Friday, April 21, 2006

The Reality Check Is On The Front Page

Until now, I have chosen not to write about the fourteen-year-old boy who was beaten and kicked to death by a group of White men January 6th in a so-called "boot camp" (how apropos!) in Bay County, Florida. I have also chosen not to write about the rape of an African-American dancer at a "party" in Durham, North Carolina, March 13th, where members of the Duke University lacrosse team were unwinding after a grueling week of being...well...whoever it is men like that perceive themselves to be.

Initially, of course, the fourteen-year-old boy, whose name was Martin Lee Anderson, was said to have died of sickle cell complications--after the beating that was (fortunately) caught on videotape. (Just how stupid do you have to be, one might wonder, to beat and kick a child to death in a group in front of a camera you unquestionably know exists?) And initially, of course, the rape victim--a young single mother of two who pays for her college courses dancing at parties (which is not as wildly uncommon as one would imagine)--was raped again in the media.

Some people in polite U.S. society (whatever that is in the face of our national love affair with violence against people of color everywhere in the world, including Florida and North Carolina) look away from these types of incidents, mumbling about young boys that get in trouble and young women who "shouldn't be" at an all-male party. I looked away--as much as I could--because reports like this give me a gut ache. My throat shuts. My tongue swells as if I might vomit. My tears clot. My teeth clench. I really, really want to see somebody get hurt. And that's not a way I like to feel. It never changes anything.

Now we hear that students from three schools are sitting in at the governor's office up in Tallahassee, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are scheduled to show up, and the FDLE chief--the top dog in this matter (hand-chosen by Governor Jeb Bush several years ago and the guy who actually established the particular boot camp in question, interestingly enough)--has stepped down. Also, we hear that, in spite of the fact that DNA tests ostensibly did not implicate the guys on the team, the coach has been fired, the remainder of the season scrapped, and two of the players (named Reade Seligmann and Collin Finnerty--no comment needed, I'm sure) have been arrested and charged with a string of serious crimes. And so we watch it all unfold in the daily news.

But glad as I am that "something's being done" and that it's not being "swept under the rug" on these two occasions, I know this doesn't mean that "progress is being made." It means that for whatever reason, these two incidents are going to play themselves out in public and something will happen (whatever that is), but a child will still be dead and a young mother's psyche will still be shattered (like to imagine how her final exams will go this coming week?). A mother and father will still be devastated and two children will still be raised by a woman whose fifteen minutes of fame are of her half-clad body on a burning cross. And people of color everywhere in the United States will still be left knowing that on the right day in just the right situation that victim could still be them.

No matter what happens, there's no reason to believe that these are the only similar incidents that have occurred this spring or that these events are not being repeated behind closed doors--and closed minds--even as I write these words. And there's absolutely no reason to believe as yet that rape and murder by European-Americans against helpless victims of color are not going to continue as a direct manifestation of White power in a nation not gone mad, you understand, but mad at its conception.

Europeans created this nation by stealing land from the Native Americans already on it and then making it rich by forcing millions of Africans to work fourteen hour days seven days per week for 250 years--without pay. And now White folks--who pat themselves on the back as if they have done something good--conveniently ignore the obvious: that their history has never really stopped. It continues to crop up like a relentless plague of weeds carrying a poisonous flower. It's indigenous to the culture. And it's going to take more than good intentions--or a couple of high profile legal cases--to get rid of it.

Another high profile case last year involved a European-American dance teacher who left the scene of an accident in Tampa, Florida, in March of 2004 after killing two children and maiming two others (all from one African-American family). When the dust settled, Jennifer Porter wound up with house arrest, probation, and community service work. And after a little sputtering, those still alive went on living. These new cases and the others already in motion and the ones that will be reported tomorrow or the day after that or next month will, more than likely, go more or less the same way. It's painful. It's depressing. And it's wrong.

Every once in a while, some particular case (such as the one in Jasper, Texas, involving White men who dragged an African-American man to his death behind a truck) is resolved, by hook or by crook (no pun intended), in some appropriate legal manner. But that's not the answer to this puzzle. We have to go all the way back to the root cause of our mutual dilemma. It's mutual because, while African-Americans are still being brutalized, European-Americans are staying insane. And which is more monstrous: being a victim or being a perpetrator? The rapists and murderers who actually carry out the crimes are not, repeat, not, repeat, not operating in a vacuum.

