Wednesday, 20 February 2019

White Woman Claims to Confront Racism by Creating Racist Yoga Event; Clearly Doesn’t Understand How Racism Works (6 Pics)

You know how we’re always asking white people to gather their own folks if they want to address and end racism? We’re going to stop asking now because some of you are simply incapable of not centering yourselves in any and every instance, and therefore can’t be trusted with the responsibility of assisting with the liberation and equality of others. (Besides, we know those of you who are really about that life are already doing the work without being asked.)

Case in point: A criminally myopic criminal profiler from Prince George’s County, Md., named Pat Brown thought it’d be a super-fun, thought-provoking idea to create a mock event called “White Women Yoga Meetup” on the online engagement platform Meetup.
“This MeetUp group is to allow space for White women to gather in the name of yoga, surrounded by the supportive community of White people, White yoga instructors, and all around safe White spaces,” read the now-deleted invitation, as reported by Insider.
*snort* Since when is America—or any yoga class—not a safe space for white people? But I digress ...
Of course, Brown says she never intended for the event to actually take place, despite receiving seven RSVPs as of Saturday, nor is she racist. Ironically, Brown, who has children of color, claims she intended her invite to be a provocative sendup of the PoC supportive spaces on the platform ... to “bring forth the racism and separatism promoted by Meetup,” as she told Insider.
Yes, because the way to combat racism is always with more racism.
In fact, Brown had previously complained to the platform about her exclusion from groups intended for people of color, calling out the “blatant racism” of allowing these groups to exist.
(clearly having more patience than I) responded to Brown’s complaint, explaining that it allows groups that share common identities such as “gender, race, religion, political affiliations, or language, among many other things” to form events on their site. They even encouraged Brown to do the same, reportedly telling her via email: “If you feel the need to have a private space to connect with other white folks, you are allowed to do so ... Now bear in mind, and this applies to all groups regardless of their identities, within your description we recommend refraining from mentioning who you do not allow. Rather, we recommend focusing on who you do allow.”
Uhh ... okay. We guess.
Deciding to boldly test that policy, Brown decided to create her white women-only event, proving that aside from being utterly obnoxious, she clearly doesn’t understand how racism works (aside from ignoring the obvious, which is that yoga is an Indian practice appropriated and already overpopulated with white women).
But since Meetup opted not to do the deep dive with Brown before removing her white supremacy-suggestive event from their platform, we, as a black-centric site, thought it might be worth revisiting (for the 5,011th time) why PoC groups exist and are, to many, psycho-social lifelines in the face of real racism (not the “reverse racism” Brown has manufactured because for the 5,012th time, that’s not a real thing).
So, for the really cheap, not-so-critically-thinking seats, here goes (again): Racism is an institutional construct based on the social construct of race, which can determine access to very real resources for masses of people, determined solely by their ethnicity or the color of their skin (i.e. education, jobs, financial capital, housing, voting rights, freedom, etc.; social mobility being the least of these). As for exclusionary groups, perhaps Brown forgot about the exclusively white bastions of the Daughters of the American Revolution, first-wave feminism, any number of colleges until about the middle of the last century, or sororities, or country clubs, or ...
Really, do we really have to explain this again? We really need to break down like a fraction why PoC, out of necessity, have created and continue to create spaces of empathy in a world that still considers whiteness the default? Because we’re pretty sure Brown and her ilk already know why and just can’t stand the fact that anything exists that isn’t intended to include them. Because that’s how entitlement works. (Interestingly, Brown’s main issue seemed to be with WoC-centric groups, and not the many created solely with men in mind.)
A real question: Why would you want to be part of a group that is neither intended for you nor expressly in opposition to you, but exists solely for the benefit of marginalized people? Is it for the sheer pleasure of disrupting their equilibrium? Is it because you’re afraid we’re organizing? (Hint: we are.) Or is it like the n-word, and you just want to participate because it feels naughty and verboten?
“So, why, WHY, did I do this?” Brown asked on her blog. “As the hate mail poured in about the White Women Yoga group, I was finishing up a month in India, touring schools with my Indian friends who run a charity which I support and sponsor poor children’s education. I am a mother of two biracial children and one black son. What gives?”
Whew, nothing like a white savior complex to make your point, but please continue, Pat.
“I worry about my children and my grandchildren and my friends, Black and White and Asian and Hispanic, having to choose which group to belong to and who they dare not associate with. ... Ramping up racism, refusing to associate with people of a different color, and claiming to need ‘safe spaces’ because even being near a person of another race is emotionally destructive. This should not be happening in America.”
Well, that escalated quickly.
“So, this is where we are in society today and why I formed the White Women Yoga group on Meetup to bring our societal dilemma into the open and hope that we can work to find a solution to the dangerous road our country is headed down,” she wrote in a later post.
Gee, Pat, what would we do without you and your martyrdom? Racism, man ... you solved it!
“After conducting my “White Women Yoga” Meetup experiment, the most troubling response I have gotten from people is not that they were upset over the concept of an all-White group that excludes POC (People of Color)—because I, too, do not believe all-White groups that refuse members based on the color of the skin is anything but racism and discrimination—but that so many believe all-POC groups are not only acceptable but necessary in today’s world,” she writes.
Oh, Pat ... I’m so glad our comfort level is your “experiment.” But real talk: You know what’s emotionally destructive? Needing to infiltrate someone’s Brown Girls Brunch simply for your own edification. Because Pat, the truth is, we do need safe spaces, just so we can comfortably talk about microaggressive bullshit like this.

