I Don’t Care For Most Things: The George Zimmerman Verdict

George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of twelve people. Those twelve people are allowed to vote and drive cars and be a part of a jury.

So, you know, that was a disgusting bit of news. Florida was full of disgusting legal news, as a woman who fired warning shots to frighten off her abusive husband was sentenced to twenty years in prison for it, and not allowed to defend herself under the “Stand Your Ground” law that George Zimmerman used to defend himself.

Twenty years in prison for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Hell, if she’d shot her abusive husband in the face, I’d still want to give her an award instead of a prison sentence. Throw her a parade.

There were, apparently, some truly wretched people who set off fireworks when George Zimmerman was acquitted. Sometimes, people are the worst.

Please remember that even though Florida kind of ruins a lot of things, especially when it comes to elections and laws, there are magnificent creatures who live there and a lot of really good people who live there. These people deserve our sympathy, because Florida weather is the worst that I have ever experienced. The awful people can be fed to the local fauna, like Florida’s adorable alligators.

If you somehow don’t remember, Trayvon Martin was a teenager who, armed to the teeth with a bag of skittles, was walking through a neighborhood while wearing a hoodie. Um, I regularly walk to and from the grocery store late at night. I’m in a suburban neighborhood where most people walking anywhere are suburban moms power-walking in pairs or people walking their dogs.

The idea that the fact that I’m in a different place than he is and that I’m white are the two factors that make me unlikely to be stalked and shot by a creepy man is appalling. No one should have to live in fear that he or she might be stalked and shot for “looking suspicious.” No one should have a loved one—a minor, at that—murdered by a paranoid man and have the man get no legal penalization whatsoever. It’s an absolute nightmare.

All of this is really infuriating. I despise injustice.

I walk at night, and I am all too conscious of the fact that my male privilege is what makes me feel comfortable walking alone in the dark. I am also conscious of the fact that my white privilege is what makes me feel reasonably confident that no one is going to stalk and kill me on the off-chance that I might be some sort of criminal.

Some people are arguing that the story has nothing to do with race, which is, you know, nonsense. Even if George Zimmerman were magically blind to race but still convinced that Trayvon Martin was a threat to the neighborhood, the inexplicable verbal and financial support that he has received from lunatics around the US is clearly a product of the race of his victim.

And even if it had nothing to do with race, that does not explain the acquittal. If a white man saw a white teenager walking down a street, and so decided to stalk him from his vehicle, and then stalked him on foot and then, when confronted by the teenage boy whom he was stalking, fatally shot the boy (while he himself came away with a broken nose), I would agree that race would not be involved.

I would still believe that the murderer should not go free. Everything about this very simple case is confusing, honestly.

On the bright side, CNN published an image of the police report on the shooting of Trayvon Martin. This included George Zimmerman’s personal information. I won’t post the full version of it here, or link to it, but here is the redacted version:

If you’re like me, you’re so horrified that a man’s personal information would be leaked to the public just because he literally got away with murder. Specifically, stalking a teenage boy and then shooting him and then being acquitted. I mean, George Zimmerman’s had to endure so much because of that tiny mistake, and now his private information is public, and a simple Google search for “George Zimmerman CNN Dox” will reveal the uncensored image on the first page?

Oh no. Someone should do something.

None of that sympathy for George Zimmerman is sarcastic, obviously. Perish the thought.

George Zimmerman has supporters. And now he has been acquitted, and we have no legal means of recourse—unless you SIGN THIS PETITION. Please and thank you.

I’m going to fix myself a drink and continue fuming about injustice.

PS: Why these particular pictures? Because they convey my feelings on the subject. And because I wanted to use images like complex emoticons rather than include more pictures of a murdered teenage boy and the man who killed him.

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Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan

Star Trek: Into Darkness is the second of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek films. These films have a good budget, great actors, and are action-packed and endearing in many ways.

They also have their problems. The most recent and notable of which was the casting of Khan. Khan, who originally appeared on The Original Series and later in Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan, was the product of eugenics (less the genocidal type and more the selective breeding and genetic augmentation type) from the Eugenics War. He was a POC, which was a bold move (among many bold moves) for Star Trek (suggesting that a perfect human would be something other than white). And it was not just progress for the sake of seeming progressive—it makes sense that any “perfect specimen” of humanity would not be monoracial.

But I don’t really want to talk about multiracial people or eugenics at the moment—I want to talk about casting. Because (I hope that this is not a spoiler for anyone), JJ Abrams chose to whitewash the character of Khan, as he is played in the film by Banananut Cheerios (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Now, Boomerang Contradict (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an actor on BBC’s Sherlock series, and is therefore entirely unavoidable if you are on Tumblr. He has a lot of fans who would be delighted to watch him play anything. While I bear him no personal ill will (though I am fatigued by how much he shows up on Tumblr), I am definitely in the “seriously this was a terrible choice for Khan” crowd.

The following image was the original post of Butawhiteboy Cantbekhan. And it’s perfect. Because, well, whitewashing a POC into a white dude is a step backwards.

More recently, someone posted on Tumblr that no one should hate Blenderman Crumbucket (Benedict Cumberbatch) “for being white,” on the grounds that that is racist. The following was my response:

It’s not hating on him for being white. It is, in fact, a very justified moral outrage at Khan being whitewashed. Which makes no sense for a number of reasons.

