Spillover #23

A red "Keep Calm" poster with the caption KEEP CALM AND STAY ON TOPICThe commenting period on the 22nd #spillover thread is expiring, so it’s time for a new one. Some reminders:

  1. #spillover is part of our comment moderation system for keeping other threads on-topic. It is intended as a constructive space for tangential discussions which are veering off-topic on other threads. This is part of our blog netiquette, which has the general goal of making it as simple as possible for commentors to find discussions focussed on topics of particular interest without entirely stifling worthwhile tangents of sorta-related or general interest. #spillover is also a space for those ongoing/endless disagreements and 101 issues that just keep on popping up.
  2. Commentors are encouraged to respect the topic of each post and be proactive regarding inevitable thread-drift in long threads: we hope that commentors will cheerfully volunteer to take off-topic responses into #spillover so that each post’s discussion gets room to breathe and tangents can be indulged in a room of their own.

More detailed outline/guidelines were laid out on Spillover #1.
The Moderator Team will enforce topicality where necessary, and off-topic commentors who ignore invitations from others to take their tangents to #spillover are one of the reasons commentors might consider sending the moderators a giraffe alert.

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6 comments for “Spillover #23

  1. December 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    From the article cited in the Montreal Massacre post:

    “She and Simard still shake their heads. Imagine, they say, if he’d separated blacks from whites, one ethnic group from another. He would still be considered mentally unbalanced, but it would have been seen as a hate crime, a racist crime.

    “It would have been so obvious. But women? Somehow they didn’t matter.”

    I agree that misogyny was absolutely the perpetrator’s motive. And of course the denial in response suggests that women’s lives don’t matter to society and that people prefer to pretend that misogyny doesn’t exist in this day and age.

    That said, there is blatant anti-Blackness in this quote. Anti-Black shootings are almost never recognized as being motivated by anti-Blackness, and it is deeply dismissive to assume that, had the crime been racially motivated, it would have been more readily recognized as a crime rooted in oppression.

    Almost every damn time a Black person is murdered by the police in this country, whites don’t hesitate to tell Black people that they are “pulling the race card” when they speak out against anti-Black violence. Instead of whites acknowledging that law enforcement is a function of anti-Black racism, they prefer to focus on how “cops are just doing their job” or “look at all of the nice, non-racist white cops who are hugging Black children in sentimental photos!” Black people struggle to even convince their oh-so-benevolent white “allies” that the Mike Brown shooting was a hate crime.

    I acknowledge that violence against women is often ignored, including violence against white women. And of course the fact that so many are denying the political basis of this shooting is very troubling and says a lot about politics in this country. But we can look into these things without throwing Black people under the bus.

    • December 7, 2014 at 12:25 am

      Good point.

    • December 7, 2014 at 12:46 am

      I hesitated about including that quote, but felt that it wouldn’t be an accurate representation of that article if I didn’t.

    • Karak
      December 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      There’s a big difference between a single victimization by racism and going into a crowd and picking the people you are going to murder. This is powerful because we exact comparative evidence, a control group.

      When it’s one victim and one incident, even if it’s a larger series or pattern, people brush it off. (Which is the pushback we’re seeing about rape and DV right now–an argument it’s not systematic because one data point doesn’t make a system, and oh by the way we refuse to look at any other data points.)

      We had a dead-to-rights multiple data set here. The situations are not comparable. If you know of a black/white massacre where the press refused to consider race, that would be a better point.

      • Aaliyah
        December 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

        If you know of a black/white massacre where the press refused to consider race, that would be a better point.

        See: the ongoing genocide of Black people, considered by whites to be either nonexistent or reflective of the “incivility” of Black people, as if they are to blame for the violence against them. A social perception that extends far beyond the perspectives of the press.

        Also, I know plenty of whites who think things like “Only a handful of whites owned slaves” or “Only a minority of cops murder Black people.” And I have seen many whites say “it was only an isolated incident” in response to every single instance of a white cop murdering a Black person.

      • December 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        Also, just to be clear: I’m not attempting to compare the erasure of anti-Black violence and the erasure of patriarchal violence. As a non-Black WOC, I don’t get to contribute to that discourse in any way. I’m just saying that anti-Black violence is in no way automatically identified, understood, and accepted as a thing in society, and that therefore the comparison that the two white women in that quote were making was fucked up and dismissive.

        Nor am I saying, by the way, that misogynistic violence against white and non-Black women isn’t subject to erasure within dominant political discourses. All forms of oppressive violence are subject to discursive erasure, regardless of whether that erasure is more or less significant for specific groups of people in society (as well as their intersections, such as WOC).

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