Author: has written 5271 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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150 Responses

  1. CloudAtlas
    CloudAtlas March 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    What do you think about this post by Suzie on echidne? She started off making a good point about how the victimization of women are too often ignored, but seems to veer into blaming-the-victim category when talking about Martin’s case.

    http://echidneofthesnakes.blogspot.com/

  2. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune March 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |

    Word and word. Thank you so much for this post.

  3. Donna L
    Donna L March 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |

    I think the post by Suzie is a racist piece of crap. Based in part on an alleged “thuggish” photo of Trayvon Martin that even Michelle Malkin admitted wasn’t genuine and apologized for posting. Does Suzie admit it when called on it in the comments? Nope.

    Not that the egregious victim-blaming would have been justified even if the photo were genuine.

    I never heard of Suzie before, and don’t plan to learn more.

  4. CloudAtlas
    CloudAtlas March 28, 2012 at 11:55 am |

    Jill, is she usually like this? I only came across her post because I have echidne on my RSS feed, and this is NOT what I associate with that blog.

  5. E
    E March 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |

    Thank you for writing this. My husband is a high school teacher and it was important to him to advocate for Trayvon Martin because he strongly feels it could have been any of his students. One thing he told me that really made an impact is that all teenagers try to act more adult but they are really just scared kids when all is said and done. He teaches kids that get in trouble at school for way worse than the stuff Trayvon is being accused of. None of them deserve to die for it.

  6. Alison
    Alison March 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    This isn’t the first repugnant crap Echidne has allowed on her blog. IIRC (and I can’t remember exactly when this occurred) that dude McCarthy wrote some nasty victim-blaming crap there, too. So maybe she herself is just peachy keen, but if you continue to host/allow awfulness on your site…I’m gonna side-eye you as well as those writing it.

    On topic: This has been really enraging me to, all this dredging up of every possible tiny little thing Trayvon said or did that wasn’t perfect. I keep wanting to ask these assholes if they really think the punishment for using bad words, possibly smoking pot, and maybe having stolen candy should be the damn death penalty. It’s just so depressing that they are DESPERATE to find ways to make this poor kid’s murder okay. They are that hateful and bigoted, that they spend all this time and energy on excusing his murder, on making it acceptable and proper. It’s monstrous :(

  7. Mxe354
    Mxe354 March 28, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

    New details deepen Trayvon Martin controversy

    Cool, details that “deepen” a “controversy” that is really quite simple: a dipshit shot a teenager to death for no good reason. That’s called murder, folks! I’m not sure where the “controversy” is here, besides the possibility that the perpetrator is most likely racist and hence actually committed a hate crime. I’m sure that makes the case so much more confusing!

    It’s truly disgusting how some people are so keen on justifying inhuman acts like this. I know I can’t adequately express my anger through text, but I’m just really sick of this shit.

  8. Alison
    Alison March 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

    (Gah, typo! “too”, not “to”.)

  9. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers March 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

    Echidne is problematic. I really like *her* writing, but I had to ragequit her blog because she was doing nothing whatsoever to moderate a regular commenter who was producing the most nasty transphobic comments you can imagine (said regular poster was also regularly calling for women to abort all male fetuses, and arguing that women would never be treated as full human beings as long as males even exist… and then arguing that women who were offended by this shit were “funfeminists”).

    I was never a big fan of any of Echidne’s regular guest bloggers, Suzie being one of them, but mostly because their writing wasn’t really that interesting, not because I saw them write racist bullshit like this. I’m actually kind of surprised Echidne allowed this, but given how loud Suzie was during the presidential campaign about her offense that any feminist would prefer to vote for Obama than Clinton, I’m not completely shocked.

  10. Beauzeaux
    Beauzeaux March 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

    Please be consistent in how you refer to people. If you call the white man by his last name, call the black man by his last name.

    Women and blacks are referred to by their first names in news stories much of the time. Before the civil rights movement, whites always called blacks by their first names — never Mr. or Mrs. or Miss.
    It was just another irksome part of Jim Crow.
    Calling some people by their first names is infantilizing. If there’s an actual reason for doing so, I’d like to know.

  11. Alison
    Alison March 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

    I can’t speak for Jill’s reasoning, but I do know that quite often in newspapers, magazines, etc, minors – which Trayvon was – are often referred to by their first names, while legal adults are referred to by last name.

  12. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage March 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

    @12

    You mean “shooter” and “victim”, right? Because we’re not talking about two people who got in a dustup and survived. One person stalked another through a neighbourhood where the victim was visiting family, got in a fight with him, and shot him. There is uncertainty about the precise sequence of events between Zimmerman’s last call to 911, Martin’s phone conversation with his girlfriend, a moment during the fight when one witness claims to have seen Martin on top of Zimmerman, and the shot, but there is no uncertainty about who is alive, who is dead, and how those individuals came to interact with each other.

  13. debbie
    debbie March 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    That piece at Echidne’s is awful. I wanted to leave a comment, but comments don’t show up for me in safari or firefox.

  14. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    I have to admit, my bias was nearly instantaneous when I heard about the killing of Trayvon Martin. My nephew is his age and the “evidence” they have managed to dredge up just makes the comparison more striking, and oh the hell on earth that would be wrought if anyone shot my nephew in cold blood because he was walking home. I don’t think I’ll ever think of Zimmerman as anything but a murderer of a kid.

  15. mary
    mary March 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

    It’s an outrageous double standard. Zimmerman has an actual violent felony on his record – assaulting a police officer – as well as domestic violence. Even if Martin committed all the offenses they say he did, they are all nonviolent!! To say that Martin’s “crimes” make him more threatening than Zimmerman is pure racist nonsense.

    Also, I have been following this story but I somehow missed that Zimmerman once called 911 on a seven-year-old. Dear God.

  16. Adaquinn
    Adaquinn March 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |

    Yes, obviously it’s a huge boost to Zimmerman’s case because his victim wasn’t a saint. This makes me just as mad as when they bring up a woman’s past during a rape case. “She been known to drink” some how translates to “She deserved to be raped” Now “He was late to class” somehow makes him a thug that was up to know good. It’s just an example of marginalizing the victimization of those of us who are not white, rich and male.

    Beauzeaux, I’m not sure what you meant by this

    Calling some people by their first names is infantilizing. If there’s an actual reason for doing so, I’d like to know.

    The only people I know that don’t call one another by their first name are people who wear uniforms to work. Usually first names are used and I can’t see how that would be infantilizing anyone. Actually I think that would humanize the victim.

  17. Echidne
    Echidne March 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm |

    Oh dear. I’ve been down with a bad case of migraine…

  18. curiouscliche
    curiouscliche March 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |

    Isn’t Martin’s supposedly illicit (but really ordinary) conduct doubly irrelevant as a legal matter? Like, not only is it irrelevant because it doesn’t establish a reputation for violence, but in a self-defense case, isn’t such evidence inadmissible if the defendant (Zimmerman) didn’t actually have knowledge of the victim’s reputation, even if the evidence relates to violence? So basically, by leaking all this BS, the Sanford PD is trying to taint the jury pool by releasing information that they’d never be able to bring up in a trial.

    Anyway, you’re a lawyer, and I’m not, yet, so I defer to your knowledge.

  19. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen March 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |

    Egads, the authorities found on Trayvon Martin an empty bag that may have once contained marijuana! All these “revelations” and outright lies the far-right keeps pushing serve only one purpose — to justify an innocent teenager’s murder, by implying he wasn’t “innocent” enough to live.

    Meanwhile in Texas, we have this gem about “coloured” boys: http://campusprogress.org/articles/u._texas_newspaper_publishes_racist_trayvon_martin_cartoon/

  20. LC
    LC March 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    One thing I’ve heard from a few people now (Suzie mentions it in the piece as well) that I haven’t had a chance to track down is the idea that the narrative about the police dragging its heels and not investigating/covering up for Zimmerman may be wrong.

    i.e.
    – Arresting him at the site would not be standard procedure in general.
    – Normal turnover time to make an arrest/forward it to the prosecutors is 2-3 weeks, and things actually did happen in that time frame.

    Stuff like that. I recall the early narrative was they drug tested Martin, but not Zimmerman, they just let the shooter go without questioning, etc., but it could well be those were rumours with no basis in fact.

    Does anyone have good info on that part of it? A lot of the early outrage was not just the shooting itself but also what appeared to be the egregious dereliction of duty by the police force. Separate from the attempt to make Martin out to be a thug, is there anything to the argument that the police were in fact doing their job properly?

  21. Kate
    Kate March 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |

    Thank you for posting this reaction. I’ve spent the last several days discussing this story via facebook with a “friend” who is basically a massive racist and often makes disparaging comments about people of color on his facebook page. (A friend from high school who I wish I had never reconnected with) He is completely convinced that George Zimmerman shot down Trayvon Martin out of self-defense and that this story is only being given media time because of “reverse racism” (i.e. if the races had been reversed between these two men, it would not be politically correct to report on it). When the claims by Zimmerman that Martin attacked first surfaced yesterday accompanied by Martin’s disciplinary problems, he noted this to me via facebook with a smiley face (something I chewed him out for) as if this was proof that the shooting of Martin was completely justified. I don’t understand how anyone cannot see that truancy, graffiti, and smoking pot pale in comparison to the resisting arrest, battery, and domestic violence history of Zimmerman. When I first read the headline for this story, I knew something was off. Neighborhood watchmen are not law enforcement. They shouldn’t be pursuing or shooting anyone. Their job is to watch and call 911 when they see suspicious activity. The fact that Zimmerman was not a member of a registered Neighborhood Watch program and that he called 911 46 times to report black youth, children playing in the street, and his landlord trying to collect rent while the house was in foreclosure (which from what I gather is legal as long as the landlord is still the legal owner of the property) should have raised a red flag with someone long before Trayvon Martin was killed. My heart breaks for Martin and his family.

