Author: has written 210 posts for this blog.

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
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160 Responses

  1. Ally S
    Ally S February 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm |

    I’m leaving for my mom’s place tomorrow evening. I hope things go well. In other news, my dad wants me to come back to Santa Cruz eventually and live with my brother in a separate apartment with just me and him…as my dad pays for the rent and my tuition. Not liking that idea so far.

    1. EG
      EG February 14, 2014 at 11:08 pm |

      Don’t do it, Ally. The more independent you are from your father, the better. I suspect he can tell that he’s losing power over you, and so he’s trying to bribe you back. Don’t fall for it.

      1. ldouglas
        ldouglas February 15, 2014 at 12:19 am |

        If I can submit a slightly different view- if you think you can do it, I think you’re totally justified in seeing how much money you can extract from your father without intending to let him into your life. Of course, you’d have to plan as if it might be cut off to “punish” you for not doing what he wants; i.e. treat it like a bonus, not something you depend on.

        Obviously all this is totally subject to what you’re comfortable with and what feels safe to you; if your instincts are shouting ‘no,’ that’s worth listening to. From an ethical points of view, though, for what it’s worth I think you more than deserve to get as much as you can.

        1. EG
          EG February 15, 2014 at 6:38 am |

          Theoretically, I agree. But money is a very effective way of controlling somebody emotionally and forcing them to be in touch with you, and in my experience, it’s just not worth it.

        2. Ally S
          Ally S February 17, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

          [Content note: emotional abuse, self-harm]

          I was considering a suggestion like yours a while ago, but he has really escalated his emotional abuse recently so I don’t feel safe going back to Colorado at this time. I can’t stay close to someone who hurt my feelings so much last night he made me want to self-harm.

    2. Kerandria
      Kerandria February 15, 2014 at 12:37 am |

      Good luck, Ally.

      1. khw
        khw February 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm |

        best of luck Ally

    3. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue February 15, 2014 at 2:31 am |

      Your father offering to pay for an apartment and your tuition sounds to me like an attempt to keep you close and exert control over you by guilting you into thinking you owe him. You’re right not to trust the idea.

      Good luck to you Ally. I’m sending good thoughts your way.

    4. Tyris
      Tyris February 15, 2014 at 4:28 am |

      Yeah, that has “trap” written all over it.

  2. pheenobarbidoll
    pheenobarbidoll February 14, 2014 at 11:24 pm |

    My corgi, Finnigan, has some sort of autoimmune disease that has atrophied the muscles in his poor little corgi face. Testing will be done soon. My husband lost his job and we have enough to cover rent, but thats it. Not the best day.

    1. Donna L
      Donna L February 14, 2014 at 11:27 pm |

      I’m so sorry, pheeno, and very much hope things get better for all of you very soon. Poor little Finnigan. Corgis are so sweet.

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 14, 2014 at 11:39 pm |

      I’m sorry things are so bad, pheeno. :( Please take care. Hugs if you want ‘em.

    3. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll February 15, 2014 at 1:58 am |

      Fortunately, none of the possible culprits are fatal. He may just need to be hand fed some time in the future. Husband has an interview Monday, if he gets it we’re ok. If not we’re up shit creek.

      1. khw
        khw February 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm |

        best of luck Pheno!

      2. trees
        trees February 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm |

        Poor little stinky butt. I’m sorry. Best of luck to Mr. Pheeno on Monday!

    4. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon February 15, 2014 at 7:12 pm |

      I’m sorry, Pheeno. I hope it goes well for your husband on Monday. Good thoughts going out to you and the little guy. Corgis are so sweet and awesome.

    5. Andie
      Andie February 16, 2014 at 8:17 am |

      Poor puppy. Good luck to your hubby, I hope all goes well.

    6. Ledasmom
      Ledasmom February 17, 2014 at 6:35 pm |

      Good luck to you and your little guy and your husband. Hope things get better.

  3. Tyris
    Tyris February 15, 2014 at 4:32 am |

    So half of Berkshire is underwater and the forecast is for rain, more rain and yet more rain (well, that and high winds).

    Our house isn’t flooded yet but our route to work has gone from “towpath” to “river” and the railway lines are flooded too, so we’re having to cycle along the A4 instead, which is like painting a big target on your back with the words “PLEASE RAM”

    1. khw
      khw February 15, 2014 at 6:14 pm |

      I’m horrified by the images I see on the Irish and UK news.

      I hope you can stay dry.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm |

        Ditto. Please take care.

  4. Tyris
    Tyris February 15, 2014 at 4:59 am |

    So after Joanna Dennehy murdered three men for the sheer bloody thrill of it, the BBC ran this article saying how rare it is for a woman to kill anybody other than her own child.

    Only it then goes on to mention that Mary Ann Cotton is Britain’s first recorded serial killer, with more victims than Jack the Ripper, and almost nobody’s ever heard of her. So we’re left wondering whether it’s not just the case that female killers are regarded as rare because they’re quickly forgotten, because they don’t matter because they’re just women, right? *eye roll, head desk*

    1. TomSims
      TomSims February 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm |

      You’re suggesting the world should glamorize female serial killers?

      1. Miranda
        Miranda February 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm |

        That is a seriously uncharitable interpretation of what Tyris is saying…Tyris is making a perfectly good point about how systematic prejudice obscures both the historical record and how we read it and thus calls into question ‘empirical’ claims like “Women rarely kill anybody.”

        I don’t understand why you and Bingo immediately went into snark mode about this.

    2. bingo
      bingo February 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm |

      Not to get all MRA on you, but are you seriously focusing on the misogyny of society disregarding women killing men?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm |

        I think systematically underplaying the lethality of women is, if anything, an issue that disproportionately affects men. I didn’t read Tyris as implying otherwise.

  5. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm |

    Oh, yay. Panic, self-loathing and anxiety. I just love how reading week is going so far. Fuck. I need to spend a day just curled up in bed, I think.

    1. anna_k
      anna_k February 16, 2014 at 1:16 am |

      Oh, no. I can strongly identify with those sorts of feelings right now. Hugs if wanted. And taking care of oneself with a day in bed avoiding as much of the bad as is external, if possible, can be great.

      Good stuff on spotify on my phone when I do have to venture out also gives me a reassuring sense of a safe little bubble in the world, I find.

      I generally accompany said days with appropriately silly obscure TV, but I know preferences vary :) Really hope the week improves!

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 1:33 am |

        I’m currently watching Young Frankenstein for the first time and drinking ridiculously cheap wine. Life is better…?

        1. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 1:43 am |

          ridiculously cheap wine=always the answer. Dunno about Young Frankenstein but hopefully it’s a harmonious pairing :)

        2. Andie
          Andie February 16, 2014 at 8:03 am |

          So much love for that movie. Mac, I hope you’re feeling better.

        3. Ledasmom
          Ledasmom February 16, 2014 at 9:21 am |

          You cannot imagine how I envy you. I just barely remember watching Young Frankenstein for the first time.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 5:35 pm |

          @anna – I think it is! :) Thanks for the understanding.

