bookmark_border“F*** your dead” – the atrocity done to the Lion of Atlanta

It’s been several years since the atrocity that was done to the Lion of Atlanta, but I saw this Instagram post about it recently, and I felt the need to share my thoughts.

“F*** your dead,” wrote the excuses for human beings who committed this atrocity. And of course, “BLM.” 

The excuses for human beings also crossed out the word “Confederate” from the phrase “unknown Confederate dead” on the monument. 

Translation:

F*** anyone who differs from us in any way. F*** anyone who differs from the norm, from the majority.

Only our lives matter. No one else’s. No one’s feelings, perspective, or viewpoint matters, other than ours. 

Anyone who differs from us in any way needs to be erased from existence, as if they never lived at all.

Only bland, mundane people who conform to social norms and mindlessly comply with authority should be allowed to exist. 

The only people who deserve to be honored, memorialized, or respected are those who look and think like us.

Those are the attitudes of the excuses for human beings who committed the atrocity towards the Lion of Atlanta. 

And those attitudes are the antithesis of diversity, the antithesis of inclusion, the antithesis of tolerance. 

I say: 

F*** you, excuses for human beings who wrote these things.

F*** your contempt, hatred, and intolerance for anyone who differs from you in any way. 

F*** your bigotry.

F*** your authoritarianism.

You demonstrate that supporters of the BLM movement are the real bigots, the real racists. 

Our society should have unanimously and unequivocally condemned this movement the instant its slogan was found graffitied, alongside profane insults, on the Lion of Atlanta. 

Yet despicably, our society did the opposite. 

Society’s embrace of the movement responsible for this and countless similar atrocities is an injustice worse than words are able to convey; it is the worst injustice imaginable. 

bookmark_border“I’m going to re-create it just so that it can get melted down again”

You’re going to inflict excruciating pain on other people, just because they are different from you? Just because they are different from the majority?

You’re going to actively and deliberately harm people who are already worse off than you are?

You are going to take an action that has no purpose other than to express hatred for people who are different?

Why, exactly, do you consider that to be a good thing?

bookmark_border“The flag of traitors and losers”

“The flag of traitors.”

Yes, the flag of people who thought for themselves, and resisted authority, as opposed to practicing obedience, compliance, and mindless conformity.

I’m not sure why you consider that to be a bad thing.

“The flag of losers.”

Yes, the flag of people that you oppressed and harmed. That flag of people that you actively inflicted pain on, using your power, strength, and wealth. The flag of people whose land you invaded. The flag of people whose rights you violated. The flag of people that you forced to remain part of the same country against their will.

I’m not sure how that makes those people and their flag bad, and you somehow good.

The fact that you would call the Confederates “traitors” and “losers,” as if these things are insults, means that you are a bully, a bigot, a conformist, and an authoritarian.

The fact that the Confederates “lost” does not reflect badly on them. It reflects badly on you.

bookmark_borderAll lives matter, including mine

In our society, there are categories of people universally acknowledged as having suffered. There are certain experiences universally recognized as difficult.

Whenever a person falls into one of these categories, or goes through one of these experiences, everyone expresses empathy. Everyone rallies around them. People offer condolences, say how sorry they are, say that they can’t imagine how difficult it is to go through that experience. Everyone falls all over themselves in their eagerness to help, to support, to stand in solidarity.

My life, from the time I was a little kid, was difficult and painful. I’ve suffered enormously and experienced tremendous pain. But I don’t fall under any of the aforementioned categories of people. The things I’ve experienced are not recognized as difficult by our society.

Instead of rallying around me, instead of saying how sorry they are, people tell me that what I am going through is no big deal. They tell me to stop being so sensitive, to stop complaining. They tell me that it is for my own good, that everyone has to do things they don’t like, that I should have acted differently. They tell me that I am a jerk for being upset, or that I caused the situation and therefore have no one to blame but myself.

Other people’s suffering and pain are acknowledged. Mine are not.

In the eyes of society, I am a well-off, able-bodied person who ought to help, support, and sacrifice for the benefit of those who are struggling. For the benefit of those who are “less fortunate.” But in reality, I am the one who is struggling. I am the one who is less fortunate. And others should be helping, supporting, and rallying around me.

