Friday, May 21, 2010

From The Oppressor's Handbook, for Dummies: The Rights of the Abused Must Never Exceed or Approximate the Rights of the Abuser

[image of book cover is from here]

The reason feminists are hated by men is because feminists tell the truth about them. The reason anarchists are hated by corporate thugs is because anarchists tell the truth about them. The reason whistle-blowers are sometimes killed, or paid to be silent before whistle reaches lips, is because whistle-blowers tell the truth.

Here are a couple of very simple premises, which I hope you will consider deeply: sexist and racist violence would end if there weren't so many laws protecting the white male supremacist perpetrators. And oppressive status quo society is set up so that when people with less status, privilege, entitlements, and institutionalised power speak out accurately against the abuses of those with more power and privileges, it will be assumed that the ones with less power are lying. Of course. Children lie after all. (And adults do not?) Women are vengeful after all. (And men are not?) People of color are not to be trusted. (And white folks are?) Muslims of color can be sooooo fundamentalist! (And white Christians cannot? TERRORISTICALLY and historically so? HORRIFICALLY and systematically so?)

Cue the anti-radical libertarians, the civil liberties fundamentalists, the defenders of some bullshit notion called "free speech" and the perpetrators the ACLU defends, as well as the ACLUnatics, to get all antsy and upset. Palms may, in fact, be sweating. This is the moment for the arrogant and egotistical, the privileged and the entitled perps of the world to wonder: Where is this guy going with this post, anyway?! He's not going to mention anything I'VE done, is he??

But even if you're upset and feeling defensive, please read on and reserve judgment until you're done reading this post.

The next very few lines only are the beginning of a blog post from The Curvature, by Cara. For the rest of her post, please visit *here*. The rest is me blathering on about a little something called governmental, social, and interpersonal "accountability" or lack thereof.

England and Wales Move to Grant Anonymity to Rape Defendants

by Cara on May 21, 2010
In England and Wales, there’s a plan underway to grant anonymity to those who are accused of rape but have not been convicted.

Yes, under this plan, the name of the alleged victim would not be the only one withheld from public knowledge for reasons of safety and privacy.

*          *          *

The Oppressor's Handbook

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that in a conservative to liberal white supremacist and misogynistic country that police-protects and militarily defends the rights of oppressors over and against the rights of the oppressed, "civil liberties" is an ineffective tool to bring about radical social change, and "libertarianism" functions to shield the oppressors from challenges to their rights to privacy to perpetrate abuse while strengthening their entitlements to do harm.

When a child names their incest perpetrating parent as their rapist, they are socially castigated and made into the classic Western "bad guy". Witness so many stories, too many to mention here, but I'll direct you to the case of Mackenzie Phillips, whose own perpetrator's ex-spouse rushed to defend his memory. The message from many who had far less emotional investment in the memory of John that does Michelle, was, to put it crudely, this: "Screw [over] Mackenzie." Again. "I don't want to believe her truth. Her truth is ugly." Well, no. Her truth is beautiful. The story is ugly. There's a difference and please note it. The public doesn't like its own dirty laundry aired out. For so much of what happened to Mackenzie is happening to so many girls and young women, but, really, we'd rather just all talk about Jesse James and what a bastard he was to Sandra Bullock. And isn't that oil spill awful?! This is the deal, the plan, the way speaking out honestly in ways that make one vulnerable is made into a criminal act, effectively if not also legally. And, like any good sadistic country, any sign of vulnerability will be vultured, turned, if possible, into carrion. Pick, pick, pick until all that remains are those immobile and mute bones. Mackenzie is a strong woman. You can't live through what she lived through, face it, write it out which means facing it much more deeply, then allow it to be in the public domain, and be both alive and not strong. G-d bless her honesty, integrity, and courage.

Whenever a raped person speaks out against their rapist or rapists, the victim is immediately cast into the role of the perpetrator while the rapist is immediately seen as the one who is defamed, "destroyed", and innocent until proven guilty. Let's be clear about one thing: if he raped her, he isn't innocent, regardless of what a white male supremacist courtroom concludes. And women, often enough, if allowed to be conscious during the act by the rapist, do know when they've been raped. And it is "a presumption of innocence" which the Liberal and quasi-Libertarian State grants perps, not "innocence". A rapist is not ever "innocent until proven guilty" folks. Got it?

Whatever else they were, the white very class-privileged male students from Duke who rented or purchased one or two women of color (preferring white women but oh well, they wanted their entertainment THAT NIGHT, and whitemalesky-god forbid any normal whiteboy doesn't get what he somewhat sociopathically believes his penis or testicles are telling him he must have right away). 

