Monday, February 11, 2013

Since V-Day is coming up, here's an account of one of the funniest juxtapositions from "The Stranger"

Actually from The Slog, their online weblog.....and actually, mostly from the writers of comments to The Slog rather than from the people at The Stranger itself. For those who don't know, The Stranger is Seattle's best alternative weekly, by far.

Anyways, The Stranger has this wonderful little column called "I, Anonymous", where people can send in their anonymous opinions about people in their lives, about people in other people's lives, etc... This "I, Anonymous" column was about a guy going to the University of Washington, which is located in Seattle, who was a racial minority, who was pissed off because some idiotic white girl looked at him outside a club one night and made "gangsta" gestures to him while pretending to shoot a gun. This was the lead in to the main topic, that was the paranoia about white girls around the UW campus towards him as a person of color who wears a hoody. People moving across the street, acting like he's a threat, while in point of fact the guy was a student who works hard and wasn't a threat at all.

Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, in the comments, there was quite a lot of resistance to the idea that this guy's upsetted-ness was justified. The racial political correctness was suddenly lifted for a little while, and the real thoughts came out, as person after person chimed in that they were perfectly justified in treating young black and brown men like threats because of their a) association with crime, b) potential to rape you. One person, in responding to accusations that all of this was racist, replied in all caps "HAVE YOU EVER BEEN RAPED?"

It went on like this until a few days later. You see, that's when Trayvon Martin was shot, partially because he was wearing a hoody, which was claimed to mark him as a dangerous character in the gated community he died in. Suddenly, the comments and the brouha fell silent. Possibly, some of that had to do with the post getting old, and internet time going faster than normal, but it was one of the most popular threads, that was featured on the front page because it had attracted so much attention.

The same types of arguments about why the women of Seattle were right to be paranoid about this UW student who was wearing a hoody were the same types of arguments used to defend George Zimmerman's murder of him, proving that on some topics, the normal rules about what's decent in our society go out the window.

Happy V-Day, and stay vigilant about the sex crazed non-anglo people who its totally non-racist to be concerned about.

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