Bernie Sanders, Russia, & White Supremacy

I saw my first “Bernie Sanders and his followers were paid Russian operatives” comment today on Facebook. It takes me a while to catch what I’m hearing from my friends and other articles/blogs, but there it was staring at me in the face. I blinked for a moment and noticed it was some white woman making the comment.

This pisses me off on several levels.

For one, it cheapens the actual influence being investigated into Russia’s involvement in our election. I, as much as anyone who has never like or who has come to see Bernie Sanders for what he really is, side eye the ever living shit out of him. I’m with Michael Arceneaux in that Bernie Sanders needs to learn how to shut up.

Bernie Sanders continues to use his microphone to criticize Democrats any chance he gets. Meanwhile, he has been quoted several times since the election and even recently, his desire to “work with” Donald Trump on common ground. But he seems to not know what common ground is with the party he has been caucusing with during his long established Congressional career. Remember this? Or, how about this?

But is Bernie Sanders and the faux progressive white leftists paid Russian operatives?

I don’t think so. First of all, Bernie Sanders, nor any of his followers, are people of interest in the Russian investigation. Yet, almost daily, we hear of more people in Trump’s cabinet who ARE. Like his son in law, Jared Kushner. We did hear of Russian trolls infiltrating social media platforms during the campaign, which we can obviously see is a tactic of influence being used. But, to say that all people who have a certain view point are paid Russian operatives cheapens the truth and deflects responsibility away from the white people who are willing to hold such views once they hear them. As an example, I lost LONG time friends during the campaign and even after the election once they revealed they voted for Jill Stein or that we all need to come together and sing Kumbaya around the fire with Trump and the shitheads who voted for him (hint, they’ve all been white people).

Secondly, it takes away from the fact there has been propaganda influencing white people for a LONG ass time.

And there has been propaganda against the Clintons for a LONG ass time. Republican PACs have been influencing liberal opinion of Hillary for quite some time as well. Russia’s involvement in our elections has literally been joining in on what Republicans have already been working on for decades. To suggest that this shit is new to just 2016, or that people have to be paid to have sexist or racist opinions on social media as if Republicans haven’t already been at this game since before social media was even a thing is flat out false.

At some point, there has to be some level of responsibility for the already sexist and racist people who hear bullshit and is willing to take it in to mix with their confirmation bias in the first place.

The real answer to white Bernie Sanders and the white leftists threatening to split the Democratic Party if the rest of us don’t pander to them is White Supremacy & Patriarchy. This has been hundreds of years of struggles. White people on the left do not need Russian money to hate women and people of color. By suggesting the dumpstershit on the left is just more Russian influence, deflects responsibility away from so-called progressives from doing the inner work of unpacking racism and sexism. It does nothing to help white people on the left unify with LGBTQ people, black people, immigrants, the disabled, women, and other marginalized groups.

Its not white people that everyone else needs to unify with. We need to remind ourselves that whiteness has given us privilege and power – power that we deny to everyone else. By blaming Russia for everything, we are denying we have that power and denying we used that power during this election.

Russia’s influence IS a big deal and the implication the executive branch and even some members of the legislative branch are complicit into allowing a foreign country to have this level of influence into our government is terrifying.

But what I will not stand for, is white liberals both downplaying the truth and cheapening it with bullshit conspiracies to absolve themselves of the responsibility of keeping assholes like Bernie Sanders in check and ridding ourselves of the sexism and racism that allows the hate against Hillary, or the annoyance with “identity politics”, to fester in our brains in the first place.

We have already allowed ourselves to believe in myths during the election. By entertaining continued fantasies, we endanger ourselves into allowing this latest wave of fascism to continue to establish its power. And people are going to die. And we’re going to sit here crying and wondering how we got to this point. The answer is White Supremacy. Its time for white liberals to stop being its shield while our conservative counterparts use its sword.

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Fundamentalism in Progressive Politics

Dear Americans on the left. Pssst. Let’s talk. That means you too, USAToday… and you too Jezebel. Oh and even one of my normal faves, Slate. SHAME ON YOU ALL. What am I talking about? The deceptive coverage of the amendment in the Senate that 13 Democrats voted “no” on that would have allowed us to import prescription drugs from Canada. At least, that’s how all these left leaning publications are describing it. And now the “Progressives” have decided to lambaste Cory Booker (D) from New Jersey shortly after his unprecedented testimony against his colleague Jeff Sessions (R) during the Attorney General confirmation hearings. It is increasingly looking like the left wing’s version of the Tea Party is trying to take over the Democrat Party.