I was once part of a really fucked up pyramid scheme (no, not the one my ancestors were involved in making for the King of Egypt, although that was rather fucked up too). This one was didn't involve slavery, but it did involve unethical economics and was making the rounds in various working to middle class communities a couple of decades ago or so. After speaking to my feminist mentor at the time, welcoming her to join in, she told me she wasn't interested in doing so because the whole thing seemed, to her, to be based on an ungrounded vision of hopeful [and exploitive] prosperity rather than an ethic rooted in a vision and practice of economic justice. I was annoyed she was going to let a little thing like ethics and social responsibility get in the way of "this really great opportunity!" Ah well, that's integrity for you. She didn't buy in and almost all of us who did lost a lot of money. I'd put in money for myself and a female relative who needed a car to find employment. She never got that car.

As I pondered what my mentor said, and after seeing a local news report warning people of this "scheme" (BAH! What does the press know!!, I thought), I did some math calculations and figured out in how many weeks we would need approximately a million people to be part of our local economic plan to help each other do good. I brought these calculations to one of our weekly meetings, where it was assumed that "bad energy" would ruin our chances. This was a New Age version of schemes that have been going around and around like bowl water in a broken toilet. So my news was seen as "not feeding the good energy" we all needed for this to happen. I was chided: "Who will want to join with someone like you thinking this can't work?" Yes, well, that was rather the point of me speaking out. They didn't seem to appreciate that. What I saw was the middle class folks like me who got in early got their dough--well, I didn't actually as I got in a bit too late. And the more this rippled out, a more economically desperate class of people were being told about it and coerced into joining. I'm not one to intervene much when I'm the only one being harmed--this is the legacy of being a survivor of familial or non-group sexual abuse. But when people with less privilege than me are being exploited, I'm not one to stay silent for long. As, um, you might have gathered from one or two of my blog posts. ;)

I once worked in a place where there was administrative corruption. Which is another way of saying "in a place where people were over-worked that valued having a rigidly hierarchical structure". I reported the corruption and was fired, and was made to feel by administrators as if I'd done something horribly wrong.

I once tried to get an alcoholic woman's husband to wake up and smell the alcohol on her breath; she was a surrogate mom figure in my life and I loved her and feared a very negative health impact from her daily drinking to drunkenness. She was a deeply caring person, and felt everything so much, and I think the alcohol was being used to try to wash away some of her pain. But when drunk it caused others pain, and I'm sure on some level she knew this, and it only tortured her more. For doing so he immediately told her what I'd "accused her of being"--I had, for the record, only expressed concerns about how alcohol and some of her prescription medications might be having an adverse effect on her. What I'd "accused her of being" was "possibly in danger", not "definitively a drunk". The next thing that happened was that she, not he, promptly ended our relationship and forbade either her husband or anyone else in her family from having any contact with me. Never get between an addict an their drug of choice. (I've since gone to Al-Anon meetings and have learned a thing or twelve. I stopped going when I couldn't tolerate hearing people thank a "Him" for helping them. He clearly isn't paying attention to "Us" because millions of Us are dying dreadful deaths in poverty and extreme illness; do the prayers of the most poor and the most ill go unanswered because relatively comfortable white USers get priority treatment because English is the language He believes everyone should be speaking?)

I once outed someone who harmed other people in ways he denied was harmful, and for that the harmer was said to be me. There are no whistle-blower-protection laws in social spaces outside of some workplace environments, and even then retaliation against the messenger of bad news is commonplace, hence "witness protection programs". I was the one declared guilty of committing a grievous offense, yet was without the means (sufficient social support) to adequately confront the liar on his lies, cross-examine his acts of slander, or adequately hold him to account for his grievous "mistakes" and grossly improper conduct. (To be clear, it's "a mistake" if you're doing something wrong that you had no idea was wrong. Getting drunk the first time might be a mistake. The twentieth time: not a mistake. And if you've been told by people you know have integrity that what you're doing is fucked up and wrong and harmful--explained carefully to you in terms you fully understand, and you keep on doing it, you don't get to call your continuation of the behavior "a mistake".)

This is how male and white supremacy works:

If someone who is marginalised and destatused inside a  family or social system speaks out against those who are statused and empowered and entitled and protected, the burden of proof--too often beyond a shadow of a doubt--will fall on the shoulders of the accuser, because, to be clear, we live in a society that doesn't really want anything bad to happen to abusers. Let the abused accusers drop off the Earth ASAP, but let us take precious care of our perpetrators until they die with all the people they fucked over sitting around them weeping at their passing--because, I'm sure deep down, they really were a good person. Or, well, they had some good traits. Or, at least, they were, you know, "troubled".

