Here is a link that goes to a Face Book Post of an eyewitness account of the weekend’s racist events
To every last supporter of ttaf (that is “trump the absolute fucker”):
I hold you personally responsible.
This is what you ushered in with your vote for an obvious bigot, a documented racist, and an unrepentant greedy narcissist.
NOTHING like this was going on before him…but he gives sanction and empowerment to such actions with his violent and reckless rhetoric.
What grieves me even more is that so many of you have swallowed the false prophecies issued by deceived men and women who have confused political power and position with the kingdom of God and have excused ttaf’s behaviour as mere “sins” that are forgiven…
while at the same time you deny such a lenient standard for “regular common folk” who don’t have the ability to grant power and position.
Here is a clue: if you would deny a candidate to be your youth pastor based on the documented history of ttaf…then you are flat out approving evil in your approval of ttaf.
You say “Oh, he has repented, he has changed.” Really? In what world is it considered of God to say and do things such as this article lays out? Which ttaf could EASILY come out and denounce and move against with the Justice Dept. and yet he is as silent on these topics as he is his fawning allegiance to pooty-poot.
What makes me wanna vomit is that I suspect most of you are just fine with the Alt-Right White Nationalists “putting the uppity negroes” back in their place.
The mask has been ripped off: I see you now, monsters. At best you are indifferent to the plight of the oppressed and filling your coffers off their blood, and at worst, you are a racist monster.
“We have met the enemy…and it is us”. I think that is a quote from an old comic strip called Pogo, and who knows if it predates that strip? Almost certainly it does, as Solomon said so long ago there is nothing new under the sun.
But yeah…we are the enemy, our own enemy. Here is what I want to get at in this post:
I have been so discouraged lately at the voice that is emerging inside circles of advocacy that I have been frequenting…maybe it was always there (likely), and I just had not heard it. But it is a voice that sounds just like the voice that I used to hear in other circles that I grew up in and advocated for during earlier years before I grew and became more understanding of myself and others.
It is clumsy and has arthritic hands when it speaks and cannot hold small fine brushes or move with nuance, and so it paints with a broad brush in generalizations and caricatures…it is cartoonish, buffoonish…it is guffawing and backslapping…
…and the absolute worst is that it advocates the very hatred and othering and policing against others that has wounded and killed so many in LGTBQ circles. Somehow, hatred and othering is okay because “they have it coming”.
I would say that I am embarrassed for the individuals to whom I refer, except that I am so deeply dismayed embarrassment is too embarrassed to show her face. I think it is clear that hatred is a human heart problem…and will never ever be conquered by more hatred…ever. Hatred can only be driven out by love, and when love is met with more hatred, the only secret weapon it has in its employ is grace, as displayed by forgiveness and then more love.
Constance: if you fail to grasp this essential truth, then you will be doomed to circle the constellations in this galaxy of ideas and ideologies that provide us with cosmic meaning and orientation, and you will dwell in one thinking it is finally the one with no idiots or haters present inside it…until you hear the voice of hate and bigotry emanating from within the very halls you hallow and inhabit!
I am going to pick two things for examples:
The first was a simply post about a man who had taken his 2 children in a custody dispute…all we really knew was that this had happened, and there was some evidence of drug use and/or mental illness and distress…and there were pictures.
A picture of the man…and a picture of the lil guy he took, and one of the lil daughter he took…and all I saw was eyes.
Haunted eyes, each one. Sad eyes, desperate eyes…eyes that cried out like Bartimaeus “Son of David have MERCY on me and LET ME SEE!” The oldest of these children (the dad) had a whole history in his eyes, no, a legacy…of pain, of confusion and sorrow, of despair served in daily doses as the only draught to drink in horrible deserts bereft of love…and the youngest of the eyes (the kids) were in pain as well, but still innocent enough to hope and believe that it would pass, the horror, like a rain storm, and momma and daddy would love each other and love them.