A Guide to Surviving Your 15 Minutes of Hate

I am a pro-choice, aqua-haired, middle-aged liberal living in Portland, Oregon. I probably disagree with Nicholas Sandmann on every major issue. But we have something in common. In the last month we have both endured what is fast becoming an American ritual: our 15 minutes of hate.
Sandmann's crime was a smirk while wearing a MAGA hat. Mine was a YouTube series I launched in December with another journalist in which we discussed the excesses of the #MeToo movement. This and the show's name, #MeNeither, inspired an ex-employee of my husband's coffee company to send an email to staff, characterizing the series as "vile, dangerous and extremely misguided" and adding that it "throws into question the safety of Ristretto Roasters as a workplace."
She also sent an email to the media.

Within days, a quarter of the Ristretto staff quit and the company lost major accounts. I was repeatedly called a c*nt and was challenged to at least one fist fight. My husband was told to leave his wife or lose his business.
As someone who covers this stuff, I thought I knew how rough it might be to get dragged in public. It's different when it's tearing up your life.
If you do not think this can happen to you, you have not been paying attention. Here's a guide for how to survive it:
STAY CALM: You will not expect the first strike, and thus will not know why every electronic device you own starts blowing up at once. You will be confused to read something that makes no sense or is presented in a way to make you look like a danger to society. Remain calm. Do not shoot off any responses, and for God's sake don't post anything on social media.
Notice that what at first seemed manageable is now starting to rage.
Inform the people who need to know what is going on. Assure them they are safe. Hope that this is true. Hope the messages left on your cell phone, about how you are a rape apologist and a piece of human garbage, will not spread to anyone else. Now is a good time to let calls go to voicemail and to set your Instagram to private.
Remember you are only human and might get a little panicky. If your spouse says "I just drank five pint glasses of water" and tells you his hands are sweating, like, a lot, assure him that it's anxiety and everything is going to be OK, though it does not feel that way today, and it does not feel that way because it is not.
CALL YOUR LAWYER: Gauge from his reaction how dire your situation is. Apparently not very: He is half-laughing when he says, "So Portland's social justice warriors are at it again?" Appreciate that legal action is futile, that the message is out there, carried with every tweet and text. You can't sue the internet.
ACCEPT THAT REASON HAS LEFT THE ROOM: Do not try to have rational conversations with the masses. They did not know you before this started and have no reason to trust you now. Wonder if you have been this quick to condemn things you knew nothing about. Wonder if you, too, might have hated the monster they are fighting.
This monster is not you. It is a collection of fears and buzzwords and tropes and memes.
Do not read the Facebook posts, the Reddit threads. It will be tempting because you are looking for allies, and you may find a few. Mostly you will encounter anonymous voices shouting about what a despicable person you and everything you stand for are. Really, stay away from the comments.
BUILD A WAR ROOM: If the attack is following script, by Day 2.5 things are frenetic, news outlets calling and emailing and trying to contact you on social media. Decide who will do interviews, who will answer emails, who will stay on top of Google alerts. This last helps when the first major story states that you "could not immediately be reached for comment." Within a minute of it posting, you can call the reporter and say she did not try to contact you, and while she makes the correction, you now know what's it's like to deal with reporters who have different standards of truth-telling than you do, which on top of everything else should not be crushing, but is.
REVENGE FANTASIES: After what feels like being kicked in the throat for a week, do what you swore you would not do: Go online and fight, giving your version of the situation and also, maybe, trying to hurt those you see as hurting you. This will definitely and 100 percent blow up in your face.
Once you have further destroyed the people closest to you, the people you are trying to save, remind yourself that inquiry and civil discourse are the best inoculation against fanatical disagreement. Be willing to both administer and receive it.
PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: Spend time with friends. They will quickly show you who they are, bringing over pizza and bourbon and staying not a requisite "Are you cheered up yet?" amount of time but five hours. Binge-watch Russian Doll, where the lead character is having a much worse time than you and which makes your spouse laugh, a super-sweet sound you have not heard in a while.
PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Be grateful no one has (yet) shown up on your doorstep. Be grateful your kids are as loving and bratty as always. Cry a little at the message from your daughter's friend, saying, "While I don't agree with everything you state, and as someone who was sexually assaulted, I am thankful you are creating a dialogue, [which] has helped give me a platform to talk about this in a multitude of diverse conversations."
Tell your spouse you are sorry he has a mouthy wife, and that you are sorry that he is on precipice of losing the business he's built for 15 years because of the anger provoked by two women having conversations about sensitive issues. Marvel that not once has he asked you to not keep doing the work you do, not once.
MAKE CONTINGENCY PLANS: Accept your business/reputation might not survive. Understand it's not the initial assault but the markers of radioactivity left behind, so to speak, that do the most damage. Take stock; take a breath. Do your best to believe that while people get swept up in these fights, they're not really committed. More than anything, the campaigns are exhausting and disruptive and don't fix anything. Would it not be better to discuss our differences over a cup of coffee?

MSU Student Urging Conservatives To Run For Student Government Gets Targeted For Using Student Government Logo

Last Thursday, members of the general assembly of the Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) attempted to remove a student representative after he tried to encourage conservatives to run for the student government.

