I'm an autodidactic sociologist. Well, mostly... I have received relevant informal education regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act in relation to my demographic, as the ADA designates mentally impaired, but in more simple terms it's really regarding the acknowledgement of U.S. Constitutional Fourteenth Amendment rights (of equal protection of law) for people who've been traumatized (victims of violent crime) but are often marginalized & stigmatized. "Emotionally distressed" is a newer way to describe my community of peers, but sounds weak, admittedly; but I could add compassionate & indignant which has the tendency to rile some average people.
There is the reality that the majority of people are not stupid & can figure out that there's a demographic of people that are survivors of abuse and other violence, who end up hospitalized in psychiatric facilities & the other hardships of "mental illness" (as it is so commonly referred to as), including homelessness & high mortality rate. The degree of personal responsibility for those afflicted is of contention, however, with a spectrum ranging from "they just need to take their meds" to "they need supportive housing & possibly other assistance". On social media there exists a vocal minority (as I think of them) that doesn't care & has no problem with discussing the vulnerable population with disdain & contempt. (So there's stereotyping of the demographic along with stigmatizing, so there then is evidence of a legitimate minority of people, whose freedom of speech get suppressed (NAMI) and are discriminated against < but of course that would be a matter of contention, too ... how so?, or of course back to the "they just need to take their meds".) I reiterate though, that there most likely exists a large majority of people who understand & admit their ignorance of the details, not their business & so stay out of the related debates.
The two most prominent topics that are a safety issue for people who have psychiatric diagnoses is the stigmatization of potentially violent, and the association with "drug addicts" in regards to discussions of homelessness. The latter subject is of concern since the combination of the two groups is commonly used in a way that not only implies complete culpability, but that the circumstances is befitting of them & they have the addicts there to help them & keep them company. I phrased that last part of that previous statement intentionally facetious so I could point out that in reality the two demographics do commingle & lines blurred, of course, but in the strictness of the social science analysis it should be pointed out that those who have psychiatric diagnoses (or would acquire one) are classified as a vulnerable, "at-risk", people and are taken advantage of by others. It is in that way that it becomes a safety issue for them to be so freely associated with "drug addicts" by those regular people arguing politics. The fact that the "mentally ill" are an exploited, oppressed, victimized, scapegoated demographic isn't a problem for people like Mayor Hancock. His idea is to just institutionalize them because it isn't his problem since his people were sold out by their fellow countrymen back in the day. ("Now they know how that feels." type of thing; think I'm kidding? Ha! He allowed a propaganda campaign that slandered the 1920's era Denver mayor, Ben Stapleton, that caused/exacerbated racial division & tension & bias motivated violence within the city that he could have addressed with a statement or something that would reaffirm that Mayor Stapleton's true legacy was that he turned on the organization that got him elected.)
So... back to my credentials here & my purpose for the existence of this website & my desire that someone actually reads some of my work, essays, articles, rantings, what-have-you. It is important because what I have to present in my writing could be helpful for those of my marginalized community of "emotionally distressed". What transpired recently for me when I acquired a new apartment and was told that I "didn't have to pay anything for it" by a woman working for the building's owner & managing company while my "past due" amount is creeping up towards the $1K amount in the online payment portal because she was was supposed to finish her data entry work for my account and associate the state's monthly assistance payments for my housing voucher with my payment account. The woman did not care at all how the discrepancy was affecting me when the issue continued over a period of a few months. My being so upset was amusing to her & she did not even attempt to conceal that fact. What was getting me so distressed was that very attitude of hers that the precariousness was something that befitted me, something I deserved; I deserved no better. I was not equal to her in this nation. I am a U.S. Navy veteran who has housing assistance that I acquired through the Veterans Administration and a woman property manager spent more time covering up her incompetence with my account then actually attending to her responsibility while touting her professional ethics to me. I am not exaggerating. A different manager took over my account and she made some progress toward correcting the issue but didn't completely. I finally got someone else on their staff to fix my account, but even he implied that I must be in the wrong somehow. People scapegoat me. Always have. I've done work that the majority of people would never do. I've lived in transitional housing with other people who have experienced trauma, abuse, etc. that many people would consider as beneath them. When I ended up in the mental health system I made it a point to participate and interact and listen to my peers. For the sake of my faith in humanity I would like to think that the majority of people (that judge me by my looks, etc.) just are not aware of the aspect of psychology, sociology, that addresses the ubiquity of the tendency of some humans to be sadistic to other humans (& "schadenfreude") and enjoy rebuffing, repudiating, dismissing, etc. people who come off as ... hell, I don't even know! The best that I can describe it is that because I do my best to be cordial, I come off as desperate, weak, & there are those people that want to treat me like a "kid brother", of sorts, but these same people are, in this reality, fucking stupid. Am I supposed to be making lots of money &, I dunno, hook them up somehow personally? Anyway...
