In case the blackening of the skies, shaking of the earth, and disembodied screams of the damned didn’t clue you in, Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States one week ago today. (Just kidding; as Trump himself will tell you, there were no blackened skies because the rain stopped and the sun came out the moment he started speaking.)
[Content note: Violence against Nazis]
So the country is abuzz in the wake of an incident of violence following Friday’s inauguration. Floppy-haired white supremacist Richard Spencer was doing a sidewalk interview with Australia’s ABC when a dude in a hoodie came up from out of nowhere and just fucking clocked him, and then ran off.
Sure, I’ll weigh in, and thanks for asking.
After four days of deliberation, the judge declared a mistrial in the case of Michael Slager, a white Charleston police officer who is accused of murder in the death of unarmed black man Walter Scott. Cell phone video shows Slager shooting eight times at Scott as he ran away after a traffic stop for a broken tail light, hitting him in the back three times, killing him. Slager’s attorney called upon the Big Black Monster defense to argue that Scott was “out of control” and fought Slager with “unusual strength.”
[Trigger warning for rape]
Well, that was quick.
In a development that definitely disappoints but doesn’t surprise, Brock Turner was released from jail Friday, a stunningly short three months into an already pathetic six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Early release for good behavior, you know. Nice boy that he is, who just made some bad decisions this one time.
Western Ohio… he’s yours now.
Because we needed another reminder that a promising young athlete’s bright potential mustn’t be dimmed by the consequences of a rape conviction: 18-year-old rising collegian David Becker was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery after sexually assaulting two unconscious classmates at a house party in 2015. The district attorney recommended two years in prison, but Palmer District Court Judge Estes ordered a continuation without finding for two years. During his two years of probation, Becker has to avoid drugs and alcohol, submit to evaluation for sex-offender treatment, and stay away from his two victims. He won’t have to register as a sex offender and won’t have a conviction on his record as long as he sticks to the terms of his probation, which is good for this community service-serving, college-bound, three-sport athlete, because, his lawyer said, “We all made mistakes when we were 17, 18, 19[.].”
I apologize for Feministe’s long, long radio silence, and I hate that this is the occasion to break it. This space is available for discussion of the recent extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Updates and links to commentary will be added as they arise. Please be respectful and take your “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” elsewhere; this is neither the time nor the place.
During their weeks-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, armed militants have declared their intention to return the federal land to its “rightful owners.” They’ve also made it apparent that by “rightful owners,” they weren’t talking about the Burns Paiute tribe, whose ancestral lands encompass the reserve. And on Wednesday, they made their priorities clear when they bulldozed a path through a Burns Paiute archaeological site.
On Saturday, a group of armed men seized control of the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. The building was unoccupied at the time they took control and they hold no hostages, but Ammon Bundy (son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, he of his own anti-government standoff in 2014), has said that they “will be [t]here as long as it takes,” up to several years, adding, “We have no intentions of using force upon anyone, (but) if force is used against us, we would defend ourselves.”
Content note: rape and rape apologia Bullshit. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. You don’t accidentally fall on somebody and penetrate their vagina with your penis. I can’t believe this defense flew, and after only 30 fucking minutes of deliberations. Who thinks this?…
So, ludlow expressed some confusion over the intent of this post. Here’s the story: The most embarrassing thing to me about it is that I used the wrong word. Should be “rein.” The post was originally supposed to be a…
We’re now almost four weeks out from the shooting at an Oregon community college that killed nine people and injured ten more, and we know what that means: We can now stop “caring about mental health care” without guilt. Time heals all weaknesses in the mental health system, and while it becomes a subject under great scrutiny whenever a gunman commits a mass shooting, the passage of time, and the accompanying passage of fear, washes away those concerns pretty effectively. (Until the next shooting, of course.) And it happens isn’t because we manage to effectively address all of our problems in the interim but because discussions purportedly focused on Improving Mental Health Care are actually all about Protecting The Good People From The Crazies.
[Content note: sex trafficking and sexual abuse]
Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Lena Dunham, Emily Blunt, and numerous other celebrities, along with former sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and women’s rights advocates, have signed a letter from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) criticizing a policy currently under discussion within Amnesty International. The policy, which Amnesty plans to introduce at a meeting in Dublin in August, promotes decriminalization of sex work to protect sex workers’ rights, health, and safety.