The Long One

There has been a lot of things in the media recently from the COVID-19 pandemic, to the Black Lives Matter protests, to Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter posts. Here as a mixed race American I am here to shed some light on some things. Before you start criticizing that I don’t see things from every way let me explain what I am. I am Puerto Rican and White. My Puerto Rican heritage means I come from African heritage, Taino Indian heritage and Spaniard heritage. So believe me when I say that I get all the sides, I understand and it’s not easy. So I am taking this time to address things one at a time through all the issues I can.

THE PANDEMIC:

Let’s start with the growing pandemic. I will say this once and only once, the pandemic is real and anyone who says otherwise needs to pull their heads from their ass and wake up. There are people dying from this. No it is not “like the flu”. No it is not “airborne”.

The virus is spread through contact with bodily fluids, specifically through water droplets that come from your throat or nose from your lungs. You can inhale these droplets, touch the droplets from other surfaces and contract them by touching your nose, eyes or mouth as well as touching a contaminated person. For direct information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) please see the link below. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html

My job closes early every day to do a deep sanitization, requires employees and shoppers to wear masks and social distance as well as issues daily sanitization processes to every person working to keep cleaning going throughout the day. We do this to keep our people and our customer’s safe and because of this, out of 10 stores, over a 1000+ employees we’ve had 5 cases, FIVE since the outbreak. This is proof that sanitization, masks and social distancing are working to keep people safe. Also, the 5 cases that we did have, were all contracted by people traveling out of state. 

Please wear your masks, if not for yourself for everyone else around you. The states might be opening up but we still need to be cautious and not get right back to normal. Everyone has someone in their lives that would be considered “higher risk”. For me it’s my boyfriend who has a compromised immune system, my dad who is a cancer survivor, my mother with underlying health conditions as well as many others. But I am an essential worker, I go out only when needed and order most things now to prevent contact with the outside world. It alarms me though how many people I see out and about without facial coverings.

The pandemic is not over, in fact it keeps growing because people are not taking into consideration the CDC’s warnings and heeding their recommendations to protect themselves. On the flipside, people are also going to extremes by ingesting cleaning products – which come with a freaking warning label not too – and dying because of that. If you are not sure about what precautions to take refer to the CDC website. 

https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=The%20virus%20that%20causes%20COVID,sneezing%2C%20or%20talking.

For those of you who are yelling “Hoax!!!” because people who are asymptomatic are testing positive please refer to genetics and biology for dormant viruses, stronger immune systems and genomes. For those of you who don’t want to do the research genetics can be passed down from one generation to another, skip generations and only affect one set of chromosomes or another. Some “XY” chromosome humans have a specific anomaly that shows up only when one “X” is present and therefore allowing it to be dominant over the “Y” chromosome. 

As for the humans with “XX” chromosomes they may be a carrier for the genetic anomaly but not actually have it because their dominant gene is suppressing the recessive one. In the same way, (not on chromosomes but on other cells in the body) the virus can infiltrate a person’s system but they won’t show any symptoms. However, like genetics the virus can still be passed on through respiratory droplets.  

This is why there is more than one issue with the ongoing public gatherings, marches and protests. I get that issues are relevant and that is fine. But gathering in such mass numbers is going to cause a larger spike in the pandemic and kill so many people. Whether it’s a birthday party, a wedding or a funeral I urge you to think about what you are doing before you go hang out with 20 people.

Anyways, that is my take on the virus. On to the next topic.


Black Lives Matter: BLM

The Black Lives Matter movement is meant to shine a light on the systematic oppression of people of color in this country, specifically the Black community. Over the years, there has been red-lining, which is by definition “refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.” This leads to housing inequalities, pay inequalities due to low education opportunities and low job opportunities. 

So yes, there is systematic oppression – over more than one area of life – that validates their movement. In addition to this, many officers are over the age of 40 (born during a time that the generations prior to them still had this demeaning outlook towards the Black community), which indicates a bias. Yes, there are a large number of Black humans being shot by cops. In 2019 alone there were 235 Black American’s shot and killed by officers making the Black race the second most shot race in that year, the first people Caucasain humans at 370. 