          @Andie, Ledasmom – I’m feeling better today, yes! Thank you ^_^

    1. Angel H.
      Angel H. February 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm |

      Sorry. Should’ve been “1st degree”.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L February 15, 2014 at 9:19 pm |

        I don’t know yet if it was a situation with only one person who refused to convict. If so, I hope the prosecution goes ahead and retries him. Disgraceful that anyone believed his claim about the mythical shotgun that was supposedly pointed at him.

        1. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 16, 2014 at 6:18 pm |

          I don’t know yet if it was a situation with only one person who refused to convict. If so, I hope the prosecution goes ahead and retries him. Disgraceful that anyone believed his claim about the mythical shotgun that was supposedly pointed at him.

          More likely, one of the jurors insisted on convicting on the count of 1st-degree murder, when the rest agreed on a 2nd-degree murder charge. Self-defense isn’t the difference between the two, premeditation is; the decision to charge murder 1 was a bit odd to begin with.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L February 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm |

          I’m not sure you understand what premeditation means. All that’s required is that the intention be formed, and the act follow. It doesn’t matter whether the interval between is five seconds or five years.

        3. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 17, 2014 at 1:18 am |

          Not quite; this differs from state to state. However, states that have ruled that premeditation can take place instants before the actual killing are in the minority (Montana, Nevada, a few others).

          Florida §782.04 doesn’t define premeditated, though the standard jury instructions say “the period of time must be long enough to allow reflection by the defendant.” It has been repeatedly interpreted to require evidence that the defendant made a plan to kill the victim and then enacted that plan. See Sireci v. State (1991) or Hilton v. State (2013), among plenty of others.

    2. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue February 16, 2014 at 1:04 am |

      I just…what does it take to convict a white person of killing a black person? A white man shoots an unarmed black teen who was no threat to him, his only defense is that he thought Davis was armed–but he indisputably was not–and the jury is hung? How much evidence does it take to convince a jury that a black person may not have been a threat to a white person, that a white person’s violence wasn’t justified?

      1. ninjanurse
        ninjanurse February 16, 2014 at 9:02 am |

        I’m wondering if the jury was hung between some who would settle for a lesser charge and some who would not accept less than 1st degree murder. I think someone will answer that question.
        I don’t care about saving resources for Florida. Their disgraceful law should cost them. Jordan Davis was murdered, his murderer should be convicted in a retrial.

      2. ldouglas
        ldouglas February 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm |

        Each second-degree charge carries a 20-year penalty, so at least he’s going to be spending the rest of his life in jail.

        Dunn almost certainly wasn’t guilty of first-degree murder, at least as I read the Florida statute; there wasn’t premeditation. The appropriate charge would be second-degree murder. What seems likely is the jury split between first- and second-degree charges, couldn’t come to an agreement, and so deadlocked.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 12:29 am |

          Sure. That’s why he wasn’t convicted. It’s not as if poc are convicted for 1st degree murder in Florida after killing someone during a fight. Oops. They are. So let’s drop the letter of the law crap. That only applies to privileged white folks who never ever have to even entertain the idea their convictions were due to skin color. So stop it.

        2. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 18, 2014 at 1:11 am |

          Sure. That’s why he wasn’t convicted. It’s not as if poc are convicted for 1st degree murder in Florida after killing someone during a fight. Oops. They are. So let’s drop the letter of the law crap. That only applies to privileged white folks who never ever have to even entertain the idea their convictions were due to skin color. So stop it.

          No, I don’t think I will stop, thanks. Of course racism affects criminal case outcomes. So does the law. Ignoring either of those things gives you incomplete analysis.

          Incidentally, while I actually do believe you, I’m curious- which cases are you referring to, in which POC were convicted in Florida courts for 1st degree murder without demonstrated premeditation (or predicate felonies, which is the other way homicide becomes 1st degree)? I did some searching using findlaw, and I couldn’t find specifics.

        3. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 8:22 am |

          No, why ever would you stop a discussion of racism with ” but it’s not what the law states”. Never met a racism derailer to stop yet, so I don’t expect it from you. Walk yourself through racism in law. I’m not your poc tutor.

        4. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 18, 2014 at 4:40 pm |

          Never met a racism derailer to stop yet, so I don’t expect it from you. Walk yourself through racism in law. I’m not your poc tutor.

          I repeat: of course racism affects criminal case outcomes. So does the law. Ignoring either of those things gives you incomplete analysis. Claiming that this statement is derailing from a conversation racism is… well, I can’t think of a polite word, so I’ll leave it at that.

          One actually can’t understand racism as well if you don’t examine other factors, like the way the law is set up (which itself is influenced by many factors, of which one is racism). It means your hypothesis has less explanatory power. I realize that it’s way easier to insist all outcomes have only a single, simple cause, since it excuses you from ever learning about everything else. Just don’t mistake intellectual laziness for intellectual honesty.

        5. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm |

          Also again:

          I’m curious- which cases are you referring to, in which POC were convicted in Florida courts for 1st degree murder without demonstrated premeditation (or predicate felonies, which is the other way homicide becomes 1st degree)? I did some searching using findlaw, and I couldn’t find specifics.

          I’m not asking to be taught about racism in the law, I’m asking for support for a specific claim you made.

          I’m interested to see how Florida courts managed to get around the requirement for premeditation when convicted POC defendants, because it will almost certainly teach me more about how legal racism works.

        6. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm |

          I’m not ignoring the law. I know what it states. I also know it only applies to white people when they commit murder in a state that although homicide is relatively even for white people and black people, black people make up around 80% of death penalty sentences. And white people don’t recieve the death penalty if their victim is black. And the convenient kingpin law allows Florida to seek the death penalty if someone is killed during a drug deal, or has drugs on them. Not just premeditated murder, not when drugs are involved, or other felonies. Murder 1 gets tacked on and the death penalty is sought. Now, guess who that disproportionately affects? So, again, when the discussion centers around the horror people feel at the blatant racism surrounding a crime and trial, stop slinging WP everywhere by bringing up laws when its already established that the justice system in this country favors white people. Black victims do not matter, and black perpetrators are trapped in a little death penalty corner. Duval county, especially. Those 8 white jurors dont give a shit about the letter of the law you think WE are ignoring. They think its reasonable to be afraid of an suv full of black thugs, and while he shouldn’t have shot them, they still buy into that black thug fear he peddaled which is what makes their inability to convict on murder 1 so god damn racist. And not surprisingly to anyone with a brain. And when a woc posts about this case and her offense at it, posting about the fine print laws is showing your ass. Mods, we need a giraffee here so this derailment from racism can go somewhere else.

        7. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 18, 2014 at 7:21 pm |

          Those 8 white jurors dont give a shit about the letter of the law you think WE are ignoring.

          Genuine question- how do you know this?

          And not surprisingly to anyone with a brain.

          Oh, the irony.

        8. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable February 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm |

          Hey pheeno – not intending to correct you, but I’m concerned the giraffe typo in your last line might not send the alert you were looking for. We need a giraffe here.

          ldouglas, I think I see what you’re saying, but keep in mind the context – white people are nearly never held accountable when they murder POC (black *children*). When a conviction on a murder count gets hung up on account of semantics, it really, really sucks. That court battle was analogous to a derail: with an extended focus on whether there was premeditation, it takes away from the core issue, which is that another black child is dead (not to mention the others in the car, whom I’m sure were traumatized).

