Reflection from October 3rd, 2014 @ Age 33
Once *upon* a time, “back” when I was in law school, I purchased a tee-shirt from an establishment called Ruehl. Sadly, that establishment is no longer with us, and with I, no longer, the t-shirt. Nevertheless, its’ image, remains ever so vivid in my memory. It was the color of dirt, and sturdily stitched into the woven fabric by “color” of *cream*, were the following words:
At long last, I have come to a decision, which supplies the basis for which I am writing you this letter today. To provide a brief background, however, before we jump right in—my name is Marissa Kristina Varcho, I am 33 years old, of Eastern European descent, and a female born, bred, raised and educated right here, in the *heart* of it all. I am *also*, a human being who has been “cast” with the discriminatory label “serious mental illness” and as such, I am sending you these *words*, to correct “psychology’s” error.
I. IN THE BEGINNING—Mental Illness, Defined.
To the best of my understanding to-date, persons with this mystical power of *being*, known in the “field” of psychology as *the* seriously mentally ill “people”, used to be locked up in institutions here in “America,” were forced to endure lobotomies (A.K.A. surgical removal of part of the brain to “treat”, “mental” illness) by “medical” doctors, and sub ‘jected to *various*, “other”, ill-fortuned “fates”. My fate, has not been *so* harsh, but it has not been so “easy” either. When I read your proposal to “champion” mental illness in “America” last December, I was nauseated. In any case, I am writing you “to’day*, to help you straighten out the matter in your o.w.n. head, so you can then communicate the *message* to all of the “others”, in your dual-citizenship as a legislating psychologist and then lastly too also, to *America’s* people.
To “put” it briefly, “America” promised, when it unlocked the doors to its’, “old” psychiatric institutions and set my people “free” into *this* society—“America” promised to provide a “safety” net for my people within its’ communities. “America”, failed to up ‘hold, its’ “promise”.
Nonetheless, it has *come* to my understanding, that this conclusion “may” be due, to ig ‘norance. As such, I am “writing” on my own be’ half, as well as my *whole*, in “order” to educate you as to the *true* nature of psycho’ logy’s, so-called “serious mental illness”.
II. ACCEPTANCE OF TRUTH—Acknowledging Discrimination.
What psycho ‘logy has decided to “term,” *serious* mental illness, is actually, but a mere human condition created by nature. Human *beings* like my ‘self, have a brain-chemistry structure that is *different* from the “norm”. That means, we have a set of human strengths and weaknesses that too, *differ*, from the “norm”. For some reason, psycho ‘logy does not seem to “like” human beings who differ “too” much, from his norm. And so “they”, made it up into a “bad” thing, *disguising* it ambiguously with such linguistics as “mental” (A.K.A. brain-chemistry is still *physical*, regardless of whether you can or cannot yet understand it), and “illness” (A.K.A. a human is not “ill” for *being* different, unless a certain socio ‘logy has “made” it as such), and “serious” (A.K.A. I haven’t quite solved this riddle yet, perhaps it’s that you *seriously* misunderstand but, you never know). So that is the great mystery there, all sorted out with an answer.
What has not yet been sorted out within this “American” society, is why human beings are still having *trouble* accepting “other* human beings in all their differences. I’m not sure what “religion” you go by, but I’m entirely sure that by *nature’s* law, all human beings, *are* different. Which then “begs” the *question*, as to “why” this particularly present, “American” socio ‘logy seems, to dis’ agree. I really have no “exact” idea, but I *suspect*, it be ‘cause of fear.
In other words, I believe fear came first, and then discrimination (A.K.A. “stigma”, socio ‘logical o’ ppression, etc.) followed. I’m not sure “why” though, given the struggles and triumphs we have already seen, over and over again, time after time throughout our “common” American hi(s)tory—wherein human beings have been forced repeatedly, to live be ‘neath socio ‘logical oppression and thereby then too, again and again, ‘caused to rise *above* it. Another riddle for another day I suppose, except I shall not.
Apparently, we have not yet been capable to *learn* from his ‘story, as a socio ‘logy; so now, in its’ consequence, we are writing a *new* one for America. Notably, this is the “case”, be ‘cause we have not yet *realized* (A.K.A. brought *in*to the light, be ‘come enlightened, created into *being*, etc.) that human beings are “supposed” to *be* different. But that is *Nature’s* way—that is how we were all *born* and that “is” too, how we all, shall die. Every human being is *different*, perhaps to some “degree” more than an “other”, but like *our* fingerprints, no “two”, are a ‘like. “It” just is, what it is; and so now we’re going to rise above “it”, together, with our new, *American* wings.
