What can we do to defend equality?


It may not be June anymore, but I saw a civil rights related post today on Facebook that got me asking myself, “What are we doing to defend equality amongst people?”

You might be watching the news to find out about more hate crimes around the world. Religious hate, racial hate, gender hate, and even hatred of nationalities are only a few of them. But what is also a “crime?” Intolerance and discrimination are two things that can turn into hate crimes if they are not stopped in advance.

The devastation that a single hate crime, intolerance or stereotype can create is too much for many to bear. A physically or mentally disabled person is bypassed for a job when his skills and education are matched with other applicants’. It may be illegal for an employer to do this, but it happens.

A Jewish person is considered stingy and rich, even in jest, when they are, in fact, the exact opposite.

A Hispanic teenager is told in the public high school cafeteria that “Hispanics are only there to clean up white people’s trash.” The result is a fight between the kids. (I heard about this after it happened at my school.) Even if the other boy was just angry at his peer, this is not okay. Immediate action was taken that day.

And then there is this one. The following photo depicts a conversation I had with a friend of mine more than a decade ago, though I can still remember how it went as if it were just yesterday:

So the question remains, what are we doing to defend equality amongst people in this country and everywhere around the world?

If we could just stop a person mid-joke or mid-comment and say, “I don’t want to hear this,” then that would be a start. I’m not saying that you should become an activist, or a picketer. What I’m saying is that if you can change something as simple as an uncomfortable topic of conversation, then you can channel that ability into so much more.

The power of speech is an amazing thing and here in the United States, we are free to use it. Guess what? It’s so simple! It all starts with a word. Just one.

NO.

SNAP YOU NJ SNAP!


Dear NJ Department of Human Services,

Today I wanted to buy a box of matzoh for Passover, but I couldn’t afford to.  Today I learned how much I hate you. I love you, but I hate you. I don’t want to depend on you, but right now, I have to. I don’t feel ashamed that I must use a government issued card to buy my groceries. I feel ashamed for you that you had to call me to ask me if I paid for my own phone bill and then lower my monthly grocery money allotment based how much I spent paying for my own landline.

I know that there are others who got this phone call and the letter that followed, whose SNAP allotments were cut down to the bare minimum of $16 a month, likely based on the possibility that they may not be able to afford their own land line. Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones who can and so my monthly allotment is not as such. However, it still pisses me off that the State of New Jersey would see to it that those who cannot afford groceries due to their present situation in life, should be shopping for fewer groceries and therefore less healthy options.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I can still afford to do complete grocery shopping trips using my NJ SNAPs, but I believe that the latest adjustment was not well-balanced. Basing someone’s ability to buy groceries on whether or not they can afford their bills when it should be based on an individual’s income. I may have received more money because I pay my own bill, and a neighbor may have received less because he does not. Is the ultimate goal not to achieve financial independence anymore?  This would be in addition to making healthy eating more affordable, as per the nutrition courses you are so desperately trying implement!  Sometimes we need a little help first in order to get us to that goal.

I walked out of the grocery store, no matzo for Passover, no soup for dinner tonight, and no groceries for the rest of this week.  Leaving everything in the two bags on the counter, I apologized to the cashier, twice, and walked home trying not to cry.  Although you might think so, I wasn’t sad or ashamed.  It took me only a few seconds to realize that I was more angry that embarrassed.  I was fuming inside!

So SNAP YOU government! Get yourself together and stop taking the food from our mouths!

Love,

A broke, not-so-middle class, white, Jewish woman.

(Yes, I was brought up in a middle class, white Jewish family.)

Team New Jersey Takes Home the Gold in More Ways than One at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games!


First of all, I would like to congratulate ALL of the champions who have participated in this national event. I was at the Opening Ceremonies on June 15th, where law enforcement representatives and athletes from throughout the United States, who ran together for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, brought the Flame of Hope to light the cauldron at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  It was spectacular!

Special Olympics 2014 USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run: The Flame of Hope is Lit.

Special Olympics 2014 USA Games Law Enforcement Torch Run: The Flame of Hope is lit.

Continue reading

Be who you are, not what people want you to be.


You are who you are.

You can’t change your personality.

Those who like you for who you are, are the people who you should keep in your life, and the other people are not worth the negative energy.  They should be cut out of your life.

Be around positive people, who give off positive energy.

I must accept myself for who I am. I will not change myself for anybody!

If I’m told that I need to change my personality, then I do not need to have that person in my life.

Being who you are is a glorious thing.

I Yam What I Yam

“I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”   I can’t help but be myself.  Popeye couldn’t have said it better.  At Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida.  January, 2014

What is NORMAL, anyway? (Continued…)


I Refuse To Become What You Call Normal

A friend sent me this after reading What is NORMAL, anyway?

Thank you for sharing and for your support!

What is NORMAL, anyway?


What is “the norm? ”

What is NORMAL, Anyway?  Sometimes beating to your own drum can be a good thing.

Normalcy, in theory is the way in which a collective group or society behaves, in a usual or typical fashion, as a whole, right?  So for person to be considered “normal” they must behave like everyone else.

Why the hell does it even matter?

What you consider to be normal doesn’t have to be, nor will it ever be normal for me!

What is NORMAL, Anyway?  It's OKAY to be different.

If you were to always base your actions on what your peers or family expects of you, then you are living a pretty stifled life.

●boring
●monotonous

Why?  Because you place too much value on what others think of you and what they want of you rather than focusing on what really matters:

●You must love yourself and accept yourself for who you are.
●You need to understand yourself before you can change anything, that is if anything really needs changing at all.
●Don’t be afraid to act for yourself.
●Express the you that is 100% you.

If we were all the same; if we were all NORMAL, then there wouldn’t be a word called “unique!”

What is NORMAL, anyway?  Autism: Accept Different

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day.

Information on Asperger Syndrome.

~ Posted by Lily