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Tech Witch

One day, I was on my way to Sally’s Beauty Supply store and discovered next door, the Radio Shack was closing, thus had a 60-90% off sale on everything in the store. So, instead of buying blue hair dye like I was going to, I beelined for the tech stuff I could get for uber cheap. Like, buying a pack of capacitors for .45 cents. Though I should have totally gone for the 555 Timers. I like to fiddle with electronics and build/construct things – I’m currently working on an automatic cat feeder because my cat is fat and I have mini-amnesias due to having trauma disorders. My cat will wharf down her food and pretend she’s hungry in hopes that I forgot I fed her ten minutes ago and give her another dish.

My cat, who is fat

My cat, who is fat

I also repair electrical problems in drones and mechanical problems in 3D printers. Basically, I’m very techy.

Given that we live in a world of tech and technology, I do wonder how it can be applied to magick. Granted, I don’t think it is very seamless (I doubt you can do a smoke cleansing with your phone and I still side-eye “rebloggable spells” a bit) but am definitely sure parts can be integrated.

Alright, I’m not much a tech witch, I don’t include tech much into my practice, if at all. I write down things and use natural stuff like sticks, stones and incense. If anything, I would probably be concerned of energy waves from the phone messing with the energy trying to be created in the circle so I just curve around all that and keep it analog. This doesn’t mean that folks who put protection sigils on their phones or cast an anti-theft spell on their computer is silly, I just don’t do the same. That and the idea of using magick on your stuff – including your tech stuff – is normal to me. Using your tech in magick, that feels a bit different to me, if not foreign.

I guess part of it is because technology is comprised of so many different parts and things, it would drive me into a finicky mode. There are so many things that make our tech that has various individual properties that makes up our tech. This is kind of why I’m not much of a tech witch. Simply isn’t my kit. That and I’m still trying to wrap my head around things like tumblr spells that are mostly emoticons/emojis and basically are suppose to work with every reblog. I understand the “gathering energy” part (the many people passing the post around), the “intention” part and how it’s kinda supposed to work but I would imagine the energy is a bit mottled through the tech. That’s just my perception, though.

However, this doesn’t mean that tech isn’t starting to really becoming useful for Pagans. For example: 3D printing, sky maps and moon phase apps

Many weather apps, like WeatherUnderground and AccuWeather will tell you the moon phases. I use WeatherUnderground, which shows me not only the moon phase and fullness of the moon, but also how much daylight I have.

wp-1480277560797.png   wp-1480277564885.png

 

This is really great for determining fullness, when to perform rituals or whatever have you. I think most, if not all, weather apps show you the moon. Even on smart watches, such as the Apple Watch, you can track the moon phases and travels.

Then there are sky maps, which let you see constellations, planets and stars through your phone. You can even use it to help spot planets in the night sky, look for conjunctions and more. I use Google Sky Map but there are plenty about.

Then there’s 3D Printing. Granted, it still isn’t accessible to quite a lot of people – they’re mainly found in libraries and on college campuses, in regards to mass use – but can be very useful when it is. For example, the most common filament (“ink” for 3D printers) used is PLA, which stands for Polyactic acid (not actually acidic in nature) , which actually is completely biodegradable and comes from sugars and starch. Even smells a bit like caramel when printing. Yes, it is plastic, but it is nature-derived plastic, which can make it useful for personal practice or even group practice. PLA is one of the many materials a 3D printer can print in. There’s also wood, metal and ceramic.

This means that a Pagan person could print a chalice in the very color they need it in. Or create a specialized holder, tool or anything that is needed in whatever color, material or design. They could create beads or a stylus with their chosen sigils. They could create boxes, statues and more; if they can think it, they can print it. It really would be very nice for practice to implement hyper specialized materials and items into Pagan practices. A practitioner could either charge a whole spool of filament to print a variety of things or they could print something and charge that instead. Hyper customized holders, runes, candle plates, wands and more! Talk about endless bouts of ideas.

New forays into technology can be useful for old practices, which is really interesting as well as potentially ground breaking for Pagan practice. However, this has always been the case, if one would think about it. I mean, when glass, silver and steel could be used to create items, I wouldn’t be surprised if the question of “can this be implemented into ritualistic practice” came into play. With that thought in mind, it probably is redundant to ask, “hey, is this new tech good for Pagan practice?” because as long as the source of the practice is the same, why wouldn’t implementing new devices and tech be a problem?

Not My Flag, Not a Chance

There’s been so much chatter since the election, mainly about how terrible Trump is going to be (usually said by practically everyone who isn’t White, Straight, cis, etc) and how we should still give him and his folks a chance (usually said by anyone White and usually Liberal (conservatives just froth at the mouth over admiring swastikas now, imagining the next four years in glee, I’m guessing)).

Frankly, anyone who says we as a nation should give Trump a chance is quite historically challenged and a total ditz. Trump’s troupe blew whatever chance they could have potentially had when they were on the campaign trail talking about walls and mocking disabled reporters…oh and doing covert sieg heils* at the RNC gathering.

Yeah, this happened

Yeah, this happened

Those were big opportunities to show that they simply wanted to repair the country from it’s economic sluggishness, dismissive political attitudes to rural Americans, etc etc. I mean, Trump did offer several solutions…it’s just practically all of them came from a book probably titled How To: Second Coming of the Third Reich, Special 14th edition with a teeny cover sticker that says “Now with 88% more hate! Ruin your country beyond repair or your money back! See inside for details”. Meaning: none of these solutions actually work. The only thing the Final Solution did the last time was give Germany a huge luggage crate full of baggage to cart about, because the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind about Germanic history is mainly the terrible stuff they did in the ’30s and ’40s. More like a final solution for murdering a good reputation, if anything. Going Nazi wasn’t a great payoff to them, just like it won’t be for us.

I, nor anyone who have been historically affected by messages of hate and mass disparagement, should give anyone a chance if that’s pretty much all they’ve came out the gate with. I even tried to research Trump’s stances on actual issues during the election season, and about all I got that was pretty solid was “I don’t know…but we will just pour in a chunk of hate and see where that gets us.” That’s basically it: build a wall, get rid of non-Whites and more police. This is not a solution to anything. It’s just a recipe to make America not “Great” again but to make America White again. And Trump’s people have actually said that, word for word: That they believe America should be White only and White succeeding, that they hate anyone not Christian, not White and not Male. They’ve done openly displayed sieg heils at Alt-Right/Neo-Nazis gatherings.

Yeah, this happened, too

Yeah, this happened, too

Give this a chance? For what? It’s been shown countless times in even the past one hundred years that just giving hate a chance doesn’t magically transform into peace, it just becomes more virulent hatred that’s just been given a head start. Granted, no one not on the business end of that would definitely say, “Let’s give them a chance.” Since they have nothing to lose, the idea of fighting or being actively despondent or even cracking someone’s elbow in the middle of their Nazi salute seems “violent” and “not how peace works”. Because Americans always have politely asked for things like rights and country and politely discussed things over. Totes exactly what we did with the British and the Native Americans**. We’re such a peaceful nation, we don’t even have mass shootings.

Unfortunately, this is not reality. My family members don’t remember our ancestors being able to walk up to the Overseer or Master and say, “Hey, I’ve already put in my eight hours so I’m heading out. I’ve even kept track of it on this here scrap of paper – oh! and we’re running low on ink, I like the iron blue one from that guy down the street, it’s really nice and last for pages – See? That’s 40 hours, I took an hour off for lunch and everything. Also, it’s, like, super hot in the middle of the day and you made us work…that’s not cool, you always do that. Everyone around here thinks you better shape up or we’re leaving. Especially since you don’t pay us…which, I’m preeeeeeeeeeeetty sure is illegal. Like, super illegal. And I cut myself on a sickle, where’s my employee healthcare? One of my friends a few rows over heard over in Korea, they have a king named Sejong and he – a king, mind you – put in stuff like maternity leave. We should try some of that, or we’re leaving for good! You can find some new pickers and they’ll say the same. What say you?”

Yeaaaaaaaaaah, that’s not what would have happened. Would have been nice but very much didn’t happen. Instead, slave rebellions happened. Fighting happened. Dying happened (by the payload). Lynchings happened. Escapes happened. Suicides happened. Talking is great for some things but not when the person you’re talking to doesn’t even think you’re human. Even Schindler didn’t say to his fellow Nazis, “Hey, about this ‘kill all Jews’ thing. Ever wonder how this will help our country – like, actually help Germany? I mean, I’m just saying! Just saying. Y’know, for kicks and giggles, think about it. I mean, this is a lot of work to murder useful people like doctors and teachers. Just seems a bit dumb – I’m just saying, though! Just saying. I mean, we even killed a gay carpenter and we’ve had a crappy chair and tilting table for weeks. No carpenter, but we stick with the sh*tty table. Yes, Aust handles carpentry but, c’mon, everyone knows he’s bad at it, that’s how we got the table. We had a master carpenter and just killed him. Does that scream ‘smart’ to you? Think about it.” That would have been nice, imagining Schindler doing thoughtful roundtables with fellow Nazis at night, even with a rabbi present, because representation. But that’s not what happened. You can’t talk people out of hate so easily. That would be totally awesome but, as shown by history, totally not realistic.

Hoping that the current batch of fascist douchebags are going to be somehow different and totally open to conversation is intensely delusional. And increasingly so with each and every new pick Trump makes for cabinet. Even the minorities (the extreme, token few) he eyes are poster definitions of “internalized racism”. Everyone in Trump’s camp plans to roll back the clock like mad. And that makes Americans such as myself very, very concerned. Because I’m Pagan, I’m Black, I’m female, I was raised poor and in the inner city and, frankly, this is not my flag:

This would be better used as kindling, not as a method to run a nation.

