Friday, January 6, 2017

On the Facebook Live Torture Incident

[TRIGGER WARNING: TORTURE, KIDNAPPING, ABLEISM, MURDER, MASS SHOOTING, RAPE, RAPE CULTURE, SUICIDE]

Fellow white people. Stop.

There are ways to condemn the kidnapping and torture of a man that was broadcast via Facebook Live recently. Firstly, this man was intellectually disabled. This society's intense ableism is responsible for this man being targeted for violence. I have no doubt of that. Intellectually disabled people are viewed and treated as less than human constantly in this country and pretty much every other country. This probably never would have happened to a neurotypical white person.

Here's where I have a problem. The people responsible for this are both black, and they were swiftly arrested and widely condemned. And because they were expressing anger toward white people and Donald, black people as a whole have been made targets by my fellow white people. Vocal black bloggers and social media accounts have been targeted for hate and harassment, with my fellow white people trying to hold individuals who had nothing to do with this incident accountable for it. Hate crime charges have been filed against the perpetrators. No one is questioning whether what they did is really wrong or really a crime or if it really happened.

Do you know how hard it is to get crimes against individuals from marginalized groups labeled as hate crimes? And these people aren't being charged with hate crimes against disabled people. No. It's because the victim is white. Which is ridiculous, because that is not what hate crime laws are supposed to be for. They're supposed to be used to protect the oppressed, not the oppressors. Hate crime laws in the U.S. came into being specifically to help protect black people from white violence against them.

It was just over two weeks ago that for the very first time in U.S. history, the murder of a trans person was successfully prosecuted under the charge of a hate crime. This has happened once. ONCE. Every other goddamn murder of yet another (usually black and female) trans person comes with "investigators are investigating whether this was maybe a hate crime, perhaps" and then no hate crime charges are even filed. There were people trying to deny that Dylann Roof's shooting murder of nine black people because they were black was a hate crime. But this gets labeled as a hate crime no problem.

And then there's the fact that it was caught on video. Yes, it was all on video, so that's probably why they were arrested and condemned and charges with hate crimes so easily, right? I dunno, maybe ask the women and girls who have been raped and subjected to sexual torture on video only to have their attackers let off entirely (and nobody ever thought to charge a male rapist with a hate crime) despite the attack being right there on video for everyone to see. I mean, you can try to ask them. Some of them are dead, because they killed themselves.

And let's talk about hate crimes against women. Remember Elliot Rodgers, the entitled little shit who murdered six people specifically because he hated women because none of us would fuck him? Nobody but feminists even suggested that what happened was a hate crime. Despite him preemptively declaring that he was going to go out and kill women because he hated women.

Ah, the many layers of privilege.

And I'm not sorry for saying any of this. Pointing out privilege and the unfairness of how people of different races and genders and gender identities are treated does not disrespect the obvious fact that what was done to this man was wrong and horrible. But maybe unless you're intellectually disabled, if you're white, I need you to shut up entirely about this. You don't even need to condemn it. Black people are doing that plenty because we've made them feel like they have to, even though white people aren't made to feel like we have to condemn every act of violence perpetrated by another white person (and there are a LOT).

Honestly, if the victim hadn't been disabled, I might not condemn this at all. Do oppressors deserve any better? After all the violence we've committed against black people, we have this kind of thing coming, don't we? You reap what you fucking sow.

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