Since Rosa Parks Wasn’t Rosa Parks, Who Was? Irene Bad-Ass Morgan, That’s Who

Over on Pharyngula, a discussion has been started about the propriety of using “accomplice” as a better word to describe the people that we have sometimes described as “allies” when discussing people that are not targeted by a specific form of oppression but nonetheless choose to work against it.

I started to write a comment over there about why I believe accomplice is appropriate, but it ended up becoming a treatise*1 about a woman named Irene Morgan*2. I decided that the thread shouldn’t be cluttered by a comment quite as long as I was writing, but that Morgan deserved better than cutting that treatise short. So I’ve moved it to Pervert Justice as a post for your reading pleasure.

[Read more…]

Don’t Learn About Jasmine Saavedra’s Victim

So some folks in my off-line life have asked me if I’ve watched Jasmine Saavedra’s BRAVE HERO video. I have not. And I’m asking you not to watch it either.

If you’re not aware of this, Saavedra was at a Denny’s, just eating it seems, when someone she decided was trans needed to use the WC. RawStory picks things up from there:

she walked up to the bathroom and claimed that she couldn’t use the ladies room because it was occupied.

“So, that guy is violating my right to use the ladies room here, and he’s saying he’s a lady! Stupid guy,” she said.

Entering the bathroom and filming the scene with her cell phone using a selfie-stick, Saavedra screamed at the woman occupying a stall with the door closed, telling her, “You’re invading my privacy.”

This is terrible behavior. But worse is yet to come:

As the transgender woman walked out the bathroom Saavedra pointed the camera in her face. “Next time use the men’s rooms or nobody rooms,” Saavedra said.

Is that terrible? Yes it is. You know what’s worse? Posting that video on the internet to humiliate an innocent trans person who happens to metabolize food and excrete various biological waste products.

But it gets WORSE.

Saavedra is a primary candidate for the Republican nomination for the US House of Representatives, and this video is intended to humiliate a trans person in order to show off the Brave Heroism of Saavedra to get fucking votes. That’s right, this trans person is being unwillingly used as a campaign prop by Saavedra.

I am all for exposing this completely shitty behavior by Saavedra, but this STILL gets worse. RawStory, who one might think would know better as they tend to lean left, titled their story on this:

WATCH: California GOP candidate stalks and harasses trans woman attempting to use Denny’s ladies’ room

and then included the full video embedded at the bottom of their story.

NO. If a non-public figure is being humiliated publicly by a video, the one thing you don’t do is share the video further. You’re a journalist and have to watch the video in order to do your job writing an accurate story, maybe. Just maybe. Do you really trust yourself to represent that humiliated trans person well? Does the trans community trust you? If the answer to either is no, then writing this story isn’t your job, and don’t bother watching the video. But there will be a few for whom it really is required. I get that. This isn’t directed at you.

For everyone else, including RawStory, when someone doesn’t want to be a public spectacle and someone else selfishly tries to turn that person into one, the barest minimum you can do is NOT WATCH THE FUCKING VIDEO. My friends can’t unwatch the video, but maybe some of you can stop yourselves, and think twice about watching anything similar.

Kevin Jackson Fails History

On Fox News yesterday, host Laura Ingraham brought on two Black guests to respond to Spike Lee’s strong statements attacking Trump as Racist. Media Matters has the video, and a transcript of a small slice of what was said. What they found remarkable was Kevin Jackson’s statement to Leo Terrell, Ingraham’s other guest, that

the Three-Fifths Compromise was essentially what this particular gentleman doesn’t understand was it was to give humanhood to black people. Spike Lee learned that and it was an embarassment to him.

It’s no surprise to any readers here that he’s wrong. But here’s the thing. Quite a number of people don’t understand the 3/5th compromise. Quite a number of you reading this, I’m sure, don’t understand the Three-Fifths Compromise, if by “number” we include “one or possibly two out of both my readers”. One and two are both numbers, right? Okay then. That out of the way, let’s take a look at why Jackson is wrong.

[Read more…]

Hurricane Harvey & The New Normal

There’s a new study up which does something that I hadn’t realized atmospheric physicists had not yet accomplished: equate the energy deposited over land by a hurricane with the energy removed from the ocean by that same hurricane. It seems that one of the reasons that hadn’t yet been done is the need for relatively calm seas in order to get sufficiently accurate measurements of the oceanic heat energy transferred.

That’s always going to be easier in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico than in the open Atlantic, so there aren’t as many storms to try this on as one might think.

[Read more…]

The Genius Excuse

Correction Below.

Since we’re talking about Watson again, I thought I’d recommend a post on BitchMedia about how genius is used as an excuse for sin in the arts (thought the article focuses on film specifically). Despite the seeming differences in the scientific enterprise and the artistic enterprise, the observations in that piece seem quite relevant to how our society treats Michael Shermer, James Watson, and Inder Verma.

