Wednesday, October 25, 2017

About ALL of Your Dumb Blackface Costumes

I don’t think enough people know exactly how black paint on white faces affects their black and brown friends. I’m not just talking about frat bros going to Halloween parties as “gangsters” or trying to get through Tropic Thunder (goddammit, RDJ), black face in general is just not cool. Don’t dress up as a shadow, don’t be a hockey puck, don’t be a domino piece, and don’t be a demon. Well…do so, but expect ALL of the side-eye.
I am sure saying these things will produce some blue-eyed eye-rolling, but you can’t be mad at us for just being tired of seeing white people in black faces. With all of the other shit that we have to deal with in the day, The LEAST you could do is put the Dove brand black face paint down and think for a minute. Lili Reinhart got a bit of a drag this week when she didn’t really think. She posted a picture of herself in head-to-toe black makeup with the caption, “Found my Halloween costume!! Inspired by the color of my soul.”
GET IT??? Because she is saying that her soul is dark! She’s a demon on the inside! It’s FUNNY, EVERYONE!...But it’s really not. Lili Reinhart is probably not racist, and at least in this instance she had no racist intentions. To her credit, in the obligatory process of deleting the picture and penning an apology tweet, she did not mention her presence of black friends, so that’s a start. She learned a lesson, I hope.
As for the image of black being something bad, I concede that nearly every culture has had a fear of the dark and total absence of like. This is because before we had 24 hour lights, things that go “bump” in the night could and would literally kill you. So of course the shade is the hue of darkness, evil, fear, etc. in societies on EVERY continent.
That black shade has been applied in ancient depictions of Satan and demons in general, too, especially in Christianity. Demons were nearly always black as night in paintings and etchings. Hell, if you look at the deities throughout the world, you’ll see a distinct and stark lightening of their depictions after Europeans colonized those regions. Skin lightening cream is a multi-million dollar industry as well. In lore, when St. Nicholas was transitioning from historical figure to benevolent NSA spy for children, he was often depicted with a black-as-night devil that he had captured and enslaved. SInterklass made him either build toys or mete out punishment of bad children. That demon evolved into the Krampus and Zwarte Piet. The former stayed black as hell, but maintained his standard demon shape: hybrid goat-human with pointy ears and sometimes horns. Zwarte Piet, however, went from enslaved demon to enslaved “blackamoor”, so not only is he black and creating mischief, he’s a Muslim dude dressed up to look like a damn fool. That transition links demons to black people, as in black skinned people are descended from demons. Zwarte Piet is essentially an enslaved demon, afro and all. Where in literal hell does one get a hold of shea butter and Afro Sheen?
The idea that black people came from demons is not even new. It was one of the many justifications for establishing the construct of racism that permeates today. It also was the justification for torturing enslaved Africans as if they were not human. If they’re damned already, then why not mutilate them? In theatre and cinema, if white people in blackface weren’t acting like shuckin’ jivin’ fools, they were beastlike, devilish super predators, pouncing on and defiling innocent white women. This is part of the reason why the myth that black people, especially larger ones and especially men, are often seen as being more brutish, violently impulsive, stronger, more impervious to pain, etc. I guarantee this is why in nearly every publicized police shooting of an unarmed black man, there is mention of how “large and intimidating” the victim is.
This is why blackface is so offensive, and also why thinking just putting on some black paint sans horns, tails, leather wings, etc and saying you’re your own dark soul or a demon is not a good idea. It’s also why just putting on black face paint is just a bad idea, intentions pure or not. I’m willing to give anyone a pass, but only if the perpetrator promises to think and reflect.
So perhaps you think before you slap that brown/black face paint on your face. Maybe consider that especially in this timeframe, while we have a racist sack of carrot puree who hired literal nazis to his cabinet, while violence against brown and black people by white dudes has risen, while my street harassment quota while I’m committing a BWB (biking while black) has doubled, that perhaps you can go without the makeup to make the costume.
For the white people who are incredulous that someone wrote an article about Lili Reinhart’s “joke”, you have no right to be incredulous at our shade. Something will be said no matter what the costume is. Bowling balls, giant loafers, Ipod commercial shadow…hell, don't even be Groot unless you have a mask. Someone will rightfully drag you. If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at your European ancestors who have made blackface so toxic that it inevitably gets a negative reaction, from receiving minor shade to catching repeated hands. THEY ruined blackface, not us. You don’t see anyone named Adolf or walking around with a tiny moustache and Bieber swoop either. You, not we, can get over it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Facebook Doesn’t Give a Damn About #MeToo or Your Sexual Assault

