Closure.

So I had this idea that I could kind of shrink into the shrubbery of the internet in a quiet, very non-dramatic way, and boy, did that not happen.

I’ve been writing about Pittsburgh for 11 years now as PittGirl and I’ve always been very open with you, and I guess my final column at Pittsburgh Magazine (which you should read because it’s my love letter to this city) wasn’t open enough because THE EMAILS. THE TWEETS. THE “WHAT THE ACTUAL FLIPPING MOTHERLOVING HELL?!?”S.

I didn’t give the Post-Gazette a comment because I had planned my July column to be the last I had to say for a while, but with former butler Woy’s encouragement (in the form of a text that read simply “CLOSURE”) I realized I owe you a deeper explanation.

In hindsight, I wish I had responded to the P-G’s request for comment with: “I gotta bounce; the jagoffs are making me stabby,” just to see if I could get the word jagoff into the P-G.

The jagoffs aren’t really making me that stabby. Here’s my real explanation:

I need a break. I need to recharge the creative areas of my brain. I need to not be so INSIDE the internet for a while. I need to step away, particularly from social media. I’m going to live in real life now, and I’m going to write some things I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time.

ThatsChurch.com will soon be redirected to its complete archives (including Burgh Blog archives) at VirginiaMontanez.com. The site will be working correctly in the next few days as background widgetry falls into place. Not really widgetry. I just like that word. There’s not much there now, but if you want to see it, you can use this link.

You’re not going to hear from me for a while, but when I’m ready and when I have something to say, that is where you will find me. I am not turning my back on Pittsburgh. I am not leaving the city (as if!). I am not turning my back on Make Room for Kids (AS. IF.) or any of the nonprofit boards I sit on. I am not sick. There is no trauma or drama happening in my life other than the bird that got in my house the other day and terrorized me for hours (15 seconds).

I made this decision months ago when I gave the magazine my three-months notice. WENDY BELL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT AND SHE CAN CONTINUE TO KISS MY SWEET SWEET ASS.

And I promise you, PROMISE YOU, the person Pittsburgh Magazine has taking my place is going to make you feel every emotion I’ve ever made you feel. It is who I recommended would be perfect to take over the space. I cannot wait for you to see who it is. You will see how life always comes full circle.

Much love. See you soon. PittGirl out.

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Hold onto your butts. Wendy Bell just sued Hearst for RACIAL. DISCRIMINATION.

Yesterday, former WTAE news anchor and current melodramatic cult of personality blogger Wendy Bell filed a federal lawsuit — stop screaming; I’m not done yet — filed a federal lawsuit against the station, claiming racial discrimination was the reason she was fired for the racially inflammatory grenade she dropped on her Facebook page earlier this year.

Basically, she is claiming she was fired for being white.

Actually, that is exactly what she is claiming. Because it says so in the lawsuit:

“Had Ms. Bell written the same comments about white criminal suspects or had her race not have been white, Defendant would not have fired her, much less disciplined her.”

Now you can scream. Because the woman who was fired for racism is suing her employer for racially discriminating her because she is white.

The irony is practically choking me, Alanis.

Those of you who began shouting about the first amendment the moment Bell’s firing was announced should realize something CRUCIAL here. I mean really, truly read this sentence: Wendy Bell is not suing claiming her first amendment rights were violated because Wendy Bell’s lawyer knows her first amendment rights were not violated. If you still wish to shout about Wendy Bell’s first amendment rights, I’m going to have to ask you to leave, read the ACTUAL first amendment and then never come back again because WHY IS YOUR AVATAR AN EAGLE IN FRONT OF AN AMERICAN FLAG BACKDROP HASHTAG TRUMP 2016 IF DON’T YOU ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF OUR CONSTITUTION?

Knowing her first amendment rights were still fully intact, Bell and her lawyers had to come at this money-grab from another angle and that angle is the very laughable racial discrimination angle.

