Disliking hip-hop doesn’t make you a racist any more than liking hip-hop makes you not a racist, and I’m sure there are plenty of Stormfront enthusiasts with Rick Ross in their iTunes. If you don’t like Jay-Z because you just don’t like the way he sounds, or you’re sick of his cloying ubiquity, or you wish he’d talk about something other than where he’s from for five seconds—hey, I’m not mad, I don’t like Bruce Springsteen for the same reasons. But if you don’t like rap music—a genre that contains multitudes—because of a self-satisfied moralism, or because you’re scared of it, or because you wish those people would stop talking about their problems and get out of your television and radio and kids’ bedrooms: well.
And I’m not just talking about the American right, I’m talking about all the well-meaning white folks who’ve told me how they want to like Lil Wayne but lo, the misogyny, the violence, the drugs. But, but, I’ll say: Bob Dylan aced misogyny; the Rolling Stones sang about violence; the Velvet Underground knew their way around some drugs. Yeeeah, but it’s different, they’ll say, elongating that “yeah” with conspiratorial inflection: you know what I mean. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.
Rap music doesn’t get unarmed kids shot to death, “it’s different” does. “It’s different” infuses “these assholes always get away” and gives solace to people who hear that sound bite and nod their empty heads in agreement. “It’s different” is the same logic that suggests a teenager’s skin color combined with the music he listened to means he had it coming, and it’s the same logic that lets a bunch of people feign outrage over a teenager’s use of the n-word to describe himself when they’re really just outraged that he beat them to the punch.
“It’s different” makes me shake with anger because it turns music into a dog-whistle to justify the murder of a kid who doesn’t seem all that “different” from me was when I was his age, not that different at all. I liked Skittles and hoodies and weed, too. And yeah, I’m white and never worried about getting shot for any of it, which is only the most loathsome excuse for not identifying with someone that I can possibly think of.
[tw: sexual assault, rape]
As great as talk about changing attitudes towards sexual assault is, there is a lack of discussion of people most vulnerable to falling into stereotypes and being ignored by not only society but the justice system. Discussion about sexual assault is often limited to cis male perpetrators and cis female victims, this does not invalidate the discussion and people’s experiences and it is very much necessary to address our attitudes towards women and victim-blaming but I feel we really have to stretch it further.
In the UK around 15,934 reports of rape last year with only 1,058 convictions. The rate of convictions against perpetrators with whom the victim is a person of colour is even lower. As a lot of people of colour feel uncomfortable with reporting rape and sexual assault. My country barely believes that women aren’t at least partially responsible for sexual assault and clearly believe that certainly women of colour are. It all goes back to the stereotype of the wanton exotic lady who just loves to have sex! And they’re so tribal and wild! Rape is just rough sex to them am I right? Nope, wrong if you think that it’s correct you’re a twat. It’s hard for people to stomach, it truly is, but nobodies body belongs to you. You do not dictate what others want based on some fucked up stereotypes some old crusty white guys thought up years ago and told their sons and grandsons like a fucking bedtime story.
Sexual assault is not an inevitable evil for any of us if we fall into any of these groups yet it is an ignored evil when it does happen. Society’s attitudes towards disabled people and the mentally ill are heinous enough yet attitudes towards the assault of disabled people are even more gross. Once institutionalised you face the problem of increased vulnerability to sexual assault but no one wants to hear it and you are constantly told that perhaps if reported things could get worse for you and sadly it’s true and is a real issue. With queer people, when sexual assault takes place in queer spaces or by someone of the same sex in which the victim is queer, the justice system & society tends to expect that queer people always want sex and therefore the rape is invalid (because queerness is almost always equated to sex in ways which heterosexuality is not). I constantly hear ‘but why would they go to a gay bar if they didn’t want sex’. Shock horror, queer people actually go to queer spaces TO MEET OTHER QUEER PEOPLE not to be sexually assaulted.