I burst into tears and began to beg…literally beg Mama to fly to them and rescue them all three…
…and then I began to read the comments about the article, with gleeful jibes thrown, and schadenfreude running rampant as the demise of this dad was held up as “getting what he deserved”.
Oh Mama…may I never EVER get what I deserve…Son of David, deliver me from what I deserve and let me see!!!
The second example is from a long post, written by an obviously intelligent, sensitive and aware caring young person…earnest and passionate, and on fire to move against injustice…and so absolutely certain that all it takes is her voice and the voices of her compatriots who just say “No more” and call out the offenders and the haters and the (fill in the blanks)…and I think this post dismayed me more than the first example, because she was so blind to her own broad-brush strokes, generalizations, and culpability in being an exact mirror to the sort of behavior she decried.
She led with the typical sort of introduction that I encounter when I am defiled by the comments from my haters:
“…I am compelled, for several reasons, to respond to you. Please know that I do so out of a desire not to attack you, but for you to hear something that needs to be heard…”
Of course it goes without saying that she was not addressing LGTBQ people or individuals, or members of a group that experiences discrimination…she was addressing the people of power and privilege…people who should know better (or should they? Are they not mere imperfect people? Do they not have the same issues and struggles we all have in their beings, in their ontological journeys?).
She is compelled. Constance, none of us is merely compelled…there is also the issue of will and choice…we feel that something is absolutely essential for us to comment on…and then we cross the Rubicon and say “compelled”…or “have no peace until I tell you this”…oh I have run the gamut of what excuse people devise in order to unload. And there is also the assurance that there is not a desire to attack.
Did you see what she did there? What is always done when we are going to go on a hunt for specks in our sister/brother’s eye? It is the way we attempt to look around the beam sticking out of our own, and it is always the same: I do not want to attack you or hurt you, oh NO! But I am “compelled” to…I have no choice, and Ima bout ta unload both barrels on your ass, so it is your own fault for being such a (fill in the blank)…
…and then we warm to the task.
“…What is sobering and disturbing to me is that you’re so wholeheartedly standing with these men who say that so many people out there, who just want to be loved and cared for equally, without fear of persecution, like everyone else, are less than you, less than me, less than anyone else who is…”
Generalization…broad brush. “These men who say” … “…like everyone else” … “less than anyone else who is” (and another place to fill in the blank with whatever issue is pressing on the compelled one’s heart.
And then the rest of the letter unfolds…paragraphs written passionately, eloquently, and for the sake of the forum just washing over the individuals who comprise any group on any side of an issue. I found myself stopping during each paragraph and chewing on the nuances lost, the ways that history was condensed down to make some tired old point, and worst of all, the ways that the very audience to which she wrote was treated with the same disdain and othering that she decried was happening from them.
And I cast my own mind back…to not so long ago…when I was unconscious of myself and still ripped in twain by dissociation and societal policing from childhood on up…when I myself held to the things I had been taught and thought I never had reason to question much…when I had a Christian ideology that said homosexuality was a sin…even though I interacted with many people in churches who had confided in me their struggles with their orientations and desires and their love of God.
While I never believed that God was going to send them to hell, I did cast a jaundiced, privileged eye on mentions of this issue of homosexuality that are in the New Testament and gave a casual shrug and not much else, no study really, no research into cultural context or hermeneutics…
…during this time of my life the trope “hate the sin but love the sinner” was my attempt to somehow reach out and love my fellow humans struggling in this life.
I see now how deeply othering this attitude was, how privileged and unwittingly high and mighty this was of me in what it actually communicated…
…but my motive for doing so was not…NOT what is so often accused: an excuse to hate…it was a weak, half-hearted attempt to love and reach out to them in spite of our differences.
I knew thousands of people just like me in this regard…truly interacted with thousands…conversations, shared meals, shared prayers and tears, even shared sweat and blood…and they are people who love God, and love people too…and are whether they know it or not just like old Blind Bartimaeus crying out to Jesus as He passes by.So when I read things like this, and there are many…I remember these people (some of them even read here though they are not among Constance…they are Reader, because they still think that sexuality and gender orientation are synonymous) and my heart recoils when I feel the rage and intensity of articles written about them, to them that are written to an individual but aimed at a whole group.