In the eyes of society, because I don’t fall into a category that is considered “oppressed” or “marginalized,” because my experiences don’t match up with society’s idea of hardship, I am considered “privileged.” But in reality, having one’s suffering and difficulties acknowledged is the most significant form of privilege that exists.

That’s why the things that have happened in our society since spring 2020 have been so devastating, infuriating, and enraging.

During that horrifying spring and summer, society collectively exploded with eagerness to acknowledge black and indigenous people’s suffering, even though these are categories of people whose suffering has always been acknowledged. In other words, society doubled down on the practice of acknowledging other people’s suffering while ignoring mine. This would be bad enough in itself. But this time, society decided to do something even more unfair and unjust than merely ignoring my suffering. This time, society’s acknowledgement of other people’s suffering took the form of actively destroying something that is very important to me – statues.

What has happened in our society since 2020 represents not only the failure to acknowledge my pain, but the active infliction of additional pain on me.

That is why the events of the past four years have been so horrible.

Whenever a statue is removed, a holiday canceled, a street or building renamed, society is saying that other people’s suffering matters and mine does not. And over the course of four years, this reprehensible message has spread to contaminate more and more of the world. What used to be parks, cities, squares, historic sites, cemeteries, have been transformed into monuments to the idea that other people’s pain should be acknowledged and mine should not. Society’s rejection of me is now inescapable. Countless places, things, events, institutions have been turned into sickening reminders, that before were innocuous. The grim results of the traumatic events are everywhere.

Perhaps if I had experienced a life that was more or less easy, in which my needs were generally met, I would support the BLM movement. Perhaps I would agree with the idea that I am “privileged.” Perhaps I would willingly check my privilege, educate myself, be a better ally, work to become actively anti-racist, and center and amplify the voices of those who are less fortunate than me. Perhaps I would post mindless platitudes on social media, and then go back to cooking perfect meals in my perfect house on a tree-lined street with my adorable kids and dog, like the people who unfriended me when I had the audacity to speak out against the statue genocide.

But I didn’t experience such a life. I experienced a life of difficulty and pain. And society’s failure to acknowledge the difficulty and pain was the most difficult and painful thing of all.

So I will fight vociferously against any movement or ideology that considers me “privileged.” I will not silence myself in order to elevate other voices. I will not advocate for others, when others do not advocate for me. I am not interested in educating myself about the horrors of slavery or racism or “settler colonialism” (whatever the heck that means) when others demonstrate no interest in learning about the horrors that I’ve experienced. And I will not sacrifice my needs and wants for the benefit of the less fortunate, because the people considered less fortunate than me in the eyes of society are, in reality, anything but.

This is why I support All Lives Matter. Because it’s not only black lives that matter. My life matters, too.

You might consider me an asshole. You might say that I have no empathy for others. You might even call me a psychopath.

If I am an asshole and a psychopath, then so be it. Why should I have empathy for others, when others do not have empathy for me? Only when society acknowledges my suffering and my pain, will I consider doing the same for others.

As our public spaces are transformed one after another into sickening monuments to the idea that other people’s pain should be acknowledged and mine should not… I have erected my own monuments. They are only 4 feet tall and are not located on publicly visible land. But they are everything to me. I love them more than anything else in the world. They are monuments to Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Nathan Bedford Forrest. But they are also monuments to myself. They are monuments to the idea that my feelings matter, my thoughts matter, my perspective matters, and my pain deserves to be acknowledged. Through these statues, I take care of my favorite historical figures, celebrate them, honor them, fight for them. And in turn, they fight for me. They are my little army, standing guard outside my castle, my little world in which I matter.


bookmark_borderOther people’s pain is recognized, but mine is not: why I am opposed to the concept of “privilege”

Children with cancer.

Parents of a child with cancer.

Bombing survivors.

Amputees.

Survivors of mass shootings.

People who lost a family member to a bombing, shooting, or any type of homicide.

People who use wheelchairs.

People with a visible disability of any sort.

