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Getting a Handle on What Sexual Misconduct Actually Means

I think everyone except white-wing evangelicals agrees that a forcible sex act is rape.

But what about a coworker looking at another and saying “Damn, she’s fine”?

Stealing a kiss in what you think is a romantic moment to find out she/he isn’t that in to you? I mean, in the old movies, that always seemed infamously to lead to slap a la Cary Grant and Doris Day.

Trying to force a coworker into a sexual encounter? No question this is wrong.

Can a woman be accused of sexual misconduct in attempting to coerce an unwilling male?

So where exactly are the lines?

And what can we do as a society to make sure everyone is on the same page? What is and is not acceptable is rapidly changing. As well as out view of “who” is believable. Misconduct isn’t going to be swept under the rug (unless you are a Republican).

 

What Does ‘Sexual Misconduct’ Actually Mean?

The almost infinite shades of creepy misbehavior on display are challenging the legal and cultural categories used to describe them.

“Enough is enough,” proclaimed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a December 6 press conference. Whatever the details of her colleague Al Franken’s sexual misbehavior, said Gillibrand, who has been aggressively pushing for Congress to tackle its harassment problem, he needed to step down. “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation. You need to draw a line in the sand and say: None of it is OK. None of it is acceptable.”

It most definitely is not. But as the public outrage over sexual misconduct gains force, it is swallowing up an increasingly diverse range of allegations, from the relatively petty (such as those lodged against Franken) to the truly monstrous (such as the claims regarding Harvey Weinstein and Roger Ailes). In between those poles exist almost infinite shades of creepy—which, sadly, will necessitate a great many discussions about how to deal with, and even talk about, the different types of offenses and offenders.

This is, in some ways, uncharted territory. In the past, questions of culpability were largely left to the legal realm: As long as a man didn’t get arrested or lose a lawsuit—and sometimes even if he did—he could get away with an awful lot while suffering little more than a bad-boy reputation. But the current reckoning is different, a rising tide of public shaming driven in part by shifting attitudes and expectations among younger women. Going forward, it’s hard to tell how the new lines will be drawn, much less where.

Women should be respected. Period. But not all offenders are created equal. The pattern of coercive harassment of employees allegedly perpetrated by chat show host Charlie Rose or former Representative John Conyers is not the same as the fumbling, drunken stupidity of which The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush stands accused. Thrush may or may not deserve to lose his current job for having made booze-fueled passes at, and subsequently talked smack about, female colleagues at his previous job. But his alleged offenses pale when compared to, say, ex-ABC pundit Mark Halperin’s alleged practice of groping, rubbing his erections against, and even masturbating in front of junior staffers—and then threatening to kill the careers of those who rebuffed him. (Like many of the men caught in this whirlwind, Halperin disputes at least some of the allegations against him.)

Some of the misbehavior being detailed is flat-out bizarre. Comedian Louis C.K. admitted to being a nonviolent but nevertheless intrusive exhibitionist-masturbator. It remains a public mystery precisely what Garrison Keillor did to get his radio show killed. (Something about touching a woman’s bare back when her shirt fluttered open?) Representative Joe Barton had every right to text naked pics of himself to one of his girlfriends, but threatening to use the Capitol Police to keep her quiet about their relationship was a no-no. As for former Representative Trent Franks, who felt it appropriate to pressure multiple young aides to serve as surrogate mothers for him and his wife: Someone needs to explain that The Handmaid’s Tale is dystopian fiction, not a how-to guide.

Then, of course, there are the many and varied accusations circling President Donald Trump, not to mention his own boasts in this area—none of which he has addressed in a remotely coherent, much less persuasive fashion. (The Access Hollywood tape is empty locker room talk! No, wait, it’s a fake! He has never met these women! Not even the ones he’s been photographed with! Or the one who was on his show!) But that, alas, is a special topic to be saved for another day.