I invite you over to read this article for yourself, and what scares me the most is that I might in my inadequacy and my own clumsiness misrepresent the writer or conjecture what is in her heart…and if I do, dear sister, PLEASE forgive me in advance.
It is not her writing it that I am disturbed by…but rather the way that the very tools that are used against me daily I see being used against people like so many that I know…and I imagine that those words will do no more to change their hearts than the words of the haters here at Grace Notes change mine.
What is tragic is that this article has appeared in other forums authored by a voice that is unusually balanced and deft at writing about these things without generalizations and broad brush ad hominum attack…without resorting to trope and cliche…it has appeared because there are a lot of really good topics that this writer touches on and I am sure that he wants those things to be noticed and contemplated.
But the comments…oh Mama, save us. Gleeful…piling on…and centering each and everyone of us back in the skin of…
We have met the enemy…and she is me…the enemy is us.
Oh Constance…how about this? Simplify it, and do justice. Love mercy. And walk humbly.
It’s okay to love people…even the ones who despitefully use you…yes, even “brunette” who writes here to hate on me. I bet my bottom dollar that “brunette” truly believes that the words sent to me will somehow “jolt me awake” and draw me “back to the Lord”. And I know that the letter I was sent by a friend for over 3 decades was written with a truly heavy heart and accompanied by the firm conviction that they were wounds from a friend, better than a thousand kisses from an enemy. And the man who said that I was demonized literally believes in his heart that he spoke to me “the Word of the Lord”, and rests secure and yet sad for me. I know he feels like God gave him an unfair task that he took on in love.
He is wrong of course…and yet that has NOTHING to do with his intention and motive…and so that is what I look for, search for…in justice and mercy and humility.
Imagine the shock and surprise of Blind Bartimaeus when Jesus gave him sight, but instead of seeing what normal people saw…he saw thru the eyes of God.
In deepest love, and true sorrow if I have hurt or wounded anyone in this writing…please…let us truly be of a different ilk than those who we feel are wrong.
It’s time to shatter mirrors, and behold Him and be transformed.
Constance…nice to see that the perp got the obligatory “setting the corpse on fire” piece correct…right??
Sigh…always the post mortem mayhem and mutilation.
What does say about the strength of gender orientation?
(And no, Hater…the answer is NOT “the bitch had it coming”)
Well, at least we can all console ourselves with the knowledge that our Transgender Remembrance Day is gonna be soo great for all of us who live, and we will have plenty to preen about and feel ever so sad over as we break our arms patting ourselves on the back for how progressive we are because we cry and remember the dead ones.
Oh, but we must be oh so careful to never actually do anything about this ongoing murder spree lest we make the need for Transgender Remembrance Day disappear…can’t have that, now, can we!!? I mean, actually do something?? *Shudder*
Yes, Constance, you did a remarkable job in detecting my extreme sarcasm…get the point, and then get to work. This will not change until cis-gender people with privilege speak up and use their power on our behalf.
I have been sitting on any comment on this murder and mutilation of a human being. One of God’s Creatures, made in Their Image, and loved with unending love.
She was born into this world that we are all in…black, poor, and transgender.
I think the thing that just wracks my guts the most, that pours sorrow over my soul in Niagara-like forces, is that it seems so common in the murder of transgender women that there is post-death mutilation as well. There is a rage, a wallowing in destruction as if the perp wants to baptize himself (and yes, I will say him…the incidence of transgender women being murdered by cis-gendered women is so small as to be nearly non-existent, and statistically doesn’t exist at all) in the suffering and dehumanization of his chosen victim…dare I say even to feed on her?
I waited, hoping that there would be some outrage, some stirring of effort, some valuing of her as unique and precious…but no…the response has been tepid at best, and at worst, well the usual tropes and defenses of the ruling paradigm beat her life and history into its stereotype.
