This is a great story so before I start with a trademark rant, let me just say how fantastic it is that a 12-year-old girl recognized the sexism at work and said something.
In Russell Township, Ohio, there was a parade. Parades happen in a lot of small towns so this is nothing to be surprised about. Taking part in the parade were the local girl and boy scout troops. Also not much of a surprise. It gets the kids out of the house and engaging in physical activity. I’m all for it.
As they walked by, the parade announcer said the boy scouts were the “future leaders of America.” OK, I guess. Seems kind of presumptuous but OK.
Then the girls walked by and the announcer said they were just there to have fun.
In reference to the Cyndi Lauper song which, though catchy and awesome, sends something of a poor message when it comes to the ambitions of young women.
Julianne Spyer was walking with the Girl Scouts that day and was none to pleased to learn that the boys were future leaders of America and the girls just wanted to have some fun. She wrote a letter to the editor and it went viral.
Everyone is super proud of Julianne for calling out the sexism displayed but I have to wonder – what now? Do you think that we are suddenly going to start doing better because of a 12-year-old in Ohio? Or are we so busy patting the kid on the head that we are going to stop there?
I also wonder, if this letter had been written by someone who was not a twelve year old, would it have gotten any attention at all? Would anyone else have noticed the subtle sexism that the announcer probably didn’t even think about?
I don’t wish to belittle what Julianne did one bit. She noticed something wrong and she spoke up. Her actions end up being irrelevant unless the next local parade announcer doesn’t make the same mistake. Or gets called out when they do.
Let’s celebrate Julianne because she is an awesome little girl and one of the future leaders of America. Even better, let’s celebrate her by actually listening to her message.
Trump Corner: The Russia Problem
I don’t usually lead with Donald Trump because he’d pretty much always a problem. Him and the people who blindly accept everything he does as anything other than the actions of a narcissistic racist whose every action is meant to make things better for himself and his family members. And who is also a sexual predator.
This week, Trump had a private meeting with Vladimir Putin and proceeded to throw his own intelligence agencies under the bus in the press conference that followed. What he did was so blatant, even Fox news had to acknowledge it at first. They couldn’t side with Trump until a day later when he basically said that he didn’t mean what he said and also fake news.
Because the news is super fake when it is quoting what Trump said into a microphone.
Now all of this was bad. But I feel as if we lost something while we were all being pissed off at our President for being a clueless asshole.
He had a private meeting with Vladimir Putin and we still don’t know what they talked about.
Putin has even announced he is beginning to work on military agreements reached at that meeting. But we don’t know what those agreements are. It isn’t even clear that our military is aware of what those agreements are.
Understand, our President called the European Union our “foe” last week. He then had a closed door meeting with Putin in which even his staff was not allowed. And he got together with Kim Jong Un earlier this year.
When a President of the United States has nicer things to say about two dictators than he does about democratically elected leaders of state, it should scare the ever loving shit out of you.
This isn’t politics. Stop loving this guy because he’s a Republican. He isn’t. He’s a guy who will do anything and everything to better himself.
I don’t know what he talked about with Putin. And neither do you. Don’t get caught up being pissed at him for insulting the US intelligence community to forget that he was buddying up to an oppressive dictator.
….and so was Putin.
So I’m just going to start local because I’m from St. Paul.
For those of you who aren’t from Minnesota, St. Paul is the Twin City right next to Minneapolis that you never hear about because Prince wasn’t from here.
Anyway, these kids were hanging out at Minnehaha Falls park and apparently dealing with some harassment from a white teenager who was calling them names. Racist names. Also, he was telling them he had a knife. No word on what happened to the racist white kid, by the way.
The police showed up, guns drawn, because there was a report that the kids had a gun. They didn’t.
Did I mention the kids were between nine and twelve years old?
At least two of them were handcuffed, one of them without his shirt. He was begging for his shirt because he was being bitten by mosquitoes.
The cops didn’t give the kid his shirt because fuck that child for having been the target of a racist attack! Or something.
So you can’t even be a black kid hanging around in a park these days. But you can totally be a white racist.
The incident is “under investigation.” I’m sure the police officers feared for their life (I mean those kids might have had a gun) and the fact they traumatized some pre-teens will result in a firm reminder that you shouldn’t handcuff a fucking nine year old when they’ve done nothing wrong.
Walgreens allows their pharmacists to refuse service should they have a moral objection to the prescription being administered. I guess that’s OK because you wouldn’t want anyone…
It isn’t OK. In this case you had a woman who wanted to have a baby and was about to miscarry and the pharmacist basically shamed her by publicly refusing to fill the prescription.
This pharmacist has a job to do. And the bullshit idea that his deeply held religious beliefs should prevent him from doing his job is completely backwards. He still should do his job.
We all have to do shit we don’t want to do all the time. A lot of us don’t like our jobs but we still do them. I don’t like driving when other drivers are on the road because all other drivers are awful. I do it anyway. So pharmacist guy should just do his fucking job and hope god forgives him for doing the job he decided he wanted to do.
