Tuesday Reads: Angry Women Unite!

Jean Léon Gérôme, Truth Coming Out of Her Well to Shame Mankind, 1896

Good Morning!!

For months now, I’ve been feeling depressed and discouraged by the damage Trump is doing to our politics and our country. This morning I woke up and realized what I really am is angry, enraged, and pissed off! This has to end. Angry women must rise up and take back our country from the racist white supremacist in the White House, his GOP enablers, and his Russian troll army, and the white male-controlled media that is too fearful to call out his lies and racism.

Two angry women fighting back with intellect and direct action:

An angry woman in Montana stood up to on-line racist trolls and won. Buzzfeed News: A Judge Ruled A Neo-Nazi Blogger Should Pay $14 Million To A Woman Targeted In A Racist “Troll Storm.”

A federal judge ruled more than $14 million should be awarded to a woman who was barraged with anti-Semitic and threatening messages online after a neo-Nazi blogger instructed his followers to target her and her family with a “troll storm.”

The ruling was handed down Monday against Andrew Anglin, a white supremacist and publisher of the website The Daily Stormer.

In his decision, judge Jeremiah Lynch found that Anglin “acted with actual malice” when he told followers: “Let’s Hit Em Up. Are y’all ready for an old fashioned Troll Storm? Because AYO – it’s time, fam.”

Elisabetta Sirani, Timoclea Killing Her Rapist, 1659

What followed were a series of racist and sometimes threatening messages to Montana real estate agent Tanya Gersh, her co-workers, and her family, including her 12-year-old son.

The recommended ruling against Anglin included more than $200,000 for lost earnings and medical expenses incurred by Gersh, $821,000 for future lost earnings, and $3 million for past and future pain and suffering.

The bulk of the judgment, however, was the state maximum of $10 million in punitive damages against the white supremacist for what the judge called “particularly egregious and reprehensible” behavior and to “punish Anglin and deter him from engaging in such conduct in the future.”

I’m so angry today, because we have been battered by days of racist tweets and racist language spewed by the monster who is occupying the people’s White House. He is not my president and I will never call him that. I so agree with what Rep. Ayanna Pressley said about him:

“I never use the word you used — president — to describe him,” she said. “I refer to him as ‘the occupant.’ He simply occupies the space. He embodies zero of the qualities and the principles, the responsibility, the grace, the integrity, the compassion, of someone who would truly embody that office. It’s just another day in the world under this administration.”

At The Atlantic, Adam Serwer addresses Trump’s racism: Trump Tells America What Kind of Nationalist He Is.

On Sunday morning, the president told four members of Congress to “go back” to the countries “from which they came.” The remark, a racist taunt with a historic pedigree, inspired a flurry of fact-checking from mainstream journalists who were quick to note that Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar are American citizens, and that only Omar was born abroad, in Somalia. It was a rather remarkable exercise in missing the point.

Angry Bee Girl, Karin Bolstad

When Trump told these women to “go back,” he was not making a factual claim about where they were born. He was stating his ideological belief that American citizenship is fundamentally racial, that only white people can truly be citizens, and that people of color, immigrants in particular, are only conditionally American. This is a cornerstone of white nationalism, and one of the president’s few closely held ideological beliefs. It is a moral conviction, not a statement of fact. If these women could all trace their family line back to 1776, it would not make them more American than Trump, a descendant of German immigrants whose ancestors arrived relatively recently, because he is white and they are not.

After telling minority members of Congress to go back to where they “came from,” Trump today accused the women of “foul language & racist hatred.” White nationalists in the United States have always asserted that they are, in fact, the true victims of racial hatred, even as they’ve demanded the exclusion of nonwhites from the polity. When the Confederacy was shattered, its partisans launched a propaganda campaign rewriting the origin of their rebellion as the defense of individual freedom rather than property in man. The Redeemers who overthrew Reconstruction with terrorism and violence portrayed themselves as the victims of Negro tyranny, and as the historian Jonathan Sokol has written, when de jure segregation unraveled in the South in the 1960s, white southerners “began to picture the American government as the fascist, and the white southerner as the victim.”

Read the rest at The Atlantic.

Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes (ca. 1620)

As a reminder, here is The New York Times’ recently updated compilation of Trump’s long racist history: Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List, Updated, by David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick.

