Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Times They Are A Changin

My Reflection

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'
-Bob Dylan

This is a photo of me taken out in the rain. The artist brilliantly removed my body and left my reflect to symbolize the struggle to be seen in the struggle over in the issue of sexual assault and rape in our institutions.  The world when I was a kid was much more simple. I hardly noticed the unrest, conflicts, politics and other things that I would have to deal with later on. As a teenager, there were songs you could dance to, and then songs that you could dance to but had a very deep message. My innocence has gone but I hear those songs loud and clear. They mean something new to me in 2016.

Come Gather 'Round People

When television camera's dared to show images of men, women and, children being attacked with
1960 Birmingham Al. firemen turn fire hoses on black
protesters during civil rights movement. 
water hoses, policemen, and dogs, it rocked the conscience of America. We wanted to believe that such things were not happening. It left us stunned and less innocent. After that we couldn't pretend ignorance. Bob Dylan's folk song seemed to herald that we had to make changes in how we lived, and how we treated each other. Marginalized people now had a voice through journalism and the media. Over the decades, the racists, misogynists, and others either had to reform, or go crawling into a hole while living out their lives in silent resentment.

Now we live in age of the emails, Skype, Instant Messages, texting, and a myriad of other things that were at one time as make believe as the Jetsons or Star Trek. There is nothing evil about the technology or the Internet. It provides the chance for an exchange of ideas and connects us all together. But the second bite of fruit from the tree of knowledge, we not only know what good is out there, but also the dark side of humanity.


Today haters display their messages freely and without fear.
Over the past decades we've seen some pretty sobering things in our society, our country, and globally. We've discovered ways to communicated with our neighbors and the world faster through technology and science. News, both good and bad, awaits us every day as we rise from our beds and plant our feet on the floor. While we grab tooth brush with one hand, we grab the iPhone with the other. Our quiet thoughts get blasted with the preaching of so-called TV journalists spewing out opinions disguised as facts. And now with itching ears, maybe we're not looking to discover the truth
like our parents did after shocking news reels came into our living rooms. Maybe we want answers that will fit our political agenda and not prick our conscience.  If you don't want to believe that misogyny, racism, rape in the military, or on college campuses exists then, you can find those scoffers, deniers, and fact-twisters on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any social media website. You don't have to think for yourself or change your attitude. You need to select the truth that suits your comfort zone or the leader that speaks your mind.

A female Marine's name and photo was posted on a Facebook page that other Marines commented on. "Find her, tag her, haze her, make her life a living hell," someone wrote on the page, the report said, and another said she should be silenced "before she lied about another rape."
The retaliation sometimes severely damaged victims' careers. Several said that after they reported their assaults, they received poor performance evaluations, punishments for petty infractions, were assigned to demeaning jobs such as picking up garbage and lost opportunities for promising assignments.
According to the report, some troops said they were threatened by their fellow service members after coming forward about their assaults. One female airman said she was called a "bitch," told that she got what she deserved and that she "better sleep light," the report said.  
Air Force Times- May 18, 2015 Report: Retaliation against sex assault victims rampant

 They get their courage to insult victims o with comments and twisted ridicule. They've slithered out of their holes ignoring facts, stats and even research. They don't want to know what the truth is. They want to know what our political party (or leaders) say about the issues. Theses non-thinkers want to protect the institution rather than make changes.
It's easier to deal a soft lie today, rather than the hard truth. And if you're on the Net you're either looking for truth, or the lie that will scratch your itching ears.

Come Writers And Critics

The internet has also put a light on some unspeakable horror committed by some of the very people
Jack Web of Dragnet portrays
By-gone days of the fictional cop.
sworn to protect and serve us. They were the defenders of law and order. In the 50's through the decades to follow, we saw the Joe Friday's and other TV cops adorn our society as defenders of righteousness. While it's true that most police do not rape, many police agencies have been found guilty of either ignoring, denying, or protecting bad cops for the sake of the brotherhood of blue.
It takes one drop of something dirty in a cup of clean water, and it makes the whole cup undrinkable. So law enforcement cannot expect civilians to like or defend an institution with this problem with the system. Police, like Officer Doug Rose, who along with his partner, appeared at the home of a woman who had just stepped out of the shower. Doug Rose would not give Elmerelda Rossi the courtesy to get dressed. The very vulnerable Rossi got hysterical as she
Ex-policeman-R Illeagally entered the home of
 Elmerelda Rossi- L exposing her to shame 
was grabbed and handcuffed allowing the towel to drop to the floor. Rose assert his power and authority over this woman by telling her, “When a Cop Shows Up, You’re Not the One in Charge, and I don't care if this is your house.... Do you understand me?” Doug Rose's actions were illegal, including entering her Rossi's home, the attempted arrest, and exposing her.
Rose also omitted the full details about the incident in his report. Although an internal investigation was started, Rose was allowed to quietly retire with fully benefits. The crime was covered up and made to go away for the sake of the department.


