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Beyond Patriarchy


by: Letty Cottin Pogrebin on October 23rd, 2018 | 3 Comments »

Editor’s note: Our Winter 2019 issue is going to address how we can move beyond patriarchy, and some visions and ideas of what a world beyond patriarchy might look like.
Tikkun is a non-profit and we are legally prevented from endorsing candidates or political parties. The article below is not a statement of Tikkun‘s position, but a reflection of one of the founders of Ms. magazine, and is published here in honor of her long contribution to the development of 2nd wave feminism, and not as a reflection of an editorial position by Tikkun.

In April, Tikkun magazine asked: What would a world beyond patriarchy look like? The question hooked me. My brain took flight, imagination soared, hope sprang nocturnal. But after six months, I still hadn’t written the piece. How come? Writer’s block was an unlikely culprit since I’ve been churning out pages for a new memoir. Finally, I realized what the problem is: I could no longer envision a world beyond patriarchy.

This election boils down to a simple binary choice. Photo by Mirah Curzer

In 1975, for the anthology, Women in the Year 2000, a bunch of activist optimists, among them myself, Gloria Steinem, David Saperstein, Nora Sayre, Alvin Toffler, and the then Congresswoman Bella Abzug, were asked to imagine what the world would look like for women twenty five years in the future. In 1975, everything seemed possible. Second Wave feminism had already beached a wide tide of progressive change. We had Title VII, Title IX, affirmative action, and dozens of states had ratified the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. Nixon was out, Ford was weak, a pride of Democratic lions who claimed to be “pro-women” (Jerry Brown, Mo Udall, Birch Bayh, Fred Harris, Jimmy Carter) had their eye on the Oval Office, and Time magazine bestowed its 1975 “Man of the Year” award to “American Women.”


Increasing Prospects for Collaboration Even before Starting


by: on October 9th, 2018 | Comments Off

Graphic from a collaborative Global Governance Model

I’ve been in the collaboration “business” for about 20 years now, working on all levels, from the most internal inner conflicts, to the most ambitious efforts to create at least a model of what local to global collaboration could look like. Up until the last few years, the bulk of my work has been with individuals learning to engage with self and other in ways that have more empathy, compassion, authenticity, and vulnerability. In recent years, I have been focusing more on leadership and on systemic frameworks as well as tools for group collaboration.

I have found that working in the way that I have is like a collaboration gym: exercising our collaboration muscles allows us to regain capacity where we’ve lost it in the centuries since we’ve been torn apart from land and community to create mostly transactional relationships that are based on negotiating self-interest and little more. I have seen people and groups get much better results after applying what they learn about collaboration in workshops and consulting services I have offered.

Something was missing, though, about why, sometimes, even with all the best collaboration tools, individuals or groups don’t get anywhere with their efforts. The beginning clue came to me when I read The Leaderless Revolution by top-UK-diplomat-turned-accidental-anarchist Carne Ross. Ross’s book, which I found remarkable in many respects, got me started thinking about what, ultimately, makes collaboration work. Most especially, how do groups of individuals come into their own power and collectively manage to improve the conditions of their life. For me, it becomes ever more interesting to understand this because I want to learn how, at least locally, we can challenge the larger systems within which we operate.


The Pillars of Patriarchal Privilege Will (Hopefully) Come A-Tumbling Down


by: Warren J. Blumenfeld on October 5th, 2018 | 3 Comments »

Image of Kavanaugh and family standing next to Trump in front of an audience

President Trump nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court. Image courtesy of the White House.

Throughout his tirade-filled rant in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh conducted a clinic on white male privilege. In doing so, he served up a clear example of the sense of entitlement many males live with in the (hopefully) dying Patriarchy.

On at least two separate occasions, Kavanaugh exposed what particularly white boys learn from family and the society at large as soon as they exit the womb, that they will advance in life as far as their hard work, talents, and aggressive competitive habits will take them, regardless of their backgrounds and family status.

This notion of meritocracy, the pablum on which they are weaned, endows them with a sense of entitlement deep within the cellular level of their bodies and the recesses of their souls.

