if you don’t know this reference, you’re too young for my blog tbh
By Jacqueline M. Allain
Sexual Agency, Power, and Consent
According to one historian, “few scholars… have viewed the relationships of enslaved men and free white women through the lens of sexual abuse in part because of gendered assumptions about sexual power” (Foster, p. 459). This is in keeping with both the standard feminist conceptualization of rape as a tool of patriarchal oppression3 as well as the traditional (un-feminist) notion of women as too weak, emotionally and physically, to commit serious crimes, let alone sexual abuse, and the idea that men cannot be raped (Bourke, 2007, pp. 219, 328). However, it is becoming increasingly clear that women, too, are capable of committing sexual offenses and using sex as a means of domination and control (Bourke, pp. 209-248).
68 Israelis have been murdered - 3 of which were civilians, and 65 were Israeli soldiers.
That same day white jurors giggled while Mrs. Mary Ruth Reed, a pregnant black sharecropper, testified that Lewis Medlin, a white mechanic, attempted to rape her in front of her five children. In an effort to get help, she scooped up her youngest child and ran across a field. Medlin knocked her down and pummeled her until a neighbor finally heard her screams and called the police. In court, Medlin’s attorney argued that he had been drinking and was ‘just having a little fun.’ Then, turning to the white jurors, the attorney pointed to the woman sitting next to Medlin. ‘You see this pure white woman, this pure flower of life?’ he said. ‘… This is Medlin’s wife … Do you think he would have left this pure flower, God’s greatest gift,’ he asked, ‘for THAT?’ Reed burst into tears as the jury broke for deliberation. Less than ten minutes later they returned a not guilty verdict.–
At the Dark End of the Street; Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Danielle L. McGuire, p. 42 (via inlovewiththepractice)
zuky:The Times often uses the phrase to describe Nazis, mobsters, and people of color.
Here’s who comes up in Vanity Fair’s search of people the New York Times has called “no angel”:
- Al Capone, white mobster
- James “Whitey” Bulger, white convicted murderer
- Donald Manuel Paradis, white motorcycle gangster on death row
- Erwin Rommel, Nazi field marshal
- Clayton Lockett, white convicted murderer and rapist
- Larry Flint, white pornographer
- Eric Harris, white Columbine serial killer
Who else does the Times label “no angel”?
- Samuel Spencer, Black victim of murder by four white men
- Magic Johnson, Black basketball player
- Michael Jackson, Black musician
Yeah. You do the math.
– excerpt from “He Was No Angel”: There is No Such Thing as Black Innocence" @ One Black Girl. Many Words. (via daniellemertina)
So a Black boy needs to be an angel in order to not be deserving of death? Is this the conclusion of the New York Times article?
This relates to the ludicrous nature of respectability politics.
In a way, respectability politics doesn’t really exist. I say that in the sense that it isn’t possible for a Black person to ever be worthy and valuable within a white supremacist context. This is abundantly true if an apparently reputable publication is using facts that are true of many American teenagers to paint Mike Brown as somebody deserving of being executed.
But even the New York Times article stepped around its true conclusion. It isn’t that Mike Brown deserved to die because he wasn’t perfect. He didn’t deserve to die because he got into “at least one scuffle” or because he had tried marijuana or because he wasn’t constantly on the honor roll. He deserved to die because he’s Black. According to white supremacist discourse every Black person deserves to die.
Fundamentally, the idea that being respectable will save you is dangled over Black people’s head. But it’s a false promise. Respectability politics is an ideology that Black people use to police ourselves — to limit ourselves. And to what gain?
There is no such thing as being a respectable Black person outside of the Black community. Everything that makes us respectable in our own eyes is dismissed in the larger world.
To be Black is to be un-respectable.
At the end of the day if our humanity can be parsed by not getting good grades or experimenting with drugs then we were never accorded humanity to begin with.