Daniel Holtzclaw Used his position and authority
 to terrorize African American women
The most startling case today involved Daniel Holtzclaw, the ex-Oklahoma City officer convicted of rape and other charges after he preyed on African-American women over six months. One of Hotzclaw's victims was  Shandegreon "Sade" Hill who was pulled over for being intoxicated. She was taken to a hospital on the other side of town and sexually assaulted by the officer while handcuffed to a bed. Later she told the media at a press conference:

“No nurses, nobody came to check on me,” Hill said. “Me being in the room with the police, not expecting to get violated the way I did, the way I was done, I just couldn’t even believe it. I was speechless. I was scared.---I felt like I was in survivor mode, so I had to do what he was making me do,” Ok City Cop Convicted of Rape CNN January 22, 2016
Jannie Liggons One of Holtzclaw's victims speaks out.
"He stopped the wrong woman that night."
Hill finally had courage to tell what happened to her after another victim Jannie Ligons 57, mother and grandmother reported her assault. Apparently Officer Holtzclaw had been targeting African American women. By his standards black women were easier targets of sexual assault because no one would care. The other accounts of other victims are so frustrating and unbelievable I don't have time to share the details. But it all came to an end when this officer was reported to the police and the media. Liggons did not have an arrest record. She was just a ordinary middle aged grandmother on her way home from playing dominoes with her friends.
Fortunately, the Oklahoma City Police Sex Crimes Unit was credited for following up on Jannie
Daniel Holtclaw trades a uniform of blue for a jump suit of Orange
after receiving a sentence adding up to 2 life sentences
Liggons case, and an incredible arrest and conviction followed. Both the victim, and the prosecutor echoed the words, Holtzclaw messed up--- He picked the wrong lady to stop that night." And while I myself along with others cheered those words, I have to stop and reflect. To victimize any person regardless of what they did in the past, is wrong and unacceptable from any policeman, or law enforcement system. It means that the imperfect person who has a record for drug use, or anything else, is fair game for the system. And then to assign that profile to women, and women of color, is a race to the bottom.

Come Senators And Congressmen 

We cannot have respect and trust for institutions and agencies when they trample on our moral rights as citizens. You cannot just make people summit to a system simply because it is powerful. That system must act on a foundation of morality and equality. The military cannot expect blind allegiance, just because it waves the American flag, and dismisses sexual assaults of its soldiers. The church cannot proclaim itself pure and holy while protecting pedophile priests, and our police system cannot justify their positions of authority when they use their authority to victimize those whom they are sworn to protect.
As I have stated before; sexual assault defies gender and race. Rapist don't care about your politics or your economic standing. People of moral upstanding positions in society can be victims, as well as the man or woman with a police record. Party girl who drinks--- good girl who never does. Straight guy or gay--- civilian or military, Christian or Atheist. Times are always changing. But will they change for the better or worst? Because ignoring sexual assault in our society won't make the problem go away.



Sources

 BuzzFeed.com How Police Caught The Cop Who Allegedly Sexually Abused Black Women

CNN.Com Ok City Cop convicted of rape 

Air Force Times:Report: Retaliation against Sex Assault Victims Rampant

stuff.co.nz Officer Illegally entering woman's home while she showers 

USNews.com Poll: Sexual Harassment on Facebook Most Common Abuse

Thank You 

(Denise) Dancing PaintBrush for your Clever artistry with your camera.
VeraCruzin and Deja (Catherine) For being a source of information
Keep it coming!
SueVee for keeping me in the trenches and pushing on. Get Better.

April is Sexual Assault, Awareness and Prevention Month

10 comments:

  1. You're a very talented writer. The emotion you feel is clearly felt in the words you write.

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  2. This is great work...I am writing a book right now called, "When Leaders Fail You."......you are right on target with this! I enjoyed reading this! So much passion love!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I hope your book is a success. Let me know when it comes out.

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  3. Thank you Dawn. We need to keep the truth alive and strong. Peace to you.

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  4. Excellent Blog! Thank you so much for exposing these sleazebags for what they are, inhuman. I especially like the way you began with Bob Dylan lyrics, so much has changed, and thankfully, some of it for the better. At least we can now feel free to discuss rape, where in past decades it was not addressed in public. Hopefully if enough people speak out as you have, abuse and rape of vulnerable people (of both genders) will at least lessen, and hopefully STOP altogether. We CAN change the culture if we keep reporting such crimes!!

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  5. Thank you my sister Friend. At the risk of sounding radical, we need reform in our military, schools, and other institutions. There are police agencies who won't process rape kits. It's unbelievable. Thank you again for your support.

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  6. Well composed, Kevin. You bring forward the center of it all without further demeaning the survivors in your narrative. Thank you for continuing to illuminate a need and point to needed processes for change to save lives.

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  7. Alice thank you for your encouraging words. Yes Victims need us to stand beside them, and not waiver in our respect or commitment. I heard fools say, "they love being victims." That is wrong. No one loves being humiliated, attacked, and having their lives crushed. Some people find it easier to blame, rather than speak words that will heal.

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  8. This is a story that gives you chills as it makes you think, makes you realize, no one is safe, it can happen to you. So, we need to support the people with the courage to bring the offenders to account, and shun the cowards who commit them. Thank you Kevin. Keep writing, keep talking, hopefully people will keep listening.

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    1. Niccki, Exactly! You nailed it, and thank you for your comments.

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