I've been up for a while, and I've been reading some articles that pain me. My hands are actually shaking. I'll explain more about myself and why I'm so upset after the news.
-- The Occupy Festival set to go on in Chicago just before the NATO summit has been postponed to a yet to be determined date. The festival was planned to be musically oriented, with dozens of bands and musical groups, but none were scheduled at the time of postponement. Occupiers working on the festival say that several changes will be made, including a name change, lowering of ticket prices, and proceeds should be a 100% return to the movement.
-- Also in Chicago, anti-war protesters have stepped out to warn the city not to repeat the events of the 1968 Democratic Convention protests. Currently, it seems as if the past is repeating itself, as the current mayor is denying permits in the same fashion as the mayor in 1968. The confrontations of the Convention became violent clashes between police and protesters, and Chicago has yet to pull itself from the rubble of a bad reputation stemming from the bursts of violence. The 1968 mayor tried to drive the anti-Vietnam War protesters out, and many Occupiers and activists believe that the current mayor obviously did not learn from his mistakes.
-- Just one night after a man claiming to be an Occupy "leader" stabbed another Occupier and fled, another man has been stabbed at the same location. The attacker this time was not an Occupier, but rather a man who approached Occupiers and began to scream about conspiracy theories concerning the World Trade Center and Occupier Nick Shaw. As one protester known as "Jimbo" began to shoo him away, the assailant turned and stabbed him in the neck. Jimbo was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.
-- An OWS Occupier is wanted for murder after a fight led to a man being killed by a subway train. The homeless man, Ryan Beauchamp, got into an altercation on a train with a Psychology student from LaGuardia Community College, Joshua Basin. After they both exited the train, the fight turned physical, with both men falling onto the tracks. Beauchamp was able to climb back up onto the platform, but Basin was struck and killed by an oncoming train. Beauchamp had a previous arrest stemming from an Occupy protest, which led police to identify him. Police are looking for tips to the whereabouts of 33 year old Beauchamp.
Here is a great article from Salon about the Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin, and how Occupy is involved. It's a really insightful read, and it makes a lot of sense.
WARNING: Opinion piece ahead. My insights, my problems, my words. Take them as you will.
So I said I would give you a little more insight on me, as well as an explanation as to why I'm upset. So here you go:
I know most of you reading this have read my other posts, with plenty of rants included. I've told you why I Occupy (If you haven't seen that one, look for the 99th post.) I don't think I've given you too much insight into my actual personality though.
I suffer from a disease called Borderline Personality Disorder. It's a disorder that affects everyone differently, to a point. Before I was diagnosed, I became extremely anti-social and deeply logical. I'm kind of like Spock, except I feel empathy and anger (which isn't like Spock at all, but just keep listening.) I have a very small filter between my brain and my mouth, which tends to mean I'm blatantly honest to a fault. (It's also why I curse a lot, regardless of my ability to be a very "wordy" person.) I can control it sometimes, but not always. I'm medicated, but that simply stops the panic attacks and makes it easier for me to get along in public settings. It does not help with the extreme logic, and I'm not entirely sure I would want it to. With that logic comes confusion. When I get confused about other people's lack of logic, I get upset because I do not know how to handle them. What do you say to a person who is behaving illogically? I don't know, and that can actually push me into a panic. I see things very differently from most people. I have learned that Blacks, Whites, Asians, Native Americans, Hispanics, and most other ancestries (We don't use the term race in Forensics; it's a socially constructed thing and we work in science) have physical differences in their bone structures. This is not due to genetics, but rather evolution. There is nothing genetically different about any of us.
That's logical to me. The color of your skin is merely a descriptive feature. I'm not afraid of Black people. I'm not afraid of Hispanics. I know a lot of people are, and I can't make sense of it. People will say "That's how I was raised," and I look at them like they grew another head. You can't think for yourself yet? You still carry around your parent's prejudice because you don't want to upset them? What's a good reason for carrying around an obviously incorrect belief? I also can't stand the "It's a stereotype, and they're usually not wrong. *insert race here* does *insert negative action here* and that's just that." Umm.... You just even called it a stereotype yourself, which means it isn't accurate. If you don't understand the definition of stereotype, you really need to stop using it until you look it up.
So for me, the Trayvon Martin case is a big deal for several reasons.
- You would have to be deaf not to hear the racial slur that Zimmerman says on the tape. But some people say they just hear static. You know why? Because they are so biased against hearing it that they block it out of their minds! They CHOOSE not to hear it. That's illogical and upsetting to me.
- Many people believe that since Zimmerman is of Hispanic ancestry, that he couldn't possibly be racist against Blacks. He's a minority too! Just because someone is a minority doesn't mean they can't hate other minority groups. Some people even hate their own! It's sad to see, and very illogical, but it happens.
- Some people say that Whites have no right to be upset about this. I'm White, and I'm damned upset. And I have a right to be! We ALL, regardless of our "race" or ethnicity, have every right to be upset about the injustices we see. I also firmly believe it to be our duty to not only be offended by them, but also to speak up to stop them. The fact that many of us would rather bury our heads in the sand and ignore it simply because we don't belong to that group is not only illogical, but offensive to the human race as a whole.
- The smear campaign going on against Trayvon Martin is ridiculous, and has only been set in motion to protect Zimmerman, who is the son of a retired judge and court clerk. Painting Martin as the bad guy makes people feel like they don't have to speak up. If Martin had been carrying a bottle of whiskey or a baggie of marijuana, this would never have made the news. It would have been simply another "White" guy taking out a "Bad Black guy." And no one would care. That's illogical... and fucked up. Think about it. We don't care if a Black man, or any other minority for that matter, is KILLED, as long as he was doing something considered criminal or even just deviant. What the hell is wrong with us?
So yeah, I'm a "White" 26 year old female who is talking about racial inequality. There are all kinds of inequalities in this world, be it racial, gender, sexual orientation, class, ethnicity, religious, or any of the many, many other kinds. It's illogical. It's illogical that once people find out I'm of Romani (gypsy) descent, I am treated differently. It's illogical that if my skin were 4 shades darker, I would be treated as a criminal, even if I acted the same way I do now. It's illogical that we, as humans, believe that a few millimeters of skin can make the difference.
I heard a woman say something as I watched videos last night, and it resonated very strongly with me.
"If you cut me, I will bleed red. If you cut her, she will bleed red. And all tears are salty."
Solidarity to all, regardless of what you look like, believe in, who you love, where you are from, or what you do. We are all human, and should be treated as such.
Have a good day.
firstname.lastname@example.org -- should you need me.