Victims of domestic violence.

Victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, or sexual harassment.

Children who grew up with alcoholic, mentally ill, or violent parents.

Parents, especially mothers.

Caregivers of any sort.

Gay people, queer people, trans people.

Black people, indigenous people, Asian people, people of any race except for white.

What all of these categories of people have in common is that their suffering, their difficulties, and their challenges are recognized by our society.

I don’t belong to any of these categories of people.

I have suffered trauma, and it molded me into the person I am today. Not the kind of trauma that is recognized as such by society. Not the kind of trauma that consists of one big, memorable, horrific event. But rather the kind of trauma that occurs again and again, day in and day out. So many different aspects of me, so many things that I did and said, criticized and corrected. The way I did my hair, the way I washed my face, the way I put sunscreen on, the way I dressed, the shoes and socks I wore, the way I stood, the way I sat, the way I held my pencil, the way I played soccer and softball and volleyball, the way I talked, the words I chose, my hobbies and interests. The shame that this repeated criticism causes, the bitterness, the resentment, cannot be overstated. The exhaustion of having to change thing after thing after thing about myself, to go through life with a carefully constructed fake persona, and to painstakingly hide my true nature from others in order to avoid further criticism, is indescribable.

Society doesn’t acknowledge that I’ve suffered. Society doesn’t acknowledge the challenges and difficulties that I’ve faced. Society doesn’t care about my feelings. Society blames me for my own suffering, or fails to recognize that I’ve suffered at all.

People who fall into the above categories are lauded as heroes, saints, warriors, innocent victims. They are praised for their courage, their strength, their resilience. Society embraces them, comforts them, rallies around them. Charitable organizations are founded to help them.

I, on the other hand, am called a weirdo, a loser, a messed-up person. When I’ve dared to complain about, or question, the way that I’ve been treated, society’s response is some combination of:

  • It’s not that bad.
  • It’s not a big deal.
  • Stop making such a big deal out of it.
  • You need to be less sensitive.
  • Everyone has to do things they don’t like sometimes.
  • No one likes it, Marissa, but you just gotta do it. It’s just one of those things you have to do.
  • It’s for your own good.
  • This situation is the result of your own mistakes, your own irresponsibility, your own stupidity.
  • This is what you should do differently to prevent that from happening in the future.
  • You deserved it – you wouldn’t need to be criticized or corrected if you didn’t do things in such a messed-up and wrong way in the first place.

And lately: You are privileged. You have privilege.

Translation: You have no right to complain. You have no right to be upset about anything. Your suffering does not exist, and if it does exist, then it certainly does not matter. In fact, you deserve to suffer. You deserve to be made uncomfortable, because having your privilege pointed out to you is supposed to be uncomfortable.

Pardon my French, but fuck that.

I have suffered. I have experienced trauma.

I am not “privileged.”

I do not have “privilege.”

I’ve suffered just as much as anyone else, and my trauma is every bit as valid as anyone else’s.

It is unacceptable to tell me that someone else’s suffering is worse than mine, and any ideology that does so is an ideology that I will fight against until my last breath.

It is cruel and sadistic to tell me that I deserve to be made uncomfortable, that I deserve to have further suffering inflicted on me, merely because I belong to a politically unfavored demographic category.

And it is completely lacking in empathy to tell me that I should not complain or criticize, should not express my pain, but rather should “center” and “amplify” and “elevate” the voices of others. The voices of those who society has deemed worthy of compassion, of empathy, of help, of support. The voices of those who society believes, falsely, have suffered more than I have.

The ideology of privilege claims that some people’s suffering matters while other people’s suffering doesn’t. That some people deserve help and support, while other people deserve to have additional suffering inflicted. That some people’s viewpoints, perspectives, thoughts, and feelings matter while other people’s do not.

The ideology of privilege is vile, it is immoral, and it is despicable.

My suffering matters, period.

Period, not but.

There is no “but.”

It is not okay to tell me that I am “privileged,” that I should be grateful, that I should stop complaining, or that other people have it worse.

I deserve to have my pain recognized and acknowledged just as much as anyone else does. With a period, not with a but.