I have other things to do besides be embattled by sadistic apartment managers (see: scapegoated.net), like argue with people on social media about various subjects..., no, not political really, but sociology related discussions; usually regarding some marginalized & stigmatized person or people that are considered to be responsible for the actions of others towards them. Most people wouldn't argue with me, is the point. I know that. I'm able to point out issues that might escape the attention of an average citizen. A good example is the issue of culpability of minors committing crimes ... the trend now to charge minors as adults is a human rights violation. It's arbitrary and is not consistent with conservative values. The problem is that now those lines of conservative & liberal are blurred when the topic is about compassion for other humans. No, not really "empathy" (or sympathy) but simple judge not kind of perspective. In short, it seems as though the general consensus is that it's about not having conscience, compassion; if the subject is capital punishment then the intense controversy is understandable, albeit the people who defend the practice can be frightening with their rage & accusations of condoning violence against the innocent victims. When I got into the argument over MaKhia Bryant I was astounded that the young man would be so crass as to blame a distraught, teenage girl who has been placed in foster care for feeling so physically threatened that she grabs a (steak) knife to "defend" herself. People will attribute (or "project onto") the cognitive neurological maturity of an adult to adolescents, in regards to the ability to make reasonable decisions in distressing circumstances. There was a time when that was more commonly accepted in our country in the past, like the nineteenth century when they'd condemn some teenage boys to death.
So what happened was that over the course of the last couple years I'd occasionally get involved in arguments with people on social media over some issue where they would be so committed to forcing me to accept some cruel, sadistic posit (idea, viewpoint, or perspective) as if their point is that's the way the real world is... but the person would be overlooking (purposefully ignoring, or obstinate to) some critical point that validates my point. In the incident with MaKhia Bryant it was the issue with the adults at the foster home supervising were not licensed counselors and were never trained/educated in how to deal with a distressed teenager. More often times then not, what it will come down to in human rights issues is expediency and lack of adequate funding but then there lies the true culprit. A teenage girl isn't at fault for her distress in her grief over her mother & her being placed in a strange environment... but she was expected to reason it all out and control the actions of the adults who were antagonizing her. She was supposed to understand that where she was is all that could be afforded for her and how she felt about anything was not important to these adult women at the house who had power over her but didn't know anything about her.
So, in any event, I'd get into arguments with cruel, sadistic people online & it became obvious that they enjoyed my distress over whatever issue ... like the news article about a man taking a sacred religious artifact of his onto an airplane & gets angry when a flight attendant moves it from an overhead compartment to the space under his seat. He was so upset that they kicked him off the plane and I get into an argument with three people at once who all just will not grasp that an airline flight attendant cannot be expected to immediately understand what objects in a person's possession are not allowed to touch the floor of the aircraft's cabin. Just because there is a person of a minority group involved in an altercation with a business employee doesn't mean that there was racist discrimination that motivated the employee ... misunderstandings happen between human beings that are independent of ethnic origin.
I'm going to use this domain as a compilation of my presentations of various debates I got into with people online who in turn chose to patronize me, belittle me, etc. ... the reality is there exists the threat of unacceptance of me & that is of course an implied threat to my safety. People are not really aware of what they are doing in that aspect, it's a biological human instinct to persuade (or coerce) others into agreement on some controversial issue. Again, with topics of capital punishment and abortion there is the physical human aspect that causes immense emotion for people so many avoid those debates. There are the topics that tend to involve people that are susceptible to stereotype, stigma, & experience hardship (minority groups, but not always exclusively racial or ethnic minorities yet will include people of color) and the people's degree of personal responsibility in their difficulties becomes what's contested. Obviously that depends on any number of factors and debating people's responsibility without understanding the full range of circumstances becomes more of a point to coerce others to agree. An example that is fairly basic in a social science analysis for this purpose is the controversy of the forgiveness of student debt. I had a falling out with an old friend over her adamant objections to the idea. It is a liberal proposal (I suppose) but when examined closely there is good reason to release student loan debt for individuals. The factors include the abundance of specialized colleges that cropped up and bombarded local daytime television with advertisments. There was a booming business ready to exploit the vulnerable. If the student wasn't able to secure a lifelong employment placement after successfully graduating then their own degree of fault is really unknown. Being able to transfer college credits to continue education for a higher degree was problematic for student loan borrowers too. The specialized higher education business wasn't very well regulated IMHO, is the point. People were taken advantage of by corporations.
