-year-old who shoots protesters for fun, right? Wrongo. You should never have had that gun and you knew it was wrong, don’t claim self defense. I don’t defend a murderer. You don’t understand that what these people want is to end your oppression, your silencing, your stupid and abominable Jim and Jane Crow. They need to go, and we’re in a serious situation with Jim Crow 2.0. Jim Crow 2.0 consists of the following: police brutality, mass incarceration, and racial profiling. It’s not like it’s the law that you idiots get all the power and privilege because you sit in cleaner diner booths, go to the lavatories in cleaner areas, sit in the “whites only” waiting rooms. It’s not Jim Crow laws, not now at least. But Jim Crow version 2’s time is up. Stop killing my brothers, sisters, relatives, married relations, partner, sons and daughters, all who are darker than yourself. Stop killing and oppressing these people. Leave my Trenton alone, and let his people go. Don’t start with me, I’ll tear down the walls around your real intent, to sabotage my relationship with him, with Trenton, the only man who has shown me affection and love, who you probably don’t want around. His mother is a real mama bear, someone who would sacrifice life and limb to protect her son, and I get it. I’m in her family, and there’s no one better than her for Trenton. She nurtured his gifts, she understood her son’s disability. You white people have a lot to learn from a simple act of compassion, so where the hell is your empathy? If you have a fragile ego, go throw it in the dumpster. Just do it, don’t complain, don’t whine or scream at me. If you do, then I’ll give you a fragile ego to complain about, a broken and deflated one, more deflated than a deflated football. It will be the main thing that keeps you out of college, jobs, housing, and so on. Your egos will likely crash and burn, and you think you can live in a bubble forever. Listen to the words of Eiffel 65’s Living In a Bubble for a moment: “Life in a bubble, baby, a bubble’s no reality. If it blows, you’ll be alone.” If that little alternate reality bubble pops, you will be scattered like the drops of bubblegum saliva that goes flying everywhere when you pop a bubble of gum. Don’t tell me I don’t know. I popped some gum before, and blew a pretty large bubble, but when the bubble bursts, it goes flat, and in the case of the gum, it goes everywhere, all over your face. Look at Jimmy Neutron, who tried “bubble transport” to get to school, but the bubble burst on a tree, and where Jimmy went, well, he ended up with gum all over himself. He was alone. His reality had burst.

A bubble of reality for you white people is in your history books, so if you want to make a more equitable society, get rid of your whitewashed bullshit. Just do it. Don’t whine, don’t scream, don’t kick, don’t fly into rages and threaten me. If you do, I’ll pop that gum all over your face should there be that bubble around you. IF you get covered in that alternate gunk of bubblegum, don’t even ask for help. Because in reality, the people you are hurting are going to burst that bubble for you. Your textbooks, for one, will be changed to talk about the self made black people you demolished in Tulsa, Oklahoma in a race massacre, not a riot. You also massacred many a young unarmed black man in the streets, even men who I honestly don’t understand why they’d take advantage of me. Forgive these men, for they do not know what they do. Lord, forgive them.

So what would my world be without my partner? Alone, isolated, my care halved, my life cut in half, and only half of me alive. And you will be to blame. If you’re the officers who swear you want to “protect and serve”, then by golly do it, goddamnit. Protect and serve all your people in your precincts, don’t just favor the pretty white blonde cheerleader with the annoying ponytail, the valley girl accent, and the stupid amounts of makeup on her. Don’t favor the strapping young brunette man, brown hair lighter than wood, eyes bluer than water, with the tattoos on his arms, with the big muscles. Don’t favor the annoying old white lady with the spoiled rotten puppy in her purse, her long silver hair tattered about with split ends that haven’t been cut, but yet is stick straight. Don’t favor the goldilocks child in your classrooms, her curly blonde locks could also be brown, who sits there and makes up stories about her baby dolls and shows disfavor to everything else. IF you’re a teacher, give the young dark haired boy with the dreadlocks some extra TLC, okay? Don’t sit there and call the young Kenyan immigrant sitting beside your other black students a freak or other racist language too vulgar to write here. Teach the children how to sing, “Jambo” in Swahili, how to play the djembe drums and dance like they never danced before. Allow your white brethren to learn about these cultures, and give them the highest standards by which to accomplish the understanding and empathy toward this boy.

