The Fall of American Democracy – The Rise of the Resistance and of Hope

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Note: This will be mostly free write, with most likely few sources. I have been struggling to put my thoughts into a coherent order for days now, but have only been able to muster disgust and anger. 

“If you want water, just drink from a toilet.”
-Border Patrol to a woman in custody at Southern Border

Have you ever felt utterly disgusted in your country? I have. I do. Every single time I think that things will get better, something else pops up, and I feel like vomiting. Whether it’s hearing interviews with detained immigrants about their treatment in our Concentration Camps or seeing how Border Patrol acts via a Facebook Group: Propublica Article, it disgusts me.

Then we have our so-called Christian President and Vice President championing this behavior, this crisis, that their administration CAUSED. We have people who are crammed in a room built for half the number, which leaves them only able to stand, for DAYS, and these god damned Christians are fucking cheering it on.

Vice Article on Camp Conditions

I read these articles, I watch the videos, and I’m disgusted. Yet, some Americans believe it’s “Fake News”. Some just don’t give a shit, and some even LIKE it. I watched a video a little while ago of a Grandmother from SoCal that was trying to drop off toys to a camp being detained.

Between the camps and SCOTUS refusing to rule on Gerrymandering (PDF from SCOTUS), and Americans just burying their heads in the proverbial sand, America’s version of Democracy is dying.

And. No. One. Cares.

At least not enough of us. Hell, currently America is so convinced that Antifa is a terrorist group, yet they won’t fucking say shit about the fascist pieces of shit who attack people every day. America is so goddamned scared of “brown immigrants” that we’re turning our cheek while we erect concentration camps on our border. America is so god damned weak right now, we’re letting politicians change their districts so they can get more votes for their party.

It’s sickening.

However there is hope, it’s just ever so hard to hold on to these days. In my rage against organized religion, especially in relation to our current events, I stumbled into what I refer to as “Religious Twitter”. All of a sudden I’m reading the tweets from a Rabbi.

I found a woman of faith, who was speaking out. Who was outraged, who not only raised her voice for what she believed was right, she used her faith to back her up. (She also posts a lot of information regarding Judaism, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Education is always a plus.) Before I knew it, I was coming across different Rabbis, Pastors, and even a Priest who were fighting for these immigrants, against racism, sexism and antisemitism.

Then This!

Needless to say, my opinion about organized religion has been rocked a bit, and these people have given me a bit of hope. I have always had faith in antifa fighting the good fight, and I have faith in the politicians who are standing up and strong, and I have faith in the people who have been screaming with me. Having a bit more faith helps.

It’s just daunting, it’s simply disgusting how our country is behaving, how our government is behaving. It’s hard to watch democracy fall. It’s painful.

Yet, not all Americans will be on the wrong side of history when our grandchildren read about it. It’s hope, and more importantly, it’s a hell of a start.

 

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To Be or Not To Be: Social Justice Warrior Edition

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Wikipedia Page: Social Justice Warrior (SJW)

Those of you that have known me for a while, both in real life as well as online, know very well that I’m very active in politics and ethics. I have long written about what I’m passionate about, and have used my accounts to share with the world, what I consider injustices and atrocities.

My stance has always been that if you see something that you believe is wrong, or horrific, show the rest of the world. A lot of people inadvertently have their head buried in the sand, especially with media being a bit biased in certain demographics. It’s incredibly hard to get information these days, despite the journalists who head to the front lines to share photos and interviews with us.

So I share what I can. I spread my opinion, usually with sources, via my accounts and this blog. Maybe someone out there, will read them, open discussion and information can be exchanged. Maybe someone will learn something that they didn’t currently know, whether it’s the conditions in the camps at our border or a politicians history.

Most importantly, I share screenshots of atrocious behavior from Homophobes, Nazis, White Supremacists, and generally bigoted people. Why? Because in this country, in our current political climate, this kind of behavior is acceptable and more and more of them are coming out of the woodwork.