The controversy started after Sergei Kelley attempted to get more conservative students to run for ASMSU by reaching out to students on conservative email lists, asking them to fill out a survey about running for student government. When Kelley followed up with the students over email, his email signature included the student government logo, which some members of the student government have deemed inappropriate as attempting to represent the student government.
Kelley’s email signature also includes the colleges he is a part of, his majors, his position at the Morning Watch, and his class.
“I’ve had this email logo since October,” Kelley told The Daily Wire in an interview. “I use it for everything from emailing a professor, to emailing a friend to election recruitment.”
Rep. Ben Horne, who introduced a bill to remove Kelley, accused Kelley of breaking several ASMSU codes, including engaging in an “unlawful discriminatory act or practice against persons on the basis of age, color, creed, gender, marital status, national origin, physical characteristics, physical persuasion, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and veteran status,” making statements on behalf of ASMSU without consulting the Director of Public Relations, and many others.
“Representative Kelley’s actions were clear violations of the ASMSU Code of Operations, ASMSU Constitution, and MSU General Student Regulations, that was a clear consensus of a majority of the assembly,” Horne told The Morning Watch. “The discussion had in the General Assembly was that our Code currently has no reasonable method to enforce ethical violations, no matter how inappropriate the actions of any Representative.”
“It is inappropriate to use ASMSU images for your own personal use, especially for political uses. I think that goes against what ASMSU stands for as a representation of all MSU students. Regardless of your political persuasion, you can’t use your role in ASMSU to influence your communication with others,” Alex Chudzik, an MSU student, told The Morning Watch.
One student representative, Oscar Garner asked, “[i]f we don’t hold some power to reprimand, punish, or remove, what are we just going to let anyone be in here?” adding, “the terms of holding office have been violated, you should not be able to keep your job… we are the only people able to decide whether Kelley has upheld the duties of the office he was elected to.”
If Kelley had been removed, it would have been the first time a representative would have ever been removed according to ASMSU Rep. Harrison Greenleaf. The ASMSU code reportedly only calls for the removal of a representative if they exceed five absences at a meeting.
The bill did not pass. Kelley said most members agreed that Kelley inappropriately used the logo but said they did not remove him because the ASMSU code does not have guidelines as to how to enforce certain violations.
Kelley emphasized that the logo only appeared in his signature and not the documents for the Conservative Wave Plan.
“I do not think I have broken any code violations …” Kelley said to The Morning Watch. “I didn’t misrepresent ASMSU because I am one representative, not the whole [General Assembly] GA.”
When asked if he believed he was being targeted for being a conservative, Kelley said, “Yes, at one point the friend of the representative who introduced the bill said we would still be having the same conversation if I were a liberal. A lot of the liberals laughed at that. It would be very hard to imagine that.”
In the entire student government, there are 54 representatives, and Kelley said there are only three conservatives including himself, but says he is certainly the most outspoken.
Kelley also told The Daily Wire that before the vote, Horne told him, “You’re on your 9th strike, so get ready.” Kelley also claims other people told him he was being targeted for his voting against popular resolutions in the student government, including one from December that advocated for allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections.
Kelley is not only a representative of the student government, but the vice chair of the MSU College Republicans, secretary of MSU’s Turning Point USA chapter, and the executive editor of the Morning Watch — an independent conservative publication for MSU.
Kelley said he hopes more conservatives will be elected to the student government in hopes of improving the budget process and allowing the student body to vote on the student government president instead of the general assembly.
“They have discussed removing me before,” Kelley said. “This was a month or two ago after I went against the bill they didn’t want me to go against. There was one meeting where I went against a bill and I was told I am discriminating. ”
Elections begin on April 8, and Kelley said there are 18 conservatives running whom he helped recruit.
Kelley also said he still has the logo in his email signature and has no plans to remove it.
Horne did not respond to a request for comment.

She Accused Them Of Sexual Assault After Allegedly Bragging About Their Encounter. Now They’ve Settled With The School That Expelled Them.

Two black, male students were expelled two days after a white female student accused them of sexually assaulting her. The male students sued their former university and have now reached a settlement for an undisclosed amount.

