From Emi Koyama :
At that point, an audience member who is a representative from the U.S. Attorney’s Office was invited to make a statement, which she was completely unprepared for.
But it is then she slipped the information that confirmed what many activists knew was the case but most government experts were smart enough to conceal: that the U.S. Attorney’s Office views domestic minor sex trafficking as “primarily gang-related,” and has moved the issue to its “gang unit”; transnational human trafficking on the other hand was moved to the civil rights unit.
The admission that the U.S. Attorney’s Office views domestic minor sex trafficking as a “gang-related” problem is significant. While right-wing anti-trafficking groups such as Shared Hope International has always insinuated racial overtones to the issue (e.g. urban Black men kidnapping suburban white schoolgirls), government officials tended to be more careful in how they communicate the issue. With the admission, however, it should now be a public knowledge that human trafficking is becoming yet another way for young men of color to be criminalized and imprisoned, while leaving behind many economic and social circumstances that lead many youth to engage in the sex trade.
I guess I can’t say “oh I love it” because I don’t actually love it, but at least it’s a change to see the “you musta been coerced you silly woman” trope applied to something that all feminists are SUPPOSED to hold dear, namely abortion rights.
ATLANTA, GA (WABE) – HouseBill 1155 is controversial and that’s something even the newly elected house speaker David Ralston realizes.
He says the bill definelty needs to be reviewed,”it sounds like a very deep subject and I would like to read the bill before I comment on that”
The bill was introduced as the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act and the main framework of the bill would make it a crime to coerce or solicit an abortion based on race. Penalties would include jail time and fines depending on the severity of the offense.
Supporters of the bill, such as Georgia Right to Life, claim the state’s abortion rate points to a deliberate attempt to target black women.
Here’s the Bill, and it’s a sneaky one, lots of code abbreviations so you’d have to go read through a whole bunch of other code and splice it together to see what it will actually enable – one thing is it lets men sue abortion doctors if they didn’t want the abortion to have been performed. (here’s all the Georgia code on justia if you wanna do some splicing)
You’d think that seeing this crap applied to abortion would make a couple of feminist folks realize that the same crap is what antis use to deny sex workers rights and therefore it must be bullshit wherever it is applied. Coerced, dontcha know. Though I guess the middle class sheltered white feminists will think it sounds good, cause they are used to the “choice out of no choice” crap paradigm that’s already been laid out.
Catharine MacKinnon Feminist Icon For Rich White People
See ladies, you’re all so silly thinking you can make your own decisions and stuff! Stop all that autonomous thinking and opining cuz the lawmakers know the truth about how you are all just a bunch of push-over victims who can’t think for yourselves. Or at least the women of color can’t anyway, not when it comes to abortions… I know! Let’s END THE DEMAND for abortion! Because it’s exploitative and all, to the underprivileged and whatnot. Yay. Also: Who ya think is gonna be getting locked up for coercing black women to get abortions? Doctors? Planned Parenthood? Clinic escorts? Nahhhh, I’m guessing it’ll be black men. Again.
Interestingly, this is not the first “Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act” to be proposed, I know that one was proposed by Trent Franks (R-AZ), but it had a longer title: “The Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act” -
Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2009 – Imposes criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly or knowingly attempts to: (1) perform an abortion knowing that the abortion is sought based on the sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent; (2) use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection abortion; or (3) solicit or accept funds to finance a sex-selection abortion or a race-selection abortion. Authorizes injunctive relief. Deems a violation of this act to be prohibited discrimination under title VI (Federally Assisted Programs) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Violators of title VI lose federal funding.) Provides for a private right of action for appropriate relief: (1) for the father if he is married to the mother at the time she has such an abortion; or (2) for the maternal grandparents of the unborn child if the mother is under 18 at the time of the abortion. Declares that appropriate relief includes money damages for all injuries, whether psychological, physical, or financial, including loss of companionship and support. Requires a medical or mental health professional to report known or suspected violations to law enforcement authorities. Imposes criminal penalties for a failure to so report. Prohibits a woman having such an abortion from being prosecuted or held civilly liable. Excludes from the definition of “abortion” actions taken to terminate a pregnancy if the intent is to save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child, remove a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion, or remove an ectopic pregnancy.
Awww ain’t that sweet? It’s for wimmins and black folks! White males DO care about us! Yay! I wonder how many wimmins and black folks co-sponsored Franks latest effort?:
Aderholt, Robert B. [AL-4] – 3/31/2009
Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2] – 3/31/2009
Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6] – 3/31/2009 There’s a wimmin!