  22. JetGirl
    JetGirl March 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    Former newspaper editor here — and I second Alison. AP style says minors should be called by their first names, adults by their last names.
    I can’t say I agree with it, though. Better to use first names only if you are quoting several people with the same last name in the story.

  23. Tim
    Tim March 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm |

    Suzie’s post on Echidne and all the comments appears to have been taken down.

    @LC #21 There’s obviously no way to prove it, but I have not the slightest doubt that had it been Martin who shot Zimmerman, he would have been arrested, booked, jailed and his orange-jumpsuited mug shot and his full name ready for the next local TV newscast, juvenile or not. That happens ALL THE TIME to black teenagers. He was close enough to 18 he could have been charged as an adult, and they would have.

  24. Tim
    Tim March 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

    Just looked again; Suzie herself took it down.

  25. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat March 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    I just knew this smear campaign was coming, and I DESPISE it. Why are adults, who all made more than a few exploratory mistakes when they were teens a few short years ago, so ready to believe that all teenagers (especially males, extra-specially black males) are automatically violent delinquents?! Complete logic fail. You fucked up, they’re going to fuck up, it’s just part of GROWING up. Jeebus.

    My first high school principal had this view, and it was pretty damn shitty being treated like a criminal even when I was a straight-A student who meticulously followed every rule. I’d never experienced that treatment before, nor since. (I’m a petite, pasty-white woman. I’m lucky if people take me seriously; no one ever views me as a threat.) I can’t imagine what it must be like to deal with that shit every day.

    I’ve said this several other sites, sorry for the broken record, but I can’t get this thought out of my head. If I was walking down the street and an unfamiliar car started following me, and then someone got out of said car in my vicinity, I would feel threatened and terrified. My dad taught me from childhood what to do in this situation: “Hurt them until they can’t follow you, then get the hell out of there.”

    Martin did that. Zimmerman shot him for it. And people are saying that’s okay. NOT OKAY.

  26. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 March 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

    Zimmerman has an actual violent felony on his record – assaulting a police officer – as well as domestic violence.

    If he has a violent record–especially assaulting an LEO–then he never should have been granted a license to carry a concealed handgun. Moreover, a domestic violence conviction prevents a person from purchasing a handgun in which background checks are required. And I’m pretty sure that type of violent crime will also cause your concealed carry application to be rejected immediately in most states.

  27. The Second Right Wing Assassination of Trayvon Martin

    [...] internalized racism) are in a reflexively defensive mode. The police’s attempt to amplify the usual  challenges of a normal teenager into the criminal record of a maniac by leaking unsourced information  hints at systemic patterns [...]

  28. Sheila
    Sheila March 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

    I just want to thank you for say EXACTLY what I was feeling!

  29. EG
    EG March 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |

    I maintain that Zimmerman is a clear and present danger and should be followed, preferably by some black men and women packing heat.

    I was a teenager once upon a time. I smoked a little dope and drank a whole lot of liquor. Wore motorcycle boots and a motorcycle jacket. Was late to class a lot, and sometimes cut. I liked punk rock. Yet nobody every found me threatening–oh, I forgot. I’m a white woman.

    Poor kid. That’s all I can think. Killed by a racist and now being vilified for being a kid by other racists. As if not being murdered in the street was some kind of special privilege granted only to saints.

    What’s the line from one of the bands I like? They had lots of offensive lyrics, I must admit, but being white Irishmen, nobody in NYC found them threatening. Ah yes: may the judged be their judges when they rot down in hell.

  30. karak
    karak March 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm |

    @Beauzeaux:

    I think you’re right in a sense–using someone’s first name is a very intimate thing to do, and in the wrong context, can be demeaning. And there is a definite history of demeaning black people and women in the media.

    I believe that we are thinking, and referring, to Trayvon Martin in the way as a way to connect with him, to view him as a child (which he was) and someone who deserves to be protected, someone who was wronged, and someone who actually represents us and people we know. The story of Trayvon Martin could be the story of several of my black and brown friends, and I call him Trayvon and I think of him as someone I’d like to be my friend, someone I would have liked to support and care for.

    It somewhat reminds me of the way Matthew Shepard is often referred to as Matthew, in an almost affectionate or kind tone by gay rights activists, as a way to humanize him and fight against making him just some “gay guy” as opposed to “A wonderful, complex human being who was violently murdered”.

    But, intent is not magical, and avoiding the pitfalls of an ugly racist history is a bit more important, so, now that you mention it, I think I will make an effort to refer to him by his full name–Trayvon Martin.

  31. alynn
    alynn March 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm |

    This smear campaign is just designed to make Martin’s life seem less significant by preying on fears/stereotypes associated w/ young black males.

    Truth is that when Zimmerman confronted him in the street, Martin’s entire past is irrelevant, not only because none of those things (if true) do not justify killing, but also because all Zimmerman knew was what he could SEE in those few moments.

    The whole thing is utterly disturbing.

  32. Charlotte
    Charlotte March 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm |

    Suzie removed the post and put up a fake apology. More like a non-apology. I’m hoping Echidne won’t just brush this under the rug. But more on topic- thanks for this post. This really needed to be said.

  33. alynn
    alynn March 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

    CRAP! Accidentally had a double negative in there. Please read it with just 1 negative.

  34. number9
    number9 March 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm |

    The thing that enrages me the most is that it’s the police department leaking these stories. They put no effort into documenting the crime – no photos of Zimmerman’s alleged injuries, no drug test for him – yet they put all this effort into investigating events in the life of a dead kid that have nothing to do with the night in question. And now they are leaking these stories to the press to smear the victim, just to divert attention from their own incompetence. Aren’t the police supposed to protect victims?

    And, also, it’s my understanding that Trayvon was visiting his dad because of this school suspension. Would a white kid have been suspended for an empty baggie of (maybe) weed? For writing on a locker? Probably not. So there’s that school discipline issue again. First his school suspension put him in the path of a racist with a gun and now it’s being used as evidence of his “badness.” I’ve done worse shit than that on school property, but no one so much as threatened to call my parents.

  35. mary
    mary March 28, 2012 at 9:01 pm |

    If he has a violent record–especially assaulting an LEO–then he never should have been granted a license to carry a concealed handgun. Moreover, a domestic violence conviction prevents a person from purchasing a handgun in which background checks are required. And I’m pretty sure that type of violent crime will also cause your concealed carry application to be rejected immediately in most states.

    Reuters articles on Zimmerman’s arrests. They are only arrests, so I perhaps should have been clearer when I said “on his record.” It’s been speculated that Zimmerman benefitted from his father having been a magistrate judge.

    Either way, I think the point remains that painting Trayvon Martin as a “thug” is supremely fucked up given that Zimmerman is the one with the history of violent behavior.

  36. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 March 28, 2012 at 9:09 pm |

    Either way, I think the point remains that painting Trayvon Martin as a “thug” is supremely fucked up given that Zimmerman is the one with the history of violent behavior.

    Agreed.

  37. Sharon
    Sharon March 29, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    Since yesterday various news sources have broadcast the police of Zimmerman’s arrest the night of the murder. Contrary to Zimmerman’s report that Trayvon had attacked and beaten him, the footage shows no injuries. If anything, Zimmerman appears clean and non-chalant. This takes a lot of air out of Zimmerman’s defense claim.

  38. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat March 29, 2012 at 10:35 am |

    A link to the vid Sharon is talking about:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/trayvon-martin-case-exclusive-surveillance-video-george-zimmerman/t/story?id=16022897#.T3OoujEgdM4

    That ain’t a nose that’s been recently punched. That is a nose belonging to a murdering liar.

  39. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat March 29, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    Oops, that’s a link CONTAINING a link to the video. Ever so sorry. Check the bottom left corner of the article to watch. >_<

  40. Sharon
    Sharon March 29, 2012 at 11:08 am |

    Even more damning about Zimmerman’s 911 call history is that he once called on a 7 to 9 year old child per DailyKos.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/25/1077587/-7-to-9-Year-Old-Looked-Suspicious-Enough-to-Zimmerman-to-Call-911

  41. LC
    LC March 29, 2012 at 11:35 am |

    There’s obviously no way to prove it, but I have not the slightest doubt that had it been Martin who shot Zimmerman, he would have been arrested, booked, jailed and his orange-jumpsuited mug shot and his full name ready for the next local TV newscast, juvenile or not. That happens ALL THE TIME to black teenagers. He was close enough to 18 he could have been charged as an adult, and they would have.

    Tim, I don’t disagree. However, with the claim that the SOP is to take this longer time to make the arrest, etc. etc. I would love to see some actual numbers/statements to that effect. I think it is utterly bizarre that a shooting wouldn’t automatically trigger an investigation and questioning of some kind, regardless of the SYG law or the cops’ first impressions, but maybe that’s not true. Maybe they really do just let the person go and then launch an investigation later that becomes public in a week or two. I would find that odd, but if someone can actually point out that that is how it does normally happen then fine.

  42. LC
    LC March 29, 2012 at 11:53 am |

    And ok, following some of those links seems to have answered my questions.
    They did take him in for questioning. The lead investigator said he didn’t believe him, and he should be charged with manslaughter, and the prosecutor said they couldn’t prove it so it wasn’t worthwhile. Then the chief of police said there was no probable cause.

    So there is plenty to be curious about in how the police handled this.

