Well here we are, the night before election day. Once the election is over my political posts won’t be as frequent and I’ll go back to blogging about other topics. I thought I would mention that for those of you who don’t come here for my political posts. That said, we absolutely must talk about the danger of the way Donald Trump has trained his supporters, aka the Trump train, (colt following really). Trump supporters purposefully tried to run a Biden campaign bus off the road. I’ll show what happened from a few sources so you can see for yourself. This is not just a blue opinion here. This is facts. You can’t make this stuff up folks.
I’m used to Donald Trump’s horrible behavior. And yet, I still find myself saying, “Did that really just happen?” He sees nothing wrong with what his supporters did and says he loves Texas? He even calls them patriots! What? It’s one thing to have a different opinion. It’s another to be terrible to people. Read this article and watch the video below. Obama has done som amazing campaigning lately. If you do your research, or have been paying attention, you will know what Obama has been saying has been true. While thisvideo is long, it’s worth taking the time to watch.
As we all know, racism is still a huge problem in 2020. I saw this story yesterday about a CNN reporter, Amara Walker, who received three racist attacks in one hour. Watch and share this video. Racism hasn’t ever been okay and it especially shouldn’t be happening in 2020. In this video, Walker talks about how a man came up to her and said a racial slur to her in Chinese, another man came up to her and asked if she spoke English, and finally, she talked about how the police officer said how asking if she spoke English wasn’t racist.
If you read yesterdays post about letting the blind person decide what’s offensive and what isn’t, the same applies here. If someone feels offended and they’re living racism every day, let them speak for themselves. If you’re human, of course you find racism offensive, but I’m saying in the situation with the officer, she lives it every day. He doesn’t, so he can’t say what’s racist and what isn’t. The writing is on the wall. Donald Trump doesn’t condemn racism and racism is never okay. Share Amara’s story. Please. Because if it happened to Amara one too many times, it’s happening to someone else.,
Happy Halloween! What are some of your Halloween memories? Did you trick or treat, go to parties, or dress up? A few of my past costumes have included a chicken, a scarecrow, a cat, Pocahontas and Harry Potter, just to name a few. I used to trick or treat when I was younger, and after Mom checked it, my sister and I would swap some of our candy. During one of my later years at Perkins one of the staff took a few of us trick or treating which was wicked nice of her. One of my funniest Halloween memories as a kid was the year I dressed up as Harry Potter and my best friend at the time dressed up as a Pepsi can. He said that the steps at this particular house were really big so he got candy for both of us. The guy who opened the door took a look at me and said, “It must be pretty hard to see with those shades on, huh?” Peter and I got a good laugh, told him those were Harry Potter glasses and that I actually couldn’t see. He felt so bad. We told him it was okay and that we thought it was hilarious. I’d also like to hear from my followers in other countries. Tell me about what Halloween is like in your country. One last thing about Halloween before we move on to today’s post. While 2020 happened and everything is different this year, like with anything, I believe Halloween should be accessible for everyone, so that if they participate a little bit or go all out, they can if they want to. I saw a video a while ago where Molly Burke, (look her up if you haven’t, she’s one of the bigger names as far as advocates for blindness is concerned) and she talked about how she was left out of trick or treating when she was younger so she thought about going in her twenties. Moving on… Did you know October is meet the blind month? Lots of people have posted about this, but I thought I would share my own version. Some of these things might be obvious, but not to everyone, so we need to discuss them.
Everyone says this, but really it’s true. We’re just like you. It’s crazy how often blind people have to either come right out and directly or indirectly say we’re normal. I hope the next generation of blind kids can grow up, attend college or work and not constantly have to prove that, “I really am normal. See?”
. Not every blind person is the same. For some reason sighted folks have a hard time with this one unless they’re really educated and after all this time, I’m still not really sure why. We have different beliefs. We all like different music. We all have different things we do as blind people that work for us.
. I can’t believe I still have to say this, but I feel like as blind people we’re always going to have to say this. Despite what movies tell you, blind people don’t go around feeling people’s faces. And if they do and there’s not a wicked good reason, tell them it’s not acceptable. Even if someone has a good reason, that’s very rare.
