So I just wrote about the roots of École Polytechnique and how responsibility for such a crime is widely shared. But I thought I would tack on a few stories that I noticed today that I feel are particularly noticeable on this day of all days. I only have two in mind right now, but I’ll add to the list over the course of the day as I notice other stories.
First: Uber acknowledges 3,000+ sexual assaults (including more than 250 rapes) that occurred over 2018 between driver and passenger – though it’s important to note that both drivers and passengers are included in the victims. This isn’t merely predatory drivers, but also predatory passengers. In fact, the predators are pretty evenly split between the two categories with drivers making up 55% of suspected assailants and riders making up 45% (Uber, p. 18). Though we can and should take note of this, it’s also good to note that the most common of the 5 categories of assault tracked occurred only once in every 800,000 completed trips. Since multiple assaults can happen in a single ride (e.g. its hard to imagine a rape being completed without other assaults being committed alongside), we’re not clear on the exact risk per trip, but it is fairly low in relative terms. If you don’t want to read the report, you can search your favorite media outlet or just click here for NPR’s take on the report. [Full disclosure: the report also includes information about other threats to safety, like ordinary vehicular accidents.)
Second: Propublica has a new report on maternal mortality in Texas. It is, of course, awful. They published a similar report on Black maternal mortality a single day after the 28th anniversary of École Polytechnique. Almost exactly two years later and its hard to see things getting better.
Third: A white man felt enough entitlement to run for Susan Collins’ senate seat in Maine despite two previous (but simultaneous, arising from the same evening of misbehavior) convictions for violent assaults on others. Sadly, he didn’t make any headway, the poor thing. But he did manage, despite his failure, to muster up enough entitlement to engage in violent assault again. In the first case he was charged with an assault on his then partner, reported to be a woman, and also several others. In the current case, he has been charged only with assaulting his current partner, also reported to be a woman. Imagine that!