Justin Browning and Alphonso Baity, II, were students at the University of Findlay in Ohio until they were accused by a fellow student, referred to in court documents only as M.K., of sexual assault. The case dates back to 2014. Browning and Baity were roommates along with two other African-American students. M.K. was friends with all four of these men and would go to their home frequently, according to the male students’ original lawsuit, which I covered in detail.
One night at a house party M.K. asked Browning to leave the party with her, according to the lawsuit. The two – and two others – returned to the house and talked for a few minutes before M.K. and Browning went to his room and engaged in sexual activity. The original lawsuit was very specific in saying that M.K. never said “stop” or “no” or otherwise indicated in any way that she did not consent to the activity.
"To the contrary, M.K. affirmatively consented to the sexual activity(ies) by saying 'yes.’ At all times, M.K. initiated all sexual activity and physical contact of a sexual or intimate nature with Browning, and physically and verbally encouraged and voluntarily consented to such contact and interaction,” the lawsuit said.
Baity returned home later that night. He entered his room, which he shared with Browning, and saw his roommate engaging in sexual activity with M.K. The accuser suggested he join, and he agreed, according to the lawsuit. Baity and M.K. then engaged in sexual activity while Browning stayed on his own bed.
M.K. would eventually leave the room, according to the lawsuit, completely naked and sit down with the other people in the room and talk with them. At some point she returned to Browning’s room and engaged in further sexual contact. She left in the morning.
The lawsuit claims she bragged to several people about her encounter with the two black men: A woman in her dorm and at least one other friend.
M.K. made her accusation 10 days after the sexual encounter. Two days later – and after an investigation that failed to interview M.K. or all the witnesses at the party – Browning and Baity were expelled. They appealed, and before the appeals process was complete, the university sent out a campus-wide email announcing the two had been expelled (including their names). Their appeals then fell through.
More than a year later, they filed a lawsuit, alleging discrimination based on their race and sex. They believe only one of their African-American roommates was interviewed (and not two other African-American witnesses) because the school felt they “would be biased in favor of Plaintiffs and contain no useful information.” The students claimed the university only spoke to two white women who were at the house when the encounter happened because the school thought the women would band together in favor of the accuser, which they did not.
These two women said they were retaliated against by the university for upholding the accused students’ side of the story. The university strongly denied this and also denied allegations that racism played a role in the students’ expulsion. The school also claimed that, contrary to Browning and Baity’s lawsuit, students interviewed as part of the investigation did not all side with the accused and say a student who sent an email to the university did not claim M.K. bragged about the sexual encounter.