When questioned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) about his heavy drinking in high school, Kavanaugh asserted this as if it should have been understood:

“Senator, I was at the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school. Captain of the varsity basketball team. Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School. Worked my tail off.”

Kavanaugh blurted out a similar retort to Senator Mazie Hirono’s (D-HI) query specifically about his college drinking:

“Senator, you were asking about college. I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number-one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college.”

Kavanaugh connected all the dots for those of us who may not have internalized the lessons as well as he. The outline goes something like this:

If one is born with a penis between one’s legs, and pink-white skin and money from Christian family members, and considers oneself as cismale, and if one works hard, one has the right, or rather, the obligation to party hard and to accumulate as many notches on one’s sexual score card as possible. And especially, one can be guaranteed of achieving financial success, security, and social power over others.

If anyone, however, challenges this patriarchal endowment, one can obliterate opposition by all means necessary with as strong a show of force as physically and expressively possible. That’s the patriarchal social contract.

“So Senators,” Kavanaugh seemed to be shouting as his subtext, “I followed the rules of conduct that I was taught. Now I demand the goodies promised to me!”

Lindsey Graham reinforced this demand toward the end of the hearings with his own blame-laden outburst. Actually, Graham out-Kavanaughed Kavanaugh, while Kavanaugh even out-Trumped Trump – the top and most visible symbol of the entitled Patriarchy.

Possibly, though, our nation is experiencing a sea change of sorts as people like Drs. Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford and allies are beginning to pry loose the patriarchal pillars supporting the entitlement, the inequities, the gendered power differentials, the violence, and yes, the sexual abuse that men have taken as their birthright.

Maybe (and hopefully) we witnessed mortal desperate gasps of an endangered species.


Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld  is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press), co-editor of Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense Publications), co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge), editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-author of Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life (Beacon).

Look At Me (Part Three)


by: on October 4th, 2018 | 2 Comments »

When we think about the meaning of events in the world around us, we interpret them through a fusion of past, present and future horizons. Philosopher Hans-Georg-Gadamer wrote about the fusion of past and present horizons in the interpretation of texts, but I say that the future we want to bring into existence is also part of the eternal now that forms the context of our thinking.

We live in a country where writer Gore Vidal called the USA the United States of Amnesia. It often seems as if we cannot remember from one day to the next, much less the last century. However, if we are to understand the current moment, it is important to understand the past. When I wrote about the Anita Hill portion of the Clarence Thomas Hearings, I put that moment in a historical context. Here is some more of what I wrote:

“Once upon a time in America a discussion about birth control was considered obscene, and to tell even married people about ways to control child birth became a free speech issue. In 1912, Margaret Sanger, a nurse and birth control activist, started speaking to left-wing audiences about health issues, including sex education and venereal disease. . . . Sanger published “Woman Rebel”, a paper aimed at working-class women, and one of her goals was to advocate for “birth control.” She argued that a woman’s body was hers alone and to force a woman into motherhood was to deny a woman her right to life and liberty. She did not print birth control information, but she printed letters from working-class people requesting the information. The post office refused to mail the publication and indicted Sanger. She used the arrest to call attention to her cause. . . . Sanger did not stand trial for the charge but left the country instead.

Before leaving, Sanger published a pamphlet that gave information on contraception: “Family Limitation: A Nurse’s Advice to Women” which was distributed by her friends with the Industrial Workers of the World, a socialist organization working to end capitalism. Her pamphlet was intended for poor people who could least afford a large family and who did not have access to information that middle-class women had. Some working poor women were eager for the information, but many were embarrassed to speak of such things openly and others did not have the capabilities or the energy to put birth control information into practice.

Sanger found it difficult to enlist both poor and middle-class women in her struggle until she opened a birth control clinic in the fall of 1916. Making sure that the district attorney was notified, she was arrested, tried, and convicted. The publicity surrounding her arrest and trial brought wide support from middle-class women. As a result of her work, the New York Court of Appeals broadened the law so that physicians could give advice to married people about how to prevent or cure disease. Birth control information was given by doctors under this provision.

