Understanding the Dialogue around Lovelle Mixon: Part 2

Last Tuesday’s post on the man in Oakland that killed 4 police officers yielded heated responses and I wanted to follow up after everyone (especially me) had some time to mull things over. I want to draw from some of the themes that came up and to update the news that broke last Tuesday night that Lovelle Mixon was also linked to the rape of a 12 year old girl. This act, along with the murders of John Hege, Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai, are reprehensible acts. I am stating this upfront so that it is not lost that this is a tragedy and there is no excuse for this kind of tragedy.
There seemed to be some concern that the way I approached my discussion of this topic made me sound like an apologist. Perhaps a matter of semantics but despite some folks understanding it was not my intention, there still seemed to be a need to accuse me of it. To clarify, there is a big difference between understanding what creates a condition/thought/action and then justifying that said action.

Thea Lim at Racialicious
gave a very thorough breakdown of the fall-out around my post last week and the idea of trying to hold two thoughts at once. She writes,

Now, Mixon actually was guilty. But Mixon’s guilt doesn’t neutralise the rottenness of the system. In other words, just because Mixon was actually a dangerous felon doesn’t mean that we are absolved from the duty to question how justice and innocence is defined and meted out in our culture.

It is not only possible for us to hold these two facts at once, but it is imperative in understanding the consequences of Mixon’s actions for the greater community in Oakland and also for understanding how the youth in Oakland are dealing with this atrocity. Perhaps the huge backlash against my piece was due to a desire to use Mixon as an excuse to voice their own racism, whether conscious or subconscious. As lefties it is our job to point out these subtle nuances, as the implications are deadly.
With regard to the poster I chose to repost here, after posting the artist’s statement and some conversation via comments and emails, I would just like to clarify why I thought it was powerful. I should have known that putting it up would make me look like I was complicit in making Mixon a poster-child, but the poster says, “Cop-Killer” not “American Hero” so I thought that the fact that I didn’t think he was a hero was pretty self-explanatory. What I saw in that poster was several questions come up about what we need to be American. We need our villains, we need our heroes or the story is never complete. In short, people of color become the poster children for whatever we want them to be, Obama is on one side of the American dream, Mixon on the other. Also, while I don’t totally agree with all of Weston’s take, the one part I do agree with is that Mixon is a product of a culture of violence in America and we can either address that or we can write this off as a one off crazy man.
It is understandable why many different people are bound to the ‘one off’ point of view. It makes us feel comfortable to think that someone like Mixon is a ‘one off’ case because it takes responsibility off of us to look at, and, ultimately, change the systemic causes of violence. On the other hand, the belief that he is not a ‘one off’ incident will most definitely be used to justify further violence in the black community in Oakland and that is what we are afraid of. It is almost effective and more logical for those that live in the community to write this off as an aberration (which statistically it is) as opposed to part of a systemic problem.
But this story is not just about Mixon and his inability to get out of cycles of violence. This is about all the themes and ideas that have come out around Mixon and what that tells us about public perceptions of police brutality, black masculinity and why Oakland youth might be so juiced about this issue. As Puck clarified at the end of the comments section,

Regardless of whether or not she believes cop killing is a message of hope (and it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t), it’s important to recognize that an image like the “poster” was created in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. It’s important to recognize that there are a lot of people who see this as a tit-for-tat situation… and there are a lot of people who are conflicted – at once feeling sorry for the people who were killed (and their families) and simultaneously feeling like the system had it coming. Recognizing that these are perspectives that are very real and shared by a lot of people is not the same thing as holding such a perspective. Ignoring that such perspectives are worth considering or even exist stifles our capacity to understand all the angles on a tragedy such as this.

Mixon is a difficult person to build a narrative of police brutality around, but this story isn’t about him. He is dead, he can do no more harm. But the police state can, and most likely will, use this case as an excuse to continually police and brutalize people of color in Oakland. Mixon was a very extreme example of violence, but he is still part of an entire system of violence. The more we have a repressive police system that engages in extreme forms of violence, the more people will support the actions of a cop-killer. Some have suggested that if perhaps Oakland police and stood up against what happened to Oscar Grant, Oakland youth would be singing a different tune right now.


In response to receiving non-stop texts after the shooting of the officers, David Muhammad an Oakland native and someone who works in juvenille justice, wrote at Wiretap and NAM

Every one of the people I spoke with, young and old, all merged this tragic incident with the killing of Oscar Grant on New Year’s day by a BART police officer. It is quite possible that Lovelle Mixon had no thoughts of Oscar Grant. Lovell was a parolee out from prison for assault with a deadly weapon. He had apparently violated his parole, and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Maybe he just didn’t want to go back to prison. But in the minds of many Oaklanders, the two horrific shootings – that of Oscar Grant and that of five OPD officers – were connected.

