commented on HUMP! 2013 Winners!
"Fun with Fire" was hot and so sweetly authentic. The connection between the two folks was palpable. I didn't breathe for most of it, and actually turned to my sweetheart and said, "I'd love to learn how to do that."
commented on Which Seattle Band Are You?
I got TAD. Interesting because I've barely listened to his eponymous band and only seen Brothers of the Sonic Cloth once. But I've got lots of respect for him.
commented on Deputies Need Better Training on First Amendment Rights
I actually don't think the issue is that these cops don't know the First Amendment rights of everyday folks, it's that they simply don't want folks observing them on the street and critiquing them as they carry on doing business as usual, which in many cases results in harassment and excessive force of folks of color or poor folks for doing nothing more than being where they are expected not to be, or for something incredibly minor. In other words, they rely not so much on most folks' ignorance of their rights in these situations, but on most folks' fear of being detained, arrested, or just generally fucked up by a cop to get folks to move along. They are used to that working, so when someone actually holds space, they can't deal, and so they escalate, to reassert their authority as they see it. Happens all the time at nonviolent protests, or just folks watching cops (like Dominic was).
I still remember an encounter years ago when I attempted to observe a police encounter with a person of color, and almost immediately got targeted and harassed myself for trying to stay and watch. I even asserted that I had a legal right to do so, and though the SPD cop didn't threaten to arrest me, I think he was pretty close, and so I left. (I'm African American, and was with my then-partner, who was white, and I wonder if that played any role in how that encounter played out.) But I definitely got the message that asserting your rights doesn't get you respect from cops, but is seen as a threat to them. So it's not about them knowing the law, it's about them following the law. And until we have some accountability system that can lead to genuine consequences for cops who don't follow the law (the police guilds are great obstructionists on this), nothing's going to change. It's not about training or "rudeness" as some of the higher-ups in King Country and SPD have asserted, it's about punishment and accountability.
commented on Street Harassment
As a man who likes to consider himself an ally to women and who is infuriated when I hear about things like this happening to women I know, I want to suggest that any man who feels similarly should also take some time to think about what they can do to intervene when they witness stuff like this happening. Around the time of Cienna's original post around this, I heard a few other stories from friends (and my sweetheart) about stuff that had recently happened to them. It got me fired up to start confronting other men when I saw them harassing women on the street.
But just two days ago, I was walking home and saw a woman walking towards me. A car was driving in the same direction she was walking, and the driver of the car (there were a few other men inside) called out, "Hey girl!" to her. She ignored them and kept walking. They did it again, and she ignored them again. I got really pissed off and thought about telling them to leave her alone and that she obviously didn't want to talk to some random guy shouting out of his car, but by the time I even formulated that response, she had stepped into a shop, and the car kept going.
I'm planning to think about this more, so that next time I see something like this happen, I'll be ready to say something. I'd encourage other men who want to fight street harassment to do the same.
I don't care if folks want to pick this or me apart for feeling this way. This shit is wrong and needs to stop.