Consider this: we go out of our way to demonstrate how the next-door rapists, pimps, and procurers (I mean "sex addicts") are "troubled" and in need of whatever care it takes to rehabilitate them so they can be contributing members to society, but the raped and battered, the pimped and procured--well, get over being such a victim, would you? That abuse happened, what?, ten years ago? Get a life!! Note the disparity of compassion.

What the status quo (read: dominant society and its apologists and protectors) wants and needs is for the abuses to continue. The systems require the abuses, you see. They aren't extraneous mishaps. The harm, quite horrifically, is indispensable. So doing all that are necessary for these systems of harm to operate relatively smoothly, if secretly, or off the major radar screens, is precisely what MUST happen. The U.S. has a rather willful if habituated propensity for engaging in covert military operations, claiming that if the public knew what they were doing we'd call them out on being fucking genocidalists we'd put U.S. security at risk. Indeed. It's not "the people" who matter. It's the collectors of military intelligence. If "security of the citizenry" was what this government cared about, how could it come to pass that so many people are without jobs and homes? The answer is that the intelligence being collected is to protect us from something "out there" (psssst: I don't want to say this out loud, but the "intelligence" is telling me it rhymes with ooslims and possibly north sporeans). Please don't look behind the curtain at the people who are infecting collecting the intelligence, ruining running the financial industry, or profiting off of  presiding over the multinationals. They've got important work to do--ignoring your suffering and insecurity.

In the U.S. those systems include gynocidal male supremacy, genocidal white supremacy, corporate capitalism, Western imperialism, rampant military terrorism, and the unfathomably callous and violent destruction of the Earth and its non-human animal inhabitants and non-white human residents.

BP will never be held to account for the harm it has done, nor will the U.S. government which basically paved the way for this environmental disaster to happen by dropping so many regulations on oil companies (and on mega-corporations generally) who have decided its environmentally sound to drill into sea floors and plumb up the oil. This was, to dredge up the ol' catch-phrase, a disaster waiting to happen. (And that's a big ol' Thank You, to Bill Clinton.) Once disasters happen--especially if the companies aren't ours, we get to see U.S. senators and Anderson Cooper rage against the white man-chinery of corporate greed, never quite being told what role the press and government have in ensuring these cycles of economic and environmental disaster don't end until The End.

A government CAN ensure that fucked up shit like this isn't inevitable. Really, it can. But it won't in a plutocracy or a kyriarchy (my two new favorite words, so get used to seeing them). A federal government such as the military and corporate-owned one in the U.S. cannot stop atrocity as long as rich white doods rule. And atrocities cannot be stopped in a country where corporations are given the status of an individual citizen, but with many more tax write-offs and considerably more permissions and incentives to be psychopathic. See the movie The Corporation for a grim tale of what this means for us all.

The U.S. government is to blame (I know "blame" is an unkind and "emotionally incorrect" word) for virtually all of the deaths following Hurricane Katrina, and had a steady hand in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Haitians following the earthquake centered a few miles west of Port au Prince earlier this year. Why "to blame"? Because they've had a hand in destroying the environments of both places, of ruining ecosystems designed to withstand and rebound from things like hurricanes and earthquakes. You don't get mudslides unless you strip hills and mountains of their trees. And you don't get flooded cities if you leave wetlands in place to absorb the flooding waters. And if you think U.S-driven corporate greed isn't behind all that, you're either sorely mistaken or have already perished.

But rather than own up, like big grown adult boys to what the U.S. government has done, did recently, and still does that is inevitably and repeatedly catastrophic for humans, animals, plants, and other life, the mass media and its government will pretend these things are "terribly unfortunate natural disasters" or "flukes" or anything other than something they made sure COULD AND WOULD happen.

So the next time you hear a report about protecting the rights of the accused, be assured those laws aren't doing shit to help out the raped and are most certainly not ever intended to. And also be assured that harming a harmer is evil, but being harmed by a harmer is your own tough fucking luck. Oh, and shut up if you're thinking of speaking out. The corporate, militarised WHM supremacist status quo is deeply invested in not knowing what you have to say.

But you can talk about how AWFUL those "natural disasters" are. All day long and into the night. And how UNFORTUNATE it was that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time (like at home alone in her bed sleeping soundly when the "troubled" rapist climbed in through her unlocked window--you see, it really was her fault for wanting some of that predatory fresh air while she slept). Or how she's "to blame" for her own unconsciousness because she was in a bar and went to pee and came back and drank and danced and doesn't remember what happened next.