          [Thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

        9. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 8:31 pm |

          I don’t know about any other woc here, but I’ve had it with your racist crap idouglas.

          Stop saying racist shit.

          Stop saying racist shit.

          There. You’ve been told several times by me and by another woc. Get it through your fucking head. Or, if thats not possible, stfu and listen.

        10. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm |

          Thanks pretty amiable. Didn’t even notice.

        11. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 18, 2014 at 10:35 pm |

          I’m happy to take a break, tigtog, but this:

          Perhaps some reading elsewhere about the case involved will provide the answers you seek.

          Is pretty condescending, considering I gave no indication of seeking answers.

        12. trees
          trees February 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm |

          I’m happy to take a break, tigtog, but this:

          Perhaps some reading elsewhere about the case involved will provide the answers you seek.

          Is pretty condescending, considering I gave no indication of seeking answers.

          Your contributions to this thread are incredibly condescending. Perhaps you really don’t realize it, but many of the comments you post in general also come across as pretty condescending.

      3. a lawyer
        a lawyer February 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm |

        SophiaBlue February 16, 2014 at 1:04 am |
        I just…what does it take to convict a white person of killing a black person?

        Findings of fact. As discussed below, these are quite susceptible to racism and social bias.

        A white man shoots an unarmed black teen who was no threat to him, his only defense is that he thought Davis was armed–but he indisputably was not

        This is a common misconception and I’ll try to explain:
        In this case, the relevant fact is “was the defendant entitled to feel threatened given what he knew at the time? The question of whether the defendant was ACTUALLY entitled to feel threatened based on what was ACTUALLY true is not, oddly enough, what matters.

        Say you walk out to the street and randomly shoot a passing, elderly, nun. That is illegal, and you’ve committed manslaughter, even if the person turns out to be a wanted serial killer in disguise.

        OTOH, say that you’re being followed down a dark alley in the rain by a large man who grabs you from behind, and you shoot him out of fear of being assaulted/raped. You may be eligible for self defense even if it turns out he was a kind-hearted soul, who was only trying to get you to stop so he could return the wallet you dropped.

        So the jury didn’t get asked “he shot an unarmed black man; is that OK?” Instead, they were asked “knowing what he knew at the time, was he justified in feeling threatened?”

        And THAT is where the real racism comes into play, because the question “did he feel threatened?” is a finding of fact and the jury is certainly biased by social mores of “dangerous black dudes.”

        1. a lawyer
          a lawyer February 19, 2014 at 12:22 am |

          Also–and this is shocking, though not surprising–to the best of my knowledge, racism is not an illegal justification for feeling threatened. (Maybe it is in some states, but AFAIK not in most)

          IOW, if Wally Whiteguy feels “threatened” by a POC because Wally’s a racist dick that is scared of black people, and if he can convince a jury of that, then it can actually help Wally in his self defense.

          There’s no law in most places that says “wait a second; you don’t get to use an unreasonable fear of black people to give retroactive justification after you shoot someone.” Being a racist dick and being eligible to claim some sort of self defense are not legal opposites, though most folks expect that they would be.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 19, 2014 at 2:39 am |

          Say you walk out to the street and randomly shoot a passing, elderly, nun. That is illegal, and you’ve committed manslaughter, even if the person turns out to be a wanted serial killer in disguise.

          You seem to be implying it wouldn’t be illegal if the shooter had an irrational fear of elderly nuns. If the cause of the shooting is one person’s delusion, that’s not the same as self defense.

          Plus you’re really not listening to the WOC on this thread if you think it’s about the so-called letter of the law.

        3. EG
          EG February 19, 2014 at 7:24 am |

          Jesus Christ, did you read the exchange above amonge Angel H. and tigtog and ldouglas? Claiming that this is about arcane technicalities of law is bullshit. The law in this country was never meant to protect black children. It has always been about about letting white people get away with murdering them. Letting Zimmerman and Dunn off the hook for killing Trayvon and Jordan is no less racist than the acquittal of Emmet Till’s murderer. White people and this country’s racist, white supremecist legal system are adept at finding Reasons why it’s OK for white adults to kill black children and it doesn’t fucking matter what those reasons are. What matters is that once again, black parents are being told that their children’s lives don’t matter.

          This system was never made to protect black children from white people. Never.

        4. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 9:51 am |

          Also–and this is shocking, though not surprising–to the best of my knowledge, racism is not an illegal justification for feeling threatened.

          Shocking to whom? Surprising to whom?Jordan Davis’s family? Trayvon Martin’s family? Renisha McBride’s family? CeCe McDonald?

          We know this and it’s irrelevant. Knowing the letter of the law is pointless when the laws were never made to protect *us* in the first place.

        5. a lawyer
          a lawyer February 19, 2014 at 10:18 am |

          It would be an incredibly bizarre misreading of my posts to suggest that I think the outcome of the trial is anything OTHER than racist and unfair. Things like “jury is certainly biased” and “shocking but not surprising” and “being a racist dick” are some good indicators. I am well aware of and reliably detest the racism in the system, and I spend a lot of time trying to improve it.

          But absent some sort of violent revolution, the justice system isn’t going away, which is to say that any improvements are probably going to need to work, somehow, within the system. There have been various attempts to improve various laws and take away some of the system bias against various parties, some of which worked and some of which didn’t (mandatory minimums were supposed to help minorities but turned out in retrospect to have been a mistake;rape shield seems to have been a mild improvement; racial profiling laws don’t seem to have done much at all; restrictions on racial challenges to jurors seem to have helped.) The system can improve. It’s slow; it’s imperfect; but if you compare it to 30 years ago it’s a different beast.

          Some people want to focus on this case: a cry for justice for the dead man, and punishment for his killer. That’s up to them. Other people–like me–believe that this particular case is probably beyond change, but that there will be hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of similar cases in the future. And unlike this one (a second prosecution probably isn’t going to happen) those future cases CAN be affected. Changed. Improved.

          And IMO fixing it requires at least some understanding of how the law works. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t understand. So my goal is to broaden that understanding, so that those who want to join in the larger attempt to fix the system can do so. Those who want to learn more, can. Those who would rather focus on other things, can.

          So will I “listen to WOC on this thread” if they tell me NOT to take that position? If they tell me NOT to explain to folks how they might change the laws to avoid this result in the future? If they tell me NOT to discuss what the technicalities are for avoiding conviction, so that people can consider whether or not those technicalities should remain? If they tell me NOT to try to broaden understanding?

          No.

          I certainly don’t claim the exclusive right to speak for every defendant who gets screwed over by the system, and I’m not invested in sitting here and picking apart other people’s posts even if I think they’re wrong. But as as a skilled insider who is actively working to change the system, I’m not going to let anyone tell me to stop doing so. That’s simply ridiculous.

        6. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 10:56 am |

          It would be an incredibly bizarre misreading of my posts to suggest that I think the outcome of the trial is anything OTHER than racist and unfair.

          What’s incredibly bizarre is how anyone could still manage to get oxygen to their brain with their head so far up their ass.

          Some people want to focus on this case…

          How dare people want to focus on this case in a thread about…this case!

          And IMO fixing it requires at least some understanding of how the law works. After all, you can’t fix what you don’t understand.