This case is bringing up tension that has existed for decades between Oakland’s black community and Oakland PD that has recently been aggravated by Oscar Grant. In many ways, Mixon is seen as a martyr to these youth whose lives have been terrorized by violence within their community and by police, who go into their community, not to police, but to terrorize (take a look at the case of the Oakland riders.) As I said in my original post, I really don’t think it is OK for Oakland youth to be making revolutionary (Ta-Nehisi agrees) of a murdering rapist. But something about this story is resonating with Oakland youth. That fact is sad and may seem deplorable, but we have to recognize why it is there. Check out these youth voices speak out on what they are afraid of will happen after the murder of these Oakland police.
Frankly, it is not that being a cop is easy and I am sure many go into it with the intention of being “good.” Many cops believe they are doing the right thing. When the system determines with whom you interact (ie, by doing street sweeps, you’re going to pick up more poor people on drug charges than wealthier users and dealers who have cars and houses) and shapes your perspective on those people, it determines your actions as well. I have compassion for police, but not for the system that shapes their actions. This compounded with media depictions and dominant narratives around race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc and its relationship to behavior, makes it a tough narrative to break unless you are really committed to doing so.
The way the system operates, it instills a fear and predisposition in many police that leads to improper actions, such as using excessive force and targeting individuals who are simply the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many people in the previous comments thread pointed out that it is mostly black men that are killing other black men. While this is a truth, shouldn’t the cops be working to stop that? Not perpetuating it? That is the kind of world that I hope for. Where you can trust a cop to consciously engage the community in reducing fear and violence, rather than letting their actions be determined by, and thus strengthen, that fear and violence.
As I mentioned in my last post, when police slay a person of color, no one calls them animals. Many cops have on their hands the blood of our youth. It is a tragedy of epic proportions, we don’t even have accurate numbers, we only know because we know people that have been victim to it such as Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant and the transgender woman beaten by police in Memphis, Duanna Johnson,, the increase of women being sexually and physically assaulted by the police, with all the other stories (trigger warning). And as Renee notes black women in particular are victims of police brutality and we can’t ignore the impact of that. Police brutality is not just about men, but women, the GLBTQ community, Arab-Americans, sex workers, rape victims and the list goes on.
After Tuesday’s post I really got to thinking about experience and exposure to police brutality. I have many personal experiences with friends, co-workers and family being harassed by police. A lot of my friends are black, Latino, Indian, Asian, Arab, etc, so they have a completely different idea about police, prisons, border patrol, security, INS and the different ways that our lives are monitored and our rights abused. But I have personally never been harassed, (my experience has been more the ineffectiveness of police when I was being stalked by my neighbor) so I stepped back and I asked several of my black friends, “is this crazy? Am I crazy?” Each one of them, across the spectrum from people that have had encounters with the cops to those that have not, repeatedly said the cops scare the shit out of them. They never know when they are pulled over whether they will be shot or not.
This is in direct contrast to what commenter Joe said about the cultural differences in how POC verse white people relate to the police.

The problem is cultural. White men are taught to obey authority, black men are encouraged to ignore authority.
I don’t care about the color of the skin or sex of the cop, they tell me to do something, I do it with a “Yes Officer.” When I get pulled over by a cop I always talk to them in respect, even when I think I did nothing wrong (like driving 30 mph down a city street at 8 am) and then when ticketed I say “thank you Officer.”
I expect that if I told the cop off I would likely end up in jail (verbal abuse is disorderly conduct) and that if I attempted to run from the cop that I would be forcibly held, and that if I struggled with a cop trying to arrest me that I would be hit. And that if I struck the cop I’d be hit back until the cop was certain I wasn’t going hit them agin.
And if I end up beaten up by cops the first thing my friends say is ‘Joe, how could you have been so stupid?’ That’s right I would be blamed by my friends because they know you don’t go around provoking people unless you want a fight, and they acknowledge that a fight with a cop is a great way to get killed.

These are not the words of someone who has dealt with a strong presence of police in their life or has friends that do and they are lucky for that fact. When you are a person of color and already targeted by the police, it is not about how you act. It is about who you are and where you are. And if you speak out, defend yourself or even retaliate, on top of that, it is going to get ugly, real fast. In all fairness, several commenters did call out Joe, but I think it was a poignant example of the different levels of experience and exposure we are bringing to the table.
I am asking us to look at the bigger picture. A man engaged in grotesque criminal activity out of feelings of desperation or just from being downright crazy. This doesn’t mean that every person of color who has been brutalized by the system is like him, but it also doesn’t mean that he isn’t part of that same violent system that produced him. What happened with Mixon is not an excuse to continually brutalize an already down-trodden community. It is instead an opportunity to think about what conditions are creating this violence. We can have a world without crime, without the rape of young women, without the wrongful criminalization and murder of young men. We can have it if we can believe for a second that there is a justifiable reason that many youth are not just wary, but horrified of the police and we can have that world if we take the time to listen and work across that difference.
Finally, after last Tuesday’s shit storm about my post, I got all stressed out over the difficulty of having a nuanced dialogue about the intersection of race, class, gender and violence with different levels of experience and understanding. I also got to thinking about all the ways I can phrase things better, while keeping my analysis intact. I guess you can’t always make everyone happy in the span of 1000 words, while you attempt to hash out really complicated things that are volatile and emotional, both for myself and everyone involved. As someone just wrote to me in an email, “Samhita you push the envelope, I can’t believe you don’t know that!” And I laughed, because I realize I do know that and I appreciate the Feministing community for giving me the time to vet out and work through some of the concepts I present. Thanks to everyone that sent me emails, left comments, sent me twitters and reposted this. Thanks for all that thinking and all that support. I would like to think that all this will help to increase the dialogue around peaceful solutions to police brutality.

and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

56 Comments

  1. scout
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    “there is a big difference between understanding what creates a condition/thought/action and then justifying that said action.”
    I think that this is exactly right and I think it’s a really important point. It’s really interesting to see how our conversation about racism in the criminal justice system gets tied up with whether the victim of police racism is guilty or innocent. The best example of this in my opinion is the OJ Simpson case. There have been polls done that suggest a majority of African Americans thought Simpson was innocent (because they had no problems imagining police being racist) while white Americans overwhelmingly thought Simpson was guilty (in some part because they couldn’t conceptualize the racism of the police in the same way black Americans could). In reality, Simpson was probably guilty AND the police were absolutely racist and the case and our conversation about race where hurt by the fact that we couldn’t separate police racism from the guilt/innocence of Simpson. The fact that the police are racist is neither better or worse depending on the guilt/innocence of the suspect.

  2. simon
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    thx for this samhita! this is the stuff i read feministing for.

  3. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think you were pushing the envelope with that post.
    But I think you hit the nail on the head in your last paragraph. Having nuanced dialogues where both systemic trends and individual stories are discussed is absolutely vital. Being able to take a step back and examine the dialogue surrounding race and gender and the mentality behind state power is essential, but terrifically difficult in a case like this because of the intense emotions involved. It’s very hard to gain the kind of critical distance needed, but without it discussion like these are mere shouting matches and constructive dialogue is not really possible. So I think maybe the issue is more that you’re taking on the topics that are really hard to discuss without incurring meltdowns.
    The good news is, as we continue to discuss things like this, I think it gets easier to foster constructive dialogue. When I first started teaching almost 10 years ago, abortion and same-sex marriage were issues that usually caused this kind of chaos. But this is really shifting, and often there are very nuanced and productive conversations around these topics that wouldn’t have been possible previously. So I think exposing people to ideas and pushing the conversation in spite of the backlash is a useful activity.

