I haven’t done one of these general News & Opinion links in a while. I came across some interesting stories this week, so I thought I’d share them.
Mitt Romney debates Martin Luther King, Jr. Romney doesn’t fare too well.
Before he dropped out of the presidential race, Rick Perry said at a debate that South Carolina is at war with the federal government. [Huffington Post] Since that wasn’t the first time Perry alluded to secession (for those who forgot, South Carolina was the first to secede from the Union at the start the Civil War), shouldn’t he be considered un-American?
Whether or not Jay-Z will stop using the word bitch in his music, would he need to do more? [Guardian] By the way, will he stop using “nigger,” too?
Administrators at a Utah high school reject the use of a cougar as its mascot because of the word’s meaning. Not the mountain lion definition, but the other “derogatory” definition. [SportsGrid]
All forms of media are blowing up with reaction to the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, the rape and sex abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, and the blind eye so many at Penn State turned to it. There’s a lot going on here: idolatry; the culture of college sports; people within institutions not holding themselves and their institutions accountable.
This story is multi-faceted with so many different angles, causes and repercussions, I wanted to put some them together to try to find some context.
The nomenclature surrounding “sex crimes” is already hopelessly sterile, and the media routinely refers to cases of rape and sexual assault as “sex scandals,” but that makes it no less important to call them out every time they do it.
Sandusky is not accused of “having sex” with little boys, he is accused of raping them. In our civilization, “sex” with a child is not possible, since a child cannot consent to sex. As I half-listened to the news all day today, then, and I heard repeated references to “the Penn State sex scandal,” it pissed me off. It made my blood steam a little bit, like a hot cup of coffee.
(I would apply this criticism to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn alleged sexual assault which was often referred to as a “sex scandal.”)
Many have made the connection between the cover-up at Penn State and the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child molestation. Maureen Dowd made it in her Tuesday column in the New York Times:
Like the Roman Catholic Church, Penn State is an arrogant institution hiding behind its mystique. And sports, as my former fellow sports columnist at The Washington Star, David Israel, says, is “an insular world that protects its own, and operates outside of societal norms as long as victories and cash continue to flow bountifully.” Penn State rakes in $70 million a year from its football program.
UPDATE: As with any big breaking news story, initial stories turn out to be false as details emerge. The death of Osama bin Laden is no different. It’s now being reported that Bin Laden wasn’t armed when he was killed and he didn’t use his wife as a human shield. This is the “new narrative” put out by the White House.
At this point, you probably know some of the facts about the raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. You probably know a U.S. Navy SEAL team conducted the operation at bin Laden’s compound near Pakistan’s military academy.
Because there’s a lot of information out there, here are some videos, news bites, and opinion pieces about bin Laden’s death that you may have missed.
First, President Obama’s speech on Sunday night announcing bin Laden had been killed:
How did you learn about bin Laden’s death? I was without a TV, but I had Twitter. “[It] was faster, more accurate, and more entertaining than any other news source out there,” wrote Matt Rosoff in Business Insider. I second that!
In what could be called a the biggest head-fake in history, (wait, it already was on Twitter), 24 hours before Obama’s announcement, “Saturday Night Live’s” Seth Meyers joked about bin Laden’s whereabouts at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (who you can see in the audience) kept cool and revealed nothing. They laughed and they laughed…
Hat tip to mediabistro’s Newsfeed and The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet for pointing me in the right direction of some of these links.
Single childless women under 30, who live in cities, out-earn their male counterparts. [Time]
Alright men, fees up. Do one in four of you really sleep with teddy bears when you travel? [Guardian]
An American man takes 18 months of parental leave in Sweden and talks about “child-oriented masculinity” there. [Slate] Five months after becoming a father, this writer looks back at his fear of impending fatherhood. [All Men Are Liars]
Should kids wear “I Love Boobies” t-shirts to school to raise awareness for breast cancer? Should anyone wear them? [Mankini Revolution]
Proposition 8 – that banned same-sex marriage in California – was overturned in federal court, but it will may be a while before gay and lesbian couples will be walking down the aisle. [SFGate]
“You vote in favor of something if you believe it’s the right thing. If you believe it’s the wrong thing, you vote no.” Sounds simple, right? Not in Congress, and sadly, not when it comes to giving additional healthcare to first responders and others affected from dust and debris due to the 9/11 attacks. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) passionately sets Congress straight.
Hef the activist? A documentary premieres this month that paints Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as a Civil Rights Activist. Skeptical? Check out this article and let me know what you think below. [The Root]
The Appleseed Project teaches participants how to shoot targets at 500 yards just in case the “revolution” comes. Where does this fear of Teotwawki (the end of the world as we know it) come from? [New York Times Magazine]
Cheerleading may be competitive, but it will never be a sport. [Double X]
Hello, ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. That’s not me below. That’s the Old Spice Guy. He’s on a horse, and he’s good for Black America. [The Root]
Ever lied to get laid? You could do time for it in Israel. An Arab man told a woman he was didn’t tell a woman he’s not Jewish, and she had consensual sex with him. The truth came out, and he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for “rape by deception.” [The Daily Beast via Haaretz]
Mel Gibson keeps doing it to himself. The list of his anti-semetic, racist and misogynistic tirades gets longer and a police investigation has been opened into the assault on his ex-girlfriend. And to further hurt his career, the NFSW audio of this conversation, which is purported to be him, has surfaced. [RadarOnline]
Hot GOP. What’s behind the ogling and sexualization of Palin and other Republican women? [Newsweek]
Can you ask your church for a refund? This woman did. She sued her church for $250,000 – a portion of the money and gifts she claims she gave the church over 37 years – because a gay wedding was held there. [Clutch/theGrio]
On my old blog, I compiled links to interesting news and opinion pieces from around the Internet. I’ll start doing the same here about sex, race and American culture. As always, feel free to leave your comments below.
-One year ago today, Michael Jackson died at the age of 50. According to this estimate, the King of Pop’s estate made $1 billion (yes, with a “b”) in revenue since his death. [Billboard]
-Joran van der Sloot claims he’s getting mail from women who want to marry him and have his baby. Why do some women like very bad boys? [The Daily Beast]
-If there were groups of heavily armed black men who wanted to “take back” their country during the Bush/Cheney years, would they be viewed the same as the militia groups that have grown in number since Obama’s inauguration? [Washington Post]
-The leak and environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is the “missing white woman” of oil spills. [The Root]