          That right there. That is why you fail. You’re assuming that you’re the only person in this thread who has academic and practical knowledge of how the legal system works. Why are you making such an assumption, Mr. White Lawyer Man?

          But as as a skilled insider who is actively working to change the system, I’m not going to let anyone tell me to stop doing so.

          Because it’s pretty obvious us poor coloreds have no fucking clue what’s going on.

          Thanky eva so kindly mas- er, Mr. White Lawyer Man! Thanky fer savin’ us from ourselves!
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          Funnel cakes for everybody!““““““`

        7. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 19, 2014 at 11:24 am |

          Mods we need a giraffe here. I think Angel h has had enough racism thrown at her and it needs to stop.

          [thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

        8. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 19, 2014 at 11:28 am |

          So will I “listen to WOC on this thread” if they tell me NOT to take that position?

          That’s not what they’re saying. And listening does not require one taking a position. Again and again you have WOC saying that the letter of the law will always be twisted in favor of the white male power structure, and the fact that you feel it necessary to douche-splain how the letter of the law was followed shows you’re not listening at all.

        9. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 19, 2014 at 11:31 am |

          @a lawyer

          General rule: we’re not in court here, so people can use euphemism and hyperbole. As such, if someone says ‘I don’t know why this keeps happening’ or ‘I can’t believe it’ or ‘this is such bullshit;’ it’s not incumbent upon you to point out how is indeed quite believable, expected, or logically consistent.

        10. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 19, 2014 at 11:47 am |

          The law in this country was never meant to protect black children. It has always been about about letting white people get away with murdering them.

          I agree with the sentiment, but think it’s less a case of how the law was written and more of a case of one law for whites, one law for POC, in terms of selective enforcement.

        11. a lawyer
          a lawyer February 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm |

          Angel H.
          How dare people want to focus on this case in a thread about…this case!

          It’s an open thread, actually. Sorry. But anyway, I don’t care if people want to focus on this case. Like all activism, that’s up to them.

          This is a bit like abortion rights: There are people who picket outside the Supreme Court (or another court;) there are people who talk to their legislators; there are people who run for office; there are people who volunteer at clinics; there are people who write laws and sue people for breaking them; there are people who just write checks. All of those people make their own choices about how to proceed, but in the end they are on the same team.

          Same with criminal justice. Idiots like Fat Steve are taking the position akin to “if you’re not picketing on the Supreme Court steps then you’re in the way and you should shit up” and that’s simply wrong. Misguided, even.

          That is why you fail. You’re assuming that you’re the only person in this thread who has academic and practical knowledge of how the legal system works. Why are you making such an assumption, Mr. White Lawyer Man?

          I assume that there are other folks who know something, whether more or less than I do. I’m also assuming that–like the majority of people in the US–most people don’t know much about the particular legal details.

          And I assume that generally speaking, information helps. NOT “don’t be angry,” and NOT “don’t try to change things.” Rather “hey, folks may not know to be angry about this” and “if you’ want to change things, here’s a good place to consider tweaking it.” [shrug] If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

          But as as a skilled insider who is actively working to change the system, I’m not going to let anyone tell me to stop doing so.

          Because it’s pretty obvious us poor coloreds have no fucking clue what’s going on.

          No, actually. Because this is what I do, and, having bought into this for life, I would like to make the system better. And because, generally speaking, trying to do the right thing makes the world better, which I will continue to do irrespective of your wishes to the contrary.

          Thanky eva so kindly mas- er, Mr. White Lawyer Man! Thanky fer savin’ us from ourselves!

          Well, shit. What the fuck do you want, here: all of the white lawyers with an interest in generally helping folks (including but by no means limited to POC) to sit back when you speak and say “screw it, there’s no justice to be had anyway as per Angel, and Angel is talking about something else so we better put our stuff aside and stand back?”

          I represent plenty of POC and they are extremely happy with what I do. And I value their opinion a hell of a lot more than yours, so when they say “keep going” and you say “sit down and shut up,” well, you lose this one.

          Fat Steve
          Again and again you have WOC saying that the letter of the law will always be twisted in favor of the white male power structure,

          Again: if you think I’m disagreeing, then you lack some reading abilities. I am beginning to think that’s the case. Or, perhaps that you’re parroting them without reading.

          and the fact that you feel it necessary to douche-splain how the letter of the law was followed shows you’re not listening at all.

          Yeah… fuck off. I’ll bet my left pinky that I have done a shitload more than you personally have to actually try to help the system; as such I’m not inclined to listen to your guilty lecturing. You’re just trying to join the crowd to get some racial cred, not to mention that you clearly have no clue what you’re talking about. (Nice choice of sexist insults, though. The irony of “douche” on feministing, well… it’s priceless.)

          Making a reasonable decision about where to focus problem solving requires you to know what you’re talking about. Some people already know–pheeno, for example–and some people don’t, like you. Some people want to know, and some people don’t, and some, like you, seem to be invested in avoiding the topic because someone else thinks it’s a bad idea.

          As such, if someone says ‘I don’t know why this keeps happening’ or ‘I can’t believe it’ or ‘this is such bullshit;’ it’s not incumbent upon you to point out how is indeed quite believable, expected, or logically consistent.

          I don’t care if people say what they want. Like I said, I wouldn’t think of telling someone ELSE how to fight their fight (are you sure you’re reading?) but I’m not willing to let them, much less you, tell me.

        12. EG
          EG February 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

          You say tomayto, I say tomahto.

          If this legal code had been written with protecting black children’s lives in mind, it would contain explicit measures to counteract racism in juries as well as law enforcement.

        13. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 7:18 pm |

          But anyway, I don’t care if people want to focus on this case. 

          Because as long as you get your fucking cookie who gives a shit about the POC who have to worry about some random white guy pulling a Zimmerman whenever they leave their home.

          By the way: If the chocolate chips taste like rat shit, it’s probably because they are.

          This is a bit like abortion rights…

          Aww, poor thing. It’s baf enough you have to give a lesson on racism to some ungrateful Black chick, but now you have to teach her about abortion rights, too? There, there. Have a cookie. ^_~

          All of those people make their own choices about how to proceed, but in the end they are on the same team.

          Wrong. When a team loses, the loss hangs over everyone’s head. YOU will.never be the one getting shot because you “look like a thug”. YOU will never have to tell your children that they have to work twice as hard as their white classmates just to be on the same footing. Even if I take your word that we’re after the same goal (and that’s a big muthafuckin’ “if”), I don’t believe for a second that you would want to be on *my* team. And even if you did, what makes you think I would want you?

        14. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm |

           [shrug] If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

          Well since I’m obviously the first Black woman to receive unsolicited advice from some random white guy, maybe I’ll stay.

          Well, shit. What the fuck do you want, here: all of the white lawyers with an interest in generally helping folks (including but by no means limited to POC) to sit back when you speak and say “screw it, there’s no justice to be had anyway as per Angel, and Angel is talking about something else so we better put our stuff aside and stand back?”

          That. That right there is a perfect example of everything that has ever been wrong with everything you have ever posted. We’ll file this under “How Not to Be a Good Ally” for review later.

          I represent plenty of POC and they are extremely happy with what I do.

          I bet you even have you Black friend who you invited to your dinner table. Unfortunately, I am completely out of fucks to give. I may have some more in stock tomorrow, but don’t hold your breath.

