An Open Letter to my Conservative Acquaintances

You and I could have met in any number of ways, because of mutual interests, mutual friends, sharing online forums, or simply by chance. Like anyone, we won’t always agree on every subject, and that’s perfectly fine. We can even disagree amicably about fairly big issues without it negatively affecting our friendship. If, however, you are more interested in pointing a finger at past administrations (which certainly were imperfect), blaming asylum seekers who simply don’t want to be murdered in their countries of origin, and pooh-poohing draconian policies as not your problem than you are in caring how devastating the current situation is on innocent children and already traumatized asylum seekers, there’s something you should know.

I don’t trust you.

You may not care whether I trust you, and that’s your prerogative. Be aware, however, that I absolutely don’t believe you if you say you wouldn’t let harm come to me and my family.

But they are breaking the law! Citizens who break the law don’t get their kids with them in prison. Why should we allow it for people who enter America without permission?” We have a process for asylum seekers, and it involves them making it to US soil before they can request it. Requesting asylum is not a crime. According to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services website:

To obtain asylum through the affirmative asylum process you must be physically present in the United States. You may apply for asylum status regardless of how you arrived in the United States or your current immigration status. 1

I really don’t care who started the policies we have now, though it’s easy enough to research if you care about the facts. What matters is that the practice is damaging children for a lifetime2, injuring their brains just so America can be “tough on illegal immigration”.
Even if someone entering the country does not have a valid asylum claim, it’s a federal misdemeanor3 – the same level of crime as using the American flag on clothing4. Do you also believe that all the people who think they’re being super patriotic by wearing that t-shirt with the flag on it should have their children forcibly removed from them and taken to often undisclosed locations? If you do, what the hell is wrong with you? If not, it is imperative that we make sure the punishment fits the crime instead of allowing people to be herded into concentration camps. Before you object to the term, consider the following:

Yes, after 1941, concentration camps held Jews to prevent them from leaving Germany — but also to consolidate them for extermination. However, for more than eight years earlier, the camps generally were used for the opposite purpose: to force Jews to emigrate from Germany by making life intolerable, in part by separating men from their families. This is precisely the kind of important historical nuance lost in the hysteria surrounding Trump’s callous immigration policy. There are valuable comparisons to be made, but they must be historically informed.

These detention facilities for refugee children can rightly be labeled “concentration camps.” The Nazis do not own the term irrevocably, as it refers to prisonlike facilities where individuals are forcibly detained because of who they are. That meaning was applied to the British camps in South Africa where the term was coined during the Boer War. It would also be appropriate for the U.S. “internment camps” for Japanese Americans during World War II. We can call today’s U.S. border detention centers “concentration camps” and be within the realm of historical accuracy. By the same token, they are not Auschwitz. These children are undergoing terrible trauma, but they are not being murdered.5

Yes, the separation as policy has changed, but thousands of children who were already separated from their families have no guarantee of ever seeing them again6. It’s not enough to just say, “Okay, we won’t do it anymore.” No, we have to reunite each of these families and provide trauma counseling for the damage that we, as a nation, have inflicted upon them.

You should care more about our own kids than what happens to the kids of lawbreakers!” some say. Did you know that it’s possible to care about both? Wanting humane treatment of people fleeing persecution in other countries does not diminish how much we care about what happens with our own citizens; in fact, many of us see the matters as inextricably linked.

This, in fact, leads me back to why I don’t trust you. You’re more interested in blaming Obama and demonizing immigrants than you are in being humane. If you care more about justifying cruelty based on your understanding of the law than you do about treating humans with basic human dignity, then I absolutely believe you’d do nothing if the laws changed to harm me and my family. We’ve seen an uptick of anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and white nationalism recently. What happens if it’s decided that:

  • my child and I are on the undesirable list because of our Jewish ancestry;
  • multiiracial marriages are outlawed (not for the first time in American history) and my marriage to my spouse becomes invalidated;
  • or, they come after disabled people, as my child and I are both autistic?

After all, if you don’t see or prefer to excuse the injustice that’s happening right now, why would it be any different if the laws changed again to allow more human rights abuses? I don’t think you’d lift a finger to help me and my family; you’d just look the other way or rub it in our faces that we deserved it somehow.

We tried to get you to care when Republicans kept excusing rape in unconscionable ways7, but that wasn’t enough for you. We tried asking you to care when Trump demonstrated repeatedly that he is racist8, but you made excuses for him. You think of yourself as a good person, and I know you have some good traits. Why do you continue to excuse the inexcusable?