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Facebook doesn’t give a damn about women and black folk. I present the latest evidence.
My friend participated in the #MeToo hashtag by telling her story of sexual abuse in her status. Less than a day later, she was notified that not only was her story flagged for “abuse”, her account is suspended. SHE told a story about how SHE was ASSAULTED, yet SHE was the person who is being punished, much like what happened to her when she tried to get justice. Facebook loves punishing the victims of abuse while they let abusers run rampant. The only Face they care about are white male faces.
Below is her fiance’s words about what happened, and a resharing of her story, because it needs to be told. Facebook is perpetuating the rape culture that they claim they want to end.
CONTENT WARNING: Detailed information regarding my partner’s sexual assault.
Yesterday, as many of you know, my fiancé ALW courageously shared her story of when she was drugged and sexually assaulted during her senior year of high school. The amount of love and support she received (much that came from survivors of sexual assault themselves) was heartwarming, to say the absolute least.
Today, she received a message from Facebook letting her know not only that her post had been taken down, but that her commenting, messaging, and posting privileges had been taken away from her as well. The reason Facebook gave was “to stop behavior that others may find annoying or abusive”.
Let’s put it this way - Facebook is silencing someone who used their media platform to bring more than a hundred people together after something traumatic happened, as well as erasing every bit of the support that was given (and for the record, the ONLY person who voiced any opposition to the status was Nick Colakovski, the man who assaulted her).
The “Me too” movement is successfully bringing millions of people together to stand in unity, and Facebook is choosing to cater to the ones that seem to find it “annoying” or “abusive” (which, given the topic at hand, should be a joke).
This is rape culture. I encourage you all to share and circulate this post, to show you stand with survivors and to show Facebook that we will not let survivors of sexual assault that are brave enough to come forward be silenced.
Show rapists and those who sexually assault others that they don't have power over the situation anymore. They can try to remove the post, but they can't remove the message. And if they try to remove the post, just keep sharing and reposting it so even more people can see.
Let's work together to make sure survivors are supported and that people who sexually assault women are held accountable.
Here is ALW's original post:
Me too.
Over the past year or so, I've battled with myself over whether or not I should write an essay about my experience with sexual assault. It's something I have kept bottled up for such a long time, mostly because I've been scared, deathly afraid, that this intimate and horrifying moment in my life would be met with negative attention or worse, apathy.
The reason women take so long to publicly come forward after an event like this is that opening up this incredibly vulnerable moment in your life is not worth it if you will not receive support and sympathy. Wounds like these stay fresh for a very long time, and I have debated myself many times on whether opening up my story to public scrutiny will simply undo the healing I've managed so far.
But I am stronger now, and I know that even if my story reaches one woman and lets them know that they are not alone, or reaches one man and shows him the reality of rape culture, that my trauma can be a force of good for someone. So without further ado, here is my story:
It was senior year in high school. I had never been that popular, but at this point I had a solid group of friends and felt generally happy. I started hanging out with some kids from Brighton, one of which happened to be an ex from over two years prior of a member of my friend group. She got upset, and I was abruptly excommunicated from all of my friends.
As time passed, I began to date the boy in Brighton, all while trying to find other friends to replace the ones who had abandoned me so readily. A popular bad boy from school, Nick, invited me over to hang out one afternoon and I jumped at the chance since he had always seemed cool and I wanted to find a new friend group so desperately. I knew my dad had heard of Nick since he and his friends had a reputation of druggies, so I told him I was going to hang out with some preppy kids from school, and he dropped my off at Nicks house after school.
I was very naive at this point in my life. I had never even smoked weed. But here I was, knocking on the door of a local druggie looking for friendship. He seemed cool enough at first,  we watched some TV and talked about random stuff. I had a headache, and he grabbed me a pill and said "here this will help." I asked him what it was, and he wouldn't tell me. I was an idiot to take it, but I wanted to seem cool and I figured it was just extra strength Advil or something and he was just messing around.
I started to feel a bit dizzy. What was going on? Nick came over to me and offered me a listerine strip. I was perplexed but didn't have enough mental coherency to say no. He told me to put it under my tongue, and it tasted bad. I was starting to feel very confused. Why was the listerine strip orange? Why did it taste so bitter?
The answer was: Nick had given me a Klonopin and a suboxone strip. Two extremely powerful drugs, one of which is synthetic heroin for recovering addicts. As I started to slip in and out of consciousness, Nick began kissing me. I still remember the taste of cigarettes. I clearly and with as much energy as I could muster said "no, stop, I have a boyfriend," but although my mouth was working, my body wasn't. I couldn't fight back. I remember shaking and crying and for some odd reason became fixated and embarrassed about the fact that I hadn't shaved. I continued to say no and feebly try and push him off until I passed out.
When I woke up, I was naked except for my underwear. There were several people standing around the bed. I didn't have time to take in the scene before promptly dashing to the bathroom and vomiting. As I crawled back to the bed, I saw two of Nick's friends, John and Taylor, who had also gone to school with me, talking to a shirtless Nick who was in his boxers.
I collapsed on the bed, wrapped my nakedness up in a comforter, tried to process what was happening. Nick was saying, "I don't care what you do with her, just take her somewhere else. My dads coming home soon and I'll be in deep shit if she's still here." My mind was starting to race, I was panicking. I was scared.
Then, a blessed thing happened that in all likelihood saved my life. My phone started going off, and kept on going off over and over. I managed to crawl over to it, and saw my dads name on the screen. He told me he had felt weird after dropping me off, and that he had googled the address and found out Nick lived there. He was heading over there now and I was in so much trouble.
I was more grateful than I had ever been in my life. I struggled to get dressed, all the while Nick's friends leered at me and even offered to help me get dressed. I had enough clarity to tell them to back off. I stumbled down the stairs and out to my dads car, thank god he'd arrived.
When I got in the car, my dad immediately noticed something off. I had huge, I mean golf ball sized, hickeys up and down my neck and chest. I was slurring my speech and kept falling asleep. He immediately drove back to Nick's house to ask what had happened and called an ambulance. He pulled into Nick's driveway and his dad, a doctor, answered the door.
My dad told him what condition I was in and informed him that he had called an ambulance, and the mans first response was: "can you please move your car off the driveway? We're getting it redone." My father remained parked solidly in the driveway until the ambulance arrived. I vaguely recall Nick coming out to the car and apologizing. Of course my dad didn't know how far his abuse had gone, otherwise Nick probably would've gotten mowed down right in his driveway.
The ambulance took me to the hospital where I remained for several days. The combination and strength of the drugs Nick had given me had compromised my heart, and although I don't remember it, I wavered close to the boundary between life and death for some time.