Errko - Nazi Rape CultureErrko - Curbstomp

Erkko - Nazi - Abortion

This is from a white power woman who argued with me on twitter last night, the rest of her page was 100% white power garbage.

Like I said in the tweet at the top, if you don’t call out the bullshit, if you don’t stand up to racism, it lets everyone know that it’s acceptable, and no one will do anything to change it. (Note: that tweet was before I knew she was a Nazi, Jon went and looked at her timeline as I was dealing with threats for criticizing a bot on Trump’s timeline).

This is something I’ve always done, this is how I was raised (especially by my grandmother).. that you stand up against those that do wrong, commit atrocities, or those that would destroy this country.

Apparently, despite my accounts all being like this since I got into politics (and had readily available internet, haha), despite the fact that this is who I am both in real life and online.. I hurt someone’s feelings. It’s bound to happen, and it does happen quite a bit. I shared this:

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The whole point behind this tweet was how stupid it is to use “culture and heritage” and the confederate flag as a platform for being a complete ass. Those that hide behind that flag with their hatred don’t think it’s so funny if us Northerners use the same mindset. I shared this on my page, hoping to piss some more people off, as true colors have been showing time and time again. (It truly makes it easier to delete people off of my friends list.)

Not to mention, I have made it ABUNDANTLY clear how I feel about that flag being used to spread fear in everyone who is not white/conservative. I couldn’t give two fucks what your heritage is, or if you’re proud of it or not.. this flag means a lot of horrible things to a lot of different people, and that’s the way it is.

Anyways, as predicted. My old friend responded. He apparently missed the ENTIRE point of the tweet, and told me I could come try if I “want a closed casket funeral”. Despite me explaining the tweet, he still went off on this tirade about me being a Social Justice Warrior. He was tired of me “picking fights”, posting information and “ramming it down his throat”. It apparently didn’t matter that I’ve been this way since we met.. back when I was 16 years old. You know, when I actually lit confederate flags on fire and was a SHARP? It also didn’t matter that there was a little button called “unfriend”.

I had hurt his little snowflake feelings. Or rather, I made him think uncomfortable truths. (Although I am kind of upset that it was someone else’s tweet that did it, not my comments on his page about his blatant misogyny.) Either way, I accomplished what I set out to do, and even got called a Social Justice Warrior.

My point is to call out bullshit when you see it. If you hurt people’s feelings along the way, make them uncomfortable, or even lose friends, it’s worth it. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m taking back the term Social Justice Warrior. I’m not going to let the assfucks who turned it into a derogatory term own it anymore.

Just remember, if you don’t stand up to injustices.. they become normal. Don’t stop standing up and speaking out just because you offend someone, or because they try to drag you down. Someone has to do it. Why shouldn’t it be us?

Stand up.
Use your available platform.
Share information.
Make the world a better place.

Just. Stand. Up.

 

Ignorance of Politics/Current Affairs

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Back when I was still an angsty teenager, I had a current affairs class. We brought up current affairs and discussed recent news in class as well as learned how to debate. I, in all my teenage glory, lashed out at my teacher regarding news in the middle east, and screeched about why should I even give a damn. My teacher provided the above quote, and I’ve referenced it every few years since.

A lot of people in this country purposely ignore the news, whether it’s about the Midwest farmers struggling or what moronic thing our government has done that day. It’s a privilege that people believe they have, as surely x, y & z will not effect us!  However, that is most definitely not the case even in the broadest of instances.

When you go to the grocery store, and marvel at the prices of food as they increase, if you’d turn on the news, you’d know why. If you see someone filming a police officer making an arrest, if you paid attention to current events, you’d know why. If you rage about getting a ticket for code compliance for something you’d never gotten a ticket for before, reading your town’s newsletter might explain that (or your code compliance officer is a dick like our neighborhood’s).

On the larger scale of current events, it’s even more important to pay attention, in my opinion that is.

When your country is ordering “retaliation” against other countries, you might want to pay attention. Even if you agree, this might effect your family in numerous ways. It could result in a loved one being sent over seas in the military, it could effect your income and prices of goods.