More reads on Trump’s racism:

George Conway at The Washington Post: Trump is a racist president.

David Remnick at The New Yorker: A Racist in the White House.

Michael Luo at The New Yorker: Trump’s Racist Tweets, and the Question of Who Belongs in America.

Paul Krugman at The New York Times: Racism Comes Out of the Closet. The dog whistle days are apparently over.

 

Trump’s racism enrages me, but you know what makes me just as angry? Rape culture. And Trump in the White House is a visible symbol of America’s misogynist history.

Barbara Bradley Haggerty at The Atlantic: An Epidemic of Disbelief. What new research reveals about sexual predators, and why police fail to catch them.

Robert Spada walked into the decrepit warehouse in Detroit and surveyed the chaos: Thousands of cardboard boxes and large plastic bags were piled haphazardly throughout the cavernous space. The air inside was hot and musty. Spada, an assistant prosecutor, saw that some of the windows were open, others broken, exposing the room to the summer heat. Above the boxes, birds glided in slow, swooping circles.

It was August 17, 2009, and this brick fortress of a building housed evidence that had been collected by the Detroit Police Department. Spada’s visit had been prompted by a question: Why were police sometimes unable to locate crucial evidence? The answer lay in the disarray before him.

As Spada wandered through the warehouse, he made another discovery, one that would help uncover a decades-long scandal, not just in Detroit but across the country. He noticed rows of steel shelving lined with white cardboard boxes, 10 inches tall and a foot wide, stacked six feet high. What are those? he asked a Detroit police officer who was accompanying him. Rape kits, the officer said.

Collage by Yasmin Diaz

“I’m assuming they’ve been tested?” Spada said.

“Oh, they’ve all been tested.”

Spada pulled out a box and peered inside. The containers were still sealed, indicating that the evidence had never been sent to a lab. He opened four more boxes: the same.

“I tried to do a quick calculation,” he later told me. “I came up with approximately 10,000.”

Spada’s estimate was conservative. Eventually 11,341 untested rape kits were found, some dating back more than 30 years—each one a hermetically sealed testament to the most terrifying minutes of a woman’s life, each one holding evidence that had been swabbed or plucked from the most private parts of her body. And in all likelihood, some microscopic part of her assailant—his DNA, his identity—sat in that kit as well.

Or kits.

That’s thousands of rapists whose DNA was on file, yet police never even tried to catch them. Many, went on to rape more women. Why? Because police still don’t believe women. Please go read this important article.

An angry woman academic and author speaks up at The Lily (h/t Delphyne): A female historian wrote a book. Two male historians went on NPR to talk about it. They never mentioned her name. It’s Sarah Milov.

Sarah Milov was sitting at her kitchen table, nursing her baby, when she saw the tweet.

“It took substantial government support to create Americans’ dependency on tobacco,” wroteNathan Daniel Beau Connolly, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. “@edward_l_ayres and I talk with @jeremyhobson about the regulation of tobacco on this week’s @hereandnow.” Connolly ended the tweet with a “shout out” to Milov, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia whose forthcoming book, “The Cigarette: A Political History,” provided virtually all the material for the segment, which aired on Thursday.

Unfortunately, “Here & Now” — a radio show co-produced by NPR and WBUR in Boston, which is syndicated to approximately 5 million listeners — did not grant Milov the same courtesy. The three men on the segment, two historians and an NPR host, never mentioned Milov’s name or the name of her book.

“Every single word they said was from my book,” said Milov in an interview with The Lily. While the historians did not quote directly from “The Cigarette,” she said, every cited fact was taken from its pages. “Then I got to the end of a nearly 10-minute segment and did not hear myself credited at all.”

Read the rest at the link.

 

I’m so angry today. I know this post doesn’t make much sense, but it reflects my current state of mind. What’s going on with you today, Sky Dancers?


51 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Angry Women Unite!”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Why we need a serious, intelligent woman as our presidential candidate, not another old white man.

    The Washington Post: Joe Biden: I’ll challenge Trump to do push-ups onstage if he makes fun of my age or mental state.

    How about challenging him to speak in complete, coherent sentences and explain how the U.S. government works?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    From the rape-kit article above. Example of one repeat rapist who was allowed to go on for years.