The questions I'll leave you with are these:
What if we stopped blaming the people who are preyed upon and systemically harmed? What if we didn't try and silence or discredit those who also speak out against injustice and atrocity? What if we stopped telling the oppressed folks who speak with anger and rage "to say it nicely next time and maybe they'll listen"? What if we stopped calling the whistle-blowers traitors and troublemakers, and stopped shooting the messengers? What would happen then?

Misrepresenting Malalai Joya... Again

[image is from here, at]

It is not uncommon in the West for white activists to misrepresent, misuse, and/or exploit the political views of women of color, wherever those women of color live. Lately, it seems as though few people are willing to accurately present or represent the views and politics of radical and revolutionary feminist Malalai Joya, preferring instead to promote their own political agendas as if Malalai Joya is on their side. Time magazine has done it, CNN has done it, Hillary Clinton has done it, and now a white Australian feminist has done it.

To all: please stop it. It's deeply misogynistic and racist, it is a form of Western cultural stereotyping, appropriation, and domination that is genocidal, and it is utterly disrespectful and dishonoring to a woman who is giving so much to fight for freedom for her countrywomen, and countrymen, while getting so little back in the way of support. When will whites learn to not speak for women of color, and to not exploit and misuse their work?

What follows is a cross post from *here*. You can also click on the title of the piece below.

Main | Portraying Muslims as sub-human is not 'free speech' »

The veil is a 'war against women' and Australia should ban it too

It would seem there are some things in Australia we are not allowed to discuss. A ban on the burqa is clearly one of them. But the time has come to get over our fears and cultural fragilities – and grow up. The call to ban the burqa is receiving serious consideration in European parliaments. And it should here, too.
Belgian legislators voted last month to outlaw the burqa in public places. On Wednesday, a bipartisan resolution passed by the French parliament deploring the burqa – on the grounds of "dignity" and "equality of men and women" – was presented to the French cabinet, and a ban is expected later this year. Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Canada are also grappling with the issue.
But in Australia, in a sign of cultural timidity and intellectual weakness, we seem intent on shunning any meaningful debate about the burqa and its place in a liberal democracy.
Virginia Haussegger in The Age, 21 May 2010

Haussenegger[sic*] quotes Malalai Joya in support of her argument, omitting to inform her readers that the Afghan politician has condemned proposals to ban the veil, on the grounds that it is "against the very basic element of democracy to restrict a human being from wearing the clothes of his/her choice".

See also "Nile vows to continue fight against the burqa ", Sydney Morning Herald, 21 May 2010

*And to Bob Pitt, the writer of the blogpost above, please check the spellings of women's names. What you inadvertently (?) typed is really racist and is also disrespectful to Virginia Haussegger.

Haiti, Democracy, Liberation, and The Aristide Foundation

All images above and text that follows is cross posted from *here* at

"We want our voices to be heard":
Democracy in Haiti's Earthquake Zone

by Laura Flynn

“We are living in the mud. We are wet and we are hungry. Those in charge have left us without hope. If they have a plan we do not know it. We are asking about the future. And we want our voices to be heard, " Suzette Janvier a resident of St. Martin (a neighborhood of central Port-au-Prince) - April 24, 2010

Each Saturday for the past two months a thousand or more Haitian earthquake survivors have met in the auditorium of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy to talk about the future of their country. Since its founding in 1996 the Aristide Foundation, whose auditorium seats up to 3000 people, has provided a place for grassroots activists and ordinary Haitians to come together to debate and discuss national issues. In response to the earthquake the Foundation is sponsoring weekly public forums in which participants tell their stories, talk about the conditions of their lives, and describe their needs; they receive training or information on the current situation and on their rights under the Haitian constitution, and the United Nations principles on Internally Displaced People; and together presenters and participants brainstorm and discuss actions that can be taken to make their voices heard. Each forum has drawn between 900-1500 participants; the majority of those attending are living in spontaneous settlements across the earthquake zone--as are the majority of the citizens of Port-au-Prince. Delegations come from other parts of the country as well, particularly the South and Southeast – Jacmel and Les Cayes --which were also hit hard by the quake.

Participants at AFD forums have offered vivid testimony about conditions of life in Port-au-Prince since the earthquake. Now that the rains have begun, people describe spending the nights “domi pandeye," (sleeping while balancing upright), standing under their plastic sheeting because there is no room for everyone to be sheltered and lie down, and because water floods the tents. During the rainy season, which has already begun, but will intensify in May, it rains nearly every night. In the morning the sun blazes, the heat under the plastic sheeting—which is all most people have to protect themselves—is stifling. They are now living in “labouye” (the mud) 24 hours a day, in camps almost uniformly lacking in latrines, or other sanitation.