When your government is detaining people in camps, regardless of what you would call the camps, not only should this appall you, but you should pay attention. If your government will detain people that they don’t agree with, regardless of laws, what’s to say that they wouldn’t detain you and your family in the future.

Things you don’t pay attention to effect your daily life quite easily.

Regardless of where you stand with politics and our current laws, hell even our Constitution, knowing your laws, knowing your party/country’s stance on certain things is essential. Why? Every time a new person is elected, they have the opportunity to change those laws, your rights.

Something to always keep in mind is that a country doesn’t always change via a coup or by some other drastic means. Sometimes it’s a very slow, gradual change. So keep your eyes open, that way if your country goes in a direction you don’t like, you’re aware and in a position to do something.

As always, Nazi-Germany is a great example. Do you think that one day people woke up and knew that their neighbors were being carted off to the gas chambers? Nope, because that’s not what happened. First there was rhetoric and propaganda. That progressed to deportations. From there, detention camps started, a la concentration camps. Once labor wasn’t the easiest solution, death camps were created. It wasn’t an overnight thing, it was gradual.. and everything starts somewhere.

The argument that it doesn’t effect you, is almost always null. Politics effect you, whether or not you like it, whether or not you pay attention. In order to understand the world around you, understand the things that are happening and have happened, you have to pay attention.

So please. Pay attention before it’s too late.

Friends & Differing Political/Moral Opinions

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For about a year I kept seeing this meme float around Facebook & Twitter:
Politics and Friends

Fucking wrong. This shit irritated me any time I saw it.. because what it’s essentially saying, is that you should respect someone even if they believe in taking your rights away. That you should continue to remain friends with someone who has vastly different morals from you, or even no morals, despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable. It essentially says that you should shut up if one of your friends believes in some horrible shit.

It’s fucking wrong.

You do not have to be friends, or hell, even tolerate someone who is morally corrupt, or actively working to/or voting for politicians who are taking away your rights. You do not have to be friends with, or respect someone who is racist, homophobic, sexist or is literally cheering on the concentration camps at our border.

You also don’t have to be friends with someone who slut-shames, someone who participates in class warfare, or someone who doesn’t believe that the poor deserve healthcare and education.

You should not be friends with, respect, or remain in contact with someone who is actively demeaning a social class, race, sex or anything of the sort. You know why?

  1. You’re enabling them.
  2. You’re letting them know it’s okay to be homophobic, racist, classist, sexist etc.
  3. Because you do NOT have to respect, stay in contact with or even be around someone who is in favor of stripping your own rights, or rights of those you love. You are not obligated to love, like, respect, or be around ANYONE. Period.

There’s a clear difference in differing opinions and having polar opposite morals.

I am friends with a few conservatives, but there is a clear understanding that A. They don’t have to be friends with me if they don’t want, and B. That their opinions do not effect my autonomy. I am however NOT friends with people who are racist, homophobic, who wouldn’t support me if I ever needed an abortion or who are blatantly classist. I will not be friends with someone who instead of talking with me about women’s healthcare rights, accuses women who need abortions of being sluts. I will not be friends with someone who believes that just because you can’t afford healthcare, that you don’t deserve it. I will not be friends with someone who hates someone else just because of the color of their skin, who they fall in love with or their accent.  I will not be friends with someone who supports life in jail for a woman who gets an abortion, but not only lets a rapist go free, but ALLOWS THEM VISITATION OF THE CHILD. (FUCK YOU ALABAMA).

By “respecting” someone who is literally striping the rights and lives away from others, you are just enabling them.. and thus you are part of the problem.

The Plight of Parenthood

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I remember when I first brought my daughter home from the hospital. It was the middle of the night, I was in immense pain, and I had a screaming infant in my arms at 2am. My shit bag of an ex-husband slept through it all, including the my own screams for help. So as I tried every trick I could think of, while sobbing and terrified that I would somehow fuck up that little being that was struggling in my arms.