    Although the police didn’t yet know it, a serial rapist had been stalking Cleveland since the mid-1990s. He’d begun with vulnerable women: women willing to sell sex for drugs or money, an unlucky woman whose car ran out of gas, one teenager who was skipping school, another with a prosthetic leg. This should have put the police on high alert, Tim McGinty, a former Cuyahoga County prosecutor, told me. Vulnerable people—drug addicts, prostitutes, people living in poor neighborhoods—are the “canaries in the coal mine. If you’ve got a serial rapist out there, who does he hit first? He hits the vulnerable people.”

    By 2004, the rapist had graduated to home invasions and more prosperous victims. One week after the attack on Liz Garcia, a 55-year-old schoolteacher was raped in her home. Only then, after attacks on two middle-class women, did the police make a public plea for leads. The department received an anonymous tip: an envelope with a newspaper clipping and an arrest record for a former probation officer named Nathan Ford. The police apprehended Ford and swabbed him. As part of a pilot study, the department had sent some 250 rape kits off for DNA testing—and Ford’s DNA matched eight of them. But not Liz Garcia’s. The police tested her kit but didn’t find her assailant’s DNA. “They told me I would never know who the attacker was,” she says.

    • bostonboomer says:

      For more than a decade, Liz Garcia had wondered whether her rapist would return to kill her and her daughters, as he’d promised. She suffered panic attacks, sometimes five a day. She avoided answering the door. She showered with the curtain open. She left the light on all night. She slept on the couch, with her back to the wall. “I had knives under my pillows. I hid knives all over the house,” she told me.

      Not until she found a detective’s card tucked in her door more than a decade later did she cease to regard the world outside her home like a prey without cover. The lab had retested her rape kit using newer technology; this time it detected male DNA and identified her attacker: Nathan Ford. The police also discovered more victims whose kits had been shelved for years, bringing Ford’s total to 22 rape kits. By then he was already in prison and serving a life sentence. Garcia could put away her knives. She still sleeps with the light on.

    • Enheduanna says:

      They’ve known testing those backlogged kits would uncover repeat offenders for years now. And they’re still sitting there going to ruin in moldy warehouses.

      I do not trust local law enforcement to protect me anymore than if I were a person of color.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I know. It’s horrifying, but I think it’s important to keep talking about it. One of Kamala Harris’ policies to to make sure all the rape kit backlogs are cleared.

        • NW Luna says:

          This backlog of collected biologic samples is outrageous. Would evidence for any other crime be warehoused and not processed? I’m also pissed off that they’re called “rape kits.” They are evidence.

        • Enheduanna says:

          I totally agree. I saw Harris’ announcement yesterday to process ALL OF THEM immediately. Her prosecutorial background is a great asset although apparently it is offsetting to some in the AA community.

          I’d like to see her replace Barr as AG. I think we’re gonna end up with Biden/Warren on the ticket….{sigh}.

          • quixote says:

            Good Goddess. You better not be right! I’ll be taking the first alien spaceship out of the galaxy.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Biden won’t last that long. And Warren would never sign on with him after their violent disagreements about the bankruptcy bill.

          • Enheduanna says:

            BB – I hope you are right. I had forgotten about Warren’s disagreements with him. I wonder what Harris would do if it were him and he asked. He said he wants a woman on the ticket.

            Gosh I so hope you are right and he flubs it again.

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. Delphyne49 says:

    Wonderful post, BB – I join you in your fury about this system that promotes and protects racists and rapists. We Skydancing Furies may be the modern descendants of these ladies:

    The Erinyes live in Erebus and are more ancient than any of the Olympian deities. Their task is to hear complaints brought by mortals against the insolence of the young to the aged, of children to parents, of hosts to guests, and of householders or city councils to suppliants—and to punish such crimes by hounding culprits relentlessly. The Erinyes are crones and, depending upon authors, described as having snakes for hair, dog’s heads, coal black bodies, bat’s wings, and blood-shot eyes. In their hands they carry brass-studded scourges, and their victims die in torment.[13] Wiki entry

  5. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      How far should Muslim women cover up/not cover up? As far as the men do. Not to reduce women to men but so the amount of clothing is considered unremarkable.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    It is plainly disheartening to what is happening to America today.

    Open racism. Sexual misconduct. Self dealing. Lack of experience of cabinet appointees. “Acceptable” lies. Mishandling of foreign affairs. “Packed” courts. Law breakers. Social indifference. Blatant corruption. Sheer ignorance. Allies as “enemies”. Enemies as “friends”. Chaos. Environmental rape. Absolute incoherence. Shameless conduct. Rampant evil. Distrust.