. It’s okay to use every day language. This is another of those really hard things for sighted people to wrap their head around. I get people don’t want to be offensive, but let the blind person decide what’s offensive and what isn’t. You decide what’s offensive for you and let us make that decision for ourselves, please. It’s fine to use every day words like look, see and watch. Did you see that? I’m smiling because you and I are finally on the same page about this! Look! We’re all good. ❤
. This is another really big one that I feel like as blind people we’re probably going to spend our whole lives explaining to people. If you see a blind person alone at a table, we don’t bite. I promise. Come up to us, say hi, and if you’re going around mingling, bring us along. It’s hard for blind people to mingle with people without being guided and people often misunderstand that as blind people are antisocial. One of my lifelong friends put it best when she told a college class I spoke to when she said, “Get over yourself”. As awkward as you might feel, inclusion feels good for everyone, doesn’t it? I see you agreeing over there. =)
. Joking about blindness is perfectly fine once you learn how open the person is about it. My friends and I joke about my blindness all the time. I know you sighted people might find this really hard to wrap your head around, but believe it or not, I joke about blindness with my blind friends, too. My sighted friends, my blind friends, it doesn’t matter. If something isn’t okay, we’ll tell you. Promise.
. Blind people are more than their white cane. Some blind people use guide dogs and others use white canes. I wish more people understood this cane thing. Shout out to the few people at college who actually didn’t care about it. The people I worked best with were the ones who cared but didn’t care at the same time. I’m blind. I’m not stupid and I’m not something pretty to make you feel good when you need to feel better. This applies to any blind person you meet.
. Let’s talk about over there. Is that a foreign land? To a blind person it might as well be. Blind people don’t know what over there means. Take the time to learn how to direct someone by saying things like, to your left, to your right, straight in front of you, or behind you a little to the left or to the right.
. Blindness has different degrees of what that looks like for someone. Somebody might be visually impaired which means they have some sight but not all of it. Some of us have no eyesight and are totally blind. Please get comfortable with calling blindness what it is. If someone is visually impaired, fine, but if somebody is blind, they’re not visually impaired, they are blind. People need to get comfortable with saying it out loud. I’ll help, here. My friend is blind. My employee is blind. My girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/husband is blind. I have a blind student in my class.
. Blindness doesn’t mean stupidity. Disability or not, we all need help, and that’s okay. I will never, ever understand why people think blind people aren’t smart. I’ll give the example I always give. If sighted people in college help one another on a paper, that’s okay. If someone does that very same thing for a blind person, how dare they! That’s always been so crazy to me!
. Please tell a blind person when you are leaving them. Talking to yourself can be pretty funny but also pretty awkward.
. I could say so much more about this, but I’ll end with this. If a blind person takes your help, they need it. I know for me, I sometimes took help when I needed it but sometimes particularly when it was a young person, (kids through college,) I let them help me. We need to teach people to think outside themselves and that disability isn’t always scary. Sometimes the other person gets something from the giving. That said, if we happen to refuse your help, please respect us. We’re not being rude. Sometimes helping a blind person can actually throw them off because they have learned certain landmarks they use to help them travel.
I hope this taught you something, and I really hope you share this. If you learned a thing or two today, tell someone about it.
Stay safe and stay healthy. Wear a mask. They save lives.
I hope this post finds you healthy. Can you believe it’s already the end of October? We got snow today! Tomorrow I’ll be taking a political break for a blindness related post. Tuesdays post wasn’t an opinion post,
but now I’m using my platform to share my thoughts, much like people on the other side of the aisle have the same right to tell everyone why they’re red rather than blue. I can’t go door knocking and talk to voters, but I can blog. I went door knocking back when my friend was running for office and it was such a great experience. If you get involved with politics and get the opportunity to meet with voters face-to-face, do it. Sure, like with anything, not everyone is going to be friendly. Many people are though and there’s something about connecting with people.
Donald Trump says masks are political. They’re not. If you talk to Trump supporters, they speak all about how Fox is the only reliable source. Trump typically likes Fox too, but it turns out, Trump also has issues with Fox. Why? Because Donald Trump doesn’t like anything unless it makes him look like he’s the greatest person walking planet earth. Read this article where Chris Wallace, a Fox reporter, calls out Trump’s family for not following the mask rule at the first debate. If you can call it that. Train wreck is more like it.
Have you noticed Donald Trump makes fun of whatever doesn’t serve his personal agenda?
Donald Trump wants you to believe the lie that masks are political. The truth is they’re not. Who calls themselves a leader and says these things. Even Chris Wallace at Fox news, Trumps favorite news station, (unless they say something he doesn’t like,!) tells people to wear a mask.