          Or better yet, do.

        15. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm |

          You’re just trying to join the crowd to get some racial cred

          That’s pretty damn hilarious coming from you.

        16. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable February 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
    3. Ledasmom
      Ledasmom February 16, 2014 at 9:24 am |

      Disgusting. Disgraceful.
      It does sound as if he is likely to be in prison for a long time on the attempted murder convictions, but he should have been convicted on the proper charge as well.

    4. EG
      EG February 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm |

      I’m so so sorry.

    5. Angel H.
      Angel H. February 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm |

      It’s so damn cute how people are quoting the law in order to justify the jury’s decision, as if the law was made to protect POCs in the first place.

      Wait, did I say cute? That’s not right; I was thinking of the opposite…

      Oh, yes: Disgusting.

      Don’t talk down to us like we’re stupid. We know how the law works. The problem is that when we need protection from the law, it doesn’t work for ***us***.

      And I don’t give a fuck of the attempted murder charges carried an automatic death penalty. The point is, Dunn is not being punished for taking the life of a young, unarmed Black boy. THIS IS NOT JUSTICE.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 8:41 pm |

        Disgusting and like they follow a goddamn template. Must be nice to be such a privileged, special snowflake that they feel entitled to school poc on why its not racism its X other thing only they have special insight to. And then it will be followed with oh gee golly gosh, I don’t understand what I said wrong, I was just pointing out blah blah blah de blah blah. Or the double down. That’s always fun.

        1. Angel H.
          Angel H. February 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm |

          It’s so much fun it should be a fuckin’ carnival.

          ROLLER COASTERS, BABY!!!

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 18, 2014 at 8:49 pm |

          Yeefuckinghaw!

  6. anna_k
    anna_k February 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm |

    [Content warning: old white man academic bull about genocide]

    Forced to read denial of genocide against Native American peoples for a seminar, I’m guessing in the spirit of “balanced debate”. Apart from the pure rage at content, can’t believe that “it wasn’t quite like the Holocaust so don’t call it a genocide and blame all white people pls” is considered a sufficiently rigorous argument to print when old, white, male professors are the ones making it.

    I mean, I can believe it, I just wish it was not being forced on me when literally any other academic endeavour would be more productive and useful and, most importantly, not made up 100% of lies that are damaging in the present day.

    And then we’ll be “debating” this next week. Just urgh to everything this weekend.

    [P.S. I am not a US person and this isn’t my area of specialisation, so if I’ve used the wrong terminology by saying “Native American peoples” I sincerely apologise and will very happily stand corrected!]

    1. Miranda
      Miranda February 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm |

      For what it’s worth, I once went to a seminar in which the speaker, a white American dude who specialized on Stalinism, claimed that the legal term “genocide” was finessed by both the Russians and the USians in the post-WWII era in such a way that they ensured the crimes their countries had been and were getting up to could not be classified as “genocide.”

      1. Miranda
        Miranda February 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm |

        I should clarify that I have no idea whether or not that’s true, but it seems like an interesting argument.

        That particular scholar’s personal project was trying to broaden the definition of genocide such that it could include the Stalinist terrors. I imagine he would agree that the popularly called “Native American genocide” ought to also fall under his expanded academic definition of genocide.

        1. anna_k
          anna_k February 15, 2014 at 11:56 pm |

          Ooh, I didn’t see your second comment before commenting. I imagine the exclusion of e.g. political groups from the four categories of persons is what he objects to?

          The Native American genocide does fall within the four protected categories, however, which is why the genocide apologia I’m reading goes to such pains to minimise the actual events that took place.

      2. anna_k
        anna_k February 15, 2014 at 11:54 pm |

        Hey, thanks for replying! :)

        Yeah, the 1948 Genocide Convention is certainly not without controversy in its definition, and fits into a wider pattern of (particularly) US re-definition of law to comfortably fit its domestic situation post-WWII.*

        The use of “genocide” as a term for acts arguably falling outside the legal definition persists, however, and I think that’s a good thing because the legal definition both fails to capture people’s instinctive sense of the term (e.g. it is confined to national, ethnic, racial, or religious categories only) and captures acts which people may not realise technically fall within the definition (e.g. the fact that the killing of one person could be classed as an act of genocide if the other requisite elements of the crime were met).

        Even with a narrow definition, though, the scholar I’m reading (imo) fails to make his argument b/c he ignores extensive evidence of white US intentionality and splits events up into discrete “potential instances of genocide” rather than an overarching one, to minimise them.

        His writing is also deeply disingenuous in a wholly obvious way e.g. the fact that throughout his article, the only deaths he describes in detail are those of European settlers, whereas Native American deaths are simply numbers mentioned in passing.

        The entire thing is steeped in the mentality of colonialism in a truly nausea-inducing way, and it appalls me that I’m meant to treat it as scholarship.

        *Carol Anderson’s “Eyes Off the Prize” is a very good read on how this took place in the negotiation of international human rights instruments.

        1. Miranda
          Miranda February 16, 2014 at 12:34 am |

          Thanks, that’s really interesting and informative. As I mentioned above, I didn’t know whether or not the guy was right, and I didn’t/don’t fully understand to what extent the academic definition of genocide is or is not loaded. I was thinking for example of when Pol Pot’s right hand man was in the news for not being charged with genocide–for some legal technicality around the word.

          (And oh I definitely agree with you that non-academic uses of the term are still very important.)

          His writing is also deeply disingenuous in a wholly obvious way

          I sadly have a good mental image of exactly the kind of ‘scholarship’ you are describing…

        2. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 1:03 am |

          Ha, yes, the kind of “scholarship” that I think is more accurately described as a deliberate aggression against the peoples it discusses, whose humanity it has the audacity to question and relativise. I read about a lot of upsetting and horrendous things in my work, but few of them have made me feel physically sick the way this reading did.

          Re Pol Pot: yes, the Cambodian genocide is the main modern-day example of a genocide that doesn’t easily fall within one of the four categories in the legal definition.

          The ECCC (Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia), the joint Cambodian-UN tribunal responsible for prosecutions related to the genocide, is widely-acknowledged as an ongoing failure for many reasons. I don’t keep up with its case filings but, afaik, Nuon Chea is still being tried for genocide. I could be behind events there, though.

    2. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll February 16, 2014 at 12:19 am |

      Rage. Pure rage. I can’t even coherently explain why he’s wrong I’m that pissed.

      1. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll February 16, 2014 at 12:20 am |

        Please point out that even debating it is colonial bullshit and racist as hell.

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll February 16, 2014 at 12:21 am |

          And native American peoples is fine. Indigenous is better.

        2. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 12:47 am |

          Thank you for telling me! I will use indigenous peoples from now on.

          I do plan to raise the fact that even having the “debate” steeps the seminar in the colonising mentality it purports to examine from an external position of neutrality. Also that treating it as a discrete, past event for historical examination ignores the many ongoing policies related to this genocide.

          I’m pretty much the angry brown girl who’s always inconveniently mentioning colonialism, though, so I expect politely blank head-nods and no actual change in pedagogy, but I can’t say nothing and just play along.

          I wish I knew more about the actual facts so I could rebut specific facets of the argument(s) on offer, but even with my relative ignorance, I could see that there was so much wrong with what was being said. Hoping that at the least there will be some impact on other classmates’ analyses by speaking up.