To verify this please use this link here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

Now this doesn’t include deaths like George Floyd’s, whose death was not caused by a gun. The BLM is moving to get justice serviced to the officers who have killed un-armed men and women who were killed. Which is a valid movement and definitely needs to be backed by peaceful protests. 

However, the flip-side of this is that many protests are not “peaceful” anymore. Whether it was caused by protesters, police or outsiders. It needs to be adjusted. Rioting and looting stores and areas that have nothing to do with the movement, who actually SUPPORT it, and are just trying to make a living is wrong. Ruining someone’s livelihood is not okay, I don’t care what the cause is you don’t take it out on small businesses that will never recover, or even large businesses that will put hundreds of people out of work. 

You band together and peacefully protest. Did cops get aggressive before they ever needed to, yes. However, there are videos surfacing of people breaking into cars with BABIES in them during these riots not caring that they are injuring 6month old little ones. 

Now, to address videos of officers removing people from the street after asking them to move. Yes this is legal. As stated on the aclu.org website: “You don’t need a permit to march in streets or on sidewalks, as long as marchers don’t obstruct car or pedestrian traffic. If you DO NOT have a permit, police officers CAN ask you to move to the side of a street or sidewalk to let others pass or for safety reasons.”

(For more information on protest rights and regulations visit this website: https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/protesters-rights/

By the same token, if you refuse to abide with a reasonable request an officer can use reasonable force to remove you from the situation in compliance with their original request according to Ohio law (laws may differ by state, this article relates directly to OHIO). You can view this in Ohio revised code Title 29 crime-procedure chapter 2921: Offenses against justice and public administration section A. Subsection 1 also dictates that a violation of division A results in a first degree misdemeanor. Repeated failure to comply can result in higher charges.

You can also view using this link: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2921.331

For those who are wondering about excessive force, it is by definition “force in excess of what an officer deems reasonably necessary to handle a situation.”This is determined by a jury as to whether or not the officer went beyond the force needed to handle the specific situation and is therefore determined on a case by case basis. 

Fact Check here at: (https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/excessive_force

Now, with all this in mind – the BLM movement is still valid and still needs to be shown in public to get some things to change. However, there is unrest in all communities because things are being construed during these protests. Police are acting on orders that are given and unfortunately they may not always be the best. I’m not saying Police are right, however it is a job and they have an obligation to uphold the law and that means removing people from traffic pathways if they are causing an obstruction regardless of the reason for it, protest or not. 

Now that said, I understand the movement. I get that there is a difference in how people are treated because of their skin color. My good friend who is both of the Black community as well as the Deaf community has experienced this in excess because he can’t hear requests and if not for his vocal communication (regardless of hearing), he may have been harmed because he was signing on a video chat and an officer took them as gang signs. I thank God every day that he is okay, but that shines a light on just how many differences there are between the different communities. 

Yes, there needs to be changes and there needs to be justice for the people who have been killed who were unarmed and not a threat. We just need to find a better way of doing it so that people stopped getting harmed in the process of fighting for the violence to end. 


Blue Lives Matter: They do

Alright, now that we’ve discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, I also need to shed some light on the Blue Lives Matter movement. This was started because of the attacks on officers, whether they were responsible for killing unarmed men or not. Good officers, who don’t have a racial bias, who want to serve and protect ALL humans, not just the majority are being targeted and harmed. 

Videos are  surfacing of officers being attacked on the streets just patrolling or being at a station outside of buildings for pedestrian safety. These are officers that have done nothing wrong and yet are being targeted because of a larger vendetta. Not all officers are bad. Infact, in my city of Lorain – Named the International City – the peaceful protests here were just that peaceful. They know that the protests are for a reason and the people here abided by traffic laws, officer requests to move if they were blocking intersections that could cause accidents and still made their point known. 