Progressives have been playing this game of moral purity politics that eerily resembles the moral purity fundamentalism of the Tea Party Right. Sure, Bernie Sanders wants nothing but good things for us Americans, right? This pull to the left can’t be all that bad!

Except when you have no integrity and attack the very Democrats who are resisting Trump and the Republicans, you literally threaten to split the Democrat party, weaken it, and leaving us with less political power to resist fascism. And what I’d really like to know is, why in the ever living fuck is Bernie Sanders trying so hard to split the Democrat Party? And why this sloppy journalism from Slate, Jezebel, USAToday and others?

The evidence:

First of all, the voting in question were amendments to  S. Con Res 3. S. Con Res. 3 is a budget bill setting the budgetary levels for the fiscal years 2018 through 2026. There were a total of 189 amendments attached to this bill and there was only 2 hours allotted to debate this bill. There were two amendments put forward by the team of Sanders and Klobuchar regarding prescription drugs and of COURSE the headlines are all about just Mr Sanders. Amendment 172 was ultimately withdrawn, but the text of the amendment reads:

SEC. 3___. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO LOWERING 
                   PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICES FOR AMERICANS BY 
                   IMPORTING DRUGS FROM CANADA AND OTHER 
                   COUNTRIES.

The link of the full text is here

Democrats did not like this amendment and it should be for OBVIOUS reasons. There is nothing that says those drugs must match our own safety regulations, putting peoples’ lives potentially at risk. Amendment 178 was the one that was voted down. It left off “and other countries”, but again, no detail was given about safety regulations. It was a poorly constructed blanket statement, without the detail necessary for such policy. The 13 Democrats who were uncomfortable with such broad language were RIGHT to defeat the amendment.

Also missing from the sloppy journalism is the fact that the day before the votes on all the amendments to S. Con. Res 3, John McCain with Amy Klobuchar as cosponsor introduced S. 92,  “A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow for the personal importation of safe and affordable drugs from approved pharmacies in Canada.”

So, there is a bill addressing this issue of importing drugs from Canada, introduced to the Senate on January 10th, while the broad language over-simplified amendment was voted down on January 11th attached to a budget bill. Clearly, Bernie Sanders wants credit for “standing up” for the American people, using this to discredit Democrats, while a Republican Senator had already introduced a separate bill beforehand.

These are the facts. The facts should cause everyone who calls themselves Progressives to side eye the ever living shit out of Bernie Sanders for these antics. But wait! IT GETS BETTER.

Part of Jezebel’s reporting included how much money these 13 Democrats received in campaign contributions from Pharmaceutical companies as “evidence” that Democrats are bought and paid for just like Republicans, supporting the bullshit narrative that “all parties are the same.” Setting aside the fucking obvious that a Democrat President would not be encouraging Congress to gut and appeal the ACA (not to mention gut funding for her own CHIP program!!!), we continue to entertain this bullshit that Bernie Sanders is special.

Bernie Sanders is not special and here are two websites that show he gets money from Pharmaceutical companies too. Maplight and Open Secrets. He has gotten over $128,000 from Kaiser Permanente over his career. He has received money from people who work for Abbot Labs, Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and plenty of others for election cycle 2016 totaling over $116,000.

If Democrats are bought and paid for by their campaign contributions, then so is Bernie Sanders.

Now that the evidence is out of the way, let me go back to something I mentioned in the title. Fundamentalism. I attended a Fundamentalist church for 4 years as a teenager. I could only wear skirts, dresses, or culottes, they had to be a certain length with no slits allowed. Any shirt couldn’t dip down more than two inches below where your collar bones meet and all kinds of other dress and behavioral rules. Most importantly, you didn’t question the preacher. He was a man of God, and what he told you was to be taken as the literal gospel. I am telling you, my bullshit radar is going all the way off about this “Progressive” left. This idea that there can’t be compromise or discussion within the party, that what Bernie Sanders says goes, that he is less corrupt than people who have served far less time than he has in the very establishment he attacks daily, combined with the fact he was only a Democrat during the presidential election, screams a type of Fundamentalism to me. A dangerous ideology where its members are not allowed to question or criticize. I lost long time friends when I switched in April 2016 from supporting Bernie to Hillary Clinton (hey, I liked the idea of single payer healthcare and free college). I’m talking people I had been friends with in real life or friends on the internet for nearly a decade. Lost them because I didn’t worship the ground Bernie Sanders walked on and decided to scrutinize him more and criticize him.

Folks, these are sure signs of cult behavior. And there are other examples too. Black people being told they don’t know what’s good for them if they don’t vote for Bernie Sanders. About how there isn’t a racist bone in Sanders’ body. White 3rd party voters separating themselves from Democrats to pretend they can’t be racist and therefore Democrats are just as horrible as Republicans. (Dear white people, we’re ALL racist). Nevermind the fact of which area of NYC Sanders lived in, or how he left for 98% white Vermont, a state with a higher than national average cost of living.

