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Prominent MRA tries to blame Charleston shooting on feminism and its alleged “lies about rape culture.”

Dylann Storm Roof's Facebook profile picture; the patches on his jackket depict the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa
Dylann Storm Roof’s Facebook profile picture; the patches on his jacket depict the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa

Less than 24 hours after an apparent white supremacist murdered nine black churchgoers in cold blood during a prayer meeting in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, one prominent MRA is trying to put the blame on feminism, because of a remark the killer reportedly made about rape.

One of the survivors of the church killings reported that, before he began shooting, the killer told those in the prayer group that “you rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.” 

Dylann Storm Roof, the accused killer, wore his racism on his sleeve, almost literally: a former classmate tells the press that Roof “made a lot of racist jokes”; his license plate featured the Confederate flag; his Facebook profile picture shows him in a jacket with patches representing the flags of Rhodesia and apartheid-era South Africa.

But Dean Esmay, the second-in-command at A Voice for Men, probably the most influential Men’s Rights site, thinks that Roof’s killing spree may be the result of too much feminism. Earlier today, he posted a link to an article on the shooting to the Men’s Rights subreddit with this headline:

South Carolina shooter spoke of rape--was he driven by lies about our

To their credit, the Men’s Rights subreddit regulars voted his comment down; one told him “[n]ot everything is about us, man. This is distasteful.”

Two hours later, apparently undaunted by the criticism and oblivious to irony, Esmay returned to the Men’s Rights subreddit to make another accusation:

The media will be claiming the South Carolina shooter is an MRA in 3...2...1..... (cnn.com)

No one has declared the shooter to be an MRA. The little we know about Roof right now suggests that he was a garden-variety old-school racist. The paranoid notion of black men raping “our” white women is one of the oldest racist tropes out there; as Jessica Valenti noted on Twitter, Roof’s language is “the language of white supremacist patriarchy.”

The alleged threat to “our women” was used for generations as an excuse to lynch black men and terrorize the black community as a whole. In the case of Roof’s shootings, it’s an even more transparent ruse. As Rebecca Carroll notes in The Guardian, it’s hard to argue that these killings had anything to do with real fears or even paranoid fantasies about the rape of white women when most of the victims were not black men — the symbolic “rapists” in the equation — but black women:

There is something inconsistent with the Charleston shooter’s alleged evocation of the historical myth of black man as beast and rapist of white women, and the fact that he killed mostly black women. Did he only shoot black women because there were no more black men to kill? Because black women birth, care for and love black men? Or because he didn’t see black women as women at all … 

The idea that white women’s bodies represent that which is inviolable while black women’s are disposable hasn’t changed enough since it was first articulated by white men; but again, aimed at black men on Wednesday night, it was predominately black women who suffered by their invocation.

We will find out more about Root’s twisted beliefs in days to come. But it is clear already that they had nothing whatsoever to do with feminism.

H/T — r/againstmensrights

EDIT: I’m making this a NO TROLL, no-derailing-with-idiotic-MRA-or-incel-talking-points thread.

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KL
KL
5 years ago

“@KL: “Chicago is maybe the most segregated place in the country, or at least bad enough, and white cops torture and kill black people there. Racism is not a southern problem.”

That’s true; just as there are some really nice and decent people in the South who aren’t racist at all, there are at least few people in the North and West who *are* racist…..it’s not limited to any one state, region, country, or even ethnic group, and this is also regardless of one’s position in society in said place; racism is a *human* flaw. Has been pretty much forever. =(”

This one sounds nice right? but you are saying “at least a few” about a systematic problem.

Topics you should research:
Langston Hughes’ visit to Chicago
MLK’s visit
1919 riot
“Boss” by Mike Royko; Richard J Daley generally
Studs Terkel
Jon Burge torture cases
racial analysis of Joravsky & Dumke on various topics
the housing projects and the first integration movement
the current neighborhood boundaries
recent finding of a black site for CPD torture (?)
Shootings of black people by Chicago cops generally ie articles by John Conroy for the Reader

Stop making arguments from ignorance and open your minds and hearts.