Yevtushenko wrote that he was a "Jew" at Babi Yar (the scene of an anti-Semetic massacre in Russia). John F. Kennedy told the German people gathered at their infamous wall that he was a "Berliner." And no matter what I look like, when a person of color is attacked by a White person anywhere in the world, I will see myself as attacked. There is no other way to restore myself to sanity.

13 comments:

freddie said...

Why do leftists continually write, "I have decided not to write about X" IN THE SAME ARITCLE WHERE THEY WRITE ABOUT X.

It is annoying.

Also annoying is the ubiqutous presumption of innocense of any woman/minority/illegal alien combined with the ubiqutous presumption of guilt of white/male/wealthy.

you are worse than the hillary-for-president.blogspot.com guy

Problem with leftists: biggest racist/sexist/heterophobes in the world.

Bottom line: bigotry in leftist circles dwarfs bigotry anywhere else in the world.

Changeseeker said...

Gosh, Freddie, you now have the hands-down record on this blog for the fastest response ever. I posted within the last thirty minutes and you're already here. Wow! Thanks...I think.

On your rant, however, what makes you think I'm a leftist? Do you think being anti-racist automatically makes me a leftist or something (although I'm not saying that I'm not--I'm just saying is all...)? I mean, would that mean that all people who are not leftists would automatically be racist? I'm just trying to follow your reasoning here.

Then, of course, there's the matter of lumping me in with every leftist in the world (that would be a very large group, Freddie). I certainly don't claim to represent everyone in the world who espouses any particular perspective and would hope that no one from any particular group would imagine that they ipso facto represent me. I don't have any idea what your perspective is, for example, except maybe pissed off.

Finally, I don't assume innocence on the part of all people of color or women across the board, but the nature of the term "victim" suggests according to the dictionary that the individual has been wronged or made to suffer by someone. Now, unless you're suggesting that women and people of color deserve to be wronged and made to suffer for some reason (and surely you're not), I don't know what you're trying to say here. Sorry.

freddie said...

The level of ravenous bigotry that you direct toward whites and males is amazing.

You are a racist and a sexist. Your writing makes that much clear. Just because your brand of racism is not directed at people of colour does not relieve you of the title.

When I was in school, I had professors like you. I stood up for what is right and my grades suffered.

You speak of crimes by whites against people of colour, but you completely ignore crimes committed against whites and crimes committed against people of colour by people of colour. You just bury your head in the sand and pretend only whites are criminals and blacks are their only victims.

If a black man rapes a white woman, "oh well..shit happens" but if a black woman says she was raped by white man but can produce no evidence, other than her word, you are ready to burn him at the stake.

Do you preach your program of radical indoctrination in your classrooms, brainwashing the next generation of hate mongers?

Lady, you are so far in the extreme that the only two places you are "qualified" to work is in an American university or in the ultra left-wing news media.

As for me, I am a moderate and yes, radical leftism pisses me off.

Piscean Princess said...

I wasn't aware of the recent tragedy in Florida. But I'm obviously aware of what's happened to the young lady in Durham.

I've found myself near tears and nauseated by some of the commentary going on in the blogisphere. It has provided a much-needed reality check for me (and probably a lot of others)about how deep the roots of racism, classism and sexism are.

As disgusting, frustrating and distracting as this is, I am still certain that if I can help one person (including myself) expand their thinking and see things from different angles, I have done the best I can. It's so hard for me to discuss this situation because of the emotions it calls up for me. But I appreciate hearing what other intelligent, empathic, informed bloggers have to say. It keeps me uplifted & hopeful.

Thank you for adding your positive energy to this mess!

P.S. Thanks for stopping by. I read you regularly too. I found you back in the "glory days" of Black.White.

Changeseeker said...

Princess--
It's good to know that I'm seen as helpful to the process. I was teaching tonight and one of the students said, "If sociologists know this stuff and aren't doing anything about it, they're wrong." I had to explain to him that most sociologists either don't know much about what I call the "socially-constructed, political notion of 'race'" or may believe that they're not supposed to "do" anything about anything. If I didn't try to talk about it, I think my head would explode. Still, some topics are so painful that it takes a push (such as reading about them elsewhere) to create the willingness. It's good we find each other, huh? ;-D

Changeseeker said...

Freddie--
It never fails to amaze me that not accepting White male violence against women and people of color is seen by some people as "hating" White men. Does liking White men require total acceptance of whatever they want to do whenever they please to do it to whomever they please to do it to? I hold everybody responsible for what they do. In our society, it's only White people in general and White men in particular that often get away with anti-social behaviors. I'm not picking on them. I'm just not giving them a lifetime supply of "freebies," that's all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being there .

j said...

thanks for sharing. it's truly appreciated.

freddie said...