This would be better used as kindling, not as a method to run a nation.

We are too diverse for this bullsh*t. But frankly, not everyone feels this way. Especially those who felt “othered” when mentions of diversity are said. Even those who swear up and down they’re allies but are actually in it for the saviorism. Even those who say they don’t see color but get offended when a Person of Color gets ahead in real life or even introduced in a comic book, sputtering, “We’re all one race, the human race. Why is Spiderman Black? Like, isn’t that racist? Why can’t he be White? He has to be White!” Even those who reblogs the #noDAPL Water Protectors on Tumblr and goes to the tribal land – not because clean water means anything to them but because they want to have a winter Coachella, complete with disruptive drum circles and asking Natives insanely dumb questions like “What’s my indian name?” instead of “Where do I put the crate of Milk of Magnesia and portable heaters?” Apparently, to those folks, we’re just too diverse a country that doesn’t benefit them, period. And now they want everyone to give Trump a chance since Hillary Clinton didn’t get in. (Is Clinton perfect? Heck no. Just isn’t that level of hateful) That maybe everything will be all right with the Alt Right, if given the opportunity. Just like it was all right during the ’40s when Japanese Americans had to go to Manzanar, USA. Or when anyone Jewish, Black, disabled, whatever, had to go to the death camps (the holocaust killed more than Jews, remember that. The first to go were political opponents, actually. Germany was a diverse nation, too. Just like now). What absolute insanity.

Even media that tilts intensely liberal like Mother Jones, CNN and MSNBC now falls over itself in trying to romanticize the Alt Right and distance them from the Neo-Nazi rhetoric they constantly spew, even the triple parentheses that they use to signify anyone who is Jewish or “Anti-White”. Simply because hatred got a makeover, it’s time to play nice with them. That’s ridiculous. And these are some of the same folks who won’t shy from saying “Feminazi” or “Grammar Nazi” (even joke about the Soup Nazi from Seinfield!) but have a hard time calling an actual Nazi a “Nazi”. Or “White Nationalist”. Even if the bigot does the salute and all! What is needed? The Hugo Boss uniform, heel clicking and goose stepping?

I don’t think anyone needs a chance to get to that point. That’s much too far.

 

* Sieg Heils: The hand/arm motion that Hitler is commonly associated with. The Nazi salute

** We told the British where to shove their tea and massacred Natives (even now, American police are trying to literally freeze out (water cannons and everything) the Sioux over the tribe wanting to defend clean water. By the way, Flint, MI is still happening)

Yep, first post back and I’m down with a headcold. Been fighting a head cold all this week. However, even without a headcold, this week still sucked for a lot of folks. Trump won the election. The part that sucked the most for me is that I called it.

When folks would ask me who I thought would win, I would respond, “Unfortunately, I think it might be Trump. The country has gone too left so we’re due for a conservative snap – which this gump-faced, fake-haired cheeto is part of. In addition, he’s a great salesperson, he could sell water to a fish, it just would unfortunately be clear blue gel. In terms of dupin’ the stupid, he’s good at that. And Americans aren’t known to be the smartest people in the world. Far from it.”

I’m an Independent (meaning I am not part of any party, they all suck) and I identify as a socialist (meaning I strongly believe that institutions like healthcare, education and social/fiscal safety nets should not be for just the rich and wealthy but for everyone). But also as a Black, female, Pagan person, I was kinda looking forward to basking in all the folks who were going to say how wrong I was.

 

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So wrong, so nice

 

Instead, this was me when I checked Google for the Electoral vote count:

 

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You can’t be serious

The US has really elected a moron that is very much planning to be a grade-A fascist. Of course, only White folks (also known as, “the voter bloc that mainly voted Trump in”), don’t see how Trump could bring a lot of bad news to a lot of people. Granted, this is the same group that said tried to say racism was over when Obama was elected…then voted in Trump based on his super racist platform.

There are already protests against Trump winning because, frankly, folks who aren’t White, straight, etc. are pretty concerned. It isn’t that Hillary would have been the daughter of God superceding Obama in everything he’s ever done, but at least folks who generally are targeted by the Ku Klux Klan would have not been as worried. She would have screwed up the nation as well but without the potential reality of political camps and a major spike in hate crimes. Instead, a sexist, racist rapist got elected and will be taking all those disparaging beliefs (and near 100 of lawsuits, let’s hope one of them will get him impeached) to the oval office with him. If it were some other Republican besides Trump, I’d probably be ok. Buuuuuut it’s not.

In addition to protests, there are also folks online who want to assemble for future protests and disruptions using encrypted networks and short range communications, such as Tor and Signal. I wouldn’t recommend this because Tor, for example, was made by the government (no, really, it was) and Signal can be intercepted. It’s really difficult to find a good network to assemble and help folks organize but, trust, they exist.

This is a very unfortunate election. It was a long time coming but that doesn’t change how terrible things are about to be. I expect a lot of civil right laws getting rolled back extensively. We’re a nation that has put whole groups of people into camps and prisons out of fear, disdain and/or hate (why people think these things can’t happen is beyond me). There’s actually no telling what will happen with this upcoming presidency. I definitely know Trump has a vendetta list and media folks (just the ones that depicted him honestly, or as he considers it, “badly”) are very close to the top. And given how Bush was during 9/11, it’s not hard to imagine limitations to freedoms of the press because that’s exactly what happened.

If you’re going to protest, that’s fine and dandy. The more important thing you can do is inform yourself about government, how it works, how it doesn’t work and what you actually want to solve because simply getting Trump out won’t solve all the emotions and feelings that got him elected in the first place. Nor the problems that people thought the current administration ignored or were too slow to fix. He didn’t get elected in a vaccuum.

Trigger Analysis

It’s seems that the term “trigger” is more and more in the public lexicon. Moreso as a joke (Ex: *sees something remotely disagreeable*, “Oh, I’ve been triggered!”. Ex2: “Trigger warning: happy people”) and collective irritation. Back in 2015, the Atlantic had an article called “How Trigger Warnings are Hurting Mental Health on Campus” and that set off a spark that basically let people show their best ableism.

For those that care not to read or are already familiar with the concept of “butthurt babyboomers*“, it basically is a writer whinging about how having trigger warnings, such as “Ahead: Rape, Violence” in classes makes young, millennial college students emotionally feeble and ill-equipped to handle the real world…despite the fact anyone could argue that anyone who needs a “rape” trigger warning before being old enough to go to college already got a crash course in how the real world is cold and evil. It probably would have been a better article if it were about the fact that there’s a lot of really bad things in society that traumatizes people at an early age and how it can cause a ripple effect in their life, like rape. I guess the writers would have thought “Ehhhh, let Ta-Nehisi Cotes handle it, he always writes about dumb and weepy sh*t.”

I’m not going to break down the article because that’s not prompted this column. It’s the fact that a lot of people still seem to not get that mental health is pretty important…unless a mass shooting happens, then everyone wants to talk about how they want to keep crazy people away from teh gunz. This is inaccurate because the average mass shooter is White, male, 15-28, Christian or culturally Christian-leaning, dealing with humiliation/anger (not mental illness) and very, very lucid about the world and themselves – basically, not crazy, just very hateful and inspired to be violent.

I’ve written a number of columns/posts here about mental illness, triggers and stuff like that. Probably to the point that folks are wondering “Does she even talk spells and magick anymore? It’s all about being Black and mentally ill.” A) Now you know why this blog is from a Black Pagan Perspective. B) Of course I do! It’s just dealing with systemic ills can really take a lot of my time C) I’m not Silver Ravenwolf, geez.

Triggers, as they’re commonly known, are not for all disorders. Some disorders do not need triggers to go into action, like depression and schizophrenia. Rather, it’s anxiety disorders (Ex: OCD) and trauma disorders (Ex: PTSD) that tend to get use out of trigger warnings because they tell people “Eh, you probably don’t wanna see this if you’re not interested in having an impromptu episode” and the person affected can move on about their day. Technically, society already has a lot of trigger warnings: Video games have ratings, movies have ratings (remember how not-smart parents took their kids to see Deadpool, and discovered within the first half hour how it earned the R-rating?), even television shows have ratings – I remember when those weren’t a thing until the 90s because parents started complaining – everything has ratings that serve as warnings of “if this bothers you or your kids, don’t watch”. Music has “Explicit” warnings on them. Even news programs and documentaries have “May contain graphic/disturbing images, viewer discretion is advised” before they start with the disturbing stuff.

Funny those didn’t prompt articles from The Atlantic about how we live in a bubble-wrap society.

Let’s be quick about this, how about we take a proverbial person who is likely traumatized and benefits from trigger warnings everyone else thinks they need to stop being a pansy about: A US soldier that got back from two tours in the sandbox, now gets tetchy when someone plays Call of Duty or Modern Warfare because, unlike the gamer ragging about triggers, they actually served a call of duty in modern warfare. Twice.

Nah, too easy. And it’s September!

Our proverbial person will be a 9/11 survivor. For the lolz, everyone, because this is just an example. (If you lived through 9/11 as a NYC’er, get an ice cream and speed scroll until the text color changes back to normal. Or click here to the rest of the column. I’m not interested in triggering people to explain to the stupid why their “triggered” jokes suck.)

