In the 1950s, as the white working class was disappearing into the classless middle, African Americans were still only visible [on television] as servants or entertainers. In order to gain broader access to television, blacks and other marginalized groups would have to learn to play by TV’s rules, namely to have faith in the american dream. While this logic has served television’s commercial imperatives, it has also reduced struggles for economic justice and social equality to a simple matter of “inclusion”. In the post-civil rights era, the arrival of African Americans onto prime time suggests that there is no need for the redistribution of wealth and power, because on TV there’s plenty of roll for everyone.


did not see where this was going, somehow


[trigger warning]

May 26, 2012—With news of another sexual assault in Park Slope comes the alarming disclosure that NYPD incompetence has allowed a known sexual predator to freely roam the streets. On the morning of May 22nd, a woman returning home from work was sexually assaulted on 16th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues, mere steps away from the site of a similar attack last year. The assailant was fought off and successfully chased down by a neighbor, but when police arrived on the scene, they let the man go after only a few minutes, without consequence and without regard for the multiple witnesses’ positive identifications of the man. Residents are baffled and angry. In spite of their vigilance, the police let a captured rapist back onto the streets with little more than a casual shrug.

On the afternoon of April 13th, the NYPD was busy orchestrating a perp walk for the press. The so-called “gentleman groper” who had been terrorizing subway riders for months was led down the same stretch of asphalt that Dominique Strauss-Kahn was paraded through last year. Only this time the man was innocent, and this was all squarely for show—and the police knew it.

Public pressure to find the groper had been intensifying since the assaults first began in February. The NYPD responded by finding a man who vaguely resembled the surveillance photos (themselves inexplicably released months after the first attacks). The man’s alibi, easily verified by witnesses, restaurant receipts, and Metrocard swipes, was ignored by detectives. He was quickly served up to the press to great applause, and New Yorkers let out a small sigh of relief, their confidence in the police restored.

A full month later, the District Attorney publicly acknowledged what the police had known all along: this was not their man. While the NYPD’s top brass played a cynical public relations game, the real groper was given free reign to continue his assaults. He remains at large. [Update: Lawyer Paul Kraft was eventually caught 8 months later; after being quickly released on $5,000 bail, Kraft took a plea deal offered by the DA that imposed no jail time and that also included a provision allowing him to keep his law license.]

While the higher-ups doggedly work the press, their subordinates out patrolling the streets are being confronted more and more with charges of sexual assault. Just two months ago, NYPD officer Michael Pena was sentenced to 75 years in prison for raping an elementary school teacher who was on her way to work, repeatedly threatening to shoot her in the face with his police-issued service weapon.

As more survivors continue to come forward, these incidents are beginning to look less and less like isolated cases. Last year, despite testimony and evidence to the contrary, two officers were acquitted of raping a woman who was passed out in her East Village apartment. While admitting to taking advantage of the woman physically, they pointed to the lack of DNA at the crime scene as proof that no sex had taken place. They derided the survivor as a “gold digger” during the trial and publicly advised other officers/rapists to “be very, very, very careful” when responding to calls for assistance by women in similarly vulnerable states—a veiled reference to the wiped DNA evidence that ultimately allowed them to beat the charges. While these two officers were removed from the force through more bureaucratic means, sexual assaults by the NYPD are being reported with a regularity that has long since ceased to be shocking. While grand juries weigh evidence and mull over legal code, the pile of bad apples continues to grow.

Some insight might be gained from the peer-reviewed studies andCongressional reports showing that at least 40% of police officers have battered their domestic partners within the past year—a rate four times higher than that of the general population—and this number only accounts for the officers who actually self-reported as abusers. How can we be asked to trust the police to protect us from violence—sexual or otherwise—when nearly half of its officers are themselves violent domestic abusers?

From dismissing a recent sexual assault as “simply a drunk man bumping into a woman” to the refrain of officers blaming women for wearing dresses, skirts, and shorts, the litany of abuses and insults goes on and on. Rather than making our streets feel safer, the NYPD’s behavior reproduces the very conditions of sexual violence that turns a short walk home into a risky proposition. Their disparaging attitudes toward survivors and samaritans alike has helped foster an atmosphere that enables and emboldens predators, making them feel as if they can commit their attacks without any fear of consequence.

Communities have long been organizing themselves in response to this crisis. Neighborhood watches, ride-home services, self-defense classes, and survivor support networks are helping to make this city a truly safer place. Organizations like RightRides, the Center for Anti-Violence Education, and Safe Slope work tirelessly to educate, advocate, and organize in the name of building safer communities. Rely on politicians to emerge from behind banks of microphones and promise to get more cops on the street; they fail to understand that it’s self-organization within our communities, not more violent authority from without, that truly has the power to end sexual violence.

The NYPD has shown itself to be thoroughly incapable of protecting our communities from abusers and rapists. Their negligence in sexual assault cases has become predictable; their hostility towards survivors now standard operating procedure. Behind the thin blue line lies a deep culture of sexual violence that reveals itself in every new charge of rape made against an NYPD officer. As another long hot summer gets underway, we come together in solidarity against sexual predators and all those who allow them to continue. It’s time to show abusers and rapists—whether they wear badges or not—that we intend to fight back.





My understanding is that people hate this guy, but I’m pretty into this; “fucking join the movement or give money” feels so much less sleazy than the rounds of white privilege navel-gazing and pointless complicity-shaming that inevitably follow every high-profile incident of state-engineered black death in America. Remember that piece of shit “We Are Not Trayvon Martin” Tumblr? Where white people wrote in all “I’m not Trayvon Martin! I hotboxed a cop car after rioting at a college football game and stealing one thousand packs of Skittles and didn’t get shot or anything!” ostensibly to “recognize” their privilege but really just to continue gibbering about their own stupid lives?

As my friend Amber once excellently put it, “Less allies. More comrades.”

(Reblogged from jenpan)

some people have weird ideas about the law. like it counts for shit except to be used against resistance. counting on lines they drew in the sand five minutes ago as the measuring stick for allowable state violence is fucking insane especially when the state is treating ‪#‎Ferguson‬ as a counterinsurgency, as a threat to the racial order, which it is. “omg why are they dispersing ppl when there is no curfew tonite” “omg the media is not showing how these ppl are preventing looting” “omg why are they arresting media and now only this kind of media can stay and this is against a court order” “omg the national guard isn’t stopping the cops but working with them!” i understand there is a political, rhetorical tendency to posit hypocrisy as the greatest sin after “violence” or something, and ppl love to try to de-legitimize the state by pointing at the “contradictions” but this is backwards— the “legitimacy” of the U.S. state is built on white supremacist violence, on imprisonment of black people, on the police *being ever present, ever at the ready, always brutal*

they keep drawing new lines, closing in more and more until some bodies cannot move at all, and then these lines define all of our relations— that is what the law is. fuck the law.

via Oki Sogumi (via grupaok)
(Reblogged from tatiluboviski-acosta)

don’t mind me, boys, just dancing all up in your MAN PLACES