Violent Protest is an American Tradition, Part 1

On July 8 1965, CORE led a march in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Like many marches, the Bogalusa march had members of the Deacons for Defense on hand to protect the participants. Deacons Milton Johnson and Henry Austin rode alongside the marchers, keeping an eye on the angry white crowd that followed the march.  At first, police escorts were able to separate the marchers from the racist white people who were heckling them; but as the march neared it’s halfway mark, the growing crowd began to throw rocks and bricks at the marchers. When one of the bricks hit 17 year old Hattie Mae Hill in the head, the crowd of white people got closer to her, ripping at her clothes and hitting her. Medics tried to remove her from the crowd, but they were outnumbered. When Johnson was able to pull her into the safety of the car, the crowd targeted him. A white man named Alton Crowe began beating Johnson through the window of the car.

So Henry Austin pulled out his .38 Smith & Wesson and told the crowd to back off.  When they ignored him, he fired warning shots into the air. And when the group of attackers ignored his warning shots, he fired two shots into the chest of Alton Crowe.

The crowd was ready to kill Austin and Johnson, but they were both immediately arrested. Crowe survived, so Austin and Johnson were both able to make bail. Austin found he returned to Bogalusa a hero — at least to the black population of Bogalusa. White politicians did not share the community’s enthusiasm over Austin’s heroism.

Here is how Lance Hill description of the political aftermath of the Crowe shooting in his book, The Deacons for Defense:

 In the wake of the Crowe shooting, [Governor] McKeithen pursued a “plague on both your houses” strategy toward the Deacons and the Klan. He condemned both the violent racists and the civil rights groups as equally responsible for the Bogalusa crisis. But McKeithen reserved his harshest criticism for the Deacons and failed to even mention the Klan by name. The governor castigated [Deacons leaders] Young and Sims as “cowards” and “trash” and declared that “no decent negroes” were participating in the civil rights marches. McKeithen’s appeasement of the Klan was the rule rather than the exception for white Louisiana politicians.

“I think there is blame on both sides….what about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right,’ do they have any semblance of guilt?…You had people that were very fine people on both sides,” said Donald Trump on August 15, 2017, in a press conference discussing the murder of Heather Heyer by white supremacist James Alex Fields.

And the KKK’s response? Hill explains:

“Most whites do not admit it,” wrote the New York Times after the Crowe shooting, “but the Deacons send a chill down their spines.” The truth of this was borne out in subsequent marches. In the days following the shooting the huge mobs of whites disappeared. The Crowe shooting-and an increased police presence-discouraged ordinary whites from attending the Klan’s counter demonstrations. The Klan could no longer organize mass attacks on black demonstrations in Bogalusa. This inability to organize mass direct action protests reduced the Klan to isolated terror tactics and diminished its influence over nonaffiliated segregationists in the mill town.

Sound familiar?

As members of the press like Petula Dvorak write pearl clutching think pieces decrying Antifa’s egg throwing and vehement demands to not be filmed against their wishes, they’re missing a huge historical connection.

Violent protest is an American tradition, and the work of those willing to take on its burden has long been the backbone of the success of the “love and unity” peaceful demonstrators — who often end up being the only ones credited when progress happens.

Though the July 8th march was not the first time the Deacons protected a CORE protest, it was the first time violence had occurred against a white man. The shooting made the white liberals who were funding CORE nervous, and while members of CORE were well aware that some of their activists were alive because of the protection of the Deacons, journalists were instead focused on whether or not CORE had strayed from its ideal of nonviolent action. Ultimately, CORE took the stance that their members would continue to practice nonviolent protest, but they would be potentially protected by private citizens who were armed.

The lesson learned by CORE was that the police couldn’t be trusted to equally enforce the law. In 2018, it isn’t up for debate that people still feel this way, and it’s a hard argument to make that everyone is treated equally. While the FBI is monitoring the home and Twitter account of BLM activist DeRay McKesson, the MPD is guarding white supremacists in front of the White House. Perhaps Dvorak’s cutesy attempt at cluelessness in her suggestion that the police and antifa came to a head on Sunday in front of an Au Bon Pain because they want to “bring back the Triple Cinnamon Scone” would be less disgusting if America’s legacy of trivializing the rights of minorities didn’t exist.

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Guy Secrets: “I Have an Excuse for That Bad Thing I Do!”

I have a friend named Justine who I assume hates me, because she keeps sending me these horrible Reddit posts. I guess she thinks that if she has to suffer, I do too….so like a scared teenager who watched the video in The Ring, I’m passing the horrors on to you! Blame Justine.

Over on r/AskReddit, someone asked, “what are some ‘guy secrets’ girls don’t know about?” They’re basically all along the lines of “here is my excuse for that shitty thing I do!” but here are some of my favorites!

1. I am lazy

Does this man think that women never get anything on the toilet seat? Like, I am sure that I am not the only woman to ever get a little bit of blood on a toilet seat — and then, because I’m not a foul monster, I clean up my mess immediately. No one fucking cares about your aim being on purpose or not — if we know you pissed on the toilet seat, it’s because you purposefully didn’t clean up after yourself.

