Posted: November 22, 2022 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: Afternoon Reads, just because | Tags: Club Q, Colorado Springs mass shooting, GOP hate mongering, Hingham MA Apple Store, homophobia, LGBTQ bigotry, UNO terroristic threats, Vehicular homicide |
Today I decided to follow up on stories from yesterday’s post by Dakinikat, including the Colorado Springs mass shooting, the terroristic threats at the University of New Orleans, and the horrific vehicle crash in Hingham, Massachusetts that I wrote about in the comments. I thought it would be a good idea to update what we know about the stories we were discussing yesterday.
Club Q Massacre Commentary
Moira Donegan at The Guardian: The US right is stoking anti-LGBT hate. This shooting was no surprise.
There’s a grim routine, these days, to the mass shootings in America. Some elements remain constant from shooting to shooting. Usually, the gunman is a young white man, and usually, he has a history of violence against women. There will have been mental health episodes, or previous run-ins with police. But none of this history will have stopped him from getting a gun. American mass shooters tend to use automatic or semi-automatic long guns, the kind that aren’t available to civilians in other countries. Almost always, they purchased them legally….
In the hours after a gunman stormed into Club Q, a morbid kind of box checking began. Yes, it was a young white man who committed the rampage – this time a 22-year-old. Yes, the shooter had a history of violence against women: the attacker was arrested last year after an hours-long standoff with police after making a bomb threat against his mother. He was charged with multiple felonies, but, yes, he still had access to guns. Yes, the killer used an AR-style long gun to murder his victims. And yes, the killer appears to have rightwing ties: he’s the grandson of a far-right California state assemblyman who supported the January 6 insurrection. On Monday, the shooter was charged with five counts of murder and several hate crimes.
There’s a morbid randomness to American gun violence – that fatal combination of scarce mental health treatment and superabundant firearms that makes America, and only America, a place where mass public massacres are common even when the nation is ostensibly at peace. But if the Colorado attack was enabled by America’s pervasive gun violence problem, it seems to have been prompted by the tenor of rightwing media, both broadcast and online, which over the past years has turned a virulent, conspiratorial and obsessively hateful eye towards the LGBT community.
In the coming days, the massacre at Club Q will be cast as an isolated tragedy, and those who point out the right’s complicity in the violence will be accused, with predictable cynicism, of politicizing the tragedy. But what happened in Colorado Springs this past weekend was the foreseeable continuation of a trend of escalating violence targeting gay spaces, and drag shows in particular.
It’s a good article; read the whole thing at The Guardian.
Brian Broome at The Washington Post: The Colorado massacre cannot be blamed on mental illness. It’s rooted in hate.
After the shooting at the LGBTQ Club Q in Colorado Springs, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), gun rights advocate and representative for her state’s 3rd Congressional District, tweeted the following: “The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.”
In her tweet, Boebert left out the “news” that a lone gunman entered an LGBTQ space and began shooting, killing five and injuring at least 25. I’m betting Boebert did not mention these specifics because that would ruin her brand: the gun-toting, queer-hating, God-loving, outlaw whose job it is to own the liberals. If she had tweeted the specifics of the night and its tragic outcome, it might cause some of her followers to see LGBTQ people as human beings. And she can’t have that.
I don’t go to clubs and bars anymore. But when I was younger, queer spaces were a lifeline. They weren’t just bars; they were shelters where I could escape all the judgment of the world. All the Christians who seemed to delight in telling me that I was hell-bound. All the pressure to be a “real man.” All the pretending to be someone I wasn’t, just to fit into a social order that I didn’t understand. They were, in short, places where I felt free.
Everyone should have such a place. For heterosexual people, that place is the whole wide world. For heterosexual people, that place includes public parks and restaurants and any street they care to walk down, hand in hand. But LGBTQ people must find — or more accurately — create those spaces. And because of the shooting at Club Q, there is, for now, one fewer place for the queer community of Colorado Springs to go.
You know who will get the blame for Colorado Springs, right? Each time these things happen, the right-wing go-to is to blame “mental illness.” That’s what some thought drove Robert Bowers to the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh to kill 11 human beings. That’s what others believed made Dylann Roof stroll into a Black church in Charleston, S.C., to murder nine human beings. And, sooner or later, conservatives will say it was “mental illness” that drove this newest killer of the marginalized to commit the latest atrocity.
But are we ever going to ask why so many supposedly mentally ill people seem to carry right-wing talking points along with their AR-15s?
Read the rest at the WaPo.
Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times: The Massacre at Club Q Was Only a Matter of Time.
The massacre this past weekend at Club Q, an L.G.B.T.Q. club in Colorado Springs, was at once shocking and entirely predictable, like terrorist attacks on synagogues and abortion clinics.
The police are still investigating the motive behind the shooting, in which five people were killed and at least 18 others wounded. But we know that the suspect is facing hate crime charges, and that the attack took place in a climate of escalating anti-gay and anti-trans violence and threats of violence.
We also know that, in recent years, the right has become increasingly fixated on all-ages drag shows, part of a growing moral panic about children being “groomed” into gender nonconformity. Club Q hosted a drag show on Saturday night and had an all-ages drag brunch scheduled for Sunday. Perhaps we’ll learn something in the coming days that will put these murders, which took place on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, into a new light, but right now, it seems hard to separate them from a nationwide campaign of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. incitement.
During the early years of Donald Trump’s administration, conservatives downplayed the contempt for homosexuality and gender nonconformity that had once been central to their movement, foregrounding racial resentment instead. Opposition to gay marriage had become a political loser, and it was hard to pose as champions of wholesome family values while enthusiastically supporting a thrice-married libertine who’d made a cameo in soft-core porn. But in recent years, as growing numbers of kids started identifying as trans, the puritanical tendency on the right has come roaring back, part of an increasingly apocalyptic worldview that sees the erosion of traditional gender roles as a harbinger of national collapse.
Chris Rufo, the entrepreneurial activist who made critical race theory into a major political issue, shifted his focus to “gender ideology” in public schools. Lawmakers began to target pro-L.G.B.T.Q. teachers, and to accuse anyone who opposed them of being “groomers.” When Florida was debating legislation restricting classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity, Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary wrote on Twitter, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.”