Don’t disfavor the young dark haired girl, the one with the so called “Ramen noodle hair”, the one who gets bullied all the time, but give her a friend and a hand to hold. If she wants to go to your gleaming universities covered with gold thrones and classrooms inlaid with silver, let her in. Let her in, and if you’re the popular girl in the high school who is spending all her time fucking around with boys on the jock side of the cafeteria, take a moment and take care not to do it anymore. If you are that girl, go sit with the girl with the “Ramen noodle hair.” Go sit with her, and learn her story and learn to cry with her, laugh with her, and breathe her air. If you’re the football stud who claims to have so many girls, unadopted babies, and no cash, do me a favor and learn the story of your black brothers who are not learning responsibility because of your mismanagement of yourselves. If you’re the star white quarterback or center of the sports teams, just do something and sit with the dark haired boy with Down’s Syndrome, and learn his story. Go to a homeless shelter and learn about single motherhood, if you come from an intact family. If you’re a guy who is blonde, stupid, and foolish enough to reject that girl over there who can’t see you, learn why. Don’t defend your foolishness, but learn to tell if your actions are unwarranted. If you’re the men who are lying on Jacob Blake, the man who was paralyzed in Kenosha, Wisconsin, you need to shut your mouths. Shut your mouths, and give Jacob that wheelchair he will need for the rest of his life. Give Jacob a beautiful golden retriever who will pick up dropped items for him, and know that your actions brought on his disability. You caused it, there was no crime. You are guilty of white supremacy and racial profiling under many things, and inciting Jim Crow version 2.0. Just shut up and admit your guilt, but don’t be surprised if you’re in jail with the very brethren you despise. You lie on Briana Taylor who did not want you shooting her in her sleep. You lied on all the unarmed black teenagers, allowed a white idiot named George Zimmerman to kill Treyvon Martin. He didn’t deserve to die, and a rapper did a tribute song to this boy, who played football. Just think about this. If you can’t handle the melting pot, the racial rainbow our country is supposed to be, I’ve got a place you can go to.

Go to Russia, Siberia, Antarctica, the cold climates in the world, and never even think of coming back. Take your white supremacies, your tattoos of the Aryan Brotherhood, your 911 calls on a suspicious person who is African American, your suspending young black girls from school for having the wrong hairstyle, take it all to Siberia with you. I don’t want to see it here, not here, not this year, not this entire millennium. I want it gone, the systemic racism gone, so that my mixed little child or children one day will be living Martin Luther King’s dream, forever. It is highly probable that if your Agent Orange wins another term, my partner and I will have to exile in another country that doesn’t speak our language. This is sad, really sad, and overtly tumultuous circumstances you will try and put us in, and you know what? Love doesn’t like evil, love likes truth, loves the truth, does not boast, is patient, kind, and above all, it burns. Hell, if you step closer to me, the love for my man I have burns like a burning red red rose. Trenton knows my love for him burns like a fire, but as Robert Burns would put it, it is like a red red rose, but for me, it’s definitely like a burning red rose. Picture the flames coming out of the blossoms, that’s what I’m talking about.

Before I close, take heed of what I say. If yyou’re a white person who is not racially woke like I am, just … don’t fool around, stop messing around, as the sheriff said to my great ancestor, James Wade. Just let me have a job, a house, and the pitter patter of little feet on the tile or linoleum floor. Just stop and think about what the pitter patter of little feet will do for me, and the rest of society. That pitter patter will turn into big footsteps, big steps to walking down the aisle, getting a job, and being a responsible citizen. If you have the luck of hearing that pitter patter, take responsibility for showing the owner of those small tiny feet how to walk beside the ponies, but not just that, the family dog, and your black family friends. Teach your child that it’s all right to be whatever you want, and not get your head cut off. I have a dream that one day, this world will bee fair and just, as MLK would put it eloquently. MLK did say this, and this is my closer, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Beth