  4. puckalish
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    wow, Samhita, the book you were writing got even longer! seriously, though, thanks so much for taking the time and putting in the work to touch so many aspects of this tragedy. i can’t say enough how powerful and important the effort you put into this work is.
    i suggest folks supplement this post with this one over at davey d’s blog… once you understand where Samhita’s coming from, that post, in addition to contrasting the Mixon case with another case, points out some of the roadblocks that an individual in Mixon’s shoes faces when trying to construct a crime-free life – and that organizations that reach out to folks like Mixon face.
    one more note is that i think it was critical for the community here, at Feministing, to struggle through the previous post. a lot of perspectives and assumptions were laid bare simply because Samhita didn’t fill in all the gaps and, painful as that is, it’s a really important step for communities with a significant amount of privilege.
    peace and blessings.

  5. RF
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate the thought that has gone into this second post, I was one of the many who thought the first post was a little too understanding of an absolute evil.
    Having moved from the East Bay just within the last year, I do understand some of the pathologies in place “in the system.” But I would define the system as the entire cycle- the violence of impoverished communities, which is often black on black, which exposes the police primarily to an extremely unfortunate subset of the population, which scares the —- out of the police officers (of any ethnicity),and shapes their world-view into one of fear and fills it with experiences in which most of the (poor, or black, or asian or certain-clothes wearing types) are criminal, which leads to hyper-vigilance and adrenalized behaviors when dealing with (feared sub-category), which leads to over-reactions of the worse kind, up to and including the death of innocents.
    [I'm not referencing Mason at all in this, because I don't think he was a victim of any kind, but rather I am trying to address the systemic problems Samhita is trying to get us to dialogue and think about.]
    Put another way, I disagree that the negative outcomes of a policing effort are caused by initial racism, but that racism (and classism, etc) can be created by conditions that constantly expose you to a) bad behavior by a sub-set, and b) put you in potential danger, and c) give you power.
    In an idealistic thought experiment, I would say that if the poverty and pathology that effects the East Bay could be wiped out, then the Police Officers there would, over time, become less racist, because I don’t think that people join the Oakland PD as hard-core racists, I think their slanted exposure to its citizens and their own inborn need to self-protect (and prejudice, ie “pre-judging” can be NECESSARY to self-protect in terms of reaction-times)… well, the cycle goes on.
    And yes, X% of the PD would be jerks anyway, as X% of people (given power) are jerks anyway- I don’t think that has to do with racism either. But I don’t think that makes the Police on the whole worse than any other category of humanity, and statements that say “all Police are X, or at least enough of them that I should prejudge all of them” are ABSOLUTELY as bigoted as saying “all women are X”… yuck.
    So yes, we need to look at what causes these tragedies, and my answer is the entire poverty-pathology cycle… I think police violence is a symptom of the greater cultural sewer that the East Bay can be. I do hope this thread produces some productive suggestions as to how to deal with it- I certainly am at a loss- getting out of there was the best I could do.
    Please note I am not saying this poverty-pathology is uniquely black, I think it occurs wherever entire communities are impoverished. Black culture is a totally different animal than poverty-culture, though some folks (wrongly) equate the two. Also, the East Bay did have some great things going on… but IMHO that old cliche about barrels and rotting apples has never been more true- some can spoil it for all.

  6. RF
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Brain freeze- I referred to Mixon as Mason. My bad.

  7. mizbinkley
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Samhita, was there anything you found meaningful, truthful or legitimate criticism in the comments to your original piece?
    Or was it all (or mostly):
    1. commenters wanting to “feel comfortable to think that someone like Mixon is a ‘one off’”
    and
    2. “due to a desire to use Mixon as an excuse to voice their own racism, whether conscious or subconscious.”
    I read Feministing not just for the editors, but for the generally high quality of the comments (this is, frankly, a rarity among most blogs). Clearly, I’m not alone in this assessment–isn’t community.feministing.com in part a recognition of the quality of the comments? I’m curious what else you take away from the comments. I ask because I DO think there was some legitimate criticism.
    I don’t expect every editor to respond to comments. I bring this up in this instance because clearly the comments were an issue for you that precipitated your follow-up post.

  8. Samhita
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Actually the follow-up post was inspired by not only comments here, but comments all over the internet, the original post was reposted widely. I am responding to themes that came up everywhere.

  9. postpostracial.wordpress.com
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Samhita, I cannot thank you enough for revisiting this issue. I hope that it gets even more hits than you first post about it and is able to generate more nuanced discussion.
    Elsewhere (the Racialicious post) I described my reaction to the use of the image. I disagree with the artists that the use of the image highlights two sides of a coin. President Obama is not universally de-ified and loved. Quite the contrary in that increasingly he is being blamed for everything from the financial meltdown to the coming of the Apocalypse. The equating of the two images, to me, can be interpreted as saying Obama is like Mixon, not unlike him.
    The other nuance I’d like to see discussed is why do we (whoever “we” are) choose who we choose as “jumping off points” for systemic, institutionalized brutality against communities of color. Why, for example, will civil rights institutions come together for POC (mostly male) victims of police brutality but not for POC (female and male) victims of other POC males? Can this, too, be understood as part of this corrupt system?
    In other words, no matter how many cases of police shootings of Black males there may be, a Black male is still more likely to die at the hands of another Black male. And in numbers that are incredibly alarming–much moreso than the simple observation that most murders are intra-racial. What kind of criminal “justice” system allows this to happen? What forces are at work such that Black female victims of Black male crimes feel they have nowhere to turn, feel that they must remain in silence so as not to be party to their significant others, ex-significant others, fathers, brothers, sons, etc. becoming tied up in the criminal justice system? What role does the treatment of wrongdoing in poor minority communities through the criminal justice system instead of the mental health system play in all this?
    These deeper questions are what makes the sight of marchers holding up Mixon’s photograph in support of him so frustrating to many people. We seem to have such a limited range for our outrage. I understand the special case of institutionalized police brutality, because of the very real power disparity. I also understand the reactions of people who think that Mixon (or OJ, or Jena 6, or whatever next case) is “payback.”
    But understanding the dynamics does not mean one has to agree that these reactions are helpful to finding a solution to the problem. I personally, think it does not. And I feel that a Black intellectual proposing that Mixon be understood as a modern-day Nat Turner is just as irresponsible as a few dozen people calling someone like Mixon a “hero” in a march.