And one of my personal favorite shenanigans of Sanders was the announcement that he was willing to work with Trump on raising the min wage to $10/hr two weeks after the election after he refused to budge the entire campaign with Hillary Clinton’s proposal of $12/hr. Meanwhile, stalwart champions like Maxine Waters and John Lewis have both publicly announced they will not work with Donald Trump and John Lewis has even said Trump is not a legitimate president.

Where is Sanders’ resistance to tyranny?

I know Democrat politicians aren’t known for addressing this type of presentation fuckery within their own party, but maybe its about time they start doing exactly that. We simply CANNOT let the white male, self-professed “Progressives”, create a far-left wing faction similar to the Tea Party. The ONLY purpose this will serve is to weaken the Democrats and make it easier for the Fascism embracing Republicans to succeed in their efforts.

The media needs to do better with their journalism.

Bernie isn’t a champion of the people, he’s an obstruction.

He needs to permanently have a stadium full of seats in the basket with the rest of the deplorables.

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White America Fucked Up

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I do understand some peoples’ need to “not care whose fault it is” on Tuesday. Some of that is justifiable angry response because some people are blaming the democrat party for “forgetting white people”, and others are claiming its Hillary’s own fault because she was a terrible candidate; not strong enough; she wasn’t Bernie; and blah blah blah.

But aside from the hot nonsense of dog shit, we DO need to identify the problems because identifying the problems are key to white people figuring out how we can fix this. So I’m going to lay it out in a few simple points:

White people failed. 60 million people voted for fascism and 3rd party voters in some key states helped. Racism and sexism are at the core; racism because these voters cosigned a platform rife with racism, xenophobia, islamaphobia, and homophobia. Sexism, because some people cosigned that garbage because they didn’t want to see a woman become president.

The Media failed too. Instead of focusing on issues that really should have mattered to white people as far as informing them is concerned (Trump’s ties to Russia; Trump Univeristy; sexual assault; setting shit he says straight with the facts), they spent their time normalizing his behavior by making it equally valid to Hillary’s character and hyperfocused on her emails and private server.

Perhaps the media is secondary to the white people issue because the first issue drove the other failure.

The solution is, we have GOT to find some way to decenter whiteness; to make our concerns as white people not the primary concerns of this country; to care about everyone’s well being and not have an “as long as I get mine, fuck you” attitude.

There are two places of Donald Trump’s platform that can seriously harm even US as white people (let alone everyone else) and that’s foreign policy and climate change. I called white people fucking stupid at times, because these two issues alone will directly harm even us, yet we thought white supremacy was the oxygen others were trying to take away and we’re scrambling to hold on to it for dear life. Watch whatever movie has a similar premise; where people voted for their own destruction because they were blinded by something else and then put yourself there. That’s us, white people. And the fact we’re willing to burn it ALL down for some fake sense of superiority really shows how inferior we actually are.

Facebook’s Reporting System is Hot Garbage

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These first two images are from the 2nd the last time I was blocked on my old Facebook account.  As you can see, I couldn’t do shit on Facebook for 72 hours and it came with a warning that if I kept up my apparent shenanigans, my account could be permanently disabled.  Within a few weeks I was banned again for 7 days – for telling some dude: “go fuck yourself.” (PS – he was a rape apologist)

Many people know this is a problem today. Early on in my Facebook life, when people were saying they were banned on Facebook, I thought they were not telling the whole truth about their circumstances. I thought to myself “they HAD to have said something worse than that to be banned, right?” I have been on the internet having debates and conversations with people since the late 90’s when Lycos and Geocities message boards were a thing. I thought getting banned anywhere on the internet meant you had to have done something really fucking awful.

And then came the current Civil Rights movement. Black people were being banned for speaking out against racism. White feelings would run to that report button and Facebook did something about it. Facebook is racist as fuck when it comes to how their reporting system operates. Entire pages full of racist content, including how our President needs to die would return support inbox messages from Facebook claiming the comment or page “doesn’t violate our community standards.” But let a black person talk about white privilege and its WE CAN’T HAVE THAT when white tears run to the report button.

Of all the new features, updates, and changes Facebook has brought to us as social media users, the racist and sexist reporting system that censors black and woman voices and leaves angry white men feeling validated is still the same as it ever was, despite the petitions and outrage brought to the front by various people at different times.

