Ray Rice dropped and suspended now that the NFL can no longer ignore the truth

[Trigger warning for domestic abuse]

Ray Rice beat his fiancee unconscious in a casino elevator. In February of this year, he and then fiancee Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice) were both arrested for a domestic altercation — a “very minor” one, Ray’s attorney said — caught on surveillance video. In fact, footage leaked to TMZ showed Ray dragging Janay*, unconscious, out of an elevator, and simple assault charges were dropped against her; he was indicted for third-degree aggravated assault.

He was given a two-game suspension by the NFL (which has been compared to the six-game suspension hung on Ben Roethlisberger for sexually assaulting a white woman, and Michael Vick’s league exile and prison time for dogfighting) and admitted into a pre-trial intervention program to avoid prosecution. (I mean, we didn’t really know what happened in that elevator to render her unconscious, right?) And the Baltimore Ravens tweeted in May — and then deleted today — this apology:

(I didn’t say it was their apology.)

Today, footage was released of the actual attack — Ray slapping her, then punching her, then standing nonchalantly over her unconscious body until they arrived at their floor and the elevator doors opened. Now unable to pretend that Janay’s limp body was the result of anything other than a beating at the hands of her fiance, the Ravens dropped Ray, and the NFL has suspended him indefinitely.

To be clear: Janay’s unconscious body and Ray’s admission of guilt and indictment for aggravated assault earned him a two-game suspension. The video from inside the elevator changed nothing about the facts but everything about the optics, thus the league’s choice to ultimately save face by handing him (almost) the penalty he deserved.

The Baltimore Ravens and the NFL get no credit for doing something good here. They get a minor amount of credit for finally getting close to what they should have done back when the first evidence appeared that the casino altercation was more than just “very minor,” when the first video showed that whatever happened in the elevator, Ray came out conscious and Janay didn’t. Throughout the spring, they dropped to negative ten, and now they’re back up to around zero. Covering their collective asses was nothing more than a self-serving act, and the fact that it happened to result in further penalty for Ray Rice was a convenient accident. It was no less than could be expected, almost literally the least they could do. If this incident can at least be used to shame them into paying some amount of attention to domestic violence, we can call it a draw. But we also can’t forget that their first instinct was to throw blame on the survivor of Ray’s assault, and their current instinct is still to deny responsibility because, well, without having video of Ray’s fist connecting with Janay’s face, they really had no way of knowing what happened.

*First name used not out of disrespect or familiarity but to avoid confusion, since both Ray and Janay now share the same last name.


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59 comments for “Ray Rice dropped and suspended now that the NFL can no longer ignore the truth

  1. TomSims
    September 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Maybe the Congress should suspend the NFL’s monopoly.

  2. Drahill
    September 9, 2014 at 9:45 am

    The crazy thing, to me, is exactly how much the NFL bears responsibility for this. Let’s face it – football is so strongly tied up in the ethos of being a “real man” in America. It’s seen as the essential American sport, one that men look up to and hope that their sons play. The NFL has cultivated the image for years that football is the sphere of the “real American man.”

    And that’s part of the problem. One of my friends made an interesting comment last night. She had been reading the coverage and noted that “How different would the coverage be if Ray Rice had not struck his wife after she hit him (ETA: I could not tell from the footage if she ever strikes him in any way, I think this comes from the initial reports that stated it was a “mutual altercation”) but had simply diengaged and left the elevator when it opened up?”

    My friend brought up something interesting. If Ray Rice had refused to put his hands on his wife, how many commentators and/or fans would now be deriding him as a “wimp” or “p***y” because he allowed his woman to “get out of line” and do that to him (either meaning putting her hands on him and/or the intial gambling a large sum of money that allegedly led to their initial verbal conflict).

    I don’t mean this in any way to excuse Ray Rice. Not at all – he did the actions and now he should pay the penalty (frankly, he is fortunate that prison time is not a part of the package). However, I think this goes beyond Ray Rice. The NFL and its supporters have worked so hard to establish it as bastion of “real manhood” and its climate influences the players.