III. PRACTICE OF TOLERANCE—Accepting Others’ Differences.
The *fact* of the “matter” is, some ‘thing is holding *America’s* people in ‘different. There’s no way to be a ‘certain, however I *believe* I have figured out what that “thing” is, and since you seem to prefer *practices*, based in “evidence”—I have captured the beast and sent you her head, alive and breathing, in the arms of *America’s* US postal service (A.K.A., by good ol’ fashioned, “mail”). As such, I heretofore cause it to be known to *all* American people, and would, request, that *if* you have any “better” evidence from the field of psychology—that you now bring it on forward, *in*to the light for all the rest of us, to “see”.
Otherwise merely noting that I have sent copies of my *proof*, to some of your fellow congressmates, and trust that those who were “chosen” will come to my aide, in facilitating the *sharing* of this critical, “intelligence”, up ‘date.
IV. EXERCISE IN CONSCIENCE—Noting Conflicted-Interests.
Moving forward, in knowing that *every* Ruehl, in Nature, has it’s o.w.n., “exception”—I would like to let you know where exactly it *was* that, in my be ‘lief, I found “out” that, I *could* be a ‘certain. The answer to the riddle in figuring out “America’s” excep(t)ion, can be found squarely on the *back* of every US dollar “bill” (A.K.A. “promisory” note, which you may not know ‘cause you’re not a *lawyer*) ever “printed” out of the US Treasury—right in the middle towards the top, “just” right *exactly* where the spine would be, if “money” were a human *being*.
I’m not exactly sure who created this particular, “design”, but they sure as hell did a *great* job. Anyways…
V. CLOSING—Mental Health for a Nation.
To “wrap” this *up*, just a couple weeks back, I took the “watch” my prior husband had purchased for me after I stood by his side through a double-lung transplant (but prior, to the “divorce”)—I took that time ‘piece to the jewelry shop, to “trade” it in, for something *better*. Notably, in addition to “cash”, I received a global reflection of Earth, made out of *gems*. Subsequently, after cross-examining my new globe for a little while, I found “out” on *Wikipedia* (A.K.A. information, without having to pay a “fee” i.e., for *free*), that the shape of Earth is actually elliptical (A.K.A. not, “spherical”).
Now, I understand that “men” do like to *play* with their balls, but please understand me…
When used in this particular, “position”, they really can screw up the results to our collaborative, human experiment. As such, I would kindly appreciate if you would fix this error on man’s part, with the time remaining in your hourglass-shaped office in the “Columbian” District of, *Washington*.
Marissa K. Varcho
The Giant himself has been here recently. [Laughter.] I have seen a brief report of his speech. If it were otherwise unpleasant to me to introduce the subject of negro as a topic for discussion, I might be somewhat relieved by the fact that he dealt exclusively in that subject while he was here. I shall, therefore, without much hesitation or diffidence, enter upon this subject.
The American people, on the first day of January, 1854, found the African slave trade prohibited by a law of Congress. In a majority of the states of this Union, they found African slavery, or any other sort of slavery, prohibited by State constitutions. They also found a law existing, supposed to be valid, by which slavery was excluded from almost all the territory the United States then owned. This was the condition of the country, with reference to the institution of slavery, on the 1st of January, 1854. A few days after that, a bill was introduced into Congress, which ran through its regular course in the two branches of the National Legislature, and finally passed into a law in the month of May, by which the act of Congress prohibiting slavery from going into the territories of the United States was repealed. In connection with the law itself, and, in fact, in the terms of the law, the then existing prohibition was not only repealed, but there was a declaration of a purpose on the part of Congress never thereafter to exercise any power that they might have, real or supposed, to prohibit the extension or spread of slavery. This was a very great change; for the law thus repealed was of more than thirty years’ standing. Following rapidly upon the heels of this action of Congress, a decision of the Supreme Court is made, by which it is declared that Congress, if it desires to prohibit the spread of slavery into the territories, has no constitutional power to do so. Not only so, but that decision lays down principles, which, if pushed to their logical conclusion—I say pushed to their logical conclusion—would decide that the constitutions of free States, forbidding slavery, are themselves unconstitutional. Mark me, I do not say the judge said this, and let no man say I affirm the judge used these words; but I only say it is my opinion that what they did say, if pressed to its logical conclusion, will inevitably result thus. [Cries of “Good! good!”]
Looking at these things, the Republican party, as I understand its principles and policy, believe that there is great danger of the institution of slavery being spread out and extended, until it is ultimately made alike lawful in all the States of this Union; so believing, to prevent that incidental and ultimate consummation, is the original and chief purpose of the Republican organization. I say “chief purpose” of the Republican organization; for it is certainly true that if the national House shall fall into the hands of the Republicans, they will have to attend to all the other matters of national housekeeping, as well as this. The chief and real purpose of the Republican party is eminently conservative. It proposes nothing save and except to restore this government to its original tone in regard to this element of slavery, and there to maintain it, looking for no further change, in reference to it, than that which the original framers of the government themselves expected and looked forward to.
