GOP Politician’s Outrageous Father-to-Son Lesson: Women “Rape So Easy” #wtfnews


Wisconsin rep. endorsed by Paul Ryan blames women for being so darn rape-able.
October 11, 2012  |

Clearly it’s not as simple as “no means no.”

A Wisconsin freshman representative is watching his re-election chances plummet as his comments that “some women rape easy” begin to circulate in the media, fueling another round of outrage over the GOP’s seeming blatant ignorance about women’s health and safety.

State Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) made the statement last December, explaining that as a young boy his father had scared him into pre-marital sex by telling him that “some women rape easy,” which is apparently bro-talk for the widespread phenomenon of women consenting to sex at night only to turn around the next morning and cry rape. The comments are drawing attention now, almost ten months later, because Rivard is in a tight race against Democratic challenger Stephen Smith over the state representative seat and because Rivard has been endorsed by GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.
Rivard has complained that his comments were taken out of context since they were first published in a local town newspaper, The Chetek Alert, after the representative commented on the case of a high school senior being charged with sexual assault for having sex with a girl under 18, which is the legal age for consent in Wisconsin.
Rivard attempted to clarify his words to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday:
“[My father] also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”
Doesn’t sound like it’s been taken out of context at all. The explicit point of his words is that women can’t be trusted (with sex, but really why with the vote either?) and that rape is not a real form of violence but actually just a false claim that could ensnare any God-fearing, unsuspecting young man who momentarily falls victim to the Sirens’ cries.
Rivard’s supporter Paul Ryan was able to avoid uttering one of these women-hating, rape-denying slips last night during the vice presidential debate. But other members of the GOP, most notoriously Todd Akin, have been recently caught issuing similar statements, such as the idea that no “legitimate rape” can result in pregnancy because a woman’s body has a way of dealing with these types of things. These comments sparked outrage not only for being offensive, but also for betraying a clear lack of knowledge about the basic anatomy of women’s bodies–a scary ignorance for a lawmaker in an era when medical care is increasingly regulated and decided by the government.
Both these comments also display a clear inability to talk about sexual consent in a meaningful way. How else, after all, could a fun romp in the sack turn into one of the most psychologically and physically damaging experiences a woman can have a mere eight hours later? The confusion and struggle to discuss consent is unsurprising, given the fact that adolescent sexual education is nearly non-existent. Changing that won’t be possible until we have lawmakers who are willing to support the idea that teenagers (who will soon grow into adults) should be informed about not only how sex biologically works, but how it can be navigated in a way that is physically and emotionally consensual.
Since that’s looking like it may be a long-time coming in this political climate, we can at least thank Akin for assuring us that none of the next generation’s ignorance-fueled rapes will result in any babies.

 

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and activist in New York City.

 

Wade Michael Page and the rise of violent far-right extremism


 

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 August 2012 20.00 BST

The man who opened fire in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was not just a crazed loner, but a vocal neo-Nazi – in fact, his white supremacist ideology reflected a growing form of extremism that expresses its strength through violence rather than at the ballot box

o   Matthew Goodwin

Wade Michael Page

Wade Michael Page performing with white power group End Apathy. Photograph: Reuters

On Saturday 28 July 2012, Wade Michael Page walked into the Shooters Shop inWisconsin to buy a 9mm semi-automatic handgun, and ammunition. Eight days later, the 40-year-old military veteran arrived at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek and began shooting at members of the congregation who had gathered to prepare a meal. During the shooting, six members of the Sikh community, one police officer and the attacker were killed.

Within hours of the shootings, the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) revealed that Page was a known white supremacist. He had links to networks including the Hammerskin Nation and was involved in an underground music scene often referred to as “white power music” or “hate rock”. Influenced strongly by earlier bands in England such as Skrewdriver, white power music is seen by those who study extremism as one of the most important recruitment tools for the modern far right. Page’s involvement appears to have been deep: in an interview with online music magazine Label56.com in 2005, he claimed to have sold all of his possessions so that he could travel around the country attending white power festivals such as Hammerfest. The next year he formed a band called End Apathy recruiting bandmates from the other groups such as Definite Hate and 13 Knots. Asked in 2005 to elaborate on the meaning of the band’s lyrics, Page replied: “The topics vary from sociological issues, religion, and how the value of human life has been degraded by being submissive to tyranny and hypocrisy that we are subjugated to.”