    I remember working in a counseling center that sometimes held group sessions for people convicted of DV offenses. Among the men in the group, one of the common refrains that shocked me the first few times I heard it was how men felt OBLIGATED to strike women out of a sense of fear that if they did not, they would be “weak” or “not a real man” anymore. It really floored me. It also made me start to believe that DV cannot be classified as isolated or intimate violence anymore. Why aren’t the organizations that create such a fertile climate for this stuff help accountable? Part of it, to me, is because doing so would have to acknowledge that all men who are a part of this culture are at some risk of abusing, and we don’t like to think that. But how else can anything meaninful be done? So sure, make it about Ray Rice – he certainly deserves it. But I think stopping with him would drop the ball.

    • PrettyAmiable
      September 9, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      If Ray Rice had refused to put his hands on his wife, how many commentators and/or fans would now be deriding him as a “wimp” or “p***y” because he allowed his woman to “get out of line” and do that to him (either meaning putting her hands on him and/or the intial gambling a large sum of money that allegedly led to their initial verbal conflict).

      I am perfectly content to admit that I am living a semi-sheltered life, but do you think this is true? The only people I’ve ever heard say “he should have hit her” are MRAs. I’ve typically only seen people react with disgust when they hear a burly dude hit a woman.

      • Drahill
        September 9, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        The only people I’ve seen reacting with glee or obvious approval are MRAs. But I’m not too concerned with them (largely because they are beyond help). But it’s the others. Did you catch Whoopi Goldberg on the View arguing that Rice’s wife was guility too for putting her hands on him (this is when it was reported as a “mutual altercation)? Did you catch Stephen Smith equivocating the two of them? Have you caught Twitter lately – there seem to be a lot of people who think that, while Rice was wrong, his wife should have known that spitting on him, or hitting him first, or losing thousands of dollars in the casino (as has been reported) would inflame him to the point where he’d lose control?

        Most people see it as wrong. But plenty of them are adding “It was wrong, but…” onto that. But she spit on him. But she lost a ton of his money. But she married him anyway. But she hit him too. If you’re not hearing this stuff, you may be sheltered. I know I’m hearing it.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 9, 2014 at 2:38 pm

        Of course I’m hearing the victim blaming, but there’s a difference between “she was asking for it” (obviously still wrong, if this isn’t clear) and “he’s a pussy if he DIDN’T hit her.”

      • C. Auguste Dupin
        September 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm

        Agreed, there is no excuse. The proper response to a fiancé who hits you and spits on you is to get your ring back and move on.

      • Drahill
        September 9, 2014 at 3:06 pm

        I’ve seen both. I don’t like to frequent Twitchy (as it’s fairly right-wing) but they actually created a collection of tweets from people arguing that Rice was in the right to hit her – mostly either because 1.) she hit him too 2.) she spat on him or 3.) she lost a ton of his money gambling.

        Frankly, I feel like you missed the point slightly. This isn’t about how many people are willing to publicly state that Rice was in the right – although they do exist. My point was that the NFL creates and nurtures an environment in which this kind of thing is ripe. And I must ask – do you have any experience in the DV field? I do, and I’ve dealt with men – both the abusers and abused. The idea that a man should be able to control a woman is dominant in many communities. It’s called “being a man” or “machismo” or any other collection of names. So, with all due respect, just because you’re not seeing it in the press or on Twitter (although it is there if you look for it) doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        I hardly agree that I’m missing the point because I disagree with a comment you made.

        There is a meaningful difference between justifying horrific abuse that is suffered because that’s what results from collective cognitive dissonances/just-world orientations and actively encouraging someone to beat their partner. I do not know a single man (who, for argument’s sake, make up at least half of the people I’ve met in my life as I work in a dude-dominated industry) who thinks an element of manhood includes beating women who act aggressively towards you. Giving off an aura of manliness? Sure. Getting made fun of because a woman pushed you around (or hit you)? Sure. But that’s not where you’re stopping. You’re saying that broad communities (as opposed to outliers like MRAs) will make fun of a man for NOT HITTING A WOMAN IN RETALIATION, and I am absolutely calling bullshit on that.

      • Tim
        September 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        Whoopi Goldberg, srsly? This is the same woman who thinks that a 40-something man drugging and sodomizing a 12 YO girl is not “rape-rape.”

        Every person who tunes into the next NFL game broadcast is delivering a “YES” vote on how the commissioner handled this thing.

      • Drahill
        September 10, 2014 at 2:17 pm

        But your point that YOU don’t know any men who think this way isn’t actually an argument for anything. I’ve seen it, I’ve spoken to men who believe it. Pheeno pointed out below that she’s seen it. It’s a big part of groups and places where hyper-masculinity are common or expected.