      2. pheenobarbidoll
        pheenobarbidoll February 16, 2014 at 1:41 am |

        By the by, Hitler admired Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal act.

        1. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm |

          I did not know that, but I will read up on it and mention it for sure.

          I mean, that obviously even defeats the idiocy of the argument on its own terms (its idea that no comparison can be made to the Holocaust) not that I think the argument deserves engaging with on its disingenuous face.

        2. EG
          EG February 16, 2014 at 4:59 pm |

          The idea that the Holocaust was, is, and always must be singular is part of the ideology that allows genocide to occur–if it’s not exactly like the Holocaust, then we can safely ignore it. To hell with that. I don’t think Holocaust comparisons should be made lightly, but you know what’s OK to compare to the Holocaust? Other racist genocides: Rwanda, US policy toward American indigenous peoples, for instance.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L February 16, 2014 at 7:41 pm |

          Including Cambodia; Armenia; what happened in the Belgian Congo under King Leopold; the induced famine and mass deportation in Ukraine; and so on. Each differs from the Holocaust, and from each other — all were unique, as was the Holocaust, but all were clearly genocides. I don’t know any Jewish person, no matter how intensely they feel about the Shoah, or how much their family suffered, who believes that it was the only genocide ever. “Unique” doesn’t mean “nothing else can be discussed,” whether for the Shoah or any other genocide.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 12:58 am |

      Apart from the pure rage at content, can’t believe that “it wasn’t quite like the Holocaust so don’t call it a genocide and blame all white people pls” is considered a sufficiently rigorous argument to print when old, white, male professors are the ones making it.

      Relentlessly bring up parallels to the several million INdians who lost their lives under systematic starvation during WW2 thanks to Churchill and ask whether that genocide is more textbook or not.

      1. anna_k
        anna_k February 16, 2014 at 1:07 am |

        Oh my goodness, the Bengal famine and Churchill.

        We must be brain twins (or just, you know, Indians with knowledge of India :) ) in some way because I have started to lose count of the number of times I’ve brought up that argument only to face “BUT Y U DENY HOLOCAUST’S BADNESS LIKE THAT” responses. I can count on one *finger* the number of friends I have who i) already knew about it and ii) engaged in a proper conversation about it.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 1:31 am |

          only to face “BUT Y U DENY HOLOCAUST’S BADNESS LIKE THAT” responses.

          Yes, because the Holocaust is the only bad thing in the history of ever. FFS. (FWIW I highly doubt any of the Jews on this forum would respond to “And the British weren’t exactly saints” with “bringing up the Bengal famine is deflecting attention from the Holocaust” any more than I’d do the reverse!)

        2. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 1:33 am |

          Yep, it’s worth me clarifying that none of the people who’ve advanced this argument against me were Jewish, whereas all were really invested in the idea of Churchill as go-to inspirational WWII quotation figure.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 1:40 am |

          TBH I can’t imagine most Jewish people (who feel that intensely about the Holocaust) being that void in basic decency.

        4. Yonah
          Yonah February 16, 2014 at 4:29 am |

          As one of the Feministe Jews…

          I actually think this “argument” (that a person is downplaying the Holocaust if they call the colonisation of the Americas, let alone ongoing treatment of First Nations, genocide) is specifically made because Western white people feel extra reassured that they have NO guilt in the Holocaust, so it can be as bad as they like. They imagine themselves as having fought the war actually on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust. On the other hand, how the land they live in came to look the way it did…

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 4:53 am |

          Yonah, I figured it was the comparison between the Holocaust and the Bengal famine that upset people in anna’s case. (Not that I don’t think there’s gazillions of people willing to make the Holocaust vs colonisation argument! Douches are universal.)

        6. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

          So the Bengal famine wasn’t the result of the Japanese occupation of Burma? That’s how I always learned about it. Googling for more info, but if there are any papers people recommend to learn more I’d definitely appreciate it.

        7. anna_k
          anna_k February 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm |

          @ldouglas, Madhusree Mukerjee’s book, “Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II”.

        8. EG
          EG February 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm |

          Western white people feel extra reassured that they have NO guilt in the Holocaust, so it can be as bad as they like. They imagine themselves as having fought the war actually on behalf of the victims of the Holocaust.

          Meanwhile, the US likes to fail to mention that it turned back and denied visas to shiploads of Jewish asylum seekers.

        9. Hugh
          Hugh February 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm |

          @tigtog: I wish I could agree with you, but when I lived in Wales I met many Welsh people who admired Churchill, for all the bulk standard reasons.

        10. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 17, 2014 at 1:22 am |

          @ldouglas, Madhusree Mukerjee’s book, “Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II”.

          Wow. I read the first couple chapters tonight, and just… wow. I mean, I didn’t have a particularly rosy view of British colonialism in India before this book (obviously) but this is an entirely new level of disturbing.

      2. anna_k
        anna_k February 16, 2014 at 3:41 pm |

        @Yonah, mac is right that I was referring to the Holocaust/India comparison, but I agree with your point for sure.

        Examination of the way every complicit nation but Germany (and Germany hardly did it perfectly or quickly, arguably not even in the same generation) painted themselves as hapless victim/innocent bystander vs. the German perpetrator in the immediate aftermath of WWII and ever since is also pretty telling in this regard.

        With the India thing, I often get “but the War effort to stop the Holocaust!!!” as though that excuses a policy of deliberate and unnecessary starvation/the Allies’ primary focus was ending that, or “3 million vs 6 million!” (really, I’ve had people use that one) and also, I think, a general discomfort with toppling the myth that India was the exotic and lovely “jewel in the crown” of the glorious British empire.

        @tigtog, completely agree with your comment re Churchill.

        1. EG
          EG February 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm |

          With the India thing, I often get “but the War effort to stop the Holocaust!!!” as though that excuses a policy of deliberate and unnecessary starvation/the Allies’ primary focus was ending that

          Plus, it was hardly the first time the British caused mass, unnecessary starvation of people they had subjugated.

        2. Donna L
          Donna L February 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm |

          The war effort by the Allies hardly had stopping the Holocaust as a primary purpose! The Allied governments knew very well what was going on in the extermination camps, through reports from the Polish underground and others, from a surprisingly early date. The activities of the Einsatzgruppen beginning in June 1941 were equally well-known. If “saving the Jews” had really been the primary goal, there are all sorts of efforts that could have been made by the Allies (there’s an extensive literature about issues like whether the railway lines to Auschwitz and other death camps could have been bombed) — efforts that could certainly have saved many lives, especially given how strenuously the Germans pursued their extermination efforts up until the very end, long after they knew the outcome of the war was inevitable.

          But of course the justification for never doing very much (if anything) was always that the best way of saving people was winning the war. Plus, at least in the USA, FDR was always very sensitive to the accusation that the war was a “Jewish War” — which, if true, would have been enormously unpopular.

