Invoking Peer Power: Please Help By Writing A Letter To the Editor

weakassmeme5150_carlos

It’s time to stop stigma in our community. #TheReal5150 Advocates have been telling Carlos Vieira that his product, 51 Fifty Energy Drink (“Live the Madness”) does not belong in our community stores until he does better with the name. He’s hurting far more people than he’s helping by promoting stigma in a can as a lifestyle choice.

This advocacy campaign is almost a year-strong and picking up steam among peers, loved ones and family members of those living with a mental condition. Not only that, folks who haven’t walked this walk are showing so much compassion after they hear the stories of #TheReal5150 (those of us living with mental illness) and the stories of loved ones who have acted as caregivers too.

Of all the times I’ve shared my story this past year — the only person who didn’t show compassion was Carlos Vieira, President of the Carlos Vieira Foundation and President of 51 Fifty Energy Drink.

Instead be became defensive and swore he was 51 Fifty and 51 Fifty was him. He and his company folks want #TheReal5150 to agree to disagree that the name is a homonym.

They went so far as to patronize by including a definition of the word homonym.  

This is even after California’s Police Code 5150 definition (sans the gravely disabled part) was printed on the flagship can. After sponsoring horrorcore rapper, Mars (known for his Hannibal Lecter mask and extreme lyrics), has MoonShine Bandits create a video clearing up the confusion of the hashtag #5150 should be #51Fifty instead.

They wouldn’t want you associating with someone (who the real #5150 perhaps?) you didn’t know.

 

Ridiculous. It’s time to stop stigma in our community and let folks know that mental illness stigma hurts like racism. Everywhere.

If you feel passionate and want to join your voice with ours — we could certainly use your help advocating.

11796348_10153388392112823_3540931177477736721_nHow? Write a Letter to the Editor of your California (or other areas you’ve seen the energy drink distributed) newspaper. I’m going to be sending mine to The Fresno Bee and will include that information so you can too.

Don’t get overwhelmed, I’m going to help you figure it out if writing a letter is not your strength. It’s your meaning and intent that matter the most — sharing your voice with us. That’s the power of peers. That’s what we need in this battle for respect.

How to Write a Letter To the Editor

  1. Keep it Simple. Max. 200 words for The Fresno Bee.
  2. Include: Who, What, Where, When, Why
  3. Submit it online: http://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/
  4. What kinds of things to say?
    1. Stigma hurts and how it hurts
    2. Each Mind Matters
    3. 1-in-4 people live with a mental illness
    4. How stigma has affected you
    5. Include a part of your story — this is what people connect to, the humanity of you and your experiences. When that happens, compassion is born. 🙂
    6. Tell them we are worthy and equal-citizens
      1. Tell them we matter and we’re worthy to shop in our communities without oppression, stigma and mockery slapped on our food choices.
      2. Tell others this is NOT OK to market a product on the back of an illness.
      3. Tell them it’s wrong to treat people living with a brain condition as last-class citizens and make them the dumping ground for society’s ills and the butt of jokes. (And in 51 Fifty Energy Drink’s case, patronize that back as a homonym.)
      4. Tell them mental illness affects 1-in-4 people in our community and across the nation. It’s time to break the stigma, help educate and tell this poseur, Carlos Vieira, he’s got nothing on us.
      5. Just say it like you mean it! 😉

We’re the real deal folks. #TheReal5150 don’t #livethemadness by choice. #WeAreWorthy and #middlefinger2stigma.

Together we can make a difference. Lots of love to you and thank you everyone who writes in support. It’s greatly appreciated!
#MiddleFinger2You2Carlos #5150Poseur #bangadrum #bangamuthafuckindrumbiotch

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