  43. Carol
    Carol March 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

    The racists were already out full force before these “revelations” about Martin were printed. They are already furious any time a black victim of a crime gets any kind of media attention because they are convinced the media doesn’t want to address black people as perpetrators of crimes against white people. They would get mad if the story were that a non-black person killed a black nun.

    Also, that cartoon in the Texas paper? I just finished reading Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63 where this guy travels back to 1958, and when I saw that cartoon I felt like it had just happened to me.

  44. j.
    j. March 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm |

    Not only did Suzie take down the post and put up a fauxpology, but in the comments she’s passive-aggressively portraying herself as the poor put-upon victim. Apparently being disabled, having survived rape and death threats, and having survived cancer give you carte blanche to spew racist tripe. Oh, and she’s waggling her finger at Piny for swearing at her. Fetch Suzie some smelling salts.

  45. Guest
    Guest March 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm |

    j., and now some people who didn’t read the original post are coming in commenting how awful other commenters are being to Suzie, as if Suzie is being bullied for standing up for women. And since she’s deleted the original post, it’s hard to explain to these people that that was not what Suzie was doing. And judging from Suzie’s comments in the fauxpology thread, she still thinks she’s right, and she did not take the post down because she had any second thoughts about what she said in that post, just because of the reactions. What’s more disheartening is how many commenters are defending her, and how many commenters are saying things like, I will always care more about female victims than male victims of any color. Feminism isn’t a zero-sum game. Some of these people sound like Rush Limbaugh’s caricature of feminists.

  46. piny
    piny March 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm |

    i can’t comment over there–the software just keeps saying, what are you thinking? in spanish, which is actually apt.

    she wasn’t defending women, and she wasn’t saying that sexism deserves more attention proportionate to racism. she was giving a whole lot more credence to the stories about potential partial defenses–that is, zimmerman’s uncorroborated assertions that martin swung at him in a desperate attempt to fend off his assailant and killer–than they deserve.

    she’s arguing that maybe zimmerman had a motive that wasn’t incredibly racist. which is bunk for two reasons. one, he’s lying: there’s no evidence that trayvon martin was ever an aggressor, even in lawful self-defense after the initial assault. trayvon martin was stalked and shot.

    two, this scenario about how zimmerman just saw martin as a dangerous character, and was honestly afraid for his life, and honestly felt compelled to defend himself by lethal force…it’s not a defense against racism. that scenario doesn’t really hold up unless you admit that zimmerman was incredibly racist, because he had no reason to see martin as a threat except his racism. otherwise, he probably would have murdered a white person before now.

    it’s absurd, but it’s also really, really offensive, because this isn’t some fun criminal law thought problem. it’s a real story with a real corpse at the end. and who cares what susie thinks, i guess, but there’s no excuse for this crap. there is only one side here. it’s cut and dried.

  47. Admiral_Komack
    Admiral_Komack March 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

    When Geraldo Rivera trotted out his stupidity about Trayvon Martin and the hoodie, the first thing I thought of was the garbage put out about a rape victim, “Look at how she’s dressed; of course she asked for it!”

    George Zimmerman supporters have to dirty Trayvon Martin’s name; it’s the only way to justify the murder.

    Susie’s post was ignorant and racist (I read it before she deleted it) and posters lit her up.

    I may have read some stuff by her in the past; never again.

  48. Tony
    Tony March 30, 2012 at 1:42 am |

    It’s amazing that this even needs to be said. Apparently the people doing this think that the kid having marijuana somehow has some bearing on whether he deserved to die. And they’re a lot more outraged about their perception of the media’s coverage of a dead kid being too sympathetic than the fact that he’s dead. As a result he’s now being victimized a second time by all these people trying to drag his memory through the mud. It’s really mind-blowing.

  49. William
    William March 30, 2012 at 9:43 am |

    i can’t comment over there–the software just keeps saying, what are you thinking? in spanish, which is actually apt.

    Maybe its just my ODD acting up, but you can download Vidalia and set it up to work pretty easily. That’ll get you as many clean IP addresses as you need if they’ve banned you or are filtering your posts, if only to show that its difficult to silence someone on the internet.

  50. matlun
    matlun March 30, 2012 at 12:41 pm |

    It sounds like Trayvon Martin was a pretty average teenager. [...] Sounds pretty much like me and everyone I knew in high school.

    There is no need to exaggerate (most students probably do not have multiple suspensions for vandalism and drugs) – this is all just a distraction anyway. Why should this matter at all?

    Unless you are making the utterly reprehensible argument that he “deserved” to die because of these fairly minor infractions, his history is irrelevant.

  51. tmc
    tmc March 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

    @matlun: Still think that black kids are more criminal than white kids? Because people repeating and believing that lie is exactly why Trayvon Martin is dead.

  52. maggiemay
    maggiemay March 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

    im an assistant teacher @ what is considered a “ghetto” school—and some of the other white teachers constantly complain about the lack of “respect”—never realizing the things they do and say that antagonize the kids—and many times the black teachers are not better—it can be frustrating at times

  53. j.
    j. March 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

    Guest, I read the whole thing. The commenters defending Suzie are also big-time transphobes. Stereotypical second wavers who can recognize no bigotry other than misogyny, and only certain forms of it at that (e.g., it’s ok to slur women who wear make-up, because they’re “colluding with the patriarchy”).

    They’re also crying in the Adrienne Rich thread about how “mean” people here are being about Rich.

    Piny, you did a marvelous job over there. It’s telling that you’re being scolded for having a “potty mouth,” essentially. None of the radfems over there would put up with that kind of tone trolling from a man.

  54. ginmar
    ginmar March 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

    Newsflash: kids are, well, kids. Everything is new to them. They do make mistakes—–like everybody. But the fact is, Zimmerman couldn’t have known anything about Trayvon Martin, and his story is ludicrous on the face of it. It just makes no sense at all. He claims he has all these injuries, and he shot somebody, but the cops should have seized his shoes at the scene and he himself should be covered with blood. But he gets believed. I could go on and on—–the inconsistencies are legion—-but it’s impossible to believe there’s any doubt at all in this case.

  55. matlun
    matlun March 31, 2012 at 12:53 am |

    @matlun: Still think that black kids are more criminal than white kids?

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.
    I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion.

    Actually, what was directly caused by Zimmermans profiling of Trayvon was “only” that he followed him which then seems to have provoked a confrontation and a fist fight. But that far the story is not very remarkable. The sensational parts are what happened after this point in time
    1. Zimmerman ends the fight by pulling out a concealed gun and shooting his opponent dead.
    2. Despite this seemingly unreasonable and disproportionate escalation of violence he is not even arrested.

  56. matlun
    matlun March 31, 2012 at 1:06 am |

    I think why I got a bit annoyed about the first part of the OP was that I felt it at least partly accepted and internalized the “good victim” narrative.

    If victim blamers start arguing about a rape victim that she was provocatively dressed, then it seems a bit misguided to start to argue that she was actually fairly typically dressed for a partying teenager (even if true). Engaging with that part of argument gives it an undeserved validity.

    There is also a tactical issue debate-wise in that you risk being proven wrong. To continue with the above example: If photographic evidence shows that she was indeed more provocatively dressed than most, there will be a general perception that the victim blamers had a point, even though their whole “argument” is a non-argument and an irrelevancy.

  57. William
    William March 31, 2012 at 9:00 am |

    I agree that Trayvon’s history is irrelevant but…

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.

    …what? Really?

    I could demand statistics to back yourself up, but lets just cut to the center, here. Black kids tend to be poorer, get more aggressive police attention, and are less likely to be cut a break than white kids. Black kids are not “more criminal” “statistically speaking,” they are more often punished for normal behaviors. The idea that somehow the statistics back you up when even a basic critical understanding of the broad and well established patterns of racism in our society would tell you that the statistics probably aren’t telling the story makes everything you say suspect. That you wouldn’t have the judgment to keep a thought like that to yourself speaks volumes about just how full your knapsack is.

    Like, for instance, here:

    most students probably do not have multiple suspensions for vandalism and drugs

    No, most students probably do not have multiple suspensions for vandalism and drugs. But, it ain’t that long ago that I was in high school and I work in a high school today. Most students have engaged in vandalism and drug experimentation. Only certain kinds of students have a record for it, though, the kinds of students who are already seen by authority figures as being “more criminal.”

    Why is this relevant here? Because, in essence, the view you’re espousing is the one that got Trayvon shot. Schools payed more attention to him, police likely did, and finally a neighborhood vigilante did because everyone involved in the systems of power which contained this kid saw him as dangerous. Zimmerman was more aggressive and unbalanced than most, but his thinking was hardly unique or even unusual. The only thing that made Zimmerman special was the extremity of his response. Thats all.

    You think Jill was buying into the “good victim” narrative? Take a look at what you’ve bought.

  58. tmc
    tmc March 31, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.
    I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion.

    You fail to see how your disgusting racist bullshit assertion that black kids are more criminal than white kids is relevant to a discussion about a black kid being murdered because some asshole assumed he was a criminal?

    You came into this thread after running like a coward from the last one that you showed your racist ass in, and yeah, I’m gonna call you on it. Because YOU are part of the fucking problem. Your racist ass is contributing to the lies that killed Trayvon Martin RIGHT FUCKING NOW. YOU are putting my child in danger, my husband in danger, MY LIFE in danger with this bullshit.

  59. tmc
    tmc March 31, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    @matlun:

    Kenneth Chamberlain was a 69 year old veteran who was murdered in his own home and his murderer is free because of the lie that black folk are prone to criminality.

    Rekia Boyd was 21 years old and was shot in the head because somebody saw a black person approaching and got so spooked that shooting wildly all around a crowded public space seemed like a reasonable response.