Our person, “Suv” is their name, is a regular person, a joe-on-the-go type that enjoys Broadways and boxing matches on tv. A regular American, works a job, goes home, eats and goes to sleep. Suv is just a regular New Yorker living in the boroughs. Working as a package carrier, he tries to stay afloat as he nearly gets mowed down by at least five taxis a day trying to race a package from one end of Manhattan to another. It’s a crap job but it is what it is, puts food on the table and keeps the roommate from planning his death for insurance money when the rent is due.

Everyday basically is the same but instead this time is different. Late to work, stuck in traffic on his beat-up Cannondale, already can hear the sussing he’s going to get from his manager. Casually looking up, he sees the NYC skyline is always what it is – with exception to now the North Tower of the twin towers now has a plane parked firmly in it from a booming second ago. Suv thinks it’s a mistake and gets to the sidewalk to avoid drivers now confused and panicked. The twin towers aren’t far, basically a few blocks up and near the deli joint he likes to pit stop at for free snacks from the owner, an old high school buddy.

Keeping watch of the skyline as time passes, there’s chatter abound from the radios and screens around. Frankly, while there are stories getting tossed about here and there, no one really knows what is going on. But by a little after 9 AM, it was pretty certain the “it was an accident” theory was not it: second tower was hit and Suv totally saw it. Looked like a B-rated movie, the wall buckling like phony cardboard when the plane hit it. Couldn’t be fake but Suv couldn’t help feeling it was. Officers were already trying to corral the crowd, saying help is on the way, firefighters have already been called, gawking isn’t solving anything, so on and so forth.

Now, the day was pretty chaotic, Suv got scared, didn’t know what to do but go forward because all he figured was he needed to get some place safe and his buddy was up the way a little. Nobody really stopped him pedaling towards the towers until a cop nearly ripped him off his bike, barking at him to go turn back and go home. Not really sure what to do because the streets were glutted with onlookers, cars and commotion, he just stayed and watched. The officer that was fussing at him was more busy fussing at others and listening to his radio transmitter so Suv didn’t have to worry.

After watching people jumping, towers burning and more noises up and down the street in an absolute daze, eventually he saw the South Tower fall. Feeling like it was just a bad disaster movie, Suv kept watching until a random tourist yanked the back of his shirt and told him to start moving, “Drop your bike and run.” Suv glanced at his bike and thought that the person was crazy because bikes are faster than people and this splotchy blue Cannondale may be part rust bucket but it’s his bread and butter. Instead, he tries to bike away but wobbles as he couldn’t get in a stride among the panicked crowd rushing into him and past him. There were shoes and briefcases on the ground, he eventually had to get off and run aside his bike. Everything was loud but the growing thunder was louder and looking over his shoulder as he hurried along, he saw why.

Never was Suv in a dust storm before, he didn’t know they were so fast. They always looked so slow and far away on tv. While he thought he was making some headway escaping the growing plume behind him, another enveloped from the side in a rush of grey. Quickly pulling up his collar to hide his nose and seeing nothing while feeling everything, Suv felt for a wall, any wall with a corner. Finding one, he sat behind the corner with his eyes closed and half his face tucked well under his shirt. He tightly crouched against the wall behind his bike, covered face tucked into his legs, dust getting everywhere.

Eventually dust subsides, Suv is found by a gray-covered officer who saw him huddled behind a newspaper stand and wondered if he was one of the dead. Trying to regain sight, Suv makes his way back home.

—–

Throughout the years, Suv basically lives a normal life. 9/11 was a bad day but it didn’t happen to just him, he figured. If anything, besides a national memory, he thinks it doesn’t affect him much. He doesn’t really dwell on the day much and still lives the average NYC life of trying to deliver packages around the city. Granted, as he tells it, planes and tall buildings make him a bit “weird” – but it’s nothing serious. He’s not like those people who survived the Titanic and became spooked by seeing ice in their drinks. He just don’t like hearing or seeing planes and he’s always had a fear of heights, it’s just a tad worse now. Blue skies make him a bit antsy, always glancing at them but no one’s ever really picked up on that.

When he went to see his sister in Oklahoma City, he took a train, thinking it would be nice to trip through America even though it took hours longer than a plane, which is what his sister suggested. Besides, Suv never took a train before, so what if his sister didn’t like waiting a bit longer? It’s his money and a new experience. 

Oklahoma City was a fun experience. He laughed, he hanged with his sister, made fun of her boyfriend’s Midwest accent at every opportunity, ate food, bought an “I’m OK” shirt and went home.

During the train ride, some teenager beside him was asleep with his iPod going and the earbuds were awful. They might as well be re-classed as “muffled speakers” because Suv could hear everything. Including the new B.O.B. song, “Airplanes”. That didn’t sit too well with Suv. In a flash, he started to feel panicked and worried. He couldn’t really get much of a grip on himself but the song kept bringing him back to nine years ago, where he stood on the sidewalk and faced the dust, the jumpers and the tragedy. He simply couldn’t breathe. Hearing the lyric of “if airplanes were shooting stars” simply got to him and he was curling up, waiting for the dust to come.

Nobody really paid attention to him except for an attendant, wondering why a passenger was having a panic attack. Figuring that perhaps he’s just not good with trains and hoping that’s all he was, the attendant came over with a bottle of water and reaches over the sleeping teen to get Suv’s attention. She did, but his petrified look made her jump a little. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, can I offer a water? Do you need to go to the restroom? It’s in the next car.”

Suv thought it was the officer that tapped his shoulder but instead it was an attendant, which made him feel embarrassed. He probably looked so wild a second ago. Trying to figure out his breathing pattern, he takes the water and tries to make light conversation to beat back the awkwardness as there was a different song playing now, “Is there an air marshal on board?”

This confuses the train attendant. She corrects, “This is a train, that’s for airplanes. However, you’re safe on a train, nothing ever happens here. If you need to go to the restroom, it’s in the next car.” Suv is a bit embarrassed but somewhat relieved.

Despite this one moment, Suv thought he was mostly unaffected by 9/11. If anything, he just chalked up what happened on the train as a “weird” moment and tried to focus on getting back home. Thing is, Suv has these “moments” pretty frequently, according to his roommate.

The roomie always played the buffer by noting when Suv was getting into his “weird” state and just would whisper to people, “He was at the Twin Towers.” People would be more accommodating without Suv knowing why and all was hunky dory. When Suv would come home and complain about people being douches because he didn’t like delivering to airports or tall buildings, the roomie knew it was because he wasn’t around to brief anyone. He was okay with doing it but, just like one kid pointed out to the roomie as Suv was pacing a Duane Reade once: “9/11 was nearly a decade ago, why isn’t he over it?” The roomie wasn’t interested in playing The Therapist forever, just like the last roommate didn’t. Nor the one Suv originally came home to, coughing and choking from the debris. Suv’s a cool dude but he lives in NYC, planes and skyscrapers are pretty much New York City. As time goes on, less and less people are getting accommodating about Suv’s “weirdness”, especially younger people, even in New York. Seems like everyone is moving on but Suv.

Eventually, Suv moves to Chicago. NYC is getting pricy and Chicago seems like a slower city, his roomie mentioned and he agreed. It annoys the roomie that Suv has to go by train or bus or driving but no planes. At all. The roomie even suggests that he takes a plane and Suv gets there however he wants to but Suv wasn’t hearing any of it. Every time the roomie asked, “What are you afraid of? Nobody’s gonna hijack the plane!”, that pretty much derailed every conversation into a big argument that then derailed into the roomie dealing with Suv’s freakout sessions. Once, Suv even had a meltdown about the fact they were living on the seventh floor in the middle of an argument. A week or two of conversation and arguments, it was agreed they would drive to Chicago, all their stuff in tow.   

Chicago was nice. Cold but nice. The new place was a second floor apartment. Both roomie and Suv could land jobs so no one had to survive on peanut butter cookies like they did for the first two weeks after all the gas money, on top of rest of their moving expenses, drained their pockets. Suv was adjusting way better, he wasn’t checking the sky as much, there weren’t as many planes and not so much skyscrapers.

Once it wasn’t so cold, Suv and roomie walked around Chicago and headed to the downtown area. Suv was feeling a bit alert because of the masses of people milling about him as his roomie walked aside him, attempting to throw bits of hot dog buns at the pigeons, but for the most part, Suv was fine. He always felt a bit alert when outside and not on his bike so this was his normal. They walked past the building originally named the Sears Tower and saw a tour ad stating “Visit the Observation Deck of the Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in the world at 108 stories! Come inside for details!” Suv went into full blown panic, even the roomie was surprised. All Suv could feel was terror and he couldn’t breathe again.      

It wasn’t smart and Suv knew it but he looked up. And in his head, he just saw a plane plow into the building. The roomie, knowing the drill, tried to tell the security guard by the door, “He saw 9/11 up close and personal, he ain’t gonna hurt anybody, just freaking out. Can we go inside?” This made Suv respond worse because there was no way he was going into a building that’s going to eventually collapse and kill everybody. “We have to get NYPD,” is all Suv said, attracting a crowd and their camera phones. The roomie, not at all an extrovert, was about to have a meltdown himself from all the attention. Suv spotted a hot dog cart, expecting the impending dust cloud, and hides behind it, covering his nose. He wasn’t in Chicago, it was New York City again.


Alright – that was longer than even I anticipated and I’m the writer. I tried to make it as brief as possible so I could make my point.