Facebook even went so far as to unpublish one of my favorite pages: The Kinfolk Kollective after people abusing the reporting system had their way. Thankfully, the page was able to come back. But the message from Facebook was clear: deactivating your account or unpublishing your page is not an empty threat.

Yes, I know… “why don’t you just go someplace else?”

Because Twitter is a worse garbage pile of alt-right filth than Facebook and there just isn’t anything else that has come up that keeps my friends and I connected the same way Facebook does. I run two pages on it though, and Facebook ALWAYS wants me to pay money to promote my page content. But that’s not going to happen. Facebook isn’t getting a god damn dime from me as long as their racist and sexist reporting system remains as it is.

And just to drive home the absolute ridiculousness of it all, here are a few more screen shots. One of the racist piles of dung beetle shit can be seen here making a meme out of one of my past profile pictures definitely meant to be sexually degrading to me.

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And here he is again, telling me to kill myself.

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And after about 20 of my friends reported his meme comment, we all got the familiar message from Facebook about how it cares about Facebook being a safe and welcoming environment, but sorry kiddos, this dude just isn’t doing anything wrong. Of course, I sent my useless reply back to them anyway.

we-tried

Yes, Facebook. You are full of shit.

And you know, if it was ONLY that Facebook doesn’t really censor anyone, most of us would shrug and just fill out block lists up with the deplorables. But Facebook DOES actively censor people. It actively censors black people, other people of color, and women, on a regular fucking basis for shit that has no business being deleted off and the person banned in punishment with threats of having their accounts deactivated permanently. Its a form of violence to have a reporting system that operates this way, while people like Carl Douglas Miles are enabled and emboldened to be the nasty, deplorable, underwear shitstains they proclaim themselves to be on social media.

Facebook does not care to fix their reporting system. They would rather play with Halloween emote reactions, fuck up what’s displayed on my newsfeed, break AdBlock Plus to force me to look at their ads, and change this feature or that one and force me to relearn how to use the damn thing.

I can’t WAIT for a new social media platform to come along that draws the millions away from Facebook where my friends and I can connect and hangout. I will happily give Facebook the middle finger and deactivate my account MYSELF permanently.

UPDATE:

After myself and most of my friends left Facebook additional feedback after the initial “there’s nothing wrong with this post, sorry!”, Facebook decided to change their minds and remove the sexually degrading meme.

I’m not going to delete or change the blog post though because the larger message is still applicable and Facebook’s general attitude overall is still problematic as fuck. This is only one small victory in this battle. It took a lot of effort to get Facebook to do the right thing, while often people get banned for shit they shouldn’t be.

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Reflections from West Virginia

My husband and I have made several trips to West Virginia now. It’s probably our favorite getaway spot when we do get to get away for a while. This trip was completely spontaneous. He came home from his last day of work for his week and went on our weekly Sunday morning date together and decided while we were taking a walk that we would just do it. We went home – he changed the oil in his van, I made enough food for dinner for our two teenage kids, instructed them to care for the cats (you really do have to tell teenagers everything), and we’d check in when we could. So a few hours later we were off driving the three and a half hour trip to his dad’s camper on the land his dad owns where he grew up in Barbour County.

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Still in Ohio traveling south towards West Virginia

Some reflections:

Trump signs in the Arden – Philippi area: 2

Clinton signs in the same area: 3

The peaceful roar of the Tygart River rushing over the rocks near the camper.

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The Tygart River in Arden, WV

The acorns dropping on the metal roof of the buildings at the empty Audra State Park. They are loud and it takes a moment to realize what it is.

Camping was over for the season at Audra State Park, but you can still walk down there. So we parked in the public area that wasn’t closed off and took a walk down to the bathhouses. The water was not yet shut off, so we took our showers.

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Audra State Park in October

Autumn in full swing. I absolutely love the smell of autumn when the leaves are turning and they fall to the ground, become wet, and the mushrooms take over.

He slows down on our way back from our trip into town to look at an orange 50’s Chevy in somebody’s yard.

A mobile home has only the roof and metal frame standing as we pass by. It looks like somebody blew in the walls with all the debris laying inside.

The stars before the nearly full October moon rises…. my god…. the stars!

The labrador retriever that came to visit us every day.

When the sun creeps up slowly from the mountain behind you in the morning.

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Sunrise in Arden, WV

Peaceful night time fires and local West Virginia Mountain Spice Red Wine. The only noises besides our laughter are the night time insects and the river.

I could live here.

 

The DNC, Rage & Privilege

I have been accused more than once of being full of rage.

It’s true.