That pure terror still exists 12 years later.

I’ve spent the last 12 years trying to do the best I can. I’ve admittedly made several mistakes, as all parents do, but my end goal is an aware, well adjusted young woman who stands up for what is right. There’s always that uncomfortable feeling that you’re doing something wrong. There’s that terror, that somehow you messed up.. that maybe that one time you grounded them you messed up their outlook.

It’s even worse when you’re tasked with helping to raise someone else’s little girl.

It pains me to be the one to teach a little girl about how to take care of her body. It saddens me to be the one to break it to her that the world isn’t the nice little place Sunday school had her believe. It’s thrilling, yet incredibly sad to be the one who teaches her how to ride a bike, roller skate, and play sports. It enrages me, that I am the one who has to advocate for her mental health, physical health and social skills.. not her mother.

When you spend so much time beating yourself up over your parenting, it’s incredibly difficult to see another parent ignore, neglect and refuse to parent their child. Being inadvertently handed the job of teaching a little girl everything she should’ve learned from her own mother in the last 9 years, and being forced to cram it into one summer is absolute bullshit. It’s even more daunting to know that a vast amount of what you’re able to teach and expose a child to will be undone with inattention, ignorance, and laziness over the course of 6 months.

It’s like trying to cram all of the anxiety of parenting over the course of 9 years, into a single summer.. knowing damn well that it’s just going to start all over the next summer. Unfortunately though, all you can do is try your best. It’s incredibly difficult not to lash out at the biological parent who is dropping the ball, who is ignoring their own kid and refusing to face the struggle of parenting their own child. It’s just rough.

Here’s to to raising someone else’s kid. Here’s to hoping that I can pick up the slack. Here’s to hoping I can help undo years of damage with the help of therapy. Here’s to hoping.

 

Make Orwell Fiction Again

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It wasn’t too long ago, when I wouldn’t have considered adding the “Make Orwell Fiction Again” sticker to my car. I might’ve chuckled about it, maybe even sent it to a friend who could appreciate it. However, I truly felt that our country was making strides in equality, laws and fair elections. (Spoiler: I doubt I will ever be truly happy with our Republic as I don’t agree with certain kinds of laws. I was however happy that it seemed like an attempt was made to improve our country for everyone.)

Yet, when I wake up in the morning to check the news, there is so much god damned BULLSHIT going on in our country, that I’m quickly losing faith in our ability to turn it around.

For example, do you remember when Camp Sill was reopened during the Obama Administration as a migrant camp and a large chunk of our country collectively shit a brick? Well. You might not. It seems that most people have no idea that even happened, or even that it was a Japanese Internment Camp. (Although the Army, not the rest of the world mind you, still states it only held prisoners of war.) It lasted for 4 months before being shut down again. Now? The Trump Administration is planning on housing 1,400 CHILDREN there.

That’s right. We’re putting children in an old camp that was either A. An Internment Camp for Japanese Americans or B. a camp for war criminals depending on your view. Why is that? I suppose it’s because we jump, skipped and landed face first into fascism with out anyone noticing.

Our country has had a lot of dark times. Ranging from slavery to the internment of the Japanese, to outright racism towards different groups like the Irish, African Americans, Germans and Mexicans. Depending on what decade you pick we had a different flavor of racism (oft times more than one), slavery or war atrocities.

Someone who has been speaking out about his experience in a Japanese Interment Camp is George Takei : Interview with Democracy Now!

The fact that Americans are not alarmed by this is so fucking stupid. World War 2 wasn’t that long ago, shit, segregation was even more recent! God fucking dammit, you guys already forgot about the atrocities committed at Guantanamo Bay? We start making progress.. moving forward and bettering ourselves.. and then over the course of two years, we’re back to where we started.

Houston Camp Conditions : Buzzfeed
In this article there are quotes from immigrants who compare their treatment to that of dogs, who are dismayed because they thought America was better than this.