Changeseeker,

you say, "I hold everybody responsible for what they do."

But you write volumes about crimes committed by whites and males. In addition, you write volumes about simple accusations of crimes against white males.

When it comes to crimes committed against whites or males you are silent. Your silence is tantamount to indifference. This is why you are a racist and a sexist.

And this is why when you say, "I hold everybody responsible for what they do." you are telling a filthy lie.

You only care about people with dark skin and females. You are the modern Nazi. You dont like what I say? You are shocked? It is true. Radical leftism is the worst form of bigoty this world has seen since Hitler. You can take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Freddie,
youre so funny!
Crimes against people of color and against females have been silenced for hundred of years and are still silenced today, please don’t mistake 2 cases that are in the media now is all that is there. For every 2 in the media now, means there is thousands that are never acknowledged. Yet you feel it’s necessary to call changeseeker a racist and a sexist because she chooses to speak about it when no one else is. You demean an individual for caring about a set of people that history and policy has said to the world that they are less than. Your ignorance is astonishing.

The issues that she speaks of are of a particular people who are discriminated against. White males have never (not now, nor historically speaking) have ever been in this position. People of color today are left with no historical inheritance that has value or power today. But white males do. Your refusal to acknowledge the collective nature of oppression that is imposed on blacks will lead to downfall of this country. I hope you’re ready.

thanks for the laugh freddie...

Freddie said...

"Freddie...Your refusal to acknowledge the collective nature of oppression that is imposed on blacks will lead to downfall of this country.

Somehow, I don't think that I, as a single individual, could do anything to cause the downfall of the country nor do I want to, friend. (can't end a sentence with a preposition).

You greatly overestimate my importance and my influence anonymous (aka Changeseeker). I appreciate the vote of confidence, but it is not deserved.

BTW, it is the collective actions of the extreme radical left that is causing the downfall of this country: the abortionists, the apologists, militant homosexuals, the pacifists, the leftist-controlled news media, racist organizations like the NAACP and Rainbow-PUSH and sexist organizations like NOW. You can take that to the bank.

Do you thing the legislative judicary would allow the NOM or NAAWP to grow to the size of the analogous organizations? NOPE.

FROM EACH ACCORDING TO HIS ABILITY TO EACH ACCORDING TO HIS NEED.

Never Forget.

IF you want to see modern leftism in action check out:

hillary-for-president.blogspot.com

you will know what I am talking about.

Changeseeker said...

Anonymous 2:18 is his or her own self, Freddie. I shouldn't think you'd have any trouble figuring out that I sign what I say. :-D

Mulciber (aka the whitest cracker) said...

Freddie:

First: YOU ARE MAKING WHITE PEOPLE LOOK BAD.

Secondly: come on Freddie, don't play changeseeker like that, she has responded to EVERY ONE of your attacks, and politely!! (Well, save a few camouflaged low blows)

My point: Changeseeker is a human being!!!

Start treating her like one or I'll start arguing with you just for the sake of disagreeing, ok.

Changeseeker, you had a lot to say in this post.

I can’t judge the conclusions you have drawn from these particular cases, as they don’t necessarily represent the propensity of the data, and I don’t know which dataset you are talking about.

CS: "Europeans created this nation by stealing land from the Native Americans already on it and then making it rich by forcing millions of Africans to work fourteen hour days seven days per week for 250 years--without pay.”

. My first impression of the above is that you intentionally discounted the significance of class divisions as to draw the conclusion that all whites proliferated and profited from African slavery.

Changeseeker; is that incorrect?

CS: “And now White folks--who pat themselves on the back as if they have done something good--conveniently ignore the obvious: that their history has never really stopped.

Well, I agree inasmuch the Civil rights movement of the 20th century was just picking up where reconstruction left off in 1877, the civil rights movement kind of lost effectiveness from 1967 on, so the issue of eradicating the history of Jim Crow is still on the table.

CS: “It continues to crop up like a relentless plague of weeds carrying a poisonous flower. It's indigenous to the culture. And it's going to take more than good intentions--or a couple of high profile legal cases--to get rid of it.”

The sudden replacement of evidence for analogies turns on my radar. My first impression here is that you are trying to say that racism is somehow indeginous to white culture(A term I use grudgingly)

If that was your assertion, why did you make it?