My dad was also full of rage and when I was in my 20’s I saw I carried the same rage and I thought it was a problem. I went to the college counselor and told him I had an anger problem that I wanted help with. He listened for a little bit, but didn’t really offer any advice except to hand me copies of chapters out of some book. I read some of it, but couldn’t relate to it very well. It seemed to just attack the behavior and not the cause.

I am now nearly 37 years old and I no longer view my rage as a problem. In fact, I’ve learned that its not so much the fact I have rage, but how I harness and use it that really makes it good or bad. My dad was severely depressed and his rage caused him to scream in my face and make me feel worthless. He’d punch holes in the walls, throw glass pepper shakers across the room and watch the glass and pepper splatter all over after hitting the wall. He’d slam pots and pans down on the floor. He’d flip tables. His rage was violent and scary. I was afraid of becoming like this.

And sure, sometimes I slam doors when I’m the most pissed, but I’d like to think my rage is expressed mostly in words. And the things that make me rage are very different than the things that would set off my dad’s rage.

George Zimmerman getting away with murder – rage.

Sandra Bland getting roughed up because she wouldn’t put out her cigarette and eventually murdered in her jail cell – rage.

Seeing a chart showing the Democrats being in control of both chambers of Congress with a Democrat President for a grand total of 4 years since Reagan first took office in 1981 and then have people on the internet tell me the Democrats have been controlling the agenda for the past 30 years – rage.

Remembering the myriad of ways Republicans have obstructed progress since I was a teenager in the 90’s and having people today forget all the nuance, obstruction, and politics since then to create their own narrative – rage.

Being told Hillary Clinton killed universal healthcare after she was the one in the 90’s who tried to bring it! After remembering the Republicans telling Obama early in his first term “Don’t even think about single payer, because we won’t let it happen”. – rage.

Seeing the very white tears from people who demand a revolution NOW who loudly proclaim “the system” is unfair to them now while conveniently ignoring all the black voices who have been trying to tell us this for over 400 years – rage.

Seeing more Bernie protesters at the DNC in Philadelphia than there were people protesting against fascism at the RNC in Cleveland – rage.

And this morning, after the first day of the DNC and the butthurt tears of Sanders fans who still declare its not over yet, I was accused of being filled with rage and how this particular person has had enough of it.

This, after an entire day of white privilege shouting down speakers who took the podium. Booing Bernie Sanders. Chanting “Black Lives Matter” at Cory Booker while he’s speaking. Chanting whatever the fuck they were saying over Elizabeth Warren. Shouting down Elijah Cummings, one of the best damn congresspeople we have. This isn’t dissent. This isn’t protest. This is BULLSHIT. This is whining like a fucking crybaby because your entitled ass lost the soccer game. The ref missed a call. A foul was called when there was none. You lost. And now you think you have a right to “protest” and “dissent” the same unfair process Hillary Clinton lost too 8 years ago.

SHE CHEATED!

Tell me more how that isn’t the same as accusing a woman of sleeping with her bosses as a means of climbing the corporate ladder because there’s no way she has the brains or skills to earn it.

Tell me more about how that isn’t sexist.

And then I’ll ask you why you AREN’T filled with rage.

We have a candidate in charge of the Republican party now who sounds more and more like a fascist dictator every single day. In fact, after the RNC last week, it should be crystal fucking clear the Republicans have chosen unfettered racism, xenophobia, islamaphobia, and “law and order” to run their platform. If you think that platform would not bleed into how they govern the next four years, you are willfully ignorant of reality.

And yet, your privileged white ass is horrified the DNC has imperfect humans in it who expressed disdain for someone who spent most of his campaign shit talking the very party he was trying to take over. And your privileged white ass claims the fact the Russians hacked us is simply a deflection, because CLEARLY people talking shit among themselves is a much more offensive thing to behold.

And yet, your privileged white ass decided to weaponize your feelings to silence people.

I was abused emotionally growing up and you don’t get to weaponize your feelings to me. You don’t get to claim I’m abusing you with my rage because I stripped you of your privileged fucking fantasy. You should be using rage to act and be the change you want to see. If you care and rage about injustice and inequality, then fucking DO something about it. A great step would be to help kill the rise of fascism in this country. Otherwise, I have no more fucking time for you and your privileged shenanigans.

aaron bird sir

The Manner in Which Sexual Abuse Cases are Handled by MCUSA

 

From: xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2016 1:29 PM
To: ErvinS@MennoniteUSA.org; clyde.kratz@virginiaconference.org
Subject: The manner in which sexual abuse cases are handled

 

I’m sure you’re aware of this:

http://www.ourstoriesuntold.com/pastor-duane-yoder-complaint/

I know past emails have been ignored. I know that a call to action from me means little to nothing for you.

I know evil when I see it, however.

