Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Saturday, 25 August 2007

Michelle Malkin is having a raging fit about how “liberals” want to “educate” rapists to keep them from raping again...


However, even if you just read the bits of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune article that she quoted, you can clearly read that what the officials and social-work experts and police (none of them actually identified as liberals) were advocating is an outreach or education to the community, families, and victims to let them know that the adaptive habits that they have come to after generations of tribalism and rule by religious extremists are not constructive, and not necessary in our culture.  We have a better way of dealing with it.

In many places in the world, had someone intervened in the incident they described, the criminal would have not have been arrested by authorities.  He would have been either captured by a tribal militia, or would have been chased off to gather HIS posse and come back and tear up the whole community, most likely creating a situation where there are mass killings and rapings.

Silent suffering is something that women and families are expected to undergo on behalf of the community in a situation where no central authority has the power to consistently control the law, and when government does have the means to exercise its power, it does so to consolidate and shore up it’s power rather than administer justice.  People use guns and tribal connections to back them up.   An armed society is a polite society.  Even when it is bad for one individual, it is better for everyone if the guns stay silent.  The price of demanding personal justice is too high.   As dysfunctional as it is, avoiding a spark of a genocide event or an eruption of endemic partisan violence is often deemed to be more important than justice for one individual, especially a woman who will just be condemned and shamed along with her family by religious leaders who want to pin the blame on someone who doesn’t have any agency in society to make waves with.

Since they have come to America, victims and communities have recourse to powerful, centralized authority which is charged with the obligation to support the rights of the individual and their family for justice, and impose order on elements of society that want to cause disruption and chaos for their own purpose.  But they still have old cultural habits that need to be examined and changed.

The idea is to educate the community as to how to abandon old, unconscious and deeply engrained habits, and show people how to use the tools of citizenship to both uphold the rights of the individual to justice AND the stability and health of the community.  Not to let rapists get off, actually to make it more likely that they will be caught.

This is not to excuse either the criminal nor the indifferent witnesses.  Everyone who failed to help that woman committed a criminal offense, and should at the very least be made to appear in front of a judge and censured for it, if not fined.  Obviously, the rapist should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

 I recall an MPR interview with Nuruddin Fara, a prominent Somali writer, who spoke of the great gift to the world that was the opportunity to learn about citizenship in America and return with those ideas to places where such things cannot even be imagined by the people living there.

Of course, what I’ve seen of Malkin’s writing leads me to conclude that her “solutions” are deportation or concentration camps.  Which wouldn’t really solve the problem of women suffering cultural apathy to rape and other violence against women, but it WOULD make it so that Malkin could watch and do her “tut-tutting” over the inherent inferiority of non-Americans from a safe distance.

Of course, Malkin can’t seem to understand that when a man named Omar Jamal comes out and says “Ibrahim is innocent of rape he said”, Omar is reporting that Ibrahim is claiming to be innocent.  Omar is not claiming that Ibrahim is innocent.  He is reporting the claim, not making it.  At least, that is what is indicated by the simple language that she is quoting.  Maybe Omar Jamal IS claiming that Ibrahim is innocent, but she certainly didn’t provide substantiation of any kind for that conclusion.

Malkin also references an article in the Star Tribune talking about the Somali communities tendency to try to handle domestic abuse and other women’s issues themselves, without involving the law.  Of course, she treats this as a unique cultural quirk of Islam and Somali culture without a blink at the fact that child abuse and domestic abuse issues were dismissed out-of-hand by the Right-wing Christian community just a few decades ago, child protection laws were even fought by church leaders, and  Christian groups upheld the right of a man to maintain order in his house through violence, and to this day there are religious leaders in the Christian community that urge women to try to work out their marriage problems “in the church” rather than leave.

To illustrate how silly it is for Malkin to make is sound like domestic violence is a particular curse of the Somali community in Minnesota, you can read the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s femicide Report for 2006.  20 women and 12 children were killed in acts of domestic violence.  You can decide for yourself how many of them can be put down to Somali culture or the Muslim religion.  There is a summary of each known case at the end of the report.

She also takes a swipe at Somali community activist Omar Jamal as “Playing both sides”, because he publicly explains the cultural difficulties that Somali’s have with using the law to solve what they see as private family issues.  Nothing in her quote gives the impression that he is justifying the behavior by explaining it, but she interprets it as “defending” the perpetrator.  She also points out that Omar Jamal was convicted of making false statements during his process of immigrating to the U.S.  His sentencing is long since past, and it was obviously determined that what he had done was not an infraction that necessitated deportation (his sentencing was scheduled for April of 2005).  Naturally, she laments that he has not yet been deported.  Maybe there was some sort of gross negligence in that determination, but Malkin doesn’t make a case for that.

So we have a community that is accustomed to deal with an unstable local tyranny of armed vigilantism by knuckling under the rights and freedom of individuals.  Society’s response to that is to educate the community in how to achieve community stability by exercising government power through citizenship participation to uphold the rights and freedoms of individuals, and have them help put the criminals in jail.   Also part of the education should be the small fact that Minnesota has a Good Samaritan law making it a misdemeanor to not give aid to someone who is in danger for their lives.  The rights of citizenship come with obligations.

And instead Malkin scoffs at this idea of education as “liberal cluelessness”.

Uh huh.

I got to Michell Malkin from Anne Lieberman at Boker Tov, Boulder!   Naturally, she asks what the Democratic front-runners would have done if they had been in that apartment building.  Of course, she doesn’t say it, but implies that they would ignore it and not call the cops.

Uh huh.  "Something to think about" indeed.

Saturday, 25 August 2007 18:09:26 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] | #
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