  10. palisades
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    When you say “Perhaps the huge backlash against my piece was due to a desire to use Mixon as an excuse to voice their own racism, whether conscious or subconscious” you are being incredibly insulting. The people who read feministing are, by and large, incredibly thoughtful, privilege-conscious, and open-minded. I would hope that when a large number of them disagree with you, you would take that as a reminder to carefully examine your own perspective as well as the way that you express it – that is one of the purposes of the dialogue here, at least in my mind (and that applies to all of us, not just the feministing writers).
    Failing that, I would hope that you would at least respect those dissenting opinions as being valuable contributions from people who took the time to read your writing and to offer their own thoughts. Sure, sometimes you get commenters who are saying clearly offensive or outrageous things. But many of the comments you specifically dismissed on the last post were thoughtful and respectful – they just didn’t agree with your post. To suggest that the strong disagreement people had with it was caused by their racism is ridiculous.
    I think that issues of race are important, and I struggle daily to think about those issues with an eye to my own privilege and how it influences my opinions. I think that the subject of police brutality is an important one, and that the issue of race in the criminal justice system is even more important. I even think that some of what you say here and in the first post is interesting. But I stopped reading most of your posts a while ago, because I noticed a trend – you often make logical leaps without support (sometimes directly misrepresenting the source material you link to), and then when you are called out on it, you get defensive and blame others for not understanding. That’s not the kind of scholarship/discussion that I find valuable, and that opinion is not a product of me being a racist.

  11. MzBitca
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Samhita’s statement was not just about the Feministing community but also about other places that referenced her post. That being said: I do not think that Samhita has a tendency to misrepresent things, on the contrary I find her posts to most often be the most well constructed and serious minded. She often takes on difficult issues and (along with Miriam) focuses in much more detail on race relations and how that plays a part in what we see.
    I personally feel that the feministing community can be a little privilege blind at times and I have been a part of it. Often times, no matter what post Sami puts up, one of the first five comments involves someone telling her she’s making a race issue where there isn’t one. Combine that with the history that the feminist movement has with minimzing WOC voices and I think her assumption that there might be some privilege and perhaps, racist issues behind some of the responses to her post is pretty reasonable.

  12. MzBitca
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Samhita’s statement was not just about the Feministing community but also about other places that referenced her post. That being said: I do not think that Samhita has a tendency to misrepresent things, on the contrary I find her posts to most often be the most well constructed and serious minded. She often takes on difficult issues and (along with Miriam) focuses in much more detail on race relations and how that plays a part in what we see.
    I personally feel that the feministing community can be a little privilege blind at times and I have been a part of it. Often times, no matter what post Sami puts up, one of the first five comments involves someone telling her she’s making a race issue where there isn’t one. Combine that with the history that the feminist movement has with minimzing WOC voices and I think her assumption that there might be some privilege and perhaps, racist issues behind some of the responses to her post is pretty reasonable.

  13. drydock
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    I feel this post is missing something about the local Oakland context. Oakland in 2008 was the second most violent city in the country. Even with the Oscar Grant killing and a host of OPD scandals, crime is the top city-wide issue by a very wide margin over police abuse. Oakland residents, in one of the most left-leaning cities in the US, across race and class lines want more police enforcement not less and this even more true in the Oakland flatlands (the poorer areas of Oakland). This reality seems to allude many leftist narratives on the situation here in Oakland.
    Without trying to be rude to Samhita (I admire her attempts at here), being worried about sometype of police backlash aganst black folks in Oakland seems a little odd to me. Why aren’t we worried about the outrageous levels of violence already happening. The same week Oscar Grant was killed, a black co-worker of mine shot multiple times in East Oakland and barely survived. I doubt anyone noticed outside his family, friends and co-workers.
    98-99% of the shootings in Oakland aren’t by the cops (there were 7 last year). Homicide is the leading cause of death for black men under 35. How come progressive blogs aren’t covering this reality? I have more to say hold it for now.

  14. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I think Samhita’s comment was maybe too broad, as in not everyone who disagreed with her had this motivation. But thinly-veiled racist and privilege-shielding motives clearly were behind a number of the comments, and that was really depressing to me. Obviously I’m a huge fan of the Feministing community as well, and it’s really discouraging to me to read responses like this. Beyond that, I think you have to understand Samhita’s response to these comments in context. There’s a clear trend on Feministing of being dismissive of concerns about systemic oppression when it comes to race as opposed to gender. In my view, the biggest failing of the Feministing community is its lack of regard for intersectionality as a feminist issue, as illustrated by responses to this post, among others. So I think the fact that this type of response is fairly common has to be factored into our understanding of her comment.

  15. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious as to what you mean by “absolute” evil?
    And I find it strange that you acknowledge the “pathologies of the system” while also claiming that Mixon was not “a victim of any kind.” Isn’t this the same as claiming that he was not influenced or constructed by his cultural context? I guess to me it sounds like you’re defending the very claim that Samhita and others are arguing against here: the idea that Mixon couldn’t be both a perpetrator of great harm to others and himself a victim of a fucked-up system.

