“STICKS AND STONES CAN BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS CAN NEVER HURT ME”. <– FALSE
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. May is a reminder for us to be mindful, and recognize the need for us to be mindful of ourselves, and our words and actions.
Recently, one of my friends published a political cartoon, which I was deeply concerned about. I wrote about it on Facebook, and the Arizona Daily Star picked up the story.
There have been many comments and conversations regarding First Amendment Rights in the comments section. I understand, perhaps more than others as a survivor of domestic violence, how important the First Amendment is. I also believe that it is important to be responsible in what we say, as our words and actions can incite violence towards others. This type of control is coercive, and it is called coercive control.
What follows is a re-post, which I believe best outlines my sentiments. As always, please comment below, or send me a private message for any clarifications, or with any comments or questions.
We can make things better.
1. WHY I AM OPPOSED TO CARTOONS AND RHETORIC DEMONSTRATED BY FITZ’S DEPICTION IN THIS CARTOON:
I think that there are individuals who abuse their Power and Control intentionally, for personal gain – e.g. monetarily or physical.
I also think there are good guys who want to do the right thing and are dragged down through the systems when they speak sternly or firmly to uphold an agreed upon policy that someone else decided to violate.
The latter is the group who I am concerned for. When Fitz, or anyone, begins to glump people together, as ONE, we have problems.
2. EFFECTS OF CARTOONS/ RHETORIC / PROPAGANDA ON COMMUNITIES
Consider the attacks at people who wear hijabs or MAGA hats. I wear a hat sometimes; however, something I cannot remove is who I am… I am Chinese-American, born and raised in the States. I have experienced racism. I have experienced bullying. Thankfully, it has not been to the extent of Zhao or Vincent Chin (Chinese man murdered by angry laid off automotive workers who believed the propaganda that all Japanese people were villains… yes, I know, Vincent Chin was Chinese; Asians are commonly mistaken for other Asians).
3. VIOLENCE AND CRIME TODAY ARE A RESULT OF THE STRUGGLE FOR POWER AND CONTROL
There are so many instances of violence, domestic violence, verbal abuse, etc., which can be attributed to Power and Control.
Robberies? Assault? Kidnapping? Petty theft? All can be brought back to Power and Control (lack of, and desire to have). Gang violence. Domestic violence. Police brutality. All linked back to Power and Control.
When people feel powerless, or not in control, people typically respond with one of the three crisis responses: fight, flight, or freeze.
4. OVERCOMING THE STRUGGLE BY USING MINDFULNESS – SCHOOL EXAMPLE
Recently, a movement has begun in schools, teaching mindfulness and meditation instead of punishment when students make bad choices. As far as I know, there is no empirical data to demonstrate that this technique works… because teachers and staff are so tied up with trying to take standardized tests (which are biased…. but that is another conversation).
Ask a teacher or staff member who has properly* utilized these “alternative” methods of “discipline” /transformative and restorative practices (*Note: Many teachers think they are using these practices, but they are not), and you will hear that students are transformed.
5. EXPANDED EXPLANATION OF EFFECTS OF POLITICAL CARTOONS ON NON MINDFUL COMMUNITIES
When we see political cartoons, like what Fitz created, and we are not mindful, we react: “Yeah! I heard stories about other instances of police brutality! Like Rodney King! Damn! That was back in the 80’s! F*@# the cops! Still the same group of a**holes that they were back then. Smgdh.”
Or, we hear the echoes of “Murder patrol. Murder patrol. Murder patrol. MURDER PATROL!!!” down the halls of a University. Oh, the irony. That we have not spoken up and recognized that one Border Patrol member does not represent all Border Patrol members.
6. WHAT WE CAN DO – SYSTEMS AND COURTS
This is why I have suggested several times that individuals be held accountable (and my understanding is that each of the BP agents who were accused have participated in the process.) Here is what we have noticed, but we continue to be lacksadaisical with – The Courts.
Instead of working on the Courts INjustices, and addressing our current County Attorney’s decision to continue to ignore which cases are tried, and our County and City decisions on what evidence to process (e.g. the rape kits that sat on the shelves), our current BOS works on their agenda, which includes purchasing an historic iconic family and community recreation center, and bringing in the complete opposite crowd. People on probation. That being said, I believe that we are no better than those convicted of crimes. However, how does it make any sense to say: “That area (Miracle Mile) is where they need these services” as a justification?
7. WE CAN MAKE THINGS BETTER IF WE DO BUSINESS DIFFERENTLY
What if we dealt with the real issues that affect poverty? Like insufficient transportation for parents to get to work in a timely manner, so they can spend time with their families, and teachers who complain about how “they” have to raise the kids because of “deadbeat parents” will no longer have to complain.
What if we used better materials for roads that are better for our environment, and cost less?
What if we stopped nickel and diming people who try to raise civil issues in the Court systems?
What if we had policies formed for protecting people, out of common sense, and not based on fear and ego?
8. MY NAME IS FELICIA CHEW AND I AM CAMPAIGNING FOR THE DISTRICT 3 SEAT ON THE PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS (2020)
These are some of the reasons why I am campaigning for a seat on the BOS.
I am a Constitutionalist and a process/systems thinker. I am an English teacher who recognizes the loopholes and gaps that people take advantage of, due to language interpretations and perspectives. I am a mom who wants things to be better for my kids, their kids, all kids.
9. THANK YOU. WE CAN MAKE THINGS BETTER.
Thanks again for sharing the story of Zhao. Let’s make a change and stop the cycles of violence. We cannot control others. We can change policies. We can have budgets that are not wasteful. We can make things better.
Thanks for reading to the end,