The chief danger to this purpose of the Republican party is not just now the revival of the African slave trade, or the passage of a Congressional slave code, or the declaring of a second Dred Scott decision, making slavery lawful in all the States. These are not pressing us just now. They are not quite ready yet. The authors of these measures know that we are too strong for them; but they will be upon us in due time, and we will be grappling with them hand to hand, if they are not now headed off. They are not now the chief danger to the purpose of the Republican organization; but the most imminent danger that now threatens that purpose is that insidious Douglas Popular Sovereignty. This is the miner and sapper. While it does not propose to revive the American slave trade, nor to pass a slave code, nor to make a second Dred Scott decision, it is preparing us for the onslaught and charge of these ultimate enemies when they shall be ready to come on and the word of command for them to advance shall be given. I say this Douglas Popular Sovereignty—for there is a broad distinction, as I now understand it, between that article and a genuine popular sovereignty.
I believe there is a genuine popular sovereignty. I think a definition of genuine popular sovereignty, in the abstract, would be about this:
That each man shall do precisely as he pleases with himself, and with all those things which exclusively concern him. Applied to government, this principle would be, that a general government shall do all those things which pertain to it, and all the local governments shall do precisely as they please in respect to those matters which exclusively concern them. I understand that this government of the United States, under which we live, is based upon this principle; and I am misunderstood if it is supposed that I have any war to make upon that principle.
Now, what is Judge Douglas’ Popular Sovereignty? It is, as a principle, no other than that, if one man chooses to make a slave of another man, neither that other man nor anybody else has a right to object. [Cheers and laughter.] Applied in government, as he seeks to apply it, it is this:
If, in a new territory into which a few people are beginning to enter for the purpose of making their homes, they choose to either exclude slavery from their limits, or to establish it there, however one or the other may affect the persons to be enslaved, or the infinitely greater number of persons who are afterward to inhabit that territory, or the other members of the families of communities, of which they are but an incipient member, or the general head of the family of States as parent of all—however their action may affect one or the other of these, there is no power or right to interfere. That is Douglas’ popular sovereignty applied.
He has a good deal of trouble with his popular sovereignty. His explanations explanatory of explanations explained are interminable. [Laughter.] The most lengthy, and, as I suppose, the most maturely considered of his long series of explanations, is his great essay in Harper’s Magazine. [Laughter.] I will not attempt to enter on any very thorough investigation of his argument, as there made and presented. I will nevertheless occupy a good portion of your time here in drawing your attention to certain points in it. Such of you as may have read this document will have perceived that the Judge, early in the document, quotes from two persons as belonging to the Republican party, without naming them, but who can readily be recognized as being Gov. Seward of New York and myself. It is true, that exactly fifteen months ago this day, I believe, I for the first time expressed a sentiment upon this subject, and in such a manner that it should get into print, that the public might see it beyond the circle of my hearers; and my expression of it at that time is the quotation that Judge Douglas makes. He has not made the quotation with accuracy, but justice to him requires me to say that it is sufficiently accurate not to change its sense.
The sense of that quotation condensed is this—that this slavery element is a durable element of discord among us, and that we shall probably not have perfect peace in this country with it until it either masters the free principle in our government, or is so far mastered by the free principle as for the public mind to rest in the belief that it is going to its end. This sentiment, which I now express in this way, was, at no great distance of time, perhaps in different language, and in connection with some collateral ideas, expressed by Gov. Seward. Judge Douglas has been so much annoyed by the expression of that sentiment that he has constantly, I believe, in almost all his speeches since it was uttered, been referring to it. I find he alluded to it in his speech here, as well as in the copy-right essay. [Laughter.] I do not now enter upon this for the purpose of making an elaborate argument to show that we were right in the expression of that sentiment. In other words, I shall not stop to say all that might properly be said upon this point; but I only ask your attention to it for the purpose of making one or two points upon it.
If you will read the copy-right essay, you will discover that Judge Douglas himself says a controversy between the American Colonies and the government of Great Britain began on the slavery question in 1699, and continued from that time until the Revolution; and, while he did not say so, we all know that it has continued with more or less violence ever since the Revolution.
Then we need not appeal to history, to the declaration of the framers of the government, but we know from Judge Douglas himself that slavery began to be an element of discord among the white people of this country as far back as 1699, or one hundred and sixty years ago, or five generations of men—counting thirty years to a generation. Now it would seem to me that it might have occurred to Judge Douglas, or anybody who had turned his attention to these facts, that there was something in the nature of that thing, Slavery, somewhat durable for mischief and discord. [Laughter.]
Speech at Columbus, Ohio
September 16th, 1859