They describe the struggle to feed their families. The price of basic foodstuffs (rice, beans, cornmeal, cooking oil, and charcoal for cooking) have risen 15-30% since the earthquake, while incomes have all but disappeared. Only those receiving funds from family overseas are able to purchase food. For those dependent on international aid, finding food for their families is an unending labor. Coupons for food might be distributed in the camps once a week, though not to everyone and not with predictability. Women who were able to get the coupons must then go to a different site, often miles away, and line up long before the sun rises. If they are lucky, by noon they might receive a 50lb bag of rice, which must then be carried or transported back to where they are living. The next day the same struggle might begin again this time to find cooking oil—one day spent in line waiting for the coupons, another day to travel to where the oil is being distributed, in a completely different location than the rice. Often these ventures yield nothing: there aren’t enough coupons to go around, the rice runs out, the distribution center has been relocated, or it does not open due to security concerns. And with the rains bags of rice get wet and spoil.

Participants describe with horror a dramatic rise in prostitution—young women and girls selling their bodies to feed themselves and their families.

They describe the dire health conditions in the camps where infectious diseases are poised to run rampant. Each Wednesday since March 10, 2010, the Aristide Foundation has held a large free clinic in the auditorium of the Foundation, providing primary care services to 1,200 people every week. What AFD doctors see and hear from patients in the clinics confirms the testimony in the forums—that is, high rates of illness that result from the conditions in which people are living: malnutrition, diarrhea among children, urinary tract and other infections.

The first demand of those who have gathered at the AFD in the forums is for temporary housing in safe and sanitary locations. The second is for food. Beyond this jobs, education, healthcare, and—despite the fact that most of the participants are urban—they are demanding real investment in agricultural for food production that can one day offer food security to the country.

Underlying all of this, participants in the forums are asking to participate in the planning of the nation’s future—the necessary precondition for real recovery. Those gathering at the AFD, feel more intensely than ever before, a profound sense of exclusion.

Certainly there was no attempt at consultation or participation with Haiti’s vibrant and engaged grassroots organizations in the preparation of the PRND (the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment) put forward by the Haitian government to the international donors conference on March 31st. On the eve of the donor meeting, on March 27, over 1,200 people met at the AFD for a debate focused on the constitution – specifically the constitutionality of the creation of the 20-person Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, dominated by foreigners, which will oversee all international funding. The next, even larger, forum focused on the GOH plan to extend its emergency powers for 18-months in order to allow the Interim Commission to be created and to exercise extra-constitutional powers. Fourteen hundred people gathered, and most expressed deep concern over the repercussions for Haiti’s sovereignty. This was followed by three days of sit-ins of 500-600 people, at the Haitian parliament, to protest the passage of the law.

In addition to preparing the plan and creating this Interim Commission without participation, there has also been almost no communication about what might be in that plan. People coming to the forums at the Foundation have all heard there’s a plan. They have no idea what is in it. They hear billions of dollars were pledged in New York. They have little faith this money will be given, and no faith that what is given will be spent in their interests.

The issue at the top of everyone’s mind is the question of temporary resettlement, of moving people out of the way of the clear and present danger that the coming more intense rains represent. But three months after the quake, no clear message or plan has been articulated by the Haitian government or international NGOs.

In early April there were several reports of forced removals of people encamped on the grounds of private schools, private property, and from the soccer stadium. At some sites bulldozers arrived without notice to tear down shelters and families were left with no a place to go. To date it appears the only voluntary relocation which has had any success is at Corail, where over the last week or two the Haitian government in collaboration with international NGOs has begun to move people from the Petionville golf course (where more than 45.000 people are encamped) to a relocation center at Corail, but this camp is only intended to hold 7,500 people. Over one million people are estimated to be homeless in the metropolitan area. If there are plans for temporary shelter for anyone other than those on the Golf Course they are not being communicated to the general public. Those gathering at the AFD express fear that they will be forcibly evicted from the camps where they are living. They are also skeptical about plans to relocate people to remote areas, which would leave them cut off from the economic life of the city, meaning cut off from the mutual aid provided by families, communities, neighborhood associations etc, and the informal economy. Mutual aid and the informal economy are the only things that keep Haitians alive. That was true before the quake and it is still true.

Efforts to assist must empower Haiti’s powerful networks of mutual aid and the informal economy—not dismantle, not ignore them. What would it mean to empower them? Community kitchens in the camps, loans to women to restart “ti komès” (informal sector commerce), relocation for those in imminent danger with their participation, finding way of keeping people close to the city if that is what they desire. And if, as we hear, decentralization is a goal for Haiti’s future, then who is talking to the residents of Port-au-Prince about lives they might imagine outside the city? And why out of $12.2 billion dollars requested in the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (the plan) was only $41 million or .3% allocated for agriculture and fisheries, i.e. for local food production?