Evil is in the suspension of credentials of an Executive Board member for performing a same sex wedding.

Evil is in the protection of sexual abusers.

Evil is in the refusal for a 3rd party transparent investigation without meddling or conflict of interests.

Evil is allowing a pastor with a “misconduct” past to become a pastor of a church without telling the church he has a past. You can’t use “forgiveness” and “forbearance”, because you quickly withdraw those concepts when it comes to your homophobia.

I hope you have trouble sleeping at night. I hope nightmares wake you up at night.

I hope your soul is troubled. Troubled from the harm you’ve caused. Troubled in the attempts to erase the harm you’ve caused so that people won’t see you as the monster you are inside.

I hope you sweat often in anxiety and fear.

I don’t normally wish for these psychological troubles onto people. But evil is deserving to be troubled and crushed.

Evil is in the leadership of MCUSA and VMC.

 

Fuck your religion. Fuck your God.

 

Why Bernie Sanders Needs to Concede

Bernie Sanders Joins Interfaith Roundtable At Washington D.C. Mosque

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, smiles during an interfaith roundtable in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.  Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

I didn’t really want to write this, but I am. I don’t want to seem like I’m gloating victory. I’m not. I WANT to stop spending any energy or attention on Bernie Sanders or his increasingly smaller band of followers. (There was a news article this past week about how Sanders fans are moving to Clinton faster than Clinton fans moved to Obama in 2008).

There have been some things that have happened over the last couple of days though that have just pushed me to the edge of just HAVING to write about this.  One of those things is watching Jessica Williams piece on her last episode of The Daily Show.

It was obvious to me (even though it wasn’t said), how bad sexism is in our country. And yes, women, you are not absolved from regurgitating sexist bullshit. Internalized misogyny and self-hate is a thing. We receive the same sexist messages in society that men receive about us.

Besides the obvious sexist undertones that refusing to concede (no matter the stated strategy for doing so) has, I believe his refusal to concede is feeding his followers to continue their fight against Clinton as if the primary wasn’t over. I have examples from TODAY of this evidence. The six people Jessica Williams interviewed are not isolated. There are a LOT of people on social media still repeating Republican nonsense arguments against Clinton, hoping for an email indictment from the FBI, saying she has stolen the primary nomination from Sanders, painting a picture of a corrupt and evil politician. I have examples from TODAY’s conversations on the internet. This isn’t some past crap I just want to bring up and dwell on. This example is a response to someone who brought up Arizona as proof of voter suppression. Except the facts about how that happened are left out so people can blame the DNC for what happened there to fit their narrative.

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Then, of course, are those who continually behave as if we have to be nice and stroke their egos as if that’s somehow going to “win them over” instead of them using facts, evidence, and actual morals to vote with.

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Yes, I know Sanders said he will vote for Clinton in November. But stating your intention to vote for the Democrat nominee is not quite enough. Go visit his website and they’re still collecting money for his campaign. His campaign is vaguely in a “next stage”. He repeats that his goal is to make sure Donald Trump is defeated in November, yet he’s holding on until the Convention with his pledged delegates to push for certain parts of his policy platform.

I’ve said in Facebook comments that I WANT him to continue pushing for a progressive platform. Running for President is not the only way to do it though. He can concede the primary and give up taking his fight all the way to the convention in Philadelphia. That doesn’t mean his progressive ideals are dead. To the contrary, he wouldn’t have done as well as he did in the primary if that were the case. There are many ways he can take the energy he’s collected and stump nationally for congressional, state, and local progressive candidates and really work on grass roots efforts to push for progressive policies. He can get people involved in politics. He can push for increased voter participation in non-presidential elections where voter turnout remains horribly deficient. Clearly our voices as voters DO matter, as evidenced by the national referendum Brexit vote in Britain.

The false narratives about Hillary Clinton don’t appear to be dying. And some people who are carrying these false narratives were once Sanders fans considering Trump to get their vote, just like the six people in The Daily Show interview. And it’s not because they think Trump is great, it’s because of sexism. People including some progressives like Elizabeth Warren have been called “traitors” and “sellouts”. Warren has not changed as a person and her beliefs, her policies, and what she fights for as a senator have not changed. Sanders should concede and put his full support behind Clinton. It does not represent a loss of integrity. It does not mean Progressive values are dead. But you know what should be dead? Sexism. And Bernie Sanders should be a leader on that front as a so-called progressive white man.