Have a blessed life

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

I have to step in a moment to contest the idea that the North in the United States is less racist than the South. We are taught that the North fought the Civil War to end slavery. That’s not true. The South was fighting to maintain slavery, because their economic model depended on it. The North had a different motive: to keep the US together a single country.

Anyone who doubts this just has to look at the actions the North took with respect to slavery prior to, during, and following the war. Prior to the war, northern states bent over backwards to accommodate the demands of southern states in hopes of keeping the country together. “Fugitive slave” acts and those bizarre rules for admitting territories as states in pairs to maintain a balance in the Senate are only the most blatant examples. A lot of states labeled “free” in those maps we saw in middle-school textbooks still kept multitudes of people in slavery, having passed “gradual emancipation” laws rather than outlawing slavery outright. During the war, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion, and following the war slavery in Union states was not outlawed until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.

This is a legacy that has consequences today. Nobody fights against racism if they think racism doesn’t exist. Those middle-school textbooks that labeled northern states “free” even though they maintained large enslaved populations at the time of the Civil War paints a picture that is essentially a lie. The story that the North fought to end slavery paints a picture that is essentially a lie. These lies fool people into thinking that racism is basically resolved in northern states and what racism remains is just a few people here and there.

Racism in northern states was, and remains, endemic. It is structural, it is individual, it is subconscious, and it is conscious. It’s more overt in the South, but undercurrent racism is just as damaging as visible racism and even harder to root out.

KL
KL
5 years ago

thank you PoM (I know couldnt resist).

I want to emphasize this, segregation in MY city is NOT “a few bad apples”, it is the government, it is hundreds of thousands of people, a majority of people, and black lives actually do matter so the times black people were killed in Chicago are not just a few peoplebeing mean, no big deal, itis systematic oppression and it is horrifying.

KL
KL
5 years ago

and it is actually very obvious and surface level. it is not hard to see. you just have to open your eyes. stay woke.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

@KL

I don’t really want you to leave because of what I think amounts to a trip-up. I don’t think anyone intended to say or imply that racism is only a problem in the South, although I see more than one instance where that certainly is the message. I would really urge everyone whose attitude in this thread has been “fuck the South” to examine why we’re only fucking the South here.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@KL:

You feel strongly about your home city and that’s not a fault. I’ve enjoyed reading what you’ve written and have learned a great deal from it. I can’t tell you to go or to stay, but I feel that the site would be enriched by your presence.

sevenofmine
5 years ago

During the war, the Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the states in rebellion, and following the war slavery in Union states was not outlawed until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment.

Slavery didn’t even end in any practical sense. We just painted it with a thin veneer of legality and called it convict leasing. It still amounted to black people being committed to spend their lives working for free for white people in even more brutal conditions than before. We didn’t finally end the practice until the WWII era, when technology had advanced to the point that automated systems were more productive than any number of black bodies, no matter how mercilessly you worked them. Southern businesses abandoning the practice on their own combined with the bad PR of condemning Hitler while tolerating this shit at home is what finally made Washington bother to do something. Before that there had been some feeble attempts to stop it but they received little to no support from Washington.

Also, the entire reason there’s even such a thing as black neighborhoods in the north is because white people fled to suburbs when black people moved in at which point those areas (purely coincidentally, I’m sure *wink wink*) had education and infrastructure funding slashed.

It requires a pretty profound ignorance of US history to actually think the North is measurably less racist than the South.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

Slavery didn’t even end in any practical sense. We just painted it with a thin veneer of legality and called it convict leasing. It still amounted to black people being committed to spend their lives working for free for white people in even more brutal conditions than before.

Also, the entire reason there’s even such a thing as black neighborhoods in the north is because white people fled to suburbs when black people moved in at which point those areas (purely coincidentally, I’m sure *wink wink*) had education and infrastructure funding slashed.

That is 100% true. There are many examples of racism that I didn’t go into because my first version of the post was more than 500 words and that was tl;dr by any standard, so I pared it down to just actions taken by government surrounding the Civil War. The examples you’ve given are absolutely true and important.

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