Forums at the Aristide Foundation, held on March 13, March 20, March 27, April 3, April 17, and April 24, along with the International Women’s Day event on March 8, 2010 (attended by 3000 women) represent the largest indoor gatherings of Haitians to discuss and debate the country’s future since the earthquake. We are not aware of any occasion since January 12 where the Haitian government, the UN or any international NGO planning Haiti’s future and the distribution of aid funds, have brought large groups of Haitians together to ask for their opinions, their input, or their stories.

Finally, those attending the forums at the AFD are unanimous in their call for the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti. It is best summed up by Jean Vaudre, a community organizer from Bel Air, who said at the forum on April 17, “If Aristide were here even if he had no money to help us, he would be with us, in the rain, under the tents. If he were here we might believe, we might have hope that we will be able to participate in the future of the country.” Hope is a commodity in short supply right now in Haiti. Is there some way of rebuilding the country without it?

Laura Flynn is a member of the board of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy-US, which supports the work of the Aristide Foundation in Haiti.  AFD-Haiti was founded by Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1996 on the principle that to bring real change, democracy must include those at the margins of society: street children, market women, landless peasants, restaveks (children living in Haitian households as unpaid domestic laborers), and the urban poor. For 14 years the Foundation has dedicated itself to providing educational opportunities, and opening avenues of democratic participation for those who traditionally have had no access to education or voice in national affairs. Since the earthquake the AFD has mobilized its staff, doctors, volunteers and supporters--nationally and internationally.  The AFD is operating Mobile Schools in 5 refugee camps, participating in mobile clinics, and providing medical care to 1,200 people at the AFD each week.

For more on the current work and history of the Aristide Foundation -- and lots of great photos from the mobile schools visit our website: 

Online Donations to Support the Mobile Schools and other Earthquake Relief Efforts of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy can be made here:
Or mail checks to: Aristide Foundation, PO Box 490271, Key Biscayne, Florida 33149
All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged.

If you are interested in establishing sister school relationships between schools in the US or elsewhere and the Mobile Schools in Haiti please email us at

Why are Craiglist's Craig Newmark and its CEO Jim Buckmaster Such Pimps?

[image of Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, is from here]

[image of Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster is from here]

Some describe Jim Buckmaster as anti-establishment and even (gasp) a "communist". More power to him if he is either. But promoting and profiting from sexist-racist-classist trafficking in girls and women is about as "communistic" and "anti-establishment" as are the entrepreneurial practices and ethics of Walton siblings of Wal-mart. I accuse both Jim and Craig of being dishonest, intellectually and otherwise, in hiding or masking or disguising the fact that they are pimps, in the most basic definitional sense of that term. They make money from the rental and sale of human beings for other human beings who want to have bodies against and into which they can ejaculate without regard for the humanity of those they treat this way.

It is the ethical and political position of this blog that promotion of openly legal or surreptitious and criminal pimping and procuring of human beings anywhere, imperils girls and women around the world who are and are not part of systems of prostitution, trafficking, and sexual slavery. The economy of my country and in the West generally has been globalised by corporate thieves, thugs, ecocidalists, genocidalists, misogynists, and pimps. It is my belief that anyone with race or class or regional privileges ought to consult with those of us without any of those about how our actions impact them before publicly, socially promoting any form of prostitution or "sex work". That some privileged people choose "sex work" is not the issue here. That such "sex work" has a negative, oppressive, dehumanising, and lethal impact on girls and woman being trafficked and enslaved around the world is the issue, for me.

From Wikipedia, *here*:

Significant events for Craigslist

  • In January 2000, current CEO Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO. Buckmaster contributed the site's multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature. He was promoted to CEO in November 2000.[19]
  • In 2002, a disclaimer was put on the "men seeking men", "casual encounters", "erotic services", and "rants and raves" boards to ensure that those who clicked on these sections were over the age of 18, but no disclaimer was put on the "men seeking women", "women seeking men" or "women seeking women" boards. As a response to charges of discrimination and negative stereotyping, Buckmaster explained that the company's policy is a response to user feedback requesting the warning on the more sexually explicit sections, including "men seeking men."[20] Today, all of the above listed boards (as well as some others) have a disclaimer.
  • On May 13, 2009, Craigslist announced that it will close the 'Erotic services' section, replacing it with an 'adult services' section where the postings will be reviewed by Craigslist employees. This decision came after allegations by several US states that the erotic services ads were being used for prostitution.[23] Postings to the new category cost $10 and can be renewed for $5.


