zaterdag 13 maart 2021

Violent History of White Womanhood



When you look up the hashtag #Karen on Instagram, a search that yields over 773,000 posts, the featured image on the page is a screenshot of a white woman staring intensely into the camera, pursing her lips into a smile as she touches a finger to her chin, a movement that’s at once condescending and cloying.

The woman’s name is Lisa Alexander, but on the Internet, she’s most recognized as the “San Francisco Karen,” after a clip went viral of her last week, in which she demands to know if James Juanillo, who was stenciling “Black Lives Matter” in chalk on the front of his own home, was defacing private property. The video showed Juanillo, who identified himself in a social media caption as a person of color, telling Alexander and her partner that they should call the police if they felt he was breaking the law. He later told ABC7 News that the couple called the police, who he says recognized him as the resident instantly. While Juanillo was fortunate to have been recognized and unharmed, calls like this could result in injury or worse, death.

For Alexander, however, going viral as a Karen brought major consequences; she and her partner were both identified by their full names by online sleuths, which resulted in her skincare business being boycotted and her partner getting fired from his job. Both Alexander and her partner released apology statements to ABC7 News; in Alexander’s apology, she expresses regret for her behavior: “When I watch the video I am shocked and sad that I behaved the way I did. It was disrespectful to Mr. Juanillo and I am deeply sorry for that.”

The video of Alexander is one of a myriad of other videos, images and memes that have emerged in the last few months of “Karens,” a slang term for middle-aged white women (which seems to have stemmed from the popular “Can I speak to a manager?” meme,) who have become infamous online for their shameless displays of entitlement, privilege, and racism — and their tendency to call the police when they don’t get what they want. 

The archetype of the Karen has risen to outstanding levels of notoriety in recent weeks, thanks to a flood of footage that’s become increasingly more violent and disturbing. There’s the Karen who was recorded spewing multiple racist tirades against Asian Americans in a park in Torrance, Calif., upon which the Internet discovered that she had a history of discriminatory outbursts, earning her the title of “Ultra Karen.” There’s the Karen in Los Angeles who used two hammers to damage her neighbors’ car as she told them to “get the fck out of this neighborhood.” There’s the Karen who purposely coughed on someone who called her out for not wearing a mask while at a coffee shop in New York City. 

And perhaps most notably, there’s Amy Cooper, the “Central Park Karen,” who elevated a national discourse about the dangers associated when Black people are falsely accused when she called the police on Christian Cooper (no relation,) a Black man who merely asked her to leash her dog in a part of Central Park that required it, invoking his race on the call. Within days after the video of Cooper was shared to Twitter, Cooper was fired from her job and temporarily lost custody of her dog; on July 6 the Manhattan DA said she would be charged for filing a false report. In comments shared after the incident with CNNCooper said that she wanted to “publicly apologize to everyone” and claimed that she was “not a racist” and “did not mean to harm that man in any way.” In an interview with ABC7 News, Christian Cooper accepted her apology, but urged for viewers to focus on not just the viral clip, but the “underlying current of racism and racial perceptions.”

Visuals of Karens exploiting their privilege when things don’t go their way have become Internet shorthand of late for a particular kind of racial violence white women have instigated for centuries — following a long and troubling legacy of white women in the country weaponizing their victimhood.

A reckoning begins in Central Park and Minneapolis

“One of the things that has worked throughout American history is finding a way to project whiteness in need of defense or protection,” says Dr. André Brock, associate professor of Black digital culture at Georgia Tech whose research is leading the conversation on the impact of Black Twitter. “For men, it’s a fight; for women, it’s calling men to help on their behalf or demonstrating that they are so frail that they cannot handle the weight. So in this moment, where we’ve been trapped in our house for six weeks with nothing to do but feel, [so] when you see these videos, you have nothing else to do but watch them and see people’s reactions to them...a grievance for white women and white people, but also an anger by people that even if they are white, can see the injustice of the situation.”

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Brock said that the viral widespread resonance of Karen” footage now is the result of an interest convergence where the coronavirus pandemic intersected with collective outrage over police brutality. The weekend that the video of Amy Cooper in Central Park went viral was the same weekend that George Floyd was killed after now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck, suffocating him. The Central Park video only highlighted the extreme violence — and potentially fatal consequences — of a white woman selfishly calling the cops out of spite and professed fear.