It is precisely because this movement is so powerful that it’s important to avoid (through frustration or disgust, exhaustion or confusion) sweeping every bad act and actor into the same mushy heap. That kind of sloppiness breeds excess and backlash. Right now, even our language is inadequate to the moment. Shoving Weinstein and Ailes under the same umbrella of sexual “misconduct” or “misbehavior” as Franken or Thrush renders such terms all but meaningless. Weinstein terrorized scores of women—psychologically, professionally, and physically—for multiple decades and is currently under investigation for rape. That’s not “misconduct” or “harassment.” It’s an atrocity, possibly wrapped in multiple felonies. Both genders need to find a way to address some of these qualitative distinctions without sounding like anyone is being let off the hook.

This may sound obvious, until, for instance, you wander into an angry Twitter mob of John Conyers supporters demanding to know why the ex-congressman’s sins are seen by many to be worse than Franken’s. Well, for starters, Franken didn’t use tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to secretly settle an aide’s harassment claim. As for the underlying misconduct, if one believes the accusations, Conyers’s transgressions—committed repeatedly against his own employees in direct abuse of his power over them—were empirically more egregious and revolting. (Asking an aide to touch his junk or else find him another woman who would? Come on.) This isn’t to say that Franken didn’t behave like an entitled pig. But, until the drip, drip, drip of low-level grope-and-slobber stories accumulated, the case for his being pushed from office was not nearly as clear as the one against Conyers….More...

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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in and the Single Life, Men, The New Jim Crow, Women

 

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Black Police Officer Shoots White Woman…About the Only Time An Officer Will Be Convicted in Minneapolis

A cop in Minneapolis has shot the wrong person. The victim in this case was an attractive, blond white woman from Australia…

The Cop in this case is being reported to be a Somalian (black).

What do you want to bet his “Philandro Castille Get Out of Jail Free for Murder” card gets revoked?

You see, it is OK for a white Cop to shoot a black man in a car with his family, including small child in Minneapolis…

Black Cop shooting an unarmed white woman?

The lynching will be held at the local courthouse at noon. AG Jeff Sessions will be flying in the rope.

 

 

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Why Black Children Run Away From Home…

Yeah, a lot of black children run away from home or go missing. One of the reasons the Police and media don’t take it as seriously as they could is this…

Many of these children have reasons to run away.

Image result for black child spanked

We need to pay attention to the home lives that missing kids are fleeing from.

Last month, a rumor that more than 500 mostly black and Latino children from the District of Columbia had been abducted and sold into sex slavery went viral on social media. A new decision by D.C. police to alert the public whenever children were reported missing had backfired; most of the kids had been found safe within 24 hours, but those updates never spread as far as the initial reports. Worried people, from the Congressional Black Caucus to LL Cool J, raised alarms over what looked like a sudden epidemic that was being ignored in ways that would be unimaginable with white children.

Hoping to quell the outrage, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser assured the public that there has been no surge of missing kids. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t children that need our help,” she said March 24 as she unveiled plans to create a task force to work with vulnerable teenagers.

Hundreds of children of color have been reported missing in D.C. at some point since January, but those numbers aren’t higher than usual. The police say 2,242 children were reported missing in 2016, down from 2,433 in 2015. Virtually all of them were found unharmed within 24 hours; in many cases the children, who showed no evidence of being exploited by sex traffickers, had repeatedly run away from home, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

Which means many children do indeed need our help — and we need to pay more attention to the home lives that they might be running away from.

Rates of reported child abuse are disproportionately high for black children. According to the Justice Department , black children ages 12 to 19 are “three times more likely to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect.” As many as 7,354 young people ages 12 to 24, most of them black, experience homelessness each year in D.C., and more than 2 million children nationwide do. In one national survey, nearly half reported intense conflict, neglect or physical harm by a family member as a major factor in their homelessness. Others experienced family instability due to unaffordable housing, or left the juvenile-justice system or the foster-care system without enough education or support to make it on their own. Research from the Administration for Children and Families shows that up to 42 percent of runaway and homeless youth are sexually abused before they leave their homes.