The language of “grooming” recapitulated old homophobic tropes about gay people recruiting children, while also playing into the newer delusions of QAnon, which holds that elite liberals are part of a sprawling satanic child abuse ring. Conservatives hoped to turn this conspiracy theory into political power; according to the Human Rights Campaign, Republicans and Republican-aligned groups spent at least $50 million on anti-L.G.B.T.Q. ads in the midterms.
Read the rest at the link. Goldberg really spells out the ways in which the right has targeted LGBTQ people to light the fires of hate in voters.
University of New Orleans Terroristic Threats
I found some more details on the story Dakinikat posted about yesterday.
WDSU News: UNO threat suspect arrested and identified; classes will resume Tuesday.
According to UNO, the suspect was a former student who entered a classroom last week and began acting erratically.
The New Orleans Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, UNO Police, and the United States Marshal’s worked together to arrest 22-year-old Karam Mohammed in connection with terrorizing, stalking, and unlawful disruption of the operation of a school.
This story has more details:
4WWL: UNO threat suspect arrested and identified; classes will resume Tuesday.
A former University of New Orleans student is under arrest for alleged terrorizing.
The New Orleans Police Department identified the suspect as 22-year-old Karam Mohammed Alhatel. Mohammed Alhatel was charged with terrorizing, stalking, and unlawful disruption of the operation of a school.
In an email to students and faculty, UNO President John Nicklow said the threats were serious enough to close campus on Monday.
According to Nicklow, last week Mohammed Alhatel entered a classroom and acted in an erratic and disruptive manner.
Sources on campus say he threatened a teacher in the chemistry department and a group of students in the library.
Nicklow’s email also indicated UNO police officers discovered a video posted Friday on one of the suspect’s social media accounts, showing him purchasing an assault-style rifle at a gun store, and additional photographs of him brandishing the firearm were posted across the suspect….
UNO officials said local and federal authorities kept tabs on Mohammed Alhatel over the weekend.
Officers from New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and the U.S. Marshal’s office arrested him overnight.
It certainly sounds like the university and law enforcement averted a possible tragedy.
Hingham, Massachusetts Apple Store Crash
It’s now 20 injured. Fourteen ambulances and multiple fire trucks were called to the scene. Injured people were taken to at least three different hospitals, some–presumably the most serious cases–were sent to Boston and Worcester. Some victims were still waiting for surgery this morning.
CNN: Man arrested after SUV drove through Massachusetts Apple store, leaving 1 dead and at least 20 injured.
The man accused of driving an SUV into a Hingham, Massachusetts, Apple store, killing one person and injuring 20 others, has been identified as Bradley Rein, a prosecutor’s office tweeted Tuesday.
The 53-year-old has been charged with “reckless homicide by motor vehicle,” the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office said in the tweet. Rein was arrested Monday night and is scheduled to be arraigned in Hingham District Court, the tweet said without providing a date and time.
First responders described a chaotic scene after the SUV crashed through the window of the busy Apple store in the town about 20 miles southeast of Boston. Emergency services responded to the Derby Street Shops following 911 calls for help around 10:45 a.m., Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said.
A dark-colored SUV smashed through the store’s window at an undetermined speed and hit people, Cruz said.
“First responders found coworkers and other bystanders rendering first aid to multiple victims in need of urgent care,” his office said in a news release.
People were injured in front of the store and inside it, including victims who were pinned against the wall by the vehicle, Hingham Fire Chief Steve Murphy said. Seven fire engines and 14 ambulances responded, he said.
Police identified Kevin Bradley, 65, of New Jersey, as the victim killed at the scene, Cruz said, noting the investigation into the crash is active and ongoing.
There were “life and limb-threatening injuries.” One story I read said that a witness estimated the SUV was going about 60mph when it drove into the store.
First responder Dr. William Tollefsen, from South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, described using a restaurant near the Apple store to triage people and keep them out of the cold. The injured included people with head trauma and mangled limbs, he said.
South Shore was treating patients for life- and limb-threatening injuries, some of whom were still awaiting surgery Monday afternoon, said Dr. Christopher Burns, the hospital’s chief of trauma. The medical center was treating 17 patients from the crash as of Monday evening, Cruz’s office told CNN. Two other injured people initially taken to South Shore were transferred to hospitals in Boston.
More details on the driver from the Quincy Patriot Ledger: ‘It was an accident’: Driver says his foot was stuck on accelerator in fatal Derby Street crash.
A 53-year-old man told police his foot got stuck on the accelerator of his 2019 Toyota 4Runner on Monday, causing him to plow into the Apple store at Derby Street Shops. One person was killed and at least 19 more were injured, including five who were taken to hospitals in Boston.
Bradley Rein, of 108 Bickerton Way in Hingham, faced Judge Heather Bradley in Hingham District Court on Tuesday on charges of motor vehicle homicide by reckless driving, a felony, and reckless driving, a misdemeanor. At his arraignment, bail was set at $100,000.
He is not allowed to drive while the case is pending, and he must seek permission of the court to leave the state. He is due back in court Dec. 22….
State Trooper Andrew Chiachio wrote in a police report, “While driving in the area of Barnes and Noble, Mr. Rein stated his right foot became stuck on the accelerator and his vehicle accelerated. Mr. Rein stated he used his left foot to try to brake, but was unable to stop the vehicle and crashed through the front of the Apple store.”
Chiachio said Rein told him he was at Derby Street Shops to repair a lens in his eyeglasses, which he was not wearing at the time of the crash. He was given an alcohol breath test at the police station, which registered a 0.00% blood alcohol level.
More Stories to check out today
The New York Times: Army Veteran Went Into ‘Combat Mode’ to Disarm the Club Q Gunman.
The Washington Post: From Europe, Trump special counsel takes over Mar-a-Lago, Jan. 6 probes.
CNN: Special counsel in Mar-a-Lago and January 6 investigations begins work with no sign probes will slow down.
The Bulwark: Mike Pence’s Day-By-Day Account of Trump’s Pressure Campaign Against Him.
The Washington Post: Graham at Ga. grand jury for testimony in probe of 2020 election.
The Daily Beast: Court Docs Rip Into DOJ for ‘Fiddling Away’ on Matt Gaetz Case.
The New York Times: Chaos on Twitter Leads a Group of Journalists to Start an Alternative.
Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post: Beware, DeSantis is as much a threat to America as Trump.