the first 24 hours in the hospital, where I was recovering not only from my first time ever having drugs like that in my system but also from an overdose, is when the police came. I had consented to a rape kit, which involved pictures of my various hickies and bruises, of my genitals, and an in depth examination similar to a gynecologist visit. They said they'd get the results back soon.
Then the police came, as they do when rape kits are done, to interview me. I don't even remember the interview. I don't even know what I said. I was so hopped up on the drugs Nick gave me and the drugs the hospital gave me that I'm sure much of what I said was incoherent gibberish. However, as I later came to find out, that interview was counted as evidence and what I said then, not when I was sober and could actually recollect the events, was the only statement they would take.

I eventually came back to my senses, covered in bruises from the assault and from the IVs, and called my old best friend, the girl I had been close like sisters with for years before I had been kicked out of our friend group. I told her what happened, I was completely distraught. I called my boyfriend as well, and told him what happened. He was sympathetic enough and said we'd talk about it when I was out of the hospital.
When I finally did get out of the hospital, I didn't know what to do with myself. I had to go back to school where I had no friends, carrying the weight of this trauma on my shoulders. The morning before my first day back I picked out a nice outfit, a skirt, a long sleeved shirt to cover my IV bruises, a scarf to cover the bruises on my neck and chest. I also threw on a pair of heels, because I wanted to feel pretty and confident.
As soon as I arrived at school, the formspring messages started pouring in. For those of you who don't know or remember formspring, it was a platform to ask anonymous questions online, similar to Sarahah, except everyone else could see the questions and answers as well on a feed. People were messaging me things like "ur lying about being raped who would dress like a slut after something like that?" I knew then that my best friend of years had told someone what happened to me. She took away my anonymity and forced me to relive my trauma on my first day back to school.
My boyfriend broke up with me the next time I saw him. He didn't believe I had been assaulted, he thought I had cheated on him.
The rest of my senior year continued like that. I eventually made new friends, but John and Taylor, Nick's friends who had been there at the time of the assault, were part of the group too which made me uncomfortable. I repeatedly asked John why he didn't do something. I asked both of them if they would testify if I brought the case to trial. Both refused.
How naive I was to think the case would ever go to trial. 7 months later and my rape kit came back. Negative. The nurse told me all that means is that he could have used a condom. I have never been able to remember what happened that afternoon in his room, and I don't know whether to be angry or thankful.
After my rape kit results came back I met with an RPD detective to talk about pressing charges. My dad came with me. I told the detective clearly and succinctly that I wanted to press sexual assault charges. Even with a negative rape kit, there were still two witnesses that could be subpoenaed, there was photographic evidence of hickies, my hospital records would show that I had been unable to consent due to the large amount of drugs Nick had given me.
The detective said I would never win. He said that Nick told detectives I had consented to both taking the drugs and the sexual activities. Despite my insistence to the contrary on both counts (I hadn't willingly taken suboxone knowing it was a drug, and I very clearly articulated my lack of consent before passing out) it was my word against his, and his wealthy and connected father had pulled some strings.
I insisted I wanted to take the case to court, and the detective said he would get back to me. He never did.
As the years passed, I heard stories that similar things had been done by him to other women. He was arrested for other things eventually. But then, once I thought the wounds of trauma had healed, he began popping up. First at the grocery store, then at the gym. Then, I found out he went to my college. The first time I saw him there it was like a lightning bolt of ice raced through my body. I started hyperventilating. The worst part is, I doubt he even remembers what he did to me.
