5-3-12 Links Roundup

But as is usual for her, any reasoned dissent or disagreement gets dismissed or brushed off. So I still found it weak sauce when, after the fact, she said that she doesn’t speak for anyone, Arab women speak for themselves, and she then proceeded to name drop all the people she “doesn’t” speak for. She says that all she does it “amplify” the voices of women in the region. What she forgets is that she is where she is – a mainstream media darling – specifically because she DOES speak for people. And let’s face it: sometimes Mona is the only one on TV talking for an on behalf of Arab/Muslim/Brown people. All my respect for that.

But instead of using her power as a mouthpiece to write thoughtful, reasoned pieces that reflect the true feelings of women in the region (not speaking for them here, this is as evidenced by the number of counter pieces) or those of Muslim women (of which I am one), she took her voice too far in “Why do they hate us?” Why? Because the article was remarkably simplistic and Orientalist in tone- it is something straight out of Bernard Lewis. That’s not fair to us, but it is exactly what the mainstream media ordered. This is why the revolution won’t be won by people like her, not because she only “amplifies their voices.”

In a statement to Last Real Indians, Traversie said: “I was supposed to have emergency surgery on my heart, but they (the hospital) had scheduling problems. Every night they would prep me for surgery, which went on for four or five days. Every night they would shave my chest and stomach and wouldn’t feed me.”

It wasn’t until a hospital employee came to his room and told him to take pictures of his abdomen and chest immediately upon getting home that Traversie realized that something had been done to him. The woman who gave him the advice told him she couldn’t testify on his behalf but her conscience dictated that she had to let him know.

Joyce Anderson, a retired surgical nurse who worked for nine years on the heart team at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock Arkansas, viewed the photographs of Traversie’s injuries and said, “It appears the area under the incision was done with a scalpel for drainage of the incision. The other wounds seem to be necrotic, meaning the tissue is dead. This could indicate the wounds were burned into his skin.”

According to Traversie, local law enforcement has done nothing about the matter and a doctor at a nearby medical facility said she could not make any statements regarding his injuries.

The 10-minute cellphone video spread like wildfire until a tabloid paper alerted police on April 17. (Disclaimer: This reporter has not watched the video or searched for it online because it is child pornography. Officials have not said how many people have seen the video. Police have arrested suspects in the case.)

This is shocking. But in South Africa, it’s less shocking than you might expect. A study (pdf) from the Medical Research Council found that more than 1 in 4 South African men have admitted to raping a girl or woman. More than 56,000 rapes were reported (pdf) to police, but the government group suspects that the actual incidence of rape is 25 times that number. That’s 1,400,000 people — roughly the population of Phoenix — each year. By comparison, the U.S. Census Bureau said in 2012 that there were some 81,000 rapes or attempted rapes (pdf) in the U.S. in 2009, the last year for which the bureau gives figures — in a country with more than six times the population of South Africa.

More worrying, the MRC’s research into gender violence stretches back years, and it doesn’t show that attitudes have changed much. Back in 1998 the group warned ominously (pdf) that “there needs to be a change in attitudes amongst all members in the community toward the ‘normality’ and inevitability of male use of force in relationships involving people of all ages.”

There are several photos of Zimmerman on the page, and in one of them he appears to be wearing the same orange polo shirt that he donned in his 2005 police mug shot. Zimmerman used the name “Joe G.” on the site, and posted a biography that mentions he grew up in Manassas, Va., had recently opened an insurance business and missed all his friends.

Last month, a Zimmerman Myspace page under the username “datniggytb” was taken down.

The Joe G page includes a missive written in street slang.

“I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft ass wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book,” the 2005 Myspace page said. “Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!”

Walter Dean Myers, current National Ambassador of Children’s Literature, has been one of the most prolific writers of books for young readers featuring black characters. He told The Atlantic Wire that when he was growing up in the ’40s and ’50s, however, he read mostly British writers. “What happened as a result, in retrospect, was that I devalued my own experiences. I decided at about 14 I would stop being Negro—that was the phrase then. Books transmit values, and if you don’t find your life in books, bingo, you have to reach the conclusion that you are less valuable. That affected me, until I happened upon a short story by James Baldwin called Sonny’s Blues. I was stunned to read this story, which took place in Harlem, where I lived. I never knew I needed permission to write about Harlem or its people until I read that. I met Baldwin and mentioned that to him. He said he’d experienced much of the same thing.”

As for diversity in books for young people at that time, “Nothing much was happening,” said Myers. “Much was semi-racist—I remember some of the Bobbsey Twins books; there was an occasional black person, but the only depiction was slaves.” Myers came into writing books for young readers because of Nancy Larrick and her article. “As a result of that, the Council of Interrracial Books ran a contest. I won the contest, which got me writing about young people. I thought childrens’ books were going to change,” he said. “They did for a while, but it fluctuates.”

The results weren’t heartening. Overall, 46 percent of Millennials agree that the government pays too much attention to the problems of minorities, with 49 percent who disagree. 48 percent also agree that discrimination against whites is a genuine problem. When you disaggregate by race and count only white Millennials, the picture is much worse.

A solid majority of white Millennials, 56 percent, say that government has paid too much attention to the problems of blacks and other minorities. An even larger majority, 58 percent, say that “discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against blacks and other minorities.”

The pollsters at PRRI don’t try to tease out what this actually means, and honestly—as an African-American myself—it’s hard to figure out. Discrimination against minorities takes many forms, and most are easy to identify. There’s the overt bigotry of day-to-day life, the subtle discrimination of laws and institutions (the arrest rate for black men, the predatory lending aimed at minority communities) and the miasma of racist ideas that flow through our culture and sit in our subconscious, ready to act.

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  • rin

    Reverse discrimination? Seriously? 

  • PatrickInBeijing

    This is a must read series of links.  The story of Vernon Traversie made me want to vomit.  For this, first, to happen, then to be ignored by hospital staff and the police, what in the F**king Hell kind of place is Rapid City South Dakota?  Do they have any sense of decency.  I had read of problems there, but this smacks me in the face.  Thanks for telling us about this, and these other links…………. so important.

  • PatrickInBeijing

    This is a must read series of links.  The story of Vernon Traversie made me want to vomit.  For this, first, to happen, then to be ignored by hospital staff and the police, what in the F**king Hell kind of place is Rapid City South Dakota?  Do they have any sense of decency.  I had read of problems there, but this smacks me in the face.  Thanks for telling us about this, and these other links…………. so important.