Dave Chappelle Take It Or Leave It

A lot of people are up in arms about Dave Chappelle’s Sticks and Stones Special on Netflix. He has a little bit of everything going on, but above all he has freedom of speech. In many ways people are proving him right in regards to how we deal with hot topics in America. We are a country that prides ourselves for freedom of expression in everyway, but it is only certain ideas that we want to give acceptance to.

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I am not a lover of comedy, but I watched his special. I found some parts to be funny at times, but I also found some of the jokes to be a little too much. I respect his right to tell his jokes without backlash due to nature of his profession. Comedians or jesters have been known to provoke feelings since the beginning of comedy. In the old days they would make fun of royalty by talking about state issues that many would be too afraid to bring up. To some degree that is what Dave Chappelle accomplished with his special.

Some of the hot topics he talked about needed to be addressed. I mean take the LGBTQ topic and really think about it. I find it a little confusing and movement like today. I didn’t see it that way years ago, but after seeing the different branches that have come from the base, it now looks like a movement. It keeps evolving every couple of years. You now have pansexual, skoliosexual, bisexual, homosexual, lesbian, gay, transsexual and queer. I mean what’s next? I do not understand why we have to have so many different names for people liking people. It isn’t that complex, you like who you like.

I think the really interesting part about this current transformation is that people are easily moved to agree with anything. I am kind of scared of what comes next to be honest. Every two years or so we see a new sexuality being added and I think that is dangerous. Today we might not see anything that can harm anyone, but that isn’t to say that things will not change in a few years. It is just very confusing because people championed for rights to be one thing, but then crossed over into something else.

If you champion for rights to be gay, then you move back to being straight or move to be both, then how important were those rights in the first place? It just looks like a movement dipped in confusion. Take that and the ability for people belonging in the group to suppress others and their opinions and it makes things even more confusing. On one hand people want to fight for the freedom to practice their rights to love whomever they want to love, but on the other hand the same people would oppress others to have a difference in opinion.

Yet, at the end of the day, it all comes back to people being able to pick whom they once were. After so many laws were passed to protect the lifestyle, it seems like there is a change once again. I can’t think of any targeted group within history that has given up their rights to be who they are, only to make new terms which bring them back to the person they were prior to the new laws. I think pansexual is a path to walking back to being straight. Which is why I told my daughter to hold off on labels and just take it day by day. If we stop labeling each other and just live, we wouldn’t have to keep trying to justify our choices, we could just simply be.

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Just to be clear, I am not questioning anyone’s right to change, but if people end up changing back to their first sexuality, what does it mean for the laws that were put in place? Was it just simply a lifestyle change?

Special Education And Parents Who Give A Damn

Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Savannah, Georgia I worked at a school. The school was a very good school which educated some of Savannah’s richest families. I didn’t understand the politics involved in education until I started working in the Special Education department. It would become a stark lesson in life about inequality inside the classroom because of status.

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It would be my first lesson in social status division and my first lesson in how schools viewed children with special needs. My oldest daughter at the time was in the third grade. She was invited to two parties within the same week about halfway into the school year. One of the parties was being help at a child’s house in the Landings and the other was being held at a house at a mobile home community.

I remember asking the teacher who worked over me about both areas. I didn’t know anything about the Landings and I didn’t know anything about the mobile home park due to the fact that I liked to keep on base as much as possible. She informed me that the Landing’s party was the party I needed to let child attend. She giggled about the VIP invite and then started laughing about the mobile home invite. She insisted on keeping my child away from the child who stayed in the mobile homes because they were basically trashy.

Time came for the two parties which were held days apart. I decided against letting my daughter attend both parties due to the fact that I didn’t know the parents. I like to know parents before I say yes. However, due to the response of the teacher, I have always looked on schools with a bit of skepticism. I remember the importance the teachers held on children who were in Special Education with parents who had good jobs and the lack of importance they held for children from poor areas.

It really put me on a mission to make sure that each child knew of their importance no matter their parent’s status. I will never forget the time when I was told by a teacher that she would rather have a classroom of ghetto children than teach children under the Special Education umbrella. The sad fact is that parents do not have any idea of how some educators view their children if they have special needs. It is important perhaps more important for parents of children with special needs to stay involved with the schools and to monitor their children’s interactions due to these issues.

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Years later my daughter would get service from under the umbrella because of her ADHD and her ADD. However, those two issues weren’t the issues that would cause her to retreat inside herself, it would be a bullying attack that would hinder her from being able to interact socially. I find myself blessed with the inside knowledge of two things because of my occupational travels. I understand how certain children are regarded due to their disability and I understand how schools do not tell you about the obstacles these children face inside and outside the classroom.

So this brings me to my conversation with my daughter before we went to bed. Last night my daughter entered the room and gave me this very meaningful speech as I gazed out the window.