NBC News: Ian was one of the most lethal hurricanes in decades. Many of the deaths were preventable.
Vox: How one man quietly stitched the American safety net over four decades.
Ronald Brownstein at CNN: Why fewer states than ever could pick the next president.
That’s it for me. What stories are you following today?
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Posted: September 10, 2016 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Politics | Tags: "hatred, basket of deplorables, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, homophobia, Racism, xenophobia |
Well, Hillary’s gone and done it now. And her base is fired up! Last night at the LGBT for Hillary gala in NYC, she told the truth about Trump supporters last night, and the Trump campaign and the white male media are reaching for their smelling salts and swooning onto their fainting couches. Outrage!
Trump supporters have spent months yelling “lock her up” and “hang the bitch” whenever Trump mentions her name in his rallies. When he mentions President Obama, they scream “he’s a Muslim.” But when Hillary talks about their ugly bigotry, they’re suddenly innocent victims and “hard working Americans.”
Trump rally in Mobile, Alabama
Guess what? There are millions of hard working Americans who are not white bigots. The simple truth is that anyone who supports Trump at this point is aligning him or herself with racism and xenophobia. That is Trump’s entire platform. He doesn’t have any realistic plans to bring jobs to working people, and he plans to lower taxes on the rich so much that there will be zero federal money to do anything about jobs, infrastructure and the other fake items in his talking points.
Abby Philip of the Washington Post last night: Clinton: Half of Trump’s supporters fit in ‘basket of deplorables.’
Hillary Clinton said Friday that “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters could be grouped in “the basket of deplorables” at a fundraising event in New York City.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables’. Right?” Clinton said to applause and laughter from the crowd of supporters at an LGBT for Hillary fundraiser where Barbra Streisand performed. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”
Man at Trump rally
“And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up,” she added.
Clinton then noted, as she has several times in the past, that Trump has “given voice” to white supremacist and anti-Semitic voices on the Internet. This, in combination with being in contact with some of the best Law Firm SEO Expert in the world, means one thing: data driven seo services are going to take over the internet.
“He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric,” Clinton said. “Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
Of course that’s not all she said.
“That other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different.
“They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead end,” Clinton said. “Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”
Oh my God! How dare Hillary call out the racists and white supremacists who not only flock to his rallies, but also inhabit the highest levels of his campaign? Although the media didn’t cover it very well, she gave an entire speech on this topic last month. Some excerpts:
From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia.
He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.
His disregard for the values that make our country great is profoundly dangerous.
In just this past week, under the guise of “outreach” to African Americans, Trump has stood up in front of largely white audiences and described black communities in such insulting and ignorant terms:
“Poverty. Rejection. Horrible education. No housing. No homes. No ownership. Crime at levels nobody has seen.” Right now,” he said, “you walk down the street and get shot.” [….]
A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far, dark reaches of the internet, should never run our government or command our military.
Hillary Clinton at last night’s LGBT for Hillary gala.
Ask yourself, if he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?
Now, I know some people still want to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.
They hope that he will eventually reinvent himself – that there’s a kinder, gentler, more responsible Donald Trump waiting in the wings somewhere.
Because after all, it’s hard to believe anyone – let alone a nominee for president – could really believe all the things he says.
But the hard truth is, there’s no other Donald Trump. This is it.
Maya Angelou, a great American whom I admire very much, she once said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Were any of the white reporters who are so outraged today paying attention to that speech? Right now Hillary is the only person who can save this country from being taken over by a racist populist demagogue who publicly expresses admiration for strongman leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un.
We’ll see what happens with this, but I hope Hillary doesn’t back down. In fact the percentage of “deplorables” in Trump’s audiences is probably greater than 50 percent.
Here are a couple of article from June about the Trump “coalition.”
Vox: The easiest way to guess if someone supports Trump? Ask if Obama is a Muslim.
You can ask just one simple question to find out whether someone likes Donald Trump more than Hillary Clinton: Is Barack Obama a Muslim? If they are white and the answer is yes, 89 percent of the time that person will have a higher opinion of Trump than Clinton.
That’s more accurate than asking people if it’s harder to move up the income ladder than it was for their parents (54 percent), whether they oppose trade deals (66 percent), or if they think the economy is worse now than last year (81 percent). It’s even more accurate than asking them if they are Republican (87 percent).
Those results come from the 2016 American National Election Study (ANES) pilot survey. My analysis indicates that economic status and attitudes do little to explain support for Donald Trump.
These results might be rather surprising since most political commentators have sought to root Trump’s appeal in the economic anxieties of working-class whites. As George Packer recently wrote in the New Yorker:
The base of the [Republican] Party, the middle-aged white working class, has suffered at least as much as any demographic group because of globalization, low-wage immigrant labor, and free trade. Trump sensed the rage that flared from this pain and made it the fuel of his campaign.
Other analysts, however, have found that support for Trump is rooted in animosity and resentment toward various minority groups, especially African Americans, immigrants, and Muslims.
Read more at the link.
The Atlantic: Donald Trump’s Coalition of Restoration.
[A] survey by the non-partisan Public Religion Research Institute, and the center-left Brookings Institution, measures Americans’ attitudes about a broad range of issues relating to immigration and demographic change. Consistently, the poll found that Trump supporters view the changes with greater—often much greater—alarm than not only Democrats or independents, but also Republicans who did not support Trump during the GOP primaries. In all, the survey shows that Trump was lifted by a coalition that largely believes the America it has known is under siege—and that unprecedented measures are required to reverse the threat.
According to figures provided to me by PRRI, Trump supporters (including both Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who backed him during the primary) are more likely than Democrats, independents or other Republicans to say that they worry about being a victim of terrorism or violent crime; that they are bothered when they hear immigrants talking in a language other than English; that discrimination against whites is as great a problem as discrimination against minorities; and that American and Islamic values are inherently at odds. Fully 80 percent of Trump voters say that immigrants are more burden than benefit to America; just 27 percent of Democrats, 41 percent of independents, and 53 percent of other Republicans agree.
Often the contrast between Trump supporters and all other adults widened further when the poll measured those who hold these positions most vehemently. Fully 44 percent of Trump supporters, for instance, said they “completely agree” it bothers them when they hear immigrants speaking a language other than English; less than half as many independents, Democrats, or non-Trump-supporting Republicans agreed. Likewise, while about two-fifths of Trump Republicans “completely” agreed that “because things have gotten so far off track in this country, we need a leader who is willing to break some rules,” less than one-fifth of Democrats, independents, and other Republicans concurred.
