A LOOK BACK at 2017
Thomas Jefferson: Yes, it’s true that this is an older one. But a reader response to a wine column by Monte Belmonte reminded us of “what a maggot that man was.” Even with the inclusion of “all men are created equal” in the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson, who most historians agree had sex with some of his slaves, would not have fared well in today’s #MeToo environment, nor should he have in his own time. At the same time, through covert funding of the Breitbart of his time, Jefferson tried at every turn to undermine Washington’s presidency in the press. He also deserted his troops in Virginia when the British invaded (something the timeline on his statue in Washington, D.C., leaves out, but not his biography, or the biographies of his revolutionary contemporaries).
White Supremacists: Racists everywhere were emboldened this year with the election of Donald Trump and white supremacy has reared its grotesque, serpentine head into our daily lives more so in 2017 than in years past. The clashes in Charlottesville were a low point for the year, with Neo-Nazis, KKK supporters, and run-of-the-mill racists carrying tiki torches, viciously assaulting people, and killing a woman — 32-year-old Heather Heyer — whose mother had to hide her grave from Neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups. Here’s your horns, you fascists; we hope you choke on them.
Loretta Ross: Loretta Ross is one of the founders of the Reproductive Justice movement. In fact, she helped coin the term in 1994 with other African American women. She is an intersectional feminist and an expert on women’s issues, hate groups, and human rights. She co-founded the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and served as the national coordinator from 2005 to 2012. She is currently a visiting assistant professor of women’s studies at Hampshire College where she teaches and speaks publicly about white supremacy. VIA
Saved the best for last:
Men: Stop harassing women!
To all males living in this country I issue a collective statement: enough already! Who are you to impose your sexual desires on someone because they did not give you their consent? Once again we are witnessing those in authority positions taking advantage of the situation. Resignation is the least you can do. Prosecution is the best we can do … and we will.
What did you expect to gain from making sexual advances on a human being? If this isn’t an indication of the failure to grow up I don’t know what is. Those men who have permeated this transgression must seek counseling before they destroy more lives executing their perverted conquest. Otherwise time spent in prison will allow them to dwell on their evil actions while trying to survive an environment which is the closest equivalent to hell on earth.
Perhaps I had the advantage of growing up with four sisters in my family which some say predispositions males to be kinder to females throughout all stages of their life. Frankly I remember times when I was embarrassed for making incidental contact with a female followed by an immediate apology.
Ladies of America please be assured that the actions of a few do not represent the feelings and beliefs of the many. You are our mothers, sisters, daughters, cousins, etc. that compose one equal half of the species we call the human race. For that matter do not despair because the true honest and gentle men of this country know better than to act inappropriately in your company. We will always cherish your beauty, charm, and most importantly your intelligence. Now help us to drive this dreadful scourge from the planet once and for all. It is up to all of us. Let us begin.
—Joe Bialek, Cleveland, Ohio VIA
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