I am aware that everyone comes here for different reasons. Some of you come for “In the Dark”, some for my disability related posts, and some of you come for my political ones. I was thinking just today about a conversation I had over breakfast a few years back with a dear friends mom. When I was just starting out, she suggested that I don’t just talk all about blindness related things, but that I also give my opinion on politics. This is such an important piece of advice because people need to know that while more needs to be done to get more disabled people to vote, people with disabilities do in fact have political opinions. Big or small, I need to use the platform God gave me for good and to let people know that disabled people deserve a spot at the political table, even if we are on different sides of the aisle. Whether we agree or not on politics, I hope this post inspires someone with a disability (blindness or otherwise) to educate yourself and learn that your vote does matter.
Now for the video I believe everyone needs to see. This was live by the way, not edited footage. Take a look at this video from a former Trump campaign official, Jessica Denson.
We need to address a couple of things here. First things first. As believers, we should be thanking God for sister Jessica. She mentions how she was one of few women to speak out about how horrible she was disrespected as a woman and how brainwashed she was by conservative media. She acknowledges she received a direct message from God, asks for forgiveness and explains how she believed Donald Trump would actually help the American people, among other things such as the lies Trump is associated with. We should pray for the people who can’t speak out and that in Jesus name they find strength to do so. Let’s pray they are blessed tenfold.
Let’s move on to something we must talk about. Notice in this video how Trump is talking about getting women’s husbands back to work. Does he think he deserves a sticker, or a gold star or an extra slice of pie? Let’s be clear for both sides of the aisle. Yes, that means you too in the back not sure who the heck to vote for! As president of the United States, it is their responsibility, (right now Donald Trump,) to make sure the people of this country have their needs being met. So no, Donald Trump, you do not deserve a sticker, or a gold star, or an extra piece of pie for being so kind. Don’t get people’s rights mixed up with being a kind person and making everyone like you. I’ll say it one more time. The president of the United States should be making sure people’s rights are being met and not going around talking about how they’re getting women’s husbands back to work. One of my blunter posts perhaps, but honesty doesn’t always look pretty.
Hello, I hope this finds you healthy. This post is without a doubt one of the most important posts you will ever read from me. Disclaimer: The facts I have compiled here are meant as evidence of what’s been said but unfortunately and sadly covid cases change daily so the numbers will look different. Some people might find this post lengthy, but break it up if you have to. Let me start out this post by saying that this post isn’t meant to tell you who to vote for, but rather to inform you and reach those undecided voters who are scared and have no clue what to do in exactly one week from today. I know there are a lot of resources here, but this isn’t meant to overwhelm you. I want to provide you with a list of resources so you can be informed and form your own opinion. Whether you vote Democrat or Republican, you can be educated and aware when you cast your vote. Once you see and hear something, you can’t unsee or unhear it. Let me also say just because someone isn’t on the same side of the aisle doesn’t mean they are bad people. I can think of plenty of people I care about and we don’t agree on politics. As a country, we are so divided. We need to stop this idea of, “You’re not on the same side of the aisle as me, don’t talk to me!” I believe we can have relationships with people who have different political views, but I absolutely will never say or believe we should be horrible to each other. One of my best friends and I have a rule that says, “Our friendship wasn’t built on politics”. I hope you’ll use that with your friends, too.
Using Editing To Make False Claims
As I said, this post is for the people who have no idea who to vote for. I’ve heard it said that people who believe Trump should be reelected tell those who don’t believe Trump is fit for office that certain news stations only put out what they want. This post will have a few sources, CNN included, but to the undecided voter, (Is that you?) I would say that through evidence, I’m going to show you that Democrats don’t always throw CNN in people’s faces. Every topic discussed here is important, but is in no particular order of importance. We have a lot to cover, so let’s begin by taking a look at a campaign add Donald Trump’s team put together where they have used editing to make Anthony Fauci say something he didn’t. We all know commercials, campaign ones or otherwise, are edited and put together, but not everybody knows how editing works, so let me tell you. I took two audio courses my senior year of college where we used a program called Pro Tools. We had to edit everything from field recordings we created of certain sounds, to speeches, to music mixes. One of our assignments was to take something someone said and rearrange what they said to have them say something they never said. Take a look at this article that shows you how you can use editing to rearrange audio. You don’t need to know how to use Pro Tools to understand this. What you need to take away from this is that this article guides you through how to rearrange audio to make it something it isn’t.