That instinct helps explain the broad support in Trump’s coalition for his edgiest proposals; indeed, the poll makes clear that Trump triumphed not in spite of his most polarizing ideas, but largely because of them. Roughly four-fifths of Trump supporters say they back his plans to build a wall with Mexico, to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the country, and to bar Syrian refugees. In each case, between 43 and 47 percent of Trump supporters back those ideas strongly.
TERRE HAUTE, IN – MAY 01: Guests wait in line before Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a rally at the Indiana Theater on May 1, 2016 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Republicans are now trying to claim that this is Hillary Clinton’s “47 percent moment.” Bullshit! From Daniel Politi at Slate: Why It’s Ridiculous To Call Clinton’s “Basket of Deplorables” Her “47 Percent” Moment.
Hillary Clinton has straight out called Donald Trump a racist who is “offering a dog whistle” to the most extremist, hateful portions of American society. But now Republicans are acting very shocked that Clinton would say that around half of Trump’s supporters could be classified under the broad heading “basket of deplorables,” meaning racists, sexists, homophobes or xenophobes. In other words people who would never vote for Clinton.
The Democratic presidential candidate’s use of the word “half,” immediately made Republicans associate it with Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” line from the campaign that was secretly recorded. Except, you know, this event was covered by the press and her statement—read in context—was actually a call to arms for her supporters not to automatically dismiss someone as irredeemable just because he or she happens to support someone like Trump.
As is evident from the remarks, what Clinton was saying is that not all Trump supporters are racists, xenophobes or homophobes, a common thinking in particularly liberal circles. So “if you know anybody who’s even thinking about voting for Trump, stage an intervention,” Clinton said before adding that getting people to stop supporting the Republican candidate “may be one conversion therapy I endorse.” [….]
[In 2012] Romney talked down and dismissed the importance of poor people while Clinton talked down to and dismissed racists, xenophobes, and homophobes. A slight difference. Plus, Romney was talking about people who may have actually chosen to support him whereas Clinton was referring to people who in no way would vote for her. So the risk of alienation really isn’t that great to begin with, although of course it could make the most fervent Trump supporters more fervent.
Please don’t back down, Hillary! You are right, and the media will disparage you no matter what you say or do. Thank you for standing up for Americans who don’t want our country to be led by a disgusting racist, white supremacist, and wannabe dictator.
What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a wonderful weekend!
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Posted: June 14, 2016 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: morning reads, U.S. Politics | Tags: anti-LGBT violence, hate crimes, homophobia, internalized homophobia, LGBT rights, Omar Mateen, Orlando shootings, Pulse nightclub, terrorism |
As we learn more about Omar Mateen, the man who murdered 49 people and injured 53 others at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, it is becoming clear that it was no accident that the gunman deliberately targeted LGBT people. His claims of connections to overseas terror groups may have been little more than a cover for his own “internalized homophobia.” From an LGBT support website “Revel and Riot.” The image at the top of this post also comes from the Revel and Riot article.
Simply put, internalized homophobia happens when LGBQ individuals are subjected to society’s negative perceptions, intolerance and stigmas towards LGBQ people, and as a result, turn those ideas inward believing they are true.
It has been defined as ‘the gay person’s direction of negative social attitudes toward the self, leading to a devaluation of the self and resultant internal conflicts and poor self-regard.’ (Meyer and Dean, 1998).
Or as “the self-hatred that occurs as a result of being a socially stigmatized person.” (Locke, 1998).
PROBLEMS WITH THE TERM
Many LGBQ people do not relate to the expression “internalized homophobia” and as a result end up rejecting the idea before thoroughly examining its meaning. The word “internalized” presents the first barrier. “The concept suggests weakness rather than the resilience demonstrated by lesbians and gay men and keeps the focus away from the structures of inequality and oppression.” (Williamson, I., 2000) The word “homophobia” is the next complication – a difficult and seemingly illogical possibility. How can someone who identifies as LGBQ also have feelings of dislike, fear, and disgust towards themselves? So what can we do about the fact that the combination of words “internalized” and “homophobia” feel unrelatable for so many LGBQs?
Researchers have suggested that using ‘heterosexism’, ‘self-prejudice,’ and ‘homonegativity,’ in addition to the widely accepted term “internalized homophobia,” can help to add depth to our comprehension of the true meaning of the issue.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Internalized homophobia is a concept much more nuanced than it’s simple definition would suggest. It is clear that the word “homophobia” in this context, is misleading – the over simplified idea that it is individual acts of fear and ignorance diverts our attention from the much more pervasive systemic oppression that is at the root of the problem. The hateful and intolerant behavior of those closest to us often has the most profound impact (parents, church community, peers, partners). While they should be held responsible as individuals, the real culprit is an aggressively heterosexist society that is defining what is “normal,” and therefore what is “right” and “wrong,” through laws, policy, culture, education, health care, religion and family life. This systemic oppression is meant to enforce the gender binary, marginalize LGBTQ people, and keep heterosexual people and their relationships in a position of dominance and privilege.
When we see that homophobia is a result of a this larger system, we see that it is institutional; that it is impossible to exist outside of it; that the real definition of it is so much more than the dictionary simplicity of “irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals;” that the root structure is vast, affecting every aspect of life and culture. All of these factors make dismantling heterosexism extremely complicated, and uprooting internalized homophobia even more so.
The above paragraphs form the introduction to a long article, complete with academic references. I can’t help but wonder if it may provide a better explanation for Omar Mateen’s actions than the reflexive assumption that his terrorist attack was inspired the quite disparate terror groups that he claimed connections with.
Pulse nightclub after the attack.
From Al Jazeera: Orlando: Omar Mateen ‘pledged loyalty to ISIL, others.’
An American man suspected of killing at least 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando espoused support for a jumble of often-conflicting organisations, according to the director of the FBI.
As details of the worst mass shooting in US history emerged, FBI Director James Comey said on Monday that the suspect, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, had not only pledged loyalty to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), but also expressed solidarity with the Tsarnaev brothers who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing and a suicide bomber who died on behalf of the al-Nusra front, a group at odds with ISIL.