So, Suv here, has a trauma disorder, he has PTSD. His triggers, if you couldn’t tell, were airplanes and tall buildings. They were beyond phobias like Suv was playing them up to be. Here’s what makes what he has PTSD:

He dissociated: His brain dissociated from the tragedy that was around him and made him think he was watching (not “in”, “watching“) a bad disaster movie. Meaning, his brain pretty much attempted to block out the fright of the situation and make it seem unreal. Technically, this is a derealization episode Suv had. Despite that, it’s like his brain plays the bad movie over and over again years later and, this time, he’s part of it.

He’s hyper-vigilant: Watches the skies a lot, especially if they’re blue skies (because the sky was practically crystal clear on 9/11). He may not know it but this is pretty much a “trauma-time” because he’s actually looking for planes, fearful of seeing another attack, despite the fact that it’s been years. Says he has a phobia of heights, thus why planes and skyscrapers bother him but frankly, it’s because he had seen a plane plow into a tower with his own eyes. Twice. He also saw people jump to their death from the towers.

He’s anxious: Sees a plane or skyscraper? Reminded of planes and skyscrapers? He doesn’t handle it well. It makes him “anxious”, as he likes to call it. His roommate would describe it better as “terrified”. So would the onlookers in Chicago seeing his breakdown by the Sears Towers, if not “tetchy”.

Has flashbacks: Gets triggered, he’ll think it’s 9/11 all over again. (This is why it’s important to be mindful of triggers) He doesn’t have to see a plane plow into a building, his brain will play it out for him instead, which is hyper-realization as his mind superimposes the attacks on tall buildings. Basically, he’s reliving the event. Why, he even started to relive the event from a song that had nothing to do with terrorism, 9/11 or anything, it was a reference to planes as a simile.

Became event-evasive: Suv had a sudden preference for ground transportation (cars, buses, trains) instead of air flight, even if flying was the easier/cheaper option.

When faced with his triggers (planes, tall buildings), Suv couldn’t separate modern day from 9/11, even a decade later. Granted, I could have gone deeper and brought up terrible sleeping troubles, being hyper-associated with the number 9/11 to the point Suv wouldn’t want to call 911 for help or things like that but all those experiences are from trauma. Just like any person with trauma, it’s difficult to manage with triggers, even worse when you don’t really know what’s going on because you didn’t know it was PTSD.

Granted, here comes the question: “What? Are we supposed to magically know that this guy is a 9/11 Survivor and never talk about planes or buildings ever? Wouldn’t it be easier for this dude to move to some meadow and deal with it that way?”

No. It would be up to Suv on whether or not he should disclose that he saw 9/11 and that those are his triggers. However, it would be easier if people didn’t openly and continually discount the simple fact that folks have them. (Remember, he didn’t want to see himself as just like those who survived the Titanic and couldn’t have ice cubes in their drinks as a result because it reminded them of the iceberg). In a way, he was trying to tell people he had triggers but didn’t call them that, he just said planes and tall buildings made him a bit “weird” because he didn’t want to come off as hyper-sensitive or crazy. If anything, he was downplaying his reaction, which is what people with trauma tend to do because of the stigma.

It’s not easy to tell who has what trauma. Suv could even mistakenly set off another survivor with a loud ringtone if that other survivor had a trigger about sirens and loud noises. People with trauma don’t like to wear what their buttons are on their sleeve.

Also, running away isn’t always an option for the traumatized. And sometimes the traumatized don’t want to run away because it’s almost like saying “I’m affected”, which people don’t like to think of themselves after a trauma.

If anything, it’s pretty obvious that Suv is going to have to get help for his trauma because it does indeed affect him a lot but it’s not uncommon for people to go years without getting help. Sometimes, intense reactions are delayed, it can take years for something to blip up as intensely like what Suv experienced on the train, several years later after the attacks. Either way, it’s better to be mindful and not be a terrible person about the fact that someone has triggers.

Out of all this, note that the roomie does not have a trauma. Yes, he was eventually distressed from the crowd gathering due to Suv’s episode but “being the center of attention” is not a trigger or trauma. It’s normal to be anxious when the center of attention, especially if you’re not accustomed to it. Suv had a trigger to his traumatic episodes, something that reminded him of his traumatic experience. That’s why they’re called “triggers”. Just like how peanuts can trigger an allergic episode, certain things can trigger a trauma episode. However, no one jokes about the fact that people can be allergic to things like shellfish or wheat, nor do people joke about how epipens are very expensive and how they’re so unnecessary because it’s just getting in the way of evolution sorting itself out. Or if someone does joke about that, they’re seen as a terrible person because folks can’t help the fact they have allergies others should be mindful about.

As always, I explain to people the best way to deal with the fact that some people have triggers is to think of it like allergies. You can’t look at someone and say, “Yep, I know they’re definitely allergic to cotton. Totes.” Or feed someone fish and automatically know that their throat is about to close up in a few minutes. Or that they have asthma. Or anything, really. It’s why people, including myself, wear medical bracelets. It’s why people check the labels at the back of products. Folks who are impacted with their issues try to sort out their lives to make it easier on themselves (note Suv had rather take ground transportation and avoid tall buildings instead of simply just not leaving his home). That’s people taking care of themselves and their disabilities, not wallowing about totally helpless.

However, imagine folks did make fun of having food allergies and trolled about over the epipen. That means there wouldn’t be really any open discussion about the jack-up in price, how people can have cheaper alternatives, so on and so forth. No one is really shamed for talking about Claritin because they have seasonal allergies. No one mimics people having hives or sneezing attacks because it’s funny. If anything, it would be seen as odd, like the person simply didn’t understand the human experience or concept of allergies. Granted people do try to offer snake oil methods for allergies but for the most part, no one would tell people, “don’t take your Benadryl, that’s what’s making you sick” or “you need to grow up and overcome your allergy. I had the same allergy as a kid and now I don’t!” and those who do sound downright mental or overwhelmingly stupid. Just apply that to triggers.

If someone has a trigger, don’t shun them or make fun of the fact that people have triggers. It makes people talk less about their traumas, and even incredibly less in how to handle them. Imagine people never getting help for their allergies because someone thought the fact they had any was idiotic. That would be a lot of miserable and/or dead people. Instead of trying to have a sonic ear for those who have traumatic experiences, try not to rag on the fact that there are people who do actually have them. Yeah, anyone can make fun of Suv for the fact that planes and skyscrapers bother him because it seems so ridiculous on its face. Or the fact that a simple pop song can send him into a tizzy. However, it’s not so funny how he got his trauma yet the same person who would probably make fun of Suv would possibly be reading this post right now and say “OMGZ, Black Witch is sooooooo disrespectful to people who went thru 9/11! Never forget!”

To sum it up, triggers are not light, non-happy reactions that only weak people have because they’re weak. They’re a psychological response and earmark to a greater trauma previously experienced. It’s best to treat them as such.

*If babyboomer and butthurt about this phrase, take a bit of your own medicine: stop being sensitive. And croak already.

On Oct 29 will be a Black Witch convention called Dawtas of the Moon in Baltimore City, Maryland. I’ll be taking part in teaching a workshop called “Witchcraft and Research”.

Here are the details:

Where: Wisdom Books Reception Hall, Gwynn Oak area in Baltimore, MD
When: Oct 29, 2016
Costs:
Tickets are purchased through Eventbrite
Adult: $75 (+$2.87 fee)
Young Woman (8-18 years, must have adult accompaniment): $15 (+$1.37 fee)
Young Children (7 and under): Free!

I’ll be doing a workshop there called “Witchcraft and Research”. It’s about how to best do research for your metaphysical practices, learn how to identify shoddy information and how to decipher the two.

I did a Facebook Live chat a little earlier this week and got some great question in regards to people visiting the Baltimore area. This is my hometown so thankfully I can answer this basic FAQ for those traveling from out of state. This also gives me a chance to correct info said on the FB Live chat.

Where is the Location? Is there parking?
5116 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217.

At first in the Live vid I said there was ample parking. However I forgot that this parking will be mainly in nearby lot at Family Dollar that is down the street. There is curbside parking however.

What is the best route to get to the Wisdom Book Center from BWI?
Driving:
Via I-695 N
Via I-195 W

Public Transportation:
An all-day pass is $3.80. Baltimore’s public transport is crappy, especially the bus. Light rail is great, however but it has terrible stenches.

If you still plan to use public transportation:
Get on at the BWI light rail stop and get off at Cultural Center (a 40 min ride) and get an Uber, Lyft or Zipcar. (Easiest option)

The longer way is going to be almost two hours. I actually thought this place would be close to Mondawmin but not really. Given the crime in the area, I would highly recommend getting a taxi service such as Uber or Lyft instead of walking about.

Where to eat?
There will be food options at the venue but outside is going to be scarce. It’s pretty much a food desert in this area, unfortunately. This is doubly so if you have food restrictions such as Veganism/Vegetarianism. Bring snacks unless you want to survive on chicken boxes.

The better selection food in Baltimore is moreso downtown than anything. If you are Vegan or Vegetarian, I recommend looking through Happy Cow (this was suggested by my vegan friends) and seeing the vast selection available.

For eateries, I recommend these places:
Broadway Diner (on Eastern Ave, open 24 hours, decent priced foods)
Italianos (On Washington Blvd, open 20 hours, decent priced foods)
Jong Kak (Korean eatery/Korean BBQ, on Maryland Ave, closes around 10 PM, moderately priced food)

What is the weather like in Baltimore?
Baltimore is a little brisk at this time of year but we’re not cold. Bring a light jacket. We’ve had warm falls before so a light long sleeve is probably all you’ll need. Ballpark temperatures to be around 60s-early 70s degrees.