I wish this story had a happier ending. I tried to do the right thing, I thought I had enough evidence on my side. But until this day, I have never felt comfortable publicly acknowledging this story. Nick Colakovski sexually assaulted me, and I let my shame keep me silent.

I will be silent no more.
Attached are screenshots between J and ALW after the assault.
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Friday, October 13, 2017

Why #WomenBoycottTwitter, As If You Didn't Know

After at least twenty years of predatory sexual behavior toward women, Harvey Weinstein is out of his company, and he may face criminal charges. That’s twenty years of him behaving badly, twenty years of people around him either denying or ignoring what he was doing, and twenty years of women who may have come forward to report his abuses being silenced or dismissed as crazy or opportunists. This tale is as old as time, and I wish we’d be better at handling these situations, but time shows that no one with power is REALLY interested in adjusting the status quo. Whether the victims are women or children, the abuse will go on for years, and when the shadow is too big to ignore and there is no choice BUT to shed light to expose it, the victim, not the assailant or his enablers,  is accused of not coming forward sooner.
Twitter, in the wake of women from all over the entertainment industry speaking about Weinstein, bravely took a stand and said they would have no more abuse of the people about whom they REALLY care on their platform. They suspended the account…of Rose McGowan, one of the first people to publicly report Weinstein’s abuse. Congratulations to you, Twitter. You just proved the diseased point that every victim of sexual misconduct has been saying. You don’t give a shit about victims, only the people in power. Twitter, though not as bad as Facebook when it comes to reporting and kicking off abusers of their service, still allows abuse and threats to go on hours, days, weeks, before they do anything about it, if they do anything at all. The only “abusive” thing in Rose McGowan’s tweets in the aftermath of the Weinstein fiasco was when she told Ben Affleck to “fuck off”. I tweet “fuck off” to the President nearly every day, and I have not been touched. One can assumed that Rose believes that Affleck is one of the many men and women who tacitly protected Weinstein and his open secret, either by defending him and attacking victims or living in denial and ignoring them. Either way, “fuck off” is probably one of the most innocuous of attacks one can lob on Twitter.
A person sent me death threats for weeks one time on the platform. I reported him the first time he said I’d be “next” after I lamented about the inaction in the Freddie Gray case. Nothing happened. He threatened to hang me. Nothing happened. He said it was time for a “drag” (Google James Byrd, Jr). Nothing happened. He said he was going on a “coon hunt”. Nothing happened. Finally, after weeks of reporting and seeing nothing happen, after screen shooting nearly everything @joahu4 said to me, I blocked him. That should not have been the case. He was explicitly violating Twitter’s own rules, yet Twitter did nothing. A year later, it seems the account is dead, but whether it was the user’s volition or Twitter FINALLY doing what it was supposed to do, it shows that Twitter does not give a damn about victims. My situation is only some digital trolling and nothing new for me online.
Rose McGowan is not only an ACTUAL victim of an assault; she is brave enough to talk about it. She brought it to the courtroom, where though the case was settled monetarily, Weinstein got away with admitting nothing. She was the person who got to say, “I told all of you!”, and for that, SHE was punished. This is much like when fuckbois say, “If you were attacked, you need to speak up”, but then when the attacked speak up, the same fuckbois say, “No way that happened! You’re lying!”
I think this is just a long way of saying that there are too many fuckbois running Silicon Valley. They are showing their asses every day that they keep suspending black, brown, queer, and female participants of the online world but keep allowing abusive MRA, white supremacists, and LGBTQ-phobes run rampant until they absolutely HAVE to say something to save face in the real world. But what are you gonna do? Fuckbois gon’ fuck.  I hope #WomenBoycottTwitter lasts a week. You motherfuckers need them more than they need you. You have no idea.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