This lawsuit has been ongoing since late 2015. M.K. filed a counterclaim against Browning and Baity claiming she was too drunk to consent and seeking damages for the disclosure of photos and video of the encounter without her consent. Sr. U.S. District Judge James G. Carr recently denied a motion from M.K. and her attorneys for prejudgment attachment, and wrote that it was unlikely M.K. could achieve a settlement from the accused students, according to court documents reviewed by the Daily Wire.
Further, in a status report on the case filed January 31, 2019, Browning and Baity’s attorneys say they have “resolved all claims” with the university “to their mutual satisfaction.”
Findlay affirmed this in an email statement to The Daily Wire.
“The University of Findlay and two previously expelled student-athletes, Justin Browning and Alphonso Baity, have resolved all claims between them to their mutual satisfaction, the specifics of which are confidential. They have no further comment,” the statement said.

Little Caesars employee fired after writing 'gay' on receipt

Two men allege a Little Caesars employee gave them a receipt with the word “gay” written at the top.
On Friday, Rosman Harris and Marcus Robertson, who are cousins, visited one of the franchise’s outlets in Henrico County, Va. They placed their order, then walked around the area for about 15 minutes before returning to pick up their pies. But when they returned to get their food, Harris noticed something unusual by the top of the receipt where a customer’s name is typically displayed.
“It said, ‘gay,'” Harris told WTVR. “I was baffled, and it made me semi-angry because I feel like it’s 2019 and we’re still having to deal with this.”
According to the local outlet’s report, the two men were never asked for a name to put on the order, although they claim that the customers both in front and behind them were. And when it comes to their sexual identity, neither Harris nor Robertson revealed to the cashier that they are gay.
“It was this preconceived notion of, ‘Oh, these are gay men,'” Harris explained. “So, why would you write that on the ticket? I’m not understanding that.”
When another cousin of theirs went into the store on Sunday to speak to a manager about the incident, they were confronted by the same cashier who allegedly attributed the label to the customers’ rude behavior.
“[The cashier] said, ‘Well, oh, he was being loud, he was being rude,'” Robertson, who wears a visible hearing aid, told WTVR. “So, my cousin was, like, ‘No, he wasn’t being loud or rude. He’s hearing impaired, so when he talked loud that’s for him to hear himself speak.'”
Tina Orozco, the director of communications for Little Caesars corporate, assures  that immediate action was taken.
“Little Caesars maintains a zero-tolerance policy against any violations of professional conduct,” Orozco said in a statement. “This is a highly unusual, isolated situation at a store locally owned and operated by a franchisee. The franchise owner took immediate action to investigate this matter and has terminated the employment of the individual involved in the incident.”
Although the manager of the Henrico County store allegedly told Harris and Robertson’s cousin that the cashier in question could not be fired because they were short-staffed, they learned on Monday that she was in fact terminated. Still, the pair told WTVR that they are awaiting an apology and looking into taking legal action.
“For something like this to happen, not only does it impact your business, it impacts your image as well,” Robertson said.