Will there be a Meet and Greet?
I don’t know if there will be a M&G for presenters and attendees but I possibly will have a M&G early in the day or on Friday.

HOWEVEEYAH! I will have to haul butt at the end of the day because I’m driving to Chicago to be there on Oct 30th. (For Chicago readers who can’t attend the con, just find me at the Lupe Fiasco show. I’ll probably be milling around Fiasco like I always do.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, sorry I was away for a while, I had EEOC and police/Internal Affairs stuff to attend to.

Now onward with the post!

Throughout Black culture, there is the idea of “Black Love”, which is very pure in concept: Two Black people in a gentle, calm and strong relationship that features a strong Black man that takes the helm of everything, is the protector and provider of the home, and a strong and intensely supportive Black woman who is always behind him, taking care of all home business: rearing the children, keeping the home non-chaotic and making sure that any drama is quickly vanquished.

This belief is very common in pro-Black circles as an aspiration of what to attain, it’s also common in general mainstream Black culture as an ideal relationship for Black men and women. The idea bores from the belief that “no one else likes us or cares about us so we may as well support each other”, a rejection of universal anti-Blackness. This is a great idea but it’s exactly that: not reality. It’s also warped and modified primarily as a purport for Black masculinity since it is rarely, if ever, non-hetero in its depictions and does not really allow women to have much agency. That and it’s basically the 1950’s American nuclear family ideal painted black and a little ankh hung somewhere for decoration.

On its face, the concept of “Black love” is a very beautiful one. It’s smiling Black couples on the cover of countless Black magazines, usually the woman holding a baby or the couple talking about children. They’re financially well off, they have a home, a car and a world of their own. They could make a White person on the street gag in absolute horror and switch from Sanders and Hillary to Trump in a heartbeat just by walking down the street, hand-in-hand and joyful. They’re an active and passive defiance of many dehumanizing anti-Black stereotypes and offensive to any and many who believe those stereotypes.

But in practice, it’s a very complicated and very hard to exemplify concept that is filled with more problems than beauty. And it’s no hidden secret, countless books have been penned on this subject, especially from the womanist and Black queer perspective.

“True” Black Love does not leave much room for Black women to be individualistic people. It shows stark similarities to 19th century Victorian beliefs of a woman’s place to be an “angel in the house”: The cultural idea to not pursue “masculine” things like heavy careers and individuality because it’s her job to make a “man feel like a man” – as if the man is absolutely incapable of normal human feelings and developing mental and emotional securities by themselves due to (entirely fictitious and scientifically bogus) biological beliefs. If the man left or cheated on the woman, the accusations usually hover around how she wasn’t emotionally supportive or simply caused too much trouble with her own life happenings and therefore, it made perfect sense the dude is going to run off to the next chick that can take care of him like a mother (that gives blowjobs).

The woman desiring a career can be seen as a threat to the “Black Love” relationship – unless it can directly or indirectly benefit the man somehow via paying his bills, giving him supplemental income, basically supporting him instead of a 50/50 relationship. This happens a lot in Black relationships – not in every, of course, but enough to be a well-known concept all on its own. The goal of the woman in “Black Love” is supposed to be that of “Support Black man, have kids, basically be a Black June Cleaver”. If the man cheats, she’s supposed to welcome him back as the angel in the house and get mad only at the woman (or “women”) he cheated on her with for pulling him from pious, Abrahamic monogamy down the deep road of lust. If the man is not there for her emotionally, she is supposed to be okay with that because he’s a man and thus has more important matters to attend to than how his partner feels because it will support the whole somehow – even if it doesn’t help or support her personally, emotionally or mentally. Because women issues never matter and Black women are supposed to be made of spun steel, not capable of vulnerabilities. A “Real” Black woman in a “True” Black Love relationship is supposed to hold her man down: keep his secrets, put up with his many, many, many flaws and be grateful that she has a Black man to have and to hold. She’s the evolved version of the “Ride or Die” chick. And she is depressed, unloved and insecure – but told to always be a giver and never a taker because the Black man already has enough strife due to systemic oppression.

“True” Black Love somehow holds no room for non-hetero relationships. Actually, the opposite. Lesbian “True” Black Love relationships seems mythical and gay “True” Black Love seems to be a mockery on the concept altogether because of the conjunct of homophobic and misogynist beliefs. Monogamy is seen as a must in “True” Black Love, there’s is no room for polyamory, (unless cheating and only if the guy does it because he’s “just being a man”). It appears to be also a must that the expression of “True” Black Love can only be between a man and a woman because it is a copy of the White American nuclear family of the 1950s…which actually makes sense given that the concept was newly crafted in the Pro-Black movements of the ’60s and 70s. There doesn’t even seem to be room for bi-people. Either you’re straight as a rod or you’re not Black.

Long story short, it seems the rigid idea of “Black Love” is more of a myth than an actual experience. Does it mean that Black Love doesn’t exist? No. Not at all. There are plenty of successful Black relationships all over the world that doesn’t dissolve into dysfunction and tragedy. Plenty of Black couples who never cheat on each other, plenty of Black couples who equally work together as a duo and not as a lopsided partnership, plenty of Black couples of various gender pairings that are making it work. Because they’re a couple. And that’s what couples do to make a relationship work. They’re not perfect – like the people in the relationships – but they’re making it work…because it’s worthwhile.

Relationships should be worthwhile and healthy. It is unhealthy to be a Black person in a relationship with another Black person and sticking it through because you don’t want to show society yet another failed Black family/relationship. While the effort is truly valiant, it’s ultimately worthless because instead it’s just the person with the ideal getting hurt. It’s basically like continually hitting your head against a brick wall in front of a passing crowd because you want to prove that bone is actually quite strong with sufficient calcium. Some will note, most won’t and you’re still going to have the random dink in the crowd going, “I dunno, I’m gonna believe that Facebook post about how I can get all my nutrients from the sun.” In the end, you’re just going to have a gnarly headache and not much to show for it. The ideal of “True” Black Love is no reason to be with someone who cheats, is emotionally vacant or otherwise disrespectful because, frankly, that’s not love at all. That’s being conditioned to accept abuse as normalcy hidden under the super thin veneer of “Pro-Blackness”. It’s not love at all if someone doesn’t respect you as a person or keeps coming up with excuses, temper tantrums or trying to control you as part of a relationship.

There’s a justifiable reason why there is pressure to want to have a Black Love relationship but it’s all pointless if you’re with someone that doesn’t suit you. I’ve seen this more with Black women than I have seen this with Black men. Countless times I’ve read and been told of cheatings, beatings and emotional abjectivity. And pretty much all of them stayed because “He’s just being a man” or “I have to support my king” or “I don’t want another Black relationship to fail”. Basically, they all were brought up in the ideals of “True” Black Love and pretty much suffered for it. When the dude would get called out, of course, here came the “I’m sorry”, “I need to be a better man” and other lukewarm fibs just to keep the woman around. That’s unacceptable and unjustifiable, completely.

It should take more than “they have the same skintone as me” as a reason to stay. Yes, actual Black love is very important because there’s enough anti-Blackness to drown a ship, but using a hyper-idealistic version suits no one better at all. Instead of aspiring for “true” Black love, just aspire for a very healthy relationship between two Black people. There is no reason to use a relationship to express a point or idea, just enjoy the other person’s presence the best you can. When two Black folks who love each other genuinely and are best friends with each other, that should be the “True” Black Love ideal.

Recently, I was shown an advertisement for a new movie due to come out in 2017 called “Split”. Directed my M. Night Shyamalan, it’s about a man with 23 personalities/identities who captures three teenage girls. Because…he’s supposedly balls-to-the-wall mental due to having D.I.D.

Watch the trailer below:

I am pretty sure that a good chunk of people are going “Hey, this movie looks interesting and not half bad. What’s the problem?” so, luckily (unluckily?) I can break it down for you because I have D.I.D: Dissociative Identity Disorder. Let’s start with the basics so you know what I’m talking about and then about the trailer so you can see what I’m talking about.

What is D.I.D?

Most people don’t know what D.I.D is. Here’s the thing: you’ve actually heard of D.I.D, a lot. It’s usually called by it’s old name “Multiple Personalities Disorder”. Here’s another thing: you mainly learned through media so you also most likely know very, very little about what D.I.D actually is.

D.I.D spelled out is “Dissociative Identity Disorder”, that is the new name of “Multiple Personality Disorder”. The name change happened around the mid-1990s and became part of a spectrum which, if leveled, would look like this:

Level 1: Dissociative Disorder (D.D.)

Level 2: Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D)

Level 3: Dissociative Fugue (D.F.)

If you’re between the “levels”, you’re considered [Disorder]-NOS (Example: DD-NOS). “NOS” means “Not Otherwise Specified”. Basically, the doctor thinks you’re somewhere on the spectrum, but not sure where. I was originally pegged as DD-NOS and then it got bumped up to D.I.D, which made me a very not-happy camper. Actually, I eventually was in tears about it. Not in “I finally know what I have so now my life can begin” tears, I was in “Oh sh*t, my credibility is going to be so dogged because everyone thinks people with D.I.D are absolute psychos. It’s almost as bad as being coined ‘schizophrenic'” tears. It’s not a fun disorder to have and neurotypical folks make sure it’s the worst experience ever. 

