A 'war' on the police? How about the war on women and other marginalized groups?

On Saturday, it was widely reported that Ismaaiyl Brinsley “executed” two cops in Brooklyn. The mainstream media and the NYPD immediately tried to link the shooting to the recent protests instigated by the killing of Eric Garner and Mike Brown (and subsequent acquittal of Darren Wilson, the cop who shot Brown to death and the failure to indict the police officer who put Garner in a chokehold, leading to his death).

“Two NYPD cops were executed Saturday after a career criminal drove from Baltimore to Brooklyn to kill police officers in a twisted bid to avenge the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown,” the New York Daily News reported.

“[Police Commissioner Bill] Bratton said they were looking at whether the suspect had attended any rallies or demonstrations.”

Patrick Lynch, the NYPD union president, went so far as to say, “There’s blood on many hands tonight: those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests, that tried to tear down what New York City police officers did every day… That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall — in the office of the mayor.”

Naturally, the NYPD then used the shooting as an opportunity to claim there was some kind of “war” against the police.

“Bratton said the suspect made very serious ‘anti-police’ statements online but did not get into specifics of the posts.”

“They were, quite simply, assassinated — targeted for their uniform,” he added.

An email circulated among the NYPD states: “… we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”

For the first time in years? Ok. Because American cops have long behaved like they’re in some kind of warzone when dealing with political protests… The notion that the NYPD is now (supposedly) forced to behave like a “wartime police department” doesn’t really strike me as new… Have they behaved like peacekeepers in the past?

While the NYPD and American media seem eager to freak out over the deaths of these two cops, using it as an excuse to (as it seems obvious they plan to) engage in and justify even more police violence, they seem less concerned with the ongoing war against women and other minority groups.

What they are clearly less concerned with was that earlier on Saturday, in Baltimore, Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend in the stomach. The woman, Shaneka Nicole Thompson, survived but remains hospitalized in critical condition.

As Nancy Leong pointed out in an article for Slate, the management of Thompson’s apartment complex reportedly “distributed a letter to other residents stating that her shooting was the result of a ‘domestic dispute’ in order to reassure them that ‘this was a private, isolated incident.'”

So shooting a woman is just a “private, isolated incident,” whereas killing a police officer is a public incident and “an attack on all of us, and everything we hold dear.

That makes sense I guess, since the police are “the public” and everyone else is “no one important, really, just some rando.”

To be clear, those two officers — Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos — did not deserve to die. Their deaths are a tragedy. But to pretend, with all that we know about the ways in which women, people of colour, and other marginalized groups have historically been and continue to be targeted and subjected to violence, that this shooting constitutes some kind of “war” against the police force is incredibly offensive, ignorant, and manipulative.

Why are we still not talking about male violence? Why is there (apparently) no “war” on black people or on Aboriginal people or on women but there is (apparently) a “war” on cops??

Leong points out that three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day in the US. Is that not a “war?” Is that not a “public” issue??

Black women are assaulted and killed by police officers too, but few are talking about that. Evette Dion writes:

In black American communities, we are holding our breath, waiting for whoever’s next. There is no guarantee that the next victim will be a black male, but there appears to be a guarantee that the victim will be marginalized or forgotten by the mainstream media if she is a girl or woman of color.

You’ll notice this is, once again, about men shooting other men and women. This is still about male violence.

And, interestingly, men who go on shooting rampages tend to be misogynists.

Leong reports that the man who held 17 people hostage for more than 12 hours in a Lindt chocolate café in Sydney, Man Haron Monis, has an “extensive history of violence against women.” He was, Clementine Ford writes, “out on bail for 2013 charges relating to the murder of his ex-wife,” who he also stalked and threatened, and was charged with more than 40 sexual assault offences allegedly involving seven different women.

But we don’t take violence against women seriously. Over and over again we let violent men off the hook until they do something we actually consider to be “serious.”

Obviously killing anyone is “serious.” But women die every day at the hands of men and it generally isn’t national news. Certainly American media and the police don’t talk about the ongoing war on women, against the poor, against people of colour, or against Aborginal people with the same passion and urgency they have about this so-called war against the NYPD.

Why are women’s issue always “personal,” “private,” “individual” problems? Why are the problems of powerful men “public” problems that affect “all of us?”

Violence against women is taken for granted. Misogyny is taken for granted. Male violence is not seen as gendered. Violence against powerful men is a “public” problem — a war — and violence against women is a sidenote, if it is mentioned at all.