For the First White Rapper to Say, "Fuck Trump"

I would like to give props to the first white rapper to voice the theme “Fuck Trump”: MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER. Were I an alien who just arrived to earth, though, I would think that Eminem was the loudspeaker for the new hip-hop generation. He isn’t a “rare white artist speaking out for his black fans” as CNN said. His anti-Trump rap isn’t “different” as The New York Times claims. It’s not even anything different from what he’s done for years. “He wrote “Mosh” for Bush II. Ain’t shit changed, except that people are treating MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER like the black people who invented rock ‘n’ roll while acting like Eminem is the Jerry Lee Lewis who “innovated a sound”.
I know that the world is going crazy over Eminem’s freestyle he filmed during the BET Awards. He did precisely what a white person given time in a black space, using what was originally a berated black form of musical art at that, should do: said his piece, did not overstep, and did not stay too long. He also said all the right things. I know this because they are things that black folk have known and said all along. He put them to verse. Cool.
He was not the first, though. Don’t be fooled by the “liberal left wing” media and their marveling at Eminem’s “heroism”. He was not even the first WHITE rapper to say “fuck Trump”. He may be the rapiest, but definitely NOT the first. MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER called out Trump after he wrote a song CALLED “Donald Trump” in 2011. It was more a song about getting rich (not a beef song), but then Trump tried to start beef with him on Twitter in 2013, to which MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER said, “Um, no. Fuck you”, and then and in 2015 he went on the air on The Nightly Show to read Trump for 3 minutes. He was so amped, he called out privileged (white) people who said that they were going to move to Canada if he got elected. MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER is the man, and he’s getting treated the way Sammy Davis, Jr. was when he had the audacity to die the same weekend that Jim Henson died. No respect.
Let’s not forget that black folk have been putting the “fuck Trump” theme in the ether for a long time. The Game made “El Chapo”, Rick Ross and John Legend made “Free Enterpirse”,  and Waka Flocka made “RICO” in 2015. YG made TWO “fuck Trump” songs called “FDT” in 2016, one featuring Nipsey Hussle and a second with Macklemore, another white rapper who said, “fuck Trump” before Eminem. Anderson .Paak’s “Come Down” remix, Ty Dolla $ign’s BlasĂ©”, A$AP Ferg’s Flem, Emilio Rojas’s “I Hate Donald Trump”,’s “Grab ‘Em by the Pu$$Y, Common and Bilal’s “Letter to the Free” Amine’ Caroline”, Kendrick Lamar’s “The Heart Pt. 4”, Joey BadA$$’s “Land of the Free”, and Wale’s “Smile” have been out there, some for the last 2 years. They hardly got the attention that Eminem is getting. The best one, A Tribe Called Quest’s “We the People” was performed even liver than Eminem’s freestyle and began with Busta Rhymes calling out Trump by name! and I don’t doubt that someone like Public Enemy or someone dissed Trump on wax after his words about the Central Park Five, or any of the other racist stuff he’s done in the last 40 years.
I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t have Eminem’s first 4 albums. The man has real talent. He also has a serious issue with women. Half of all of his early songs are berating or hurting women in some way, from “’97 Bonnie and Clyde” to “Stan” to “Superman”. Hell, he did what is rightly considered one of the dopest freestyle cyphers with Yasiin Bey (When he was Mos Def) and Black Thought, and he couldn’t go 16 bars without talking about raping someone to the point that they “thought they liked it”. His BET performance was good, but despite what the “liberal” media is hailing, The first and best diss of Donald Trump by a white rapper is MAC MOTHERFUCKING MILLER, and you can make a 2-hour Spotify list of dope anti-Trump hip-hop. It can be its own genre: Trump Trap.
…OK, I apologize for writing “Trump Trap”. That’s a bridge too far.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dear "Liberal" Man, Check Yourself