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When Family Comes Back to Haunt You (or try, anyway)

I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember I was earning my own money. I’m pretty sure I was still doing the newspaper route on our street and had not yet started earning better money working retail at Kmart yet, because $28.00 for a concert ticket was a lot of money to me. I was doing the paper route from around the age of 14 to 16ish. My younger sister wanted to go to a concert and its not that I was against her going to the concert, but my parents did not seem to have the extra money to spare to buy her a ticket, so they asked me to let her borrow it. By this time in my life, I knew quite well that “borrowing” really meant “taking”, so I knew I was never going to see that money again. So I stood up for myself and I told them “no”. Telling them “no” meant my dad’s reaction turned into a red-faced rage, getting in my face, and telling me I was the most selfish person he had ever known in his entire life.

The reality is, it was never my responsibility as their child to pay for another child’s anything. My dad could have sacrificed a week’s worth of cigarettes (unrealistic, I know, but not the point) to send his daughter to a concert. But it was easier to burden someone in the house who had a little money.  This was the man who would spend a couple hours at a time every so often watering his lawn so he’d have nice green grass in our sometimes dry summers and then yell at me about wanting to take a shower every day.

I can talk about these incidents now without the emotional weight they used to carry. I can’t say whether my father is a narcissist or not, but I do know he’s at least an emotionally manipulative person whom I feared for many years and who is vicious when he feels you’ve wronged him.

A few days ago, my youngest brother (there are 4 of us and I’m the oldest) unblocked me from Facebook and contacted me, wondering if it was ok for him to call me. I said it was and that I welcomed it. I pretty much had written off all of my siblings at this point, who all cling to our parents still and defend their behavior. I believe partially because I received the harshest discipline of the 4 of us for whatever reason. I no longer care to know what the reason is. It’s not my fault or my problem.

After just three conversations with my brother, I started having mixed feelings about him. Some are good feelings because we both love scenery pics, pics of the clouds and the sky, and animals. He also seemed to actually care and listen to what I had to say about things without getting upset. Finally! Someone with whom I could have some type of relationship in our dysfunctional family!

But then he is also gaslighting me. After telling him I was emotionally abused (both of us acknowledging we both carry different perspectives growing up), he said he believed me, but then followed up with “but I don’t think you were abused.” For a moment, I started to question myself again. But, only for a moment.

Then he took it upon himself after telling him about a more recent incident that occurred with my Dad before I started No Contact with him, to talk to Dad and get HIS side of the story and find out why he was upset with me, if at all. My brother got back to me and told me about this and then said “whoa, there’s a lot of things between you guys.” I think I handled it well for the moment, telling him that whatever it was, its between Dad and I. But then the more I thought about it, the more upset I was that my Dad thinks he actually has legitimate problems with me. The incidents in which I asserted myself is pretty much my life story with my parents as far as MY behavior. Sure, there was yelling and telling them off with choice curse words, but normally in response to emotional abuse. It took me a year of No Contact with either one of them to realize this about myself and to determine I was going to change how I respond to either one of them moving forward. I wanted less stress in my life and in my head. I hated how easily I got riled up and angry at them.

Shortly after my brother revealed he talked to Dad, I posted something about my father on Facebook. Immediately my brother confronted me in an instant message about “posting private family matters”.  And in that conversation was this:

why some family members don't talk to me

BOOM

Once again, familiar feelings creeping up of being made to feel I’m the bad guy. I’m the reason why my relationships with my dysfunctional family are garbage.

His statement is what is actual garbage. I’ve had a problem with family members wanting to talk to me since LONG before Facebook was even invented. Facebook changed nothing about my relationships with my family. The only thing that changed was that at times, some family members knew I talked to my friends. At the same time, I’ve learned about how the family talks ABOUT me amongst themselves. So, THAT’S ok while not coming to me about anything to ask me why I do what I do or how I feel about anything, but its NOT ok to talk to my friends about why I do what I do and how I feel about things. OK, FAMILY. GOT IT.

So, Joe if you chose to click on this link and read it, great. I HOPE you do what I think you’re about to do and run to Mom and Dad and tell them how horrible of a person I am for airing dirty laundry permanently on the internet where anyone and everyone can read how shitty of a person Dad was to me.  And really, the fact you would even help Dad paint me as the bad person just like he did to me as a teenager, makes you just as shitty. Just because you do it with a neutral voice without the hint of rage, doesn’t mean you’re not sending the same message. It took me a few days to figure it out, because sometimes manipulation takes some time to see through. But I see it. And I’m using MY best weapon doing what the family hates me doing the most:

TALKING ABOUT IT ON THE INTERNET.

If you don’t want your abusive behavior to be known, then perhaps you shouldn’t be an abuser. Silence is the abuser’s favorite power and fuck that shit.

The Gospel of Sexual Repression

I’m going to share something very personal and private because it exposes how harmful religion is to people and their marriages.