Don’t you think that’s a little dramatic?” you might say. Absolutely not, and I will explain why. I understand that you may believe that you aren’t racist, you aren’t personally anti-immigrant, and that you just want a strong rule of law, but if you throw human rights out in an effort to feel stable and safe yourself, you have a lot in common with those who didn’t speak or act against the Third Reich and Jim Crow.

People needed and craved stability; in the case of the Jim Crow South and the Third Reich, that stability was offered by politicians and demagogues in exchange for participation in a strict and violent racial system. This stability afforded everyday whites in both the U.S. South and Bavaria Germany the opportunity to achieve their desired futures and to avoid imagined apocalypses. The opportunity to realize their expectations convinced far too many people to enforce, support, or at least look the other way as African Americans and Jews were stripped of their human rights, their dignity, and sometimes their very lives.9

If you allow abuses of human rights to continue without speaking up against it and doing what you can to stop it, you are complicit. These abuses cannot continue in the face of enough opposition.

It matters less who implemented particular policies than it does what we do about it now that we know what’s happening, in whatever time frame it actually started. How we choose to respond says what kind of people we want to be and whether we believe that humans have inherent worth and rights to be treated humanely.

Oh, but do go on about Hillary’s emails.

1Obtaining Asylum in the United States.” USCIS, 19 Oct. 2015, http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum/obtaining-asylum-united-states.

2Wan, William. “What Separation from Parents Does to Children: ‘The Effect Is Catastrophic’.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 18 June 2018, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-separation-from-parents-does-to-children-the-effect-is-catastrophic/2018/06/18/c00c30ec-732c-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html?noredirect=on.

38 U.S. Code § 1325 – Improper Entry by Alien.” LII / Legal Information Institute, 30 Sept. 1996, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1325.

44 U.S. Code § 8 – Respect for Flag.” LII / Legal Information Institute, 12 Aug. 1998, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/4/8.

5Beorn, Waitman Wade. “Perspective | Yes, You Can Call the Border Centers ‘Concentration Camps,’ but Apply the History with Care.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 June 2018, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/06/20/yes-you-can-call-the-border-detention-centers-concentration-camps-but-apply-the-history-with-care/?utm_term=.eddc81f6c87f.

6Solon, Olivia. “Fate of 2,300 Separated Children Still Unclear despite Trump’s Executive Order.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 June 2018, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/20/trump-family-separation-policy-reuniting-ngo-burden.

7FACT CHECK: Republicans on Rape.” Snopes.com, 14 Feb. 2017, http://www.snopes.com/fact-check/personal-foul/.

8Silva, Christianna. “A Full List of Trump’s ‘Racist’ Comments about Immigrants, Muslims and Others.” Newsweek, 12 Jan. 2018, http://www.newsweek.com/trumps-full-list-racist-comments-about-immigrants-muslims-and-others-779061.

9Rountree, Ajanet. “Everyday Expectation: Complicity in the Third Reich and Jim Crow South.” UAB Institute for Human Rights Blog, 19 Apr. 2018, http://cas.uab.edu/humanrights/2018/04/23/everyday-expectation-complicity-in-the-third-reich-and-jim-crow-south/.

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Posted in Human rights, Immigration, news, politics, rights and responsibilities, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Confession – I Was An Autism Mom™

The Bullshit Fairy

Well kind of. I tried to be. Because I thought that’s what you did when your child got diagnosed with Autism. I wore puzzle pieces proudly and fought like a warrior.

But I never really fit in. I never for one second believed my Autistic child was broken or a problem to be solved. I saw that the puzzle piece seemed to be “the thing” that unified us all, so I wore it and when I started blogging, I made the puzzle piece part of my logo for The Colour Fairy.

The Colour Fairy Logo _Puzzle Piece _Bullshit

And I kept finding little puzzle pieces on the ground in random places, which made me feel all warm and tingly inside.

The Colour Fairy _PUzzle Piece on the Ground _Bullshit

But my blog and Facebook Page, was again, not like the other Mom’s.

I embraced my son’s uniqueness and mine. I never shared intimate photos or wrote about how hard my life was. I would speak about…

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Product Review: Turan (Aphrodite) Oil by Lykeia Botanica

I’m a big fan of customized oil blends for religious/devotional purposes, making them at home myself at times.  As such, I was thrilled to receive a tester of a lovely new oil for Turan (Etruscan name for Aphrodite).

2017-04-06 22.39.37

This devotional oil by Lykeia Botanica is described as:

  • Over a broken up cinnamon stick
  • Rose oil
  • Bergamot oil
  • Myrrh oil
  • Neroli oil
  • in an argan oil base

Rose and myrrh oils are frequently found in the scents I wear, but not as often the bergamot or neroli; that being said, I love this oil.  It’s well balanced, fresh but subtle, and has complex undertones.  The aroma is stronger in the vial that on the body, as one might expect, and it’s nice and light on the skin.  The fragrance is barely noticeable after a while, which suits me just fine because of my olfactory sensitivities.