I’m going to briefly address two aspects of this lawsuit from a casual observer’s/uppity heartless wench’s perspective, and then I’m going to drop some very severe truth bombs on Wendy Bell from a perspective unique to me, her, and only a handful of others.

First, let’s talk about her being white. She claims if she was talking about her own race, she wouldn’t have been fired. If she had been black, she says, she would still have her job. Ergo, if she was white and talking about whites, she would still have her job.

Let’s look at that.

Let’s imagine for a moment that a masked gunman stormed a movie theater or a church in the Pittsburgh area, murdered a dozen people and escaped.  Let’s imagine Wendy Bell wrote a Facebook post about the incident saying, We all know who did it. It is going to be a young white man, probably from Fayette County, in his early twenties with absentee trailer parents who ignored his mental issues for years, and who irresponsibly allowed him easy access to their plethora of guns. I am devastated by all the young white men shooting up schools and churches and movie theaters! But today I went to Starbucks and there was a young white man busting his butt to craft my triple shot extra-hot venti decaf non-fat extra-whip low-foam caramel macchiato … I made eye contact with him; this white man is going to MAKE IT.

She would have been fired because do you see at all where a JOURNALIST should never ever write such things on a station-branded Facebook page, forcing her employer to take action because she offended a huge chunk of their viewers and refused to apologize or remove the post initially and instead just edited out the references to race? Do you see where a journalist making such projections based on race simply because some statistics might indicate which race is most likely to commit that sort of crime is THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT A JOURNALIST SHOULD DO REGARDLESS OF THE RACE SHE IS OR THE RACE SHE IS WRITING ABOUT?

So yeah, you “WENDY BELL WAS RIGHT!” peeps can exit this post as well. As the great Vincent Gambino would say, I got no more use for you.

The second thing I would like to address is Wendy Bell’s use of Guy Junker and Andrew Stockey in her lawsuit.

For example, Defendant’s African American Sports Director, and 5 p.m. news anchor, Andrew Stockey was not disciplined at all for making lewd comments to interns, conduct that resulted in the termination of Defendant’s internship program in its news department.

Another reporter, Guy Junker, was arrested for propositioning an undercover police officer, an arrest that caused significant undue publicity, and was “inconsistent with [Defendant’s] ethics.” Defendant did not even discipline Junker, much less fire him.

Wendy Bell is attempting to draw comparisons between Guy’s and Andrew’s PERSONAL disciplinary issues, and her OFFENDING A HUGE SWATH OF VIEWERS WITH HER UNDERHANDED RACISM. This isn’t apples and oranges; this is unicorns and pickles.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, when Guy Junker was arrested for solicitation of a prostitute, HE DIDN’T EVEN WORK FOR WTAE. At the time, he worked for WPXI and Fox Sports Pittsburgh (which would become Root Sports), and those stations were never owned by Hearst. Go to hell, Wendy Bell’s lawyer, for not doing your homework.

As for Andrew Stockey, regardless of the veracity of her claims, Bell didn’t just throw him under the bus; she tossed him under the bus, ran the bus down, boarded the bus Keanu Reeves style, throat-punched the driver, pulled him from his seat, sat down behind the wheel, threw the bus in reverse and ran Andrew over again and again until he was as nonexistent as her own ethical standards.

She is disgusting and will drag anyone she can down with her even if it means comparing unicorns to pickles.

Now, here’s what I can talk about from a very unique perspective: I was once fired for my writing. Do you remember? I revealed my identity to Pittsburgh, things went BOOM!, and I got a text from my boss at the nonprofit NEED, which provides scholarships to African American students in Pittsburgh, that it would be “best if we parted ways.” Then my face was on the top of CNN.com for hours. And I was no longer the communications director, a job I held for six years. A job I ROCKED at. My performance reviews, like Wendy’s as she claims in her lawsuit, were amazing. I kicked so much ass. I was indispensable.

Until I wasn’t.

