bookmark_borderResolve and pain

My chest is tight, my arms and legs feel heavy, and there’s a lump in my throat, although my tears are somehow locked up inside of me on this cold and rainy morning. I am angered and heartbroken, as I have been so many times over the last three and a half years. As always, I struggle to find the words to express why I feel the way that I do, and why exactly the things that people have done are so horrible and have had such a profound negative impact on me.

Angela Douglas, the executive director of the Jefferson School African American Cultural Center, is the cause of the latest attack of agony, but she is just one among many. Again and again, more times than I can count or my brain can comprehend, people who think and act similarly to her have caused similar agony attacks, filling the past three and a half years with relentless, unbearable, indescribable pain.
I have no choice but to go on. I know that the actions of Douglas and those like her are horrible, and I know that I am right to be so upset, even if words are inadequate for the task of providing a full explanation. I believe that I am a good person and that what I am doing is important. I know that I am morally right and that Douglas is morally wrong.

But I am in so much pain.

And there is, seemingly, nothing that I can do about it. I am only one person. I do not have the power to stop people like Angela Douglas from committing their hideous, sadistic, sickening actions. Our society has decided that actions like these are acceptable, and that there are more important things to condemn, more important things to fight against. I disagree with this stance as strongly as it is possible for a human being to disagree with anything, but I have no power to convince society to adopt my perspective. All that I can do is to continue being a good person, continue doing what is right, continue doing what I can to stand up for the historical figures.
I don’t believe in hacking historical figures’ bodies to pieces, sawing their heads off, cutting their faces off, and burning them in a furnace.

I believe in honoring them, celebrating them, protecting them, and keeping them alive.
And that is what I will try to do, with the humble amount of resources and power that are available to me.

If other people don’t agree with me, if other people don’t find this important, then that is a negative reflection on them, not on me.

bookmark_borderA poem (of sorts)

Crickets chirp quietly

And leaves waft down from the trees.

Branches cast shadows

Through the moonlight that bathes the yard.

The serene oasis

Stands in sharp contrast

With the atrocity that took place earlier

Somewhere far away

Yet somehow close at the same time.

My statue waits for me,

His bronze skin glinting in the soft light.

Dead leaves crunch under my feet

As I go to tell him what has befallen his comrade

But there is no need;

He already knows.

“I don’t have to tell you, do I, Stonewall? You can feel it. You know what happened. Your heart is sad, and mine is, too. We will grieve, and mourn, together. You are the one thing that makes me feel just a tiny bit better, that makes this pain bearable. Things like this, are why it is so important that you exist. Things like this are why I decided to bring you into the world.”

“Don’t worry, they can’t hurt you here. I own this land, and I will protect you. I will keep you safe.”

“I’ll try to get some sleep tonight, and I hope that you can, too. See you in the morning.”

Excruciating pain

Serves also as a reminder

Of the path that I’ve chosen.

This land is mine,

A world that bigotry, intolerance, and cruelty cannot touch

In which a little statue lives

Safe, protected, beautiful, magnificent

Who wouldn’t have been born otherwise.









Again and again I’ve tried to find words adequate to describe actions like the ones that took place in Charlottesville today, and again and again the English language comes up short.

Acts like these have taken place so many times over the past three and a half hellish years that I cannot keep track, my brain cannot comprehend the overwhelming magnitude of what has happened.

Yet again, the winning side of the war decides, for some inexplicable reason, to beat up on the losing side.

Yet again, the strong, powerful establishment decides to torment the rebels, the dissenters, the underdogs, all while preposterously claiming that they are somehow disadvantaged and oppressed.

One meager statue representing human diversity, representing dissent, representing being different from the norm, amidst a sea of essentially identical statues all representing mindless conformity, deemed unacceptable in their eyes.

Having relentlessly criticized my clothes, my hair, my shoes, my socks, ridiculed the way that I speak, bullied me because I like different music and movies and books than they do, none of that was enough for them. My special interest – the one thing that makes my life worth living – had to be destroyed too, the public spaces of our country redesigned to ensure that I receive the message that I am hated, that I am unacceptable, that I am sick and deviant, that I am not welcome to exist.

I am deemed unworthy of even a single work of public art making me feel accepted, making me feel included.

Yet again my body, mind, and soul are consumed by agonizing, unbearable pain.

There are no words that can fully convey how much I hate the people – and I use that word loosely – who did this.

They do not hold the moral high ground.

They forfeited any claim to it a long time ago.

They deserve the most severe punishment possible.

But even that would not be enough, because no punishment could possibly be as severe as the punishment that they have inflicted on me – an innocent person who has done nothing wrong – through their actions.

bookmark_borderColumbus Day 2023

For the past four years, for reasons that I probably don’t need to elaborate on, Columbus Day has been an occasion for turmoil and emotional upheaval. 

The day started out with the promise of more of the same. The never-ending list of atrocities, of heartless attacks against the thing that makes my life worth living, was weighing on me as it so often does. The horrific images and vicious words made it difficult to sleep, as they so often do, and I woke up later than I planned, with my brain feeling foggy and my limbs feeling like lead. I missed the bus, and after walking to the train station, with ice cold wind ripping at my clothing and sunlight shining directly into my eyes, I missed the train and had to wait a long time for the next one. 

