April 23, 2009

Some musings on the Zapata trial and other things

So between keeping up with papers and wondering why I'm still in school *blink* I followed the Zapata trial mostly via Twitter & blogs. You see, when it comes to, say, a trans woman being murdered or a black teenager being beaten by cops, my first question is usually, "I wonder where CNN is!"

That is to say, is the MSM on this yet?

Notice it's not a QUESTION but rather an exclamation because we know damn well where the mainstream media is, as in, not covering that shit. So rather than bother with it I just kept up through alternate media.

So I kept up with it as best I could and of course I was happy yesterday to see that Angie Zapata's killer Allen Andrade wouldn't be seeing the outside world for quite a time. As is right.


because we can't have Happy Fun Time here for too long, I still had some reservations about such a victory. Most notably the "trans panic" defense put together by Andrade's team that basically amounted to, well, she wasn't really a woman and she shouldn't have been lying and tricking people! They went so far as to refer to her as an "it" rather than a she. Which just showed a total lack of respect for the victim and I don't CARE if that's your job to defend this man, that was pretty fucked up.

My other nitpick, less related to the trial is that I hate how marginalized bodies only seem to exist when they're dead. And not just ONE dear black person or one dead lesbian, but...several. Isn't that sick? You have to die in mass quantities to get noticed otherwise it's just one more dead _______ again. Then again, you can look at the Remembering Our Dead list and wonder, "Uhh so where's the coverage on all THAT?" And I have no idea...

Other things

So another 11 year old boy committed suicide this week over anti-gay bullying. And I'm left wondering how many children have to die before we start taking bullying in schools seriously. Oh I'm sure some schools take it quite seriously but NOT ENOUGH DO it seems.

And once again I'm seeing blame being passed off to the children as if they come out of the womb like this. No. No. I say again, it's not them, it's US. We're fucking them up by teaching them that being gay is wrong and girls should do this and boys should do that and so on and so on, and if you're not THIS then you need correcting and fixing. We teach them by example and our examples suck HARD. This is NOT an isolated incident and suicide is NOT alien to children as young as 8 years old. To them it's an option, a way out of a life of pain.

It's the parents, and it's the schools. I've seen way too often schools either just ignore at-risk or troubled students outright or give them really half-assed attention. Hell, when I was in middle school desperately trying to kill myself my guidance counselors and school officials just smiled at me and told me I was "kidding". Really, is that the message you want to pass on, that lives are a joke?

But don't we do that anyway? Continuously prove that some lives really ARE worth less than others? Do we really care as a society, not just little niche groups, about what we're REALLY saying when we don't prosecute a hate crime fully or fairly, or when we clearly value some students over others?

It really is a problem, but the question is, as ever, what do we do about it?

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