Beemer’s Rants: White People: STFU.

I keep seeing white people express shock at John Derbyshire’s blatantly racist “article.” Like, they know that there are a bunch of racist white people out there, but ohmigoodness, they can’t believe he just out and said it! No dog whistles! Shock! How can this be?

For fucking real, people?

Did you really think that racism was over? Did you really think that you’ve been such good allies, calling out racism everywhere, every time, that these people were shamed into the closet?

Give me a fucking break.

Look. I’m white. And I cannot tell you, how many fucking times that other white people, whether or not they know me, have felt perfectly comfortable making a racist comment, going off on a tangent even, saying the most vile, disgusting things to me about people of color.

This ain’t rare. Blatant racism of the Derbyshire-variety happens every day, everywhere. Don’t you fucking dare pretend that it doesn’t.

So. Shut the fuck up about how shocking this is. Get off your fucking fainting couch and call out racism, blatant or covert, wherever-the-fuck you see it.

Edit: And go read Renee’s post.

An Observation on Zimmerman’s Defenders

Trayvon Martin had an empty baggie with weed particles at school, and he spray painted a couple of walls.

George Zimmerman has a domestic violence charge, a charge for resisting arrest, and a charge for resisting arrest with violence (assault on a cop).

Tell me, why is Trayvon the do-no-gooder here, and Zimmerman isn’t?

 

Racism.

The same people who were condemning Occupiers for civil disobedience, i.e. with no violence involved, are the same people deliberately ignoring Zimmerman’s history of violence. Or playing the “no conviction” card. The same people are also ignoring that Trayvon was not arrested for possessing this empty baggie, but are so busy condemning him with a plethora of racially charged dog whistle terms.

Growing Up Black in America

Melissa Harris-Perry talks to a few black teenagers on their experiences growing up black in the U.S. and their reactions to Trayvon Martin’s murder.

Growing Up Black in America

This is about so much more than just hoodies and baggy pants. Clothes aren’t the problem here. Racism is the problem. Clothes are meaningless. Or, rather, they should be. In a racist world, the “right” clothes can be the difference between life and death for black men in America. And that is not their fault if they choose to wear clothes tagged by racists as threatening. It’s our fault–White America’s fault.

It’s not even the clothes. Are young white men that wear the same fashions targets for suspicion, questioning, and violence? Nope. The clothes are a scapegoat. It’s all racism.

DOJ to Investigate Trayvon Martin’s Murder

I’m so glad to hear this. Racism is rampant in the Sanford Police Department–and I’d no more trust them to lead an investigation–should they deign to do so–than I could lift my Honda over my head.

My heart breaks for Trayvon’s family, and especially for Trayvon.

From the Miami Herald:

“Zimmerman said he had stepped out of his truck to check the name of the street he was on when Trayvon attacked him from behind as he walked back to his truck, police said. He said he feared for his life and fired the semiautomatic handgun he was licensed to carry because he feared for his life.”

Right. Mr. Vigilante-Wannabe had no idea where he was. Ironic, considering the previous paragraph:

“George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watch volunteer with a long history of calling in everything from open garage doors to “suspicious characters,” called police to say he had spotted someone who looked drugged, was walking too slowly in the rain, and appeared to be looking at people’s houses. Zimmerman sounded alarmed because the stranger had his hand in his waistband and held something in his other hand.”

How utterly disgusting.

Mix Racism, Classism, and Vigilantism and Get the “Ho Patrol.”

There is so much utter FAIL about this story I’m not sure where to begin.

These women reference the recession and the resultant budget cuts as the reason why their local police force has been cut, but they utterly fail to recognize that the woman they’re so intent on persecuting are suffering from the recession as well.

Desperate times call for desperate measures–and when millions are unable to find jobs–sex work is one thing many women turn to, to provide for themselves and their families.

Instead, these nosy vigilantes believe that the recession is the only reason they’re not in jail, rather than the recession being what put these women on the street in the first place.

Rather than handing out condoms, pamphlets from local centers that offer job assistance, low-cost health care, rather than founding a group for local women to pull together resources and do something, rather than anything else, they choose the Ho Patrol.

I wonder if they realize the influx of sex workers being arrested will take even more from their city’s coffers?

Or that legalizing prostitution would not only get the women off the street, but function as another source of revenue for the city?