When we discuss sexual assault it cannot just be between cis men + cis women! Sexual assault against men is seriously under reported and it is a gross myth that it is impossible for men to be sexually assaulted. One of our most damaging crimes is assuming that all men are homogeneously powerful & controlling machines who do not face sexual assault and are always the rapists, it is a myth which needs to be debunked as again we are playing into archaic stereotypes about ‘real men’. Hint: no such thing exists. Sexual assault against non-binary folk is also dangerously under reported as the media constantly paint them as being dangerous and continually demonise them by throwing in some other cissexist bullshit. And again non-binary folk apparently aren’t the victims! They’re somehow constantly to blame for crimes against them. Class is also plays a huge part in victim-blaming culture and it’s dangerous to assume it’s doesn’t! This post doesn’t even begin cover the extent of damage done and how affected and unfair the justice system and it’s ability to actually convict rapists.
Attitudes towards sexual assault are still fundamentally based on archaic thoughts and stereotypes. These stereotypes are seen to be already up at the police door before you step in to report the crime and that’s what they are, they are crimes but they are crimes against people who aren’t white or straight or able-bodied. And they are the vulnerable, the marginalised, the blamed ones. Discussing the relationship between sexual assault and the justice system cannot be done just accessing one group of people especially when the people who are ignored are just getting ignored again and again.
shortformblog | thepoliticalnotebook:
Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi woman living in Southern California, was taken off life support today, succumbing to injuries sustained in a brutal tire iron beating on Wednesday. Shaima was found in her living room, and according to her daughter Fatima and the police investigating, a note was found near her saying “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”
Shaima was a mother of five who has been in the US with her family since the mid-1990s. She was described by her friend Sura Alzaidy as “respectful modest muhajiba.” Her daughter tearfully addressed her mother’s attackers during a media interview, saying “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”
[Daily Mail; AFP]
A terrible incident that more people should know about. This happens in our country. This should not happen.
- make discriminatory/bigoted comments about Islam and/or the Arab people
- support the war in Afghanistan/Iraq, despite the lack of progress and the mass loss and displacement of civilians’ lives
- encourage the unjustified imprisonment of the men/women/children currently held in Guantanamo Bay
- berate Obama for being Muslim (although he’s not) and throw around the word Muslim around as a pejorative
- criticized the notion of an Islamic learning center in New York, because of 9/11
- neglect the fact that terrorism and Islam aren’t inherently linked and many Muslim (here and abroad) have also suffered at the hands of extremists groups
Consider yourself responsible for the hate-induced death of Shaima Alawadi.
You’ve contributed to a culture where Islam and anyone who engages in it is a foreign threat, deserving of harassment and death (in this case) despite being hard working, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens who came to the Americas for a better life, just like you and your ancestors. You’ve enabled a nation to be so irrationally gripped in fear, that it feels permitted to invade many poorer, already disheveled countries and contribute to their destruction. You’ve fostered a hostile environment where others feel justified in ripping off hijabs and burning Qu’Rans.
Your bigotry lays the direct blame.
swintons | thenoobyorker:
The White Savior Industrial Complex by Teju Cole [The Atlantic]
If Americans want to care about Africa, maybe they should consider evaluating American foreign policy, which they already play a direct role in through elections, before they impose themselves on Africa itself.
There’s no point in quoting the entire piece, just read it.
JUST MAKE SURE NOT TO READ THE COMMENTS
Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend has spoken out. She was on the phone with Trayvon just moments before his murder.
Her account of the events:
“He said this man was watching him, so he put his hoodie on. He said he lost the man. I asked Trayvon to run, and he said he was going to walk fast. I told him to run but he said he was not going to run. Eventually he would run, thinking that he’d managed to escape. But suddenly the strange man was back, cornering him.
Trayvon said, ‘What, are you following me for,’ and the man said, ‘What are you doing here.’ Next thing I hear is somebody pushing, and somebody pushed Trayvon because the head set just fell. I called him again and he didn’t answer the phone.”