In a larger sense, the mainstreaming of calling out the danger that white women and their tears pose has been building up to this moment. There’s the oft-cited stat that 52% of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the constant lies of white women like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in service of the Trump Administration have made it abundantly clear that white women can and are often complicit in oppressive systems. Coupled with the rise of social media and the smartphone camera, the longtime narrative of white women as helpless victims in need of protection is now being challenged by video evidence of them as instigators of not only conflict, but violence. 

Karens take on a new meaning during a global health crisis

The Cooper incident and Floyd’s death came in the wake of a couple months’ worth of Karen memes and videos that were already trending thanks to the new restrictions instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic. The clips documented the many encounters people had with white women who openly flouted COVID-19 health and safety measureslike wearing a mask or social distancing.

The extreme pertinence of the Karen meme right now is significant, given that the meme had already been making the rounds online for quite some time. Although the Karen meme appears to have existed since at least 2017 on Reddit, according to Adam Downer, associate editor at Know Your Memethe current iteration of the meme is taking on a new meaning that speaks to the sobering real-life consequences of what began as just a joke on the Internet about bad haircuts and entitlement.

“When it got to the protests and the avalanche of incidents where white ladies were calling the cops, that’s where it began to get a bit more menacing,” Downer says. “I think when people started pointing out who a Karen in real life was, like the ‘Can I speak to the manager?’ figure and starting to zero in on the exact kind of person they were talking about, it became a lot easier to see those types of people in real life.”

How the Karen meme relates to the violent history of white women

The historical narrative of white women’s victimhood goes back to myths that were constructed during the era of American slavery. Black slaves were posited as sexual threats to the white women, the wives of slave owners; in reality, slave masters were the ones raping their slaves. This ideology, however, perpetuated the idea that white women, who represented the good and the moral in American society, needed to be protected by white men at all costs, thus justifying racial violence towards Black men or anyone that posed a threat to their power. This narrative that was the overarching theme of Birth of a Nation, the 1915 film that was the first movie to be shown at the White House, and is often cited as the inspiration for the rebirth of the KKK.

“If we’re thinking about this in a historical context where white women are given the power over Black men, that their word will be valued over a Black man, that makes it particularly dangerous and that’s the problem,” says Dr. Apryl Williams, an assistant professor in communications and media at the University of Michigan and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard who focuses on race, gender and community in digital spaces. 

“White women are positioned as the virtue of society because they hold that position as the mother, as the keepers of virtuosity, all these ideologies that we associate with white motherhood and white women in particular, their certain role in society gives them power and when you couple that with this racist history, where white women are afraid of black men and black men are hypersexualized and seen as dangerous, then that’s really a volatile combination.”

Williams says the exposure is challenging this position. “That’s part of what people aren’t seeing is that white women do have this power and they’re exercising that power when they call or threaten to call the police.”

As might be expected, the Internet has found a way to jest about this power dynamic, but the very nature of a humorous approach presents a risk by downplaying the threatThe violent history is why Williams cautions against letting the at-times humorous nature of Karen memes minimize the ways in which white womanhood has long posed danger to Black and brown lives.

“On the one hand, the humor is a way of dealing with the pain of the violence, so in that way it’s helpfulbut on the other hand, the cutesy-ness or the laughability sort of minimizes or masks the fact that these women are essentially engaging in violence,” she says. “The fact that Amy Cooper is saying, ‘I’m going to call the police and tell them that a African-American man is threatening my life’ is a very racially violent statement and a racially violent act, especially if you look at it in a larger, broader historical context, and think about the way that Emmett Till’s accuser [Carolyn Bryant] did the same exact thing and it resulted in his death.”

That’s not to say that memes aren’t ultimately beneficial, however. According to Williams, Karen memes can serve different purposes for different audiences. For white people, it can help them recognize a pattern of behavior that they don’t want to be a part of it, but might be complicit in and can be an easier way to have a conversation about white fragility, entitlement and privilege; it also holds them accountable for racism. For Black people, the memes can act as a news source, evidence, and an archive of the injustices, the attempts to control bodies and situations, or as Brock puts it, “microaggressions that often scale to macroagressions when the police are called in.” 

