Hey! Thanks for reading! Just a reminder that I wrote this some years ago, and may have much more complicated feelings about this topic than I did when I wrote it. Happy to elaborate, feel free to reach out to me! 😄
The song for this post is Istanbul, by They Might Be Giants.
Last week, there was some great stuff out there.
Male Gaze, Male Glance
The Male Glance, by Lili Loofbourow, articulates something I'd never had a good name for: treating women and their work as less worthy of deliberate, conscious consideration. Whereas the well-understood male gaze is about fixating only the specific qualities, male glance is about choosing to stop looking before you could determine value at all.
The male glance is the opposite of the male gaze. Rather than linger lovingly on the parts it wants most to penetrate, it looks, assumes, and moves on. It is, above all else, quick. Under its influence, we rejoice in our distant diagnostic speed. The glance is social and ethical the way advice columns are social and ethical, a communal pulse declaring—briefly, definitively, and with minimal information—which narrative textures constitute turgid substance, which diastolic fluff.
I didn't read the byline (need to get in the habit! credit writers!) so I didn't notice this was authored by someone who's writing I liked so much two weeks ago, on Fifty Shades. Nice surprise!
All Cops Are Bastards.
Obviously, not all cops, in every absolutely way, literally literally. But the rot is prevalent and institutional enough you should operate as such. They lie, imprison, kill, and abuse; they do so with impunity and receive no punishments.
Buzzfeed News, crediting Kendall Taggart and Mike Hayes, spent hundreds of hours reporting and verifying a trove of leaked documents on abusive police members who were allowed to stay on the force. Any settlements paid to victims of these officers come out of our taxes.
Here's a starter pack on why cops need reform or abolition:
- Killing unarmed people and lying about it in police reports. Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, way too many others. And these were the ones where we were lucky to have footage of the incident disproving the lies.
- Civil forfeiture, or how cops steal more than burglars. A video, if you prefer that over text.
- Prosecution tactics that are one-sided, intended to get convictions and fill our prisons rather than seek justice. Never talk to cops without an attorney present.
- Leaving folks in prison for years without a trial.
- Planting evidence happens.
- Cops abuse their partners at 2-5x the rate of general population.
- "But they risk their lives!" Their jobs, on the whole, are less dangerous than fisherman and roofers.
- More corruption, just from today: "Alabama Sheriff used money meant for inmates to buy $740k beach home"
- The NYPD protecting officers who've been accused of raping a 19 year-old in their custody.
- ICE threw a detainee in solitary confinement for 60 hours until she recanted an accusation of sexual assault.
- The phrase "42 years of solitary confinement."
Their union(s) and leadership doesn't speak out substantially against any of this, and demand you worship them as heroes. While I recognize every population has bad actors, normally there is recourse if a party wrecks lives. I don't have a choice but to have my taxes support them, so I'll do everything else to point out that they're an institution built on punching the weak.
Banality of Evil
The Washington Post published this softly brutal story by Robert Samuels "His American Dream died. His town got over it.", detailing how a model citizen got deported and his community milked the attention, then looked the other way.
I think White people with Trump voters in their families should cut them off. No more family holidays. No more time with the kids. Block on social networks. It seems harsh, but there should be consequences for supporting enabling evil. If there's no consequence for shitty choices, they'll keep making them.
These people voted for someone who made very clear that he intends to make life hell for non-White people in this country, and he has. If it's hard to cut them off, I'm sorry: I wish that was all I was worried about. I'm worried about internment camps. I'm worried about black sites (hey, did you hear about our new CIA director? Or the prisons by the guy who got pardoned?).
Trump people will cut me and my family out of your life and feel no lasting remorse. It won't stop with Latinx people. Nobody can do everything, but we can all do something. As long as they have voting power, make them think twice before they use it to threaten livelihoods again. Do you ever wonder what you'd do in a Civil Rights movement? Congrats, you're in one.
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