  16. AnatomyFightSong
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The type of comments that bugged me the most were “How is this a feminist issue?” It’s a feminist issue because feminists should be examining power structures, whether they’re oppressing POC, queer people, poor people, women, etc. (usually more than one at a time)

  17. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    But isn’t it possible that a person could advocate for better crime prevention and more police enforcement while also condemning the police culture that fosters racialized brutality? You suggest that leftist narratives are somehow advocating against crime prevention or policing in general by objecting to ppolice brutality. I don’t understand how objecting to systemic racialized brutality entails arguing for reducing police enforcement or crime prevention. You could think that our police culture needs a major overhaul without arguing that we shouldn’t have police.

  18. dangerfield
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Exactly. I don’t understand the desire to divide things into rigid absolutes. Understanding the sources of Mixon’s actions does NOT mitigate them, excuse them or otherwise diminish their terrible intent and consequences. That is true of most violent crime.
    I’m generally impressed by the quality of discussion here on feministing, compared with other internet communities but I am dismayed to see how frequently we as a community object to anything short of a black-and-white treatment of any sort of violent offender (murderers, rapists, abusers…)
    Reducing all of these kinds of violence is going to take understanding the conditions that they emerge from. Demonizing criminals just adds to the problem–we “good” people erect a wall between us and the “evil” Other, to the point where we don’t even understand how to deal with violence short of violence. And then we play “shocked” by the violence in our culture.

  19. RF
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I can see how that wasn’t clear, let me try again.
    First, I see the rape of (most likely)several women, including a 12 year old, and the mass murder of four as an absolute evil, because I think those things are ALWAYS evil, regardless of any other presenting factors. No matter who screws you over, you always have a choice about your own behavior, and are responsible for it.
    But why can I still point to the pathology of poverty as a factor? I know that choices don’t exist in a vacuum, and a person who’s taken a lot of crap has trouble making good choices. That’s not an excuse for making evil choices, because making good choices is still possible, and there’s still a minimum expectation of human civility. It’s just an understanding of what is, IMO.
    And the important thing about the poverty-pathology is it’s something we might yet, as a society, find a way to address. To the extent that Mixon made his choices based on his fear of dogs, or the grocer that called him names, or the aunt who hit him… society can try to intervene whenever abuse is clear (and reported)- but ultimately society (and the law) has proven pretty ineffective at being able to help and comfort in cases of emotional neglect or just plain meaness, much of which is legal. So those are weights individuals bear that I don’t hold out to much hope that society can disperse. But if we could do something about poverty, that’s a weight I think we could lift, if we all lift together… eventually, mostly. And perhaps lifting poverty includes education, which allows more people to report abuse, which…
    I have no big picture answers, just hopes. Justifying Mixon is despicable, but trying to lead others away from even considering following or idolizing him by considering how we can lighten the load for others in the future… that’s a question worth turning over til we get it right.

  20. dangerfield
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Samhita, I’ll confess that I was quite put off by the tone of your post last week, and there were a number of elements of it that I still object to (the cavalier use of the poster, mostly). That said, I could have not been more impressed by your post today and your ability to create a constructive atmosphere on such an incendiary and sensitive topic (and I think sensitive is a grave understatement–this discussion demands a lot from its participants, because it touches on perceptions of race, gender, good, evil, fear, justice, privilege and just about every area of personal belief we as a community have no consensus on, short, perhaps, of organized religion).
    Not only is this topic timely and important, but your presentation here is spot-on. I’m typically unimpressed by the theoretical “dialogues” we hope to create around social issues, because so often they are simply intended as vehicles to make people agree with the dialogue-starter. But this is different: with these two discussions, it seems every single person that participates is bound to come away with their perception seriously adjusted, one way or another. It certainly is true for this commentor, and it seems to be true for you. Thanks for tackling this issue, sticking with the discussion even when it got out of hand and having the guts to revisit it and redirect it, instead of just letting it go to the far-off land where internet flames go to die.

  21. dangerfield
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I agree–although I have to say, I was impressed by how far down the thread those comments started, and how the responses to those comments overwhelmingly stressed intersectionality.
    There was already quite a vigorous dialogue in full swing (even out of hand in other ways) before anyone tried questioning the relevance of the topic. I’m glad to see how much feministing readers, at least for the most part, embrace intersectionality.

  22. SaraLaffs
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this, Samhita. I may not always agree with you 100%, but you *always* make me think. Posts like this (and the insightful comments to them) are the reason I love this site so much. And I admire your courage in revisting a topic that got you slammed the first time around.

  23. Octo
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Great post, Samhita. It does take a lot of chutzpah (in a good way) to charge back in after controversy. I think this post clarifies a lot of what confused some folks, me being one of them, the first time around.
    I especially like:
    “I have compassion for police, but not for the system that shapes their actions. This compounded with media depictions and dominant narratives around race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc and its relationship to behavior, makes it a tough narrative to break unless you are really committed to doing so.
    The way the system operates, it instills a fear and predisposition in many police that leads to improper actions, such as using excessive force and targeting individuals who are simply the wrong color in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

    And thanks for your link to Renee’s excellent post about police brutality towards women of color and other marginalized groups such as sex workers.
    Struggling to pinpoint what is different about the two posts, I think dangerfield says it well above. Presentation, mostly, for me anyway. This post really sets Mixon in perspective — clarifying that there are portions of his story that may be one-off and portions that may not be, and we can look at the latter while acknowledging the former.
    I think it’s worthwhile pointing out that while “[p]erhaps the huge backlash against my piece was due to a desire to use Mixon as an excuse to voice [commenters'] own racism, whether conscious or subconscious,” that as you suggest later, some commenters may have wished to deflect away from Mixon because of a fear that in focusing around him as a take-off point, it could set off the racism of those making policy decisions. The latter may not be justified — and based on the way you set up this second post, it does not lend itself to those fears. But it’s worth acknowledging a less nefarious motive, as well.
    In any case, major kudos.