Here are some clips of what Fauci actually said and what Donald Trump’s add says he said.
Take a look at this.
I am showing a few sources so you see it from a few outlets. Despite what Trump says, Covid actually isn’t going away. Watch this.
As you’ll see, the virus isn’t actually going away. In fact, as you’ll see in this video with Bob Woodward, Trump knew about the virus and lied to the American public about it. Watch this.
This interview with Bob Woodward is also a must watch.
Watch that interview because Woodward clarifies why he waited to tell the public that Trump knew about the virus and chose to play it down.
Finally, watch this.
Next, let’s talk about racism. I don’t want to take away from African Americans who are the real experts unfortunately, tragically living out this issue every day. If you don’t see that racism is a problem in 2020, you are blind. If you can’t see racism as its own crisis, something is wrong. Watch this video where Biden explains, “the talk”. In 2020 parents shouldn’t be having “the talk” but this is the sad reality people are living each day. Donald Trump doesn’t understand racism.
We need to talk about the fact (yes facts folks, not my opinion) that Donald Trump claimed at the last debate that he was the least racist person in the room, yet he won’t condemn white supremacy. How is that okay? Why am I telling you this? Because facts show that when Donald Trump talks about racism and the virus, he gives people lip service. If you really listen to what he is saying, he tells his supporters what they want to hear and doesn’t speak in the reality the rest of us are living in. Look here from a few months ago where Trump said the virus would go away. Here we are, in October, and cases are climbing again.
Not only does he think the virus is going away, he actually called CNN “Dumb bastards” for still reporting on the pandemic. Does that sound like a good leader to you? Again, if you do your homework, you’ll quickly learn that when Donald Trump doesn’t like something, he calls it fake news. Listen to exactly what he says about CNN actually keeping Americans informed about the harsh reality for so many people.
Getting back to racism, watch this video where Trump tells the Proud Boys to “Stand back and stand by”.
Do you want someone saying something like that running your country? Here’s more evidence of Trump’s lip service.
How can you say the above comments and then claim you aren’t racist? I’m not asking to argue. I’m here to pose questions to make people think. We should be able to raise questions to make people think without jumping on one another’s politics. Why is it okay for a president to make fun of wearing a mask when we know it saves lives? Take a look at the so-called leader of our country making fun of Joe Biden for wearing masks.
How does Trump’s behavior teach our children bullying isn’t okay? Why is it more important to confirm a judge to the supreme court than it is to work out another stimulus deal when so many Americans are struggling? If the White House had nothing to hide, why wouldn’t they say when Donald Trump’s last negative test was?
Trump’s Behavior and Leadership Don’t Align
Moving on to my final points, let’s talk about the fact that Donald Trump’s doctor lied to the American public about Trump’s health when he was hospitalized. One might argue HIPAA, but HIPAA aside, this is the president of the United States. The public has the right to know if the person running their country is fit for the job. Watch the president’s doctor admit that he lied about the president’s oxygen.
We need to address another issue in this as well. Remember those videos above with Bob Woodward where Trump said he knew about the virus and played it down? In this video where his doctor admits he lied about Trump’s oxygen, Donald Trump also left the hospital to visit his supporters. If Donald Trump were an every day American, more people would question his mental state. If you are that heavily medicated, on a medication known to alter your thinking, you shouldn’t be running a country. If he was treated like an every day American, he would have been kept in the hospital and watched because of his psychological behavior. If he wasn’t, someone wouldn’t be doing their job correctly. He knows how deadly this pandemic has been, and he gets in a car for a joy ride with Secret Service, who have to do what he says, putting them at risk which could then turn into risking their family. It doesn’t stop there. He still holds rallies. Take a look at this recent video of him meeting with supporters. Again, I might add, in the middle of a world crisis.
Lastly, we need to talk about Donald Trump’s gaslighting behavior. I’ve provided you with a few links to educate yourself. Read this.
If you read this entire post and clicked on one thing or everything included here, no matter which way you vote, you know you can’t unsee or unhear the things mentioned here. Your vote matters this year more than ever. It’s up to you.
I hope this post finds you all healthy. I know it’s not throwback Thursday, but I wanted to share this article my dear friend, Kaylan, wrote about her experience working with me during my final semester of college.