And people FREAKED. She got fired for something she wrote! What about her first amendment rights (I thought I asked you people to leave)!? And citizens from all over the world emailed my boss and called him all kinds of names. They called NEED and left nasty voice messages for him.

And me? I shut up about it. I. SHUT. UP. I didn’t bash my employer or my boss. Hell, I NOMINATED THE MAN FOR AN AWARD AFTER HE FIRED ME. And after his death, I spoke about him lovingly at the awards ceremony.

Why? Because of my understanding of the first amendment? Hell no.

Because of common sense, something Wendy Bell might want to look for after she washes the blinding greed and butthurt from her eyes.

My common sense and my thimble-full of self-awareness said this to my brain: If instead of writing the things I wrote, I stood at NEED’s front door, identified myself as an employee, and then as funders, students, parents, board members and other stakeholders entered, I said to them, “Good morning! Do you know that Mayor Luke is a giant doofus? Stand here a moment while I use snark to tell you the exact degree of doofus-ry he engaged in today. He is the worst mayor in the history of mayorship and we are inviting him to attend our fundraiser and to hold a press conference for us announcing our fundraising campaign! Hope he says yes! Also, UPMC is a money-hoarding monopoly and I dislike them greatly. We are begging them to fund our new workforce development initiative. Hope they say yes! But they really do suck. I mean, worst ever,” I WOULD BE FIRED.

Therefore, saying those things online was also a fireable offense, as my employer saw fit, regardless of how good I was at my job. Regardless of how amazing my performance reviews were. I knew that whether I was typing it online or standing in the doorway shouting it to stakeholders, the same thing held true — MY. WORDS. HAVE. CONSEQUENCES.

I stand by my words. Every one of them. Every word I got fired for. They are all here. But I also accepted it when my words kicked me in the butt and cost me my job.

Wendy Bell’s words on a WTAE-BRANDED FACEBOOK PAGE, and her refusal to acknowledge the error of her words had consequences and she greatly dislikes those consequences so she wants money for her suffering:

a. Great mental anguish and emotional strain;
b. Loss of income and benefits; and
c. Humiliation and inconvenience.

She is the life-giver to her own humiliation. She is the creator of her own inconvenience. She is the author of her own firing. And she is the mother from which Joe’s great mental anguish and emotional strain were born.

She. Her. Alone. Caused this all. And she still doesn’t understand why what she wrote was wrong.

She will read this, and she will not understand it because she will read it through her cloudy veil of narcissistic self-absorption.

But if she reads any one sentence in this post with crystal clear vision, may it be this: any money received from this lawsuit will not bring any measure of happiness to her; ill-gotten gains only breed greater ills.

Be gone, Wendy Bell. Be so far gone. And don’t let the door hit you in your Emmys on the way out.





Make Room for Kids 2016: A Super Good Day

13064752_10154116376228844_4954089604033332179_o(Photo courtesy of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh)

(additional photos in this post provided by Microsoft and the Mario Lemieux Foundation)

 67%.

By the quick math done by me and Mario Lemieux Foundation executive director Nancy Angus, Make Room for Kids has now installed Xboxes in an estimated 67% of in-patient rooms in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (plus outpatient oncology and infusion).

67% of the sick, hospitalized kids in our city have in-room gaming to help them pass the hours, to help them forget about their illnesses, to help them stop being “patients” and just be kids.

Your donations, the donations and dedication of Luke Sossi and his team at Microsoft, the donations of partners like the Holiday Park Volunteer Fire Department, the Scarehouse, Burgatory, and Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund, and the entire staff at the Mario Lemieux Foundation have joined together for seven years now. Over 250 XBOXes. Thousands of games and movies. Computers. iPads. TVs. The list goes on.

Let me show you what your donations did yesterday at Children’s as we installed this year’s phase of Make Room for Kids in the GI/Pulmonary unit of the hospital, a unit that includes colitis, Crohn’s and cystic fibrosis patients.

It’s dark still, but Luke Sossi has SUVs packed and ready to head to Lawrenceville where he will meet up with Microsoft staff. I honestly don’t believe Luke sleeps the evening before MR4K install days. It’s like Christmas Eve for him, and he’s Santa.