        So am I expected to defer to you because your personal experience does not jibe with mine? Frankly, if that’s your point, I’d prefer to call BS on you than anyone else here.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        You specifically cited coverage and fans in your comment. I will give you that *some* fans may give him shit if they a) hang out in the sleazy biker bars pheeno highlights, are MRAs, or are already part of the system that addresses men who commit DV.

        I take huge issue with you suggesting that it’s meaningfully broader than the outliers highlighted above. What coverage have you ever seen on ESPN or on a major news network or on Deadspin or on any legitimate other kind of sports news source that says a man SHOULD HIT A WOMAN if she’s violent/mouthy to him? You’ve seen this? This is a thing in your experience? Where.

        You’re taking outliers and trying to draw broad societal strokes. I have an issue with that.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 10, 2014 at 4:57 pm

        Just to be clear – since the beginning, my contention has been that it’s completely inappropriate to say that people (or men) would broadly denigrate a man for NOT hitting a woman. This isn’t a my-experience-vs-your-experience thing. There should be support for the kind of claim that you made, which is that fans and the media would call him a pussy because he refused to put his hands on a woman. Not that outliers exist. I even highlighted outliers in my initial comment.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

        It’s not outliers. You don’t hear people on ESPN using racial slurs against poc players, but that doesn’t mean it never leaves their lips among family and friends or that it’s just outliers who have that mentality. Please don’t try to dismiss what I’ve witnessed as ” oh just those people like that and they don’t count”. They count for me. I live around them.

      • Drahill
        September 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

        I’m not sure if you’re being dense at this point or you didn’t read what I said before. Websites have collected the tweets and social media of people emphatically stating that Rice needed to hit his wife or he would be a “bitch.” I would be curious – you seem to be dismissing this stuff as “outliers” with a wave of your hand. But how do you define outliers? Statistically, outliers by definition are rare – there aren’t that many of them. However, judging by the sheer number of what it out there – coupled with the data on DV offenders that shows such attitudes are fairly common among them – I don’t think you can be so cavalier.

        I think you misread my comments from the beginning. I never argued that a numerical majority of men hold such views. But it is true that ENOUGH of them hold these views that their influence is quite strong – especially in certain sects and communities, and strong enough that their influence is still a major reason why DV is happening.

        I actually went back and re-read my comment, and you really missed the point. I never argued for the numerical or statistical dominance of the viewpoint. However, it’s more common than you may care to think. You’re still basically coming down on the side of “Well, I’ve never seen it, so I refuse to believe it.” Even though there are people who know otherwise, and even actual research saying otherwise now.

      • Drahill
        September 11, 2014 at 9:42 am

        You don’t hear people on ESPN using racial slurs against poc players, but that doesn’t mean it never leaves their lips among family and friends or that it’s just outliers who have that mentality.

        Pheeno, let us not forget Richard Sherman, who was astute enough to point out that sports commentators, lacking the ability to call him the n-word now just defer to calling him a thug. I’d argue that on-air racism may be very alive and well, but they just know how to cover it up a little better.

      • tinfoil hattie
        September 11, 2014 at 9:51 am

        I believe you, Drahill. I have absolutely no problem believing there is a culture of “don’t let your woman ge out of line” in patriarchy. “henpecked,” “pussy-whipped,” “on a leash,” even “wimp” – they all mean “That bitch should not be in charge. You need to show her who’s boss.” And you don’t have to come out and say, “Hell yes, I’d hit my woman if she got out of line” to people you work with in order for it to be true.

      • tinfoil hattie
        September 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

        “or are already part of the system that addresses men who commit DV.”

        Pretty Amiable – who do you think commits DV? Only Certain Types of Sleazy Men? ALL types and ALL classes, races, religions are covered. “already part of the system”? The “system” is society. The world over.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s dense to point out there are >`150mm men in the US (to limit this to the country in which it happened) and that I cannot buy that more than 1% would agree with you, let alone any sizeable percentage. I’m not going to change my mind in the absence of proof on the back of anecdata.