Once upon a time in America, women were excluded from political convention platform committee meetings. In 1924, a list of women’s concerns had to be taken into the platform committee meeting by a man. Those concerns included conservation, an 8-hour work day, collective bargaining, a federal employment agency, equal pay for equal work, federal aid for maternal and child health and welfare, and education to prevent venereal disease. Many of these concerns became federal policy during the New Deal. During the depression and during World War II, women found themselves caught between the domestic ideal and the realities of national emergencies.

Abortion had been legal in the United States until around the end of the 1800s. In contrast to their daughters’ daughters’ and their daughters, women’s rights advocates of the nineteenth century did not favor either contraception or abortion. According to historian Nancy Woloch “. . . throughout the nineteenth century, contraception and abortion were condemned by a wide range of women, from feminists to free love advocates to pious churchgoers, since both encouraged the sexual exploitation of women.” But in the early twentieth century, women began to celebrate their own sexuality and to reject Victorian notions of female purity and restraint. At the same time, economic realities set in and both men and women wanted to find ways to control childbirth. Illegal abortions became common and many women sacrificed their health and in some cases their lives. So, in the 1970s with rise of a new wave of feminism, the repeal of anti-abortion statutes became an important component of the feminist agenda.”


Look At Me (Part Two)


by: on October 2nd, 2018 | 1 Comment »

When Ana Maria Archila, national committee member of the Working Families Party and executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, and activist Maria Gallagher confronted Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator, they demanded that he look at them. Their imperative is one that demands that we see women today and see women within the context of the history of women in the United States. When I wrote about Anita Hill, I read her testimony within this context. Here is some of what I wrote:

“Once upon a time in America, during the Revolutionary War, women became boycotters, refusing to buy British goods, were camp followers, petitioners, fund raisers, loyalists and patriots. Still, at the writing of the Constitution, women were not citizens. In the 1800s, women were seen as the keepers of values while they had no control over property, children, or the number of children they bore. Many women were illiterate, so a lack of education and a lack of birth control kept women in traditional household roles. According to historian Nancy Woloch, reason was considered a masculine quality, even by women themselves, and an effeminate mind was thought to be “vain, capricious, fickle, foolish, frivolous, or extravagant.” In the 1800s women were expected to display personal virtues: “modest, cheerful, timid, delicate, tender, affectionate, graceful, sympathetic.” While women were expected to display these qualities, a man’s approval, husband, judge, legislator, was necessary for a woman to exercise any legal rights.

Once upon a time in America, in the early 19th century women organized for charity work and social reforms. Middle-class women in the North, kept from official authority, made a public place for themselves between the house and government. Still women found themselves confined to a “woman’s proper sphere.” They were allowed to stay home and to visit the unfortunate. Dorothea Dix visited prisoners and worked on prison reform, trying to get insane people put in different facilities from common criminals. Women worked for peace, temperance, and against slavery. They worked for moral purity of male and female. The 19th century saw more young women leaving home, working as seamstresses, factory workers and clerks in cities. Moral reformers, watching out for the welfare of single women working in the cities, became advocates for women’s rights and they became abolitionists. Women now became concerned with politics and with the public limitations imposed on women. During this time in America, it was scandalous for a woman to address a mixed audience of both men and women. Margaret Fuller wrote in 1845 that women ought to end their psychological dependence upon men.

Once upon a time in America, between the Civil War and World War I, women in America continued to work as unpaid labor in their households and thereby, during western expansion, helped to establish European-American communities. Meanwhile, because of increased urbanization and industrialization, women became wage laborers, in larger numbers. Young women worked in factories producing cloth, clothing, food, and tobacco. They worked as teachers, nurses, office workers and salesclerks. But, once married, women were expected to leave wage labor and work inside the home. After the Civil War some two million blackwomen* entered the labor market. Most blackwomen of necessity did not conform to the white domestic ideal of the mother who only works at home. Yet, despite blackwomen’s role as wage earners, black men still wanted to assume a male dominant role. The notion of male supremacy was therefore not incompatible with female labor.