  24. ohmyheavens
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    I was severely turned off by Samitha’s post last week and I was glad others were too, there were other well thought out articles about the situation on the internet, but I understand that sometimes it is hard to voice your thoughts effectively on an internet post. As I may have trouble doing that right now.
    With that said, what I took issue with most is as someone said last week Samitha would not have made the post if it had been about a rapist, and yet it was about a rapist. But it seems as though Maxion being black and from the ghetto excused his behavior in an “he has had a hard life, he is living in a society that oppresses him so we should cut him some slack” just by her simply glossing over the acts that got him in jail. Once again that may not have been the point Samitha was trying to get across but that is what it sounded like to many of us.
    She went on to tell that commenter that she has posted on the role society plays in a rape culture [paraphrasing] but she would have never written a story with an understanding tone about the Duke Lacrosse boys because they are white and privilleged even though they live in the same rape culture as Maxion.
    Samitha was trying to examine the tension between the black community and the Oakland police but she was making Maxion a martyr for a cause and he is the wrong person for the job. Had she created a similar post during the aftermath of the Oscar Grant shooting it wouldve made more sense.

  25. ohmyheavens
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Jeeze, I need to learn how to type better. I should’ve wrote Samthia not Samitha.

  26. Whit
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Let’s be clear on the facts. Mixon was not on parole for rape or murder, and while no one here has ever said that he’s innocent because he wasn’t convicted of those crimes, the fact is that he never went to jail on a rape conviction.
    The duke lacrosse players found themselves playing lacrosse at Duke University because of privilege. Mixon found himself on parole because of a racist, sexist (not prosecuting him for the rape, for example), deeply broken justice system. Really, I can’t fathom why anyone would bother defending it.

  27. puckalish
    Posted March 31, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    (NB : Please don’t take this too personally)
    Correction “I should’ve written Samhita, not Samitha.”
    “Written” is the past participle of “to write” (as a past conditional tense uses the past participle and not the simple past tense) and the author’s name is Samhita, not Samthia.
    Seriously, though, I’m not doing this to be a jerk and wouldn’t have made the point if you didn’t seem interested in being correct in the first place. You may think I’m a jerk after what I’m about to write, though ;) .

  28. ohmyheavens
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    My whole point was that Samthia never wrote a post trying to understand the conditions of the rape culture within the context of the Duke case or any other high profile rape case, and if she had she never would have done so in such an understanding tone on the side of the perpetrator, as she did with her post on the Mixon.
    shootings and police brutality.

  29. ohmyheavens
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I guess not only do I need to learn to type better, I need better eyes and an English dictionary. Or maybe I should just send my comments to you to edit before I post them? ; )

  30. puckalish
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Peace.
    The most visceral reaction I had was to your statement that she was making Maxion a martyr for a cause, which is wildly off the mark. She was looking at Mixon’s life and death as a condemnation of the ineffectiveness of the criminal “justice” system, not as a martyr for a cause or even anyone worthy of looking up to. Specifically, she called out the horrors of his actions as a negative consequence of the brutality of our current system.
    Okay, let’s turn it back for a second…
    [S]omeone said last week Samitha would not have made the post if it had been about a rapist, and yet it was about a rapist.
    That someone was not Samhita and she made it very clear in her original post that I do not deny that Mixon was armed, dangerous, a career criminal and potentially linked to the rape of a young woman. This is pretty clear in terms that both (a) Samhita understood Mixon’s possible guilt of raping a young person and (b) she did not excuse any of his actions.
    You go on to say:
    Maxion being black and from the ghetto excused his behavior in an “he has had a hard life, he is living in a society that oppresses him so we should cut him some slack” just by her simply glossing over the acts that got him in jail.
    Aside from my previous quote and, well, just about the whole beginning of this OP on Mixon completely undermining the heart of this, you’re creating a quote that doesn’t exist anywhere. Samhita never excused Mixon’s actions or said anything about cutting anyone slack. Rather, she pointed to the ways in which his actions (just like your or mine) are not solely the result of “free will,” but are shaped by institutional pressures. And, while you admit that this may not have been the point Samitha was trying to get across, it’s actually contrary to what she wrote. If you read what she wrote, you’ll see that, clearly, in black and white.
    If you would like to read an article she wrote about Oscar Grant, you can just go here. In that case, she actually expressed more rage and provided actions you (the reader) could take in the aftermath of Grant’s shooting. Further, Grant’s shooting was a clear case of runaway police brutality. The Mixon tragedy required a more nuanced approach, so Samhita has written a lot more. Clearly, considering the reaction to the previous piece compared to this one, she (perhaps) should have written more the first time around.
    Finally, regarding the Duke case and the Mixon case, you should realize that, in both instances, Samhita was addressing institutional problems more than the individuals. It’s very easy to say “so-and-so was a villain” or “so-and-so was wrongly accused” or some other such simplification. However, when Samhita wrote about the Duke case and, again, when she wrote about the Mixon case, she made a point of addressing institutional biases and problems, not the individual guilt or innocence of the actors in either case (although she has, I guess, gone out of her way to condemn Mixon).
    Focusing on the individual guilt or innocence draws attention away from the systemic problems both cases bring to the front and make it much easier to continue moving forward as people privileged by those biases (people like you and like me).
    For more on those issues, also check out the link to an article by Krea Gomez at Davey D’s blog, with a specific treatment of the Mixon case in stark contrast with the Columbine shooting. Quite interesting.
    Blessings.

  31. puckalish
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    You know, I don’t think proper conjugation is always our strongest suit in English… I only started to get okay at it after learning Portuguese. Before that, I didn’t even know the names of verb tenses.

  32. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure I’m understanding you. Most likely, Samhita didn’t write a post about the Duke players because they didn’t (and most likely would never) experience police brutality, nor were they depicted as “savages” or “wild animals”. As wealthy white males, they were given the benefit of the doubt from the get-go. And they didn’t grow up in a culture that constructs them as criminals, savages, and wild animals.
    As to your point about the unwillingness of feminists to defend accused rapists… Samhita wasn’t defending Mixon, and looking into the ways our culture constructs black men in order to confront systemic racism does not amount to defending a person from that group or his actions. Further, the fact that black males are constructed as rapists in our culture, and a large number of rape convictions have been overturned by DNA evidence in recent years leads some (brave) feminists and womanists to point out that a rape accusation of a black man by a white woman carries unequal weight in our culture. In fact, Mixon wasn’t actually convicted of rape, but everyone seems to be comfortable referring to him as a rapist. Does this mean I’m claiming he’s not or defending him if he is? Of course not. But the dialogue surrounding black men and rape is another feature of our culture that warrants some serious examination and advocacy for change.