Consider this:

Auteur theory, originating in French film criticism, credits the director with being the chief creative force behind a production—that is, the director is the “author.” Given that film, with its expansive casts and crews, is one of the most collaborative art forms ever to have existed, the myth of a singular genius seems exceptionally flawed to begin with. But beyond the history of directors like Terrence Malick, Woody Allen, and many more using their marketable auteur status as a “business model of reflexive adoration,” auteur worship both fosters and excuses a culture of toxic masculinity. The auteur’s time-honored method of “provoking” acting out of women through surprise, fear, and trickery—though male actors have never been immune, either— is inherently abusive. Quentin Tarantino, Lars Von Trier, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and David O. Russell, among others, have been accused of different degrees of this, but the resulting suffering of their muses is imagined by a fawning fanbase as “creative differences,” rather than as misogyny and as uncompromising vision rather than violence.

[Read more…]

You know what’s ruining this country? Talking about racism.

Maxine Waters has been getting praise the last couple of days for her actions in standing against a bill designed to erode consumer protections. The protections in question are designed to make it harder for auto-loan companies to discriminate against people of color in lending terms.

The auto-loan business is unlike, say, the mortgage business where it’s relatively rare for the seller of a home to negotiate the terms of a mortgage taken out by the buyer. In the car business, negotiating the terms of a potential loan is part of the wheeling and dealing that goes into the process of selling the car. It turns out that there’s a lot of data that discrimination in loan terms has been happening even very recently. (This, unfortunately, is actually quite like mortgages where we know from the information that came out after the 2008 housing crash that people of color had been systematically pressed into taking unfavorable loan terms.) Because of this, these regulations have a direct impact on car dealerships themselves who are implicated in creating unfair terms – indeed the closely-connected, but frequently legally-separate loan companies don’t always know anything about the race of the buyer, but the car seller interacting with a buyer face-to-face certainly does. And it’s that seller negotiating the terms. So, of course, car sellers were a primary target of the regulations.

This has not gone down well with car sellers who take great exception to the idea that people of color being routinely charged more interest than white folks should in any way reflect badly on them … or justify intrusive government regulations. Trump, of course, is here to help out those beleaguered racists who desperately want the freedom to change people different interest rates based on race. Thus entered Maxine Waters and her praiseworthy defense of reasonable regulations on the floor of the House.

Not everyone found Waters’ defense praiseworthy, however. Mike Kelly, coincidentally the owner of several car dealerships, did not like Waters’ floor speech one bit. Not that he wanted to disagree with her, of course. He hated being put in a position where he was forced to disagree with her. The truly terrible thing about repealing anti-discrimination protections is that when repealing law whose entire purpose is to prevent discrimination based on race, the repeal’s opponents mention race at all!

“We have seen the economy take off,” Kelly, who also owns three auto dealerships, exclaimed. “I just think that if you come to the floor and there are 60 minutes to debate. 30 minutes on each side. But as I was sitting there, I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers. I said that’s not America. We don’t talk about those things.”

There’s so much to address. I’d love to leave the Jordan Peterson post up longer. I need to follow up on what happened in Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank yesterday. And yet, here I am quoting some asshat white man who thinks the biggest tragedy in repealing a requirement that we not discriminate based on race is that we violate the sacred dictum that in REAL AMERIKKKA we shouldn’t ever talk about race.

Fuck Trump’s America.

 

Cops vs Volunteers: Race Has Nothing To Do With It, Of Course

I found yet another example of police officers abusing their powers in order to indulge their prejudices over on RawStory. While I’m sure that university sororities have done plenty of good things (heck, even fraternities, I’m sure, have done plenty of good things) there is so much awfulness in Greek life that one could reasonably (though erroneously) suppose that I’m resolutely against sororities and all they stand for.

While that’s not true, one has to wonder about this cop from the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol:

As a part of the adopt a highway program, members of Sigma Gamma Rho were picking up trash alongside Highway 83 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, when a cop accused them of fighting each other, according to COED News.

Throughout the conversation the officer contradicted himself, according to Sigma Gamma Rho member Shawna Naomi.

Originally the officer said: “I’ve never seen anyone out here cleaning and I’m responding to a call.” Later it was revealed the cop “called in” the report himself.

After the women explained to the officer why they were cleaning the highways even pointing to the “adopt a highway sign” with their sorority name on it the cop still asked to see their IDs.

There’s a picture of the women out doing the work and enjoying themselves. At least a couple are wearing jackets or sweaters with big greek letters on them making their sorority affiliation entirely obvious. So when they were pointing to that equally-obvious official green sign declaring that their sorority has volunteered to clean up that stretch of highway, it wasn’t as if their affiliation was in any way in doubt.

Of course, the PSHP is sure to release a statement at any moment that this had nothing to do with race. So one has to ask: is it the PSHP that is resolutely opposed to sororities and everything they stand for?

Just asking questions!

 

 

 

 

 

Jeffress in Jerusalem: Hyperbole is Insufficient

So, let me start by saying that I am conflicted and don’t know where I want this post to go: I’m just going to write a bit and explore what comes up.

Robert Jeffress, a man of truly horrible behavior, is a right-wing pastor that does not believe in freedom of religion. Today he gave a christian prayer as the celebrated invocation at the opening of the new US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. He has also repeatedly insisted that all faithful Jews are going to hell. Now while he’s also condemned just about everyone else to hell, I want to focus on his antipathy towards Judaism for a moment.

[Read more…]