    Ramarley Graham was 18 when he was chased into his bedroom and shot. Aiyana Jones was 7 years old when she was set on fire and then shot in the fucking head.

    For some fucking reason, you don’t think that believing and repeating white supremacist stereotypes has anything to do with the devaluation of black life. For some fucking reason you don’t think that you or your actions or words have anything to do with the situation that we are in today.

    It’s time to wake the fuck up.

  60. Jadey
    Jadey March 31, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact. I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion.

    Hi there. Person very familiar with criminal statistics here. It’s certainly news to me that there’s any statistical evidence that black people are more criminal in a way that is specifically linked with their race as a predictive factor, as opposed to other confounding factors. Mind citing your source?

  61. EG
    EG March 31, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.
    I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion.

    You have got to be fucking kidding me. In a country set up by white people, whose laws are made almost entirely by white people, whose social system has been set up by white people in order to systematically advantage white people, whose priorities in enforcing laws are set by white people, a country whose wealth was/is based on enslaving and disempowering black people, you actually think that statistics on criminality have anything accurate to say about race?

    Bullshit. Racist bullshit, and precisely the kind of racist bullshit Zimmerman used to justify murdering Martin, and that underlies the fact that Zimmerman is now walking around free. The entire point is that seeing Martin as a threat involves accepting that merely being black tells you something about how much of a threat somebody is. It doesn’t. End of story.

  62. matlun
    matlun March 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

    @Jadey: When did I claim that? Race and criminality in this case are strongly correlated. I trust you do not need a cite for that?

  63. matlun
    matlun March 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm |

    @tmc: I did try wading through the ad hominem bullshit to try to find some kind of cogent argument you are making but I was not successful.

    However if you really believe that “black kids are more criminal than white kids” is “racist bullshit”, then you are just denying reality. This is fact – the reason for the over representation is much harder to establish, but the simple fact there is indeed an over representation of Black people among criminals in the US has been noted and debated and should not be news to anyone. If you are seriously denying this and want some source, perhaps you could start with this wiki page.

    Also this:
    You came into this thread after running like a coward from the last one that you showed your racist ass in…

    Seriously, what are you on about?
    If against all expectations you are capable of arguing reasonably I am prepared to respond as long as Jill is interested in having that discussion on this blog.

  64. shfree
    shfree March 31, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.
    I fail to see how this is relevant to the discussion.

    Really?? SERIOUSLY?? I knew a large number of juvenile delinquents when I was in my late teens who were Martin’s name, a whole circle of dudes who would break into cars and steal stereos, let alone a ton of shoplifting, so these weren’t just some small timers. Only one of them was ever caught, none of them was ever seen as suspicious, because they were all WHITE.

  65. shfree
    shfree March 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

    Martin’s AGE, I should say.

  66. shfree
    shfree March 31, 2012 at 7:48 pm |

    Oh, and I have an African American friend who cried each time she found out she was having a boy, because she was so afraid of what would lay ahead of them. One of them turned thirteen this past year, and I worry that she is never going to get a good night’s sleep again.

  67. Jadey
    Jadey March 31, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    @Jadey: When did I claim that? Race and criminality in this case are strongly correlated. I trust you do not need a cite for that?

    Again, waiting for your citation. If it’s so straight-forward, why the evasion?

  68. Jadey
    Jadey March 31, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

    To be perfectly specific, tmc restated your claims as:

    Still think that black kids are more criminal than white kids?

    You did not refute this restatement, leading me to believe that you endorse this. In fact, you said:

    Statistically speaking, that seems to be well established fact.

    At which point I requested a citation as I am completely unfamiliar with such a well-established finding. The language of “black kids are more criminal than white kids” (again, tmc’s wording, but which you did not object to) suggests something inherently criminal about black kids. I am asking you to substantiate this claim.

    You then followed up with:

    Race and criminality in this case are strongly correlated.

    Which I will confess to not being able to adequately interpret. In what case are you referring to specifically? And, having identified more specifically the context to which you were referring, I will again request some level of substantiation.

    [I am not replicating the entire comment exchange for the sake of brevity. I do not believe that any omitted phrases would alter the interpretational context of these statements in any way.]

    (If your retort is something along the lines of “Black people are over-represented in crime statistics” then I feel I must point out that is is an abuse of statistical generalization and logic to assume that disproportionate representation due to myriad factors at multiple levels leads to reasonable assumptions about any given black person in any given situation. The statement “Black children are more criminal than white children” is an absurd thing to endorse.)

    And, you know, + 1,000,000 to EG, William, and tmc.

  69. William
    William March 31, 2012 at 11:20 pm |

    @Jadey: When did I claim that? Race and criminality in this case are strongly correlated. I trust you do not need a cite for that?

    Hay guise! I’m gonna skip a bunch of comments and then avoid a question but stick around so it looks like I’m engaged!

  70. matlun
    matlun April 1, 2012 at 2:36 am |

    @William: Since my responses always seem to take a few hours through the mod queue, do not expect a prompt answer.

    @Jadey: You asked for a cite of “any statistical evidence that black people are more criminal in a way that is specifically linked with their race as a predictive factor, as opposed to other confounding factors.”

    I read this as quite different from my statement (depending on what you mean with “confounding factors”). I did not say that the higher criminality was because of their race. Just that they were more criminal than other ethnic groups.

    Since you said that you were familiar with criminal statistics, I assumed that the black over representation was well known to you.

  71. matlun
    matlun April 1, 2012 at 2:53 am |

    To restate this again:
    Let’s we have a totally random lottery in the US among all black people to select a single person. And we have another random lottery to select a single white person.

    I believe that there is a higher probability that the black person is criminal than there is for the white person.

    I did not even bring this up in the discussion. It was tmc who started it by disputing that this was the case.

  72. Li
    Li April 1, 2012 at 5:25 am |

    Not to be needlessly repetitive, but citation needed.

    Criminality is not the same thing as representation in arrest or prison stats. You’re repeatedly failed to define what you even mean by “criminal”.

  73. tmc
    tmc April 1, 2012 at 5:38 am |

    @tmc: I did try wading through the ad hominem bullshit to try to find some kind of cogent argument you are making but I was not successful.

    This may come as some surprise to you, but I do not engage with white supremacist tropes as if they are valid positions worthy of my consideration. My humanity is not up for debate, ever. When you assert that my people are more criminal than your people, you may as well have just spit on me; and my response is exactly as you would expect from someone who was just spit on by a stranger.

    However if you really believe that “black kids are more criminal than white kids” is “racist bullshit”, then you are just denying reality

    I’m black, asshole. This IS my reality. Don’t fucking try to tell me that you know more about my blackness and what it means than I do. Because apparently you don’t.

    This is fact – the reason for the over representation is much harder to establish, but the simple fact there is indeed an over representation of Black people among criminals in the US has been noted and debated and should not be news to anyone.

    “Blacks are overrepresented in prison” is not the same statement as “Blacks are more criminal.” At all. And I’m not particularly convinced that you’re just misstating and have always meant the former when in that last thread you tried to explain black criminality by basically saying “They don’t misbehave more cuz they’re black, they misbehave more cuz they’re so stressed out from all the racism.”

    I did not even bring this up in the discussion. It was tmc who started it by disputing that this was the case.

    You started it by making racist comments in the students of color thread. You continued it by failing to make any sort of apology or recognition for the hurt and damage that your statements cause. You just didn’t think anyone would remember by the time you came into this one. Too bad, so sad, and fuck off.

  74. tmc
    tmc April 1, 2012 at 6:03 am |

    And you know what else, matlun? Let me admit something. When I asked if you still thought blacks were more criminal than whites, I did not think that you would say yes. Because I thought that you would understand how that view is racist, wrong, and contributed directly to Trayvon’s death, and how completely inappropriate it would be to continue to support that view here. I didn’t think that you would have the audacity to say “Yep, blacks are criminals” in THIS of all places.

    So when you pretty much responded with an “Of course, why wouldn’t I?” that was worse than being spit on by a stranger. It literally took my breath away. I am, like many black folks I know, terrified by the thought that someone is going to murder me or my daughter or my husband or my brother or my parents and that the rest of the country will just kind of shrug because, hey, that’s one less criminal, right?

    Your total lack of empathy (I can’t understand why else anyone would say the shit you have said in this thread or the other one) is a stark reminder to me of just how little so many white people think of me and my family. That shit hurts. And pisses me off. And I have no apology for being angry or directing my anger at you when you have directed so much nastiness at me.

    And asserting your superiority as a white man over me as a black woman (which is what you DO when you say that black folks are more criminal than whites) is nastiness, whether you want to believe it or not.

  75. matlun
    matlun April 1, 2012 at 7:46 am |

    So you all believe that the over representation is 100% due to discrimination in the justice system? Ie that there is no real higher level of criminality among blacks?

    It would be rather remarkable if the justice system was so very discriminatory as to be able to explain that blacks are about 7 times more likely to end up in jail. Do you really believe that of all black people in jail, 6 of 7 would not had been convicted if they were white but all other facts were the same?

    Note that I am talking about the level of crime in our current actual society, not in any ideal utopia. So all the current socio economic and cultural factors are part of this equation.

    If I state that men are more likely than women to commit violent crimes, will I have be accused of misandry?

    Re the request for sources:
    If statistics from the justice system such as arrests or convictions are not enough, what kind of evidence would be considered valid evidence?

    This is a question of fact and not idealogy. Either I am factually correct or not.

    And @tmc: If I think little of you, that has nothing to do with the color of your skin. As to why I “say the shit I do”: I think facts matter. What is actually true as opposed to what would we like to be true.