          At least the British, for all their sins, saved 10,000 German, Austrian, and Czech Jewish children in the Kindertransport — including my mother — who were allowed to enter the UK from December 1938 until August 1939. Most would undoubtedly have died otherwise — just as most of their parents were murdered. (The idea of admitting adult Jewish refugees was, of course, unthinkable.) The proposal to take similar steps by allowing 20,000 unaccompanied children to come to the USA (the Wagner-Rogers Act) got absolutely nowhere in Congress because of the concerted opposition of institutions like the American Legion, the DAR, and others. [Continued:]

        3. Donna L
          Donna L February 16, 2014 at 7:01 pm |

          See this excerpt from an article in the Jewish Week about the US reaction to Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938. I particularly enjoy the comment by FDR’s cousin:

          Detailed reports about Kristallnacht appeared repeatedly on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers during the days following the pogrom. However, some newspapers had difficulty acknowledging that the Nazis were motivated by hatred of Jews. A New York Times editorial argued that the Hitler regime’s real motive was financial “that the purpose of the violence was to “make a profit for itself out of legalized loot.” Likewise, the Baltimore Sun characterized the pogrom as a “money collecting enterprise.”

          President Franklin Roosevelt responded to Kristallnacht with a sharp verbal condemnation and two gestures: He recalled the U.S. ambassador from Germany for “consultations,” and he extended the visitors’ visas of the approximately 12,000 German Jewish refugees who were then in the United States. But at the same time, FDR announced that liberalization of America’s tight immigration quotas was “not in contemplation.”

          In the wake of Kristallnacht, humanitarian-minded members of Congress introduced legislation to aid German Jewry. A bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Edith Rogers (R-Mass.) proposed the admission of 20,000 German refugee children outside the quotas. Nativist and isolationist groups vociferously opposed the Wagner-Rogers bill. Typical of their perspective was a remark by FDR’s cousin, Laura Delano Houghteling, who was the wife of the U.S. commissioner of immigration. She warned that “20,000 charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.”

          An appeal to FDR by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for his support of the bill fell on deaf ears, and an inquiry by a congresswoman as to the president’s position was returned to his secretary marked “File No action FDR.”

          Mindful of polls showing most Americans opposed to more immigration, Roosevelt preferred to follow public opinion rather than lead it. Without his support, the Wagner-Rogers bill was buried in committee.

          Ironically, when Pets magazine the following year launched a campaign to have Americans take in purebred British puppies so they would not be harmed by German bombing raids, the magazine was flooded with several thousand offers of haven for the dogs.

          Only purebreds, of course! No mongrel Jewish dogs, or children, wanted.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm |

          Ironically, when Pets magazine the following year launched a campaign to have Americans take in purebred British puppies so they would not be harmed by German bombing raids, the magazine was flooded with several thousand offers of haven for the dogs.

          Fucking Hell. I can’t even. Oh my god.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L February 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm |

          I’m not for one second suggesting that the USA bears responsibility for the Shoah, in either a practical or a moral sense. But if it’s really true that “Western white people feel extra reassured that they have NO guilt in the Holocaust,” perhaps people who feel that way shouldn’t feel quite so reassured.

          I have always believed that in a real sense, the US has on its hands, among other things, at least some of the blood of those 20,000 Jewish children they turned away, who never had the chance to grow up and become ugly Jewish adults. As one Nazi newspaper put it after the failure of the Evian Conference to take concrete steps like easing immigration quotas, “We can see that one likes to pity the Jews … but no state is prepared to … accept a few thousand Jews. Thus the conference serves to justify Germany’s policy against Jewry.”

        6. ldouglas
          ldouglas February 17, 2014 at 1:35 am |

          A bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Wagner (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Edith Rogers (R-Mass.) proposed the admission of 20,000 German refugee children outside the quotas. Nativist and isolationist groups vociferously opposed the Wagner-Rogers bill.

          I don’t want to deflect from the general horribleness of all of the above, but Robert Wagner is a personal hero of mine and worth reading about- in addition to the above, he wrote much of Social Security and sponsored one of the first federal anti-lynching laws.The National Labor Relations Act is also known as the Wagner Act.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L February 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm |

          As far back as 1911, when he was in the State Senate, he was in charge of the legislative committee that investigated factory conditions after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, resulting in many new laws.

          For anyone not from New York, by the way, Mayor Wagner was his son. A different kind of politician from his father — he was an ally of Carmine DeSapio (the famous Tammany Hall boss) for many years, and, as such, was one of my father’s political opponents.

        8. Donna L
          Donna L February 17, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

          (Because it’s always all about me, I have now managed to take this from my mother all the way around to my father.)

        9. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve February 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm |

          At least the British, for all their sins, saved 10,000 German, Austrian, and Czech Jewish children in the Kindertransport — including my mother — who were allowed to enter the UK from December 1938 until August 1939. Most would undoubtedly have died otherwise — just as most of their parents were murdered. (The idea of admitting adult Jewish refugees was, of course, unthinkable.) The proposal to take similar steps by allowing 20,000 unaccompanied children to come to the USA (the Wagner-Rogers Act) got absolutely nowhere in Congress because of the concerted opposition of institutions like the American Legion, the DAR, and others.

          Sir Horace Wilson negotiated with Hitler on Chamberlain’s behalf to make the point that the only concern the rest of the world had about the fate of Germany’s Jews was that they should not flee to their countries.

          Sir Horace told the journalist Colin Cross in 1968 – that is, 23 years after the liberation of Auschwitz – that he understood Hitler’s feelings about the Jews. “Have you ever met a Jew you liked?” he asked Cross.

  7. Ally S
    Ally S February 16, 2014 at 1:43 am |

    I’ve arrived in Colorado. Let’s see how things turn out for me here…

    1. Ally S
      Ally S February 16, 2014 at 2:08 am |

      In other news, apparently my dad has actually been trying to gender me properly. He used to call me “beta”, which means “son” in Urdu, but now he is trying to call me “beiti”, which means “daughter” in Urdu. And he’s trying to use female pronouns for me as well. I don’t really know how to react to this news, but it’s nice to see another indicator of him accepting me.

      1. EG
        EG February 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm |

        That’s good. I’m glad he has enough respect and feeling for you to do that. It doesn’t erase the hell he has put you through, but it’s good to know that he’s making an effort.

  8. Andie
    Andie February 16, 2014 at 8:16 am |

    Starting some counselling this week, on Tuesday. I’m a little leery of the counsellor I got hooked up with through my work coverage, as I think she may be the same one I had when my kids dad and I split up 11 years ago who was overly interested in whether I had a relationship with God, (at the time i identified wiccan, now ID as atheist) but I’m going to go to a session and see how it goes. The insurance company told me if I was not comfortable with the counsellor they would set me up with someone else.

    Anyway, I decided I needed to talk to someone due to a ridiculous anxiety build-up over the last five months, dealing with the cancer, the house stuff, money stuff, kid stuff, relationship stuff, winter etc etc. after a few bad breakdowns (including one at work… Gah, embarrassing). I was supposed to go last Thursday but I had the wrong address and ended up sitting outside a locked building and missed my appointment.

    In other news, I caught wind of a project at work focusing on women in science and I approached the supervisor and offered my services in whatever way I could, so I’m kind of excited to see where this goes.

    1. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 17, 2014 at 11:12 pm |

      I started therapy a few months ago. The thing I find the hardest is figuring out if I’m being genuine or putting on an act, whilst trying my best not to think about it during the session.