“They’re really trying to paint a picture of a confused person, who felt targeted because of his religion,” said Al Jazeera’s Patty Culhane, reporting from Orlando.
The shooter had called 911 during the attack at the Pulse nightclub early on Sunday to express his allegiance to ISIL.
But Comey – who believed Mateen had “strong signs of radicalisation” – said that in the past few years, the gunman also expressed support for both al-Qaeda and Hezbollah.
The FBI investigated Omar Mateen for 10 months beginning in May 2013 after he was said to have inflammatory remarks in support of terrorists.
Mateen appears to have been confused about the groups he named and that they were in opposition to each other. It now seems that these claims were attempts to draw attention away from his conflicted attitudes toward LGBT people and possibly toward his own sexuality.
Lawrence Mower at The Palm Beach Post: Orlando shooter Omar Mateen was gay, former classmate says.
A former classmate of Omar Mateen’s 2006 police academy class said he believed Mateen was gay, saying Mateen once asked him out….
The classmate said that he, Mateen and other classmates would hang out, sometimes going to gay nightclubs, after classes at the Indian River Community College police academy. He said Mateen asked him out romantically.
“We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,” the former classmate said. He asked that his name not be used.
He believed Mateen was gay, but not open about it. Mateen was awkward, and for a while the classmate and the rest in the group of friends felt sorry for him.
“He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,” he said. “He was always socially awkward.”
Members of YAWF (Youth Against War & Fascism) carry a banner in the Fifth Annual Gay Pride Day march (Gay Liberation Day), New York, New York, June 30, 1974. It reads ‘Stonewall Means… Fight Back! Smash Gay Oppression!’ (Photo by Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images)
The Orlando Sentinel: Witness: Omar Mateen drank alone at Pulse before attack.
At least four regular customers at the Orlando gay nightclub where a gunman killed 49 people said Monday that they had seen Omar Mateen there before.
“Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself, and other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,” Ty Smith said.
Smith told the Orlando Sentinel that he saw Mateen inside at least a dozen times.
“We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,” Smith said. “He told us he had a wife and child.” ….
Another Pulse regular, Kevin West, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen messaged him on and off for a year using a gay chat app.
They had never met, West said, but he watched as Mateen entered the club about 1 a.m. Sunday, an hour before the shooting began.
There’s quite a bit of information about Mateen’s connections to law enforcement in the article. I think those could reveal a great deal about his personality as well as his attitudes toward homosexuality. I’m sure we’ll be learning more in the days ahead.
According to The Daily Mail, even Mateen’s ex-wife says he had “gay tendencies.” From the article:
Many in the Orlando gay community are now coming forward to share similar stories of seeing Mateen at clubs for the past decade or speaking to him on hookup apps….
Regulars at Pulse said they saw Mateen several times over the past three years drinking alcohol and dancing with men.
A couple who perform as drag-queens at the popular venue in 1912 South Orange Avenue said they had seen the 29-year-old party at Pulse.
Ty Smith and Chris Callen said the father-of-one was sometimes so drunk he had to be removed from the club.
Callen, who performs as Kristina McLaughlin, said: ‘I’ve seen him a couple of times at Pulse, a couple of other people that I’ve spoken with, including an-ex security guard, have actually witnessed this guy at Pulse many times before.’
Smith said he’d seen Mateen at Pulse ‘at least a dozen times.’
‘We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,’ Smith said. ‘He told us he had a wife and child.’
A security guard who worked at the club two years ago still remembered Mateen turning up to the venue, he added.
Orlando’s gay community is still reeling from the tragedy, and those who had seen Mateen at gay clubs before seem to all have a story to share about his temper.
Callen said Mateen, who seemed like a ‘nice guy’ and was ‘comfortable’ with the draq queens, threatened someone with a knife when he became angry about a religious joke.
Remarks that Mateen drank heavily conflict with his apparently strict adherence to his Muslim faith, including regular worship at a mosque in his home town of Port St. Lucie – where he was quiet and kept to himself.
It seems fairly obvious that Mateen’s attack on The Pulse was a terrorist attack against the LGBT community perpetrated by a confused young man–just as the murders at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs were a terrorist attack against women, despite that fact that authorities won’t call it one. The only reason the focus in the Orlando attack has been on connections to foreign terrorism is that Omar Mateen’s parents came from Afghanistan. They were here long before 9/11, because Mateen was born in Queens, NY and he was 29 years old.
Here’s a 2012 article from Scientific American on the possible connections between homophobia and repressed homosexuality: Homophobes Might Be Hidden Homosexuals.
Homophobes should consider a little self-reflection, suggests a new study finding those individuals who are most hostile toward gays and hold strong anti-gay views may themselves have same-sex desires, albeit undercover ones.
The prejudice of homophobia may also stem from authoritarian parents, particularly those with homophobic views as well, the researchers added.
“This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, ‘Why?'” co-author Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement. “Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection.”
The research, published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reveals the nuances of prejudices like homophobia, which can ultimately have dire consequences. [The 10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]
“Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they are fearing their own impulses, in a sense they ‘doth protest too much,'” Ryan told LiveScience. “In addition, it appears that sometimes those who would oppress others have been oppressed themselves, and we can have some compassion for them too, they may be unaccepting of others because they cannot be accepting of themselves.”
Ryan cautioned, however, that this link is only one source of anti-gay sentiments.
Read much more about these studies at the link.
It’s very important not to allow the media and Republicans to erase the fact that the attack on The Pulse was an attack on the rights of people in the LGBT community and their freedom to gather and support each other in public places.
A few more relevant links:
The Atlantic: The Extraordinarily Common Violence Against LGBT People in America.
Erasing 76 Crimes: 1000s who died in anti-gay, anti-trans attacks (updates).
The New York Times: Before Orlando, There Was New Orleans.
The Daily Beast: Drag Queen: Anti-Gay Terrorist Omar Mateen Was My Friend.
The Christian Science Monitor: For gay community, Orlando a sign threats remain amid growing tolerance.
The Desert Sun: Anti-gay community has blood on its hands: Column.
What stories are you following today? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread below.