“Mom, I do not want you to worry about me being placed in another theater class because at the end of the day, I know you believe in me. I know dad believes in me and I believe in me. I don’t need a teacher to give me the green light when I have you guys. If she doesn’t want me in her class, I don’t want to be in it. I’ll just do my best in the new class and prove her wrong.-Ariana

I guess that is the point of it all. It is my support that will protect and propel her. Schools are set on default educations which means they do not always give what each and every kid needs. No matter how much we want to elevate the idea of teachers, there will always be those teachers who aren’t encouraging to all children. So, as parents we must lift our children up when the world tries to bring them down and remember it is our support that gives them wings.

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I Am So Mad Right Now. I Just Want To Cry.

So thus starts the drama for the new school year. My daughter was kicked out of her theater class on the 4th day of school because the teacher seems to have issues teaching children with disabilities. This is my latest letter to the school district.

Ms. Adams,

My daughter attends Temple High School and informed me today that she was removed from her theater class. She stated that the teacher said she would remove children who she felt would not pay attention in her class and Ariana and another student were removed. I find myself concerned due to the fact that last year my daughter was repeatedly paired with children who had disorders similar to her disorder in this class. Instead of the teacher promoting growth, she promoted further confusion due to them not being able to interact with the other students. Often times my daughter would come home in tears because she could not practice lines with her partner due to conflict stemming from the pairing.

My daughter has ADHD, ADD and she struggles with relationships with other students due to an attack that happened four to five years ago while she was on campus. She was attacked by 10 to 11 children when she was in the 5th grade. We have worked very hard with her over the years and theater has always been something she wanted to do. I feel as if she was sectioned off last year and now with her removal from her theater class, I feel like she is being discriminated against because of having a disorder as the other students from last year to some degree.

Now, it is my understanding that she is in another theater class. I need to know if she will be able to learn lines and participate in class? This is a YouTube video to show that my daughter has no issues with being able to use communication. https://youtu.be/fevGVBkPF8o She did a cooking video this summer on making tacos. I will not stand for her being discriminated against because her teacher does not seem to like people with disabilities. It is a violation of her right to not be given the same chance to succeed as other students.

Apparently The other teacher does not really teach theater like the class she was in, so she is being pushed aside.

Why can’t people just be supportive? Why try to teach children if you can’t be supportive of all kids? Does anyone know of any theaters that offer acting lessons in the Austin Area? I support her.

UPDATE 8/27/2019

We were told that the teacher told the administrators that she had an audition to see who was able to stay in the drama class. An audition that my daughter sure didn’t know about. I guess she missed the part about telling the children she would be removing people that she thought wouldn’t pay attention in class. So which was it?

Trump’s Second Term Could Give Birth To Less SSI For Many

An article came out in Forbes on 8/23/2019 detailing how Republicans aim to get Trump to cut Social Security and Medicare. We have known for a while that these programs have been on the brink and if Trump gets a second term we might see some real movement in revamping them system.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/teresaghilarducci/2019/08/23/trumps-second-term-plan-for-social-security-starve-the-beast/#4bfbb55f3794

Many people use Social Security and for a large percentage of people, it is their main source of income. Due to our national debt nearing 21 trillion dollars the government will have to take drastic measures to balance the books. At this point the Republican Senators are hinting at a much needed overhaul.

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We know that the system is currently flawed. In prior articles, I wrote about people who used the Social Security system as a way to scam benefits. The problem comes into play when an entire country gets caught up in a whirlpool of drama because some people are cheating the system. I would caution leaders to be thoughtful when dealing with this situation. Perhaps, the overhaul is needed in the screening of people trying to apply for services.

I do not want to see our elderly people thrown to the wolves over circumstances that they cannot control. I would like to see tougher guidelines for parents placing their children on SSI and the use of preschools if the children are able to attend them. Sadly, I have seen people get diagnoses for their children as young as 5 years old. I worked a case involving a mother who had all three of her children diagnosed and was currently awaiting her diagnoses. When I questioned her about working, she stated that she wanted to take care of her children. Ironically enough, she continued to leave them with other people.

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When I worked in mental health, I saw these situations all the time. People would come in trying to perfect mental illness because their loved ones told them that hospitalizations were the way to go. We have to break this cycle. Eventually they would learn just enough information to get their benefits. After three or four stays at a mental health hospital you learn all you need to know about the signs and symptoms of mental illness. It truly is sad that the scammers are mixed in with the people who really need the services. In the end it just overburdens the system and forces unwanted results on those who really need services.

I am sure we will hear more on this story in the near future. I have mixed emotions about slashing benefits that help the elderly. However, I am tired of seeing people take advantage of loopholes. Yet, I cannot help but wonder how much this current administration has helped to add to our debt situation and if slashing these programs will stop the bleed.