Probably because of the rose oil and argan oil, the oil leaves the skin very soft and silky as well, which seems very appropriate for the Goddess to whom this oil is dedicated.

If you’re the kind of person who likes using oils on statuary, a little of this would go a long way, and the purchase and use of this oil would be luxuriant and honoring.  Very nicely done!

 

DISCLOSURE:  I received a tester of this oil for free in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you, Lykeia Botanica!

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An Open Letter to my Parents

Dear Mom and Dad,

I know we frequently disagree on political matters and because we care for one another, we tend to not bring up politics around each other. Generally speaking, that’s a good policy; but there are times when it’s important that we DO discuss matters that have great impact on us. This is one of those times. I hope that you will read this with an open heart, follow/read the links, and attempt to understand where I’m coming from.

I and my immediate family are aghast that Donald Trump won. He has represented nothing but hatefulness from the beginning, mocking the disabled, behaving abysmally to Latinos, threatening to make a registry for people of a differing faith (Muslims) and export them, lying and committing fraud (and being caught in the lies/fraud) more often than telling the truth, and he’s an admitted sexual predator with multiple victims going back for years. He was even endorsed by the KKK.

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2016/11/09/heres-why-we-grieve-today/

Since the election, there have been MANY hate crimes against the very people that Trump has acted badly toward. Just within my circle of friends (and only the incidents I know about):

  • a woman in a wheelchair was told she didn’t deserve to live
  • a woman was harassed/threatened for “looking like a dyke”
  • a man was harassed/threatened for appearing “too gay” because he was in a suit
  • a man was harassed/threatened for being gay
  • more than one woman was groped because the assailant figured it was no problem now that Trump was elected.

In each of these cases, Trump was mentioned by the perpetrators; not one of them reported to the police. Keep that in mind when you see reports of how much hate crime is being committed, as many won’t report. There have been SO many incidents against Muslims, Jews, black people, Latinos, women, and others since the election, and hundreds of them mention Trump by name.

Trump only speaks out against the violence against others when pressed to do so, yet he seems more annoyed about the cast of a Broadway show asking Pence to be fair to all Americans than people committing violence in his name against people he already disparaged.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/civil-rights-group-documents-nearly-900-hate-incidents-after-presidential-election/2016/11/29/de97e88a-b654-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-cards_mhp-card-national%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.0e2ab2bd0973

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/us/politics/hamilton-cast-mike-pence-donald-trump.html

On the day Dad’s pacemaker was replaced, I was in the waiting room with Mom when she asked me about the safety pins my son and I were putting on. I thought, considering how the two of you raised me to care for my neighbor that she would be proud when I told her it was a non-partisan way to let people who now feel unsafe because of the way the election went and the ways that some of his supporters have been deciding they can harass others know that we are safe people to be around and that we will stand up for them if we see them being mistreated by others because of who they are. No, Mom instead gave me a disgusted look, though a lady in the waiting room who didn’t even know us thought enough of the effort that she took a safety pin from me and immediately put it on.

We all have to stand up for each other, regardless of political affiliation, gender, ability, nationality, religion, or whom we love. Saying, “I won’t sit by and let you be mistreated in my presence without objection,” is not saying one agrees with everything about that person, just that we won’t be part of the problem that allows this to continue. I was particularly shocked when I heard Mom, a sexual assault survivor herself talking to another sexual assault survivor, saying that Trump’s talk about grabbing women by the genitalia was just “locker room talk”. REALLY?? No, that’s rape culture. Good men don’t do that. Men who don’t assault women don’t brag about not waiting for consent. Don’t make excuses for a sexual predator who has emboldened would-be assailants to go ahead and harm women. I do not accept that.

We’re supposed to have a right to freedom of religion in this country, but Muslims and Jews have been targets a lot lately with Trump being cited as reason they are unwelcome and should be scared.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/fbi-hate-crimes-muslims-surge-67-percent-161114175259237.html

I also want you to think about this; you may not agree with the science that says that one’s sexual preference is not a choice, but you have more than one relative who is in the LGBT grouping. Every bit of legislation that diminishes the rights of LGBT people is against parts of your family. Are you okay with that? I’m not.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/i-love-youbut-what-your-trump-vote-tells-my_us_581cd369e4b044f827a78c4f

If that’s not important to you, consider that my son and I have both been diagnosed with autism. Trump is terrible toward people who have differences, including spreading oft-debunked lies about vaccines causing autism.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hannah-brown/if-you-love-someone-with-_b_12818002.html