Once upon a time in America, both men and women often worked 60-hour, five and a half-day weeks that required “standing, stooping, lifting, and hauling, as well as heat, dust, dampness, noise, monotony, and exhaustion.” Children worked in factories. Women reformers who wanted to change the working conditions of women and children often saw women’s own passivity as part of the problem. According to one reformer, women had not learned to “work” only “to be worked.” Wages were low and women rarely organized into unions. Male dominated unions while not welcoming women as members, called for equal pay for equal work because they did not want to see women create a cheap labor force that would reduce men’s salaries. Union men therefore supported the domestic ideal. Later, protective laws restricted working hours, imposed a minimum wage, but also kept women from working at night, carrying heavy loads, working in dangerous places, including mines and bars, and these laws were largely supported by women’s rights activists.


Look At Me (Part One)


by: on October 1st, 2018 | 1 Comment »

On Friday, October 28, when two young women -Ana Maria Archila, national committee member of the Working Families Party and executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, and activist Maria Gallagher — confronted Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator as he was on his way to a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Maria Gallagher demanded that Senator Flake look at her.

“Don’t look away from me. Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/us/politics/jeff-flake-protesters-kavanaugh.html)

In her demand to be seen and to be taken seriously, she was speaking not only for women during this #MeToo moment who are telling their stories of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment, but I heard in her demand the echoes of women who have made that demand ringing down through the history of the United States.

When I wrote about the Anita Hill portion of the Clarence Thomas Hearings, I thought it was important to put that moment in historical context. Here is some of what I wrote:

“Once upon a time in America during the 17th century, during colonial times, women were “silent in church, subservient at home, and dependent on men,” just as they were in England, according to historian Nancy Woloch. There was a shortage of women and so shiploads of women were imported. Woloch tells us that: “Between 1620 and 1622 about 150 ‘pure and spotless’ women disembarked and were auctioned off for eighty pounds of tobacco a piece and more to future husbands.” In both North and South nearly all white women were married because families were necessary for settlement and for producing a labor force. Colonial mores established male authority and female submission. At the same time, the 17th century home was also the workplace, and women were important workers in that environment. In North Carolina and Virginia women hunted deer, turkey, wild cattle, and hogs. Yet, despite their work, women had no control over family resources. At the same time, if a husband or father died, a woman often assumed control of his business. Women therefore were shopkeepers, booksellers, tavern keepers, even blacksmiths, butchers, and gunsmiths. A single woman, a feme sole, was a legal individual. She could buy and sell property, sue, and be sued, enter into contracts, administer estates, and hold power of attorney.

Once upon a time in America, Puritans saw the family as a way to transmit religious values and they were expected to show personal virtues of submission, obedience, meekness, and humility. Outspoken women were called “meddlers.” Woloch writes: “Conveying a sense of incompetence and illegitimacy it was frequently used to describe the sort of intrusive aggressive female behavior to which seventeenth century men objected.” In the 1630s, Anne Hutchinson, wife of a landowner, merchant, and public official, mother of at least 14, midwife, and theologian, challenged the sanctity of ministers who opposed her and was expelled from Massachusetts in 1637. She argued that it was better for believers to depend on God rather than to depend on intermediaries. Hutchinson moved to New York and was killed by Indians in 1643. Mary Dyer, a Hutchinson follower, was accused of “error” and called “censorious” and “troublesome.” Mary Oliver criticized ministers and magistrates and ended up in the stocks. Ann Eaton of New Haven, Connecticut disavowed infant baptism and was excommunicated in 1644 for lying and stubbornness. Ann Hopkins, Eaton’s daughter, was said to have been driven mad by reading, writing, and thinking of things that only men should think about. Ann Hibbens, wife of a prominent Boston merchant, was tried in 1641 for lying and slander, was excommunicated and denounced for usurping the authority of her husband. According to Woloch: “Female dissent or aggressiveness remained evils to be suppressed before they got out of hand” If a woman dared to challenge a man, she dared to challenge patriarchy itself. Courage to challenge was interpreted as indicative of mental and moral weakness:


#MeToo–I Didn’t Tell Either


by: on September 25th, 2018 | 4 Comments »

No one wants to tell about their own sexual assault, but I feel compelled to do so in solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is being viciously maligned for speaking out about being sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh so many years ago.