Sixty women disappeared from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver over about 20 years, beginning in the early 1980s, before the police even began an investigation.

A database created by an Ottawa researcher tallies the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada at 824.

On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (along with their 3,000 children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence.

Most domestic violence homicides happen after a woman leaves (or tries to leave) her abuser. Women simply aren’t protected by the system. They aren’t taken seriously. The signs are there and they are ignored, over and over again, until it’s too late.

Soraya Chemaly pointed out that the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq was 6,614, while the number of women killed as the result of domestic violence during the same period in the US was 11,766.

So tell us, who is being targeted? What kind of violence matters? What kind of victims matter? Who is really, “at war?”

 

 

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • Thank you for writing this. It needs to be said over and over again, especially the statistics comparing “domestic” murder and military casualties.

    Today I heard an interview on CBC with documentary director Nick Broomfield about his new film on Lonnie Franklin, a man from LA who may have murdered over 200 women. Broomfield and the interviewer discussed police inaction with regard to race and class, but not one word about male on female violence and the lack of enforcement on sex crimes.

  • Cheryl

    More on Brinsley’s history of hatred of and violence against women:

    “In February 2010, Brinsley argued with a woman at a Waffle House and threatened to kill her, Atlanta police say. He returned four days later, threw a slushy in the same woman’s face and left, telling the victim he would return with a knife, the police report said.”

    “Nearly two months later, Brinsley was at a Waffle House again, when employees asked him to leave because they say he was being disrespectful, a police report states. He returned days later on April 3, 2010. When asked to leave again, police say, he began calling the employee a bitch and threatened “to throw a [expletive] drink in her face.” He tried to hit the victim, police say, and told her that if she came outside the restaurant, he would slap her.”

    “On July 6, 2011, in the Atlanta area, Brinsley shot a woman’s 2007 Chevy Malibu with a stolen .25­caliber semiautomatic handgun, according to Cobb County, Ga., court records.”

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-nypd-police-shooting-20141221-story.html#page=1

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks for this info, Cheryl. Unsurprising as it is…

  • Dave Shark

    Violent people tend to choose objects of their aggression by selecting those whom they perceive as weaker (http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2013/04/09/journal_of_interpersonal_violence_study_suggests_attackers_choose_victims.html). Patriarchy theory predicts that because androcentric socialization depicts women as weaker–that is, as subjects of action rather than having agency–women will therefore be disproportionately targeted for violence. Those who are presented as victims are, inevitably, victimized.

    Clearly, the violence against the police officers in this case was shocking because we as a society expect police officers to be strong, and not to be targeted. It is surprising, and therefore newsworthy. The deaths and injuries of civilian women are tragic, but in our culture of kratocracy where representations of male-on-female violence are relatively typical, they are not outrageous enough to drive mainstream society to wage a “war”. I think that if women become publicly visible in more positions of physical power–e.g., police, construction, pro sports–then our culture will change so that an attack on a woman symbolizes an attack on our strength, and yes, then there will be a war.

    It is worth noting that all the recent major anti-violence unrest has been in honor of men. Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner have all seen the population rise up in indignation to honor their deaths. But where are the marches, the riots, and die-ins for the thousands of martyred women whom you mention in your article?

    • Meghan Murphy

      “It is worth noting that all the recent major anti-violence unrest has been in honor of men. Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner have all seen the population rise up in indignation to honor their deaths. But where are the marches, the riots, and die-ins for the thousands of martyred women whom you mention in your article?”

      Indeed.

    • Mar Iguana

      “I think that if women become publicly visible in more positions of physical power–e.g., police, construction, pro sports–then our culture will change so that an attack on a woman symbolizes an attack on our strength, and yes, then there will be a war.”

      “…the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Audre Lourde

      • Dave Shark

        With all due respect to a renowned feminist intellectual, Lorde is totally wrong. Tools can dismantle an institution regardless of owner–it is people who are not so easily coerced to join a revolutionary cause. And people are not tools, are they? Would it not be objectification to say that they are?

        • Mar Iguana

          With all due respect, Dave, you’re a tool.

    • vagabondi

      “…in our culture of kratocracy where representations of male-on-female violence are relatively typical, they are not outrageous enough to drive mainstream society to wage a “war”. ”

      I believe Meghan is saying not, let’s have a war over this, but rather, this constitutes an undeclared war; what is happening to women is war already.