I don't have any presentations of debates about the student loan debt issue, it was a debate that I decided to avoid for the reasons stated previously, but it is an example of the political & social science difference that arises. The woman friend of mine is religious and so I consider her stance on the topic is hypocritical. She took trade school & became a CPA (but also suffered her husband being randomly murdered) so I suppose I never wanted to come straight out & call her a hypocrite. There's the other point that I have issues with being friends with people who knowingly align themselves, & defend oppressive entities.
Corporations can be beneficial in providing secure employment for many people, but bureaucracy can be a problem for vulnerable individuals that may be put in the position to depend on that corporation in regards to their personal safety. There can be many factors involved and of course the factors increase with the amount of people that get involved. Incompetency, bias, and other obstacles get defended & dismissed. If the corporation is in a business that has interaction with lower-income people, and is in business to make profit (e.g., apartment & residence property management companies) then people who are middle-class that are not so vulnerable to mismanagement by a company (or homeowners) shouldn't assume that the company is completely innocent ... it's a company, so how can you be so sure? Ponzi schemes start out as companies in the reality that we all live in and Ponzi schemes have real victims. Yes, that previous statement leaned toward exaggeration of average business practices but why would a company worth millions of dollars be unable to repair a handicap accessibility door for months? Pandemic or no, there was no excuse.
In the midst of my challenging of realtor companies on their professional ethics and advocacy online for people who've experienced trauma I'd get into arguments with people online, sometimes more than one person in a discussion, and as a way to regain my overall feeling of personal security I would spend about eleven dollars and purchase a top-level domain consisting of their name and post all of the screencaptures (along with the plain text) of the comments. People wrote some very mean & ignorant things in replies to me. One woman indicated that I should be euthanized.
So I would set up a website in a matter of a few hours and post the link in a reply to the person antagonizing me to show them my resolve. Most didn't seem to care or didn't respond. One lady did and I eventually took the site down a few months before the year expiration was up. The websites still exist on the internet but the ones no longer associated with their original top-level domain name (that I let expire after a year) can be accessed by a direct link to their respective Amazon.com hosting "buckets" as the container directories are refered as. The list follows but I may attempt some rearrangement of the presentations to organize them into a more categorical index, of sorts.
(Links open in new tab or window.)
"We want and are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens: The right to earn a living at work for which we are fitted by training and ability; equal opportunities in education, health, recreation, and similar public services; the right to vote; equality before the law; some of the same courtesy and good manners that we ourselves bring to all human relations."
~ (Dr.) Martin Luther King, Jr. from August 6, 1946 letter to editor of Atlanta newspaper.
The biggest danger to our rights today is not from government acting against the will of the majority
but from government which has become the mere instrument of this majority...
Wrong will be done as much by an all-powerful people as by an all-powerful prince.
~ James Madison
Class conflict is another concept which upsets the oppressors, since they do not wish to consider themselves an oppressive class. Unable to deny, try as they may, the existence of social classes, they preach the need for understanding and harmony between those who buy and those who are obliged to sell their labor. However, the unconcealable antagonism which exists between the two classes makes this "harmony" impossible. ~ Paulo Freire
"Only a lively appreciation of dissent's vital function at all levels of society can preserve it as a corrective to wishful thinking, self-inflation, and unperceived rigidity"
The Wrong Way Home : Uncovering the patterns of cult behavior in American society | by Arthur J. Deikman, M.D
ISBN 10: 0807029157 ISBN 13: 9780807029152
Force has no place where there is need of skill.
Photograph of my old department crewmembers & I displaying our
Battle Efficiency Award onboard the now decommissioned USS Wabash AOR-5
One of my more recent projects was converting scanned magazine articles to digital text and a Colorado history magazine (printed in 1973) included an article about Junius R. Lewis. There was an injustice committed against him that entailed gender issues as well as the racism that he had to contend with. It's a fascinating story! (The article includes references so converting it to EPUB3 with audio reader capability is an aspect that needs work.)