How the Karen meme is pushing for change offline

“Memes have power above and beyond just humor,” says Brock. “We often use metaphor, which is often at the heart of memes, and emotion or affect to make shorthand of things which deeply affect us. A lot of times, it’s funny; a lot of times, it’s cathartic; and other times, it’s racist. I try to push back on the idea that memes are frivolous way of articulating a particular phenomenon because in many ways, it’s much more potent shorthand than me trying to explain to you exactly the way people are reacting to a certain situation...Social media is a platform for communicating feelings and the stronger the feeling, the more viral things go.”

Brock’s belief that memes have lasting power beyond the breakneck speed of going viral is echoed by Williams, who makes the case that along with the popular alliterative memes like “BBQ Becky” and “Permit Patty” that call out white people for calling 911 or the police on innocent Black civilians who just want to grill in the park in peace or 8-year-old Black girls selling water on the sidewalk, Karen memes can be seen as part of a genre that she calls “Black activist memes.”

Williams said the accounts of the real people who have experienced the racism documented in these memes and the hashtag, #LivingWhileBlack, are helping to demand accountability and are actually helping to push forward legislation, like the Oregon bill that was passed in 2019 that punishes racist 911 callers. She likens them to a stand-in for Black-owned newspapers and Black presses, commenting on racial inequality in a way that might not be covered otherwise.

“These memes are actually doing logical and political work of helping us get to legal changes or legislative changes, which is really something to be said,” says Williams. “While of course, they aren’t a standalone movement on their own, they actively call out white supremacy and call for restitution. They really do that work of highlighting and sort of commenting on the racial inequality in a way that mainstream news doesn’t capture.”

Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Anez arrested


Bolivia’s former interim president Jeanine Anez arrested over 2019 coup

US Would "Lose Fast" Against China If It Invaded Taiwan: US General

War Games Showed US Would "Lose Fast" Against China If It Invaded Taiwan: US General

Tyler Durden's Photo
SATURDAY, MAR 13, 2021 - 6:20

Authored by Frank Fang via The Epoch Times,

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be devastating to the U.S. military as a result of Beijing’s aggressive military development in recent years, according to a U.S. Air Force general.

The outcome was based on a classified Pentagon war game simulation carried out over the years, Air Force Lt. Gen. S. Clinton Hinote said in a recent interview with Yahoo News. He said that U.S. forces were losing more quickly in recent simulations after taking into consideration the Chinese regime’s new military capabilities.

“After the 2018 war game, I distinctly remember one of our gurus of wargaming standing in front of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff, and telling them that we should never play this war game scenario [of a Chinese attack on Taiwan] again, because we know what is going to happen,” Hinote said.

“The definitive answer if the U.S. military doesn’t change course is that we’re going to lose fast. In that case, an American president would likely be presented with almost a fait accompli.”

"At that point the trend in our war games was not just that we were losing, but we were losing faster."

Around September 2020, the U.S. Air Force gamed out a conflict set more than a decade in the future, which started with a Chinese biological-weapon attack on U.S. ships and bases in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the outlet. Using military drills as a cover, Beijing then deploys an invasion force to attack Taiwan, while targeting U.S. bases and ships in the region with missile strikes, the outlet said.

Last fall, the U.S. Air Force simulated a conflict set more than a decade in the future that began with a Chinese biological-weapon attack that swept through U.S. bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific region. Then a major Chinese military exercise was used as cover for the deployment of a massive invasion force. The simulation culminated with Chinese missile strikes raining down on U.S. bases and warships in the region, and a lightning air and amphibious assault on the island of Taiwan.

This is the first time that the outcome of that simulation has been made public.

Since President Joe Biden took office on Jan. 20, the Chinese Communist Party has escalated its war-mongering toward Taiwan, a democratic self-ruled island that Beijing claims as a part of its territory. In late January, a Chinese military official threatened war against the island.

Beijing also has sent military planes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on a nearly daily basis since the start of this year. Most recently on March 10, a Chinese anti-submarine warfare aircraft entered southwestern Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense.

Earlier this week, Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, warned during a Senate hearing that the Chinese regime could invade Taiwan in the “next six years.”

When asked by a senator about the United States’ ability to defend Taiwan, Davidson said, “I think our conventional deterrent is actually eroding in the region,” citing the Chinese military’s “vast advances” in size over the past decade, and also in capability.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is now larger than the U.S. Navy. By 2025, the PLA is projected to have three aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific to the United States’ one, 12 amphibious assault ships to the United States’ four, and 108 modern multi-warfare combatant ships to the United States’ 12, according to estimates by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command submitted to Congress.

