Brock Turner released-surprising?

Does this story surprise you? Honestly, none of what happened to Brock Turner, or more specifically what didn’t happen to him, surprise me.

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Apart from the slight creases on his shirt, this soon-to-be-golden-boy leaves prison without so much a whiff of prison. Well, he did lose his swimming career but after all it seems the chances of him having had it seem equal to those of him getting it back.

This should hardly come as a surprise, given that to many people; and very unfortunately to many men still today, still in the 21st century, Brock is only guilty of ’20 minutes of action’. No federal prison, no fourteen year sentence, a private cell, a private guard-and that’s only the official line…

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_30320828/brock-turner-sex-offender-life-he-faces-stringent

Philip DeFranco’s videos on the Turner case are thought-provoking and it is certainly interesting to hear from an American man on the matter. Recently, DeFranco said in one of his videos that only aspect of this case that makes it unique is shockingly enough-Turner’s punishment. Not only do millions of cases of rape and sexual assault go unreported every year on major college campuses and beyond, but millions of sex offenders and rapists get no punishment whatsoever.

These may seem like speculations, but David Becker proved these right when he raped three girls and got away it. Rape culture is within our, unsurprisingly, patriarchal culture. Millions of girls and women get raped every day, and many day after day. It is devastating to see this so blatantly ignored in a country who has survived based on a democratic constitution and mutual respect for the many differences in gender and ethnicity of its members. American democracy is valuable one, that should not undermine itself with decisions like that of Judge Aaron Persky.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/08/25/us/brock-turner-aaron-persky-judge-reassigned/

Notice how Turner’s ‘good family’ and big car make him innocent to some people-because they don’t change the fact that he is a rapist.

Aside from the pure disgust that this man and his case evoke, the People v. Turner case, has more to teach than the fact that white male privilege still reigns in the American elite. Firstly, it shows just how far ancient, corrupt, nepotist sexism in a male patriarchy of whites prevails in the world-this alone is disturbing in the American scene alone, given events such as the Trump nomination. It also makes it clear that there are ‘special privileges’ in America, and definitely not just in America, to ‘special’ boys, from ‘special’ schools and colleges-to the point that it affects how criminal justice is served.

Feel free to disagree-but how many people honestly believe Turner would ever have been sentenced to any time in prison and registered as a sex offender, without the widespread media attention his case received? This brings me to my ultimate point-the Internet.

Like most people, I have numerous times been asked what I dream of doing, what I would do if I could do anything. I thought of many overused, typical and to an extent, pointless answers. After following this case, I realized that human stupidity and evil is both unstoppable and inevitable. The only thing we can really do when we have failed to use the democratic mechanisms in our disposition justly, is to spread knowledge of what happened.

The media is extremely powerful in manipulating this knowledge, and indeed can be dangerous. It is, however, without a doubt, one of the greatest freedoms available to us, one of the greatest means to serve justice to all those who are told they did not deserve it. Hatred does not stop between men and women, and goes far beyond sexual aggression-fortunately the Internet has made all these crimes and all of the victims harder to sweep under the rug.

 

 

Ellen DeGeneres’ tweet

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I  would like to point out how ridiculous the claims of racist behaviour against Ellen DeGeneres are. It is true that we do not know her intentions, however an American lesbian with a show on prime-time national TV is not very likely to be a racist. Rather than finger-pointing we should perhaps look at Bolt’s great success. Congratulations, Usain Bolt!

Sadly, the mere fact that this was perceived as racist speaks for itself when it comes to what many assume of a black man’s duty to a white woman…

Significantly, the issue here is much greater than this controversy. In my opinion it is at least pretentious and dishonest that in a society in which black youths and mentally ill people are shot, the public is gravely concerned with whether or not a TV personality views Bolt in a discriminating manner. American society is such a broad one and capable of supporting such immense social progress but I doubt we will reach it, it seems more important to criticize individuals for their social media posts. Killing black people because they are black is the most clear evidence that for too many people in the US black lives unfortunately do not matter. Killing black people is disgusting and totally criminal-killing due to race is what is racist and not treating a human being to a joke. I fully condone any racism and equally, I am also appalled at the social pretense that surrounds the issue.

You can access the tweet below:

 

An unlikely hero-the middle class woman

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‘Une odeur retint mon attention ; l’odeur si singulière des femmes de la classe moyenne’.