      • Dave Shark

        I think this is something different. War is an armed conflict between belligerents, whereas I think what Meghan is talking about is the unilateral use of force by an oppressor against a victim (clarification to the contrary from Meghan cheerfully accepted). I don’t think we can reasonably call this “war” without debasing the effectiveness of applying that term and the body of theory associated with it.

        • vagabondi

          I’d agree with you about the formal do finition of the word, but in practice war always involves an awful lot of attacks on unarmed civilians. A close study of the history of any particular war would probably show a lot more of that than the sort of thing where armies are fighting each other.

          Also, common use of the word war nowadays doesnt even require that the adversary be theoretically capable of fighting back: cf war on drugs, war on poverty, etc.

          You may be right, though, that if we don’t pay attention the use of the word war may lull us into thinking that both sides are fighting each other.

        • FrustratedRadFem

          Men kill women all the time in my country it’s two to three women a week. In America, three women a day are murdered by their male partners. If you do the math from the start of both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan there are more dead women than American soldiers dead. I looked it up for a source and found out if you add 9/11 fatalities men who kill women are still deadlier. Men kill women more than car accidents, malaria and heart attack combined and that’s only counting fatalities not injuries. You may be right this isn’t a war, war implies that that two or more sides are aggressing against each. You can’t even call it asymmetric warfare because it’s so one sided. When one side is killing another when other can’t or won’t fight it’s called massacres, war crimes or genocide. When men do it to women it’s femicide. If men didn’t want it this way it wouldn’t be this way.

          Sources: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/oct/07/gloria-steinem/steinem-more-women-killed-partners-911-deaths-atta/
          http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/08/killing-of-women-by-men-record-database-femicide?CMP=fb_gu

          Here’s the analogy explained to you

          Resistance= feminism (the real kind)

          Wartime refugees camps= women’s shelters and services

          Sabotage= anti feminism and well meaning idiots who try to be ‘fair’ to men

          Pornography/prostitution= propaganda, hostage videos, ‘retraining’ camps, labour camps, rape, torture, war crimes (if it’s documented than it’s pornography)

          Cultural Supression and Appropriation= gender roles where created by men to suit their needs and keep women down (similar to how white people banish then steal culture of the people the are colonising)

          Resource extraction= To create nation-states men need to take everything from the land and dominate and destroy anyone who resists. Men treat us as a resource, they need out labour of both kinds, they need us to do the shit work that makes the world work. They need our emotional labour or they couldn’t function. They hate us but need us. If you control women you control the world. Without us there won’t be next generation and if there are no more people, anything they do will be waste of time. No blood lines, no culture, no history to be remembered because there’s no future. After all, what’s the point in creating a country if you can’t keep it?

          Erasure= They need our creative labour. How much of any culture’s food, designs, music, art etc. were actually created by women? Men steal our ideasand use them for their own purposes. A lot of work women have done was under a man’s name or else it’d be rejected out right or was simply assumed to the work of men. Names coming from fathers and renaming women after marriage.

          Blogs to read:
          Name the problem blog (male violence)
          Dastardly dads blog (male violence against children and mother)

  • susan

    Which wars matter? Who profits off of which wars?

  • In a hierarchy, violence that runs downhill is much more accepted than violence that runs uphill.

    • Morag

      Yes. That’s very well put.

    • That is certainly part of the explanation for the too long silence about the murders and disappearance of Indigenous Women.

  • A noteworthy exception is the movement spearheaded by Indigenous people in Canada against the murders and disappearance of Indigenous women. The crimes and social conditions that create them (whether the perps are dysfunctional men on reserves or creepy non-Aboriginal men who attack vulnerable Aboriginal women and girls in cities) are horrific, but this movement is an important positive change in focus, after years of work by Native Women’s organizations and more recently, by Idle No More, a movement led mostly by young Indigenous women.

    A welcome change within this movement after the “Warriors” of 25 years ago!

    It is obvious that a similar change will have to come from within women in the African-American and other racialized communities in the US, but how will it emerge? There have been prominent Black feminists in the US since the days of abolitionism (and the connected rise of the suffrage movement in that country; I believe that the British suffragist movement also had ties to abolitionism and of course with other social reform movements, within which women participants were marginalized).

    Perhaps some contributor here (I know there are some from the US) could suggest a piece on this subject by an African-American feminist?