  76. EG
    EG April 1, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    “Blacks are overrepresented in prison” is not the same statement as “Blacks are more criminal.”

    I cannot add anything to what tmc has said so eloquently and forcefully. I’m just pulling this out because it bears repeating as often as possible. Our criminal justice system is profoundly racist. Overrepresentation in prison does not translate to criminality at all; it translates to a lack of money, connections, and respect from society.

  77. William
    William April 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    I believe that there is a higher probability that the black person is criminal than there is for the white person.

    Define criminal.

    If you mean “has been convicted of a crime” then you’re almost certainly correct statistically but depressingly lacking in critical thought or life experience. You’re also directly contributing to the perceptions that might not have lead to Trayvon’s death, it looks like Zimmerman was unstable and aggressive to begin with, but does directly contribute to the continued abuse and murder of people of color all over the country. Thats your best case scenario, the best way to spin your statement is that you’re the kind of not-so-subtle racist who continues to create an environment of danger in this country through your intellectual sloth and lack of natural curiosity.

    The alternative, is that you think there is something simply more criminal about blacks. Maybe its the mark of cain or something, who knows, who cares, Stormfront is thataway.

    Oh, and as for whinging about the mod cue, be a fucking adult. Its not a conspiracy against you and I can all but promise no one really gives enough of a shit about you to bother with the plotting. People just have lives that don’t involve you. I know that must be disturbing, and such a blow to your ego must feel quite personal, but thats just not the way Feministe’s platform works.

  78. suspect class
    suspect class April 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    “Blacks are overrepresented in prison” is not the same statement as “Blacks are more criminal.”

    I cannot add anything to what tmc has said so eloquently and forcefully. I’m just pulling this out because it bears repeating as often as possible. Our criminal justice system is profoundly racist. Overrepresentation in prison does not translate to criminality at all; it translates to a lack of money, connections, and respect from society.

    Ugh. For real.

  79. suspect class
    suspect class April 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

    bolding fail.

  80. matlun
    matlun April 2, 2012 at 6:10 am |

    For those who protest against the whole concept of believing that there are different criminality rates between different groups: For which groups is it Ok to believe that there are differences?

    Men and women?
    Different nations? (geographical groupings, basically)
    Economic class? (Is poverty a predictor of criminality?)

    What are the criteria for deciding which groupings are acceptable?

  81. tmc
    tmc April 2, 2012 at 11:05 am |

    Why are you wasting everyone’s time by bullshitting?

  82. tmc
    tmc April 2, 2012 at 11:09 am |

    Just saw your post at #77.

    You’re just a straight-up white supremacist. Duly noted and fuck you.

  83. QLH
    QLH April 2, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    Regarding wording in this thread:

    “Black people,” please.

    Not “blacks.”

  84. Li
    Li April 2, 2012 at 11:50 am |

    Dear matlun: define criminality. You keep pretending that you’re merely the bearer of Objective Facts, but you refuse to actually outline any of your metrics, to define any of your terminology or to provide any evidence. I’d say put up or shut up, but really at this point I’d recommend just going with the latter.

  85. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm |

    I think every reasonable person can agree that the MSNBC narrative on this story is a complete fabrication. MSNBC and their ilk have brought this country as close to rioting as we have been since Rodney King – and for what?

    Originally we were told that a white guy ruthlessly mowed down a black teen who was helpless against his white aggressor.

    Now we know that Martin was physically much larger than Zimmerman, and was apparently a proficient amateur fighter who loved boxing and reffed illegal fights at school. We also now know (from the high def video) that Zimmerman was roughed up pretty bad, with large contusions and a gash on the back of his head and a badly busted up nose. He also looks to have black eyes.

    What’s more, there is compelling evidence that Martin recently assaulted a bus driver and may have been involved with burglary or robbery. He also apparently abused codeine, which lends credence to Zimmerman’s observation that Martin appeared strung out.

    There is much more, including the eyewitnesses and police report that corroborate Zimmerman’s side.

    The point of all this is not to say that Martin deserved to be killed. The point is that, in our democracy, prosecutors have the burden of showing beyond any reasonable doubt that the accuses committed a crime. Self defense is thankfully not a crime. Since there is no evidence that Zimmerman gave Martin a legally justifiable reason to start pummeling him, and Martin appears to have been more than able and willing to start a fight, then it would be irresponsible to indict Zimmerman for murder.

    It’s disturbing that people are willing to let their own ideological bias trump basic principles of justice.

  86. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |

    We also now know (from the high def video) that Zimmerman was roughed up pretty bad, with large contusions and a gash on the back of his head and a badly busted up nose. He also looks to have black eyes.

    You’re such a fucking liar. Go fuck yourself. It shows no such thing, and you know it. The latest news story says it shows a “possible” head wound, and also specifically says “the enhanced video does not show any visible injury to Zimmerman’s nose, nor any signs of blood on his shirt.” I watched it myself. No black eyes, no large contusions, no blood, no nothing. As I said, you’re a liar.

    And even if it were true, so what? It changes nothing. (Including the 911 call in which Trayvon Martin screams before he’s shot.)

  87. tmc
    tmc April 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm |

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  88. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

    Uhm, apparently you all have not seen the new uncompressed footage from the police station. What is the cop looking at on his head? What is all that stuff on the back of his head around the :18 – :24 mark?

    And the footage from the front shows a clear large swelling on the right side of his nose. That is not part of normal nose anatomy. And his eye appears very darkened underneath.

    What’s more these injuries correspond exactly to what was in the police report and statements from Zimmerman’s side.

  89. matlun
    matlun April 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm |

    Dear matlun: define criminality. You keep pretending that you’re merely the bearer of Objective Facts, but you refuse to actually outline any of your metrics,…

    With “criminality” of a group here I mean the likelihood of members of this group to violate the law.
    I will certainly admit to using the work a bit fuzzily. Ie should all criminal acts count? Just felonies?

    And as to metrics: Statistics as to convictions and incarcerations are of course an important starting point of the analysis. How the observed differences there should be explained can be debated. Again you might want to consider the previously referenced wiki page.

    There are a number of plausible theories beyond simple police discrimination (and not only with white supremacist proponents), and since the statistical differences are huge it would require enormous discrimination to explain all the difference. And at the same time a lack of discrimination against for example Asians.

    You could also look at statistics on the correlation between high crime areas and the racial profile of the inhabitants. Or perhaps looking at victim testimony of perceived race of offender (google gives US statistics here).

    I asked above: What kind of evidence do you want?

  90. suspect class
    suspect class April 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

    Oh snap. Folks, there’s a wikipedia page on this. Obviously we were too quick to judge.

  91. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |

    It’s disturbing that people are willing to let their own ideological bias trump basic principles of justice.

    Irony FTW

  92. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date April 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

    I asked above: What kind of evidence do you want?

    I’m marking off the “But it’s true!” square on my bingo card.

  93. Jadey
    Jadey April 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |

    matlun, you still do not understand why your use of language attributing criminality directly to black people on the basis of their ethnicity is problematic and not representative of the actual statistics you are referencing. I can only assume that you see your belligerent ignorance as a badge of intellectual integrity. Plenty of people manage to talk about these statistics without falling into essentialist traps, but you are so eager to defend yourself that you fail to comprehend the essence of what you are being criticized on. I think your ideas should continue to be shot down, but I am not interested in having any sort of debate with you personally because I do not believe that you are currently capable of engaging in that dialogue in any meaningful sort of way.

  94. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

    matlun 4.2.2012 at 1:57 pm

    Oh, my gosh…There is so much bullshit here that the smell is burning my nostrils!

    Matlun, anybody can throw some numbers around, but without looking at the social realities of where they are coming from, it means NOTHING.

    Why are Black people, according to you, more likely to violate the law? Is it ingrained in our DNA? Does every Black child get an “Act-a-fool” injection when we’re born? Are we just plain evil? Since you know so damn much about Black people, you tell me. Teach this Black woman about who she is.

    @Sea the Terrier:

    Go fuck yourself.

    That is all.

  95. matlun
    matlun April 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm |

    matlun, you still do not understand why your use of language attributing criminality directly to black people on the basis of their ethnicity is problematic

    If the problem is the actual phrasing and the language as opposed to the content then I am certainly willing to change that. As I have understood the responses above however it was the actual content and belief that was the problem and was labeled as racist.

    What essentialist trap have I fallen into?
    Personally I do not believe that these differences are due to biological factors to any significant degree. (Though causation is much harder to identify than correlation, so I have much less confidence in my position on that point)

    you fail to comprehend the essence of what you are being criticized on.

    This may very well be true.

  96. matlun
    matlun April 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |

    Why are Black people, according to you, more likely to violate the law?

    This is in a way irrelevant to my original statement, and I am actually uncertain as to the answer. However, it seems I should make my position on this explicit.

    My current best guess it that this is due to environment. Current and historical circumstances have caused a social situation where many feel very alienated from mainstream society. The main cause of this is a combination of racism and poverty.

    This situation has bred a high crime environment (which includes gang culture etc)

  97. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

    What the fuck? Everyone here (by everyone, I mean Matlun) does understand that it’s not like race is an actual biological function? There’s no extra “race” chromosome. Race is pretty much culture, and any bullshit proof you manage to find of “black criminality” is so immersed in our racist culture that any study done about it must include nearly every discipline in order to even begin to explain how all over fucked up the world is.

    Does every Black child get an “Act-a-fool” injection when we’re born?

    Pfft, that’s just Ludacris.

  98. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm |

    The fact that nobody seems capable of rationally discussing the evidence I cited, responding instead with personal invectives (“troll” or “fuck yourself”) and hysterical reactions, only proves my point about the witch hunt mentality in this case. You have not pointed to a single bit of evidence suggesting Zimmerman gave Martin a justified reason to attack. You commenters obviously want revenge for perceived racism, not justice based on actual evidence.