-Dans la maison (play: Juan Mayorga, screenplay: François Ozon)

There is a mesmerizing aftertaste to this phrase, which in all lexical simplicity exhibits thought-provoking literary elegance.

Thus, I consider that language’s ability to shape meaning effectively and implicitly is powerful. However, this effect should simply be admired at times such as the aforementioned and not over-analyzed. Language can certainly be seen as a statuesque figure, a gorgeous beauty unaware of her radiance, a vulnerable and steadfast woman-something to marvel at, to be loved without the need to understood. Trying to explain why this is would equate to killing this woman and taking her apart in search for her iridescent aura. Logic and sense offer an orderly explanation for the chaos around us, which is certainly reassuring but sometimes we need to just let it be.

Let’s enjoy it for what it is.

 

 

Turkey’s military coup-for better or worse?

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July 15 2016: another military coup at the heart of the new Turkish democracy strikes. There have since been many theories about this; that it was plotted by Erdoğan’s enemies, that it was arranged by Erdoğan himself in order to reinforce his already heightened political power, or perhaps it was influenced by international powers. I doubt we will know the extent to which each of these factors affected the coup soon, however they are all feasible causes.

Having visited Turkey only a few days after the attempted coup, I can definitely depict the climate there as tense in a manner indicative of Turkey in the 21st century. Soon after, there was a 1 million strong pro-government demonstration in Instabul, where Turkish flags and water bottles were handed out to the people. For the next few days, all public transport is free from 8pm until 6am. Turkish flags were up everywhere: massive ones on hotel sides, small ones hanging from tens of electricity wires, printed on people’s backs and t-shirts, appearing on their screensavers, carried by people on the streets, framed in shops, flowing outside government buildings. It seemed that everyone was very well informed yet somehow there seemed to be a faith that status quo would return, and so it did.

Impact On Tourist Economy And Business Following Failed Coup

Turkish people appeared very aware of the government’s action, the great extent of the political power of the army and its resulting ability to shape public life. Although America may not always seem like the ‘land of the free’, Turkey certainly is not and none of the Turkish people I met seemed to doubt it. A surprising number of those criticized the use of religion to gain political power, the rise of extremism and some unexpected foreign policy changes. At the same time, all of them seemed deeply nationalistic and proud of their country, in a way which seemed more constructive and particular than I ever encountered before. They seemed to feel closer to Europe than the Arab world, while still feeling far from it. Turkey is a very thought-provoking country, a true meeting-point between East and West, between Islam and Christianity, between democracy and imperialism.

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It is, in my opinion, unacceptable in such a nation any aspect of democracy is weakened. The people seem capable of much, and of great openness yet the deep impact of religion, nationalism and power of the political elite are also equally, if not more important; to the existence of this significant nation and certainly one of the last modern empires.

I dream not that the way in which Turkey is governed will suddenly change or that life as the Turks know it will alter its rhythms drastically . I wish only that different cultures, religions, people may at last co-exist peacefully and not be abused to compete in an exercise of power.

 

 

Jesse Williams-a civil rights activist

Fighting for justice in America is no easy feet, especially due to the nature and power of large firms and particular individuals. As can be seen from the Brock Turner and millions of other cases, judicial bias in ‘the land of the free’ is a huge issue. Happy to see that some people find the current situation unfair.

This kind of awareness and the need to sensationalize people especially young ones, is essential as if a citizen cannot trust the justice and the judiciary they are to serve than they cannot be a good citizen. Justice should be above all, or at least be above some ancient, irrational theories about race and gender.39b80ffa853723d92b47fd47daeb4bb4

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jesse-williams-turns-33-here-are-33-quotes-that-show-why-we-love-him_us_55c10bc7e4b03e32928f916f?

 

Brexit: a warning sign

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Four days ago, on June 24th 2016, 51.9% of the United Kingdom’s citizens voted to leave the European Union while a significant 48.1% voted to stay. June 24th was a big day. A big day to grieve the EU…

We are now back to the situation pre-WW1 with all-powerful Germany, some ex-colonial powers trying to keep appearances and falling behind and the rest as spectators. The idea of a united Europe is not only idealist and brave, it is a practical solution to the greatest problem: the maintenance of international peace. Yet we are allowing to collapse. Perhaps time has come to consider the tragic consequences of a divided Europe in the midst of a rise of the far right.

My thoughts are with those that consider this a blow to European unity. Let’s hope politicians refuse to take this mistake any further.