  • Pingback: » It is All Male ViolenceMairiVoice()

  • Kate

    I had an unfortunate conversation about this at a family Christmas dinner with a relative who is a cop. She thought that since the Baltimore police department was tracking the guy’s cell phone location and knew he was on his way to New York after the attempted murder of Shaneka Thompson, that the murder of the two police officers could have been prevented. I might have had a few too many glasses of wine, so I responded that he wasn’t considered a viable threat before he murdered the cops (when, of course, he WAS a threat to Shaneka Thompson and surely other women). It’s interesting that even though Brinsley was pretty clearly suffering from some serious mental health problems, he knew instinctively in what order to target his victims.

  • Non-PC RadFem

    “War on Women and other marginalized groups“

    …OT + random question…

    So… say; where is the Feminist Community at when it comes down to matters such as: the mistreatment – rape – selling off as sex slaves – murdering – acid attacks – honor killings – mass female genital mutilations (etc) of little girls and women by ISIS, Boko-Haram and not to mention: the Muslim world in general? Hmm? I wonder…
    Or, are we not supposed to bring this up, because ‘they’ [they as in: Muslims] in turn are supposed to be a marginalized group?

    I’ve been waiting for a good number of years for Feminists of ANY denomination to address the dire situation of women forced to live under Islamic rules. [BTW, I’m not playing ‘Oppressed Olympics’, I hate that sh!t! (It’s waaay too often used to shut down legitimate debate)]

    • Women Under Muslim Laws is a network that has existed since 1984:
      http://www.wluml.org/ There is a lot of info on their site – I note that the stories in French and in English aren’t the same; I don’t speak the other languages.

      There are many feminists in the Middle East and in Muslim countries in general. I’ve met some great feminists from Indonesia not long ago, and also Afghan feminists exiled in Montréal.

      The rise of religious fundamentalism and the attendant persecution of women is not limited to Muslim countries. There are historical reasons for the rise of these far-right movements, and people within those societies combatting them.

      “Boko Halal” has gone viral in opposition to “Boko Haram”… That is, (non-religious) education is not only authorized but encouraged within Islam. (I belong to no religion, and am an atheist, but there are very serious feminists within religious traditions).

    • C.K. Egbert

      I think liberals will probably say that it is racist/imperialist to criticize. Some radical feminist I’ve read have claimed that we need to let the women in that country/culture be the leaders of their own feminist movements (although one problem is that their social conditions are strongly shaped by imperialist capitalism).

      Independent Radical has a good article on cultural relativism: http://liberalfeministtropes.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/why-cultural-relativism-is-racist.html

      As a radical feminist I don’t have any problem criticizing cultural practices that harm women, whether they occur in my own or other cultures, because as a feminist I am dedicated to the liberation of all women. In addition, we can learn from each other.

      MacKinnon has a book on global feminism, “Are Women Human?”

      • marv

        An extraordinary book it is. Another jewel is Sheila Jeffreys, Man’s Dominion: The Rise of Religion and the Eclipse of Women’s Rights.

        http://books.google.ca/books/about/Man_s_Dominion.html?id=heNUYgEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

      • I was involved in the women’s committee first of the “Centre d’études arabes pour le développement” (which organized several conferences about feminism in the Maghreb and Middle East) and in 1998, 25 years ago if I’m counting clearly, not quite through my first coffee, “Contre les intégrismes – Against Fundamentalism”. In French, Intégrismes was plural because it was not only the fundamentalisms of different major religions (including Hinduism as well as the more familiar three major monotheisms), but also the fundamentalism of the market (Thatcher’s infamous TINA – that is the origin of the organizations name – yes, there are, and more than one).

        http://www.alternatives.ca/en/project-campaign/canada-against-fundamentalism

        Of course feminists must and do speak out against the oppression of women everywhere in the world, along the same lines as labour and socialist movements. But we must do it intelligently, and not fall into the trap of “humanitarian imperialism”. It is important to listen to women from other cultures and countries (some there, others in exile) and work together for a common goal of ending sexism and oppression.

        Of course I’m neither a liberal nor a radical feminist (though I’m pretty damned radical, and have protested the lot of females since I was a child long ago), but an ecosocialist, which implies internationalism and solidarity.

        And I actually agree with pretty much everything Independent Radical said in her article. That type of cultural relativism is also known as “essentialism”, creating unchanging entities such as the “Arab World” and the “Mysterious East”.

      • LOL, I was wondered why I was receiving views via a page I had not commented on. Thanks for the endorsement! I published the article four months ago and I am thrilled it is still having an impact. I am especially thrilled that liberals hate it and have denounced me as an Islamophobia, anti-Semitic (yes, they made both accusations) racist because of it. When you get opposition from the status quo, it means you are making an impact.