These years of Donald Trump’s presidency will go down as a dark and shameful period in our nation’s history. A known sexual predator holds the highest office in the land. (We’ve all heard the Access Hollywood tape.) Now he has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and he continues to stand by Kavanaugh while insinuating that Dr. Ford is lying because she waited so long to tell her story, saying, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents…” This same theme is being reiterated by other Republicans and across the internet: the implication that she is lying because she didn’t tell years ago.


Power and Knowledge Then and Now


by: on September 20th, 2018 | 2 Comments »

I was interested in the Clarence Thomas Hearings before Anita Hill came forward with her allegations of sexual harassment. As I watched the hearings in the early 1990s, I was already a PhD student in the religion department at Temple University. My initial question was: why do people fight wars in the name of God? As I took the foundational courses required in the program I became interested in hermeneutics which led me to think about how people find meaning inside texts. As I watched the Thomas hearings, it occurred to me that what was happening was a matter of text interpretation. Texts inside texts. Contexts, pretexts, and subtexts collided.

When Anita Hill’s allegations came to light and the hearings were reopened, new facets of a clash of interpretations became visible. Issues of race, class, and sex made a complicated situation even more complicated. I believed Anita Hill then, and I believe her now. However, I must confess that before I started to study the hearings in depth, before I began to study women’s history, existential feminist theory, and womanism, I did not understand the daily struggle for respect that most women experience or the trauma of sexual harassment and assault. I may be one of the few women in the United States of America who do not have a “me too” story.

However, when I did begin to study these issues, I began to see that what Anita Hill experienced then and what Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is living through now is of a piece with women’s history that dates back centuries. One thing that remains the same is evidence that French philosopher Michel Foucault was correct when he helped us to understand the relationship between power and knowledge. There is a common saying that knowledge is power. However, Foucault taught that power determines what knowledge is. Power determines what we will know and what will remain unknown or at least uninvestigated.

Then, Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of speaking to her about pornographic material in the workplace and inappropriate sexual advances. Thomas issued a categorical denial of the accusation and called the proceeding a “high-tech lynching” invoking an emotionally charged racial trope. Hill testified. Thomas testified. Witnesses came forward to support Thomas, including women with whom he had worked. People came forward to support Hill. There was at least one witness who claimed that Anita Hill was given to delusions about whether or not a man was attracted to her. This was in keeping with the narrative that the Republicans wanted to advance that Hill was crazy. Women who dare to cause trouble for men have been called crazy for centuries.

However, there were women who had experiences with Thomas in the workplace similar to that which Anita Hill described. The powers that be on the Senate Judiciary Committee did not allow this testimony to be heard publicly. It is a part of the record of the hearings, but the general public did not have access to this information.

Fast forward to 2018. As I write this, Dr. Ford has not said whether or not she will appear before the committee. Her lawyers have said that she wants an FBI investigation before she agrees to appear, and she wants other witnesses called. Both are reasonable requests. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chair of the judiciary committee has said that he will not ask the White House to order an FBI investigation and that he will not call additional witnesses. We shall see what happens. This is another example of power making a determination about what kinds of knowledge the general public and the senators who are duty bound to say yes or no to this nomination will have.


Who is America and the Ethics of Going Undercover


by: Larry Atkins on September 14th, 2018 | 6 Comments »

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (image courtesy of Joella Marano)

As a liberal, I’m glad to see Sacha Baron Cohen expose the corruption, hatred, craziness, and racism of many conservative NRA loving politicians and people. For example, Cohen enticed a Republican Georgia state representative, Jason Spencer, to yell the full N-word and pull down his pants to expose his naked butt to try to repel a hypothetical Muslim terrorist. Spencer eventually resigned due to the incident.

At first, I was really excited about the show and urged my fellow liberal friends to watch Cohen’s Showtime program “Who is America?” I thought it was really funny and it showed how dumb, gullible, and scary these conservatives were.

While Cohen’s exposing these true feelings are valuable, his undercover and deceptive techniques are disturbing. Basically, he is engaging in entrapping people to participate in idiotic made up situations and conversations that make them look bad. This is nothing new for Cohen, who has used his various characters, including Borat, Bruno, and Ali G to embarrass and expose people. In his current show, he has duped, among others, Dick Cheney, who gleefully signed a waterboarding kit, several Republican politicians who were duped into talking positively about a made up proposal to arm kindergartners with guns to defend against school shootings, Roy Moore, who tested positive to Cohen’s fake pedophile detector, and several dozen citizens at a town meeting in Kingman, Arizona, who responded to a fake proposed giant mosque in town with angry bigoted responses. While Cohen does target all types of people, his main focus has been on Republicans and conservatives.