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Posted: January 30, 2015 | Author: dakinikat | Filed under: morning reads | Tags: Bobby Jindal, homophobia, Islamaphobia, Radical Christianists, Republicans |
I absolutely cannot believe the hatred coming out of the Republican Party and its christianist grass roots these days. It’s downright embarrassing that my Governor is leading the charge. There are so many of these stories at the moment that they certainly need the light of day given that we’ve just recognized the 70th anniversary of NAZI concentration camps designed for the Jewish, the homosexual, the intellectual, and others considered outcasts of their society.
This first disturbing piece comes from Texas where Texas Muslims gathered peacefully to recognize democracy and to teach their children about how we do things in this country. Unfortunately, many haters gave them the wrong lesson.
They came out by the hundreds from Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, mostly women and children, girls with silver-bowed shoes and pink owl backpacks. They sang the national anthem and prayed.
But less than 20 feet from where the group of Texas Muslims gathered on the steps of the state Capitol in Austin, a small handful of protesters told them exactly how they felt about their visit.
“We don’t want you here!” shouted one. Others yelled, “Go home,” “ISIS will gladly take you” and “remember 9/11.”
“You don’t have to dress that way! Take it off!” came from a woman holding an Israeli flag. “Islam is the war on women!”
Earlier in the morning, Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, commented on the gathering.
“I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office,” she wrote on Facebook.
Thursday marked the seventh annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day in Austin, when hundreds of adherents of Islam visit the Capitol to meet with lawmakers and learn about the democratic process. This year, however, is the first that’s been marked by virulent anti-Islam protests, said Ruth Nasrullah, a prominent Muslim blogger from Houston who also hosted the event.
Christine Weick, who said she was originally from Michigan but now is “on the road,” at one point stormed the succession of speakers, grabbing the microphone and yelling, “Islam will not dominate the United States, and by the grace of God, it will not dominate Texas.”
She was carted back to her spot with the other 12 to 15 protesters holding vigil behind a wall of law enforcement officers. “Muhammad is dead!” she and other chanted, referring to the Muslim prophet.
The Belton Republican was by far the most egregious bigot of the Texas legislature yesterday.
As the group of Muslims continued the event by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the interruptions persisted, with the protesters yelling, “Islam is a lie!” and “No Sharia here!”
Mustafaa Carroll, the executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, called the behavior “very frustrating.” Carroll said this was the first year protesters showed up since Muslim Capitol Day began.
“I’m more concerned with state leaders and what they say than I am about anybody else because they are the lawmakers,” he said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has sent a letter to House Speaker Joe Straus asking whether White had violated ethics rules by instructing her staff to ask Muslim visitors to her office to declare their allegiance to the United States.
“Our ethics question is: Has Rep. White violated any House rules in creating such an internal office policy that is selectively being enforced to discriminate against certain religious minorities trying to meet with her or her staff?” the letter asks. “Are House members prohibited from making constituents take oaths before meeting with their elected representatives or House staff?”
In a statement, Straus said: “Legislators have a responsibility to treat all visitors just as we expect to be treated — with dignity and respect. Anything else reflects poorly on the entire body and distracts from the very important work in front of us.” His statement did not address the ethics complaint.
Neither Gov. Greg Abbott nor Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has weighed in on the matter.
As of mid-morning, the Israeli flag was still on the desk in White’s office. By noon, she had released a follow-up Facebook post that added: “I do not apologize for my comments. … If you love America, obey our laws and condemn Islamic terrorism, then I embrace you as a fellow American. If not, then I do not.”
But at 3 p.m., White released a new statement saying she welcomed “all of my constituents who would like to come and visit our office in the Texas State Capitol.”
“As law-abiding American citizens, we all have the privilege and the right to freedom of speech granted to us by the First Amendment,” she wrote. “… As a proud Texan and American I fully denounce all terrorist groups or organizations who’s [sic] intent is to hurt and destroy the great state of Texas and our nation.”
This was not the first time White has aired her concerns about Muslims on Facebook.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s bigotry has been over the top recently. He called for “cultural assimilation” suggesting that if every one acted white, everything would be just fine. However, he fails to look around the country to find there are many examples of non-Muslim people of faith who are not assimilated to the culturally white WASP majority. Peter Weber-writing for the Week–suggested Jindal take a look at Brooklyn where there are ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews that live and dress as their European ancestors have for many years.
“There is a way of thinking by many on the Left in America, which disturbs me greatly,” Jindal says: “The notion that assimilation is not necessary or even preferable.” Liberals, he adds, “think it is unenlightened, discriminatory, and even racist to expect immigrants to endorse and assimilate into the culture in their new country. This is complete rubbish.”
Jindal says he believes that religious and ethnic groups make America stronger when they come to embrace America’s culture and values. But not every group qualifies:
Are they coming to be set apart, are they unwilling to assimilate, do they have their own laws they want to establish, do they fundamentally disagree with your political culture? Therein lies the difference between immigration and invasion….
To be clear — I am not suggesting for one second that people should be shy or embarrassed about their ethnic heritage. But I am explicitly saying that it is completely reasonable for nations to discriminate between allowing people into their country who want to embrace their culture, or allowing people into their country who want to destroy their culture, or establish a separate culture within. [Jindal]
Well, off the top of my head, I can think of a couple of groups in the United States that have established “a separate culture within” America, probably “fundamentally disagree” with America’s “political culture,” and are still an integral part of America’s rich cultural and religious tapestry.
The Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio, for example, don’t drive cars, use smartphones, or allow their members to wear synthetic fabrics. Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves a global movement and don’t serve in the U.S. armed forces or salute or pledge allegiance to the American flag; they also don’t accept blood transfusions, or celebrate Christmas or birthdays. And is Jindal really going to tell the Cajun and Creole communities in his home state to stop speaking Louisiana French?
If Jindal is serious about his idea, though, I have a challenge for him: Go to Brooklyn.
In Williamsburg, in Crown Heights, in Borough Park, there are sizable and growing insular communities, or “courts,” of ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews. They have their own customs, language (Yiddish), 19th-century style of dress, political and religious leaders, and, in some instances, laws. Women typically don’t have the same rights as men. The Hasidic communities of Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York and New Jersey have not assimilated to American culture.
Peter Beinart writes that Jindal “wants Christians to stand apart from secular society, but condemns Muslims who do the same.”