Dear “Liberal” Cis-Man,
Get your shit together, check yourself, and collect your mans, too. If Harvey Weinstein’s case has shown us anything, it’s that Hollywood and news media are not the progressive bastions that detractors claim, and liberals, especially “liberal” men, need to check themselves for the trash behavior they attribute to their opponents. They especially need to call out their male cohorts who are acting up, and they need to do it early, not after 15 or 20 years of them being shit.
Minorities already know that Hollywood and the media being aggressively liberal is a myth. Every time a movie casts a round-eyes for an obviously Asian character or a bunch of white people for a period piece in ancient Northern Africa or Persia, we are reminded of Hollywood’s obvious, blatant, and often deliberate, blind spot.  Women have been little more than props in most works on screen or in print. They are either victims of horrendous acts that must be avenged, or perhaps they were “crazy” psychos who deserved their comeuppance. Perhaps they are shiny prizes that the main character must earn through arduous trials, be it fighting monsters or turning form nerd to cool kid. Fridging was a thing before the term “fridging” existed. There is a damn good reason why Allison Bechdel proposed her test for movies. And don’t get me started on the ableism. From Blofeld to Dr. Doom, there is not enough time to list off all of the “villains” in stories who have some sort of physical disability or have been “horribly disfigured”, yet I cannot find examples of a person turning suddenly evil after being permanently debilitated. If they ARE assholes, they were likely assholes before their accident. Don’t tell Hollywood that, though.
The news media is not much better. Compare the way a black unarmed victim of a violent crime is treated compared to a white armed perpetrator of crime. For the former, if the person has so much as a detention from middle school, you’d best believe that it will be covered in the nightly news. What was he wearing? Was he wearing gang colors? Did he talk back? Surely, he did SOMETHING to spook the officer and force him to kill him. Even when no person was killed, media find a way to demonized victims. When that child fell in the gorilla pit at the zoo and Harambe was shot in order to save the kid, the child’s parents criminal records (all of which were long ago and not major) were brought up! So we now know that in the world of news media, a dangerous animal’s life is more important than a black child, his parents, and a zoo’s shitty security. Conversely, the latter will always be considered a tragic figure who somehow “lost his way”. He was an honor roll student, ran track, was an Olympic class swimmer, had a wife and children, was in the local Rotary Club, but he must have had some mental illness or something to make him snap! So in order to exonerate a white man from responsibility, they throw the mentally ill under the bus. Even when they say that they are doing evil for evil’s sake, they are still pitied. The murderer who shot up a predominantly black church explicitly stated he wished to kill black people to start a race war, and his past was STILL depicted as stable, as if that even mattered. The man who murdered a black man with a sword in New York City was described as “well dressed” when he was arrested. Oh, good! I’m glad he had the time to clean himself up after murdering an innocent man, unlike all those slovenly black children who were murdered in hoodies! How gouache!
Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment case is not the outlier. It’s not “just a few bad men” making the industry look bad. Bill Cosby, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Stephen Collins, Jeffrey Jones, etc are more the norm than we want to think. However, instead of listening to victims of their crimes, we rattle off all of the progressive groups that the accused chairs, we hold up all of the great charities he’s started, all of the women that he knows that prove he CAN’T be the misogynist predator that his victims accuse him of being, and then we accuse the victim of attempting to “ruin a good man” or doing it for money and/or fame…until 20 years later when the physical evidence is nearly lost, but there have been too many multiple reports from other women to deny that something is definitely wrong, at which point we accuse the victims of not coming forward soon enough. We pick apart what she said. We ask the woman that if she knew that said powerful man is rumored to be a predator, then why would she work with him? Not once, in the many years of said assailant’s behavior, has someone thought to tell him to NOT be a said assailant? It is all on the woman who was assailed?  Imagine being beaten to a bloody pulp, and instead of arresting the beaters, YOU get arrested for an unrelated thing? Because that happens as well.
If this phenomenon is happening out in the open, you can best believe that it is happening in private as well. This is where you, the “liberal” man”, need to check yourself, and then check others around you. “Liberal” men will be quick to point out all of the sexual assault cases of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump, but will hem and haw with excuses and diversions when someone brings up Anthony Weiner or Bill Clinton or Hugh Hefner. I get the idea of “protecting your own”, but that protection should not extend to acts of unwarranted violence against people they claim to want to protect. Even if not a violent act, using the mask of liberalism to coerce women into your bedroom has no honor.  Hoisting up Jemele Hill onto a pillar does not give you the green light to call Ann Coulter a “cunt”. You really don’t care about women on a whole if you tweet out that you hope Tomi Lahren deserves to be raped. Calling a political opponent “retarded” or making fun of their “gimp” leg makes you look hypocritical, especially after you spent 5 minutes ranting about how Trump did it once. Calling Caitlyn Jenner a “dumb tranny” negates your claim that you are an LGBTQ ally, especially when you can easily talk about her very real vehicular homicide. Your pink Pussy Hat doesn’t grant you immunity from criticism when you mess up. “But I’m an ally! Look at my Atwood library!” That does not fly. You’re doing the “I have a black friend” equivalent to excuse your misogyny…also…Don’t LET me hear you say the N-word.
Plenty of “Liberal” men have used what power they have to hurt others who they claim to support. I’m thinking of people like Joss Whedon, Harvey Weinstein, and Hugh Hefner, off the top of my head. Yes, they’ve done a LOT to push more forward-thinking themes and trying to normalize women’s roles in front of or behind the camera. That doesn’t mean we can excuse their “minor” indiscretions of spousal psychological abuse and infidelity, incessant sexual harassment and possible assault, and assisting sexual assault possible economic terrorism. I am just as guilty as anyone else from slipping (not to that extent), and I’ve been called out for it. It doesn’t feel good, but I welcome it…later. I’ve stopped calling myself a “feminist” or “ally” because of the hypocrisy of “liberal” men. You’re making the people who actually WANT to put in the work bad names. It’s better to do the work that needs to be done, and then if a person from helped group believes me to be a true ally (or preferably cohort), then I know I’m doing it right. More men who wish to be allies need to do this, and check the men who slip. So check yourselves, and check your mans, and if you need to collect, then do so.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Like Johnson & Johnson, No More Tears. Just Repetition

