On the Real “Bad Hombres”

             As the president of this nation pushes the narrative that this country needs a wall on its southern border because people from Mexico and Central America are “bad hombres” who “bring their rapists, their drugs” and other “bad things,” the fact that once again, people of color are being made out to be the “bad” ones does not ring true. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/06/16/theyre-rapists-presidents-trump-campaign-launch-speech-two-years-later-annotated/?utm_term=.8ad954839e89)

While there are likely to be some people who seek to live in this country who have questionable motives, it is clear that the majority of them are seeking a better and safer life. They are not criminals, any more than were people who have historically entered this country from other countries throughout history. (https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/italian3.html) People have flocked here looking for work; the opportunities here that they heard about drew them here in mass numbers.

This president has made it an art form to label the people coming across the southern border as “bad” people, and he keeps lifting up his belief (or maybe his political talking point) that these people are bringing drugs, causing the opioid epidemic that is killing people here every day. There is no mention of the role that big pharmaceutical companies has played in marketing, selling and promoting the use of fentanyl, which is reportedly 100 times more potent than is heroin. “Big pharma,” driven by greed, has been intent on making as much money as possible by pushing this dangerous drug. (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/05/insys-subsys-whistleblower-lawsuits/)

At the same time, as so many people of color are languishing in prisons because they possessed a small amount of marijuana, the former Speaker of the House is encouraging people to come to seminars to learn how to become wealthy by selling marijuana. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/irisdorbian/2018/10/19/looking-to-make-millions-from-cannabis-ex-house-speaker-boehner-will-tell-you-how/#15a8e26d7c52)

Who are the “bad hombres,” really, if the definition of the same is those who bring drugs?

Then there is the question of rapists coming over our southern border as if we do not have a real problem with men keeping their genitals inside of their pants. White supremacy, I am finally understanding, is as much sexual as it is racial; men believe they are superior to women and they have been given power by our patriarchal society. The slew of men who have been accused of and/or convicted of sexual impropriety is only growing. In this country, rapists are in the White House, heading major television networks, making films, starring in movies, sitting in Congress, pastoring churches and giving communion to children.

Americans, in other words, have no platform for touting moral superiority. Bad hombres in our country, permeating every aspect of life, are everywhere, even here.

What is particularly distasteful is that our media really does bring out the fact that a false equivalency is being raised by the White House to push its racist agenda. America has always struggled with immigration and has a history of wanting to keep people of color out.  Even though Chinese immigrants were responsible for building much of America’s railroads, the Chinese Exclusion Acts were passed by Congress to keep them out. (https://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/chinese-immigration) Benjamin Franklin didn’t think Germans looked white enough and wanted to keep them and others who had “swarthy complexions” out of the fledgling country. (https://qz.com/904933/a-history-of-american-anti-immigrant-bias-starting-with-benjamin-franklins-hatred-of-the-germans/)

The point is that the White House’s claim that “bad hombres” are who are coming over the southern border is a dog whistle for its racist desire to keep people of color out of the United States. There are bad hombres in this administration who, though they wear three-piece suits are engaged in shady financial situations, who are rapists, who use drugs and who are now lining up to sell them legally.

The “bad hombres” label is as disingenuous as it is wrong. America needs to see herself for what she is, bad hombres and all.

A candid observation …

Akin Reveals Himself

 

, member of the United States House of Represe...
, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

No matter how much Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, tries to fix what he said on Sunday, it is not going to work.

 

He came out with one of the most outrageous, insensitive and, frankly, ignorant comments this writer has ever heard, saying that in cases of “legitimate rape,” pregnancy is rare – that “the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down.”

 

My first thought, when I read it, was, “what is ‘legitimate’ rape? And my second question was, “the female body has a way of shutting what “whole thing” down? The movement of a sperm to an egg? What?

 

I was astounded; in fact, I still don’t know what to think, the comment was so outrageous. It was so sexist, so insanely sexist and ignorant, that words almost cannot suffice.

 

Now, the good Congressman from Missouri is trying to clean his statement up. He has said he “misspoke.”

 

OK. Another question. What does it mean to “misspeak?” The American Heritage Dictionary  says that it’s to “pronounce or speak incorrectly.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says it’s to express oneself incorrectly or imperfectly.  Akin would probably refer to the latter definition.

 

But it is doubtful that he “misspoke.”  Akin, resting in the ignorance and arrogance that so often accompanies patriarchal thinking,  most likely said what he has been thinking and saying in private along with his “good ol’ boys” for some time. Riding on a Tea Party security blanket, it feels like Akin got a little too comfortable, and let some really twisted beliefs out of the chicken coop.

 

What bothers me most in what he said is the “legitimate rape” comment. For the life of me, I cannot understand what he means. WHEN, exactly, is a rape legitimate? Was he referring to cases where rape can be proven?  In legal history, isn’t one of the reasons so few rape accusations were brought to trial, or have been brought to trial, because rape could not be proven…that the victim was often blamed for her own rape?

 

And, even in cases where rape has not been “proven” in court, hasn’t it been the case, over and over, that a rape had occurred, but the legal system was ill-equipped, or maybe unwilling, to treat rape as a “legitimate” crime?

 

Hasn’t it been the case that women have been second class citizens for far too long, and have been viewed as objects for the pleasure of men? So, if that is the case, what, pray tell, is a legitimate rape?

 

And in terms of the female body being able to “shut that whole thing down,” I am beyond perplexed. Anatomically and physiologically, what knowledge does Akin have that I am missing?  I was never taught that I should worry about getting pregnant if I were ever raped, because my body would somehow know the difference between a “legitimate” rape and a rape not so legitimate …or, for that matter, a night of consensual sex.

 

Is Akin’s line of thinking one of the underlying reasons rape has had such difficulty being considered a “legitimate” crime?  Should we applaud Akin for bringing out some of the thought-patterns of people in positions of power who help make policy?

 

Whatever we are to think, this is one thing I do not think – and that is that Akin “misspoke.” That’s like making a racial slur and then saying it’s a joke. Nope, Mr. Akin. You have egg on your face and you just need to own it, disgusting as what you said was.

 

A candid observation …