        I had not commented on this article before, because I feel that Meghan did a great job of covering the essential points and I have nothing to add except that police are racist scum. I figured this out while one of them was trying to arrest my mother and he asked her what country she was from, as if it mattered. He did not end up arresting her, but the event still stuck with me.

        To lagatta, I am glad you liked my article. It was partially inspired by a Marxist approach to culture, as well as by feminist concerns. You are right, cultural relativism does “essentialise” cultures, when in reality cultures are a product of material conditions and thus are constantly changing. Liberals seem to think that all non-Western cultures should be preserved in their current form, which ironically strikes me as a very conservative ideal.

        They also seem to want to maintain strict barriers between cultures, denouncing any violation of these barriers as “cultural appropriation”, when in reality all modern cultures are a result of cultural mixing. In the Middle Ages, Westerns “appropriated” sugar and citric fruits from the Arab world. I doubt liberals would be happy to give those things, but I do think we should give credit where credit is due. The contributions that the Arab world made to the development of “Western” science and culture are not acknowledged as often as they should be.

    • Jessica

      I’m really disappointed that there isn’t one article on Feminist Current about Malala Yousafzai. In my opinion she is so amazing she should be the face of feminism. I got into a pretty heated debate with a self-described radical feminist who insisted Malala couldn’t really be a feminist because she still practiced Islam. Can anyone tell me if that is indeed a notion that people really believe? I have quite a lot of experience being around Muslim people and I really think it can be misunderstood. There really are a lot of Muslim men who believe women are the better gender and they treat women something almost like royalty. Of course not all Muslims feel this way but Islam is such a varying religion.

      • While I’m not religious, of course there are feminists who practice a religion. At the same conference where I met the young Indonesian feminists, there were also Filipina nuns who were very much feminist, and standing up for women and girls in shantytowns and villages.

        Feminism has many faces, no one woman or teenage girl can be “the” face of feminism.

        • Jessica

          Well I agree no one person can be the face of feminism I think she should be a symbol to those in hard times. I’m just completely in love with what she has done, her courage, and her future goals. I just can’t figure out why she seems to be lauded more by non-feminists than the feminist community, especially rad fems.

      • C.K. Egbert

        There’s a phenomena of “keeping women down on a pedestal”: you will see a lot of “reverence” for women who fulfill their roles as subservient to males well (hence, the reverence for the Virgin Mary, mothers, chaste women, Cinderalla-like women who are self-sacrificing and suffer in silence, etc.). I’ve never seen that translate into treating women like equals or human beings, especially if she does such “unwomanly” things as protest against abuse; reject reproduction, motherhood, marriage, and domesticity; reject phallocentric sexuality and demand pleasurable and mutual sexual experiences; and strive for financial independence or political power.

        I can’t speak for all radical feminists, but in my mind a feminist is committed to women’s liberation from male oppression. Religion, just like every other social and cultural practice, is not immune from critique and usually supports male domination or instantiates patriarchal and oppressive ideals (e.g., the idea that women are “special” or get their worth because of their ability to reproduce). There’s a genuine question whether religion, like every other cultural and social practice, can be reformed to be consistent with women’s liberation or whether it is inherently patriarchal and thus must be abandoned.

        • “There’s a phenomena of “keeping women down on a pedestal”: you will see a lot of “reverence” for women who fulfill their roles as subservient to males well (hence, the reverence for the Virgin Mary, mothers, chaste women, Cinderalla-like women who are self-sacrificing and suffer in silence, etc.). I’ve never seen that translate into treating women like equals or human beings, especially if she does such “unwomanly” things as protest against abuse; reject reproduction, motherhood, marriage, and domesticity; reject phallocentric sexuality and demand pleasurable and mutual sexual experiences; and strive for financial independence or political power.”

          Great point! I think a similar thing happens with working people and poor people. I have heard socialists argue that Christianity is for the oppressed masses, but it tends to celebrate oppressed and impoverished people in their current state. It tells them that God likes them and that they will go to heaven (and, ironically, have all kinds of riches there) because they are poor. Christianity does not (at least in its conventional, Bible-based form) tell the masses to rise up against oppression. It celebrates them only so long as they passively cope with their circumstances. Liking worker/women and supporting the liberation of workers/women is not the same thing.

          “I can’t speak for all radical feminists, but in my mind a feminist is committed to women’s liberation from male oppression. Religion, just like every other social and cultural practice, is not immune from critique and usually supports male domination or instantiates patriarchal and oppressive ideals (e.g., the idea that women are “special” or get their worth because of their ability to reproduce). There’s a genuine question whether religion, like every other cultural and social practice, can be reformed to be consistent with women’s liberation or whether it is inherently patriarchal and thus must be abandoned.”

          I think religion by definition involves some kind of submission to powerful supernatural beings (this is what distinguishes religion from spirituality more generally, though many New Age “spiritualities” have their own problems), so while it is not inherently sexist, it is inherently contrary to the principles of liberty and equality that I believe in more generally (and that are in fact the basis for my opposition to patriarchy and capitalism.)

          However, I would not say that a woman cannot be a feminist because she practices a religion, because I do not wish to make a personal attack against women who adhere to Islam (or any other religion.) Likewise, I do not argue that women cannot be feminists if they perform beauty practices or work in the sex industry. My aim is not to determine whether a person is feminist or not, but whether an idea or practice is a feminist or not.

          If a person not only participates in, but ideologically defends an idea of practice that is clearly oppressive (like pornography or extreme beauty practices) then I will exclude them from the category of feminist (not as a way of insulting them, but simply to ensure that the word “feminist” actually means something). But people do make mistakes, while still being strong fighters for feminist ideals in other areas. Belief in a supernatural male being that one should submit to is an error I am willing to forgive, provided that the person does not believe that the being in question encourage outright violence against women. However, I do consider pornography and BDSM to be forms of violence against women, so liberal Christians, who think their super tolerant god has given permission to engage in such activities, are not genuine feminists in my view, any more than other people who defend such practices are.

    • My response to Islamic violence is as follows: I do not think feminists should say that such violence is acceptable or shy away from talking about it on the basis of “cultural relativism” or not wanting to be “imperialist”. I think it is idealist to claim that words and arguments can somehow be “imperialist”. Real material things like armies, control of economic resources and control over the culture are imperialist. As for the idea that criticising foreign cultures is imperialist because the ruling class uses such criticism to justify invasions, since when has the ruling class ever listened to us? Do not get me wrong, people should take to the streets in protest against imperialist wars, but let’s not pretend that the ordinary masses are to blame for such things if they do not protest.

      The ruling class goes ahead with such wars no matter what, but protests do help to raise political consciousness. They could one day pave the way to the overthrow of the ruling class, which is the only thing that will actually stop unnecessary wars. Of course your typical liberal, “cultural relativist” does not call for the abolition of capitalism, nor do they question the existence of pornography, BDSM sex acts and violent video games that encourage aggression in males (and in some cases blatantly encourage military aggression against foreign countries.)

      However, when we are discussing violence committed by Muslim extremists, a few things need to be taken into account. First of all, the vast majority of Muslims are not violent extremists and the media focuses on violent Muslim individuals and countries while paying less attention to non-violent ones. The media also ignores violence and misogyny practiced by Muslim countries the US is allied with (e.g. Saudi Arabia).

      This exaggerated portrayal of Muslims as violent terrorists, leads to acts of violence being committed against Muslims in the West, particularly Muslim women (again, this violence does not make the news). I think that moderate Muslims are still buying in to a religion that promotes sexism and servility in general (in fact the very word “Islam” means “submission”), but I do not think it is fair to blame all Muslims for terrorism. Criticisms of Islam should be balanced and rationally justified. I do not fear Islam, I critique it, like I critique everything else, so I do not consider myself “Islamophobic”, but of course liberals (who constantly ask other people to see things they like as being “nuanced” and “complex”) see anyone who disagrees with them as belonging to one big mass of hatred, intolerance and “phobia”.

  • Connie

    I live 10 minutes from Ferguson, it was a war zone and we needed the police and the national guard. I certainly didn’t feel safe protesting when the people started throwing Molotov cocktails. My sister’s house was hit with a stray bullet in the middle of the night. I had my sister and her kids stay with me for weeks because it wasn’t safe. The other night people were protesting the killing of a man by police who had pointed a gun at them. This time it was near my house and again it got violent. I don’t think this younger generation really knows how to protest. It’s a lot like the Occupy Movement though, a few bad apples spoil the bunch. These protests were focused on men because men are the ones being targeted by police. None of the women in my family have ever been treated poorly by police but the men have been singled out. Because of the area we are from the police have at times assumed men are drug dealers and they have been harassed and treated as if they are violent. Black women are treated with more respect because we aren’t assumed to be a threat.

