“I believe that the difficulty we all experience in extending our identification horizons in this way is itself genetic. Ants of one tribe will fight to the death intrusions by ants of another. Human history is filled with monstrous cases of small differences – in skin pigmentation, or abstruse theological speculation, or manner of dress and hair style – being the cause of harassment, enslavement, and murder.
A being quite like us, but with a small physiological difference – a third eye, say, or blue hair covering the nose and forehead – somehow evokes feelings of revulsion. Such feelings may have had adaptive value at one time in defending our small tribe against the beasts and neighbors. But in our times, such feelings are obsolete and dangerous.”
[TW: domestic violence]
The other question everybody asks is, why doesn’t she just leave? Why didn’t I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don’t: It’s incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she’s gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries; denial of financial resources; and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn’t she just leave?
“Why domestic violence victims don’t leave” - Leslie Morgan Steiner (via childofweakness)
The question itself is part of a system of oppression. It’s not a real inquiry, it’s a reminder that abuse is a problem that the abused person should solve.
If it were a sincere inquiry, we’d hear, just as often, “If he was unhappy, why didn’t he leave instead of beating her?” But we don’t hear that.
emphasis mine.(via thelostsunprincess)
In some ways it was easier for my generation. Racism was blatant and obvious. The “Whites Only” signs let us know clearly, what we were up against. Not much has changed, but the system of lies and tricknology is much more sophisticated. Today young people have to be highly informed and acutely analytical, or they will be swept up into a whirlpool of lies and deception.
Taken from her book Assata: In Her Own Words (page 31)
“why are you so angry?
be nicer to your oppressors
more polite about your discrimination
smile a little, sweetheart
i feel more comfortable that way”
Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking soundbites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, ‘that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘The Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machinegun?”
The obscure 1995 Leonardo DiCaprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.
The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. Kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, “The NBC Nightly News” and other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them.
The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.
A Roger Ebert quote that sticks out in my mind
From his review of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant