Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Trouble Is A Temporary Thing

This week, I had to stop watching One Life To Live because during the writers strike, a familiar soap plotline developed: a glib blond bully menaces the whole town. This show has been down this road before recently. This glib blond bully has the added loathsomeness of racism and sexism, whereas the last one was merely a scheming sociopathic murderer. I have nothing against this actor and I wish him well in his career; I don't have any patience for cruelty and no desire to watch it for entertainment purposes. So. I'll read the plot summaries until the bully is no longer Chief of Police, because that shit is a little too much like real life. Via Pandagon:
Two years ago, Tunde Clement stepped off a bus at the city’s main terminal downtown.

Clement, a black man, was carrying a backpack and coming from New York City. That may have been enough to pique the interest of undercover sheriff’s investigators scanning the crowd with their eyes.

They cornered Clement and began peppering him with questions.

He was quickly handcuffed and falsely arrested. He was taken to a station to be strip-searched and then to a hospital, where doctors forcibly sedated him with a cocktail of powerful drugs, including one that clouded his memory of the incident.

A camera was inserted in his rectum, he was forced to vomit and his blood and urine were tested for drugs and alcohol. Scans of his digestive system were performed using X-ray machines, according to hospital records obtained by the Times Union.

The search, conducted without a search warrant, came up empty.

In all, Clement spent more than 10 hours in custody before being released with nothing more than an appearance ticket for resisting arrest — a charge that was later dismissed.

This story turned up in comments as a response to this post.
Police records show the officers called out a “Signal 38″ to alert a dispatcher they were onto something suspicious and about to pull someone over. They would later write in a report that they had pulled her over for “failure to signal,” although no ticket was issued, according to police records shared with the Times Union.

The actions of police in the minutes that followed would end in controversy rather than with an arrest. They would also leave Shutter, a 28-year-old single mother from Ravena, shaken and angry after one of the officers allegedly inserted his finger into Shutter’s vagina on a public street during an apparent search for drugs.

When it was over, “I pulled off down the road and I just cried for probably a half hour,” Shutter said. “I called my dad. - I felt like I had been basically raped.” The incident has triggered an ongoing internal affairs investigation by the Albany Police Department.

It gets worse.
One of the officers at the scene, Matthew Fargione, is the son of a former Albany police narcotics lieutenant, Thomas Fargione, who is a longtime friend of Chief James W. Tuffey. Fargione headed the drug unit for years when Tuffey was a narcotics detective in the 1980s and early 1990s, and the two men also worked together for the State Emergency Management Office.

A member of the Citizens’ Police Review Board, who spoke on condition of anonymity because only the chairman is authorized to make public statements, said some members of the board have privately suspected that the department may be hiding cases of police misconduct.

Shutter said she grew increasingly unnerved by her experience with internal affairs — which is known as the Office of Professional Standards — because male detectives twice requested she wear clothes from the night of the incident to re-enact the body search.

Tuffey declined to comment on a list of written questions submitted by the Times Union last week, including why internal affairs officials didn’t assign a female detective on Shutter’s case.

I get that sometimes white guys don't think sexism exists because women are so used to the vast pile of shit men heap out that ordinary, day-to-day crap isn't worth a mention. This morning, the man sitting at the next desk thought it'd be a hoot to email me about the hilarity that is a woman driver and I did not whack him with a shovel. I get that if I did whack him with a shovel the university would contact the local gendarmerie and I would be escorted off the property in shiny restraints because my co-worker's annoying remarks are supposed to amuse me, wherein my position becomes indefensible and, oh by the way, someone's going to have to mop that up: call a woman, preferably one who doesn't speak English. I get that.

I get that many white guys think there's no such thing as racism because it's not happening to them. People tend to congregate around other people who are like them and validate what they think, so white guys who don't think much about racism tend to spend time with other white guys who don't think much about racism. Together, they don't think much about racism, and are offended by any mention of the fact that they are white guys who don't think much about racism, which means they're practicing it willy-nilly. These are also the first people to get indignant when someone says, "You should hire some people of color, maybe a few of them should be women, and some people who aren't the same religion you are." I get this.

I get that through the lattice of patriarchal oppression, people near the bottom oppress each other in festive circles of hideous words and deeds, and by oppressing, get something they need from the patriarchy by making sure some other group doesn't get it. It's ghastly to observe and weird to be a part of because society is set up such that I must actively or passively do a certain amount of it to get by and so must you, but I get that.

What I don't get is how these white guys aren't sued into extinction by the vast numbers of lawyers being churned out by law schools in this country who can't get jobs because now even litigation can be outsourced to India, and by gum, those white guys are infinitely replaceable by qualified men and women who may or may not be a different hue or follow a different creed. Why yes, the Supreme Court is stacked against those seeking relief from the throttling cruelty of the bullying white guy, but I have faith in the sheer number of ingenious seekers and the wear of time. Someone shall overcome, fuckers.

The days are now numbered.



Post a Comment

<< Home