        TH, the reason I said “people who are in the DV system” (or however I worded it upthread) is because Drahill specifically levied zir experience in that system at me, stating zie comes across these people all the time in her work. No other reason (not to mention that I assume most people who hit their family – or are hit by them – never get help).

        pheeno, it matters when it happens. Of course it matters. All victims of assault matter. That’s not what I’m arguing. I’m arguing against the line that says broad swathes of men are abusers or are abuse promoters.

        I think you misread my comments from the beginning. I never argued that a numerical majority of men hold such views.

        I didn’t say “numerical majority.” No, you implied that someone in the media would call him a pussy here:

        If Ray Rice had refused to put his hands on his wife, how many commentators and/or fans would now be deriding him as a “wimp” or “p***y” because he allowed his woman to “get out of line” and do that to him

        I’m not going to say again that I’m not arguing with your broader point (YOU seem to be dense and missing THIS point). I have a massive issue with that comment because it’s not rooted in any kind of fact. How many commentators would be deriding him for not hitting her? I’m going to say zero. And if you mean in their private lives, I can’t imagine why it would matter that they’re commentators.

      • Drahill
        September 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        PrettyAmiable, did you gloss over when I pointed out that at least two people – Whoopi Goldberg, although her comments were not as bad, and Stephen A. Smith, who postured that if Janay Rice did not want to be beaten, she should not have put herself in a position to provoke Ray Rice and “made him do that.” You have no be majorly hair-splitting not to see what that means: Janay Rice behaved in an unnacceptable way and Ray Rice was not wrong to treat her the way he did. Ray Rice’s behavior, in that context, is not just excusable but fully permissable and okay.

        That’s the point. Its not about whether somebody would go on tv and speak from the script that PrettyAmiable thinks is required. It’s about creating a culture in which abuse isn’t just excused, it’s EXPECTED. If a man doesn’t respond with violence to a woman acting a certain way, he fails to meet the expectations of manhood that have been set up for him. And that makes him, spoken or not, a pussy.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        Or in the case of Jay Z and his sister in law, a fucking paragon of virtue for not hitting her and just letting the body guards hold her back. That was all over the news and he’s just a perfect awesome wonderful human being for NOT hitting her. Saint Jay Z, because he didn’t do what the status quo thinks is acceptable violence against a woman. Not a man who simply meets the minimum of decency. Nope. He’s practically a saint.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

        And then the comments on Facebook when that happened devolved into he was whipped by Beyonce that’s why he didn’t knock her out, he was a wuss and should have knocked her out, if she did that to ME I’d have knocked her out. I read every variation of those comments everytime that story was posted. Including those bashing Beyonce for allowing her sister to attack her husband. Very few people asked what he did to provoke it. The sister is crazy, she’s a diva, shes wratchet, Beyonce was at fault….that was said more often.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        PrettyAmiable, did you gloss over when I pointed out that at least two people – Whoopi Goldberg, although her comments were not as bad, and Stephen A. Smith, who postured that if Janay Rice did not want to be beaten, she should not have put herself in a position to provoke Ray Rice and “made him do that.”

        Diiiiid you gloss over the approx. 34 times I said victim blaming IS rampant in the media, but that’s NOT MY ISSUE, my issue is the idea that the media would SHAME a man for NOT beating his wife?

        Let’s try this. Why don’t you try restating, in your own words, what my issue is? I don’t know how many times I have to repeat it without you conflating encouraging a man to beat a woman with victim-blaming. Among other things, the subject of the media message is different.

        Or in the case of Jay Z and his sister in law, a fucking paragon of virtue for not hitting her and just letting the body guards hold her back.

        This I interpreted was broad racism, not a tacit approval of violence against women. I saw this as people expecting a black man to hit a woman who aggressed towards him, but I’m open to other interpretations (esp. since I’m white and could be wrong).

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm

        Both racism and misogyny can happen at the same time.

      • September 11, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        Or in the case of Jay Z and his sister in law, a fucking paragon of virtue for not hitting her and just letting the body guards hold her back. That was all over the news and he’s just a perfect awesome wonderful human being for NOT hitting her. Saint Jay Z, because he didn’t do what the status quo thinks is acceptable violence against a woman. Not a man who simply meets the minimum of decency. Nope. He’s practically a saint.