Page’s body also contained references to white supremacism. A tattoo of the number “14” was a direct reference to the so-called “14 words” that occupy a central role in neo-Nazi vocabulary: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” This passage, a reference to a section of Mein Kampf, was popularised byDavid Lane, a member of white supremacist terror group The Order. Another tattoo of the Odin or Celtic cross represents one of the most popular symbols among neo-Nazis, seen as the international symbol for “white pride”. Those who had been close to Page confirmed his ideological affinity to the extreme right. Reflecting a wider belief within the movement, an old army friend of Page claimed that as far back as the 90s he had talked about “racial holy war”, and would rant “about mostly any non-white person”.

As with the aftermath of the attacks by Anders Breivik in Norway, it was not long until sympathisers surfaced online. “Take your dead and go back to India and dump their ashes in the Ganges, Sikhs,” wrote one neo-Nazi. Others praised their “brother”: “All I feel is loss and sympathy for a brother that was overwhelmed by pain and frustration. I could [sic] care less though for those injured and wounded other than Wade.” Another warned of future attacks: “There are thousands of other angry White men like Page, the vast majority of them unknown … When will they, like Page, reach their breaking point…?”

The threat of violence from disgruntled rightwing extremists is not lost on the security services, or analysts. In 2009, Daryl Johnson, an analyst at the Department for Homeland Security, authored a report that explicitly warned of the growing threat of far-right violence. Pointing to the economic downturn, the election of Barack Obama and evidence that some military veterans were struggling to re-integrate into civilian life, the report was one of the first to flag the growing importance of the extreme right – a movement that was routinely overlooked after 9/11. Few, however, took the warning seriously. Rather, Republicans and rightwing commentators openly criticised the report. Some saw it as an attempt to discredit the insurgent and right-wing Tea Party movement while many viewed it as an unfair attack on military veterans. Others said it focused unnecessarily on domestic rather than foreign manifestations of terrorism.

But Johnson (who was later shunted into a different department) was not wrong. Following Wisconsin, some analysts reminded commentators that the far right is responsible for as many – if not more – attacks on US soil than religious-based extremists, and now poses the most significant domestic security threat. Indeed, prior to 9/11 the most damaging act of terrorism within the US was the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma by militia sympathiser Timothy McVeigh, which resulted in 168 deaths and more than 800 injuries. Between 1990 and 2010 the far right committed 145 ideologically motivated homicide incidents in the US. Of these incidents, excluding the bombing in Oklahoma City, far-right extremists killed 180 people.

The data suggests that American far right groups have grown “explosively”, which is attributed to a potent combination of public anxieties over the financial crisis, the growth of conspiracy theories, the exploitation of fears over non-white immigration and the prospect of Obama securing a second term in office.

According to the SPLC, in 2011 the number of “hate groups” active in the US reached 1,018, 69% more than in 2000. The most striking growth has been within the “patriot” scene, which contains anti-government groups that cling to conspiracy theories and view the government as enemy number one. There were fewer than 150 of these (mostly inactive) groups in 2000. By 2011, there were almost 1,300. In fact, since 2009 this particular variant of the far right has grown at a rate of 755%.

While it is difficult to compare across borders, similar warnings have been voiced in Europe. Last year, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany noted that while the number of people in far-right political parties had contracted to 22,000, the number of those involved in more combative and confrontational forms of far-right politics was on the rise: the number of rightwing extremists with a propensity to violence had increased to 9,800; the number of followers of more violence-prone neo-Nazi groups had risen to 6,000; and the number of street-based demonstrations had reached an all-time high.

Though less affected than other countries, from 2001 onward, authorities in the UK have similarly voiced concern over a rapidly evolving far-right scene. In recent years, at least 17 individuals who committed or planned acts of violence or terrorism, and who were linked to the far right, have been imprisoned. In 2009, the discovery of a network of rightwing extremists in England with access to an arsenal of weapons prompted London Metropolitan police to warn that far-right militants might attempt a “spectacular” attack. In the same year the English Defence League (EDL) was born, introducing a new form of far-right politics that is less interested than its predecessors in elections, and more focused on rallying support through street-based confrontation and networks that transcend national borders.

A candlelight vigil following the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Photograph: Chris Wilson/AP

Though often dismissed as alarmist, these warnings were partly validated in July 2011, when Breivik launched his politically motivated attacks in Oslo and on the island of Utøya. Shortly afterward, authorities in Germany discovered that a violent neo-Nazi cell – the National Socialist Underground (NSU) – had been responsible for at least a dozen murders. Then, in Florence, an activist connected to the far-right group Casa Pound shot dead two immigrant street traders in an unprovoked attack. While it might be tempting to treat the attack in Wisconsin in isolation, it is actually the latest in a series of acts of violence from individuals linked to far-right groups.

