Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You're Being An Idiot If You Think Joe Salazar Is Going To Be Our Todd Akin

Conservatives have a superficial understanding of bigotry and women's issues. This whole situation with Joe Salazar reminds me of a time when in third grade, I said somebody was a sexist, and a girl in my class told me she didn't like me anymore because I said "sex".

Republicans are latching onto something said by a Democratic state representative who was arguing for banning concealed carry on a college campus. They're making it out to be insensitive about rape, and anti-woman or something. They're trying to elevate it to the level of Todd Akin's scandal, which I became a minor part of. Here's what Salazar said:

"It's why we have call boxes. It's why we have safe zones. That's why we have the whistles, because you just don't know who you're going to be shooting at. And you don't know if you feel like you're going to be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop... pop a round at somebody."

Whether the feared crime is rape or murder, he wants fewer innocent black men like Trayvon Martin, and innocent people in general, getting shot by scared people with guns. You have to distort his comments a lot before you get something like pundits are claiming he said.

It's disheartening how little control he has over how people are interpreting and distorting his statement, even with the truth on his side. So now he's had to go into damage control mode in order to try to keep the non-scandal from being elevated even more, and to avoid being dumped by the Democratic Party.

Here's something conservative media and politicians don't seem to understand: Acknowledging that we live in a society where rape is a real, everyday fear for women and that walking around at night and passing by a man when nobody else is around is scary, is not bigotry.

Conservatives can't even begin to grasp these issues, so any time a non-minority says something that acknowledges how bigoted our society is, they immediately try to call him racist for it. They think the "race card" is a real thing that explains every call of racism from progressives, and that conservatives are just evening things out by playing the race card back against the Democrats.

When Joe Biden says something awkward that is essentially about how our racist country is only willing to accept a black candidate who fits their narrow criteria, Republicans immediately start saying "See?! He's racist too!! He called Obama clean and articulate!" They don't care what he actually meant. They have a superficial understanding of the idea that those words are inappropriate to use to describe black people, and they have no interest in going beyond that in the discussion of racism.

And finally, Salazar's just a state senator. In the past week I've read maybe eight stories about various conservative state senators who've said absurd things about abortion and other issues. Todd Akin was a U.S. congressman who was a major party's nominee for Senate. If we really gave a shit what state legislators said, all these stories about absurd bills being proposed by crazy Republican state legislators wouldn't just be small blips on politicalwire.com. Just today there was a story about a Republican introducing a bill that would make it a felony for a legislator to introduce any kind of gun control bill.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Norman Amaker Retreat

I just got back from Loyola Chicago Law School's Norman Amaker Public Interest Law and Social Justice Retreat upstate in Woodstock, IL. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the speakers and made many friends. I wish I could make all of my classmates go because it's almost impossible to listen to these speakers talking about poor people, ethnic minorities, LGTBQ people, tenants, etc. being completely screwed in the United States without wanting to do something about it, or at least be angry.

And to my liberal friends who think they're above current events and domestic day-to-day politics because they only want to have fun philosophizing about "big picture" issues, I wish I could make them listen to Joel Rogers talk about how important state and local laws and government are for changing the country, and how conservatives, with their organization ALEC, have made excellent use of it to destroy the progressive movement in the United States. Here's one thing he wrote that overlaps with his presentation to us, about his new answer to ALEC called ALICE.

I would talk about how amazing Norman Amaker was, but that would take up several more paragraphs. To be brief, he was the only non-white person in his classes at Amherst University and Columbia Law, he worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. and smuggled out the famous letter he wrote from jail in Alabama, and he worked as an NAACP lawyer doing amazing things there, among other accomplishments. He died when he was 65 in 2000 and I wish I could have met him and talked to him. He also really should have a Wikipedia entry, geez.

Anyway, I'll have more interesting things up here soon, including the launch of my webcomic on a separate site.

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Did It, Fewer People Are Applying To Law School

People have finally started listening to me, and law school applications are down 38% from the attending-in-fall-2010 cycle. Fall 2010 was the hardest cycle there has ever been, and it was actually my cycle--my scholarship was deferred a year. I feel validated! This post is braggy, but it's my blog, it's not like it's Facebook. If I can't talk about difficult things that I've done on my own private blog, then I guess the only acceptable places to do it are on book jacket covers and news site bio pages.

This post is so smug that I actually drew this cartoon for it.

I was absurdly lucky to get a full scholarship at a T14 (Top 14, one of the many, many designations for various tiers of law schools that we legal people use because we're terrible and empty prestige whores) that year. I also graduated from college during one of the worst years to do that, in 2010. The Year of the Dragon got screwed.

I'm also very lucky to have grown up as a white male with an economically comfortable living situation. If I had been born under the circumstances of 80% of the world, or about half of America, I wouldn't be in such a fortunate position today. But there was also the Tourette's, which poisons every moment of my life. I lost a significant chunk of time while taking the LSAT, where the time limit is brutal, just to deal with my Tourette's. Anyway, the point is that I really don't have sympathy for other white males who were raised in middle class households who falsely complain about things being stacked against them. If you're finding it harder to get into a certain school than you would have in your father's generation because now people who aren't white men are being given a modest portion of the pie now, then stop complaining and just do a better job.

The smug Mallard Fillmore I drew up there is actually for the parody I'm working on though, mentioned in the post before this one.