I’m sure there is a biblical passage that supports such an act. And there is also one that condemns it. They might be the same passage.
This case is even worse, by the way. He could have gotten another pharmacist to fill her prescription (per company policy). But he didn’t. Because his opportunity to shame her for what he viewed as an immoral choice (even though it wasn’t but it shouldn’t matter if it was) was more important.
And I know that we live in a world where bakers can refuse to make cakes for gay couples because it is OK to be a homophobic bigot as long as you can claim the bible is on your side. And that world means pharmacists can shame women for miscarrying without anything more than some online blowback.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. This shit is not OK.
White People Are Calling the Police on Black People All Over the Place
Since I missed last week’s column (I was on a trip for my anniversary and we had a lovely time thank you), I didn’t get to write about the white woman who called the cops on a black student who fell asleep at college or the white woman who called the cops on a black family barbecuing. I was also going to write about the two Native American students who were on a campus tour but detained when a white woman called campus security on them.
I was going to write about all three happening in the same week. But then I didn’t write a post last week.
Then this week a Hobby Lobby manager called the police when a black man with proper receipt tried to return something to their store. Shockingly, the manager was a white woman! A white woman also called the police on a black man who was inspecting a property he was planning to buy.
In every one of these cases, the people had done nothing wrong. I mean aside from not being white. In most cases, the individuals reported were at least inconvenienced by the situation. But in all cases, the police acknowledged they had, basically, done nothing wrong.
I suppose all of these people of color should be relieved that they hadn’t raised the concern of a white male because he probably would have shot them and claimed self defense.
I know, not all white women call the cops on people of color. And not all white dudes shoot black people. It seems silly that I have to point out that I’m using hyperbole to make a point but I fear I will bruise fragile white egos if I don’t point out to the white people reading this column that I’m not talking about them specifically.
But then let me as a white dude say this – yes I am.
Because this is our problem. When you put a racist in the White House and you argue that we need to understand both sides of the argument, you are forgetting that sometimes one side is right and the other side is wrong. When a black man can’t return something to a store without the manager calling the cops, the problem isn’t the black man’s behavior.
One one side you have a guy just trying to get on with his day and on the other, you have a racist.
So maybe you aren’t specifically calling the cops on black people. Or shooting black people. Next time it happens, though, maybe you should stop trying to see the “other side” because if you are white, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to know someone might call the cops on you for existing.
The White House Correspondents dinner was this weekend. It is an event in which a comedian is hired to roast the President and the White House Press Corps. For the second year in a row, Donald Trump opted not to attend.
Because he’s a coward who isn’t capable of listening to a single negative thing said about him. That alone should piss you off. Donald Trump is a coward. Doesn’t matter the awful things that may or may not have been said. He couldn’t take the softest of softball jokes about him.
At least he knows it, I guess. So he holds a campaign event where everyone loves him and then tweets about an event he didn’t attend like some kind of smug asshole. Which is the role he was born to play.
Michelle Wolf spoke truth to power and she didn’t pull punches. The predictable result was conservative politicians upset because she made jokes about Trump’s pussy grabbing (he said it you magnanimous fucks) and Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ lies (not her appearance – watch the actual video).
In the end, she called out the press and that is probably why they turned against her. She pointed out that whether or not the press corps likes Trump, they made him. They profit from him and even as Trump takes unending potshots at them, they are secretly happy to have him around.
She then pointed out that Flint still doesn’t have clean water.
You can complain that she wasn’t telling a joke when she said that. You can even argue that her comedy routine wasn’t funny (I laughed but comedy is subjective). But the fact is her final message – that all of this is bullshit because the people of Flint should be able to drink water and none of us give a fuck about that any more – got lost amidst reporters falling all over themselves to feel sorry for Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
So many things wrong here. First, THERE WAS A NEO-NAZI RALLY IN GEORGIA.
Now only a few dozen Nazis showed up because historically, Nazis are cowards who rely on superior numbers and intimidation to gain power. Since they haven’t superior numbers, it is easier to hide in their basement and blog about how much they hate people who aren’t like them.
You can’t ignore the fact that some of them have the courage to crawl out of their holes and remind the public they exist. This is a new thing since – oh – November 2016 and it should scare anyone with a conscience.
Nearly 700 law enforcement officers (some reports say over 400 so I don’t know for sure but there were a lot of them) showed up to deal with the rally they believed would be much larger. Over 100 counter protestors showed up to remind the Nazis that they are racist fuckwits who shouldn’t get to say anything without being shouted down.
So the end result of all of this was the police arrested…some of the counter protestors.
Because they were wearing masks which is in violation of a 1950’s era law directed at the KKK.
Video from the event shows police in full riot gear with guns drawn. I’m not going to pretend I know what was going on there but let’s be really clear about this – it doesn’t matter. The protesters were holding up their hands and clearly didn’t need to be held at gunpoint by over a dozen police officers.
I really think we need to stop this whole “Antifa and white supremacists are the same” bit because someone’s going to get hurt and I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to be the Neo-Nazis. And how fucked up is that?