“If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past few years, it is that the very rich don’t care what happens to the rest of us. When Wall Street’s uncontrollable avarice came within a hair’s breadth of destroying the economy in one villainous spree in 2008 — selling people securities that they knew to be worthless and mortgage loans that they could never in this world pay back, and then evicting them for those unpaid loans — our government gave them nearly a trillion dollars — that’s $1,000,000,000,000 — of your, the taxpayers’, money to save them from bankruptcy, ostensibly in order to help the home owners. But the financial institutions didn’t help the home owners. They took the money and kept it for themselves.”—
When we consider the myriad school shootings that have occurred between 1992 and 2002 (there have been twenty-eight cases), several constants stand out. All twenty-eight cases were committed by boys. All but one was committed by a white boy in a suburban or rural school. We speak of teen violence, youth violence, violence in the schools. but no one in the media ever seems to call it suburban white boy violence, although that is exactly what it is. Try a little thought experiment: Imagine that all the killers in the more famous shootings in the 1990s - Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas, were black girls from poor families who lived instead in New Haven, Boston, Chicago, Newark. Wouldn’t we now be having a national debate about inner-city black girls? Would not the media focus entirely on race, class, and gender?
Of course it would: We’d hear about the culture of poverty; about how life in the city breeds crime and violence; about some putative natural tendency among blacks towards violence. Someone would probably even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in vain imitation of boys. Yet the obvious fact that these school killers were all middle-class white boys seems to have escaped the media’s notice, in part because race, class, and gender are only visible when speaking of those who are not privileged by race, class and gender but invisible when speaking of those who are privileged by them.
Michael Kimmel: Men, Masculinity, and the Rape Culture (via mollay)
“Yet the obvious fact that these school killers were all middle-class white boys seems to have escaped the media’s notice, in part because race, class, and gender are only visible when speaking of those who are not privileged by race, class and gender but invisible when speaking of those who are privileged by them.”
All year, Republicans have demanded an end to programs the middle class created to aid the majority, the 99 percent. The GOP wants to reverse the new banking regulations that were passed in an attempt to prevent another economic collapse caused by risky Wall Street practices. The GOP tried to to rescind the healthcare reform law that prevents insurance companies from terminating coverage when beneficiaries get sick and prohibits the practice of refusing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Influential Republicans this year have called for repealing laws forbidding child labor, laws guaranteeing minimum wage and laws protecting the environment. They’ve demanded elimination of federal funding for organizations like the Public Broadcasting System that educates preschoolers, Head Start, which provides opportunity to poor children, and Planned Parenthood, which uses 97 percent of its funds to provide general, obstetrical and gynecological medical care to women, many of whom are rural and poor.
Republicans have decided to be the party of Henry Potter, the “meanest man in the county,” a man about whom George Bailey’s father said: “he’s a sick man, frustrated. Sick in his mind, sick in his soul, if he has one.”
Like Potter, Republicans deride compassion and community as character defects.