  99. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    to any significant degree

    Talk about a loophole! So Black people have only a slight genetic propensity towards criminality? WTF?

  100. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

    Shorter Sea the Terrier: “blah, blah, I’m a racist asshole, blah blah.”

    Not worth my time.

  101. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm |

    Shorter Matlun: “I read about Black people on Wikipedia. That makes me an expert!”

    Matlun, this is not the first time you’ve shown your ass (FYI: Black colloquialism) in regards to racism. It’s not the language that you’re using; it’s your refusal to STFU&L. Our lives are not numbers and statistics. We are real people with real lives.

  102. tmc
    tmc April 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm |

    We are real people with real lives.

    Bingo! The only way that one can argue that saying “black people are more criminal!” is NOT an ad hominem is if one does that not think that black people are human.

  103. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

    Shorter Angel H.:

    “Because you don’t agree with me and want to discuss the actual evidence in the case, you are racist.”

  104. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm |

    @ Sea the Terrier

    Nope, because you say racist things, you’re a racist.

  105. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

    Librarygoose:

    Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. What did I say that was racist?

  106. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

    Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. What did I say that was racist?

    Start with “I” @ 87 and continue on from there.

  107. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    Angel, you are going to have a rough time in this world if you continue with your “people who disagree with my take are racist” attitude. I know this place can be an echo chamber to the point you get a little lazy in your thinking, but even here merely asserting something enough times does not make it so. Reasonable people outside of the echo chamber require rational and specific explanations for bold proclamations such as “you are racist.” Just sayin’.

  108. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm |

    Angel, you are going to have a rough time in this world if you continue with your “people who disagree with my take are racist” attitude.

    What would a Black woman know about racism anyway?

    Reasonable people outside of the echo chamber require rational and specific explanations for bold proclamations such as “you are racist.” Just sayin’.

    It is not my job to teach you about racism. If you weren’t racist troll, you would do your own work. Just sayin’.

  109. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

    @Sea the Terrier

    Everything you’ve said and asserted reeks of privilege. I, for one, don’t give a flying fuck if Trayvon Martin was the leader of the “new black panthers” I’ve heard so much about. I don’t care if he was addicted to porn or whale blow holes. What we do know is that Zimmerman pursued that kid, he fucking followed him, with a gun, and then shot him. They drug tested Trayvon, remember? Did they drug test Zimmerman? No. So fuck right off with your he was addicted so he was obviously wandering around in a drug haze shit. Fuck that and fuck you.

  110. William
    William April 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm |

    With “criminality” of a group here I mean the likelihood of members of this group to violate the law.

    Except…if you actually believe criminality to be contextual and environmental then discrete measures like race are irrelevant and not worth mentioning in relation to criminality because the real causative factors are context and environment. So, you know…your fixation here seems suspect.

    I will certainly admit to using the work a bit fuzzily. Ie should all criminal acts count? Just felonies?

    So you’re defending your use of a word without a strong understanding of either what you meant by the word or what is generally understood by it.

    And as to metrics: Statistics as to convictions and incarcerations are of course an important starting point of the analysis.

    Unless both convictions and incarcerations are heavily influenced by confounding factors. You know, like institutional racism, police presence, prison industrial complex, prohibition, and the systematic disenfranchisement of individuals who have been targeted by such confounding factors.

    How the observed differences there should be explained can be debated.

    Unless you question the importance of those observed differences. To trot out an old stats trope, there is an observable difference between murder rates when ice cream sales are low and murder rates when ice cream sales are high. To somehow decide that we should debate why Ben and Jerry have been more dangerous than Charles Manson is, to put it bluntly, fucking ignorant.

    There are a number of plausible theories beyond simple police discrimination (and not only with white supremacist proponents),

    Such as?

    and since the statistical differences are huge it would require enormous discrimination to explain all the difference.

    How can I ask this nicely? Have you…ever met a black person? Or been to a predominantly black neighborhood in the US? Or lived near one? Or…you know what…no. I’m all for not ascribing to malice what can be explained by ignorance but you’re straining credulity.

    And at the same time a lack of discrimination against for example Asians.

    Fucking really? Because stereotypes, racism, and discrimination are like they are in the movies and if someone hates one group they must hate them all in the same way? Do you have even a passing familiarity with any theories of racial discrimination in the US?

    You could also look at statistics on the correlation between high crime areas and the racial profile of the inhabitants. Or perhaps looking at victim testimony of perceived race of offender (google gives US statistics here).

    You could, but those would have similar problems because thats how confounding variables work.

    I asked above: What kind of evidence do you want?

    You’ve got doctoral level people up thread who deal with these kinds of statistics for a living telling you that you’re misunderstanding the data. A first year student in a stats class could tell you the problems you’re having with correlation and cause. And plenty of people have. Yet here you are, acting the fool.

    If the problem is the actual phrasing and the language as opposed to the content then I am certainly willing to change that. As I have understood the responses above however it was the actual content and belief that was the problem and was labeled as racist.

    I’d wager you’ve discerned correctly. You said, and I quote “if you really believe that ‘black kids are more criminal than white kids’ is ‘racist bullshit’, then you are just denying reality.” You accused people who understand what you’re talking about far better than you of denying reality because you were committed to the idea that black kids are more likely to be criminals than white kids. You did this without critical thought or nuance. Now you’re rolling over and demanding some 101.

    What essentialist trap have I fallen into?

    Hmm…could it have been, I dunno, ascribing criminality to an entire class of persons based upon their race armed with nothing more than a Palin-voter’s grasp of statistics and a determination to argue about something you admit you’re fuzzy on? Coule it be that? Maybe?

    Personally I do not believe that these differences are due to biological factors to any significant degree

    Except that isn’t how you presented your argument at all and, frankly, I suspect even this admission to be an attempt to save face.

    (Though causation is much harder to identify than correlation, so I have much less confidence in my position on that point)

    “Maybe the reason black people are arrested more than white people is environmental but cause is so hard to prove I just have to leave the door open for Them being genetically dangerous. To do otherwise would be unscientific!

    This may very well be true.

    A pity that didn’t stop you from vomiting horseshit all over the place.

    This is in a way irrelevant to my original statement, and I am actually uncertain as to the answer.

    Maybe for you. Still, your initial point is inconsequential next to what you’ve been doing here. Nice attempt to dictate the discourse, though.

    However, it seems I should make my position on this explicit.

    If I didn’t have a cold and could taste anything I’d break out the popcorn for this.

    My current best guess it that this is due to environment.

    Glad you’ve caught up to the mid-twentieth century. To be charitable.

    Current and historical circumstances have caused a social situation where many feel very alienated from mainstream society. The main cause of this is a combination of racism and poverty.

    You’re still clinging to this idea that black people are somehow more criminal rather than more observed, arrested, and convicted. That little piece about feeling “alienated” brings us back to where we started because, ultimately, your change in opinion here here is no different from a biological explanation. It still leaves a significant moral judgement on African Americans in the United States. It still implies malicious intent on the part of black people who are subjected to the criminal justice system more than white people. It still ignores historical circumstances in which white people have been criminalized (Irish and Italian immigrants come to mind, though ultimately that system was both shorter lived and less aggressive).

    This situation has bred a high crime environment (which includes gang culture etc)

    Lets talk about gang culture. Here in Chicago gang culture wasn’t always a black thing, it was a working class and poor thing. All the way into the 70s there was an almost universal gang culture, with desperate kids from different neighborhoods banding together and committing petty crimes. Theres an active community of people to this day who collect memorabilia from those days, like the business cards that various neighborhood gangs had printed up with everyone’s nicknames. Hell, some of the street gangs from that era (like the Conservative Vice Lords) took a page right out of the books of their Italian and Irish predecessors and engaged in a lot of community work in addition to normal organized crime activities. Then crack came, and you had the same kind of increase in violence and aggression that you saw with alcohol prohibition. The most significant differences between black organized crime and white organized crime are that the lucrative alcohol market didn’t exist for as long as the lucrative drug trade has and that increasing acceptance in mainstream white culture has allowed the old Syndicate boys to move into more white collar crimes. The fact that they married into the Mayor’s family, thus reducing the resources focused on their kinds of crimes, all but guaranteed that they’d have a much freer hand than their neighbors in Lawndale.

    Even today, gang culture isn’t really a black thing in Chicago. Sure, there are a lot of predominantly black street gangs in Chicago but there are also a lot of integrated street gangs, Latino street gangs, Asian street gangs. The Italian Syndicate gangs are still involved in some parts of the drug trade. The Outlaws are almost exclusively white and still quite active in a lot of both organized crime and general mayhem. Somehow, though, no one is saying that Italians are more criminal, or the Irish, or the working class whites who make up most of Chicago’s Northwest Side. Nah, our criminals are bad apples. But those black criminals…they’re a trend, right?

    Fucking please.

  111. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

    What we do know is that Zimmerman pursued that kid, he fucking followed him, with a gun, and then shot him. They drug tested Trayvon, remember? Did they drug test Zimmerman? No. So fuck right off with your he was addicted so he was obviously wandering around in a drug haze shit. Fuck that and fuck you.

    Thank you.

  112. igglanova
    igglanova April 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Just how racist do people have to be before a moderator shuts that shit down? I don’t want to be an ass because I know you guys have lives outside Feministe and everything, but it gets incredibly dispiriting and exhausting for people to have to constantly argue for their equality of human dignity. Especially when it comes in the wake of horrendous injustice like Martin’s murder. What the flying fuck, people.