However, it’s these larger cities like Cleveland and New York City (NYC) that make me lose faith in humanity. My brother wants to become an officer to make a difference, to support all communities and help be a change for the better. Yet, I am terrified every day for what that means for him when he puts on that uniform. It’s no longer just the threat of injury on duty but also being targeted by those when he is getting off duty in a uniform.

There are officers that are here to serve and protect and actually want to make a difference in the world. As a Resident Assistant (RA), I worked side by side with some of the most wonderful officers on my campus. We’ve had to deal with fights, drugs, suicidal ideation, fire alarms (false and real), and so many other things and regardless of race the humans that were in uniform respected all people on our campus regardless of race, gender, identity, sexuality or anything else. We cannot disband police like people are calling for. Who will answer the 911 call when your houses are being broken into? Who will come when you are scared for your life and being followed? Who will come when your child is kidnapped and you want to find them? Who will save your children from sex trafficking?

The police do so much more than what you see in the news. Injustice and issues make for good news, trust me I know I worked on a paper for 2 years. However, so do good deeds and unfortunately we don’t see too many news outlets reporting on them. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, it just means those voices are being covered too. 

Which brings me to my next topic.


All Lives Matter: because they do.

I know many people believe the movement was created based on the BLM movement as an anti-movement. Now whether or not that’s true – it has nothing to do with what I’m about to say. 

All Lives Matter. Why? Because they do. 

It doesn’t matter what race you are, what ethnicity you are, sexual preference, gender, identity, how able-bodied, or what mental capacity you function at — you are a human being and that is all that matters. You deserve to be heard, to be protected and loved no matter what. The movement may have started as something misguided, but they didn’t get the message wrong. 

You matter. Period. 

It doesn’t change because you are different, if anything it’s more prevalent because we need to embrace our differences. I get that it will take time and that with the world the way it is it may be a long time before everyone sees that. 

But for those of you who need to read this, I’ll say it again. 

You are seen. You are heard. You are wanted. You are loved. You are perfect just the way you are. You are human and you deserve the world and so much more. 

….. Now onto even more controversial topics……


Guns – Left Side, Right Side – I’m in the middle…

Alright y’all, with the movements that are happening in the world (most of which are mentioned above) a big topic that is also brought up is guns and whether or not there should be more gun laws, less gun laws, no guns or more guns. Well here I am to tell you that you can be on both sides of this argument and see the middle ground. 

First let me give you some background on why I’m in the middle. 

I grew up in a household where my dad went hunting a lot when I was a kid. He had his hunting rifles locked in a glass case in the dining room on display. I knew as a kid not to touch, I knew they were there, and I also knew if there was ever an issue we could break the case and protect our family if anyone ever tried anything shady. 

It’s because of the way I grew up that I never really had an issue with guns or owning them. 

On the flipside, when I was a senior in high school the guy I had been dating committed suicide with a gun and the thought of owning one terrified me for a long time. In fact, I had panic attacks and anxiety over them. I wanted to know how it was so easy for him to go out and get one, to buy a gun and end everything so quickly. I know that he never had one before, so it was recent and that terrified me. 

So yes, I’ve seen both sides of things. However, now I am in the middle of the issue.

I do think that there needs to be stricter gun regulations for verifying mental stability for purchasing a gun. Not to say that those people don’t have a right to own one and protect their home. But, I do think an evaluation to deem if you are a threat to yourself or others is needed along with the standard background check. 

However, I also think my right to bear arms is just that, a right. It is mine and you cannot take that away from me. I am the proud owner of a handgun and I can tell you it makes me feel safe. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I still live in one. Just the other day I got a notification that a level 3 sex-offender was released from prision and moved within a mile of my home. Having my gun on me, whether it’s in my car or in my home makes me feel safe because I know that if I can’t scream, I can’t run, I can sure as hell shoot and survive being raped, kidnapped or worse. 

I’ve never had to use my gun and I hope I never will. That said, I can insert a magazine, rack and shoot my gun in under 30 seconds. 30 seconds may be the difference between me getting to live a long life, and it being cut short. If it’s up to me – I’ll own a gun any day before I let the cruel world take me too young. 