That is why I am so vehemently opposed to the concept of “privilege.”

bookmark_border“I love breaking those things”

Dear “John Catdog”…

So you “love” destroying everything that makes life worth living?

You “love” inflicting excruciating and unbearable pain on people who’ve done nothing to deserve it?

You “love” bullying and tormenting people merely because they are different from the majority?

And if you really do love the things that I’ve listed above… why on earth would you brag about it?

Both John Catdog and the imbecile who “liked” his idiotic comment are despicable excuses for human beings who should be ashamed of themselves.

bookmark_border“Are we the only country the places monuments to TRAITORS???”

So said an idiotic comment that I saw on Facebook the other day.

In other words…

Are we the only country that places monuments to PEOPLE WHO THINK FOR THEMSELVES???

Are we the only country that places monuments to PEOPLE WHO STAND UP TO AUTHORITY???

Are we the only country that places monuments to PEOPLE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM THE MAJORITY IN ANY WAY???

Oh no, not that!!!

God forbid that a country put up monuments to people who are at all unique, distinctive, or remarkable.

God forbid that a country put up monuments to people who are, you know, actually worthy of being honored with monuments.

God forbid that a country put up monuments honoring anything other than compliance, obedience, and mindless conformity.

In reality, the people that this idiot considers “traitors” are not only abundantly worthy of being honored with monuments; they are the only people who are.

bookmark_borderWe don’t need to justify why we should be allowed to do something…

Exactly.

I once was sitting with my co-workers and eating lunch, when one co-worker remarked that guns cause so many problems that she didn’t understand why they were allowed. Um, maybe because it violates people’s fundamental rights for them not to be allowed?

Enough with the argument that, “No one needs an AR-15.” So? I don’t need to need something in order to be allowed to do it. If you think that AR-15s (or anything, for that matter) should be banned, it is your responsibility to prove that they need to be banned. The burden of proof must always be placed on those who wish to control the actions of others, as opposed to those who wish merely to be left alone to live in a way that suits their preferences.

People have the right to do anything that they want, as long as it does not violate the rights of anyone else. If you are arguing that I should not be allowed to do something, I do not have to justify why I should be allowed to do it; you have to justify why I should be prohibited.

bookmark_borderDavid Trone believes that people like me shouldn’t be allowed to exist

Horrific, agonizing pain. My limbs feel like lead, my stomach feels sick, my lungs feel like they’re filled with rocks. I am crushed beneath an avalanche of grief, sadness, and anger. The agony is like a knife that stabs me in the heart. The entire world is dark, horrifying, disgusting. It feels as if my soul is being eviscerated, as if I will never experience happiness again. 

This is something I’ve experienced hundreds of times over the past four years. 

In this most recent instance, this pain was directly caused by Rep. David Trone, who despicably sponsored a bill * – known as HR 7474, the Robert E. Lee Monument Removal Act – which would turn the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Battlefield into yet another thing whose entire purpose is to send the message that people like me shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Yet another place in which I am not welcome, yet another area of society in which I cannot participate, yet another part of our physical world that would be altered in order to ensure that I cannot feel represented or included. 

Despicably, Trone said of his act of vicious cruelty and aggression: “I thank my colleagues for joining me in this effort to ensure Antietam honors our nation’s victory over the Confederacy rather than memorializes historical figures who fought to break up the Union and restrict fundamental human rights.”

As if forcing people to remain part of the same country against their will somehow doesn’t restrict fundamental human rights. As if inflicting on another human the type of pain that I described in the first paragraph of this blog post somehow doesn’t restrict fundamental human rights. As if decreeing that only one side in a war deserves to be honored, only one perspective acknowledged, only one story told, only one viewpoint reflected, somehow doesn’t restrict fundamental human rights. 

To “ensure Antietam honors our nation’s victory over the Confederacy” completely defeats the purpose of even preserving the battlefield as a historical site, both because the entire concept of a battle requires that there be two opposing sides, and also because there is no benefit in something existing when the very attribute that made it beautiful, distinctive, and remarkable has been destroyed. 

