Charles Kinsey > You

Aside

I am absolutely NOT here for the usual Status Quo Warriors, police brutality apologists and general Part-of-the-Problem folks coming in to say that unlike all those OTHER thugs who clearly deserved to get shot, Charles Kinsey is a REAL victim of ACTUAL police brutality.

It’s true that it’s basically impossible to design a better example of a person who didn’t deserve to get shot, but Mr. Kinsey is better than your white supremacist exceptionalism.

Oh, and also: “Sir, why did you shoot me?” “I don’t know.”

 

“But why didn’t she just—?” NOPE

Regarding the police assault on the girl at Spring Valley High:

As someone who remembers being a high school kid at one time, who remembers seeing how some of her teachers treated some of her classmates, and who was a teacher to high school kids at another time, I assure you that if a girl who looked like 16-year-old me had been acting the way that girl was acting, there is no fucking way that police officer would have been summoned to that room, and no way would it have occurred to anyone to slam her to the ground. NOOOOOOPE. Nope nope holy fuck all the nope I can’t even.

God remains at large and un-indicted.

I encourage you all to read Sikivu Hutchinson’s piece about the terrorist attack at Emmanuel AMEC:

While black folk are the most religiously devout group in the nation, “God”, it seems, has never had to answer, nor be called to account nor be indicted for black suffering.

[…]

Due to economic apartheid, wealth inequality and residential segregation, activist black churches are still pivotal in many communities. Yet, as an atheist I can value their role while believing that it was not–as Christians rationalize–the Charleston victims’ “time”, nor a perverse example of “God’s will” that they were slaughtered. I can value the profound fellowship that the Emanuel family displayed in welcoming the murderer into their bible study yet believe that a just god would not have allowed this parasite in their church home to begin with.

[…]

No moral god would demand forgiveness for a crime for which there has never–since the first African was stolen, chained, exploited and “imported”–been any reparations.

I can understand if offering forgiveness to the terrorist makes his victims’ families feel better. I can also understand why the idea of Hell is so appealing when we look at someone like him.

He chose Charleston for a reason.

Ashley Miller has done us all a tremendous solid and read Racistfuck McBowlcut’s (thank you, Niki) manifesto so we don’t have to. Just in case there was any doubt, now we have it in his own words: he did what he did because he hates black people and he wanted to trigger more violence.

I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.

Also of especial interest to McBowlcut was the Trayvon Martin case and the attention it got in the media. Basically, he saw everyone talking about this murder of a black kid (and he absolutely thought Zimmerman was in the right), rather than talking about black-on-white homicides, and it eventually led to him planning a mass-murder of black churchgoers.

He reminds me a lot of Elliot Rodger, who also gave us his reasons in his own words, and yet the media was full of people who were determined to believe his shooting spree wasn’t about misogyny, but about mental illness. The talking heads are going to keep on twisting themselves into knots to convince themselves McBowlcut was a deranged kid who snapped, and that what he had to say about his own crime tells us nothing about his motivations.

He did what he did because he was an invested white supremacist, and he didn’t get those ideas into his head all by himself. He’s far from alone in thinking the way he does, and not alone in acting the way he’s done.

What excuses will they make for the Charleston shooter?

There has been a mass shooting at an AME church in Charleston, SC. Six black women and three black men were shot dead by a young white man who had been attending their prayer service for the past hour.

Even after years of being openly atheist and running with the outspoken atheist crowd, I can’t help but think there’s something especially disgusting about shooting people in church. I respect the idea of church as a sanctuary. People should have a reasonable expectation of safety in church.

Continue reading

#ThingsMoreHurtThanDarrenWilson

The grand jury in St. Louis declined to put Ofc. Darren Wilson on trial for the murder of Mike Brown. Far more capable people than I are writing about all the ways that decision is a steaming pile of horseshit, but plenty more of us are here to answer the question: just how bad were the supposed injuries that Darren Wilson showed us in photographs to explain why he had to shoot Mike Brown? That’s where Twitter comes in handy. Here’s a Storify with plenty of answers to that question. I show up in the Storify, but I will also share with you some other contributions I made to that discussion which people seemed to appreciate.

Outside the tag, but Feminista Jones gives us a good introduction to the absurdity of Ofc. Wilson’s supposed photographic evidence of a violent assault by Mike Brown:

(Really. Take a look at the photo.)