Teen Mother & Her Premature Newborn Neglected For A Week In Border Patrol Custody : Refinery29
This is just more proof that not ALL life matters, as no one clearly cares about the “brown kids”. Fuck off Pro-Life Republicans. Eat my ass.

So here we are. 2019, and I’m watching women lose their rights, all around discrimination and racism, and kids being locked into an interment camp. The Orwell sticker has a place on my car now. We’re at the point where Americans should be rising up, protesting this disgusting regime (hopefully before we start a war with Iran) …

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… but we know that won’t happen. We literally have a president who has “joked” about extending his term (which by the way is NOT LEGAL) several times now, and Americans are just like “Meh”. We literally have children DYING in our not-concentration-camps.. and half of America is CHEERING. Most of those are CHRISTIANS. We are threatening Iran with war, over an attack we can’t even prove was from them. We are gearing up for yet another pointless war, and half of Americans are basically frothing at the mouth.

So my question is no longer “When are Americans going to stand up for what is right?”

How could it be? Americans are calling for concentration camps to be normalized, because “they should’ve known before they came here” or.. “That’s not what a concentration camp is!! Stop being an alarmist!!”

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How could it be, when Americans are defending LITERAL NAZIs parading down our streets? How could it be, when Americans scoff when the president makes jokes about breaking key parts of our constitution? How could it be, when Americans cheer as rights are stripped from women and the LGBTQ+ community?

My question is now, how far will America fall, before it burns?

Treat Yourself: Self-Care is Important

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Growing up I didn’t see my father do a whole lot for himself. After my mom died, he was saddled with being a single dad with two daughters on a mechanic’s income. There wasn’t much left over money in general, but what there was, was spent on us kids. I honestly don’t think he really treated himself to anything until we were both out of the house. Hell, I don’t even think he got more than a handful of hours to himself until we were both in high school. It is what it is when you’re a parent.

It’s a habit I fell into as well. Not just material things, but all of a sudden before I knew it my writing took a back seat, my quiet morning coffee wasn’t as important. The things that were once second nature, just kind of.. go away if you’re not paying attention.

It comes and goes too. My daughter is 12 now, and I’ve probably put myself on the furthest back burner (that doesn’t even work) once every year or two. Then one day, someone will ask me “what have you done for yourself lately?” and it’ll kick my ass back into gear.

Self-care is important. My must-haves include my morning cup of coffee (hopefully before everyone else wakes up, that’s the best time) and my writing. These are the two things that keep me sane, and have since I was a teenager. I have over 30 journals now, and of course this blog. There is nothing better than sitting outside on my deck, or at my kitchen table with my journals, my laptop and a cup of good coffee.

I noticed long ago, that when I neglect my writing, when I skip the quiet moment to myself in the morning, that before I know it my mental health tanks. Like just hops on a downward spiral of a shitty roller coaster, straight to hell. I struggle with depression as well as anxiety/panic disorder already, neglecting myself is giving the proverbial boot to my coping mechanisms. When my mental health goes downhill, my stress levels rise, which then sets off my physical health problems. Do you see where this is going? Into my favorite endless cycle of my body telling me to piss the hell off. That’s not to say that my physical health doesn’t just randomly give me the finger all on it’s own, just that it’s sometimes caused by stress.. and sometimes it’s just exacerbated.

The thing about self-care though is that it does take effort. Whether or not you have kids, a spouse, a job, a business, or whatever, no matter what your situation you have to put effort into taking care of you. Whether that means drawing yourself a bath or coloring in your adult coloring book, or running in the forest preserve or buying yourself something nice.. or hell, playing D&D or working on your car. It even takes effort to set aside a bit of time to just sit in silence and clear your mind. If you don’t make consistent effort to do a little something for YOU, before you know it, you forget.

This is something I’m working on again in my life, and this is your reminder to take care of YOU. You’re a better spouse, partner, employee, parent, sibling, or what the fuck ever, if you give yourself a little bit of happiness every once in a while.

Take care. Much love.