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The Follow on Effects of the Weinstein Sexual Assault Allegations

As I’ve written in comments a couple of times over the last few days, I think from early indications from reporting coming out of some state capitols, that you’re going to see allegations of sexual improprieties wash through elected and appointed officials in the states and at the Federal level. This is going to get real ugly real fast once momentum picks up. What I think we’re going to see is three different types of allegations. There will be allegations dealing with sexual predation – harassment, assault, rape. There will also be allegations dealing with infidelity leading to calls of hypocrisy, with some of the infidelity involving lobbyists leading to accusations of sex for favors. Finally, there will be allegations of officials, elites, and/or notables who are closeted LGBTQ Americans. Some will be outed for hypocrisy. Some will also be accused of engaging in predation a la Speaker Hastert or Congressman Foley or Kevin Spacey. This last type will also include just plain old infidelities just like their heterosexual colleagues. Their will also, unfortunately, be some who are likely to just get outed as it all finally comes out even though they weren’t ready to come out. Essentially they’ll be collateral damage.

There are also going to be other effects. The first is that as the floodgates get forced open this is going to spread. It won’t be contained to the entertainment industry or to elected and/or appointed officials – it is going to spread from industry to industry and a long overdue reckoning will hopefully take place. Including changes in business practices, as well as new laws, rules, regulations, and eventually prosecutions for crimes where that is still a possibility.

At the same time there will likely be attempts to weaponize allegations against one’s political or business rivals. False allegations will eventually be created to ruin business or political rivals. If this happens, and I think it’s likely, it will also be used to undercut the legitimacy of the real accusers and undermine their allegations. If this does happen it will provide the opening for pushback from the forces of reaction that never want any progress to be made on any important issue because it makes them uncomfortable or challenges their authority or their privilege. And this will likely muddy the waters enough to allow for the beginning of what will be the inevitable push back. There has never been a period of progress, especially fast progress that resulted from long suppressed calls for justice, that wasn’t immediately followed by a fast and concerted push back. Including attempts to roll back all the gains and reestablish some imagined and idealized golden age before all the unfortunate and unnecessary change was pushed through. The forces of reaction are strong and they are always waiting for a chance to try to go back to get to a better future.

One of the things we all have to be prepared to do is to specifically support those we know who decide to come forward as we are generally supportive of those who come forward that we do not know. We have to set the conditions for those women and men, and in some really terrible instances girls and boys, to feel safe and supported enough to make this stand and fight this fight. And we have to be prepared to be supportive of those who wind up as collateral damage – and there will be collateral damage here. Finally, we have to hold the line for them when the inevitable pushback begins.



It is Important to Bear Witness: The Victim’s Statement in the Stanford Rape Case

The prosecution of former Stanford University student athlete Brock Turner was mentioned in the comments to several threads yesterday. Mention of it shouldn’t be buried in comments to other threads, it needs to be on every front page of every site that is willing to post it.

Turner received a bizarrely short sentence after being convicted for raping a young woman, referred to as Emily Doe throughout the trial, attending a party at Stanford with her sister, who is a student at Stanford. As rape, sexual assault, and/or sexual harassment cases go, this one was fairly straightforward. There was no he said/she said here between the accuser and the accused. Turner was caught in the act of committing the rape by two men who stopped what they were doing, then stopped him, and kept him on site until the police arrived. Both of those men testified for the prosecution. Turner has failed to admit doing anything wrong other than being intoxicated and blamed his actions on being drunk. He has also blamed the victim’s also being intoxicated for contributing to his rape of her. Since his sentencing both Turner’s father and on of his friends have released letters of support for him that are, frankly tone deaf and also seem to ignore both what Turner did and the severity of the crime for which he’s now been rightfully convicted.

While there is a lot more that can be said about America’s attitudes to women, sex, bodily autonomy, disparities of the application and direction of Law, and how all this contributes to rape and sexual assault, those are topics for another day. Instead it is important to bear witness to the victim’s (survivor’s?) own words in the statement she gave to the Santa Clara Court prior to sentencing and to make sure it is disseminated as widely and broadly as possible. A statement that was seemingly ignored by the judge who presided over this case. Below is the video of CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield reading the victim’s statement, which is even more powerful when read; especially by a woman. For those that can’t make it through the video, I’ve posted the full transcript of the statement below the video and after the page jump as it is 12 pages long. The downloaded pdf of the transcript made available by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office can be accessed by clinking on the link just before the video for those that prefer to read it that way.

Victim Impact Statement; Turner Prosecution.

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So Apparently Raping is Really Cool Now, huh.

Seriously, we’re just describing rape now.

On today’s #TWiBRadio, we discussed America’s pervasive rape culture, the indefensibility of the defensive anti-gay marriage stance, and I’ve got ideas for another new project.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, #TheMorningCrew were joined once again by Imani Gandy of the Angry Black Lady Chronicles to discuss the outing of the Obama daughters on vacation, whether we’re doing all we can for American veterans, and the politics of lazy ass glaciers.

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(Cross-posted)








Who is Responsible for Steubenville?

Is there another way to talk about the Steubenville rape case? On Wednesday’s #TWiBRadio, we delve into the politics of rape culture and societal culpability in curbing sexual violence, practicing feminism versus being a feminist, and punching George W. Bush in the junk.

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And on #amTWiB, #TheMorningCrew debated the new Good Samaritan Overdose Prevention Amendment in D.C. and discussed the passing of Wan Joon Kim and his role in American hip-hop history.

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(Cross-posted)








Better Question, CNN: Why Not More Time?

Over the weekend, the two teens accused of raping an intoxicated 15-year-old girl were found guilty. CNN reported from an interesting perspective:

Needless to say, we discussed this and the Steubenville case on today’s #TWiBRadio, as well as the NYPD’s new domestic violence policy, and a literal roach coach.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, #TheMorningCrew discussed the March 21st rally against gun violence on March 21 and how the RNC is trying and failing yet again to recruit minority membership.

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(Cross-posted)








What is a ‘good shooting?’

#TeamBlacknessAlpha made another appearance on Current TV’s Viewpoint last night to discuss the community anger over the actions of the NYPD and the shooting death of 16-year-old Kimani Gray.

On today’s #TWiBRadio, it’s Pi Day! Also, we revisit the issue of the Michelle Williams “native american” comment and we continue our coverage of the aftermath of the Kimani Gray shooting.

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And this morning on #amTWiB, #TheMorningCrew discussed Scott Prouty and his 47 per cent video, the injustice of military rape trials, and politics of confidence in success.

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(Cross-posted)








UNC Apparently Likes Rapists

The University of North Carolina took revenge against one of their students, a rape survivor, who reported on their failed administrative policies on sexual assault. After the initial report, she discussed her experience with The Daily Tarheel and as a result, the school is bringing her up on honor code violations. Officially, she is being charged with:

II.C.1.c. – Disruptive or intimidating behavior that willfully abuses, disparages, or otherwise interferes with another … so as to adversely affect their academic pursuits, opportunities for University employment, participation in University-sponsored extracurricular activities, or opportunities to benefit from other aspects of University Life.

That’s right, she’s being charged with abusing her rapist. It should be noted that she never named her assailant.

On today’s #TWiBRadio, I beam in from the Great Northern Tundra (Minnesota) and we discuss this story with #AfterBlack‘s Josh Homer as well as denials of the drone program and apparently used nooses are what’s hot in the streets. Check it out:

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And this morning on #amTWiB, we keep the conversation going on the UNC rape case and discuss the Trayvon Martin case a year later. Check it out:

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(Cross-posted)