Political Activism – Hate is at the Root of Community Violence

Please forgive my absence from this blog lately, and know that I have been extremely busy on the political activism front these days. We are witnessing exciting events, both encouraging and fearful, as the world is realizing that hate is at the root of all kinds of community violence – racially motivated, gender-based, and related to sexual orientation. Really, it is becoming evident that as in ancient times, people continue to form tribes based on similarities, and they exclude those who are different or do not conform to the tribes’ norms. Feeling threatened by the perceived infiltration of different ones, they are quick to ostracize and condemn the eccentric ones. In other words, they justify hateful behaviors against anyone who is different as a means of protecting the core tribe. Digital globalization has shattered our ability to remain in secluded tribes, and we must either adjust to the reality of diversity, or we will find ourselves having the similar fate of ancient tribes…

I do also want to mention a couple of interesting points on the domestic violence front. First, in regards to the Ray Rice dismissal of charges, please see my thoughts on the Tumblr blog:

Second, NBC is looking for survivors for an upcoming special. The details are on the Facebook page:

Thanks for supporting our cause. It reminds me how each of our individual lives do matter, and how strong a force we are when we join together!

Blessings,

Tammy

Would you recognize stalking behavior?

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Stalking behavior has nearly become an “epidemic” in the US. Learned through interpersonal behaviors in the family and with peers, it is perhaps the most efficient way to get whatever it is that one wants. It is becoming common to see the behavior in business and government these days.

I challenge you to correctly identify it whenever you hear someone or some group of people being blamed. I promise that you will see your world much more clearly by doing so. When you are skilled at stalking behavior identification, please speak up and educate others about this nefarious social disorder that endangers the freedoms of all of us.

Thanks,
Tammy

Exit…Stage Right, Upon the Midnight Hour

“Don’t you know that a midnight hour comes when everyone has to take off his mask? Do you think life always lets itself be trifled with? Do you think you can sneak off a little before midnight to escape this?”
Søren Kierkegaard

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If we matter, then our words and actions carry substance too. Our existence within the Age of Virtual Reality, a period marked by digital innovations and rapid communications, keeps us safely tucked away behind our monitor screens. We become whatever we desire to be. Our avatars are not restricted to a face, and they abide in whatever scene best suits them.

Our virtual environment resembles a painter’s canvas, and is limited only by the reach of our imaginations. As social beings, we are compelled to piece our well-rounded lives inside compatible spaces, constructing a network of our own design. We strive to make our virtual life resemble our reality.

Yet, life does not come with a guaranteed number of perfectly shaped puzzle pieces, nor does it offer the smooth, stable surfaces necessary for the erection of a 3-D creation of our imagination. Whatever we do will affect those around us – this is one of nature’s laws. If we destroy our virtual neighbor’s property, we will face consequences for doing so. If we destroy people’s reputations online, we will be called out and confronted by our victims.

Everything we do is online is subject to the scrutiny of our peers. What is acceptable behavior within our neighborhood, may not be appropriate in a neighboring community of peers from diverse backgrounds. We might think it’s alright to exit…stage left, or to say, “goodnight folks; the show’s over!” But does our audience really believe us as they either shout for an encore, or continue throwing tomatoes at the stage?

You are the only person with the power to control your virtual performance, your setting, and your plot. You can contribute to your social network’s growth or it’s demise. That choice is yours alone. Just remember that the fabric of our society, whether online and offline, always has and always will depend specifically upon your choices and actions.

Your Lives Matter – Refuse All Forms of Oppression

People are posting on social media with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, but doesn’t the message apply to victims of domestic violence and stalking too? Personally, I decided not to have any other children due to the ordeal inflicted upon myself and my daughter. Was that really my choice, or was it a necessary sacrifice based upon oppression? Race and Gender are often used as weapons by abusers and oppressors. The goal is the same: to enact power and control over another human being. The Ferguson issue is not only about race, but also about basic human rights (due process, life, liberty).