David Trone would like Antietam to be transformed from a historical site honoring a battle and the soldiers who fought there, into yet another monument to authoritarianism, compliance, and mindless conformity, into yet another piece of propaganda designed to send the message that any person who differs from the mainstream, from the norm, from the majority in any way, has no right to exist. 

As if sending this message somehow doesn’t restrict fundamental human rights.

David Trone’s decision to introduce this bill is an attack on me as a human being. It is an attack on me because I am different, because I do not fit in, because I see the world differently from most people, because I have different interests and passions and values and ways of thinking than the majority. Because I am different, the Robert E. Lee Monument represents me. It makes me feel included. It makes me feel that people like me are allowed to exist. By attempting to remove it, David Trone is attempting to turn the Antietam Battlefield into yet another instrument in society’s war against people like me. Yet another thing that used to make me feel represented and included, now turned into a cudgel to beat me with. Yet another tool for society to use to hammer home the brutal and intolerant message that I do not deserve to exist because I am different. 

Tell me again, why does America need another monument to authoritarianism, compliance, and mindless conformity? Why does America need yet another memorial honoring the same bland, mundane, and meaningless values that people are already bombarded with every day, in every facet of life? 

Tell me again, what is the point of the Antietam battlefield even existing, if its existence does nothing other than to stab my heart, punch me in the gut, stomp on my face, and inflict horrific and agonizing pain?

Pardon my French, but fuck David Trone. He doesn’t care a whit about fundamental human rights. If he did, he would campaign passionately against vaccine mandates, gun control, the Durham-Humphrey Amendment, and the use of full-body scanners at airports, to give just a few examples. Each of these policies restrict fundamental human rights vastly more severely than anyone from the Confederacy ever did.

How dare David Trone pontificate about fundamental human rights while simultaneously going out of his way to violate them?

How dare he go about his life as if nothing is wrong, while his actions inflict horrific and agonizing pain on other people?

It is mentally exhausting and demoralizing that acts of vicious cruelty and aggression, such as this one perpetrated by David Trone and his 6 co-sponsors, continue to happen. I am tired, I am angry, and I am exhausted. I don’t deserve for this pain to be inflicted on me, and David Trone has no right to inflict it. Despicably, he pontificates about “fundamental human rights” while actively violating mine. 

I learned from a quick Google search that David Trone has a wife and several children. How would he like it if his wife and children were beaten, strangled, dismembered, burned, and had their limbs sawed off and their bodies cut to pieces as he was forced to watch? That might sound sadistic, outlandish, excessive, ridiculous… but it has been my reality for the past four years. Perhaps if this happened, David Trone would experience a tiny fraction of the pain that I’ve experienced. Maybe then he’d have a shred of empathy for the people he’s harmed. Maybe then he’d work towards enacting policies that would compensate me for the pain I’ve suffered, rather than actively inflicting even more of it.

* as well as 6 other members of Congress who co-sponsored this bill

bookmark_borderOne of the dumbest tweets I’ve ever seen…

The below tweet by anti-civil-rights activist David Hogg is one of the dumbest I’ve ever seen:

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Defiant L’s (@defiant.ls)

Does Hogg actually believe that one does not need a license to kill humans? 

This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need to be stated, but in reality there is no available license that makes it legal for a person to kill other people. Killing other people, unless done in self-defense, is illegal. It’s difficult to believe that anyone, let alone an adult living in the US, wouldn’t know that. It’s utterly preposterous that David Hogg would believe that killing other people is legal, let alone that it is legal without requiring any type of license. 

I’m puzzled by how Hogg could possibly have come to hold such a ridiculous belief. Perhaps he is trying to make some sort of rhetorical point about how people, in his (incorrect) opinion, shouldn’t be allowed to own guns? Perhaps he is equating owning guns with killing people? To state another thing that is so obvious it shouldn’t even need to be stated, these two things are not the same, nor even close to being the same. Therefore it is false to equate them. 

Regardless of his motivation, all that Hogg is doing in this tweet is making a preposterous, blatantly factually false statement. And I just don’t get why on earth someone would make such a preposterous and blatantly factually false statement as this one.