Over in the comments to Violet's post about this high school dance gang rape
(otherwise known as "it's shocking how fucking shocked I'm not that this happened"), I am in a bit of a disagreement with someone called Grace.
Perhaps the best comparison to pwople’s reactions toward rape in the form of the victim “brought it upon herself,” is the case of of a racially motivated hate crime. Nobody would ever say that a 15 y/o black young man brought it on himself after being attacked and hit with a baseball bat by a mob in a predominantly white neighborhood.
To which I respond:
Oh, bullshit. Lots of people would say it. He should have known better than to come into “our” neighborhood, etc.
Grace informs me that it's okay to disagree with hir "point of view", but that I can't actually call what zie says bullshit. Well, Grace, I know the stink of bullshit when I smell it.
What world is this person living in? What white-liberal-privileged enclave does zie think is all there is?
probably wouldn't say he brought it on himself, but you bet your ass the people in that neighborhood
, and other ones like it all across the country, would be saying it. That's what he gets, they'd say. Should have stayed where he belonged, should go back where he came from. That is how racist white people talk
. My own grandmother-in-law says things like, "You know, it's called the White
House for a reason." White people definitely do believe there are places black people should not go; there are differing levels of violence with which they believe this ought to be policed.
What I can't figure out is--is this person invoking No True Scotsman fallacy? No "real" people would say this? Because they would. More people would say, "Well, I'm not condoning what happened to him, but it was obviously not a safe neighborhood for him to be in, blah blee bloo," than would actually kick someone's ass for being black. And you can fucking bet that the actual attackers
would be saying, "He should have known not to come into our neighborhood," but is zie just not counting them as people?
Because they are.
Saying that people like that are not people, that they are somehow not real human beings, is letting them off the hook
. They are
human beings and we ought to hold them to the standard we have for decent human behavior; writing them off as less than human cuts them slack
And the alternative is that Grace honestly believes that there are people who will kick a black kid's ass for being black but that they themselves will not try to justify it afterwards. Or that zie believes there's nobody in the world (or the country, or something) who will kick someone's ass for being black. Either of which is bullshit.
Hell yes there are people who would justify that shit and say he brought it on himself. And it is
bullshit if you think there aren't. There are Nazis living in my neighborhood
and you don't think anybody would say he brought it on himself? Fuck you.