    Under Trump we are becoming less of a democracy with each and every day. And unless the righteous voter manages to get out there in 2020 it will only get worse since those who can have refused to impede the progress this monster has created in turning this nation into a “monarchy”.

    It is difficult to get beyond the sense of frustration our supposed leaders are failing to do. All we can do is weep at what we have become.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Well said.

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Weep and fight back.

      I was quite proud of the “Squad” yesterday.

      They were cool, sober, serious, determined, adults.

      They could not be easily ignored and demonizing them will be hard.

      I really wish that Speaker Pelosi would begin an inquiry into impeachment simply on basis of the ever widening contempt of congressional oversight and the obstruction it entails.

      He commits a fresh impeachable offense daily. Every time he tells someone that they can flout the rule of law on his say so.

      His hubristic sycophants publicly confess their racism and sexism. Lindsay Graham proudly proclaiming how he’d be fine with people in detention being there for 400 days. Screaming that the Presidents enemies are communists.

      Remember what Lt. Kaffee said about Col.Jessup, “I think he wants to say it. I think he’s pissed off that he’s gotta hide from this.” They are so excited that Pompous Magnate is dropping the dog whistle for a bull horn that they all want to do it too!

      Fine. Lets let them vent in a forum where there are consequences.

      Isn’t it funny how it is never “If you don’t like a woman’s right to choose GTFO! Or, “If you don’t like the social safety net GTFO!” You only really hear that kind of rhetoric attached to white nationalist propaganda and bluster. “If you don’t like racism, rape culture, unequal pay, lack of police accountability, homophobia and ogliarchy….GTFO!”

      Let’s force them to defend that nonsense on the record in hearings.

      If reminds me of the Epstein case, or Bill Cosby. They got away with it until they didn’t.

      Let Trump big mouth “oops” moment be in a forum he can’t rig and can’t bully his way through.

      They WANT to say, “We the Real (white male) Americans can do whatever we want and you blacks and browns and women and perverts and foreigners can stop us!”

      • NW Luna says:

        it is never “If you don’t like a woman’s right to choose GTFO! Or, “If you don’t like the social safety net GTFO!” You only really hear that kind of rhetoric attached to white nationalist propaganda and bluster.

        Our damn problem is we have ethics. It would be so convenient if we could somehow make a country for the white nationalists and throw them back in there, with a nice wall around it to keep them in. Or if we could just lock them up in cages and toss a few space blankets in there.

        Meanwhile Trump’s Dept of Justice [sic] isn’t filing charges against the cop who murdered Eric Garner.

    • dakinikat says:

  7. quixote says:

    We have light years to go. Adam Serwer, who is brilliant and whom I read every chance I get and whose heart is very much in the right place, can still, now, in 2019, write this:

    “rewriting the origin of their rebellion as the defense of individual freedom rather than property in man.”

    All he had to say was “rather than human property.” It even scans better. But no. To really stress the awfulness of slavery, the patriarchy we soak in says “man” is the stronger word.

    Consciousness of the depth of the sex caste system is now at about the same level as the understanding of the race caste system was around 1850 in the US. Masses of people think it’s “natural.” Even bigger crowds think it’s too convenient to give up. And the small minority of abolitionists / suffragists is considered a kind of ridiculous bunch of dorks.

  8. NW Luna says:

    From another era — when “moderate Republican” truly meant moderate.

    John Paul Stevens, longtime leader of Supreme Court’s liberal wing, dies at 99

    John Paul Stevens, a moderate midwestern Republican and former antitrust lawyer from Chicago who evolved into a savvy and sometimes passionate leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing and became the third-longest-serving justice on the high court before his retirement in 2010, died July 16 at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 99.

    The cause was complications from a stroke that he suffered yesterday, according to an announcement from the Supreme Court. The only justices who served longer were William O. Douglas, whom Justice Stevens replaced in 1975, and Stephen J. Field, a nominee of President Abraham Lincoln who served for much of the late 19th century.

  9. NW Luna says:

    • Enheduanna says:

      RFLMAO – You go Buzz! I love how his wife (I think it must be his wife) just calmly walks away.