Hinote told Yahoo News that certain adjustments are needed to tilt a possible war with China in favor of the United States. They include moving away from relying on large military bases, ports, and aircraft carriers while fighting the Chinese military, as well as deploying dispersed and mobile forces with large numbers of long-range, mobile strike systems, anti-ship cruise missile batteries, mobile rocket artillery systems, and unmanned mini-submarines, according to Hinote.

What’s more, the adjustments call for greater use of surveillance and reconnaissance sources to allow U.S. policymakers to make quicker decisions.

“If we can design a force that creates that level of uncertainty and causes Chinese leaders to question whether they can accomplish their goals militarily, I think that’s what deterrence looks like in the future,” Hinote said.

Air Force officials didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Sigrid Kaag's Cynisme

De afgelopen dagen heb ik op mijn weblog kritiek geuit op de door ambitie gedreven D’66-lijsttrekker Sigrid Kaag. Zo wees ik erop dat de 59-jarige politica op dit moment de blijde boodschap verkondigt dat ‘Wie idealen heeft, moet er staan op het moment dat het ertoe doet. Dat moment voor mij is nu.’ Waar dit in concreto toe leidt zijn uitspraken als deze:

Vrouwen moeten elkaar ook steunen, dat is ook een belangrijke. Madeleine Albright zei altijd terecht: ‘De hel heeft een speciale plekje gereserveerd voor vrouwen die andere vrouwen niet steunen.’

Wat is hier opmerkelijk aan? Welnu, kort samengevat: dat Kaag de nonsens van vrouwen als Madeleine Albright steunt ten koste van de moeders van de 500.000 Iraakse kinderen onder de vijf jaar die volgens de Verenigde Naties als gevolg van de door de Washington afgedwongen sancties tegen Irak om het leven kwamen. Sterker nog: op 12 mei 1996 verklaarde Albright — die een joodse achtergrond heeft zoals de Israëlische media meteen blijmoedig bekend maakten — in het bekende Amerikaanse nieuwsprogramma 60 minutes dat de dood van de half miljoen Iraakse kinderen ‘de prijs waard’ was geweest om de Amerikaanse politieke doelen te verwezenlijken. En dat, terwijl dit aantal meer is dan in Hiroshima waren vermoord, zoals de interviewster Lesley Stahl verbijsterd opmerkte. Albright, zelf moeder en grootmoeder, bleek evenwel niet onder de indruk te zijn van het argument dat het uitroeien van babies en peuters een oorlogsmisdaad is, waarvoor SS-ers na 1945 werden vervolgd, en zo nodig ter dood gebracht.   

Hier zien we opnieuw het westerse rationalisme zonder rede, de banaliteit van het kwaad, de criminele gedachteloosheid, de weigering om na te denken. En dat mevrouw Kaag deze genocidale politiek van ondergeschikt belang acht, terwijl zij bovendien een Palestijnse echtgenoot heeft en vier Arabisch-Nederlandse kinderen, getuigt van een krankzinnige houding. Mijn opvatting wordt door Engelbert Luitsz, die wel sympathiseert met de Palestijnse zaak, bestreden. Zijn argument komt op het volgende neer:

Ik denk dat je maar beter buiten de internationale politiek kunt blijven als je uitsluitend zaken wilt doen met mensen op wie niets is aan te merken. Maar je kunt het ook anders zien: wanneer fatsoenlijke mensen die helse strijd aangaan in de hoop toch iets ten goede te kunnen veranderen, getuigt dat van dapperheid en hoop.

Hoe kan iemand die de moord op een half miljoen Iraakse babies en peuters ondergeschikt maakt aan haar eigen ambities behoren tot de categorie ‘fatsoenlijke mensen die de helse strijd aangaan’ en daarmee getuigen ‘van dapperheid en hoop’? Deze dwaasheid toont, in elk geval mij, hoe ziek de westerse politiek is.

Oorlogsretoriek ontmaskerd

  everardus Oorlogsretoriek ontmaskerd De waarheid over de banden tussen Kamerleden en oorlogshitsende organisaties DESINFORMATIE!  Zo begon...