Black children are also disproportionately likely to suffer treatment at home that’s so bad that they want to flee. In 2015, black kids had the highest rate of abuse and neglect, at 14.5 per 1,000 children, compared with 8.1 per 1,000 for white children, according to the Children’s Bureau, part of the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 3,600 black children in the United States have died as a result of maltreatment in the past decade, a rate three times higher than for all other racial groups. Suicide rates among elementary-age black children have nearly doubled since the 1990s, while the rates for white children have fallen, according to a 2015 report from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A disturbing number of children in D.C. and elsewhere are gambling that life on the street could not be worse than their abusive homes. I made the same choice in 1987 and in 1991 while growing up in Trenton, N.J.

I ran away from my adoptive family when I was 9 and again when I was 12. After the second time, I refused to go back, and I ended up yet another black child in New Jersey’s foster-care system. A warm bed and steady meals in my adoptive home were not worth constant “whuppings” and verbal abuse — which my adoptive parents and the wider black community said were love, discipline and protection from the police or white racists. I felt safer on my own, even if that meant living on the street. From age 12 to 14, I was shuttled between foster homes, youth shelters and group homes, until I was fortunate enough to win an academic scholarship to the Lawrenceville Prep School. So I understand where many of these kids are coming from.

My own experiences helped shape my role as an advocate for children, and it’s painful to see how common such abuse still is in my community. Without question, the toughest part of my work is convincing black people that a “no hitting” zone at home is crucial to helping children feel and be safe. Whupping kids is not “a black thing.” But parents argue that without whuppings, their children will end up in prison, even though we’ve been having national conversations about mass incarceration for decades. They cherry-pick Old Testament scriptures to justify hitting. They argue that there’s a difference between spanking and abuse, as if a child’s body experiences pain differently based on what parents call a swat or the intent behind it. And many people proclaim that they were whupped as children and “turned out fine,” even though they’ve grown up to see striking a child’s body as normal behavior. It’s a violent, unnecessary parenting practice planted in our culture through colonialism, slavery, forced indoctrination into Christianity and centuries of racial trauma.

If we are going to talk about missing children in D.C., we must look at beating kids as one of the root issues. Yes, sex trafficking does happen, and yes, the types of children who go missing in Washington and other cities — mostly black; mostly poor; disproportionately lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer — are more vulnerable than other kids. But neglect and abuse are among the most commonfactors.

So much of our national focus on black children is on how “bad” they are: how they need more physical punishment, zero tolerance at school, harsh sentences from the courts. They are blamed for their own deaths at the hands of adults who claimed they were afraid of them. That systemic devaluation of black children even extends into classrooms. In 19 states, students are still subject to corporal punishment; a disproportionately higher number of black children receive it. According to reports by the Education Department’s office of civil rights and Human Rights Watch, racial bias contributes to this problem, along with black parents signing opt-in forms empowering teachers and administrators to hit their children.

These messages have consequences. When black children are constantly told that they are a problem, that they are unworthy and undeserving of empathy and kindness, that they can be beaten in schools, in the streets, by cops and by the people who love them, running away from home doesn’t seem like such an extreme choice. If home so often isn’t a safe haven, should we be surprised?…Read the Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter, The New Jim Crow

 

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Rapper Concert Cancelled for… “Unforeseen Incarceration”

“I’m sorry, but the concert has been cancelled due to unforseen incarceration. However, your tickets will be honored at a make-up concert as soon as we can schedule it.”

“Great! When can  I expect that to be?”

“10-20 years…”

In yet another case of Trump white boy justice being different for “some” folks…the black rapper got a 3 times longer sentence than a white child rapist.

Rapper’s concert performance cancelled due to ‘unforeseen incarceration’

kevin gates mugshot

Publicists for a festival in Louisiana say rapper Kevin Gates has cancelled his performance due to “an unforeseen incarceration.”