The perpetrators of these attacks are often dismissed as crazed and psychologically flawed loners. Perhaps this is because we have grown used to the security threat from religious extremists and tend to view their far-right counterparts as a loony fringe, rather than rational agents who are using violence to achieve certain goals. WhatBreivik in NorwayGianluca Casseri in Florence, the “London nailbomber” David Copeland and Michael Page all share in common is that they arrived at violence following a longer involvement with far-right extremism. For more recent examples – such as Breivik – their attacks followed an almost total immersion in online “virtual communities”. These perform a crucial role in cultivating a set of narratives that are often later used to justify violence. These include emphasis on the perceived threat of racial or cultural extinction, belief in an impending and apocalyptic conflict (a “race war” or “clash of civilisations”), belief that urgent, radical action is required and that followers have a moral obligation. In short, only by engaging in violence can they defend the wider group from various threats in society.

This preference for violence or terrorism reflects a viewpoint within the far right that has long prioritised “direct action” over a ballot-box strategy. For much of the past two decades in Europe, the strength of the far right has been measured through its number of votes at elections. But it is important to note that – for some within this scene – strength is measured as the ability and willingness to engage in violent action against “enemies” that are seen to threaten the racial purity and survival of the native group. These enemies can beimmigrants, minority groups, future leaders of mainstream parties or the state.

Identifying and tracking the Breiviks and Pages of this world will always be extremely difficult. But the reality is that – at least for the past 10 years – western democracies and their security agencies have focused almost exclusively on only one form of violent extremism. The far right may still pose less of a threat than al-Qaida-inspired groups, say, but our ignorance of this form of extremism is striking.

Wisconsin teaches us that the challenge that now presents itself is to understand what “pushes and pulls” citizens to commit violence in the name of rightwing extremism, and to develop an effective response. To do this, we must first start taking violence from the far right more seriously.

 

A Tragic History Of Hate Crimes Against Sikhs In The U.S #Racism


 

Although the motives of the shooter in Wisconsin this morning are not yet clear, there is a bloody history of violence towards Sikhs in the United States since 9/11.

 Sikhism is a peaceful religion and its primary principles include equality and justice for all

.Summer Anne BurtonBuzzFeed Staff

 

September 15, 2001 – Mesa, Arizona

49-year-old gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi was fatally shot. Frank Silva Roque, the shooter, mistakenly believed Sodhi was Muslim because of the clothes he wore, his turban, and his beard. Within 25 minutes of his death, the Phoenix police reported four further attacks on people who either were Middle Easterners or who dressed with clothes thought to be worn by Middle Easterners. Frank Silva Roque was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty, but the Arizona Supreme Court overturned the sentence for life in prison, citing an extremely low IQ and mental illness. On August 4, 2002, Balbir’s brother Sukhpal was shot to death while driving a cab in San Francisco. It did appear that his shooting was an accident — a stray bullet from a nearby gang fight. Balbir’s son, Sukhwinder, was asked about the second tragedy and said “What are you going to do with anger? We like peace and we are a peaceful people.”

Dec 12, 2001 – Los Angeles, California

47-year-old Surinder Singh Sidhi was beaten by two men who entered his store, accused him of being Osama bin Laden, and beat him with metal poles. They said, “We’ll kill bin Laden today,” then hit him over twenty times with the poles. “The crime was regrettable but not surprising,” Kirtan-Singh Khalsa, spokesman for the Khalsa Council, an international council for Sikh affairs, said.“We’re deeply concerned by this event. But we are not shocked. Sikhs are accustomed to ridicule because of wearing turbans.”

February 19, 2002 – Palermo, New York

Three 18-year-old boys and one 19-year-old girl burned down the Sikh temple Gobinde Sadan.The teens told authorities that they believed the temple was named “Go Bin Laden.”

May 20, 2003 – Phoenix, Arizona

Avtar Singh, 52, a Sikh immigrant, was shot and wounded. Sigh parked his 18-wheeler in Phoenix and called his son to pick him up. While he was waiting, at least two young white men pulled up and started yelling. Singh said “I hear that voice: ‘Go back to where you belong to.’ And at the same time I heard the shot.”

Mar 14, 2004 – Fresno, California

Vandals spray-painted graffiti saying “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country” on the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Fresno. It was not the first time the temple had been defaced — in 2003, vandals struck five nights in a row, spraying paint and hurling firecrackers at the temple.

July 12, 2004 – New York

Sikhs Rajinder Singh Khalsa (above, after the attack) and Gurcharan Singh were viciously beaten by an intoxicated group of Caucasian males in their 20s. 54-year-old Rajinder Singh Khalsa was walking to the Tandoori Express Restaurant with his cousin Gurcharan Singh when the group of Caucasian males in their 20s began to taunt them, referencing September 11th and making fun of their turbans. Rajinder Singh Khalsa attempted to explain the significance to the attackers, who responded by assaulting him. He was beaten unconscious and was found to have multiple broken bones.