        I was not unimpressed with Jay-Z’s reaction, not because he didn’t knock her out like Ray Rice, not because he didn’t hit her or slap her, but because he kept cool. I hate Kipling, but I felt Jay-Z embodied the quote
        ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…’

        You are obviously right that it doesn’t make him a saint or a paragon of virtue, but considering how many guys out there don’t have the minimum amount of decency in a similar situation, I do think a man displaying the minimum of decency is worth a positive comment or two, though obviously not the veneration you’re talking about.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 9, 2014 at 6:05 pm

        I’ve heard it, seen it and experienced it in action. Yes. People ( mostly men) will think and say a man is weak if he lets a woman get away with what they view as disrespect. I’ve heard men in bars tell a guy to check his b**ch after she got ” mouthy” and if he didn’t slap her they would have called him whipped. You can see that mentality in many a sleazy biker bar, any night of the week.

      • Asia
        September 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        Ray Rice punched her repeatedly. There’s a difference between check your woman in a bar or believeing men are the head of the household and punching someone. I’m familiar with that type of behavior as well. However, there happy marriages and families across cultural boundaries. If consents to a traditional judeo-christian or Islamic marriage it doesn’t inherently mean she’s abused. I’m uncomfortable labeling any one culture as inherently abusive. In my experience , the problem seemed to be abusers hiding behind cultural values.

      • EG
        September 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

        I’m not sure why you’re lumping traditional Jewish and traditional Christian marriages together but separating out Muslim ones–Jewish and Christian traditions are quite different, and their marriages are also.

        Leaving that aside, where on earth do you see pheeno labeling a given culture, religion, or ethnic group as inherently abusive?

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 10, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        I once witnessed a guy hold a pool cue like a bat and beat the crap out of his girlfriend for interrupting his game and no one batted an eye, they just continued playing. I’m not talking about head of household crap either. Pretty sure they weren’t married and doubt either were religious at all.

        Same couple about 2 months later- she ran over him with their car in the parking lot because he was talking to another woman. The men laughed, the women nodded approvingly. There are lines you don’t cross, for people who have this mentality. Crossing that line results in harsh punishment. The lines are different depending on the individual, but the punishment is always violent. Women are allowed fewer lines to draw in the sand.

      • Asia
        September 10, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        I lumped them together because I don’t know enough about traditional marriages outside of those 3 backgrounds to talk about them. Also, I separated Muslims because I couldn’t think of the word that described all three and America’s various interpretations of judeo-Christian culture evolved pretty separately from Islam.

        I thought Drahill and Pheno were referring to traditional type religious relationships with machismo. Now from Pheno’s second post I have no idea what’s up with that bar. That level of abuse being acceptable hasn’t been my experience.

      • September 11, 2014 at 7:13 pm

        Also, I separated Muslims because I couldn’t think of the word that described all three

        The phrase you’re looking for is “the Abrahamic faiths”, one monotheistic subset of Middle-Eastern religions in the geographical-origin comparative religion classification system (as contrasted with Indian religions, East Asian religions, African religions, (indigenous) American religions, Oceanic religions, European pagan religions and classical Hellenistic religions).

      • EG
        September 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

        The point is that the Jewish and Christian traditions developed very separately as well and lumping them together like that is very misleading. Traditional Jewish marriages are very different from traditional Christian ones.

      • EG
        September 11, 2014 at 12:02 am

        Basically, “Judeo-Christian” is a term used by right-wingers to imply that conservative Christian values and actions are also Jewish. They’re not, and it’s all a sleight-of-hand meant to erase centuries and centuries of Christian anti-semitism, and I really object to its use.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        September 11, 2014 at 12:51 am

        That bar in particular was where The Last Few motorcycle club hung out. They’re an extreme example of the same mentality of keep your woman in line, even with violence, or you’re not a man. Think Sons of Anarchy, only less nice. Most were meth dealers/ manufacturers and gun runners. The bar didn’t ID so my stupid 19 and 20 year old self went there to drink underage.And sometimes went to their clubhouse, where things really got crazy, especially after I started dating the ( at the time non member) brother of the president of the mc. He wasn’t like that when we started dating, but he slowly got sucked in and I got the hell out.

      • PrettyAmiable
        September 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

        EG – realize this is off topic, but thanks for highlighting that. I’ve never heard anyone vocalize a problem with that term, but it makes sense to me.

      • EG
        September 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        You’re very welcome! We chatted about it briefly on a thread some years back, but it was a long time ago…

      • Asia
        September 11, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        Thanks for describing that EG. I’ve always heard it explained as Judaism and Christianity being siblings where Islam is the cousin. (Mormons would be the unwanted stepchild) However, your right I’ve only ever heard Christians describe it that way.