Continue reading Guy Secrets: “I Have an Excuse for That Bad Thing I Do!”

Misandry: Online Dating Edition

Someone shared this article in a leftbook group I am in. It’s a quick read, so go ahead and check it out; basically, the author put in the OKCupid “you should message me if” box that men should contact her if they both a) have numerous things listed under the favorite TV shows, movies, books, etc, section and b) at least one of these works was created by a woman. Disclaimer: I take a way more hardline stance on this issue than she does.

The backlash this article received (mostly by women!) was astonishing to me. People kept commenting that so what if all their favs were dudes?! Did it matter?

Yes. Yes, it does.

Look, it’s 2018. Women are still struggling to be treated as equals in the entertainment business, but we aren’t at ground zero. We make up a small portion of the entertainment world, but we have had influence. You can’t find a movie, book, or show written by a woman? You can’t find anything directed by a woman? Really? What about…Harry Potter, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, The Mindy Project, Cardi B, Fiona Apple, The New Jim Crow, 30 Rock, My Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Persepolis, Wonder Woman (a movie so fucking significant that the woman lead and the woman director were able to get a famous producer removed from the sequel), Thirteen, Handmaid’s Tale, Blame, The Hunger Games, The Girl on the Train, Divergent, What Happened, Unbelievable, Garbage, Amy Winehouse, Ariana Grande, White Trash, the third season of Rick and Morty — none of this interests you? NOT EVEN MEAN GIRLS??? Welp. Okay.

Continue reading Misandry: Online Dating Edition

I’M WHITE AND AFRAID OF EVERYTHING: SPANISH IS SPOKEN TOO FAST AND I’M SCARED

WashPo profiled a scared white person, and I am just so grateful that I am able to better understand what it is like to be white and afraid of everything. They tracked a young couple, Heaven and Venson, who work at the Bell & Evans chicken plant in Fredericksburg, PA.

She knew she was about to go at least eight hours without speaking English, or probably anything at all, in a plant where nearly all of the workers were Latino and spoke Spanish, and she was one of the few who wasn’t and didn’t.

If only there was something that could be done about this….

[Heaven and Venson] held the embrace, swaying slightly, their world outside the plant’s walls — white, rural, conservative — feeling distant in this world within, where they were the outsiders, the ones who couldn’t communicate, the minority.

Wow. This is pretty fucking dramatic for a description of going into your job of quality checking chicken, holy shit.

Continue reading I’M WHITE AND AFRAID OF EVERYTHING: SPANISH IS SPOKEN TOO FAST AND I’M SCARED

Dear Men: Take Your Drink and Go Away. Sincerely, Service Workers Everywhere

Last week, Emelia Holden’s takedown of a customer who grabbed her ass while she was working in a restaurant went viral. Good. Maybe a couple of dudes will learn something from it — I know that I’m tired of men bothering me at work, and the reactions I’ve seen to Holden have been overwhelmingly positive.

The thing is, a lot of men cross a line with me when I’m at work. And if you’re a woman in the service industry, I’m sure it happens to you, too. When the Brock Turner case first hit the news, plenty of men were pissed (and rightly so!). Raping a passed out woman behind a dumpster is objectively wrong. It’s something that most men would never do. But pointing out that the Brock Turner case isn’t the standard of what’s right and wrong sure does upset some men.

Continue reading Dear Men: Take Your Drink and Go Away. Sincerely, Service Workers Everywhere

Why Can’t Major League Baseball Make Decent Fan Apparel for Women?

Over the years I have amassed a collection of about 30 Orioles t-shirts. Roughly three of them were designed for women. This begs the question: why the fuck is it so hard for apparel companies to create decent MLB clothing for women who like baseball?

Look, I understand that Majestic sucks for everyone, but the other brands who are licensed could at least try. For years I have been buying $5 and $10 t-shirts outside of Camden Yards on game days, because if I’m going to be in a low quality, ill fitting shirt, I’d rather spend $5 on it and not $30. But I would cheerfully shell out whatever on a decent women’s tank top.

Continue reading Why Can’t Major League Baseball Make Decent Fan Apparel for Women?

Thursday Book Recommendation: Hand to Mouth

I’ve decided that on Thursdays, I recommend books. I’m starting this week with Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado.

Standing desks really piss me off in a way I find hard to articulate. Other than working as a receptionist in high school, I have always had to stand for work. That includes standing at times that are actually completely  unnecessary, and oftentimes while wearing heels. Take this past week, for example. I worked 11.5 hour days, and was expected to stand for every hour, on concrete, with minimal breaks. It sucked. I had shin splints. My left knee was on fire by the last day. So why do people with good white collar jobs want to force themselves to suffer by standing for 8 hours? Did they look at minimum wage earning cashiers, forced to stand for gross amounts of time for literally no reason, and think, “gee, wish I could keep my salary but also role play as a poor person?” Like I’m actively trying to change things because it’s shitty to make someone stand when they could be sitting if they wanted, and here comes this standing desk craze.

Continue reading Thursday Book Recommendation: Hand to Mouth