In London, Jindal said “non-assimilationist Muslims” threaten the West not merely because they support acts of violence, and not merely because they adhere to Islamic rather than national law. Most fundamentally, they pose a threat because they refuse to embrace the cultures of the countries to which they immigrate. Denouncing the left’s claim that “it is unenlightened, discriminatory, and even racist to expect immigrants to endorse and assimilate into the culture in their new country,” Jindal insisted that “it is completely reasonable for nations to discriminate between allowing people into their country who want to embrace their culture, or allowing people into their country who want to destroy their culture, or establish a separate culture within.”
In his London speech, Jindal made little effort to define American or European culture except to associate it with “freedom.” So it’s hard to know exactly which aspects of it he believes Muslims refuse to embrace. But in his speeches last year on religion, Jindal discussed American culture at greater length. And his verdict was surprisingly harsh. “American culture,” he told students at Liberty University, “has in many ways become a secular culture.” Many churches, he declared, now espouse “views on sin [that] are in direct conflict with the culture.” In case students hadn’t gotten the message, Jindal repeated himself: “our culture has taken a secular turn.”
Then he asked a rhetorical question: “What do we do about it?” His answer: resist. People of faith, he argued, must recognize that they are fighting a “silent war” against the secular, liberal elite. And they must keep waging that war no matter how much of a cultural minority they become. “Our religious liberty,” he insisted, “must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public.
So let’s imagine a scenario. A devout Christian emigrates from Nigeria to a progressive American college town, where she takes up work as a pharmacist. She quickly finds herself at odds with the dominant culture around her. Co-workers mock her modest dress and her insistence on interrupting work to pray. When she calls homosexuality a sin, they denounce her as a bigot. Ultimately, her employer fires her for refusing to dispense contraception.
Based on his speeches at Liberty University and the Reagan Library, Jindal’s advice to this woman would be clear: Wage “silent war” against the culture that oppresses you, even if you’re a minority of one. If necessary, “establish a separate culture within” the dominant one so you can raise children who fear and obey God.
Now imagine that our devout Nigerian is a Muslim. Suddenly her resistance to the dominant culture makes her not a hero but a menace. Jindal supporters might resist the analogy. Christians, they might argue, don’t kill cartoonists or establish their own separate legal systems. But Jindal’s point in London was that the problems with Muslim immigrants go beyond issues of violence and law. The core danger, he insisted, is their refusal to assimilate into the culture of the countries to which they immigrate. And since Jindal has already declared that American (let alone European) culture is secular, any immigrant who refuses to assimilate into it is, by his definition, a threat. Our Nigerian pharmacist should never been given a visa.
Why point out the contradiction between Jindal’s heroic portrayal of Christian non-assimilators and his demonization of Muslim ones? Because it exposes his lofty talk about culture and identity to be an elaborate ruse. The only principle he’s really defending is anti-Muslim bigotry.
It’s amazing to me that 70 years after the scapegoating of European Jews led to the “ultimate solution” we could still be living with this kind of hatred propagated by elected officials. It is odd that the same people waving flags of Israel understand so little about the history that led to the demand for a Jewish state. Of course, they are only thinking that the fruition of their end times dreams comes only with building of a temple on what is now a holy Islamic site.
I only hope that people of good will speak out against this bigotry.
What is on your reading and blogging list today?
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Posted: April 28, 2014 | Author: dakinikat | Filed under: Discrimination against women, Economy, Feminists, morning reads, U.S. Politics, War on Women | Tags: Donald Sterling, female gamers, Fukushima workers, Game of Thrones, homophobia, Ichiefu, Japanese Manga, Johnathan McIntosh, Kazuto Tatsuta, LA Clippers, male-dominated culture, middle class, misogyny, NBA, NRA, on-line gaming, Racism, rape, Sarah Palin, waterboarding |
Good Morning! Quelle Surprise! Pop Culture is still Misogynist, Racist, and Homophobic!
I found some interesting reads over the weekend so I hope you’ll enjoy them! They are all sort’ve stories that actually reflect a lot of the things that fascinate and entertain me. I love strategy games and have been playing them on line for quite some time Actually, it’s been since the early 1990s when most of the games were simply text oriented. I also love animation art, and books, and of course, music. So, here’s a little bit on that and a little bit of stuff that has to do with social justice too. If I do a have a consistent train of thought here it is that so much of what should be entertaining and could be informative can sow bad seeds. I’ve a few examples where the pop and geek culture are taking on hard topics. Some are successful and examining crucial human stories. Some rely on the same old misogyny, racism, and homobigotry.
Japanese Manga is a way many creative people in Japan explore how they feel about a variety of things. This article is about a new manga book on the lives of the Fukashima plant workers.
A manga that describes the reality of daily life at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant through the eyes of a worker is enjoying popularity.
“Ichiefu” (1F), written by Kazuto Tatsuta, 49, first appeared in autumn 2013 as a serial comic in the weekly magazine “Morning,” published by Kodansha Ltd. Ichiefu stands for the Fukushima No. 1 plant among locals.
The comic was published in book form on April 23. The publisher shipped a total of 150,000 copies of the first volume, which is an unusually large number for a little-known manga artist.
Tatsuta said he changed jobs repeatedly after graduating from university. At the same time, he also worked as a comic strip artist.
It was when he was considering another job change that the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami occurred, triggering the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant.
While seeking a better-paying job, Tatsuta also wondered what part he could do as a citizen of Japan to help. As a result, he began to work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from June 2012 for a total of six months.
“Ichiefu” describes the situation at the plant in great detail. The descriptions of equipment, such as the masks and protective gear the workers used, and the procedures they took to measure radiation levels make readers feel as if they are there and reading actual worker manuals.
The comic also depicts intimate practices only workers there would know. For example, the workers always say “Be safe” to each other before starting their shifts.
Each of the workers was also required to stop working when his dosimeter issued a fourth warning sound.
I quit playing a few games last year that I had really grown fond of because of the rampant misogyny and homophobia of many of the white male players. I had repeatedly asked them to constrain their language, behavior, and what they posted. I am fortunately playing a game right now where that’s not the case. I am still one of the few female players in my alliance. I believe I am one of two but I have found that I generally enjoy better game play if I am in an alliance where there are many openly gay men. This NPR article summarizes a series of articles that are focused on white male privilege in the online game atmosphere.
In video games, sexism often comes in the form of male-dominated storylines and character archetypes. In the video game community, it takes a more menacing shape.