The Baton Rouge singer was sentenced Wednesday to 180 days in jail after being convicted of kicking a female fan at a Florida concert last year.

Organizers of the 2016 Voodoo Fest said in a tweet that the artist scratched his performance “due to an unforeseen incarceration.”

News outlets report a Polk County jury found Gates guilty of battery after he was captured on cellphone video kicking 19-year-old Miranda Dixon at Lakeland’s Rumors Nightclub, where he performed last August.

Dixon, who was in the crowd, testified that she tugged on Gates’ pants twice to get his attention for her friend. After the second time, she says Gates kicked her so hard that she fell back and passed out.

Gates’ attorney, Jose Baez, argued his client was battered by the woman before he kicked her and that Dixon has a financial motive in the case, saying that she had a civil lawyer.

The New Orleans Advocate reports Gates was slated to perform on Voodoo’s Pepsi Stage at 8:45 p.m. on Friday. No word yet on who, if anyone, will replace him. He has presumably also scrapped his post-fest show at the House of Blues, which was slated for later Friday night.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Pre-School Is Where the Hatred Is

The School to Prison pipeline begins early…

Black preschool kids still get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids

Schools suspend minority students at much higher rates than their peers, sometimes starting from the beginning — preschool.

The Civil Rights Data Collection, a national survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, surveyed over 50 million students at more than 95,000 schools and found that while suspensions decreased by almost 20 percentage points between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, gaps between the suspension rates of different groups of students remained, according to results released late Monday.

The survey included 1,439,188 preschool students enrolled in 28,783 schools. Of those,6,743 preschool students or .47% were suspended out of school once or more than once. While black girls represent 20 percent of preschool enrollment, 54 percent of preschool girls suspended once or more were black. And black preschool children overall were 3.6 times as likely to be suspended as young white children.

The results don’t “paint a very good picture,” said Liz King, senior policy analyst and director of education policy at the Leadership for Civil and Human Rights. She called parts of it “startling.”

Across all grades, 2.8 million students were suspended once or more than once. Black students were nearly four times as likely to be suspended and almost twice as likely to be expelled as white students. Students with disabilities were also twice as likely to be suspended as general education students.

The disparity “tears at the moral fabric of the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. “We will not compromise away the civil right of all students to an excellent education.”

The findings come amid a major nationwide debate over school discipline, and just what statistics like these mean.

School districts across the country have reexamined the way they chastise students for misbehaving, in part because of previous civil rights survey results.

In 2013, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned suspensions for “willful defiance.” As a result, the district’s suspension rate dropped to .55 percent last school year from eight percent in 2007-2008. Instead, teachers were supposed to use “restorative justice,” tactics that include conflict resolution, to keep their classrooms orderly. But teachers have saidthat they haven’t been trained in these techniques sufficiently.

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, a new law, states are required to review schools disciplinary statistics to reduce an “overuse of suspension.”

The disparities invite further investigation, said Catherine Lhamon, the assistant secretary of education responsible of the Office for Civil Rights. “Data by itself is not a reason to think there’s intentional discrimination, but they are a reason to ask further questions,” she said.

So why are there major disparities in school discipline?

Jason Okonofua, a social psychologist at Stanford University, began trying to answer this question in his research after reflecting on his own experiences. As a kid growing up in Memphis, Tenn., he attended seven different public schools and noticed that in some schools, teachers were more rigid; in others, they were more supportive. After tenth grade, though, came a bigger difference: he won a scholarship to an East coast prep school, where he was one of just several black kids, compared to the majority black schools he attended in Memphis.

At the prep school, he said, teachers treated students like adults. “Seeing how different school atmospheres can bring about different outcomes got me interested in this particular topic,” he said.