This essay, posted in its entirety, does a good job of articulating outrage over this horrific act. While my vernacular might have taken a wee bit different form, my emotions over this run no less high.
What would you think if a child’s body was discovered behind a dumpster, having first been murdered and then set on fire after she was dead? Or a teen-age youth group president and cheer queen?
Yeah…I thought so.
Until we feel the same sense of justice on behalf of the least, we will never have the eyes and ears we so desperately need to become true Children of God.
In sorrow and tears, with no joy…Charissa Grace
In horrific news out of Fort Myers, Florida, a trans woman of color has been murdered, and her body set on fire, then dumped in a garbage bin. I just can’t right now, I just can’t even.
According to a local media outlet, the victim was identified as Yazmin or Yaz’min Shancez, which was the woman’s preferred name according to her family, although the police reported that her documents had not yet been changed to reflect this. The same report quoted Fort Myers Police Lt. Jay Rodriguez as saying the police have not determined a cause of death, and are not investigating the homicide as a hate crime.
We have no indication at this time to say this was specifically done because it was a male living as a female or anything like that. If you really think about it, a hate crime is killing someone for a specific reason, being black, Hispanic, gay. We’re investigating as we would any other homicide.
…I’m sorry, Officer Rodriguez, but are you trying to suggest here that killing someone because they’re transgender isn’t a specific enough reason? Or maybe that the reason doesn’t count because it’s not on your official “hate crime” cheat sheet? If I really think about it? Jesus fucking Christ, sir, I think about it constantly. Do you typically see non-hate crime related homicides that end with burning the already dead body and then dumping it like worthless refuse in a garbage bin? Is this a pattern in Fort Myers which makes it like “every other homicide?”
Her father, identified as Harvey Loggins, said that he and his family left balloons and stuffed animals in the small private drive in an industrial area of the city where the garbage bin was located.
With the exception of her father (who continued to use male pronouns, despite his daughter’s identity), the majority of her family appears to have accepted her decision to live as a woman, which she apparently began to do in 2004. Her aunt, Beatrice Loggins, spoke lovingly of Shancez, citing her uniqueness as a person.
Nobody deserves that. Straight, gay, purple, pink, white, black. Nobody…There will never be another T, you couldn’t clone her, couldn’t mold her.
Cousin Jasmine Weaver seemed at a loss to understand the crime (you and me, both, Jasmine, you and me both).
We don’t know of any person who would do something like that to T. It’s mind-boggling. You’d never think that would happen to your family.
Mind-boggling? Horrific. Abhorrent. And an altogether too common reality for transgender people, especially trans women of color. I’d love to shout from the rooftops that this is so horrible because it is incredibly rare. Well, it’s not. It happens all the goddamned time.
And if this story could get any worse, if that’s at all possible when dealing with such a terrible crime, this is a second heartbreak for the family. They have already lost one child, as Shancez’s 15-year-old little sister was also murdered, gunned down in a drive-by shooting almost exactly two years before.
I hate everything right now.
Image via NBC-2 Broadcast.
Her eyes bugged out
(like reason on the run)
and spittle flew
as she waggled her sign
and bawled her slogans
She thought she was sharing Jesus…
she thought in vain,
as people parted
and passed her by
like the Red Sea shrinking
back from the touch
of Pharaoh’s Army tred.
But one true girl,
too young to see
her crazed and frothing fear
marched up to her
like Moses’s Staff,
and tugged at her
drab and brown mask,
until the woman noticed
and looked down,
to see what missive
the little gift of grace might impart.
“Ya know there is an app for that!”
she said forcefully!
The woman’s eyebrows crawled up
like earthworms from the light,
and the girl saw her question,
and simply answered
“For hate and meanness,
there is an app for that.
It’s called Love”.
She walked away,
and the woman was left behind,
bereft of even her hate…
but pregnant with
the path and possibility of following
where a little child will lead.