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Arrival!

SUV contents are unloaded onto carts and rolled into the hospital lobby around 9:00 a.m.

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Here’s Woy helping haul the new 50-inch TV we bought for the GI playroom:

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Time for a quick photo of the Microsoft team who will be handling the day’s installation in two units, as we not only installed Xboxes in every room of the GI unit, but we upgraded every Xbox in the Cardiac Step-Down Unit with a new machine as that unit was using the first Xboxes we ever donated to the hospital back in 2010 and which we refurbished last year. It was time for new machines!

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This pic I posted to my Instagram gives you a good look at everyone. Notice the carts stretch to behind Luke. LOTS of stuff!

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Elevator ride up! I look tired. Because of who I am as a person.

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We are here with the JOY! Big smiles as carts and carts of goodies are rolled into a conference room.

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Luke and Nancy thank the crew for not only their donations, but their willingness to help out.

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Just as I pressed my shutter button on this picture, Luke is saying, “Hey, crazy lady holding her camera up in the air.” I’ll wear that shoe.

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Grab an Xbox, find a room, off you go!

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Isolation rooms mean we take extra precautions:

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At one point, it looked like they even put the Root Sports cameraman to work.

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My first stop was the playroom for the unit to check on the progress of installing the new 50-inch TV with an Xbox One and Kinect system. This is going to be great for the Cystic Fibrosis kids to get some exercise. Four patient rooms on the unit were also outfitted with Kinects.

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Once that’s up, play time, and they tested it out by pitting the Pens against the Rangers:

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Success.

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I then headed to Tori’s room. She’s 16 and was pretty thrilled to hear we had the movie Megamind after she asked for it.

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Mission accomplished.

How are we doing on time?

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Looking good.

Nancy pauses for an interview because she’s Nancy and that’s her job and not mine. Thank God.

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I headed to Case’s room. He’s 3. If you watched any of the news coverage, you’ll see initially Case was lying in his bed, not sure what to make of the people in his room. But then … up and at ’em with Angry Birds!

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Here you can see he has prepared his bird launch.

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All the pigs on the first try even without full use of both hands!

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That was it. We left him like this …

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Mike and Meg Woycheck prepare to install an Xbox in a patient room. I would have a better picture but they literally ran away from me and my camera. The nerve.

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Also donated by MR4K to this unit were five Surface Units preloaded with awesome games. These are especially good for children on the spectrum who need their gaming to be closer to their faces.

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I forgot to take pictures of them, but we also gave this unit five portable DVD players, headphones for every room, scrapbooking machine and accessories, digital cameras with accessories, and SO MANY GAMES and movies! EA Sports also came through for a donation of their popular titles.

Here’s Nancy hunting down that Megamind movie she knew she had ordered.

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LOTS OF GAMES AND MOVIES! This box is for the GI unit alone. We have boxes for every other unit too!

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After all 23 beds in the GI unit were outfitted and the kids playing their games or watching their movies, we headed down one floor to the Cardiac Step Down Unit to replace their old MR4K Xboxes with brand new ones.

That’s where we met Myles. Gosh, Myles.

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13064752_10154116376228844_4954089604033332179_o(Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh)

That picture is doing things to my heartfeels. Can you also feel it?

In addition to all that, every unit from past installs received new controllers, and dozens of new games and movies that were released since our last install. That includes the oncology kids, transplant kids, cardiac ICU kids, and more! 

And we aren’t completely done with this year, because before fall, the oncology unit will have undergone an expansion to add six more inpatient beds for the cancer kids and thanks to Genre’s Kids with Cancer Fund, we already have the Xboxes to install once the construction is complete. I’ll keep you updated on when we get back in there to do that.

We also have updated games and movies to still deliver to the pediatric unit of AGH, which is also getting a snazzy rolling cart to store games in, and updated games and movies to send over to the Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center.

