Why Lynch Mob is Overused … and Underused

Content note for All The Racism, including graphic photos; witch hunt links contain All The Sexism.

A while back I wrote on Pharyngula about losing my patience with the phrase “witch hunt”. Witch hunts were real things, actively targeting real people for death. They weren’t “partisan”. They didn’t seek actual lawbreakers out in both Massachusetts and the Carolinas, but more aggressively sought out Republican lawbreakers in Massachusetts and more aggressively sought out Democratic lawbreakers in South Carolina. They didn’t take actual evidence and hype it more than it deserved: actual evidence did not exist. What was used as evidence came solely from the prosecutorial imagination.

Worse, witch hunts still take place today, and Christian denominations still encourage them.*1 While I don’t know of any recent witch hunts in the US or Canada, I’m more than happy to condemn this trivializing use of “witch hunt”.

All of which to say that I have been even more offended for even longer at hearing the misuse of “lynch,” “lynching” and “lynch mob”.

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Anti-Trans Texas: What They Didn’t Learn From North Carolina

Yet more anti-trans bathroom bills are now considered reasonable bets to become law, this time in Texas. Gov Greg Abbott has made a public declaration of support for (further) weaponizing bathrooms through state legislation. Two bills that had this potential have been kicking around Austin’s statehouse for the last few weeks, but the public support has not gone unnoticed.

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Where Are You From?

They say the US is a nation of immigrants, but I find the number of people born outside Canada who currently live in Canada and who make their way into my social circle to be much higher than the persons born outside the US who made it into my social circle while I was in the US. It’s anecdotal, of course, but “Where are you from?” seems to be somewhat less stigmatizing, somewhat less othering than in the US.

Not that it’s not stigmatizing. Not that it’s not othering. Just… 21% less. Like the Canadian dollar, eh?

On the other hand, because so many people are immigrants, the question seems to get asked even more up here. So I wonder if this cartoon from the Nib illustrates a problem that is less hurtful overall. I’m not sure it’s even answerable, but if anyone can stop the racist villains who persistently other the people I like and love and just kinda know, it’s for damn sure the Yellow Power Ranger. Don’t believe me? Then take it from Shing Yin Khor:

 

Go read the rest of Shing Yin Khor’s cartoon at the Nib. It’s sooooo worth it.

Mary Wollstonecraft: Freak

Bear with me a moment: despite the background, this is really all for your amusement. Or mine, anyway.

I am in the process of re-reading some Wollstonecraft and I came across something that I did not remember, something of which I obviously took no special note the last time I read her. In the midst of explaining her opposition to any and all standing armies (You go, Wollstonecraft!) she explains that in such a heavily regulated and even dictatorial environment, those who know in advance that they are destined for promotion have no reason to behave well, and even little to study their military craft. While only some, blessed by family title or fortunate connections, will be corrupted by the idle time and the lack of incentives that results when one’s promotions are automatic, she argues that others are corrupted too.

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This Is What Fascist Policing Looks Like: Sacramento

In a story receiving ongoing coverage on the blogs Systemic Failure and PINAC, a man was beaten, and beaten severely and viciously, for…

…well, it’s hard to tell if there was anything significantly influential in the lead up to the officer’s decision to beat the man named Nandi Cain. Well, anything that influenced the decision other than Cain’s Blackness.

As always, there’s a narrative here. Cain crossed the street at a neighborhood, uncontrolled intersection. The cop wanted to bust him for jaywalking. Cain acted submissively while the cop acted aggressively. However, Cain did not obey the precise instructions given by the cop. He took off his coat though the cop had not asked him to do so, and he also backed up a few steps as the cop moved on him. This backing up happened at least twice, though during it Cain kept his hands in the air as instructed.  [Read more…]

Hold My Beer: It’s greatly to his credit…

In my last post, I mentioned (inter alia) that the Physiocrats gave us the phrase “Laissez Faire Economics” through their policy guiding advice against regulations of the trade in grains, flours & breads that were intended to stop hunger. Despite riots in the spring of 1774 and again, more notably, in the spring of 1775*1 (the latter of which*2 were both serious enough and of such obvious focus and origin that they were named Les Guerres des Farines), the Physiocrats argued against regulations and social services that would prevent flour shortages and, as a last resort, simply pass out food to the people when shortages did occur. An individualist capitalist analysis made the authors sure that the wealth of the nation – the wealth of the king – would be increased if only the government could see fit to scrap regulations of the agriculture trade and harden their hearts to the temporary consequences of their wealth-building policies. The Physiocrats didn’t want their gloriously perfect economic regime to be destroyed by such human failings as pity or empathy. Riots? Pshaw. “Laissez faire, laissez passer” they told the King’s government: “let them happen, let them pass by”.

Stabilization: bad. Unbridled self-interest: good.

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When do we take them at their word?

 

Sean Spicer:

I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing … there was not in the — he brought them into the Holocaust center, I understand that, but I’m saying in that the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down, to innocent, into the middle of towns, it was brought, the use of it,

Steve King:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

Emphasis mine.

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For Your Enjoyment: Oops, He Did It Again

And I thought it was mere cynical humor. I’ve been tipped off about another PZ Myers prediction, this one even more specific. In his 2013 post, “Some people are born for twitter,” PZ says:

[S]ometimes [Twitter is] a good way to reveal the idiocy of bubble-headed celebrities. Case in point: Donald Trump.

You know where this is going.  [Read more…]

Thou Shalt Not Remember Rape #1: Japan to Korea

I originally titled this post, “Japan to Korea: Thou Shalt Not Remember Rape”. I quickly realized, however, that the command not to remember rape is so common that over the course of this blog, I’m likely to have quite a few more posts referencing the command than referencing Japan’s government talking to Korea’s government. Moreover, writing the headline as if the important bit were the identities “Japan” and “Korea” only feeds into Japan’s odious framing that governments’ speaking to each other is much more valuable than the ability of humans to remember our own experiences generally and our rapes specifically. Newspaper-headline conventions be damned, then.

This post comes about courtesy of a wonderful website, Hyperallergic, to which our own Caine, writing the wonderful blog Affinity, just introduced me.

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Pretty Pervert: Give Headers

Would you like to pretty up Pervert Justice? I’ve neither the skills nor the time to learn the skills needed to come up with a pretty graphic header. Anyone that does have those skills and would enjoy spending the time creating such a header will get a permanent endorsement in the sidebar here at Pervert Justice, but unfortunately no immediate funds. The FtB theme recommends a header size of 728 × 120 pixels. Headers that use only the blog title as well as headers that use the blog title + “Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist Fucktoy of Death & Her Handmaiden” will be considered.

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