Every time there is a mass shooting in America, I simultaneously feel despair for the numbers of victims who have been killed or injured and guilt over worrying whether the shooter is a person of color or of a different religion than Christian. This country is famous for demanding answers from every group except for straight white men. If the shooter is Muslim, then the person is “radicalized” whether the person has any ties to any terrorist movement. It it’s a black person, then he is either a gang-related or the person is part of some fringe anti-white group. Again, it matters little if said black or brown person actually WAS in a gang, or if he was in whatever organization that people have deemed “fringe”. The important thing is that the narrative is perpetuated. In all cases, a “representative” of the group MUST come forward and answer for the crimes of the person who they most likely never knew. This is the way of the news cycle.
In Las Vegas, it turns out that the shooter passed the “active shooter” brown paper bag test, so that entails a whole new narrative. Despite early bullshit reports that the assailant was an ISIS recruit, it turns out he’s as WASPy as WASPs can be. NOW the killer is a “lone wolf”, motives still pending, but you’d best believe that he will be accused of being part of either side of the political spectrum by the opposing side. He’ll be associated with some sort of mental disorder, and his upbringing will be depicted as pristine and saccharine as can be, and since he’s dead we “just don’t know” what could have gone wrong. There are so many of these “lone wolves”. If only there were a term for a group of wolves…a word in which you could PACK all of these white assailants with extremely similar personality traits with excessive fragile toxic masculinity who must unleash their angst physically on on other people…
Either way, it will be “too soon” to talk about gun regulation. It will be “too soon” to discuss all of the gun related violence, and any attempt to so much as allow the CDC to do research on the effects of gun violence or simply study the safe practices of gun owners will be demonized as an attack on personal liberties and an insidious attempt to take legal firearms from American citizens. The NRA may make another terrorist-style propaganda video where they depict anyone who doesn’t like them, so non-violent protesters, victims of gun violence, living relatives of victims, political opponents, and black and brown people, as gun grabbing monsters who need to be shot.
In a few weeks, this will die down, and we will go about our business bringing up inconsequential data points, and eventually, we’ll move on to other pressing issues, ad infinitum, until the next mass murderer shoots up another public place, and then we well do this all over again: Brown paper bag test, narrative based on test results, “too soon”, dog whistle terrorist NRA statement, lull to zero state until the next shooter.

Rinse, Repeat.

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