Whew!

It’s a lot, but we did it with your help.

67%.

I know we can get that number to 100% and make sure every kid who finds themselves admitted to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will have in-room gaming to distract them, entertain them, and comfort them.

I can’t thank you enough for all your donations, your sharing, your generosity, you willingness to find this project worthy of your hard-earned dollars. You are what makes Pittsburgh great and you are who is putting these smiles on these sick kids’ faces.

I hope you’ll join us next year as we press on toward that 100 percent.

Hug your kids and now hug me. Group hug!





Wendy Bell is not going to Make It.

I haven’t been this pissed off since Luke Ravenstahl spent a quarter of a million dollars on 250 trash cans with his name on them.

Wendy Bell has started a new Facebook page after her recent firing from WTAE and the subsequent removal of her WTAE-branded Facebook page. Her new Facebook page, in which she lets us know she hasn’t slept for a week because she is some kind of supernatural vampire being who doesn’t need sleep to stay alive, was announced by Ms. Bell herself on Twitter two days ago, but it just started getting shared today:

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Blink.

Blink.

Blinkblink.

Blinkblinkblink.

BLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.

Hashtag Pittsburgh Strong are you kidding me right now Wendy Bell I cant even use punctuation or anything because Im so dumbfounded and stunned and I swear Im going to do it I am going to flip a table so hard.

#bostonstrong … after the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings took lives.

#FRstrong … after the stabbings at Franklin Regional High School.

#PittsburghStrong … after WENDY BELL GETS FIRED FOR WRITING UNDERHANDEDLY RACIST CRAP ON A WTAE-BRANDED FACEBOOK PAGE BUT IT IS OKAY BECAUSE SHE STARTED A NEW ONE?!

No. No. No.

You do not come back from a crushing wave of criticism in which huge swaths of people informed you of how self-centered you sounded, how out-of-touch you seemed, how you managed to make EVERYTHING ALL ABOUT YOU … and usurp THAT hashtag for yourself because you’ve gone and started a new FACEBOOK.

In doing so, you have fulfilled the prophecy. You have now become the thing they accused you of being. You are now the Queen of Self-Centered. You are now the High Priestess of Out of Touch. You are now the DREAD DARTH DOOM OF ALL ABOUT ME.

PittsburghStrong is the three hero cops who were brutally murdered in the line of duty on this day seven years ago.

PittsburghStrong is Pitt’s James Conner throwing out the first pitch in the midst of his cancer battle yesterday.

PittsburghStrong was John Challis.

PittsburghStrong was Adam Frey.

PittsburghStrong is Genre Baker.

PittsburghStrong are Jamie and Ali McMutrie and their DECADE-long devotion to Haitian children.

Google them, Wendy. They are PittsburghStrong.

PittsburghStrong is not you. It is not “I got fired for writing a kinda racist thing, but I started a new Facebook and I’m rising from the ashes of the fire I set to my own career like a fucking majestic Phoenix, so give me a follow, you unthinking puppets. #PittsburghStrong!”

Until you realize why what you wrote was wrong, and until you realize why how you dealt with what you wrote was wrong, and until you realize how you seemingly still do not understand why what you wrote and how you dealt with it was wrong, and until you stop making everything all about you, and until you realize your OWN fault in causing every sleep-depriving “woe is me” thing you’ve tacked to the cross you think you bear … you have no hope of ever being #PittsburghStrong.

PittGirl out.





It’s NOT okay and I’m sick of it.

Today is Twitter’s 10th birthday. I’m conflicted about that.

This post isn’t meant to be political because as I’ve written many times before, I’d sooner coat myself in pollen, cover myself in bees then fling myself into an active volcano than write about politics because when you write about politics, shit hits the fan in the most shitty fannest way it has ever shit fanned.

That’s a solid sentence. I’m not editing it.