Two Female Students Were Suspended For Alleged False Accusations Of Sexual Assault. Now They’re Suing.

Two former Purdue University students are suing their university after they were initially expelled for allegedly fabricating accusations of sexual assault.

The university claimed, according to the women’s lawsuit, that one of the accusers fabricated her claim and the other was malicious in her reporting. Each was expelled from the university, but had her sentence lowered to a two-year suspension after an appeal.
They filed a lawsuit together in November, and now Purdue is trying to separate their claims since each accused a different male student, at different times, and were punished separately. An attorney for the women, Jeff Macey, told the Lafayette Journal & Courier said the women’s claims represent a pattern of university behavior.
“I don’t want to make it sound like we don’t have a case if they’re handled separately,” Macey told the paper last week.
“I think we have a strong case, either way,” Macey added. “It’s kind of a tough line for my clients. To one extent, they’d prefer to not to have to be involved in this, at all. But on the other extent, they really want things to change there.”
Purdue has filed a motion to dismiss, as all universities do when confronted with lawsuits. A Purdue spokesman told the Journal & Courier that it stands by its process in regard to the two women.
“To the extent the case challenges the university’s handling of complaints under our anti-harassment policy and procedures, we stand by our commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for all members of our community," spokesman Tim Doty told the paper in November. "These are often difficult matters to investigate and decide, but we are confident in our processes and believe they afford all students with broad and appropriate protections, whether they are raising allegations of sexual misconduct or responding to them. Fair application of our policy necessarily entails ensuring all parties participate in the process in good faith by providing truthful information to assist the university in making its determinations."
It's hard to believe that the women would actually be punished for false accusations, given their claims in the lawsuit and the university's fear of bad publicity from going against an accuser. Purdue’s student population forced a comedian to apologize last year for a routine he performed in which he asked a female student to put her hand on his thigh (she complied). In 2017, the school suspended a male student and expelled him from its ROTC program after his ex-girlfriend accused him of snugglingher without her consent. As the College Fix’s Greg Piper reported at the time, she only made the accusation after the two broke up.
So, Purdue isn’t exactly a bastion for the acceptance of sexual assault. If these cases caused university action, it might seem implausible that these two women were punished for what — from their point of view — was clear sexual assault.
One woman, identified as Mary Doe in court documents, claimed she was assaulted in her dorm room by a male student who had already been “excluded” from campus and labeled “Persona Non Grata” due to a previous incident involving a female student. Mary didn’t participate in the investigation, as was her right under university policy, and claims the school made credibility claims against her for not participating in the investigation. She claims the school determined she was not telling the truth because her then-roommate made “an uncertain identification” of the accused student. Mary also says in the lawsuit that she was not informed she had become the target of the school’s investigation. The school allegedly claimed she “fabricated” her account.
The other woman, referred to as Nancy Roe in court documents, claims she was too drunk to consent to a sexual encounter with a male fraternity member she had met that night. She also claimed the student “made audio recordings of the assault” without her consent. She said she found bruising around her neck — allegedly from being choked — and sought medical treatment before reporting her claim to the university. The university, according to the lawsuit, found that she “had reported the assault maliciously.”
The school found the man Nancy accused responsible for recording her without consent and ordered him to write a 10-page paper as punishment, according to the lawsuit.
If these were the women’s accusations, even if they provided no evidence to support their claims, it seems difficult to believe the university would side with the accused.
The women claim Purdue has a policy “either written or unwritten, wherein women who cannot prove their claims to the satisfaction of Purdue decisionmakers face discipline up to expulsion at Purdue.”