It’s really JJ Abrams who is responsible — actors are, I think, expected to take major roles that they are offered (under most circumstances). But it’s not a lack of diversity on its own, and it’s not just normal whitewashing (like if they had cast a white woman to play Storm in X-Men, which would still be awful).

Khan is a genetically enhanced product of eugenics. He’s a perfect physical specimen (which can have many interpretations, certainly), is absolutely brilliant, and absolutely no augments should, realistically, be monoracial. It makes no sense.

Combine something that upsets me as a nerd (that he just doesn’t fit the idea of Khan) with the great-step-backwards whitewashing of an intellectual mastermind (who was a groundbreakingly progressive choice in TOS), and we all have every right to be angry about Into Darkness.

No one hates Benadryl Copperpot (Benedict Cumberbatch) for being white. I don’t think that anyone hates him for accepting that particular role. But I do think that many of us hate the idea of him portraying that role.

PS: I was pretty fond of Fringe but it seems like it’s JJ Abrams’ mission in life to make me want to set him on fire. He might succeed.

PPS: If you think that I’m getting all worked up over nothing, think about Disney’s Lone Ranger film. In which they could not bring themselves to cast a Native American as a Native American.

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Johnny Depp, Stop Making Me Dump You

Johnny Depp is part Native American—we all know this. Johnny Depp is playing Tonto in The Lone Ranger. When I first heard this I thought, “good—he won’t do some ridiculous portrayal” but that’s exactly what he did.  Not only is it racist—it’s bad. Really, really bad.  What the f*** is he doing?

I was so upset when I saw the trailer. Just really offended and annoyed. Then I forgot about it because who cares? It’s Johnny Depp– he hasn’t done anything worth mentioning since 2007 and that’s pushing it, I really enjoyed Sweeny Todd but if you’re not the musical type than it’s 2005 with Corpse Bride. Either way he’s a bit washed up. He burned too brightly for a while and now it’s time to go away. Every character he plays now is Captain Jack just with a different outfit. It’s so tired.

I understand that this is a remake and they want to stay true to the character but whenever there’s a remake don’t they always say it’s “reimagined” so they get credit for it and it’s not just “well yeah, this worked then it works now”? Couldn’t they have made Tonto more of a formidable person? They better delve into the fact that he is speaking Pidgin and not broken English—they owe that much.

It’s just so—so—ridiculous. I didn’t think it could get any sadder, offensive, or racist. But then Johnny Depp opened his once very sexy talented mouth:

“Since cinema has been around, Native Americans have been treated very poorly by Hollywood. What I wanted to do was play Tonto not as a sidekick — like ‘Go fetch a soda for me, boy!’ — but as a warrior with integrity and dignity,” he recently explained to the folks at Total Film. He added, “It’s my small sliver of a contribution to try to right the wrongs of the past.”

Then why are you playing him so stereotypically racist?!?!! HOW THE HELL IS YOU PLAYING TONTO RIGHTING ANYTHING?! UGH! But then he kept talking:

“I wanted to maybe give some hope to kids on the reservations. They’re living without running water and seeing problems with drugs and booze. But I wanted to be able to show these kids, “Fuck that! You’re still warriors, man.”

My boyfriend was raised on a reservation—a real one and they have running water. Johnny Depp has never lived on a reservation so he should probably shut up about that. So, you’re going to show kids that they’re warriors by being racist? Kids you think can’t afford running water but can totally afford a 15 dollar movie ticket? Show them “you’re still warriors” because that’s all Native Americans were? They weren’t inventors, hunters, doctors, they didn’t build things, or create things, they were warriors….SHUT UP!

I broke up with you on December 13, 2012 stop making me do it over and over again!

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The Historic Totem Pole of a Woman’s Worth

The story begins with a historical perspective on how female African American slaves were treated in America’s past. The basic gist is that these women were slaves first, and then women/ mothers/ wives second. All slaves worked, regardless of their gender.

What could bring them back to their gender in a slave owner’s eyes would be the owner’s sexual onslaught onto the woman. This rape was yet another despicable form of control. Pregnant slaves, as well as those who had recently given birth, were to constantly work in the fields at the same level as any man.

While a slave woman was valued as a reproductive machine, that capability still did not give her preferential treatment. The black female slave was at the very bottom of society. Even her gender was another way to lower her already abysmal place in life.

Even today, being black or being a woman makes a person less likely to succeed. The preferential odds are against individuals who are not white or male.

There is now a classic psychological experiment: who is most employable? When a job is posted and many people apply, white men are the most likely to be hired, then Asian men, then Hispanic men, and then black men.  A white woman is on the same ranking employability level as a Hispanic or black man. Lastly comes the black woman, below all the rest. Having a vagina has always been a handicap.

This is no surprise, considering that black men gained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment- while women of every race waited until the 19th Amendment.

Truly, historically women in America were generally considered lesser beings from every angle. We are still today assessing the female’s place in our society. Hopefully, there will eventually be some consensus on a woman being equal in rights to a man. Or those who aren’t of Caucasian, European descent being employable. Or gay people being equal to straight people. Or not having to use any label to determine your life’s course.

If the American dream is to use hard work and determination in order to climb and succeed, then the dream would be much more plausible without weighted labels. As Gaga says, we were born this way, so make like musical Glee and reach for the stars.

Or something less cheesy sounding.

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