Sometimes oppression is generated from fear, or feeling dis-empowered. The police are supposed to serve and protect the population. Lately they are shooting first, and asking questions later. Ask any crime victim if the police are doing their jobs adequately, and you will be told no. Law enforcement needs appropriate training and support to do a good job. They are not getting it.

In short, the cycle of violence is not just an individual phenomenon. It occurs at the institutional level as well. When it does, it becomes oppression. Nobody wins when a system is corrupt and broken.

No, The Suffering Isn’t Over For Us Yet

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I struggled with putting this out in a public forum, yet I think it is important to validate my family’s feelings during a tragic ending to a terrible ordeal. My sister’s ex-husband committed suicide Friday morning. He had stalked her and my Niece for several years. Nobody believed he was really dead at first, because he has both threatened and faked his suicide in the past. His ex-girlfriend notified my 17 year old Niece of his passing in a text message.

His Facebook is full of condolences from people who barely knew him, or only knew his side of the story. Most of them have no idea what he put our family through. Thankfully, my Niece has family and friends who love and support her; those who are well-aware of the trauma he caused her and her Mother. We are relieved that the nightmare is over, yet saddened by the pain she is suffering because of his actions. We are angry at the foolish people who are now praising him as a great guy – the same people who did nothing to intervene. Many of these buddies were the ones who played an active part in his addictions.

A single Mother and baby were brutally slain just a few blocks away from their home right after my ex-brother-in-law began stalking his family. I heard about it on the radio news while driving to work, and immediately thought it was them. This was just the first of many, many terrifying incidents that my family experienced. I started Human Rights Vs. Stalkers because of the suffering my sister and niece endured at their abuser’s hands. It was the only way I could do something to keep my feelings of powerlessness at bay.

My Niece has struggled with loving vs. hating her Father, and had terminated telephone contact with him several months ago. He chose not to attend supervised visits with her during these past five years. After he publicly humiliated her on his Facebook and she found out about it, she announced on her own account that she wished he would die; words spoken in haste by a young girl who was tired of being controlled and shamed instead of loved. She had just recently changed her mind, and was trying to contact him and her Grandfather over the past few weeks. Neither would answer, nor return her calls. Now it is too late, and she is absolutely devastated.

Nobody can possibly understand the terror our family, including my elderly parents have felt during this time. We have all been taunted, degraded, and threatened. It did not have to end this way, but it did because of the choices HE made. He is not some lonely, unloved martyr whose family abruptly abandoned him for no reason. Opportunities for him to grow and change were available at every stage of his life. We all did our best to help him during the 17 year marriage to my sister, but he did not want anybody’s help.

His “friends,” who are so stunned at this outcome, could have acted like real friends, and encouraged him to stop making excuses for his poor behavior, or to get some mental help, instead of helping him to hide his secrets. His law enforcement colleagues could have set him straight by holding him accountable for his actions, and confronting him with the truth, instead of encouraging his delusions. His family could have opened their eyes to the abuse he was inflicting, instead of enabling it. They could have tried to protect my Niece and her Mother.

My Niece’s first words to me after she found out were, “I don’t know if I should feel glad or sad after all he put Me and Mom through, but I miss him so much.” She is going to suffer from his abuses for years to come. Her half-siblings were not even mentioned in the obituary; one of whom she never met, and has only learned existed after her parents’ divorce. Today my Niece is trying to access her Father’s Facebook to put her own message of grief on it. She deserves to have her voice heard. She also wants to retrieve a few recent pictures of him from his page. Unfortunately, he had blocked her from viewing it, so this is proving to be difficult.

My sister told me people are saying to her that they are unsure whether to offer condolences or congratulations. Her Ex-Father-in-Law finally spoke to my Niece yesterday. Being a staunch Baptist man, he wanted to know if her Mom was still single. He, as many others did, has judged her for the heart wrenching decision she made to leave the abuse. Many other busybodies now want the latest updates on her side of the story. The truth is, my sister refuses to feel guilty for the suicide, because she did nothing to contribute to it. Our entire family is feeling many mixed emotions: relief, sadness, anger…just to name a few. We would like to finally have some peace and we deserve to be heard too.