When I met my husband, I was still a virgin at the age of 21. The farthest I had gone with anyone before him was my first boyfriend touching my chest outside of my clothing (and at the time was deemed a fuck up and it never happened again). So, I really hadn’t been on any bases outside of making out kissing prior to my husband. HE on the other hand, was 29 when we met, had been engaged twice before, and has had, as is normal, several different sex partners.  He was way more experienced than I was. This has been both a blessing and a curse in our marriage. There are ways in which the inexperience has made me inadequate. That does not mean my husband makes me feel inadequate. He has told me I satisfy and love him in ways nobody else had ever showed him before. He also cares about ME feeling good too and I feel satisfied and happy. We wouldn’t both be married happily after 15 years if that weren’t the case. Some older people I’ve spoken too were surprised to hear we still cuddle on the couch and still have sex. I won’t get into the details of our private conversation that made the inadequacy hit me like a brick, but it left me feeling very upset and pissed off…but not at my husband.  I know this isn’t a reflection on me as a person by any means.  And when he and I started having sex before we were married, I had Christians concern troll me and my life…AT THE AGE OF 21. I mean, I wasn’t looking to be a nun, for fucks sake.

But I still can’t help but cry and grieve at how naïve I am in some ways and I blame my parents and Christianity. My parents failed to have any sex talks with me beyond the birds and the bees basics. I was never told that it was ok for me to masturbate as a girl or encouraged to discover myself sexually. Not once. When I was in the Independent Fundamental Baptist church as a teenager, physical contact beyond hand shaking during church with members of the opposite sex was a huge no-no and was strictly enforced. And my first boyfriend’s conservative Christian family had pretty strict limits too though not quite as harsh as the IBF church. Kissing and making out was ok along with hugging and holding hands. But that was pretty much everything that was allowed. Even talking about sex was dangerous, because then you might start having sex and that was definitely wrong before marriage.

I did a little bit of trying to discover myself sexually in secret as a teenager, but I felt horrible about it like I was committing sin and doing Satan’s work, so I didn’t do enough to actually learn much about myself at all. In fact, I know my boyfriend didn’t masturbate either, because there were times we would make out and he would have an “accident” in his pants. He was so ignorant sexually, he wouldn’t let me put my hand on his thigh after this one incident because he was afraid (besides being embarrassed), that sperm would somehow find its way into my vagina by me touching his leg outside of his clothes in comfort with my hand. I was already 18 years old when this shit happened.

Some of this shit may sound funny, but its not. Evangelicals and Fundamentalists do catastrophic sexual harm to its followers by preaching this purity before marriage bullshit. I’m speaking on a different level than controlling women.  It harms both young men and women with the type of sexual ignorance that people who are old enough to vote should not have about themselves or each other.

Everything I know about sex I learned from my husband. Thank the gods he isn’t a conservative Christian, otherwise that sentence would be worse than it is. But its still bad. Although I would change nothing about my marriage and I would change nothing about how my husband and I feel about each other, I should have had more knowledge and experience before we met. And I know I can’t change the past at all. And I know I can use my experience to do better with my kids. But I’m not alone. There are probably millions of Christians who are so afraid… I don’t even know why really …they do this permanent harm called sexual repression to their kids.  It passes down from generation to generation except for those of us who break the cycle. By all rights, my first boyfriend and I should have been educated about safe sex. We should have been encouraged to masturbate as teenagers and discover ourselves. And we should have been allowed, within the confines of a normal and healthy relationship, to discover each other and learn regardless of whether the relationship would eventually end. In fact, it is my belief (although now I know breaking up was best for us both), that a major part of the relationship ending was sexual repression. I know his parents pressured him to either end it or get married because they were afraid after a year and a half we would soon no longer resist and start having sex and since we were young and in college, they knew were weren’t ready to get married. There was no room for safe sex and birth control for a 19 year old college student and her 21 year old boyfriend in his parents eyes without pressuring marriage as a solution.

So now, I sit and grieve that my ignorance has followed me even to this day. That I was robbed of developing normally. That part of me won’t know how to help my children when I allow them to do what I wasn’t allowed to do because I won’t be able to relate to them.

I don’t know what the Christian purpose of this ignorance is, but I hate Christianity for it. And I’m angry at my parents for doing nothing but teach me what I learned in 5th grade sex-ed about periods, eggs and sperm. I hate people and I hate religion for forcing me to suffer. I hate people and I hate religion for restricting me from learning about myself. I hate people and I hate religion for restricting me from expressing myself.

 

Fuck Christianity and fuck its Gospel of Sexual Repression.

blownupwedding