So, listen, I’m not a fan of Donald Trump’s. Maybe you are and that’s cool. Keep reading. Or maybe you’ve hitched your wagon to another political candidate. That’s all good. Me? I’m a registered Republican (this election might change that) and I’m not too fond of Trump as a person, or at least of the person he has made himself out to be publicly. His “persona.” Not a fan.

And I don’t hide my dislike for him. Instead, I use humor to show my Twitter followers at times how I feel about him, because the only way I won’t lose my mind about politics and show up at places with tables just so I can flip those tables (watch out, Ikea), is to approach it with good humor. Laugh instead of scream. Chuckle instead of cry.

So after I saw a headline that started with “Donald Trump leading the movement …”, I stopped. I didn’t want to read any more about any movement he would lead. I tweeted this:

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That is indeed a hilarious fire tweet. I can’t believe it didn’t get 7,000 RTs and a fave from Barack Obama himself. Anyway, that was weeks ago. On Saturday, a Burgher tweeted this at me:

 

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Wow. First, a simple scroll down his timeline will show you he is indeed a Burgher, tweeting and following local accounts and local media peeps.

Second, after I called him out on Twitter for being such a giant racist doucheface, he deleted his tweet.

BUT THE INTERNET IS FOREVER AND I WAS SURE TO SCREENCAP THAT SHIT, YOU JAG.

Can you wrap your head around this? The racism? The immediate assumption that I must be hispanic and therefore must be illegal and therefore must have anchor babies (ugh) and YAY DONALD TRUMP IS SHIPPING YOU BACK IF HE WINS, YOU PUTA!

I was stunned. How assured must you be of your racism, how comfortable must you feel with the validity and righteousness of that racism that you find it perfectly okay to tweet that to me simply because I’m married to a Mexican?

Look, he can sit there on twitter and tweet hateful tweet after hateful tweet about large swaths of people, fine. But when you DIRECT your hate to a PERSON and you say it TO THEM, that’s hate speech. That’s not okay, regardless of what Twitter’s complete inaction on addressing people who use their service to spread vicious prejudice to anyone they choose would have you believe. That’s an awkward, convoluted sentence. I’m not editing it.

Now, you will say, he’s a troll. Ignore him. No. NO NO NO NO. I am not ignoring this hate any longer! I will blast it and write it and cut and paste it if by doing so I can stop JUST ONE ASSHOLE from thinking it is okay to speak this way simply because you’ve got a presidential candidate who has somehow emboldened you enough to spew your bile in anyone’s face you don’t like the color of. That is a terribly worded sentence. I’m not editing it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten racial hate aimed at me DESPITE THE FACT THAT I WAS BORN IN PITTSBURGH. Many times people assume I am Mexican because I’m married to a Mexican. Usually those who say awful things to me on Twitter are professional trolls located throughout the world who are simply looking for attention. I ignore those people.

But this guy who I used Google Reverse Image search to make sure he didn’t grab his profile pic from somewhere else on the web?

He’s a BURGHER. I might see him in my restaurant. I might hold an elevator for him. I might pass him at a ball game. He might stand in line in Kennywood in front of my children. You might know him. You might work with him. YOU MIGHT EMPLOY HIM.

And he called my children, my innocent children who could never wrap their brains around this hate … ANCHOR BABIES. My mother yesterday said, “It’s so crazy! You’re as AMERICAN AS THEY COME.”

And I, two glasses of wine deep, said, “IT SHOULDN’T MATTER!”

So what if I’m American. So what if I wasn’t. So what if my husband is a naturalized citizen. IT. SHOULDN’T. MATTER.

Here’s another tweet by this user:

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RAPEFUGEES.

He calls every single man, woman and child trying to escape the violence and death and doom of Syria a RAPEFUGEE.

And again, he’s so assured, so confident, so comfortably racist that he has no problems showing the world. Remember before social media when racists sat on their porches and said their racist bullshit only to the unfortunate few who had the bad luck to find themselves sharing air with them? Gone are those days. These days, and it seems with Trump’s encouragement, racists are standing on their porches shooting their racist bullets into the air, whooping with glee for all to see and hear. They’re setting off firecrackers of hate. They’re dropping NUCLEAR BOMBS OF HATE.