Of course, because this is the blogosphere, the obvious must always be stated: by all means, call the police when violence occurs. I’m not defending violence, or railing against self-defense. But I’m not talking about the violence. They’re not really, either–they don’t fancy themselves “the assault patrol.” Rather, they center their focus on sex work, and the people who engage in it. Ergo, that is the centerpiece of this post.

Take this quote:

“But sometimes confrontations between the Watch Owls and the prostitutes get dicey. One prostitute, who asked not to be named, told ABC News that she had already made $200 the night we spoke to her and wanted to make more that night. She added that other women on the street are not pleased with the Watch Owls’ efforts.”

How, exactly, is it “dicey” that the women are not pleased that these busybodies are snapping photos and following them around? For one, this is piss poor writing. This paragraph makes no sense. But it is obvious what the writer is attempting to do: frame the sex workers as threatening figures, and the “ho patrol” as not only do-gooders, but do-gooders that are under attack.

Take this quote, thrown in as an aside:

“To date, there have been no violent confrontations. In fact, the Watch Owls said they have tried to connect hookers with social assistance programs.”

“In fact.” In fact, the nosy neighbors, after stalking women, they tried to play White Knight! I’m assuming that they failed, since the writer says they “tried” to help, rather than “they did and do help.” But their “help” was rejected. Gee, I wonder why?

The photo gallery on this article just makes me sick. It shows, among other things, their “proof” and their “techniques” for “repelling” prostitutes. Their “proof” which are photos, consist mostly of photographs of women of color dressed up and walking down the street. Because WOC in sexy clothing have to be sex workers, right?

These do-gooders pour cooking grease around their homes to “repel” sex workers. Like they’re fucking pests, rather than human beings.

And really, COOKING GREASE?! What the ever-loving FUCK?!

The racism and dehumanization of poor women of color and sex workers is just disgusting.

*note: The article I took the quotes from has disappeared. Here is that link, and here is the search results that pop up when I looked for it. It is the first result that shows up in the search. I apologize for any confusion.

Youtube: On France’s Burka Ban

I have a new video up at Bookish Beemer’s YouTube channel, and this time, I make my arguments against France’s proposed ban on the niquab, burka, and other face coverings. I had to split it into two uploads, so I’m sorry for any inconvenience that might cause. The vids are after the jump!

Read more of this post

Slut Shaming

Chloe Angyal wrote a piece for the Christian Science Monitor about slut shaming. I’m glad to see this piece on CSM. It’s a very succinct, well written article. It uses an episode of the ABC show What Would You Do show as a lead-in. The show hid cameras in a diner, and filmed patron’s reactions when women, actresses, were abused by their assumed-boyfriends, actors.

Not surprisingly, the patrons defended the women and confronted the boyfriends when the women were modestly dressed, though they were slower to react when the actors were POC, which is a big issue, all in itself. However, when the women wore low-cut dresses, the patrons did nothing. Two even speculated that the women were prostitutes, and when later interviewed, offered that as the reason they did not intervene.

One of the actresses asked, “What difference should it make if she were a prostitute?”

What, indeed.

Women’s clothing is coded socially. Revealing clothing indicates a woman’s sexual status in our culture. Low-cut tops and short dresses or shorts are given meaning, namely, that a woman is sexually active and available. Clothing is of course neutral, nothing about them tells us anything save their fashion choices. But people take intellectual shortcuts in judging people, and clothing is one of those shortcuts used. It’s wrong, of course, and it hurts a lot of women.

Race is another social shortcut. POC women are hyper-sexualized in our culture. Chloe’s article was a good one, but she left out this aspect, and it needs to be addressed. Racist “cultural” indicators of sexuality are part of our society, and they shouldn’t be. Race is intellectually neutral, yet we attach meaning to it. Men of color are violent, criminals. Women of color are extremely sexual, aggressive, bad mothers.

Slut shaming is not complicated, but it is intertwined with sexism, racism, and a whole slew of other isms. Once you examine it, it’s easy to see. Exposing slut shaming in a popular newspaper, and breaking it down for those not familiar with these facts are key to educating, and then eradicating it.

A lot of people are afraid of the f-word, or rather intimidated by it, convinced by all the man-hating, shrew propaganda that’s been perpetrated for years. Blogs are not yet seen as valid sources by many. But a piece in a large newspaper? A good piece to refer friends and loved ones to when trying to talk to them about this issue. We’re trying to change the world–by activism. And talking to people, educating them, is a big part of that.