The first case of D.I.D, according to the Wikipedia page of Dissociative Identity Disorder (it’s one of the few sites that I could find that didn’t have overly dense jargon), was apparently in 1646 by Paracelus but the first profound case was Louis Vivet, who was hospitalized in 1885 due to developing a psychosomatic paralysis at the age of 17 after a viper wrapped around his hand when he was working on a farm. Once he regained his ability to walk, didn’t recognize anyone in the hospital and accused them of imprisoning him. Also, it turns out, he was the influencing story of Robert Louis Stevenson Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde. The key word is “influencing” not “direct story”.

Still, the psych community argues whether dissociative disorders, particularly DID, exists or not. Also, water is wet and the Pope is Catholic, ugh.

What makes D.I.D. the disorder that it is (and often stigmatized) is that there is what is known as various “alters”, also called “personalities” and “identity states”. The job of these alters is to pretty much deal with trauma however way they do. Some internalize it. Some believe that it didn’t happen. Some just go well off the wall to deal with the fact trauma happened. Either way, the group of alters (and host/original personality) is called a system. No two people with D.I.D systems are the same but there are striking familiar trends that are the hallmarks of D.I.D., such as dissociative amnesia, starkly different personalities types (one alter can be boisterous, regular visioned and careless, another can be near-sighted, shallow and pedantic) that make them seem like different people, all in one body. A person with D.I.D can feel like their head is going blank and fuzzy and dissociated from their environment or even themselves (which is also called “derealization” and “depersonalization”). There’s a wonderful Tumblr that artistically express what it feels like to have a dissociative disorder called Dissociart.

While we’re on the subject of art and dissociation, please don’t confuse an artistic alter ego (such as Nicki Minaj’s Roman, Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce, etc etc) with D.I.D because one is crafted carefully for artistic reasons, the other is borne from trauma. I have explained about it in the past here. Also, the insanity=creativity idea is a creativity myth. Being creative and having a disorder are not related: you can have a disorder and not be artistically talented and you can be artistically talented without a disorder.

Another way I’ve described D.I.D to others is that it’s like your mind is a very, very small apartment and there are several roommates there. And just like roommates in real life, some get along, some don’t like each other, some rather not be bothered, some act like the whole apartment is theirs and no one else’s. I occasionally joke, “It’s like a Dormtainment skit, sometimes.” Or like having several people in one car for a very lengthy road trip.

What is D.I.D Not?

Schizophrenia. That’s an entirely different disorder. Nor is it Borderline Personality Disorder. That is also entirely a different disorder. Those with BPD have mimicked the “showy” parts of D.I.D (such as pretending to have alters and acting out as such) but usually do not display the internal effects of D.I.D, such as the amnesic confusion or expression of internal chatter between alters. Not to mention, if tested, D.I.D is incredibly hard to fake. Even I fudged my answers a bit when I was tested to downplay my symptoms and experiences and still came out pegged as D.I.D. And I’m pretty well-studied on the subject.

It’s also not a fun, creative experience where you get to “try out” being different people. Haaaaaaaaa, no. It’s confusing, disorienting and you get really good at “I have literally no clue what is going on but I’m just gonna do what everyone else is doing until I figure it out.” If anything, it’s like playing those escape-the-room games on Newgrounds where you have no idea where you are and have to figure out how to get out before something bad happens. And there’s next to no directions.

How Does Someone Get D.I.D.?

It’s all about the trauma. One saying about D.I.D is “Not everyone with PTSD has D.I.D but everyone with D.I.D has PTSD”. This means that dissociative disorders (lowercased in reference to the spectrum, not just the actual disorder itself) stem from trauma. It’s honestly no different than if someone were affected by physical trauma (such as being hit by a car) and now have a physical abnormality (now the affected is in a wheelchair). The hyper-simplified basics is “a person experienced an ongoing series of trauma, developed mental defense mechanisms to help deal with the trauma (they dissociate themselves (believe “this is not happening to me”) from the experience). Now the defense mechanisms are maladaptive.” PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and C-PTSD (Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be a garden bed of disorders, such as disorders on the dissociative spectrum. There’s plenty that can be said here but we’re just focusing on the dissociative spectrum as the scope.

It appears the most common trauma stem is abuse, usually child sexual abuse and, for a time in the 1990s (I have no idea why), claims of Satanic ritual abuse. I don’t have either of those. My trauma basically stems from living in one of the worst neighborhoods Baltimore City had to offer. And how not much as been done, given how that very same neighborhood blew up into riots that took over the city just about a year ago. Of course, other things layer on top of that (Not everyone in Sandtown or Baltimore has D.I.D but 80% does have PTSD. I’ll abstain from my usual snark here) but that’s the groundwork.

In case anyone is concerned, the D.I.D and the fact that I’m Pagan are two separate things because I’m a person. I didn’t become Pagan because I have a mental illness (that’s kinda dumb) and my mental illness does not fuel my beliefs in metaphysics and psionics…because that’s not how D.I.D works. If that were the case, anyone who believes in a deity or higher power would be consider insane, regardless if they’re Christian, Pagan or Buddhist. That and folks who believe D.I.D is the real motivator behind being Pagan: you’re thinking of Schizophrenia, another disorder that’s wildly misunderstood…and is not the underlying basis of why someone has spiritual and/or religious beliefs, either. Oh noes, I’m a complex human being. The horror.

D.I.D starts rooting itself at around 6 to 9 years old but may not really start showing up until around pre-teens or a little later. It isn’t a sign of an over-active imagination of a child, it’s considered a mental defense mechanism on overload when someone is too young to fully understand what’s going on but have to deal with it anyways with very, very little resources and emotional/psychological support.

I could go on forever about what D.I.D is, isn’t, how does someone get it and so on and so forth but I have a trailer to deconstruct so here are the basics: D.I.D is a trauma disorder part of the dissociative spectrum that sets in at around early childhood (but doesn’t show until around pre/teen age), usually caused by on-going trauma, which can be anything, from abuse to long term systemic/institutional neglect/harm. The trauma disorder is a mental defense mechanism that is overloaded due to lack of emotional/psychological support during childhood.

Alright, let’s break down why this trailer foreshadows a crappy movie that is overly tropey. I’ll do time stamps so everyone can follow along my thoughts with the trailer above:

00:25 – These are very polite teens (and of course they’re girls because, hey, “Damsels in Distress” is still a thing). And it makes no sense to as why this random dude is trying to kidnap them. Or how he’s somehow not affected by the mace because that small little dust mask would not stop the effects of mace from getting to his lungs (and eyes! What about his eyes? They’re in a car!). I’ve worked in a weapon shop before, have friends in the police force, friends who have participated in a riot and have my own half-face respirator because I’ve worked with chemicals before. This little dust mask barely thwarts dust. Pepper spray will sail right past that and make all four people have a miserable time. While someone can argue “Some alters can’t feel pain”, pepper spray is designed so that even if you can’t feel pain for whatever reason, your body is still going to be affected.

00:33 – Seriously? An underground secret lair? Complete with beds and decor? There are prisons less decked out than this spot. Also, it’s pretty obvious that the person with the D.I.D is supposed to be the “monster” here. As if police need to watch this and feel validated in their current method of dealing with neurodivergent people of “just add bullets”.

00:45 – I take it the brunette one is supposed to be the “hero” or something? And the blonde one is second in command? And the racially ambiguous one is supposed to be the quiet token?

00:50 – Nice outfit and shoes. Lemme guess: the Beckies discover who they think is someone that can help but instead is another alter?

00:58 – Yeap. People do know that getting dressed takes time and most people with D.I.D don’t have a wardrobe at the ready for their each and every alter, right? Because that’s fact. While that is an amazing shirt and necklace, it’s not really true to how D.I.D people act.

01:04 – This is supposed to be the part where the audience reacts and goes “This dude is bug-f*ck crazy. Man, I’d hate to meet a guy like him. Those girls are in trouble.” This is also the part where I roll my eyes. It’s like the creators of this did a cursory glance over what people with D.I.D are like, watched, perhaps, half an episode of United States of Tara and went “ok, we’re ready.

01:17 – That was probably the only part of the trailer that I thought was well done in terms of acting. Just three seconds of footage. Also, it’s another “let’s scare the audience and make them think ‘this dude is bug-f*ck crazy, he’s a grown man who thinks he’s also a woman…and a child.’

01:25 – Ah, here’s the explanation, from a therapist. The “monster” is named Kevin and has 23 alternate personalities. This therapist must be talking to an investigator or something because wow, she’s free-wheeling this information. Even my therapist wouldn’t share that much info with anyone out of concern it would be used against me. Like, I think just the hospital I was at and my lawyer gets a direct stream of info. Everyone else has to sign a ream of papers, get asked a lot of questions, etc. Because D.I.D is heavily stigmatized, as well as mental illness as a whole.

01:28 – Ah, she is freewheeling to Kevin, her client. Maybe an alter is out and she’s telling the details?…in a really awkward way? And saying “Who are you?” Ugh, sounds like being back in therapy when I first got pegged as D.I.D. It double sucks when you like doing accents to past the time, like me. That’s not D.I.D, I just like amusing myself.

01:30 – The visual expression of, “Kevin is more than one person. And definitely more than you see.” I would have thought it looked so cool if I wouldn’t be so strongly reminded that people will think of this when I say “I have D.I.D”. Like, for real, people with D.I.D are not this creepy as a default. Most are pretty quiet, keep to themselves because they know something’s not right in their head and pretty much that. This movie makes it seem all people with D.I.D are out to get a bunch of teens for some super nefarious reason.