Finally, I arrived in Boston with flowers and a note. My plan was to visit Christopher Columbus, say hello, and take a few photos of him. Then, if I couldn’t physically go up to him to leave the flowers and note, which I figured would probably be the case because he is located at the Knights of Columbus building which is enclosed by a fence, I would head to his former location, where a heartbreaking empty pedestal still stands, and leave the flowers and note atop the pedestal. I wasn’t certain whether I even wanted to go through with this plan, because I was running so far behind schedule, and because seeing the empty pedestal and the people happily going about their business around it, is just so painful. 

To my surprise, the gate was open. There were a bunch of men standing around in the parking lot, who I assumed to be members of the Knights of Columbus. So I summoned the courage to walk through it and go up to them. 

“Sorry to interrupt,” I began, “but I’m a big fan of your statue, and I was wondering if I could leave some flowers for him.”

One of the Knights responded in the affirmative and even offered to take my picture with Christopher. 

I left the note and the flowers, and wished them all a happy Columbus Day. 

I am glad that the Knights were so kind and welcoming, and also that I happened to stop by while they were there, giving me an opportunity to leave my gift for Chris. 

Chris means so much to me, that it is strange to think that I had never actually gotten this close to him before, or had my picture taken with him. 

At this moment, my heart is full. 

Happy Columbus Day.

bookmark_borderWhy I celebrate Columbus Day

I celebrate individuals who are remarkable, not mundane and ordinary.

I celebrate courage, not cowardice.

I celebrate independence of thought, not mindless conformity to the dictates of social norms and political correctness.

I celebrate things that are meaningful, not meaningless. 

I celebrate things that are interesting, not bland, dull, and gray.

I celebrate people who stand up to bullies. I don’t celebrate bullies. 

I celebrate a beautiful man – in body, mind, and spirit – not those who cruelly smash and rip and tear his body to pieces. 

I don’t celebrate people who strangle, drown, burn, and lynch others for being quirky and eccentric and different and thinking for themselves. 

I don’t celebrate people who inflict horrific and excruciating pain.

I don’t celebrate the deliberate infliction of harm for no other reason than thinking you are superior to other people because you are part of the majority and they are part of the minority.

I don’t celebrate contemptuous, self-righteous intolerance.

I don’t celebrate people who seek to obliterate the cultures, perspectives, viewpoints, and stories of others.

I side with people who have actually been harmed, oppressed, discriminated against, wronged, traumatized. Not with people who just pretend that they have.

Therefore, I celebrate Columbus Day, not Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

If that makes me a white supremacist, so be it.

bookmark_borderThere’s nothing “bold” about mindless conformity

The above is a social media post made by an organization called the Red Hawk Native American Council, urging people to contact New York City Mayor Eric Adams to ask to him to inflict harm and pain on autistic people by abolishing Columbus Day.

Let’s rebut the points made in this post one by one:

Columbus Day does not perpetuate a narrative that erases anything. Abolishing it and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, on the other hand, erases the existence of people like me – an autistic person whose special interest is historical figures. Abolishing Columbus Day sends the message that my interests are shameful and that my thoughts, feelings, experiences, and perspectives do not matter. This erases my existence.

Additionally, contrary to what is stated in the post, Columbus Day honors the existence of people who are different, are non-conformist, and think for themselves, a category that includes autistic people like me. But yes, the existence of autistic people is totally the same thing as “colonization, exploitation, and violence”…. NOT.

To officially recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day is to obliterate a day honoring people who are different, non-conformist, and think for themselves. This is by its very nature the exact opposite of taking a “bold stance” and the exact opposite of demonstrating “commitment to inclusivity.”

To take a stance against the honoring of people who are different, non-conformist, and think for themselves, is to take a stance in favor of sameness and mindless conformity. And such a stance is the antithesis of a bold one.

Additionally, to determine that people who are different, non-conformist, and think for themselves no longer deserve to be honored in a society is the antithesis of a commitment to inclusivity. It is actually a commitment to discrimination and exclusion.

Given that Columbus is being attacked, destroyed, and obliterated across the entire country and much of the world, joining these attacks is the exact opposite of being bold and the exact opposite of being inclusive. Joining in with a politically favored, bullying majority against an unpopular minority is not bold, but cowardly. It is not inclusive, but intolerant and discriminatory. It is the epitome of mindless conformity. 

Other than that, their argument makes perfect sense.

Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day sets an example for future generations all right… a bad example. It sets an example of trampling on the rights of autistic and otherwise “different” people, hurting us merely for being different, and telling us that our thoughts, feelings, and perspectives do not matter and that we shouldn’t be allowed to exist. In other words, it sets an example of cowardice, mindless conformity, discrimination, bullying, exclusion, intolerance, cruelty, meanness, and actively inflicting harm and pain on innocent people who have done nothing wrong.

I’m not sure why anyone would consider this a good thing.