There is a long history of using undercover techniques in entertainment, journalism, and advocacy. Past television shows using these techniques include Candid Camera, Undercover Boss, To Catch a Predator, Mystery Diners, Celebrity Undercover, Cheaters, Impractical Jokers, Punk’d, The Real Wedding Crashers, and What Would You Do?

Undercover journalism has a long history. Nellie Bly exposed the horrors of mental hospital institutions in the late 19th century by posing as an insane inmate in an asylum. Many local televisions stations use undercover reporters to expose corruption by government officials and others. This technique can be used as a tool to expose societal ills, but it should be used rarely and carefully. For instance, there was a chilling effect on this type of journalism after the Food Lion v. ABC case, which found ABC liable for trespass and breach of loyalty for having its producers lie on job applications to expose unhealthy practices.

Conservatives have used this technique as well. The most famous incident was when two conservative activists, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and a prostitute to entice ACORN employees to give them illegal tax advice for their made up business of smuggling young women into the United States to work as prostitutes. Their work was published by Breitbart and they became conservative icons to their supporters for exposing a liberal organization, but to their detractors, they brought down an important and valuable organization that engaged in community organizing and voter registration. In subsequent years, O’Keefe tried to engage in sting operations against the Washington Post, a George Soros backed group, CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau, and U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

A few years ago, two pro-life activists, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, released undercover videos accusing Planned Parenthood doctors of selling aborted fetal tissue. The heavily edited videos caused national outrage and led to threats against abortion providers. They filmed 14 people without their consent at meetings with women’s healthcare providers in four cities and published the videos on the website for the Center for Medical Progress. In 2017, they were charged with 15 felonies by California prosecutors.

These undercover sting videos are often cleverly edited in a deceptive manner and don’t show the entire context of what took place.

My own hunch is that people like to see undercover journalism, entertainment, and activism if it confirms their own beliefs and values and exposes others that they dislike or disagree with. They don’t like it and label it as “Gotcha” techniques if it exposes and embarrasses people and organizations that they like. One group’s muckraker or hero can be seen by others as a hack and a charlatan.

Liberals like me were critical of the ACORN sting and other similar deceptive incidents that attacked liberal institutions. While it’s tempting to revel in Sacha Baron Cohen’s exposure of the dark side of conservatives, we shouldn’t encourage the deceptive techniques that he used to get his information, results, and behavior. What goes around comes around. In the future, we’re likely to see more conservative citizen journalists/advocates/provocateurs like James O’Keefe who will set out to entrap and embarrass liberal democrats and organizations through deceptive measures. Will we embrace these undercover efforts as much as we do Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who is America? Probably not.

Larry Atkins is the author of Skewed: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Media Bias (Prometheus Books). He teaches Journalism at Temple University and Arcadia University. Twitter: @larryatkins4

The Politicization of Murder in the U.S. and U.K.


by: Frankie Wallace on September 12th, 2018 | Comments Off

Image courtesy of Will H. Mcmahan.

For decades, politicians around the world have used the brutal murders of others as political bait, reeling in audiences over their heartbreaking stories of senseless killings. But political figures have primarily used this tactic to push their anti-immigrant views. No matter which side you take on this issue, is it really right in the first place to politicize someone’s murder for political gain? Politicians have been accused of doing so on both sides of the aisle, from any political party. Often they don’t take into account how this affects the families of the victims and how immigrants feel to be generalized in such a negative way.

Donald Trump and the Right
President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda is nothing new. From the day he announced his intention to run for president, he painted a violent image of undocumented immigrants and made immigration reform a key topic of discussion during the campaign. Yet in recent weeks, his anti-immigrant sentiment came back into the fold, again presenting illegal immigrants as sick and evil individuals. This came with the murder of Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old college student from the University of Iowa. Christian Rivera, an undocumented immigrant, confessed to killing Tibbetts and led police to her dead body.