One of my favorite mom websites used to be TheStir.com (owned by CafeMom.com). Think The National Enquirer meets mom blogs. I always felt a little yucky about visiting a site that seemed to always be in a mad traffic rush, using poorly researched articles and sensationalized headlines to grab hits from parents, but it entertained me. Not a great reason, I’m not realizing.
This morning I read a blog post so utterly depraved that I will not only never visit the website again, but I felt compelled to write a response. We live in an age of information, we’re constantly bombarded with news, politics…stories about people we will probably never meet.
It’s easy to become hardened and start talking about real life events, living and breathing people, heartbreaking situations, the dead in a way that is not just disrespectful, but heartless. I’d never come across a piece that struck me as an example until I read blogger Jenny Erikson’s piece about Trayvon Martin.
Here’s the article, George Zimmerman Is No Racist & Trayvon Martin Is No Martyr by Jenny Erikson if you’d like to read it: http://thestir.cafemom.com/in_the_news/135191/george_zimmerman_is_no_racist
Jenny writes: “Trayvon is dead because he was in the middle of bashing some dude’s head on the pavement, and that dude happened to be armed.”
“Trayvon was not an innocent little kid with a colorful bag of skittles.”
She believes there’s a lesson in all of this and it isn’t for strange men with guns to cease stalking young boys. Rather, she says, “maybe a lesson to not bang people’s heads on the ground. It might get you shot.”
Her post defends Trayvon’s murder. She believes that because he has “Hispanics” in his family and is a Democrat, there is no way he can be racist. She brings up Trayvon’s 5-day school suspension for possession of an empty bag of marijuana and the fact that he retweeted (this means he shared a tweet someone else wrote) a crass sexual tweet in an attempt to disparage his character. She criticizes President Obama for expressing regret for the crime.
Read her post if you have the stomach for it. Below is the story of a young woman named Oksana. I’ve written her tragic story with the same insensitivity and callousness that Jenny wrote about Trayvon so that the heartlessness of the CafeMom/TheStir post can be appreciated.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard about Oksana Makar. The 18 year-old girl was invited by two men into a friend’s apartment where she was then raped. She’s recovering in a hospital. The media has had a heydey with this, demanding justice for Oksana. Even President Obama hopped on the Oksana train saying that “he two has daughters” and has been raising money for his election by personally selling Oksana mugs.
Oksana was a woman so obviously some woman-hating Rush Limbough fan raped her. The eagerness of some people to jump to conclusions before examining all of the evidence never ceases to amaze me. No, Naomi Wolf, Oksana was not raped because these men hate women.
Oksana was raped because he was hanging out in a (strange?) man’s apartment and those men happened to be rapists. Oksana was gang raped, choked and set on fire and that is tragic. What the men did was wrong and their intent could be debated for days on end but let’s not pretend that the girl was a martyr and those men hated women. I’m pretty sure Russians are not allowed to be misogynists and these men were indeed, Russian.
Oksana was not an innocent little girl. At 18, I can’t call her a kid but she was a very pretty and SOCIAL cheerleader who was on 5-day suspension for marijuana possession. She was not raped in a predominantly “old world” neighborhood. 49% of the women in her neighborhood work, have their own cars, and vote (ie. progressive).
There’s no reason to believe these men targeted her because she’s a woman. They come from families with women and both claim to have lots of female friends. Oksana went by the Twitter name @Sweet_Ass and retweeted things like “Going out tonight. Hope I hook up! #LOL”. Classy.
The jury is still out as to whether these men merely committed rape and attempted murder or if they truly hate women but the media’s capitulation of this story to promote its own agenda is inexcusable. Not everything is about men vs. women. Sometimes it’s just a very sad story about an assault against a girl who was neither a virgin, saint, or martyr.
And maybe a lesson to not enter strange men’s apartments. It might get you raped.
*As far as I know, she doesn’t tweet. D
Jenny had an opportunity to write an intelligent article questioning if race was the motive in this case. Either way, a child is dead, but it’s a valid debate. Instead, she went to a place of depravity and victim bashing. Pot? A silly teenage retweet- not to be confused with a written tweet, this is something someone else wrote and Trayvon giggled at and shared. These details were included for the purpose of lessening sympathy for a dead human being. As if only saints deserve justice and tears.
I’ve been reading some of Jenny’s posts and it seems that she’s enjoying the attention from her blog post. I’m sure many are “high fiving” her. People so sick of blacks always crying racism over lost blood. People so tired of black children filling up their morgues in questionable circumstances. People without enough soul to separate politics from tragedy.
Before I go on, I’d like to say for the record that if I were walking alone at night and was being followed aggressively and obviously, while I’ve never hit another human being in my life, I would absolutely get the first punch in.
People say they’re tired of blacks playing “the race card.” I’ll gladly give mine up the day my three brothers don’t get pulled over far more than their white friends when driving. Or when they can stop avoiding driving at night for fear of trouble with the police. Or when I’m not asked regularly if I know a “house girl” by older women, implying that because of the level of melanin in my skin, I must clean homes for a living. I’d gladly hand over my race card that some believe I manipulatively play if it means that I won’t ever hear another white person who doesn’t know me say “hey girl” in a business setting because they automatically attach hip hop culture to my skin culture.
Blogs like the one Jenny Erikson wrote are the reasons black mothers have “the talk” with their black children about what times they should be out at night, how to keep their hands on the wheel and how to reach for their license and registration extra slowly.
Because in 2012, a dead black kid is a dead black suspect.
Zimmerman has not been arrested for the murder of Trayvon Martin.
About Bunmi Laditan
Bunmi is a mother, writer, and social media entrepreneur living in Montréal, Canada (by way of California). She has two girls ages 6 and almost 2.