      1. Computer Soldier Porygon
        Computer Soldier Porygon February 18, 2014 at 6:55 am |

        Man, I have that same problem in my freaking journal. I can sometimes (often!) feel myself putting spin on shit even though I’m trying to be raw and unvarnished and no one is reading it but me.

  9. Ally S
    Ally S February 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm |

    Today I learned that my sister and her boyfriend are both MRAs.

    GODDAMMIT T_T

    1. EG
      EG February 16, 2014 at 5:01 pm |

      Ugh. I’m sorry.

    2. Kerandria
      Kerandria February 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm |

      re: MRAs..that’s awful, I’m sorry!

      I’m glad that you’re out of your father’s home and hope that you do well in Colorado.

  10. Angel H.
    Angel H. February 19, 2014 at 7:56 pm |

    Mods: I understand how Spillover works wrt the other threads, but would somebody mind clarifying how it works for the Open Threads?My understading was that the Open Threads were pretty much free-for-all (within reason). What’s an exampl of a derail in an Open Thread that should be taken to Spillover?

    1. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll February 19, 2014 at 8:19 pm |

      I don’t think a racist derail should be treated like run of the mill derailment, frankly. It’s saying ” take your racism to be spill over thread” for hells sake. And, seriously? Racist derails are ok as stand alone, new topics?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune February 19, 2014 at 8:34 pm |

        And, seriously? Racist derails are ok as stand alone, new topics?

        Seconded.

  11. Ally S
    Ally S February 19, 2014 at 11:59 pm |

    I just had an exhausting phone conversation with my dad that lasted almost 3 hours total. Summary:

    “I’m listening to bigots as well! I need to hear both sides of the argument.”
    “You have confirmation bias.”
    “You will always be my son and I love you.”
    “You will always be a male no matter how much you change your perfectly healthy body.”
    “You’re going to become bipolar because of HRT.”
    “I feel horrible that you don’t trust me.”
    “Some people regret transitioning!”

    *sigh*…

    1. Donna L
      Donna L February 20, 2014 at 12:29 am |

      I’m so sorry, Ally. I hope you’re able to avoid that kind of conversation with your father in the future, even if it’s necessary to make clear to him that this isn’t a subject you’re willing to discuss, at all. It’s so not what you (or anyone) needs. Whatever his intentions.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve February 20, 2014 at 11:58 am |

        I’m so sorry, Ally. I hope you’re able to avoid that kind of conversation with your father in the future, even if it’s necessary to make clear to him that this isn’t a subject you’re willing to discuss, at all. It’s so not what you (or anyone) needs. Whatever his intentions.

        Donna is speaking very wisely here. The one thing that wasn’t clear at first, that is becoming pretty plain to see, is that you do really care what your father thinks (i.e. you’re not just scared of the consequences of his action.) Try not to get down on yourself for being ‘fooled’ by him, it is your humanity that makes you care and we can all tell you to never speak to him again, but if that’s not right for you, it’s not right for you, even if it’s the ‘sensible’ decision.

        1. trees
          trees February 20, 2014 at 12:13 pm |

          I too agree with DonnaL and Fat Steve’s sage advice. Could you maybe limit it to email communication only? You could have an email address that you use just for him that you would check maybe once a week when you are up to it.

  12. Donna L
    Donna L February 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm |

    The degree of open, gleeful transphobia and racism in this Julie Burchill piece in the Spectator is quite upsetting, no matter how many times she (and so many others) have said equally horrible things before:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9141292/dont-you-dare-tell-me-to-check-my-privilege/

    1. Ally S
      Ally S February 20, 2014 at 9:51 pm |

      I want to read the article and criticize it, but I’m scared of reading the whole thing because I’m really easily triggered by Burchill’s articles. The only TERFs that write things more triggering are trans women TERFs.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L February 20, 2014 at 10:07 pm |

        Ally, please don’t read what she wrote, and please don’t ever read anything by the likes of Gallus Mag or others like her. She’s worse than CB in terms of playing on trans women’s insecurities, I think, and she’s way more openly vile than Burchill (probably because she writes on her own blog and there are no restraints at all on her obscene language).

        But Burchill is about as bad as it gets in terms of transphobes with a regular platform in the mainstream media.

        1. Ally S
          Ally S February 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm |

          Don’t worry; I won’t read any of the stuff you mentioned. Last time I read one of Burchill’s articles (I think someone here linked to them but I forgot who) I was triggered so badly that I felt anxious and sad for 3 days. Even though I knew her article was wrong and bigoted. I wish I was strong enough to read these articles and write responses to them. I once wrote a journal entry responding to one of Burchill’s articles, but it took a lot out of me and made my triggered state even worse.

    2. Matthew
      Matthew February 20, 2014 at 9:52 pm |

      She is awful; hasn’t seemed to think about what she wrote at all… and still willfully using the same disgusting slurs. Love Paris Lees though!

    3. trees
      trees February 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm |

      Fuck. Although I read that earlier today and have been trying to block it out of my mind ever since, I just listened to the podcast. The intellectual dishonesty and the cruel power plays of this “toxic” mess takes me breathe. We’re really not all on the same team and it seems silly to presume otherwise. Julie Burchill and her like are reinforcing the fences and slinging horse shit.

      1. EG
        EG February 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm |

        And I sure as hell don’t want to be on the same team as Julie Burchill. She’s loathesome.

    4. Andie
      Andie February 21, 2014 at 8:05 am |

      What a horrible, despicable person.

    5. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable February 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm |

      I feel like we should actively hold someone responsible when they give a soap box to someone who is actually making people dumber.

    6. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm |

      She’s loathesome.

      What a horrible, despicable person.

      I’ve noticed the fact that she’s so annoying makes her easy to dismiss. It’s certainly more disappointing when so-called ‘normal’ ‘reasonable’ feminists use some of the same talking points,

      1. Donna L
        Donna L February 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm |

        makes her easy to dismiss

        Fat Steve, I know you’re trying to be supportive. You do understand, I hope, that Burchill and those like her may be easy for you to dismiss, but aren’t so easy for me, and Ally, and others like us, to dismiss? Since we are her direct targets? Of course I know (rationally) that she’s a vicious, horrible excuse for a human being, and that every word she says — including “and” and “the” — is a lie or absurd or both. (Like her idea that by vilifying trans women and making racist comments she’s somehow upholding working-class socialist principles against the wealthy. Because everybody knows that being a trans woman is typically an indulgence of the idle rich, right?)

        But that doesn’t make what she says (and others say) easy to dismiss emotionally. When you grow up and spend your life immersed in a pervasively and virulently transphobic world, with little or no support from anyone, and few if any positive role models (at least before the Internet), it’s not so easy (no matter how hard or for how many years you work at it, and no matter how much acceptance you may eventually find) to escape internalized transphobia — all of which makes you very vulnerable, and makes it very difficult to dismiss and laugh off external transphobia, even when it’s as ludicrous as Burchill’s. It’s the old “one negative comment = ten positive ones” theory, at least in terms of emotional effect. It’s worse, of course, when the negativity comes from someone you know, whether it’s Ally’s father or, even after all these years, my father’s wife. But even the Burchills and Bindels and Brennans of the world can have an effect.

        1. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue February 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

          Plus it might be easier to dismiss Burchill if she wasn’t being published in a major newspaper.

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