November’s biggest stories have revealed not just what’s broken in this country, but also the complicated systems that obscure that damage. From Darren Wilson’s non-indictment in Ferguson, Missouri, to the horrific alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, to Bill Cosby’s long-delayed reckoning with multiple rape accusations—these tales all turn on a series of grotesque power imbalances. They are stories of certain bodies—individuals, groups, races, classes, genders, and institutions—that possess an excess of power and exert it with malevolent, often violent force, against weaker bodies.


    The system that processed the events included a predominantly white police force, a white prosecutor, and a predominantly white grand jury. Wilson was not made to even stand trial for taking Brown’s life.

What a statement.

I can agree that the police force in the area shouldn't have been majorly white, and there should be efforts to get black people into police forces.

However, "a predominantly white jury" is a given. Juries are not supposed to be "people who will agree with the victim the most" they are supposed to be a cross-section of the community. You would expect the numbers of jurors to be the numbers of the demographics in the area the grand jury is being selected from.

    In Wilson’s testimony, it was the far less powerful Brown who was the physical threat, and Wilson who was the vulnerable party. Never mind the fact that Wilson was roughly the same height as Brown and that he had a gun and police authority and Brown had neither.

Really? Same height?

Well, damn, at about 6 foot I must be able to take on pro wrestlers and football players.

And, "police authority"? What in the world does that even mean? How does that reduce the threat someone has to beat you in a fight? Shots were fired after fighting over the gun had happened.

I honestly can't disagree much with the rest of the article. Although I'd hesitate to be connecting these things to a common unified issues. Furgeson is a case of years of anger over stereotyping, poverty, etc erupting over a crime that I honestly don't think would get much debate otherwise. Cosby is a case of people being unwilling, or even hesitant to believe bad things about such an innocent/iconic idol in media. And the university case is an example of how having universities with nothing but their own interest enforcing or dealing with laws is a really really shitty idea.

There isn't a single "power" dynamic that connects all of them. Power isn't the issue here, in any of the cases, it's nearly always some other issue that isn't related and can be fixed separately.

posted by scrimetime: 1480 days ago