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/trumps-pick-to-head-the-nih-called-autistic-kids-brats-who-should-cut-the-act-out/

Disabled people who count on the ACA because they were denied health coverage before will now be at serious risk, especially since Paul Ryan and the Republican majority want to slash Medicare and Social Security. You were talking about retiring, Dad? Be aware that this has implications for you in addition to us; we rely upon those to get by.

http://www.vox.com/first-person/2016/11/9/13576712/trump-disability-policy-affordable-care-act

Oh, but he wants to keep refugees from pouring into our country. Considering how difficult it is to get into this country as a refugee, I’m really not worried about it.

http://www.newsweek.com/heres-process-refugees-have-go-through-enter-us-398254

Christians should also welcome them.

Hebrews 13:2, ESV Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Deuteronomy 10:19, NLT So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

Jeremiah 22:3, NLT This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors… Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows…

Leviticus 19:34, NIV The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

“But I’m not a racist/misogynist/xenophobe!” you might say. Okay, but apparently those things weren’t deal breakers to you. You were perfectly fine with voting for someone who endorsed prejudice and assault because he gave lip service to something else you cared about. You were willing to ignore that he is a provable liar and bigot.

Trump has already begun to appoint white supremacists like Steve Bannon to his cabinet. He’s already showing us that he is no friend to people who aren’t in the extremely narrow group of people he respects. I’m not asking you to suddenly change all your views and become people you aren’t. I AM asking that you consider how terrified some of us are about being targeted now that fascists are about to be in office. This is how Nazi Germany started out. As an autistic woman of a bit of Jewish descent who cares about people who aren’t like me in various ways, I implore you to consider that this may not be a happy occasion for many of us.

https://storify.com/miniver/how-fascism-accumulates-power-by-testing-people

I know this is a difficult time to be sending this message, but I need you to understand. I love you very much.

Your loving daughter

Posted in autism, disability rights, honor, LGBTQI, news, politics, religion, rights and responsibilities, truth | Leave a comment

To Trump voters

People who voted for Trump fall into one of three categories:

  1. People who believed Trump would attempt to fulfill his campaign promises.
  2. People who didn’t believe Trump would really attempt to fulfill his campaign promises but just wanted to vote against someone else (mainly Clinton).
  3. People who didn’t pay the least bit of attention to what Trump was about and just voted for him because he was Republican.

To those in the first category:
Are you basing this on wishful thinking? Trump demonstrably lied and flip-flopped so many times just within his campaign (even within the same day at times) that it would be foolish, even laughable, to call him a man of his word. Also, what gives you the impression he will succeed with such a track record of failure after failure?

To those in the second category:
Are you basing this on wishful thinking? Were you just wanting to cast a protest vote without paying attention to the real consequences that even ATTEMPTING to fulfill his ideas may have on millions of Americans? How does intentionally voting in a hate-mongering liar make any sense? The Germans who voted in Hitler didn’t think he’d try to implement his proposals, but he did. Trump is now enabled by a Republican House and Senate, and they’re already making plans against much of America.

To those in the third category:
If you are going to cast a vote, which is a laudable thing to do, it is your DUTY to find out what the person you’re voting for actually is like, stands for, and does. It is highly irresponsible and dangerous to cast a vote for the most powerful position in the world without finding out this information first.

To ALL Trump voters who don’t consider yourself to be bigots:
Did you not stop to think even for a moment that electing someone who promotes hate and violence just might give an excuse to those parts of our citizenry that now feel emboldened to threaten, harass, and assault their neighbors? The blood that is being shed, the people that are being terrorized, the property that is being vandalized – all of that is on you. YOU took part in making this our new reality.

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Why you need to stop using the puzzle piece to represent autistic people

I hate the puzzle piece. I hate it with every fiber of my being. Therefore, since in a lot of places it’s national autism awareness month, I’m going to write about why you shouldn’t use the p…

Source: Why you need to stop using the puzzle piece to represent autistic people

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Autism Moms™ Allow Me To Explain

The Bullshit Fairy

I have noticed there has been an increase to activity on a post I made last year about Autism Moms™ and the way they use that “term” like a badge of honour.

I am also noticing an influx of Autism Moms™ right here on this page. But don’t be scared my dear followers. Just don’t make eye contact and you should be ok. 😉

I understand why they are angry. It’s the same reason they use the term Autism Mom™ in the first place. They want recognition for all the hard work they do and feel it’s their reward and their right to use it.

So rather than reply directly to their pages because I know they wont listen and there is soooo many of them, I thought I’ll write a blog post. The Autism Moms™ often will say the same thing over and over too, (at least they are consistent!) so I…

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