So yes, I am on both sides of this argument. I see both sides, and I am usually attacked by both sides because I’m not enough of one or the other. But you know what, I don’t care. I believe in guns, and I believe in regulation.


Republican or Democrat? Neither.

Now, for those of you saying well then where do you fall in political votes democratic or republican? Let me tell you now, that I don’t. 

I have mixed views on just about everything. That doesn’t mean I’m indecisive or wishy washy. It means that I see both sides, I can agree to disagree and I’m okay with it. 

For example: Pro-life or Pro-choice?

Well, personally I would never have an abortion because to me, it’s a guilt that I couldn’t live with. Not because of religious guilt or anything like that, but because how could I not give this little life a chance because mine would be altered? That’s a prime example of selfishness in my head. 

HOWEVER, I see the other side. There are so many humans who get pregnant at a time in their life that is not ideal, whether they were using protection or not. Heck, you could get accidentally artificially inseminated! (Jane the Virgin anyone???). And every person has their own personal autonomy and the ability to make decisions for their own body. 

I am not going to vote for a Pro-life human because that would mean taking away autonomy over someone’s body for my own personal beliefs and that’s just not okay. Pro-choice will always be my answer even if I couldn’t personally make that decision. 

Also, from a medical standpoint I can even prove that the “it’s a baby with a heart beat” argument doesn’t hold up. 

At the point of conception the egg is fertilized and then implanted into a uterus. It takes 6 weeks for the first heartbeat to be detected. However, the heart beat isn’t the actual heart – simply cardiac tissues that have formed the start of a cardiac muscle where the neural tube has started to close – thus allowing the muscles to contract giving the indication of a heart beat when in fact, there is not a fully formed heart yet. 

A whole heart starts to fully form at about 112 days, or 16 weeks (4 months) into the pregnancy. At this point, if you were to give birth your chances of the child surviving are less than 50%. In fact, medical professionals do not consider a pregnancy viable until at least 24 weeks (6 months).  Many laws now are nick-named the “heartbeat law,” which would prevent someone from getting an abortion past 6 weeks, which is when most people find out they are pregnant if not just after depending on menstrual cycles. 

How is it okay to force someone to continue through a 9 month process that will physically change them forever in some way and change their life forever, if there isn’t even a life yet? 

Now, don’t take my word for it. If you want to fact check I will be including those links below.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4713728/#:~:text=The%20gross%20morphology%20of%20the,leaflets%20into%20the%20tricuspid%20valve

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-care/art-20045302

https://healthcare.utah.edu/womenshealth/pregnancy-birth/preterm-birth/when-is-it-safe-to-deliver.php#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20infants%20that%20are,weeks%20gestation%20and%20do%20survive.

Another example of my seeing both sides is the LGBTQIA+ community.

I have many friends and family in the community and I love them dearly and I want them to be able to live their lives and be the truest forms of themselves that they can. I support them and I want them to feel safe and loved – just like I do. 

At the same time, I get how people are scared of the unknown and they have questions but are afraid to ask for the fear as being labeled as a hater or ignorant. There’s also people who just fear what they don’t understand and they fear change so they react badly. 

I get that, I understand being scared of change and not knowing how to react. Which is why I think there needs to be more resources for those who want to understand, want to learn which pronouns to use, want to learn how to be correct in their identification. 

The same way I want the community to feel loved and safe and protected, I also want these potential allies to have a safe space to learn and become more familiar so that they can become advocates too. 

And yeah, there are some people who don’t get it yet and they may not want to yet, but eventually they will. It’s our job as allies and people of the community to educate when we can instead of snapping back when someone gets something wrong. The more we show kindness and educate, the more progress will be made. 

I know it’s hard and there are definitely going to be setbacks but it’s okay as long as we keep moving forward. 

That said, there were a lot of topics touched on in this post. I know that you may not have gotten this far, but if you did there is one last thing I want to leave with you, and it is this:

We are human. We are not perfect. Change is hard, but change is good. Progress is hard, but it’s good. Things take time, it won’t be easy but communication from both sides is the key. 

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