  33. willow33
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this post Samhita!
    I know there are many, many victims, but I would like to add another name to the list in your article: Jose Ramirez Jiminez.

  34. ohmyheavens
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    What I trying to get across is would Samhita write a post on how Mixon’s actions of (allegedly) raping a 12-year old in a culture that fetishizes violence and virginity “sadly starts to make sense”?
    I understand what she is doing and why she is doing it, but what I’m saying is that on a different subject matter she would not have taken this approach. She may not be defending his actions but she is rationalizing them. Would she rationalize a rapist actions in the context of the culture we live in?
    -Those same players were never convicted of rape but many are quite comfortable referring to them as such. I’m not going to defend or condemn Mixon or the palyers either because I don’t know what happened.-

  35. ohmyheavens
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    “you’re creating a quote that doesn’t exist anywhere”- I know I put my words in quotations as a way to display not what I said or someone else said, but what the way her comments came across. Maybe I should’ve put it in italics.
    In her post on the Duke case she, like always and understandably, states how the system works against victims not how this culture enables rape and by doing so the actions of the perpetrators are almost understandable.
    Is rape ever “not solely the result of “free will,” but … shaped by institutional pressures.”?

  36. puckalish
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 3:32 am | Permalink

    I know that your quote was made up. What I meant to point out is that Samhita never said anything even closely approximating it.
    Re: the Duke case, please do read some of the links I peppered my response with. One of them is about the different biases we approach stories with. Samhita chose to write about the Duke case, in part, because it was a clear representation of the differential between how similar cases are dealt with very different depending on race and class interactions. In most rape cases, the biggest concern would not be whether or not the team would be able to finish its season.
    Regarding your last question – have you ever heard the term “rape culture”? That whole term is concerned with the concept that our society and norms are complicit in rape; ie, “shaped by institutional pressures.” An interesting read on the matter would be Soul on Ice; while Eldridge Cleaver isn’t my favorite philosopher or political analyst, his from-the-inside perspectives on how a rapist is “made” are pretty eye-opening. Another great read would be Yes Means Yes.

  37. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I disagree. I’ve read many articles and a few blogposts written from a feminist perspective investigating the relationship between cultural attitudes and the behavior of sex offenders. For example, many times on feministing people have drawn attention to products that sexualize young girls and questioned the link between this sexualization and their abuse by pedophiles. Similarly, when discussing the glamorized portrayal of rape in TV shows and movies, we’ve discussed the possible connection between this glamorization and the attitudes it may cause in some men (and women).
    I do agree that it’s less likely that we would be discussing it in a particular case, but that’s more out of respect for and a desire to protect the victim. And there are significant differences between a 12 y/o rape victim and a cop who’s been the victim of violence. Police officers knowingly accept a job that can be dangerous at times, and the majority happily enter into the racist and brutal police culture which allows them to mistreat people everyday. Many, many cops pursue this line of work precisely because they get off on this kind of grotesque displays of power. You might disagree with me about police motives, but you certainly can’t say that there aren’t significant differences between cops and rape victims. A cop is at the very least a symbol of systemic oppression who actively partakes in the profoundly hierarchical and often brutal police culture.

  38. FBM
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    But isn’t it possible that a person could advocate for better crime prevention and more police enforcement while also condemning the police culture that fosters racialized brutality? You suggest that leftist narratives are somehow advocating against crime prevention or policing in general by objecting to ppolice brutality. I don’t understand how objecting to systemic racialized brutality entails arguing for reducing police enforcement or crime prevention. You could think that our police culture needs a major overhaul without arguing that we shouldn’t have police.

    It’s a popular straw man argument in my experience. Not that it never happens but in my city, the desire for more police officers in some neighborhoods goes hand in hand with those residents with increased police accountability including a definite say in what those officers will be doing when they are there. I don’t think that’s an uncommon dynamic.
    Yes it is and that’s what many critics of police accountability activists fail to understand or they just like to hit us over the head with it. Many of us don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. After all, if you know people who have been shot by gang members (and I do) how does abusing a community foster the trust that’s needed in police to report eyewitness accounts of these crimes that is needed to override fears of retaliation by gang members?
    Community trust is one of the biggest assets in solving crimes but if you are assaulting members of families including young people and raping women (or not taking rapes seriously) then you’re not going to have that which hinders addressing crimes.

  39. ohmyheavens
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    That is true Feministing probably doesn’t start those types of topics during a high profile case out of respect for the victims, wait a minute they’re doing it right now.
    While I do act knowledge there are big differences between a rape victim and an police officer that has been gun down, they do share one common characteristic, they are both victims.
    Why should the reasons a police officer entered into the force, and that he took on a job he knew could get him killed matter? He was still murdered. I could be wrong, maybe I’m not fully understanding what you’re trying to say. But to me it seems like to you are trying to state that a woman who is raped never deserved to be raped, but an officer who is shot and killed may have had it coming: 1) because he enter into a dangerous job which oppresses many 2) because he may have entered that job to get some type of power trip
    Any crime can be rationalized in terms of the culture we live in, but I’m sure Feministing doesn’t do it for rape because unlike police officers rape victims tend to get the short end of the stick in society.

  40. Suzy
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    What I found the most offensive about your last post was not the material in it.
    It was the fact that several of the commenters that disagreed with your point of view and expressed their opinions in intelligent and thoughtful had their comments deleted.
    People will never agree with you on every issue, but it is the way that the debate is handled that makes a conversation a great one which is what I thought this blog was about.
    You seemed to want a conversation, but refused to talk to the people who disagreed with you. Instead of a conversation, you stood on a soapbox.
    As a loyal reader for a long time, I really don’t appreciate this. In fact, I’m very angry about it.
    Then again, this comment will probably be deleted, so I most likely just wasted my time. It seems like I can read your opinion, but mine doesn’t matter.

