These are the notes to my blog post For All The World To See at www.bryanfarleyphotography.com. I borrowed the title to For All The World To See from a quote in the book "Showdown" by Wil Haygood. The quote might be attributed to W.E.B. Du Bois. I also structured my post loosely on a one hundred year old Du Bois book. Haygood's book is about the nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the United States Supreme Court. It's a chilling history and one that Americans probably prefer to forget or ignore. When Marshall enrolled in law school, there were only 100 Black lawyers in the South. Blacks were not allowed in the American Bar Association. That is some of the "polite" information about the law.
Originally, I planned to use my earlier post, "In Search of Sacha Baron Cohen" as the notes section, but that post lacked energy, emotion and information. I was also stuck trying to "talk about it" while not sounding like I was complaining. I have an invisible disability that provides gifts and limits. Since I have chosen to be a leader, I want to inspire people to see the gifts and change the limitations that are based on prejudiced.
I started reading the Du Bois text about the history of African Americans when I realized that there was not an equivalent history about people with epilepsy. When Du Bois wrote, he knew that he was writing as an African American about African American history for African Americans. Because of his standing with his community, he knew his text would be viewed with significantly. Some people would listen. He probably did not know if a white person with epilepsy would be inspired by him more than one hundred years later.
Do people with epilepsy have something similar yet?
I used the Sacha Baron Cohen story as a metaphor and an example of my life with prosopagnosia and epilepsy. I actually looked for the actor. He could have been one of my students or colleagues. He could have been disguised as a parent. This also says something about the behavior of some of the people I meet, especially those in leadership. I thought they were acting like a Sacha Baron Cohen character.
Some other notes to the Bryan Farley Photography post
October 5th was World Teacher's Day. I have heard that some cultures respect teachers. Americans, at least the assimilated Americans, do not really respect teachers. I think of Teach for America as the best example. This is not so much a criticism of TFA as it is of our culture. TFA takes "smart" good intentioned recent college graduates and sends them to teach somewhere for two years. I have children and I have taught. I would not want my children taught by a recent college graduate with little life or professional experience. How did this become a good idea?
Do our leaders rush to send their kids to classes taught by first or second year TFA teachers? That is the test. If so, then we would know. I like politicians more than most people, but I would look at the places our elected officials send their children. How many federal elected officials have chosen to send their own children to classes taught by first or second year TFA teachers? (Again, this is not about TFA; America loves these types of programs, especially for other people's kids.)
October 6th was the day that Gov. Brown signed the Equal Pay legislation authored by Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson. I knew Hannah-Beth when I worked for Walter Capps. I like her. October 6th was also the day Jessica Mendoza made history as the first woman Major League announcer for a post season game.
October 7 - would have been my Dad's 75th birthday. it is the anniversary of the first recording of Somewhere Under the Rainbow. I believe that October 7 was also the 50th anniversary of the Autobiography of Malcolm X. I think both (Wizard of Ox and the autobiography) are essential 20th Century American texts.
Some more thoughts:
While writing, I realize that I overestimated my qualifications, in part, because I underestimated the value that many people place on diversity. I thought that I would be seen as more qualified for sending my children to an OUSD Spanish bilingual district school. Instead, I may have been seen as more crazy. I may have also been seen as poor, which is unforgiveable for a white person. I recall my grandmother's shame about being poor during the Depression. She hated "white trash" even more than the African Americans who she would call by a different name (even in public to their face.)
The day after Governor Brown signed equal pay legislation, he signed legislation to monitor potential oil spills that Hannah-Beth also sponsored. Santa Barbara is considered the birth place of the environmentalist movement. Santa Barbara, I believe, is also the place where off-shore oil drilling started. Modern day environmentalists are not anti-industry as some would have you believe. They are against have oil spill onto their beaches. Some might say, "those aren't your beaches." But they are. Beaches are public spaces. Oil covered dead birds on public beaches is bad for business and for health.
I did not watch the Sandra Bland video closely when it first appeared. But I watched it again recently. Watch the beginning and at 11:30-50 where she mentions that she has epilepsy. What was the police response? They were far from supportive. Bland was the calmest person at the scene and she was being harassed. Her life was in danger. She had already been threatened. Still, Sandra Bland disclosed more about her medical condition to prison officials than many people do to their neurologists.
More about Bland from a different source
In my Voices of White Oakland post, I ask "where is the learning tree?" This was a coded question.
The Learning Tree is a story about Kansas. As much as I love The Wizard of Oz, I recommend watching Gordon Parks movie first and then watching The Wizard of Oz again.
I remember the story about Fred Hampton from watching the Civil Rights documentary Eyes on The Prize. I wonder if there is a way for those of us with epilepsy to speak up for Sandra Bland. How do we cross the color line, or class line or gender line if necessary? See Eyes on the Prize at 27 minute mark. I am Fred Hampton
I also viewed my old EpilepsyFeatured Blog where I asked the question If I Talk About It will Anybody Listen? Perhaps those of us with epilepsy are at a stage where we need to write for each other. We need to support each other and in 100 years, someone will look back to us for inspiration.