  113. QLH
    QLH April 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm |

    The fact that nobody seems capable of rationally discussing the evidence I cited, responding instead with personal invectives (“troll” or “fuck yourself”) and hysterical reactions, only proves my point about the witch hunt mentality in this case.

    Incapable of rationality. Hysterical. Witch hunt.

    Are you unaware that you’re on a feminist blog?

  114. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 2, 2012 at 6:49 pm |

    Enhanced video footage of George Zimmerman about 30 minutes after he shot Florida teenager Trayvon Martin shows little evidence of a broken nose, the president of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians said today. . . . “All of the ridges in his nose are clearly defined. You would expect significant swelling in the hour or two after a break. There appears to be none. It doesn’t look like his nose was broken or badly broken,” Friedman said.

    It makes me ill to feel that I need to engage with Sea Terrier’s repulsive victim-blaming, but so much for his (I don’t know why, but I assume Sea Terrier is a “he”) medical expertise. With that, I can’t do this anymore. Enough already.

  115. Becky
    Becky April 2, 2012 at 7:19 pm |

    Sea the Terrier – you didn’t present any evidence. You made a bunch of statements with no back up. As far as I can tell your “compelling evidence” that Trayvon Martin assaulted a bus driver is a twitter comment from his brother, and you seemed to have pulled the codeine thing out of your ass because I can’t find that allegation anywhere. If you want to discuss evidence, try presenting some.

  116. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm |

    This isn’t about “victim” blaming. George is a potential criminal defendant. The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

    And it’s begging the question to call Martin the victim. We don’t know what happened that night. There just isn’t good evidence to support the MSNBC narrative here.

  117. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 2, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

    And it’s begging the question to call Martin the victim. We don’t know what happened that night.

    He’s the dead boy who had no gun, so yeah, I’m gonna call him the victim. Trayvon is dead, we know that happened, please just go the fuck away till you’ve thought a bit about what your privilege seems to be blinding you to.

    Incapable of rationality. Hysterical. Witch hunt.

    Are you unaware that you’re on a feminist blog?

    HA, yeah. Wrong crowd for that bullshit.

  118. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm |

    And it’s begging the question to call Martin the victim.

    He’s dead, you idiot.

  119. EG
    EG April 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm |

    The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

    This is indeed the case when he is arrested and on trial. It is the fact that he has not been that is so outrageous. Even then, it’s not relevant to internet discussion; we’re allowed to play the odds. Given that there is a long and strong history of white vigilantes murdering black people with impunity in the US, I know what those odds are.

  120. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable April 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm |

    I love it when people who watch Fox News invoke “echo chamber.”

  121. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 3, 2012 at 12:14 am |

    The codeine claim comes from his leaked Facebook messages. And I don’t see why we shouldn’t trust his brother chastising Martin for swinging on the bus driver… This happened before he was killed. Why would his brother just make that up?

    Anyway, “witch hunt” refers to anti-woman violence perpetrated out of irrational conviction. Seems fitting to apply to the case of a person belonging to another marginalized group facing irrational hatred based on incomplete evidence.

    EG: if you’re going to “play the odds”, 1) why are you using white vigilantism as your baseline? George is Hispanic. And 2) if you’re serious about your playing the odds statement, more Hispanics are victimized by assault in Florida on a per capita basis than vice versa. But what a ridiculous and racist implication you tried to make.

  122. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 3, 2012 at 12:49 am |

    Yes, EG.

    Now you’re the racist. BURN.

    HAHA, whatever douche.

  123. William
    William April 3, 2012 at 6:37 am |

    George is a potential criminal defendant. The burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

    Absolutely, but this isn’t a court of law.

    We don’t know what happened that night.

    Well, now, thats not entirely true. Even if we don’t play gotcha history games, we still have some hard facts. One of those facts is that Zimmerman chose to pursue Trayvon even though he was told not to. Another is that he chose to exit his vehicle. Those are conflict escalations, not examples of standing one’s ground.

    More to the point, if we’re going to be talking about self defense the facts give a pretty good theory as to why Trayvon would have felt he needed to defend himself. If someone followed me in a car and then jumped out and came towards me in an aggressive manner I’d probably take a swing at them. Zimmerman doesn’t get to take advantage of Stand Your Ground when he chose to escalate the conflict in ways he should have reasonably understood would lead to someone getting hurt. There is no narrative which would suggest that Trayvon was actually up to no good, even the most friendly interpretations of the data we have leave Zimmerman escalating a conflict with an innocent member of his community, getting in over his head, and then shooting the person he picked a fight with.

    Finally, and this hasn’t come up much because most of the regulars here aren’t gun people, but Zimmerman broke several basic rules when it came to use of force. You don’t have a weapon to scare people off or to make them do what you want, you have a weapon to stop someone from being a threat by shooting them. The fact that Zimmerman followed someone suggests he thought they were a threat, the fact that he exited his vehicle rather than wait for police shows that he was playing cowboy, the fact that he didn’t respond to a serious threat with his weapon drawn shows that he wasn’t taking the situations seriously. For Zimmerman to end up on his back getting his ass kicked he had to disregard the most basic rules of self defense. If Zimmerman really were the plucky hero and Trayvon really was the rampaging monster, or if Zimmerman really did “reasonably believe” this to be the case, then why did Zimmerman allow Trayvon to get within arm’s reach? The guy is a mall ninja, he makes responsible gun owners look bad, and he has made not only his community but his nation less safe by acting like Charles Bronson because now responsible people who know what the fuck they’re doing are going to be penalized in the form of stricter gun control laws. Every step of the way he should have known better and because he was essentially playing dress up and trying to make his dick look big a kid is dead and people who actually use guns for self defense are fucked.

  124. tmc
    tmc April 3, 2012 at 6:38 am |

    Why are we feeding the troll? Sea the Terrier is a demonstrated liar. The only way to win with racist scum like hir is not to play.

    Just how racist do people have to be before a moderator shuts that shit down?

    @igglanova: Openly dispagaring a murdered teen with white supremacist tropes and lies is apparently not racist enough.

  125. William
    William April 3, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    tmc:

    Banning people like that just gives them a stepping stool to climb up on their cross and play martyr. The best response to hate speech is more speech, because hate speech is utterly unable to stand up to close inspection. Ultimately, any response is a win because it exposes them for the ignorant, petty, half-bright things they are. Vermin do not like sunshine, after all…

  126. tmc
    tmc April 3, 2012 at 8:58 am |

    @William:

    They have the whole rest of the Internet and the world to whine about it. Legitimizing that shit by giving them a pedestal here, especially at the expense of those of us here who sometimes need a break from reading about how fucking worthless we are and how little society cares when we are murdered, is not on my to-do list.

    I have zip, zero, zilch concern for how the trolls feel about it or how any racist apologists feel about it. I as a black woman would just like a teeny tiny space someplace where I am not regularly subjected to degradation for my blackness. Feministe is not and never has been that space, and I think that sucks.

  127. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 3, 2012 at 9:04 am |

    @ William:

    I get what you’re saying, and I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good laugh at a troll’s expense. But it’s just so exhausting to have your humanity questioned over and over again. (Zie’s actually questioning if Trayvon is the victim. Really?? The unarmed child who was stalked by a stranger at night?)

  128. tmc
    tmc April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am |

    It’s exhausting being on the Internet as a black person. There is pretty much nowhere you can turn without running into someone who pretty explicitly wants you and everyone who looks like you dead. I remember reading an article about a 15-month old black boy who was accidentally given alcohol at an Applebee’s when his parents asked for apple juice and was hospitalized, and so many comments below pretty much just said, “It’s too bad the little nigger didn’t die.”

    We’re talking about a BABY. Even a baby’s life is worth nothing if he is black. I am under this constant barrage every goddamn day and to come to a progressive website and see racist dreck such as “Blacks are criminals” and “Trayvon is not the REAL victim” being tolerated for ANY reason is so goddamn demoralizing.

    Having to witness my humanity being questioned over and over and over again all for a teaching moment, or because it’s fun to make fun of racists, or because we don’t want to make a martyr out of assholes who deserve the banhammer is really really REALLY not worth it to me. It might be a fun thought exercise and a worthwhile exchange for white progressives, but it’s really not worthwhile or fun for me.

  129. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 3, 2012 at 9:52 am |

    Walking While Black:

    My ‘being’ in a space has caused questions, concerns, suspicions. In the back of my mind I always wondered if there would be a reckoning. If my ‘being’ would become so intolerable to someone that they would try to end my existence, rather than engage in a conversation. The only difference between me and Trayvon is that I am still here and he is not.

  130. Crys T
    Crys T April 3, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    I don’t even know what to say after tmc’s last comment, except that it’s high time we white progressives actually fucking listened.

  131. EG
    EG April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am |

    Has anyone emailed a mod? It took a while for the transphobia on the shameless self-promotion thread to get flagged as well. Sea the Terrier started posting yesterday afternoon, not 24 hours ago. They might not have checked in to this thread since then.

  132. Sea the Terrier
    Sea the Terrier April 3, 2012 at 10:05 am |

    Uh, I never said or implied I thought blacks deserve to die. If it turned out evidence showed George put Martin in fear of his life l would totally support his side.

    It’s ridiculous to even be having this disussion though. The truth is some people are too emotionally invested (on *both* sides) to rationally discuss the evidence we have. My mistake was thinking we could do that here without it devolving immediately into facile charges or racism.

    Again, this is the kind of climate which forced the grand jury on George without any obvious evidence of guilt in my view, and which makes me think a fair trial is out of the question for him. If you think paying more than lip service to notions like due process and self defense makes me racist, well, fuck you .