As a good friend said, “What have we become?”

My brother-in-law, a legal permanent resident of the US and an immigrant from Mexico, recently wrote this on his Facebook page about an incident in Market Square on March 4:

Last night I opened the side door at Las Velas, maybe a little too fast, and almost hit a guy with the door as he was walking on the sidewalk. His first reaction was a strange look at me and said, “All you people are always sneaking out of everywhere!” I look at him like excuse me? Immediately he says, “That’s why I’m voting for Trump. I can’t wait for all of you people to go back to your country!” I was so mad but no words were coming out because I was so shocked. So I just smiled and his response was, “I can’t wait to wipe that smile off your face when you have to go back to your country,” and then walked away! In the 11 years that I have been living in the States, I have had a few racial issues, maybe once or twice before, but I have never seen someone looking at me with that much anger! I guess it’s something Mr Trump is causing out there! I don’t care if Trump wins to be honest, I just really hope Trump supporters get that anger out in a different way (like workout, running, etc) not insulting people that you don’t even know who are they or what they are! And please please please remember we are all humans.

This is what hispanics IN PITTSBURGH are dealing with. Right in our city. This upfront hate. This in-your-face “I AM BETTER THAN YOU BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF MY SKIN AND I WILL TELL YOU TO YOUR FACE HOW INFERIOR YOU ARE AND HOW MUCH I HOPE YOU GET SENT BACK TO MEXICO WHEN TRUMP WINS” hate.

I’m stunned.

And his “always sneaking out of everywhere” line? What the hell does that even mean? Are all the Mexicans hiding behind doors and chairs and walls and jumping out at the non-Mexicans and screaming “SURPRISE!” and giving them all heart attacks?

These are the straws that have broken this camel’s back. I’m not staying quiet. I’m calling these jagoffs out now and I hope you’ll join me in exposing them.

It’s not okay and I’m sick of it.

It’s not okay for you to say things to people like this simply because you somehow have come to believe you had ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THE HELL COLOR AND IN WHAT THE HELL COUNTRY YOU WERE BORN.

This public, proud, loud hate is not what Pittsburgh is about and I will be damned if I’ll let Donald Trump let ANY Burgher think this whitewashed version of our city is what Pittsburgh should BECOME. Or to think it’s perfectly fine to SPEAK TO OTHER HUMANS THIS WAY.

Ignoring racism is like walking away from embers smoking on a dry forest floor. We have to at least TRY to stomp it out here, not sit back or walk away or say, “Ignore it” and let the flames grow and grow until it takes over and does real, lasting damage.

Racist Pittsburghers should literally sit down at a computer and research their family history. What country and under what circumstances did your ancestors arrive here? What the hell language did they speak when their toes first touched American soil? Then all you effing racists email me and let me know if any of you can come back with, “100% of my ancestry can be traced to the Pilgrims and there is literally no other blood or color or ethnicity or language to be found anywhere in any part of my family tree so help me God.”

You can send that email to virginia@thatschurch.com. I’ll sit here with my “anchor babies” and wait for it with bated breath.

Stop being jagoffs. Stop believing the color of your skin has somehow elevated you above ANYONE. Start trying to nurture just one percent of Fred Rogers in your soul so that maybe, just maybe, when your head hits the pillow at night you’ll have a tiny bit of love in your heart for someone other than your awful awful self. And if you don’t want your face plastered on my blog, stop spreading your hate on Twitter.

And the rest of us, start letting racists know IT IS NOT OKAY AND YOU ARE SICK OF IT. Be loud. Be proud of inclusion. Be proud of equality. Be proud that YOU at least recognize that we are humans and for that reason, all deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t ignore, but rather stomp out any ember of racism you encounter in Pittsburgh the moment you see it flicker up.

I guess that got a bit political.

Anyone know where I can get a swarm of bees?