  • Jessica

    Well I agree more issues need to be brought to light but it seems like the writer has an issue with people being upset that police have indeed been targeted. The are many examples on social media where people have called for violence against police officers and so it does seem loosely organized. My husband was a police officer in Chicago. During his early years he was assigned to a very dangerous part of town where their was a lot of gang activity. He was shot on three separate occasions in the first two years. His police cars were constantly shot at. There came a point where the department decided they would only go into these areas when they absolutely had to. There was a war on police waged by the gangs.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m not upset that “people are upset the police have been targeted.” Of course I have sympathy for the two men who were killed and their families. It’s horrible. Don’t insinuate I believe otherwise, simply because I criticized the media and NYPD response. Not cool.

    • Jessica, moreover in her piece Meghan pointed out what a horrible, violent man the killer was and his record of violence against women.

      And ironically, the two police officers he murdered were a Latino and an Asian man, after him ranting about “white police” shooting young Black men.

      Gangs of whatever race or ethnicity always prey on their own communities, and are deeply involved in human trafficking of girls and young women, along with drugs and the rest of their activities such as protection rackets against small businesses.

    • epic woman

      Police officers can stop being police officers by hanging up their badges and selecting another job.

      Black people, women, and other minorities can’t ever stop being targeted their whole lives long.

  • Radial

    “You’ll notice this is, once again, about men shooting other men and women. This is still about male violence.”

    Good article. The liberal media’s favourite topic to boost ratings is violence, but they never like to address how that violence is gendered and racialised. They never talk about how men disproportionately commit violence against women, or how blacks account for a share of violent crime disproportionate to their population. They love to point out that most victims of crime are men, and blacks make up a disproportionate share of victims, but they conveniently forget that the assailants are almost other men and other black people.

    Liberal feminists, who seem to be concerned about transgenderism and queer theory and not being “ethnocentric” toward people who stone and genitally mutilate women and not questioning the “agency” of sadomasochists and johns (they seem to be concerned about everything BUT women) tend to skirt around the issues of race and violence when it doesn’t suit their PC liberal agendas. All evidence shows that black men commit more violent acts than people of other demographics, especially preying upon black and white women. To ignore this is to make invisible black women, who are often at the mercy of black men. Society teaches men and blacks that violence is an acceptable means of attaining what one is “entitled” to. Men and blacks are socialised to believe that it is acceptable to maintain dominance over women by beating them, which is why masculinity and black culture are so very dangerous. But the liberal media ignores the elephant in the room that men and blacks commit WAY MORE crime than the rest of the population.

    Stories like the shootings of Michael Brown make headlines, because they are man on man, two people from groups with violent tendencies going at each other. A cop who is from a group that routinely uses its authority to harass and abuse, and a man from a group that is responsible for an overwhelming share of crime and comes into contact with law enforcement more often because of it. Two violent people going at each other are “important” stories.

    Stories with a different pattern of victims and perpetrators, however, are found in the back pages and unseen webpages of the news. The real “war” goes unreported.

    http://www.wesh.com/news/central-florida/orange-county/man-accused-of-violent-carjacking-of-77yearold-woman-arrested/24436658#mid=18281479
    http://www.wyff4.com/news/local-news/anderson-news/authorities-seize-illegal-gambling-machines-from-homicide-victims-workplace/23169604
    http://rt.com/usa/new-york-hate-crime-289/
    http://www.fox28.com/story/20524235/2013/01/07/five-home-invasion-suspects-now-facing-murder-charges

    • You are attempting to conceal your racism using the guise of a radical feminist analysis and failing. ALL MEN are socialized to use a militaristic style of force against women to maintain their patriarchal power. Since some Black people ARE MEN, the idea that one is entitled to preferential treatment on account of being born MALE is internalized. I don’t understand the false distinction between “men AND Blacks” since that inevitably implicates Black women. Also, referring to Black people as “blacks” is just plain wrong.

      And as far as the myth of an inherently violent Black culture is concerned, not only is it patently false that Black men are MORE violent than white men but in the context of a white supremacist society you are accusing the victims of racism of reacting in an illegitimate way to oppression. Black women suffer the most from the myth, since it is borne of stereotypes rooted in the past which sought to justify the rapes, murders and abuses inflicted upon Black women by white men during slavery i.e. the out of control, innately deviant “Jezebel.”