It ranges from attempts to silence female critics to the harassment of fellow players. Some harassment even goes so far as phone calls and rape threats, as one female game developer found out last year.
“The issue is often framed as a women’s issue, but sexual harassment, sexism and misogyny in gaming is not a women’s issue — it’s a gaming community issue,” says Jonathan McIntosh, a producer for the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Web series.
Last week, McIntosh wrote a piece for gaming website Polygon about what he calls the “invisible benefits” that males experience while playing video games. In the post, he lists 25 effects of “male gamer privilege.” Here’s a sample:
- I can choose to remain completely oblivious, or indifferent to the harassment that many women face in gaming spaces.
- I am never told that video games or the surrounding culture is not intended for me because I am male.
- I can publicly post my username, gamertag or contact information online without having to fear being stalked or sexually harassed because of my gender.
- I will never be asked to “prove my gaming cred” simply because of my gender.
- I will almost always have the option to play a character of my gender, as most protagonists or heroes will be male by default.
- If I am trash-talked or verbally berated while playing online, it will not be because I am male nor will my gender be invoked as an insult.
- My gaming ability, attitude, feelings or capability will never be called into question based on unrelated natural biological functions.
So far, the reaction to his post — both in the more than 700 comments on the piece and elsewhere — has been relatively civil. As McIntosh pointed out on Twitter, he doubts it would have been as civil if he had been a female writer raising the same points.
“I’m saying the same thing that women have been saying for years,” McIntosh says. “There’s nothing in my piece that’s really new, it’s just that it’s coming from me. If my name was Joanna McIntosh … I’d be called irrational, I’d be called hysterical and I’d be called too sensitive.”
One other thing that I did not mention last week but I would like to mention this week is the rape scene between the Lannister twins in Game of Thrones. The same scene in the book actually was rough but consensual.
There’s been a lot of discussion, Internet rage, and general overall hoopla following Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones, as the television show made the most shocking book-to-screen deviation to date. *Spoiler free for future books.*
Jaime and Cersei finally had their reunited love scene, and suddenly for book readers, Jeyne Westerling seemed like a small cinematic sacrifice to make in comparison. I don’t want to get into a philosophical discussion on whether or not this scene constitutes as rape. Smarter people than I have alreadydonethat.
What we have to work with in the scene is what the characters said and did because we can’t know how they felt. And whether or not the scene was intended to come across as consensual sex, the way the scene was cut by the director makes it definitive to the audience that it was not consensual. Cersei repeatedly said no while Jaime forced himself on top of her and answered that he didn’t care as his creepy voiceover carried out onto a shot of Arya staring at mountains. If that’s all we know about the scene, then yes, in the television show Jaime raped Cersei.
The “debate” about the rape has been nearly as upsetting as the rape itself. I liked this take clearly stating that rape is not a “narrative device”.
In some ways, it’s useful for television shows to acknowledge the extent of sexual violence in our culture. These narratives allow necessary stories to be told. But the execution is too easy. From daytime soap operas to prestige cable shows, rape is all too often used to place the degradation of the female body and a woman’s vulnerability at the center of the narrative. Rape is used to create drama and ratchet up ratings. And it’s rare to see the brutality and complexity of a rape accurately conveyed on-screen. Instead, we are treated to an endless parade of women being forced into submission as the delicate and wilting flowers television writers and producers seem to want them to be.
I am still wondering why there seems to be a renaissance in misogny, racism and homobigotry. You would think that the sports arena would have made better strides against racism given that teams and fans are fully integrated to the idea that there are players of many races. However, it seems the real money and power behind the bread and circuses are still those rich, horrid, white men. We talked about the Clippers’ owner last week. There is, of course, more on that.
Deadspin has acquired an extended, 15-minute version of the conversation between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano. If the original nine-minute tape acquired by TMZ left any questions about Sterling’s opinions regarding minorities, the audio here should remove all doubt that he’s a doddering racist with views not too far removed from the plantation.
The Clippers themselves showed some class this week in a protest that was priceless. There will undoubtedly be more coming and hopefully the NBA can find a way to strip Sterling of the franchise.
The Clippers gathered at center court before a118-97 Game 4 loss in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors and took off their Clippers warm-up shirts and left them there. They then warmed up wearing inside-out red shooting shirts that did not display the Clippers name or logo. During the game, players wore black arm or wrist bands and black socks.
In other news, water is still wet and Sarah Palin is still one of the dumbest people on the planet. This is the money quote she gave the NRA: ‘Waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists’.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) defended the controversial enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding this weekend, and implied that the practice would still be commonplace “if I were in charge.”
“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” she said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Saturday evening, referring to prisoners. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
The remark stands in stark contrast to the opinion of her former running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
The former Republican presidential nominee, who spent more than five years in a prison camp during the Vietnam War, has repeatedly denounced the practice, which he says is torture.
In her speech, Palin praised the NRA, a group whose members “are needed now more than ever, because every day we are seeing more and more efforts to strip away our Second Amendment rights,” she said.
I am still waiting for some examples of how any government in the US is stripping away the second amendment rights. I do, however, have thousands of examples of how women are losing their right to self determination.
My last offering this morning is yet another in depth article on the demise of the middle class in the USA. Middle class Americans are an endangered species.
Wages for millions of American workers, particularly those without college degrees, have flat-lined. Census figures show the median household income in 2012 was no higher than it was 25 years ago. Men’s median wages were lower than in the early 1970s.
Meanwhile, many of the expenses associated with a middle-class life have increased beyond inflation. This includes college tuition, whose skyrocketing cost has laid siege to a bedrock principle of the American Dream: that your children will do better than you did.
A recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia found that 40 percent of those calling themselves middle class felt less financially secure than they were just a few years ago. Forty-five percent said they worry “a lot” about having enough money stashed away for retirement, and 57 percent said they worry about meeting their bills. Less than half said they expect their kids to do any better.
Fewer Americans find themselves in the heart of the middle class with every passing year.
In the mid-1970s, the majority of Americans were in the middle, with 52 percent earning the equivalent (in today’s dollars) of $35,000 to $100,000. Today, according to census figures, the share of households earning under $35,000 is virtually unchanged, 35 percent. The shift has occurred in the other two categories. Households with incomes over $100,000 have doubled, to 22 percent, while less than 44 percent are in the middle cluster.
So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?
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