  • In July 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle criticized Craigslist for allowing ads from dog breeders, and thereby allegedly encouraging the over breeding and irresponsible selling of pit bulls in the Bay Area.[26]
  • In January 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an editorial criticizing Craigslist for moving into local communities and "threatening to eviscerate" local alternative newspapers. Craigslist has been compared to Wal-Mart, a multinational corporation that some feel crushes small local businesses when they move into towns and offer a huge assortment of goods at lower prices.[27]
  • In August 2007, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin wrote a letter to Craigslist asking the company to take steps to avoid unwittingly enabling child prostitution through its classified ads.[28][29]
From Huffington Post, *here*.
Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal compares the sex trade on Craigslist to "an online red light district" that's "as obvious and plain to you as Times Square was in the 70s or 80s."
Sex ads are reportedly big business for Craigslist, and comprise around 30 percent of the site's total revenues.
From Marcella, at the great blog, abyss2hope, *this* opening paragraph to a recent blogpost.
In a comment on my post about the rape of a woman which happened after the victim's ex-boyfriend, Jebidiah James Stipe, posted a Craigslist ad seeking sexual violence while pretending to be her, the man who answered that ad, Ty Oliver McDowell, was positioned by commenter Social Worker as a victim ("In this case, it really does sound like there are two victims here.") and the fact that he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty was used as supporting evidence.
From A.R.P., right here on this site, this: 
Why is it when men do violence to women, the knee-jerk-off reaction is to immediately consider how and in what ways he MUST have also been a victim?

When a man harasses, stalks, batters, rapes, and/or murders a woman, his "whole" humanity must be immediately shored up by the masses. He will be psychologically analysed by society, not politically assessed. No matter the level of atrocities, or the number of times he's committed them, there will always be someone--or hundreds or thousands of someones--at the ready to speak out in support of "us" not forgetting he's "human", as if that's ever really been a social problem with regard to non-poor white het men (forgetting they're human, that is). Every radical feminist I've ever known always sees white het men as human, and everyone else does too, with the possibly exception of fathers of daughters who vow to kill the bastard who touches "their" daughters (unless, of course, the bastard is the father or step-father himself).

So unnecessarily and disingenuously "insecure" are white het men's own sense of themselves that they need and demand, legislate and force, this public propping up of their status as a "really deep down a good and decent person".

I don't give a damn about "decency", and I measure goodness in action, not in hypotheticals and abstract philosophies about the nature of being human. I make no assumptions about anyone's goodness. Show me what a man, any man, does with his life, his time, his attitudes, his values, his habits, and especially his practices--his behaviors--and I'll conclude from all of that whether or not he's going anything "good". And "goodness" is the liberal substitute for something far more important: is he being oppressive? Is he being accountable? Is he being honest and responsible? Because "goodness" is really such an elusive matter, such a projection on the part of others and such an invention and masquerade, too often, on the part of the one who declares himself such.

Which brings us to Craig Newmark and Jim Buckmaster. They cannot seem to "serve the community" by shutting down options--fully within their right to do--to allow trafficking, pimping, and procuring of women for het men. They clearly view sexist "sexual services" to be something that any liberal society ought to have made available on Craigslist, because, well, they don't have to suck cock or be fucked for money. I welcome them to do both for a few years and let me know, here, on this blog, what impact it has on their sexuality and the degrees to which they feel that sexuality belongs to them and exists for the benefit of the community. And to detail for me how being ejaculated in and on impacts their humanity, their sense of being statused or stigmatised by others; this isn't fair of me: white het men have institutionally bolstered status that even sucking cock and getting fucked by men cannot destabilise. But they should be able to describe to me the degrees to which they are more or less vulnerable to rape, harassment, and gross physical, psychological, and emotional mistreatment. I'm waiting.

As has been written, I am among the most privileged people on Earth. Not-so-lucky me. This is entirely due to being white in the West and also due to being male. I met a man in motel rooms for years to satisfy him sexually. He paid for the room, always. He didn't pay me anything. So this was, according to liberals and others with shallow understandings of what consent means, "consensual" activity. He didn't force me to do anything, ever. But there was profound coercion in place, for many reasons. Too many to get into here right now.

My case of being damaged  by these "meetings" for sex are meaningful only when set next to the stories of hundreds and thousands and millions of women who are coerced in many ways to satisfy men sexually. Taken together, patterns emerge. Seen in isolation, only some conclusions can be drawn. I prefer to analyse my own experience when placed next to and with those without the privileges I have.