Rep Barrett, J. Gresham [SC-3] – 3/31/2009
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] – 7/27/2009
Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] – 3/31/2009
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] – 3/31/2009
Rep Brown, Henry E., Jr. [SC-1] – 9/15/2009
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] – 3/31/2009
Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] – 3/31/2009
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] – 3/31/2009
Rep Fleming, John [LA-4] – 6/23/2009
Rep Forbes, J. Randy [VA-4] – 3/31/2009
Rep Fortenberry, Jeff [NE-1] – 3/31/2009
Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] – 3/31/2009
Rep Hunter, Duncan D. [CA-52] – 3/31/2009
Rep Inglis, Bob [SC-4] – 7/27/2009
Rep Jordan, Jim [OH-4] – 9/15/2009
Rep King, Steve [IA-5] – 3/31/2009
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] – 3/31/2009
Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5] – 3/31/2009
Rep Linder, John [GA-7] – 3/31/2009
Rep Lipinski, Daniel [IL-3] – 3/31/2009
Rep Manzullo, Donald A. [IL-16] – 9/15/2009
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] – 3/31/2009
Rep McHenry, Patrick T. [NC-10] – 3/31/2009
Rep Moran, Jerry [KS-1] – 9/15/2009
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6] – 3/31/2009
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 3/31/2009
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2] – 3/31/2009
Rep Smith, Christopher H. [NJ-4] – 3/31/2009 – Hey! – This is the guy who gave us the first anti-sex trafficking bills! I’m SHOCKED that he isn’t pro-choice!!!
Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] – 3/31/2009
Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] – 3/31/2009
Rep Taylor, Gene [MS-4] – 3/31/2009
Rep Tiahrt, Todd [KS-4] – 7/27/2009
Rep Wilson, Joe [SC-2] – 3/31/2009
(the last action taken on his bill was on: Apr 27, 2009: Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.)
I mentioned before that I was poking through the New York Times archives; I’ve been looking for early mentions of feminist activity, because I thought it might be entertaining for people to read and fun to write about since it’s not all depressing and current and such. It didn’t really turn out that way, cuz I wasted a lot of time and got all sorts of distracted reading unrelated things, which just bummed me out anyway.
Anywho, I’ve been learning all sorts of stuff.
So, I’m over on Alternet earlier and I see this article: Media Fail: 2nd Cop, not Kimberly Munley, Brought Down Ft. Hood Shooter
On Friday, the New York Times ran an interview with Sgt. Mark Todd, the police officer who, contrary to previous reports, ended the Fort Hood rampage by shooting Nidal Hasan.
Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been applauded as a hero across the nation for shooting down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan during the bloody rampage at Fort Hood last week. The account of heroism, given by the authorities, attracted the attention of newspapers, the networks and television talk shows.
But the initial story of how she and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire now appears to be inaccurate.
Another officer, Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, 42, said in an interview Thursday that he fired the shots that brought down the gunman after Sergeant Munley was seriously wounded. A witness confirmed Sergeant Todd’s account.
It hurt, and afterwards I cried. It felt like what I wanted didn’t matter; like some stranger had decided what mattered for me.
Of course, I’m talking about the first time I was told I had privilege.
It was 1990, I was 19 and I was in jail. A GED prep course was offered with the exam given at the end. I attended all the classes, and applied myself to learning the material that would be covered, foregoing card games in favor of algebra.
The day of the test they announced that those who were scheduled to take it should assemble near the main door. I hot-footed myself on down there and stood in the sort-of line waiting for them to come to me and check my name against the list. When I was finally asked for my name, the CO scanned up and down the list two or three times and said, “I don’t see you on here. Are you sure you’re supposed to be going?”
“Yeah. I went to all the classes, I’m pretty sure I should be scheduled.” I told her. She said she’d have to check on what happened, which was no comfort because the girls going for the test had already gone and I wasn’t with them. I walked back to my cell and shed a few tears in my frustration.
A few friends stopped by and leaned against the door, “Aren’t you taking the test? Everybody left already!” “No, they said my name wasn’t on the list.” “That’s fucked up. How come?” “I dunno, life hates me?”
A few hours later the counselor called me into his office. Now, the “counselor” was a rare sight on the cell block, he was only called in as a liason if you had some sort of dire emergency – for example if your child is injured or very sick and dying the counselor lets you be able to contact family and helps arrange transport for you to see whoever the hurt/dying person is.
The power of the counselor was legendary because the only real phone on the cell block was in his office and he was the only one with the keys to unlock the door, unlock the box the phone was in, and open the lock on the actual keypad on phone. I dunno why the phone was locked up so tight, but it was, and he had the key. I’d only seen him once in the 3 months I’d been there, seen as in visually perceived him, not as in spoke with him – so it was a big deal that he wanted to talk to me.
When the CO came by and told me he was waiting, I thought, “oh shit, my mom’s dead and that’s why I wasn’t on the list but they didn’t want to tell me earlier, they waited for this guy to tell me.” I was expecting the absolute worst as I walked to his little office. He gestured for me to have a seat and started talking as I sat down. “You were wondering why you weren’t on the list for the test today?” “Yeah…”
“Well, that was because Cheryl S. called me yesterday and said she had wanted to take the test, and there are only so many slots available, so I made the decision to take you off the list, and put her on in your place.”