        The Muslims I’ve known also clumped all three together equally under Abrahamic faiths. But, I know Christians that resent that classification.

        I would still say that Christianity and Judaism have a far more influence on Western culture than any other religion.

      • September 11, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        I would still say that Christianity and Judaism have a far more influence on Western culture than any other religion.

        More Western cultural traditions have roots that trace back to classical Roman legal and political systems (grounded in pagan Rome’s contracts with its gods) than the traditions that trace back to Christianity or Judaism. USAmericans especially should be aware of these extremely strong (and deliberately chosen by the Constitutional Congress) historical connections.

      • September 12, 2014 at 5:14 am

        I’ve always heard it explained as Judaism and Christianity being siblings where Islam is the cousin. (Mormons would be the unwanted stepchild) However, your right I’ve only ever heard Christians describe it that way.

        Given that Judaism and Islam both assert descent from sons of Abraham (Isaac and Ishmael), supposedly two millennia before Christianity came on the scene, that is indeed a very Christocentric view of the relationship between the Abrahamic traditions (Muhammad’s revelation post-dates the Christian revelation, but the traditions of Arabs descending from Ishmael is much much much older than Muhammad).

      • Donna L
        September 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm

        EG, for some reason your link doesn’t work for me; in case that’s true of anyone else, the discussion took place in November 2011 (right after I started commenting here), and can be found at http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/11/07/deus-vult-%E2%80%9Cgod-wills-it%E2%80%9D/ .

        In the same thread, we also talked about the equal offense to many Jews caused by the use of “Old Testament,” and the doctrine of supersessionism in general.

      • Donna L
        September 11, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        I’m not sure “siblings” is a particularly apt analogy. I can think of some others that might be more appropriate, having to do with murderous, thieving children. But it would probably be wiser to keep my mouth shut.

      • September 12, 2014 at 9:53 am

        I’ve always heard it explained as Judaism and Christianity being siblings where Islam is the cousin. (Mormons would be the unwanted stepchild)

        Bearing in mind that Jesus was the stepchild of a Jew, your analogy is rather poor.

      • September 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

        I brought this up on a previous thread but I’m not as diligent as Donna so I can’t find the thread, so apologies if I’m repeating myself. Here’s my take on ‘Judeo-Christian’:

        When I was a kid (and Donna was a kid,) there was no such thing as ‘Christian.’ (outside of Biblical followers like the 12 apostles.) If you were Catholic, you said you were Catholic, if you were Protestant, then you said you were Protestant. Then in the wave of late 80’s early 90’s family values hysteria, all of a sudden this term ‘Christian’ came in to being as if to say ‘those of us that worship Christ have different values than the rest of you (i.e. Jews and atheists, the most prominent non-Christian voices at that time.) All of a sudden in the 90’s the term ‘Judeo-Christian’ started to appear, which was a way of conservative Christian politicians telling conservative Jewish voters that their values are the same as conservative Christians. Plus this helps the othering of Islam. However, if the meme of ‘Muslims as enemy/terrorist’ had never been established within the GOP, I’m sure politicians would be talking about Islamo-Judeo-Christian values.

      • EG
        September 12, 2014 at 10:34 am

        Fat Steve, I have to disagree. In the 1939 movie of the Wizard of Oz, Aunt Em says “Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t give you the power to run the rest of us! For thirty years I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you and now…well, being a Christian woman I can’t say it!”

        Well back into the 19th and 18th centuries people refer in writing to “Christendom” and “it just wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do.”

        What you’re saying sounds about right for, say, Northern Ireland, but it’s just not true historically. Distinguishing Christians as a group from (usually) Jews and also “pagans” has long been done using that term.

      • EG
        September 12, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Also, Fat Steve, since Jesus’s mother was certainly a Jew, I think that qualifies him for membership in the tribe, not just as a stepchild.

        That said, I’ve always considered Mormonism to be just an off-shoot of Christianity. Certainly I’ve never considered Christianity to be any sort of sibling to my ethnic/religious heritage, and given the troubled relationship between me and my sister, that would have been a low bar to clear. But no.