I abhor the social practice of pretending individual actions are not social. Of pretending that civil liberties are very meaningful in a society where legally and militarily enforced social hierarchies which oppress and harm the poor, people of color, women, non-heterosexual men, intersex people, transgendered people, the disabled, and the elderly and children are in place with no sign of budging, and with no comprehension of the relationship between civil liberties, civil rights, human rights, and the global atrocity called non-Indigenist industrialised, kyriarchical, plutocratic civilisation.

No Good: "Bad cop, Bad cop". The Rapist, Racist WHM Immigration Police Officer: Bradley Stewart Wagner

Good Bad cop, Bad cop.

TRIGGER WARNING: Accounts of gross sexual assault by a California WHM police officer follow. (He is no longer a police officer.)

This is the horror of the normal misogynist-rapist cop, whose photo was unavailable, conveniently for him. If you think this won't be replicated in Arizona when the new law takes effect, you might want to reconsider how systemic and interpersonal abuses of power work.

This is a cross post. Click on title to link back to source on OCWeekly (Orange County News).

Bradley Stewart Wagner, Ex-Anaheim Cop, Convicted of Threatening Women With Deportation if They Did Not Have Sex With Him

To hear supporters of Arizona's controversial immigration law tell it, local law enforcement officers will do no more than follow federal law in arresting people who are in this country illegally.

Those arguments assume these are "good cops" they're talking about. You don't hear much about "bad cops" who could dangle the threat of deportation over those they encounter to coerce information, confessions or degrading sexual acts out of them.

After all, 62-year-old Anaheim cop Bradley Stewart Wagner did that without the powers of a new immigration law.

Check out the Orange County District Attorney's Office statement on the now-former APD officer's conviction after the jump, and think about similar tarnished badge holders in Arizona.

May 17, 2010

A former police officer for the Anaheim Police Department (APD) was convicted today of victimizing three women while on duty in a marked police patrol car, including threatening to have two of them deported and forcing one to orally copulate him. Bradley Stewart Wagner, 62, Perris, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of forcible oral copulation and oral copulation under the color of authority for Jane Doe #1, one felony count of sexual battery by restraint for Jane Doe #2, and one felony count of false imprisonment by violence or deceit and one misdemeanor count of being an officer acting without regular process for Jane Doe #3. Wagner faces a sentence of four years in state prison at his sentencing on July 14, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Jane Doe #1

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 11, 2005, Wagner turned on his overhead lights and pulled Jane Doe #1 over on Kramer Boulevard while on-duty in a marked patrol car. The victim, who is primarily a Spanish speaker, was driving home alone from work in her van and pulled over in a parking lot.

Wagner approached the victim's window and asked if she had any legal papers or a driver's license. Upon learning that Jane Doe #1 did not have any legal papers, the defendant told the victim that he could have her deported and instructed her to move her car across the street into another parking lot on East La Jolla Avenue. The defendant followed Jane Doe #1 across the street, had her get out of her vehicle, and fondled her breasts under the false pretense of searching her.  He told the crying victim that he wanted sex from her in exchange for not having her deported.

Wagner again instructed Jane Doe #1 to move her van, this time leading her to a dark, secluded industrial area. He had Jane Doe #1 get out of her van, pulled up her shirt to expose her bra, and forced her to pull down her pants. The victim pleaded for the defendant to stop and told him she was married with children. The defendant exposed his erect penis and forced Jane Doe #1 to orally copulate him by repeatedly pushing her head down as she gagged and struggled to pull away. The defendant finally released the victim as she began to vomit. He then wrote a phone number on a lottery ticket, gave it to the victim, and left.

Jane Doe #1 reported the sexual assault the following day to APD. As a result of media coverage on this case, two additional victims came forward. None of the three victims know each other or the defendant.

Jane Doe #2

Between Oct. 31, 2005, and Nov. 5, 2005, Wagner pulled over Jane Doe #2, an unlicensed Spanish speaking woman, on two occasions while on-duty in a marked patrol car. The second time Jane Doe #2 was pulled over, Wagner had the victim follow him into a secluded alley behind a business. The defendant asked Jane Doe #2 for sex after telling her that she could be deported or be sent to jail, and rubbed her vagina over her clothes. Wagner asked the victim for sex, but let her go after she resisted and agreed to meet him the following night. The victim did not return to meet the defendant.

Jane Doe #3

Between Sept. 1, 2005, and Nov. 10, 2005, Wagner pulled over Jane Doe #3, an undocumented Spanish speaking woman, on four occasions while on-duty in a marked patrol car. The defendant asked the victim personal questions, including whether she was married or had children, and let her go each time without writing her a ticket.     

Deputy District Attorney
Lynda Fernandez is prosecuting this case.