“George Zimmerman’s claim that Martin was suspicious and up to no good is completely contradicted by this phone log, showing all day he was just talking to his friends— like so many teenagers do. Martin was talking to her when he went to the 7/11 and when he came back. Her testimony connects the dots, completely connects the dots of this whole thing.
The friend’s phone call completely blows Zimmerman’s absurd self-defense claim out of the water.
A kid who is up to no good isn’t on the phone constantly calling his friends back. Somebody who’s looking to break in somewhere isn’t on the phone talking to his friend, when she’s in Miami.
Zimmerman wants you to believe he was on drugs and acting suspicious so he can justify killing him in cold blood.
The girl’s family wishes that she remain anonymous because of the traumatic nature of the event:
“This was her really, really close personal friend. They were dating… She couldn’t even go to his wake. She was so sick, her mother had to take her to the hospital, she spent the night in the hospital.” - Martin’s Attorney”
TRIGGER WARNING: RACISM, VIOLENCE, DEATH
isitscary | squintyoureyes | osobigbear:
Unarmed Black Teen Gunned Down By Neighborhood Watch Leader After Being Deemed Suspicious
Trayvon “Trey” Martin, 17, of Miami was visiting relatives living in a gated community in Sanford, Florida. He had just left a local 7-11 after buying a snack and was on his way home around 7:00 PM on February 26. George Zimmerman, a 26-year-old member of the local neighborhood watch, saw Martin and called police to report a suspicious man in the community. He tailed Martin in his car. He had a loaded pistol on him. The police told Zimmerman they would handle it.
For some reason, Zimmerman didn’t obey. Minutes later, a number of local residents called police to report a fight. A gunshot was heard. Martin died 70 yards from the house he was staying in. Zimmerman was arrested and then released. He was carrying the pistol legally and has claimed that he was acting in self-defense.
Said Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. in an interview with the Huffington Post, “For some reason he (Zimmerman) felt that Trayvon, the way that he was walking or appeared seemed suspicious to him.”
Ah, yes. The way he was walking and his appearance were deemed “suspicious.” Oh, did I forget to mention that Martin is black? And that the gated community, called Retreat at Twin Lakes, is predominantly white?
Martin’s parents are demanding the police make an arrest and release the 911 call. They are expected to file a suit in state court on Friday.
“Zimmerman, an adult, had a gun. Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old, had Skittles. No way you can say self-defense,” said the family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump.
what the fuck do you mean they’re calling for his arrest. the fact that Zimmerman isn’t right now in custody is all the proof anyone needs of what is still happening in this country.
What irks me the most about this situation is that Zimmerman is trying to claim self defense. How in the hell are you going to plead self defense against a 17-year-old boy when he had nothing but Skittles in one pocket and a damn iced tea in the other?
Is it possibly THAT hard to just be a decent human being and admit that the basis of your “suspicion” came from the fact that he was black?
Some reports are stating that when police arrived on the scene Zimmerman’s back was wet, his nose was bloodied, and he was yelling about how he cried for help and no one came. So “‘There is some physical evidence and some testimony that would corroborate [his claim of self defense].” Which is fucking ridiculous.
He was a twenty six year old man in a car following a seventeen year old kid at night. He has all the power in this situation. He is older, he is more familiar with the area, he is armed, and he is inside a goddamn car. The only way an altercation occurs is if he gets out of his car. If it’s night and I’m walking alone and a car begins to follow me, I am going to be terrified of that car and it’s driver. I can completely understand a young kid reacting aggressively in that situation because that’s a terrifying situation to find yourself in. The only person who should be held responsible for any alteracation that occured is the grown ass man who thought it appropriate to follow a young kid around in the dark after the police dispatch explicitly told him not to do so and then GOT OUT OF HIS CAR.
Zimmerman is clearly and undeniably the aggressor here and the fact that he has not been arrested is disgusting.