I believe it’s so important to surround ourselves with strong friends who bring out the best of us, and I’m thankful that Kaylan is now in my closest circle. People didn’t like that I used readers in college, but you have to do what works for you. For me, that consisted of assistive technology with readers mixed in. I hope you learn something. I hope that you learn disability or not, we all deserve equal opportunities. If you’re friends with (or are becoming friends with) a person with a disability, I hope you’ll get to a place where you won’t feel ashamed or weird about it.
Part of this post is more for those living in my state but the other link I’m going to share is important for everyone. Let’s start with the Rhode Island one first. If you are not familiar with In-Sight, they offer great services and workshops for blind and visually impaired people throughout Rhode Island. You can learn about In-Sight here. (This is not sponsored by the way, they really are wonderful).
Recently they held a workshop on voting information for those of us who are blind or visually impaired. It’s absolutely worth your time. Give it a listen here.
While all of this is important information, among the many great topics surrounding voting, they talk about how for those people who have difficulty signing their name, they would like you to put an x rather than use your signature stamp because the signature on your stamp may look different than the signature they have on file. All of the information in the above link is especially important to pass along to anyone you know who is blind or visually impaired because this election is more important than ever. No matter how you do it, vote, vote, vote!
Moving on…Recently one of my favorite women on YouTube, Lauren Lipman, (Her Taylor Swift videos are pretty great) posted about her experience with Corona Virus. She was very descriptive in the whole process and I felt it important to pass along in case God for bid you know anyone who might need it. No matter what, let it serve as a reminder how important it is to be safe, whatever that looks like for you.
Watch Lauren’s story here.
Stay safe, stay healthy, WEAR YOUR MASK (in caps for my blind friends) and MAKE SURE YOU VOTE!!! MAIL-IN BALLOTS REALLY DO COUNT. (Again, in caps).
I’m so delighted to share with you that we have a victory in my case! Removing the two-witness requirement will help so many Rhode Islanders who wish to send in their ballot by mail, and I’m so grateful to have been a part of such an important and necessary moment of history for our state.
Hope you are all doing well and staying cool during this wicked heatwave we’ve been living through.
I have some exciting news to share. Earlier in the month I decided to join a couple of plaintiff’s in a lawsuit against the state to remove the two-witness and notary requirement on mail ballots during the September and November elections. These requirements were removed for the June primary and I could not understand why they were not removed again during a pandemic. I thought about all the older people I care about, as well as how this would impact everyone across our tiny yet great state. I thought about the challenges this would bring for people with disabilities. I thought about how disabled people are all too often not given a proper seat at the table, especially at the political table. I have always believed that no matter what side of the aisle you are on, we all (including public officials) need to find a way to sit at the same table, understand that we have differences, but come to the agreement that human lives should be more important than political agendas.
Through all this, I basically got a mini course on election law which has been a great experience. I would like to publicly thank Kate Bowden from Disability Rights Rhode Island, Jonathan Diaz and Simone Leeper from the Campaign Legal Center, (CLC) as well as Steven Brown, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) for being so great about answering my questions along the way. I would also like to thank Corey Goldstone at the CLC communications team for being so open about accessibility. Before my piece came out, we talked about how just mentioning a persons age and town in a photo caption is not as descriptive as it could be. He asked if it was okay to mention the color of my shirt in the photo and I told him it was and thanked him for asking. I explained that it would help if they explained that the photo is a headshot, I have a red shirt on, and I am smiling, lets those with screen readers know more about the photo going along with the story. He said he would pass that information along to his team and would make more changes like this moving forward. I am happy and blessed to be a part of such an important conversation. Sometimes for me personally it helps having someone read something out loud along with reading it with my technology. Simone and Corey were great about reading everything. You can read about the case here.
Yesterday the federal judge in this case said that removing this two-witness notary requirement was reasonable but the Republican Party is appealing this case. Everyone has different outlets they like, so find what 10 put out below.
Please think of each other. Please save a seat at your table for a disabled person. Not because you feel bad for us. Not because you are bored. Not because you’re trying to make yourself feel better or because your friends think you’re so nice for being friends with that one friend with a disability. Give us a spot at your table (personally and professionally) because like you, we deserve to be heard. We deserve your friendship. We deserve opportunity. And we most certainly deserve a seat at the table discussing the decisions that affect our country.