  133. Caperton
    Caperton April 3, 2012 at 10:33 am | *

    Sorry for the delay. Sea the Terrier: Basically, your contribution here has been that every new discovery that contradicts the given police story (and your personal assumptions) is a lie; that since Trayvon Martin was physically capable of attacking George Zimmerman, of course he must have done so; that Martin must have been up to something or else Zimmerman wouldn’t have called the cops on him and stalked him; and that since he spent any time smoking pot instead of helping little old ladies across the street, somehow that makes him a) more likely to have attacked Zimmerman, and b) not a victim. There’s stating a differing opinion, and then there’s prejudice and victim-blaming, and the latter is not welcome here. This is your warning.

  134. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 3, 2012 at 10:34 am |

    Uh, I never said or implied I thought blacks deserve to die.

    No, you just implied that this one deserved to die. Mea culpa.

    If it turned out evidence showed George put Martin in fear of his life l would totally support his side.

    HE STALKED AN UNARMED CHILD. What the fuck is wrong with you?

    The truth is some people are too emotionally invested (on *both* sides) to rationally discuss the evidence we have. My mistake was thinking we could do that here without it devolving immediately into facile charges or racism.

    HE STALKED AN UNARMED CHILD BECAUSE HE WAS BLACK AND THEREFORE “SUSPICIOUS”. Again, what the fuck is wrong with you?

    And yes, I am emotionally invested in this case. Trayvon could’ve been my father, my brother, my brother-in-law, my nephew, my cousin, my uncle. Trayvon *was* my great-uncle who was walking down the street when a couple of drunk white dudes decided to play shooting gallery just for shits and giggles. Because, hey, what’s another dead nigger?

    If you think paying more than lip service to notions like due process and self defense makes me racist, well, fuck you .

    No, fuck you for being a racist asshole.

  135. Caperton
    Caperton April 3, 2012 at 10:36 am | *

    matlun: If you can’t make the connection between “black people are ‘more criminal’ because obviously” and “racist,” I don’t even know what to say.

  136. catfood
    catfood April 3, 2012 at 10:42 am |

    Wait, now you need “obvious evidence of guilt” for a grand jury?

  137. suspect class
    suspect class April 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm |

    @tmc

    I remember reading an article about a 15-month old black boy who was accidentally given alcohol at an Applebee’s when his parents asked for apple juice and was hospitalized, and so many comments below pretty much just said, “It’s too bad the little nigger didn’t die.”

    We’re talking about a BABY. Even a baby’s life is worth nothing if he is black. I am under this constant barrage every goddamn day and to come to a progressive website and see racist dreck such as “Blacks are criminals” and “Trayvon is not the REAL victim” being tolerated for ANY reason is so goddamn demoralizing.

    That’s just one of the most horrifying things ever.

    And yes, troll banning is just a necessity in these types of conversations. Where can you possibly get when the conversation is stuck on debating the humanity of whole groups of people? No site can have an active and diverse commentariat when whole groups of people are forced to justify their existence and inherent morality/dignity.

  138. DonnaL
    DonnaL April 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

    No site can have an active and diverse commentariat when whole groups of people are forced to justify their existence and inherent morality/dignity.

    Thank you. I think it’s very difficult to understand how demoralizing it is, on a cumulative basis, to be forced to do that over and over again, unless (a) you’re part of one of those groups, and (b) that group, for whatever reason, represents a small part of the commentariat here, so one doesn’t quite have the same feeling of virtually complete group solidarity that one does as, say, a woman fending off misogynist trolling.

    It’s one thing if you’re reading the comments section of an article in the New York Post. As vile as it is, you pretty much expect it. But here, even though we all know that feministe isn’t intended to be a “safe space” in the same sense as a place like Shakesville, you never *really* expect to be under assault like that. I came to the realization the other day that after however many months it’s been of my being pretty much the only trans woman open as such who comments here on a regular basis, and always comments whenever trans-related issues come up, my self-negativity and internalized transphobia are at the highest levels they’ve been in a very long time. And I didn’t even realize it was happening.

    So I disagree with William here.

  139. suspect class
    suspect class April 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

    It’s one thing if you’re reading the comments section of an article in the New York Post. As vile as it is, you pretty much expect it. But here, even though we all know that feministe isn’t intended to be a “safe space” in the same sense as a place like Shakesville, you never *really* expect to be under assault like that. I came to the realization the other day that after however many months it’s been of my being pretty much the only trans woman open as such who comments here on a regular basis, and always comments whenever trans-related issues come up, my self-negativity and internalized transphobia are at the highest levels they’ve been in a very long time. And I didn’t even realize it was happening.

    Yes. I think I’ve mentioned before, this is why I haven’t been around much-even when I read, I tend to take several-day-long timeouts from feministe, especially after commenting, because this shit is draining.

    I do not want to see women of color leaving this blog (again or still) because of trolls like this, or because of a failure or inability of mods or the rest of the commenters here to respond in a supportive and just manner. I understand the mods have other full-time lives going on, so this isn’t really meant to be a call-out. But I imagine for all the folks like tmc and Angel H. who are commenting and talking about how draining & fucking oppressive these trolls are, there’re at least 10 other readers who are vowing to themselves that they will not engage in the comments here. And that’s a shame, to say the least.

  140. EG
    EG April 3, 2012 at 1:38 pm |

    I agree with Donna and tmc. Not only does it wreak emotional havoc on large sections of the commentariat, but it turns any discussion to being all about the troll–and it’s not realistic to say we can or should just ignore racist or transphobic trolls. It’s like trying to ignore the huge pile of shit on the floor–even if you’re not looking directly at it, it stinks. So in this thread, instead of discussing organized responses to Martin’s murder, or how it connects to the history of white men randomly killing black people with impunity, or any one of a number of interesting topics, we’re having to deal with “where’s the evidence that Martin was in fear of his life just because some white dude carrying a gun was following him” bullshit.

  141. librarygoose
    librarygoose April 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm |

    Yeah, I also side with tmc and angel H. I gave the fuck up after the douche decided we shouldn’t hand out “victim” titles willy-nilly to black kids, especially dead ones who got stalked and shot.

  142. William
    William April 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

    TMC, Angel H., Crys T, Donna L, EG, librarygoose, and anyone else who might not have said something: I absolutely understand and respect your positions. Just to clarify, I wasn’t (and aren’t now) disagreeing with you or trying to suggest that you should engage with people like that. I was expressing my own, idiosyncratic, distinctly oppositional means of keeping myself away from despair when confronted with their ilk. That said, I need to take my lumps like an adult and I acted in a way I regret. I recognize that my position has a lot of privilege packed into it so I’ll thank you for the check, apologize for it being necessary, refrain from engaging with the trolls in this thread, and try to do better in the future. You’re absolutely right that you should have some respite somewhere and I do not want to contribute to making that harder.

    I really mean it, thank you all for taking the time to correct me. Its not your responsibilities but you did it anyway and I needed it.

  143. LotusBecca
    LotusBecca April 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm |

    I came to the realization the other day that after however many months it’s been of my being pretty much the only trans woman open as such who comments here on a regular basis, and always comments whenever trans-related issues come up, my self-negativity and internalized transphobia are at the highest levels they’ve been in a very long time. And I didn’t even realize it was happening.

    A wise woman–I’m seeming to forget exactly who it was–once told me “illegitimi non carborundum.” I hope you feel better. I know it’s not easy, and I’m sure it’s that much more challenging when one chooses to put herself out there and be as active and committed to justice as you are.

    In terms of what you and everyone else has been saying in regard to this thread, yeah, there is a comments policy and a banhammer for a reason. Maybe there are times and situations when trolls can just be funny or be tolerated, but in situations like this, when the racism is this horrible and blatant, and black people have been saying how awful it is making them feel, these fools just need to be banned. Or at very least be put on permanent moderation so their most racist statements can be edited out of their posts. But basically sea the terrier should just be banned, because zer entire viewpoint is offensive.

    There is a time and place to engage with this sort of ludicrous bullshit, but I don’t believe this is the time nor the place. I live in an oppressive society and I have to talk with people whose political views and social values are completely different from mine. But I wouldn’t. But I wouldn’t invite a racist into my home. I wouldn’t invite a transphobe or a homophobe into my home. I wouldn’t invite a misogynist into my home. And I want feministe to be a home for diverse people who feel marginalize in other parts of feminism or other parts of the internet.

  144. Caperton
    Caperton April 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | *

    Again, I apologize for the late response there. Sea the Terrier has been banned. While, as DonnaL mentioned, Feministe isn’t really a designated “safe space,” it’s incredibly important that it not be a hostile space, and I’m sorry for all the harm that was done before I got here.

  145. LC
    LC April 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

    Angel H

    …you’ve shown your ass (FYI: Black colloquialism)…

    Wait, really?
    This is a total derail off the original topic, by the way, but then I think the troll stomping all over the thread already did a lot of that.
    And language stuff is one of those things I find fascinating.

    I encountered “showing ass/showing your ass” as a term in Professional Wrestling, dating back easily to the 70s or so. Now I’m all curious as to how old the expression is and where it actually got its start.

  146. Angel H.
    Angel H. April 4, 2012 at 8:41 am |

    LC:

    It comes from the old saying “the higher a monkey climbs, the more it shows it’s ass.”

  147. tmc
    tmc April 4, 2012 at 9:59 am |

    @William:

    It’s all good!

  148. LC
    LC April 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |

    It comes from the old saying “the higher a monkey climbs, the more it shows it’s ass.”

    *nod* That’s what some quick sleuthing showed me, as well. Most people seem to put it at Ambrose Bierce, but some show it going back significantly farther.

    Thanks for indulging me. :)

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