Okonofua found in his studies that the disparities stem from problems in the relationships between teachers and students. Minority students, he found, expect to be the victim of bias — which leads them to be less cooperative. On the other hand, he said, if a teacher feels disrespected, and as if the student is a troublemaker, the student will get punished more severely, causing the cycle to continue….More…

 

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Georgia Judge Delivers a Message

Hopefully she gets through to a few of the hardheads…

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Charter School Violence

Not only are Charter Schools educationally lagging the Public School Districts which they supposedly serve, new evidence is emerging that their sometimes strict, and in some cases severe discipline is resulting in up to 8 times the violent incident level than hat experienced in Public Schools.

Differences in violent incidents in schools between 2014 and 2015

Why Has Charter School Violence Spiked at Double the Rate of Public Schools?

Meanwhile, charter advocates continue to criticize the safety of traditional public schools.

A few weeks after The New York Times released a controversial video of a Success Academy Charter School teacher lashing out at a student, New York City’s deep-pocketed charter school advocates are looking to shift the public narrative on who is committing violence in city schools.

Over the last few weeks, Families for Excellent Schools, a charter school lobbying and advocacy group with close ties to Success Academy, has placed TV ads, held a press conference, and taken to social media, claiming New York City public schools are in a violent “state of emergency.” The charter school campaign appears to be a response to the public backlash that Success Academy has received for its controversial disciplinary approach.

Taking state data, which includes “violent” incidents not involving the police, Families for Excellent Schools asserts that between 2014 and 2015 schools suffered a 23 percent uptick in violence. The public action was meant toundermine New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who recently claimed school violence has gone down, thanks to his administration’s softer disciplinary approach.

A Nation analysis of the charter school group’s data, however, suggests the move may backfire, since the numbers also show that charter schools themselves reported a far higher spike in incidents of school violence, 54 percent, more than double that of the public school average between the 2014 and 2015 school years.

Breaking the data down further, The Nation also found that while NYC public schools, perhaps responding to the district’s disciplinary reforms, actually dropped in nonviolent offenses like “criminal mischief” and “other disruptive incidents” at -6 percent and -23 percent, respectively, charter schools had a 65 percent surge in reported incidents of “criminal mischief” and a 33 percent surge in “other disruptive incidents.” Notably, charter schools also had far higher reported surges in drug and weapons possession incidents, at 53 percent and 27 percent respectively, whereas public schools only had 5 percent and 9 percent jumps for the same categories.

New York City charter school students represent a relatively small amount of the city’s overall population, and therefore make up only 4 percent of total violent incidents in New York City schools, but these drastic disparities raise questions about how charter schools’ controversial disciplinary cultures relate to the dramatic increase in reported school violence.

Brenda Shufelt, a recently retired librarian who served public school and Success Academy Charter School students at a colocated school library in Harlem, said that as charter schools rapidly expand, they may be taking in more high-needs kids, many of whom cannot conform to one-size-fits-all disciplinary approaches.

“In my experience, what would often happen is that charter school students would be so rigidly controlled that the kids would periodically blow up,” says Shufelt. “At PS 30, some of our kids would have meltdowns, usually because of problems at home, but I never saw kids melt down in the way they did in charter schools. They were just so despairing, feeling like they could not do this. I was told by two custodians, they had never had so much vomit to clean up from kindergarten and elementary classes.”

Examining the 10 charter schools with the highest reported incidents of violence in 2014 and 2015, The Nation also found that reported incidents escalated 485 percent last year over the previous year, more than four times faster than the growth of violent incidents for public schools of the same category.

Of the top six charter school sites with the most reported growth in incidents of violence from 2014 to 2015, four were KIPP charter schools, part of a nationally heralded charter chain that has 11 locations in New York. In recent years, KIPP has drawn headlines for its disciplinary regimen, which often includes precise control of students’ physical movements, intricate behavioral systems of reward and punishment, and enforced silence throughout school hallways. In 2013, a KIPP school in Manhattan made news, after a kindergartner and first grader had anxiety attacks, triggered by the school’s practice of repeatedly locking students in custom-designed time-out closets. KIPP refused to end the practice after the controversy and did not respond to Nation inquiries about the spike in reported incidents.*

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2016 in American Genocide, BlackLivesMatter

 

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