(I’m exaggerating a little. But still; what we see on the back of Darren Wilson’s neck is not a sign of any physical engagement with another person.)

This one’s not my contribution, but let’s not forget:

Marijuana is the new “slut.”

I just made up that analogy on the spot.

Latest news from Ferguson, MO is that Michael Brown had marijuana in his system at the time of death.

So my response is: Yeah, okay? If someone shot me in the coming week, my blood chemistry might show evidence of recent alcohol consumption. And?

Cannabis is not the type of substance that makes you behave in such a way that the people around you might fear for their lives. From what I hear about the effects of cannabis, it actually does just the opposite.

Renisha McBride had alcohol in her system at the time of her death. That explains how she wrecked her car, which explains why she was asking for help, but it does not explain why Ted Wafer decided to shoot her.

Michael Brown smoked weed at some point in the last 40 days before Darren Wilson shot him. That gives us nothing about the reasons why he had to die.

It reminds me of the range of reasons that many people have for labeling certain women and girls “sluts” after their rapes enter the news cycle. The word “slut” no longer says anything about their decision-making prior to victimization. They’re sluts because other people decided to do them harm. So it is with Michael Brown’s blood chemistry. He didn’t die because he was a cannabis user, he died because Officer Wilson shot him repeatedly.

#ElliotRodgerFunFact: Suffering no lack of privilege or connection

I’ve learned more about the Nice Guy Mass Murderer since my post on Saturday. For example, he actively advocated for women not to have power to decide whom they fuck. That goes beyond rape apologia into rape advocacy. He was especially angry about men of color socializing with pretty white women. He was biracial (white father/Asian mother) and identified overwhelmingly with whiteness. He characterized women as “evil, sadistic beasts” for sleeping with the wrong men—wait, not even sleeping with them, necessarily, just hanging out with them!, which sort of makes sense about as much as “the food is terrible and the portions are too small” until you see that he wasn’t thinking of women as companions, but as objects to possess and control. I started a hashtag on Twitter: #ElliotRodgerFunFact. Nowhere near the scale of #YesAllWomen, but I’m still pleased to see other people using it.

The mass murder didn’t start outside. Three people were found dead in Rodger’s apartment. At least two of them were his roommates.

This story here from the AP makes me feel a lot worse for Rodger’s parents. I’m sure we’ll wait a bit longer and find out more about how they brought him up, and they’ll be at least partly culpable for his developing such a heinous view of the world, but for now, it seems that his parents were trying to keep their son from joining the ranks of mass murderers. They were really trying, but how do you really handle it when you think your son is a danger to society? He was seeing two counselors, which is noteworthy, and his mother (her name is Chin Rodger, though she’s not named at the Yahoo link) saw his videos in April and got in touch with one of the counselors. The story sounds very much like the police department is trying to deflect blame for not recognizing the danger Elliot Rodger posed when they had the chance. The counselor called a mental health service, which called the police, and the police say they weren’t aware of any videos. Maybe the part about him making homicidally threatening videos got lost in the chain of communication, but that’s the sort of question the police might have tried to ask before they made their assessment.

I’m also hearing from various sources that Elliot Rodger was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is part of the autism spectrum, as a small child. ACCORDING TO FAMILY FRIEND MR. SIMON ASTAIRE, this is untrue. The family long SUSPECTED that Elliot was on the autism spectrum, but he was never diagnosed. It’s cringe-worthy to see speculation about Nice Guy Mass Murderer being an Aspie, as it’s inevitably followed by people equating Asperger’s to mental illness, and mental illness to his inclination to violence. Here’s the thing: researchers have tried to find a correlation between autism and violence. They’ve found no such correlation. EVEN IF our Nice Guy Mass Murderer was on the spectrum, it should not be used to portray autism as a cause of violence.

Whatever mental health problems our Nice Guy Mass Murderer had, he wasn’t left to struggle all alone. He was seeing therapists and his parents were involved in his life. Whatever mental health issues were troubling him, he was able to present to the police as a nice kid, so they let him go on his merry way. He was not isolated, or neglected, or in such dire mental health that he lacked control over his actions.

ETA the part about Rodger not actually being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.