01:42 – The brunette Becky seems to attempt to be clever. And fails. Oh lolz. Isn’t she a bit manipulative? Also, depending on the D.I.D system, talking to one alter can sometimes be like talking to one roommate in a house with very thin walls, alters are not that stupid. And speaking of alters, how come there’s literally no alter going “Hey, whoa, hey, whoa…I have no idea what’s going on but this seems reaaaaally messed up. You three? Gotta go. I don’t know why you’re in here but this is not an AirBnb, go on and scat”? Or telling the other alters, “Alright, here’s a really strange idea: maybe, just maybe – hear me out, I might be going somewhere with this – that we just kidnapped a bunch of people and totally should let them go because this is pretty illegal and wrong. Wild thought, I know, but just tossing that one out there. Like, we’re gonna be on Court Tv and it won’t be fun.” It seems like all 23 personalities are on the same page…that’s really odd. If you don’t think so, gather up 23 random people in a room and attempt to simply order a single pizza in two minutes. The more folks/alters there are, the more complex things get, even for the simplest things.

01:43 – The body contorting? Really? Now you’re just painting those with D.I.D as super scary people that can’t control themselves who just wanna kill and torture. I know pleeeeeeeenty of people who are a lot more destructive and vicious and they’re very much sane and lucid and super not-crazy.

01:50 – “The Beast”? Oh, come on, Christian ideology? Are you serious? How laaaaaaaaazy. Why do mentally ill monsters always reference the Bible somehow? Like, holy crap, can anyone think of anything different? If I saw this in theatres, I would have walked out (if I hadn’t already) and just gone across the hall to see Black Panther (if it were out in 2017 and not 2018).
01:57 – Oh, brunette Becky has claws. She can hit a mentally ill person, how lovely. She can somehow make a White feminist’s heart swoon in how she’s saving herself and not letting a man save her. And somehow, this looks like a cross between a Silent Hill game and a regular horror movie

2:11 – “The world will understand now.” I strongly doubt that. Intensely. More like “vastly misunderstand now” since you made people with D.I.D look like automatic Bible-thumping psycho killers with potential mommy issues. Dude, please.

2:25 – That quip…is so plastic. Doesn’t sound like a nine year old. Also, very little research into D.I.D for this movie, indeed.

And that’s a wrap, folks! You can go see the movie if you want but, remember, this is a pretty awful depiction of D.I.D. It is not an inside look of how D.I.D works. It’s not how the average person with D.I.D acts. It’s pretty crap, all in all. I mean, even the Korean Drama Heal Me Kill Me did a better job and that was partially inaccurate as well.

In addition, it’s movies and shows like this that makes people have unnecessary knee-jerk reactions about those with mental illness and present the mentally ill as inherently dangerous when that’s not always the case. Not once throughout the trailer – and I definitely doubt it will be in the movie – that the “monster” is going to get anything to make the viewer sympathize with him. Most people with D.I.D don’t want to hurt anyone, they just want to be left alone. If someone with D.I.D did go to harm someone, it’s because they were set off, not because they’re inherently evil. And if the idea that a mentally ill person could potentially harm someone in that state because they’re set off, maybe you should vote and campaign for better mental health care in this country. That’s the only way to “thwart” potential acts of violence from a mentally ill person, by having a beneficial system there that can help them. And signing up for Mental Health First Aid.

It’s time to get into another bit of “Ask Black Witch”! Let’s get started

Hey my name is Mike. my question is how did you get into witchcraft? I know that’s a general question, but maybe if I tell you more about me you’ll understand what I want to know. I was born in Georgia, but I was raised in the Bronx. I grew up Baptist, and really got into being a Christian and knowing Jesus at 23. But I grew up with comic books, so I always believed in science and magic. Then I saw hidden colors and after doing research, figured I should not be a Christian. But I still love the man that was Jesus because he’s helped me through my entire life. I know you tired of reading, but bear with me. I denounced religion and don’t really see the point in any of them. Now I just believe in God, and the truth that he is everywhere, in everything, and became even greater when I let go of religion. Now, there are occult forces controlling our world, and I would like to get familiar with these forces, but not stick my hand in the wrong dark hole. I never said that out loud, it sounds crazy but I’ma send it anyway. So my question, how did you first get into magic?

– Mike W.

I was raised Christian myself but then converted over to Paganism around 15 years old so I get what you’re saying. I got into magick mainly by researching and reading a lot of books and thinking about aplenty. I first read Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy and kind of went from there. I always could see and sense things so I decided to follow that along. Of course, I went through my “Everything is from the devil and eeeeeeeevil. Magick is eeeeeeeevil” phase but got out of that because I simply wasn’t digging Christianity and the rhetoric just didn’t make sense.

If you’re still into Christianity (or just strictly Jesus), there’s always Christian occultism because if Christianity has a load of, it would be occultic backgrounds. I think there are definitely books on the subject (well buried, especially online), particularly if you look under “Christian Gnosticism” and “Esoteric Christianity”. This would definitely be the strong point of a friend of mine who practiced Christian Occultism so stay tuned to this post for an update.

 

Can you make me a witch with lots of powers please

– Jalana G.

Honestly, when I read this, I just thought, Oh, here we go. Because I’ve been dealing with a spate of people asking frank questions like these. My response:

It’s called “read and research like everybody else”

I know, snippy. But like I said, I’ve been dealing with a run of folks asking me something along the lines of “make me powerful”. It gets old on the receiving side.

But what do I research I’m a teen and don’t know what to search

 See, she would have save herself some snip from me if she mentioned that in the initial letter. Either way, that is a relatively easy answer.

I’ve recommended books here on Black Witch, I think I even have a tag for it. The best book I can suggest a teen (or anyone) to read is Where to Park Your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy. Her and anything by Ellen Dugan, they’re both great writers for starters in magick.

The reader also asked:

Does it take a long time to become a witch with powers?

Long story short, yep. Firstly, real life isn’t Charmed or True Blood. You’re not going to really get the same experience that tv shows you. So no sparkles shooting out of your fingertips shall be promised. However, this doesn’t mean that magick in its, well, magical sense isn’t real. It’s just going to take a lot of work. And reading. And thinking. And mistakes. And so on and so forth. It’s not going to be an overnight thing, at all. Otherwise, everyone would be a witch if it were that cheap and easy.

 

That’s all for this month! See you next month. Or at Otakon or something.

Welp, in the recent string of “Police + Black people = ends poorly”, this time a therapist was shot. Not killed, thankfully, just shot. He was trying to calm an escaped adult with autism, who only had a toy truck. A neighbor confused a tonka truck for a gun (it’s amazing how being not White can magically turn even the most innocent of things into guns, like bright green soda bottles and toy trucks) and in came the cops to go after an autistic person because, y’know, police are very well trained for neurodivergent people, especially non-White ones.* The mental health worker, doing their job, was just trying to keep the 23-year-old safe and not dead as he’s dealing with the sensory overload of very dumb people with really powerful weapons acting immensely aggressive because…there’s not enough bad PR for police already? And he gets shot. On ground, hands out, responding carefully, still gets a spontaneous injection of lead vitamins.

Now, if that’s not baffling, the head of the police union has more to wow you with: they didn’t mean to shoot the therapist…they were aiming for the autistic person.

Oh, that’s fantastic to know. Just wonderful. No need for Mental Health First Aid classes when Smith & Wesson can already give you a crash course in how to deal with the mentally ill and disabled. No need for the Hellen Keller method of dealing with neurodivergents when there’s the George Zimmerman solution. I would bemoan how Florida is really turning out to be a crappy state buuuuuuuut the whole nation is getting sour.

This is very frustrating for a ream of reasons:

The person is autistic, not dangerous:
Ok, I understand there’s a bunch of stigma around having autism. Then you have folks like Autism Speaks** who make things worse. The interesting thing about the internet is that you can learn about autism (not that vaccines cause it because that’s been disproven over and over and over again). There’s even an episode of the children’s show Arthur about it:

There, now you know more about autism than a police officer. And if you’re a police officer, now you just got a little bit better at your job, you deserve a popsicle as you get ready to strut into work to impress your major and be one less person for Internal Affairs to worry about.

Apparently what caused the cop to get antsy is that the autistic person was not obeying orders to lay down on the ground. Because he’s autistic. Like the mental health worker was saying. And completely harmless. This is such bad training, oh my gods.

The cop being not White doesn’t make it better:
The cop that delivered the shot was a 30 year old Latin dude that was kind of new, only four years on the force. But still, he should have gotten much better training than breaking out the automatic rifle and taking three shots. I understand police feel under attack because they don’t tend to train their brethern well and that can attract controversy. However, I really doubt attempting to murder an autistic person is going to make anything better. Neither is trying to kill that person’s doctor. If there were beanbags pellets instead of bullets or, I don’t know, listening to the doctor, this could have probably not even have turned into a story. Just a case of a patient got out, doctor went to get them, police came, understood the situation and tried to help the doctor rally the person in. Hey, that even would have been an okay story, to show that not all police are pigs with bloodthirst. Instead, you just get a new story of why police get so much heat about how they handle things.

This is a wee bit personal:
Ah, for someone who isn’t very anti-police, these stories (and my own personal experience, such as a police raid) do not help me keep the faith much. I have written on here a number of times about how I have trauma disorders and I have a therapist as well. And I have to get treatment for my disability, that, if left untreated, can easily go ham. This really irks me that if I have a major episode, this is what I get to look forward to: some dunce person that can’t tell a tonka truck from a glock calling 911 and police just getting murder-y in response. My main therapist is White buuuuuut the mental health worker that helped defined my disorder back when I was hospitalized? Black. And given how this story unraveled, it doesn’t even matter what race my main therapist is, they’re just as much of a target simply because I’m in the vicinity.

