A Tale of Two Cities

Paint swatches. Gray, black, extra white.

WHAT THE &$*!?

That’s all I could come up with as I facepalmed in utter disbelief. Although my disbelief was quickly booted aside by a recognition that this would, of course, happen.

Let me let the New York Times tell you. I will interrupt them occassionally with my analysis or maybe, more accurately, my rant.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Armed antigovernment protesters led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy, charged in the takeover of a federally owned Oregon wildlife sanctuary in January, were acquitted Thursday of federal conspiracy and weapons charges.

[Armed antigovernment protesters!!??] What the hell kind of euphemistic bullshit is that? How about thugs with automatic weapons who charged into federal buildings and threatened law enforcement? Or maybe you can’t be a thug if you’re white and wrap yourself in a Christian flag?

And then, [acquitted??!!?] << This. I can’t even.

The surprise verdict in Federal District Court was a blow to the government, which had argued that the group used force and threats of violence to occupy the reserve, impeding the federal workers there. But the jury appeared swayed by the occupiers’ contention that they were protesting government overreach and posed no threat.

Wait. [they were protesting government overreach and posed no threat?!!??] Everybody saw a dozen or so armed cowboys forcefully occupying a federal wildlife refuge, blocking access of federal employees who were unable to do their work onsite. There were 30 guns seized after the standoff. An FBI agent testified that 16,636 live rounds and nearly 1,700 spent casings were found. The terrorists set up a defensive perimeter. They forcefully occupied the area for five weeks. The insurgents destroyed federal property, including archaeological artifacts. By the way, the staff felt threatened, and indeed the people in the county did, too.

In a sign of the high tensions throughout the trial, Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, Marcus R. Mumford, was restrained by four United States Marshals in courtroom tussle after the verdict on Thursday. He was enraged that the Bundys were not being immediately released.

Oh and then their friggin lawyer starts throwing punches in the courtroom? Yeah, like that would go over well in a Baltimore City court. Well, if he did that in Bal’more he’d be shot dead. Maybe not. He’s white.

All of them got off. Even the guy who acted as his own lawyer.

Meanwhile, almost 1,300 miles due east a different verdict is being played out. I can’t give you a link to the NYTimes, though, because they are not covering this other story. So let’s try the BBC. You know, the news source from across the pond.

Riot police have begun removing protesters from private land in the path of the Dakota Access pipeline…Dozens of officers in riot gear, some armed, moved in on Thursday assisted by trucks and military Humvees.

So police are taking down teepees that were erected just yesterday. They are rolling up in tanks, suited in full riot gear. They are shooting “bean bag” shotgun rounds “designed to incapacitate people without causing death or permanent injury” and using pepper spray against overwhelmingly peaceful protesters.

There were reports of rock throwing. After the police moved in, there was a report of gunfire and a woman was arrested. In addition, over 100 people have been arrested. This type of protest–you know the one that disrupts the oil or natural gas industries–must not be allowed to continue. And we can hurt these types of protesters.

To be clear, the protests are being led by Native Americans trying to protect their sacred lands. You know after the Trail of Tears and whatnot.

It’s the best of times for white terrorist ranchers who use violence and a warped interpretation of the constitution to justify stealing from the government to line their own pockets. And, as it has been historically, it’s the worst of times for people of color.

</rant>

No Honor In Killing

an egg with a bunch of cracks and an ineffective bandaid across a few of them.

This is going to be a short, hot post. Because I am boiling.

Stupid headline in Rolling Stone reads:

Pakistan’s “Kim Kardashian” Murdered by Brother in “Honor Killing”

WTF is an honor killing? Why the hell even use that term? Is it to make it foreign and exotic? Like this is something that people do in other countries, in the calling of other religions?

STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT.

Yes, this murder is heinous. Yes, it is totally out of line. No, he has no right to control her. And there is no right he has to kill her.

BUT THIS SHIT HAPPENS EVERY DAY IN THE U.S., TOO.

  • One in four women, yeah one of the four women at that brunch table next to you, will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Young women are most likely to be beat up or killed at the hands of a partner or former partner. Ages 20-24 are the worst. Hide your daughters.
  • One-third, yup, one in three, women murdered are murdered by a partner or ex-partner.
  • From 2003-2012, 65% of female victims were targeted by someone they knew; only 34% of male violent crime victims knew their attackers.
  • More than 320,000–yes three hundred and twenty THOUSAND–women each year are abused by a partner.
  • Men use rape to control women. 45% of women in physically abusive relationships are raped during the relationship.
  • Do you know that men who kill women they know are treated more leniently than stranger murder, like facing fewer charges of first-degree murder? It’s called the intimacy discount in Canada.

Before you go #NotAllMen on me, I know that. So what.

This is about control. It’s not about honor. We need to fix our language at home and abroad. It’s not a quaint custom of a foreign land. It’s what happens every day.

Yes, every day there are three (3!!!!) women killed by a current or former male partner in the U.S.

So stop acting like it’s the other. It’s fcuking us. And what the hell are we doing about it?


PSA: If you or someone you know is in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.