      • Radial

        “I don’t understand the false distinction between “men AND Blacks” since that inevitably implicates Black women. ”

        Black people in general tend to commit more crime than white people, but I do not lay any blame on black women. Most crimes committed by women are influenced by men. Black communities have a high rate of absconding fathers who do not support their wives, which correlates with a higher chance of child delinquency. It is purely a man-made problem, a symptom of male violence and male privilege.

        Male violence is obviously the cause of the socialization of males to find it acceptable to use violence as a tool. Much of Black culture amplifies this through cultural ties to polygyny, and the glorification of demeaning women and gang violence.

        Liberals do not like to accept that violence is gendered and racialized, because they want to ignore the war on women, and criticizing the practices of non-white cultures is seen as “imperialist” or “ethnocentric,” which is ironic because this attitude essentializes cultures and makes them appear unchangeable and undynamic, as if those who practice “unenlightened” cultures are powerless to change their behaviours and instincts. This sort of attitude harms black women by keeping them at the mercy of black men.

        “…not only is it patently false that Black men are MORE violent than white men…”

        The Census Bureau’s annual National Crime Victimization found in 2008 that black Americans were 4 times more likely to commit rape, 7.3 times more likely to commit gang rape, and 3.1 times more likely to commit aggravated assault, than whites. Victimization surveys corroborate with arrest records and the UCR.

        Pretending crime is gender-neutral, or race-neutral, does nothing to help women victims. Men are responsible for the vast majority of crimes against women and men. Black criminals are much more likely to select white victims than the reverse, and commit sexual assaults against whites at much higher rates than the reverse.

        The male gender is the most significant contributor to violent crime, mass murder, war, and physical confrontations. Masculinity is the problem. Similarly, the amount of black people living in an area is a predictor of that area’s crime rate.

        “…in the context of a white supremacist society you are accusing the victims of racism of reacting in an illegitimate way to oppression.”

        I don’t believe that the rape and murder of women is a legitimate reaction to anything, ever.

        Even after controlling for socioeconomic status and education, black people still commit much more violent crime than white people, which makes me suspicious of the idea that poverty is an excuse for crimes like rape. To say that black men’s hardships excuse their violations of women’s safety and autonomy is to support the male privilege that males are owed access to women’s bodies as rewards or compensation.

        Though police officers are instruments of male violence and oppression, the common claim that the higher representation of black men in the criminal justice system is due to discriminatory police practices holds little water. After adjusting for victimization rates, are generally more likely to be arrested than black criminals.

        “Black women suffer the most from the myth, since it is borne of stereotypes rooted in the past which sought to justify the rapes, murders and abuses inflicted upon Black women by white men during slavery”

        This is interesting, because black men are responsible for a large number of rapes against black women and white women, but white-on-black rapes are statistically negligible.

        We have to ask why the mainstream media is so silent on the war on women, and reports only on confrontations between violent men, but not on how the significant gender and race patterns of violence.

        • Don’t imply for a second that I said rape and violence against women was an understandable male reaction to poverty and discrimination you racist asshat. You purposefully twisted my words to make it sound like there is some validity to your argument that “teh blacks are scary!!1!”

          The structural inequalities and state interventions that disrupt Black communities underpin the instability of an OVERALL culture of rape, militarism and dispossession which permeates through Amerikkkan society. I would take more seriously your concern for male violence against all women, which you believe comes predominantly from uncivilized Black culture (!), if you would also demand that ‘civilized white culture’ be examined for its own responsibility and complicity in producing an ever spreading culture of misogyny, violence and nihilism that characterizes late stage capitalist-patriarchy. This means interrogating the WHITE MALE dominated film industry, music industry, gaming industry, ‘sex’ / human trafficking industry, legal system, military-industrial complex etc.

          Further, most crime is actually committed by whites, who compose the greatest percentage of criminals and convicts (U.S.Department of Justice, 2003, 2004). But as usual, when white males commit violent acts, anguished questions of personal pathology replace obvious questions of personal responsibility and social intervention. This means that although the vast majority of mass shootings are perpetrated by white males, the fact that they are WHITE MALES is largely ignored.

          “Much of Black culture amplifies (male violence) through cultural ties to polygyny” / “white-on-black rapes are statistically negligible”

          At this point I don’t even know if you can believe what you are saying. You have deployed every single worn out trope supposedly explaining ‘natural Black criminality’ peddled by the likes of Fox news in order to justify racial discrimination. You really want to talk about a culture with violent roots? With “ties” to white male control over black female reproduction? A culture that colonized, raped, murdered and accumulated wealth via the institution of slavery for centuries?

          I suggest you read 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. I’m not going to reply again.