      • September 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

        Fat Steve, I have to disagree. In the 1939 movie of the Wizard of Oz, Aunt Em says “Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t give you the power to run the rest of us! For thirty years I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you and now…well, being a Christian woman I can’t say it!”

        Well back into the 19th and 18th centuries people refer in writing to “Christendom” and “it just wouldn’t be the Christian thing to do.”

        What you’re saying sounds about right for, say, Northern Ireland, but it’s just not true historically. Distinguishing Christians as a group from (usually) Jews and also “pagans” has long been done using that term.

        I can’t argue with that, but you’re referring to the use of the word Christian as an adjective, whereas I’m referring to Christian as a noun.
        Jesus may have been Jewish because Mary was Jewish, but that doesn’t negate what I said- he was also the step-child of a Jew.

        And I stick by the statement that when I was a kid, you never heard anyone refer to themselves as a Christian, rather Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah’s Witness, etc.
        However, that could just be a New York thing, plus being from NYC, many of my Catholic friends were from Irish (or Italian) backgrounds so that could have something to do with it.

      • Donna L
        September 12, 2014 at 12:40 pm

        Steve, when I was growing up in New York City, I didn’t really know many Protestants — I never had any WASP friends at all until I went to college. Just about everybody was Jewish or Roman Catholic, and you’re right that most Catholics identified themselves as such rather than Christians, even though every Catholic I’ve ever heard address the subject deeply resents the apparently widespread belief that the term “Christian” is limited to fundamentalist Protestants and is synonymous with the religious right.

        That said, “Christian” (rather than “Protestant”) has always been used as a general term in literature — popular and serious, prose and poetry — as well as in non-fiction. I am fondly reminded of one of my very favorite children’s songs, found in “Divine and Moral Songs for Children,” by Isaac Watts (first published in 1715).

        It begins:

        Lord, I ascribe it to thy grace,
        And not to chance as others do,
        That I was born of Christian race,
        And not a heathen, or a Jew.

        Don’t forget to sing this every day, children!

      • EG
        September 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

        “Judeo-Christian” is also an adjective, Fat Steve. Usually in front of “values.” So the newness or not of the noun is kind of irrelevant with respect to the topic of discussion.

      • EG
        September 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm

        I much prefer Blake’s response poem, Donna! It ends:

        “And all must love the human form,
        In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
        Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
        There God is dwelling too.”

      • Yonah
        September 12, 2014 at 5:33 am

        DonnaL, as usual: love it. But you might be interested in one Medieval piyut which describes the relationship between Christianity and Judaism otherwise. You know the story of the two women disputing over a baby who take their case before Solomon? One of the women accidentally rolled onto her child in the night and killed it, and so took the baby of a second woman, substituting her dead one. They both come before Solomon to assert that the living baby belongs to them. In the piyut, the first woman is likened to Christianity, which took the “baby” of Judaism (its sacred texts, etc). Pretty good allegory for appropriation in general, and also accurate in that it avoids casting them both as family members.

      • Yonah
        September 12, 2014 at 5:35 am
      • Donna L
        September 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm

        Thanks, Yonah; it sounds fascinating. And I’ve certainly heard of Abraham Ibn Ezra. Unfortunately, contrary to any assumptions you may have been making, I ‘m embarrassed to admit that I don’t read Hebrew — I never had any formal Jewish education; everything I’ve ever read has been in English translation, or in secondary sources.

        If I had several more lifetimes to live, one thing I would love to do (and regret not having done) is learn more languages — especially including learning more German, and learning Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian, and Polish. Among others!

  3. C. Auguste Dupin
    September 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Kudos, Rice will not be playing pro sports again. Now if the Ray Lewis case can be re-opened, they’d be hitting 1000. These guys along with Hernandez should never have been allowed in the NFL. Battery or sexual assault committed while playing in college should disqualify a player. Escaping prosecution does absolve the NFL of responsibility

  4. September 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I think I may have found the jerkiest tweet on the subject here:

    What convinced me to support Ray Rice was the revelation that Janay Rice instigated the situation by spitting on him.

    • Henry
      September 14, 2014 at 12:52 am

      A person may use no more force than is reasonably necessary in all of the circumstances to defend themselves.

      He could have killed her with the force he used.