  41. puckalish
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    If I had a dollar for every time someone cried “censorship” on Feministing…
    Really, though, look at the comments. She left up comments that were clearly threatening and that I know she would rather not be up there. What makes you think she took anything more tame down?
    Mind you, I can’t even count the number of times I’ve read some commenter on here predicting their own comment(s) will be deleted. Oddly, it almost never happens. The only stuff I’ve seen deleted has been actively threatening, willfully disruptive or spam.

    You seemed to want a conversation, but refused to talk to the people who disagreed with you. Instead of a conversation, you stood on a soapbox.

    Um… you do realize that she not only responding within the comments of her previous post (which, really, doesn’t happen all that often on any blog), but wrote a whole ‘nother post on the issue, informed, in part, by some of the criticisms (such as that she needed to make it more clear that she was not a murder apologist) she received, right?
    So, um… yeah, be angry, but find a reason to be angry that makes sense.

  42. puckalish
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Actually, on the last question, here are Samhita’s own words, from a comment on the previous post:

    I frequently evaluate the conditions that create sexual violence. All of us do. Actions don’t happen in a vacuum or are part of the system. It is important for us to understand crimes of all nature or we won’t come up with effective solutions.

    She said it better than I did and, since we’re talking about her intentions, not mine, I thought it would be prudent to add.

  43. postpostracial.wordpress.com
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I’ll repeat again how appreciative I am that she posted again on this topic. I also have found the conversation this time around to be a lot more productive. Anyone is free to expound at greater length on their own viewpoints in their own blogposts, yes?

  44. Suzy
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The comments that I saw deleted were things that disagreed with her point of view. Several of the comments left by llevinso, rosierioter, and a few others were deleted that were not threatening. They disagreed with her point of view in an intelligent way, and I can no longer find them or some of their other posts in the comments section.
    I wonder myself why those were taken down yet some of the more threatening ones were kept up.
    If I can get a reason as to why they were deleted, I will gladly listen, but so far I have no idea why they were except to theorize that they disagreed with Samhita. That was the only thing that they had in common.

  45. Samhita
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I deleted comments that I felt were threatening. One I believe called me a tyrant even. It is up to my discretion what comments I delete and do not and what I find threatening and what I do not. If I find something threatening or hurtful I will delete. You may not see as threatening what I see as threatening, we are standing in different places, different vantage points, so you either have to trust my judgment around the space I feel comfortable writing about really controversial topics or http://getyourowneffingblog.wordpress.com/

  46. GrowingViolet
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I had a major problem with that too (although I found a lot of the material in the post itself, including some issues not addressed here, to be… highly problematic, shall we say). And I wonder if that isn’t behind the relative paucity of replies here.

  47. Rachel_in_WY
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t about rationalizing crimes. I think we’re just basically not communicating here. I don’t think that investigating the systemic conditions that give rise to certain behavior amounts to rationalizing or excusing a crime. I think those two activities are fundamentally different. And this just seems to be something we disagree on, so it doesn’t make much sense to continue the conversation.

  48. puckalish
    Posted April 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    So, those comments were objectively non-threatening, hmmmnnn? I mean, Llevinso has nine (9) comments that stayed up there, several of which Samhita replied directly to (contrary to your suggestion that she refused to talk to the people who disagreed with [her]).
    Mind you, before Llevinso even posted his/her initial comment, Samhita spelled out that understanding the conditions which shaped Mixon’s actions =/= condoning or excusing those actions; however, the entirety of Llevinso’s arguments hinged on that strawman. when Samhita got frustrated with his responses, he called her names. That’s not constructive, intelligent or thoughtful. Do you want a sample?
    This was Samhita’s response to Llevinso’s comments, as clarified by Entomology Girl: I still disagree. I frequently evaluate the conditions that create sexual violence. All of us do. Actions don’t happen in a vacuum or are part of the system. It is important for us to understand crimes of all nature or we won’t come up with effective solutions.
    Mind you, in the original post, Samhita stated I do not deny that Mixon was armed, dangerous, a career criminal and potentially linked to the rape of a young woman. Lovelle Mixon’s actions are deplorable.
    Llevinso preferred to argue with a point Samhita was not making (namely, that Mixon’s acts were excusable). After Samhita came back and clarified her position, he called her “defensive,” then proceeded (in the comment that was deleted) to call her a “tyrant.”
    Just to set the record straight, Samhita deleted two (2) comments (both of which were personal attacks); I just confirmed this for all you haters.
    Growing Violet, for you to suggest that [Deleting comments was] behind the relative paucity of replies here is not only mean-spirited and baseless, it’s just silly. Not to mention that it takes the place of any real argument that you might have about what’s “problematic.” So why don’t you take postpostracial’s suggestion and start up your own blog where you can express what you think is so problematic. I promise to check it out.
    Be well!

  49. llevinso
    Posted April 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for completely lying about what I said puckalish. Always appreciated.
    I never once called Samhita a name. I disagreed with her and told her that I thought I was offering constructive criticism. Call it a straw man or whatever you want, I pointed out what Samhita’s article sounded like to me and it seemed that many people agreed with me and I didn’t like how she seemed to just dismiss my comments without a second thought. She basically told me if I didn’t like her article I shouldn’t comment about it. It seemed very unlike her and it confused and upset me to be honest. It seems that it upset a lot of other people too because that’s not what Feministing is about.
    Then Rosie said that she was no longer going to read Feministing because of the way I was treated. Her comment was deleted. She said nothing threatening, just that she was fed up but maybe Samhita deleted it because she thought it was irrelevant to the discussion, I don’t know. None of my comments were deleted to my knowledge.

  50. GrowingViolet
    Posted April 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    So why don’t you take postpostracial’s suggestion and start up your own blog where you can express what you think is so problematic. I promise to check it out.
    This strikes me as an ironically counterproductive approach to the issue under discussion here. I’m just saying. And “get your own effing blog” was technically Samhita’s suggestion. ;)

231 queries. 1.296 seconds