“Umm, why? She didn’t even go to any of the classes, I went to every single one and actually studied on my own time.”
“Because it’s more likely you’ll have a chance to take it once you get out, and she doesn’t have that privilege.”
His use of the word privilege in that context was quite foreign to me. I understood it to mean the opposite of a “right” – I didn’t get it – it wasn’t as if she wasn’t allowed to take the GED after she got out. She might not WANT to, but that’s damn sure not the same as not being “granted the privilege” to take it.
I was pissed, and I was certain that I was justified in being pissed. But the counselor kept talking, … “Your release permissions say you’re going to be moving to your moms in QuaintNearbyTown, and there are 4 locations that offer the test during the year relatively near there, and you’re going to be living with a licensed driver …. ” He trailed off as he shuffled through the set of papers on his desk, “And Cheryl, let me see… she has 3 kids, all under 12 and is going to have to depend on the bus to get to the 1 location close enough to her that offers the test, and well, the only thing that would stop her from having her GED is the opportunity to take it, she’ll be able to pass without studying so thats not a problem… and well….”
He set down the pages and looked over at me “I know you aren’t happy about this but I do feel I made the right choice. I am sorry, though, that I didn’t get here before you were lined up at the door expecting to go, another situation took precedence and this was as soon as I could get down here.” I could tell he was finished, and I was already getting to my feet, “So, if you don’t have any other questio—…”
“No, I don’t have any questions.” I stood up, yanked the door open and walked out, still feeling indignant. You’d think that knowing my mom wasn’t dead would have kept me from feeling anything other than relief.
No, I was mad. Oh sure, I understood his reasoning, but I thought that his reasoning discriminated against me. It didn’t take me long though to realize what he really meant, and to realize that he was right.
Back in my cell, I started writing a letter, describing the terrible injustice that I had just suffered, and with every sentence I felt less and less justified about being so pissed, and I couldn’t deny that what he said was true, unless I wanted to lie to myself. But I sure did try to convince myself … boy oh boy did my letter make it obvious…
I was writing: “He says I’ll have a mom who drives. How does he know? My mom could be an alchoholic who might kill me if I get in the car with her.” But I knew she didn’t drink and would drive me anywhere I needed to go.
“He says she’ll pass it no problem without studying, like I’m so stupid the fact that I studied won’t help me.” But I knew that wasn’t at all what he said, and that I also could have passed it without studying.
“He says that ’cause she has 3 kids, she’s more important, it’s not my fault she got knocked up 3 times, if I pop out some babies will I get special treatment too?” But I knew that he never said she was more important than me, and I knew that she wasn’t getting special treatment, that the only thing special about it was that somebody decided to give her just 1 extra chance, and I knew that there wasn’t anything particularly “extra” about it to begin with.
I knew that on the jail scale of who’s gotten how many chances, I was off the chart. I knew that on the not-in-jail scale I was pretty darn high – and I would still be pretty darn high even though I’d been in jail.
I knew that I had heard “we’ve decided to give you one more chance” so often that I expected it. I didn’t even have to ask for second chances, I would merely hope, and they were given to me.
For me, there was a lot of “Phew, I’m glad they didn’t make me ask for this second chance or explain why I thought I deserved it,” and never any “Phew, I’m glad they gave me that second chance I asked for,” Because I NEVER EVEN HAD TO ASK. Having to ask was my worst case scenario, I couldn’t even comprehend asking and being denied.
In the years since then, I’ve told this story every so often when privileged people are complaining about thier hard luck. It’s usually a friend of a friend complaining about how affirmative action is reverse racism or some such wounded ego wimpery, and I pipe-up excited that I get a chance to tell my story of the time I was edged out of an opportunity based only on where I came from, and not at all on how hard I had worked.
They love it so much, they lap it up and they say …. “see – this sort of stuff does happen!” and their words make it obvious that mine is the only first hand story they’ve heard of anything like this happening and they think it’s wonderful proof to change the lies they tell into the truth they wish it to be. I know they think they found a bona fide “I do personally know someone who got screwed over by that Affirmative Action bullshit” story to use for purposes of further marginalizing others.
They might still use my story, though they probably omit the part at the end where I say it was the right thing to do, and that I’m not angry at all, and that it taught me an invaluable lesson about how unimaginably privileged I am, and that even learning the lesson when I did, where I did, was in itself more privilege, and that I’m only telling it to people who complain and whine and make it obvious they haven’t yet learned the lesson.
Yeah, they probably don’t tell that part, so if you hear this story from someone else, and they leave off the end, be sure to tack it on and set the record straight.