I have friends in the force going up to Federal. I explain to them how my disorder works and they ask questions, because that’s the smart thing to do. However, they should already know how to deal with mentally ill and disabled people because they’re who gets called when someone is having an episode. This is not good. This is alarming. The answer to dealing with neurodivergent people is not “Just add bullets”.

The police, frankly, handled this poorly. This is getting beyond annoying, this is getting concerning. Police generally are trained with protocols of how to handle everything, from irate sports fans to riots. They need to really upgrade how they handle dealing with people in general, it seems. Especially the historically marginalized.

 

*They’re not. “Attempt to murder” is not a satisfactory method to deal with neurodivergent people. Ever.

** “Autism$peaks” because the money is all they’re after

I’m so tired of hearing about Dr. King – wait, scratch that. I’m tired of people quoting Dr. King. Usually in tragedies. Usually by bigots. Usually for super shallow reasons. And it’s the same three or four quotations everywhere. Basically, this is how I feel:

tumblr_mzoa5w0sxv1rgam01o1_r1_400.gif

Actually, I got so sick of hearing people quote Dr. King (a civil rights leader the average person know jack-all about, especially if they’re White) that I actually looked up his last words when he was shot on April 4th, 1968 roughly through the throat by a bullet from Remington 760 Gamemaster rifle. Why? I’m morbid and annoyed. (And for cross-burners that trip over this blog, that gun has been out of commission since 1981. Maybe you shouldn’t try to murder people because they want rights). This is what King said:

“Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”

“Ben” was Ben Branch, a jazz bandleader that was supposed to play that night at an event. Seems like King was a pretty passionate guy, which is pretty obvious. Maybe he thought he was going to pull through, this was only the second or third near-successful attempt on his life. The first, I believe was being stabbed with a letter opener pretty close to the heart.

The reason why I am talking all these gruesome details? Because it’s a pretty strong reminder that the dude is dead. He didn’t die a pretty death where he just passes away in his sleep. He isn’t tucked away in the hills somewhere, swaying away on a creaky rocking chair humming old hymns and Negro spirituals his mom taught him. Nope, shot through the throat on a second story balcony because, just like now, not everyone jives well with the concept of Black lives mattering, regardless whether it is called “Abolitionism” or “Civil Rights Movement” or “Black Lives Matter”. And just like now, bigoted folks back then (they had no one Black to quote so they probably went with the Bible), said nonsense that made it sound like racism is this magical, abominable creature that pops out of a vortex, harms people and dips fast before anyone can take a picture. You know, that hate isn’t done by people like them.

Part of why I’m irate is:

Can you please cite someone else?
Look, I get it, the average non-Black person knows next to nothing about Black history because hey, Black lives don’t matter. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it, quite obviously. Even when they pretend that they don’t. Even Black folks are not always up on the facts about Black history, which also sucks.

Despite everyone consistently interacting with a device that has revolutionized information dispensing since the creation of moveable type (*cough*the internet*cough*), it really seems like there’s only one person to cite. I mean, at least cite some Malcom X or Ella Baker! Either way, now would be an awesome time to look up who actually participated in the Civil Rights Movements (White folks, don’t look for the White people in the Civil Rights movement, they were mainly the folks that were being the cause why folks had to march and get shot in the throat standing on a balcony motel. Or murder nine people in a historically Black church – wait, that was recent. Bombing churches, shooting churches, it’s hard to tell repetitive hate crimes apart). Just look for other people besides King to quote. The upside is, you’ll finally fully understand why Black folks have a tendency to march in the street over rights and how this is very much not a new problem. From letters from anonymous people telling King and crew that they’re fakers, that Black people have it great here, that they need to go back to Africa, that all their marches show how Black people don’t deserve to have rights (reminder: these letters are usually from Americans. Who like celebrating the 4th of July. Which is from the Revolutionary Wa- nevermind, Americans have to earn the “moron” stereotype somehow). Basically, it was just the pen-and-paper version of all these wonderful things that you and anyone else can find on literally any social media platform today. None of it is new, just digital.

If you’re gonna cite King, please research who he is or what he did
You know the totes radical thing about technology and the internet today? You can totally find recorded speeches and videos and stuff on sites as mainstream as YouTube. Talk about amazing. Like, you can hear how King felt about White liberals (Basically along the lines of “Don’t trust them, they’re nice folks, until you figure out that they’ll say the horrible stuff behind your back instead of to your face, unlike conservatives,” riots (Basically: “This is what happens when folks get oppressed for a long time and never heard. Lolz. Saw that coming.”) and other things. I’m sure he had something to say about shooting Black folks, I mean, he had something to say about napalm and why that was bad. I’m sure he’d have more to say about guns but y’know, he got shot down by one. *

King is used commonly to lowkey tell Black people “Stop showing us that racism still exists and is bad”
How come no one cites King when things are not popping off? Seriously, he’s very quotable even about things that have not much or anything to do with murdering Black people practically for sport. Instead of saying “I don’t like how you march about and make me feel like I’m racist,” White folks like to reference King like he’s a) the Moses of Black people and we automatically will listen to him instead of have individual thoughts and ideas b) as if he was pro-peace because he wanted to appeal to White people strictly and he didn’t condone violence because he didn’t want White people hurt in effort to get rights for Black people c) because they think  racism died back in 1968 and that Black folks just like stirring the pot, just like how when White folks saw King back then, they thought racism died back in 1865 and that Black folks just like stirring the pot.

Long and short end of it, it’s a silencing tactic. The point of quoting King is to make some random Black person say “Dang, you’re right. King didn’t get shot in the throat by a government-backed White supremacist for being pro-Black for me to sit here and still complain that I still have no rights. I’ll go back to my dead-end job and continue making  lattes and kale chips for White people, I should have known better. If King weren’t brutally murdered by racism, he would be so disappointed in me marching and not the fact that you are oppressive.” Which isn’t happening. Because it’s not true. King wouldn’t be a big fan of riots but just like when he was alive, he wouldn’t shame the rioters, just the people and systems that caused it (which, by the by, wasn’t the rioters). Even King sat down with Malcom X, who was the opposite side of the same coin, and the both agreed that while they were coming at the solution in two different ways, they basically had the same goal: defeat anti-Blackness, obtain Civil Rights, stuff like that. And the meeting of the minds was so iconic, it’s still reverberates through media today: Charles Xavier and Magneto in the X-Men series.**

Because it’s used as a silencing tactic, it paints an “I’m Racist” neon sign above the person’s head. Or just plain “I’m anti-Black” since everyone of all shades use Dr. King to keep Black folks quiet about oppression. Seriously, not cool. If you’re really against racism and don’t like Black folks marching in the street as a result of it, go cite, I don’t know, Jesus or something to White people to let them know that hate, even hidden kinds, are not cool. Black people already know what King said. And the fact he was murdered for it.

“Segregation Now, Intergration Never”/”All Lives Matter”
I remember when my mom told me about when my high school, Baltimore City College High School, was officially de-segregated back in the 50s. What started that conversation was when I asked mom why she didn’t go to City, one of the best high school Baltimore could offer (we’re talking “golden ticket out of the hood” here) and went to Forest Park instead, a pretty ok school but not the best. She told me that it was strictly because of segregation (segregation still was happening in the 60s and 70s, including gender segregation***), and thus started the convo. When City integrated racially, you can believe there were signs saying “Segregation Now, Integration Never”, which was the motto back then against the Civil Rights movement. There was also the National Guard, waiting for things to pop off from the pro-segregation protesters. Actually, before I continue, I just want to say that while City’s integration was relatively more “peaceful” than other Baltimore schools, don’t think it went smoothly. It was “peaceful” because the military showed up. With guns. That’s not exactly peaceful, that’s tense. I should know, I was around when the Baltimore riots happened. You’re miles from peaceful when the military shows up.

Moving on, the grandchildren and children of the “Segregation Now, Integration Never” crowd are just saying “All Lives Matter” now. Same meaning, just new upgrade. Back then, White people against anti-racism thought that America was fine the way it was and that integration would introduce problems where there weren’t any. Kinda like now, when “All Lives Matter” activists say that focusing only on Black lives mattering would introduce problems where, according to them, there weren’t any.

It’s amazing the speed and gusto “All Lives Matter” types will cite King, a person who they are fundamentally against, because they think Black people are so stupid, that referencing King will be a calming dog whistle to us. It isn’t.

 

To sum everything up, the King is dead and he was shot plain dead by the very system he tried to unravel. Not so some Bernie Sander-leaning yuppie can cite him. Not so some Trump-voting plebeian can cite him. So that Black folks wouldn’t have to usher in a new civil rights movement. But here we are, and even King would agree: Black Lives Matter.

How do we know? Because that’s literally all he ever fought for. And was gunned down cold for.

All Lives Matter, amirite?

All Lives Matter, amirite? Or nah?

 

*Don’t like that I’m not direct quoting? Too bad. Looks like you’re going to have to Google it, bro. It’s almost like I’m pro-education or anti-stupid or something. Make America Smart Again?

** If you think this fact is false, please turn in your “nerd” card to be shredded and torched. We don’t need fake geeks running about, you guys already buy up the Comic Con tickets just to harass people and overload the rooms. Go watch football or something

*** This also excludes the fact that even the mayor and former commissioner of Baltimore have admitted that Baltimore still runs on 1950’s-era racism, just on “Jim Crow Lite”. Gender problems? Never left.

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