      Really these idiots could not be more disrespectful of the 100s of thousands of people who made those missions happen – the astronauts who died or almost died – astronauts who each and every one risked their lives for science and exploration.

      And what has that Bible-thumping schmuck ever contributed I wonder.

  10. palhart says:

    “U. K. Unable To Find Replacement Ambassador Who Does Not Think Trump Is An Idiot”
    … imbecile … dolt … nitwit.

    Andy Borowitz, “The New Yorker Magazine”, July 10, 2019

  11. NW Luna says:

    House votes against measure to impeach Trump

    The House on Wednesday voted to kill an impeachment resolution against President Trump, a move likely to rankle the Democratic Party’s liberal base clamoring for the ouster of the president.

    The vote was 332-to-95 as House Democratic leaders joined with Republicans to stop the measure. It was a surprising turn and created the unusual optic of Democrats working with the GOP a day after a divided House voted to condemn Trump’s racist remarks.

    Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.) had put Democratic leaders in a bind Tuesday night by filing articles of impeachment accusing Trump of committing high crimes and misdemeanors. His resolution, which cited Trump’s racist comments singling out four minority congresswomen, was privileged, requiring that the House act within two days.

    “With all the respect in the world for Mr. Green … we have six committees who are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in,” Pelosi told reporters when asked about Green’s efforts. “That is the serious path that we are on — not that Mr. Green is not serious, but we will deal with that on the floor.”

    • NW Luna says:

      Looks like Pelosi’s plan is to let the committees investigate and (I hope) so show the detailed reasons for impeachment.

      • palhart says:

        Pelosi does not want an exonerated (Senate votes down impeachment House action), nor a martyred Trump.

        I’m as impatient and disgusted by the slow pace as anyone, but I do respect Pelosi’s position.

      • quixote says:

        It was one of the discussions here, I think, where the analogy came up: the Dump is like someone throwing a dead cat on the table and after that all anyone can talk about is the dead cat.

        The Pelosi wing of Democrats responds to that by running investigations that are not televised and passing good bills that McConnell kills in the Senate and that nobody talks about.

        This is not working.

        The Dems need to have attention-grabbers bigger than the Dump’s but based on truth.

        And they’re in luck. He provides reams of material to slam him with. Not just plain old torture in the service of some national illusion, which would be bad enough. Torture as a tactic in despicable race-based persecution. His history of rape. Money laundering. Mafia ties going back to his roots in Queens. Using Middle Eastern geopolitics for self-enrichment. Kowtowing to Putin. Etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

        And instead of making sure that’s out there, every day, on television, on social media, making his dead cat look like minor garbage, what are the Dems doing?

        Quietly doing their jobs without fanfare and hoping someone gets bored enough with the dead cats to notice. It’s kind of the way I live my life, so believe me, I’m an expert in how well it works.

        It. Does. Not.

      • palhart says:

        Dak, this comment of mine last night was put in moderation, for reasons i don’t understand. I’ll try again.

        Pelosi does not want Trump to feel exonerated when a House resolution to impeach him passes and dies in the Senate. Nor does she want a martyred Trump who plays the victim for the next 16 months.

        • NW Luna says:

          Agree that Pelosi is looking beyond the immediate feel-good moment of a House vote for impeachment to see the effect it would have after the Senate votes it down.

          The investigations and hearings have barely gotten started. The House has started issuing subpoenas. I do think the House should step up their pace. Sure, already there’s an abundance of material out there which shows he’s a traitorous racist rapist mob boss money-laundering fraud. There are congresspeople and senators talking about the evidence. But the media has placed little focus on that information (though more than they used to).

  12. NW Luna says:

    About damn time.

    A judge cited a teen’s ‘good family’ in declining to charge him as an adult for rape. Now, he’s resigned
    In 2016, a New Jersey judge asked a woman if she had attempted to close her legs to stop a sexual assault. Two years later, another Garden State judge said a 16-year-old boy accused of sexual assault should not be tried as an adult because he came from a “good family.”

    When the comments came to light in recent months in judicial rulings, they sparked new national backlash over how the criminal justice system handles sexual assault cases.

    Now, neither of the judges who made those statements will be sitting on the bench. New Jersey’s high court has announced that, in addition to new mandatory training for justices, the state has suspended the judge in the 2016 case, while the other judge has resigned.