  5. Henry
    September 14, 2014 at 12:25 am

    NFL arrest rates versus arrest rates for males aged 25-29, including domestic violence:

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-rate-of-domestic-violence-arrests-among-nfl-players/

    Look at the data and decide if the media’s fixation on crime by pro athletes (and Black pro athletes) is creating a mentality that this is a problem that belongs to the athletic community or in some racist people’s minds the Black male community. If you don’t want to follow the link, the graphs show that the NFL has half (or lower) the occurrences per 100,000 for domestic violence as well as other violent crimes as the male population. Non-domestic assault is at a startling 250/100K versus 1500/100K for the male population, the gap narrows for domestic violence with the NFL only half as bad as the regular population.

    • EG
      September 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

      Meh. Arrest rates. What that suggests to me is that wealthy, famous men are only half as likely to get arrested for beating their wives and children than other men.

    • EG
      September 14, 2014 at 12:33 am

      But, since nobody here has suggested that this is a problem confined to, or even more significant, among football players than other men, I think you’re tilting at straw men.

      • Henry
        September 14, 2014 at 1:17 am

        I think the media has suggested that. I think they cover in great detail every crime committed by Black athletes (and other famous Blacks) and they ignore crime by the majority and soft pedal stories about crime by famous whites.

        We just had a federal judge arrested for domestic violence I don’t see commentators calling for an impeachment. I see no media community out demanding we clean up domestic violence amongst wealthy largely white professional communities, like the legal community, the financial community etc.

        The whole concept of Black athletes = violent crime is ingrained in us, OJ, Michael Vick, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson get coverage. CNN even went out and interviewed Mayweather a few days ago to get more outrageous quotes because they know America eats this shit up. (to be clear all these guys are a-holes who deserve their punishment and more, my point is about why whenever a successful Black person commits a crime it’s plastered all over the news for days/weeks/months on end and when white folk do it they get the kid gloves from the media) and communities of largely white commentators show up to use them as poster boys for domestic violence. Just try this exercise: which media stories about crimes committed by well known people stick in your head more?

        To your point: I never said anyone here was, I was talking about the general media. If you took it as an attack on the commentators that’s your own internal stuff.

      • EG
        September 14, 2014 at 6:56 am

        I didn’t take it as an attack; I took it as irrelevant. Trust me, my personal stuff is far more complicated than this, and has much more to do with, well, the people I’m actually dating than the spoutings of random dudes on the internet.

        I think there’s an intersection of racism and fame. Nobody gives two shits about the legal or financial professions. Seriously, name me three famous lawyers. People follow sports avidly. People construct entire fantasy leagues. People know their names before they’re even drafted. This is simply not true of lawyers, judges, financiers, or even politicians. For a number of structurally racist reasons, you get a higher percentage of black NFL players than black men in the general population, and then that meets a white supremecist culture that wants to position black men as uncontrollably violent. So while I agree that the media eats up these stories, due in large part to racism, I don’t think you can attribute the attention sports figures get to racism and invoke lawyers and financiers as analogues. You’d need to invoke movie stars and musicians.

        And that would work–Sean Penn is still a celebrated actor; Eminem, as far as I know, has not been castigated by his industry or fans; Sean Connery; –actually, there was a thread here a year or two back listing famous men who abuse women. You can find the link by searching “shit list.”

        But then, black male movie stars and musicians seem to get a similar pass–Bill Cosby; Mike Tyson has been able to make a well-received come-back in movies and tv and never did time for beating Robin Givens anyway; Chris Brown’s career is fine; Clarence Clemons beat on his girlfriend and despite being a lifelong Springsteen fan I didn’t hear of it until after his death (and obviously he was never kicked out of the E Street Band).

        So perhaps the real lesson here is that if you want to abuse women, make your fame and fortune in the performing arts rather than sports, or at least football (I’m remembering a rape accusation against David Cone that went away, but that was decades ago, so may be not comparable).

        Which crimes stick in my head more? Meh. I’m a bad person to ask. The most recent ones, usually, because my memory sucks, and the ones that involve people I loved, so Clarence Clemons, and the really well-publicized ones, like Allen and Polanski. I was aware of the judge, because I read that article this morning or yesterday, but I have no memory of his name.

        As for communities of white commentators (or are you still going to claim that’s not about this site?)–the discussion on this board has largely been about the institutional assholery of the NFL, other men’s reaction to abusing women, and the term “Judeo-Christian.” So, no, I’m not seeing your simple test here being borne out.

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