May 24, 2007 – Queens, New York

A 15-year-old Sikh student had his hair forcibly cut by a fellow student at Newtown High School in Queens. Unshorn hair is a religious imperative for a Sikh, and the student tried to explain that to his assailant, who threatened him with scissors.

January 14, 2008 – New Hyde Park, New York

Baljeet Singh, a 63-year-old Sikh, was attacked outside his temple by a man who screamed “Arab, go back to your country.” Wood then allegedly told Chadha “you don’t listen” and punched him in the face. Singh suffered a broken nose and a fractured jaw.

June 5, 2008 – Queens, New York

A 9th grade Sikh student at Richmond Hill High School was attacked by a fellow student. The bully sought to remove his Sikh classmate’s patka from behind, and hit him in the face with keys. The victim ended up in the hospital with severe bruising and swelling. The victim had been reporting the bully for months, after the bully allegedly teased the child often, tugging on the victim’s beard and asking why he didn’t shave.

January 30, 2009 – New York

Jasmir Singh was attacked by three men around 4 AM outside a grocery store in Queens with a glass bottle. Jasmir’s friend who was with him the morning of the attack, told the police that while Jasmir was being attacked, racist slurs were used as the criminals aimed at Jasmir’s beard and turban. His father was attacked on the Subway two years later.

May 30, 2011 – New York Subway

Jasmir Singh’s father, MTA worker Jiwan Singh, a U.S. resident for thirty years, was accosted on the A train and accused of being related to Osama Bin Laden. The attacker then repeatedly punched Singh in the face. The victim lost three teeth. His daughter, Piarry, 18, said “I just wish people were not cruel.”

Sadly, these incidents only represent a fraction of the crimes — many of which certainly go unreported — that are perpetrated against Sikhs in the United States. A 2007 survey of Sikh students by the Sikh Coalition found that three out of four male students interviewed “had been teased or harassed on account of their religious identity.”

That discrimination has worsened significantly since 9/11. Sikhs have struggled with trying to prove to the hateful that they are not Muslims or Arabs, while still believing in equality and fair treatment for those groups as well. Today’s incident may or may not end up being classified as a hate crime, but regardless: the Sikh people certainly deserve the respect and acceptance of their fellow Americans rather than the scorn, ridicule, and violence they are too often subjected to.

Source: Real Sikhism

realsikhism.com

#Wisconsin Gurudwara shooting probed as ‘domestic terrorism’


 

 

A man sits on a rock as police investigate the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., after a shooting Sunday, Aug 5, 2012. A gunman killed six people at the suburban Milwaukee temple in a rampage that left terrified congregants hiding in closets and others texting friends outside for help. The suspect was killed outside the temple in a shootout with police officers.

The Associated Press

Published Sunday, Aug. 05 2012, 1:07 PM EDT

Police in Wisconsin say seven people are dead at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, including the suspected gunman.

The FBI says it is investigating whether the shootings were an act of domestic terrorism. FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson says in a Sunday night statement that no motive has been determined for the attack at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. She says the investigation is in its early stages.

He says one of those killed outside is the suspect. Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards says the suspect “ambushed” one of the first officers to arrive at the scene as the officer tended to a shooting victim.

Mr. Edwards says the suspect shot the officer multiple times outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday morning. A second officer then exchanged gunfire with the suspect and fatally shot him. Mr. Edwards says the officer who was ambushed is undergoing surgery at a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.

Police do not believe a second shooter was involved, contradicting earlier reports of multiple shooters.

At least three men have been admitted to a Milwaukee-area hospital, including one police officer. A Froederdt Hospital spokeswoman says one of the men is in the operating room, another is in a surgical intensive care unit and the third is being evaluated in the emergency room. All three are considered to be in critical condition.

The first official word from police was that they didn’t know how many victims or suspects were involved. But a short time later, after an extensive search of the temple, authorities said they did not believe there was more than one shooter.

“It was a very coordinated thing. It wasn’t haphazard,” temple member Amardeep Kaleka told CNN. He said his father was wounded in the attack.

“This is nerve-racking. No one really knows what’s going on. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Mangat said. Later, when he learned of the deaths, he said, “It was like the heart just sat down. This shouldn’t happen anywhere.”

It is still unknown how many were wounded in the shooting. At least three priests may be among those shot, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

According to the Journal Sentinel, one of the temple’s committee members said the motive for the shooting is unknown, but identified one shooter as a white male who is not a member of the temple, and suggested it may have been “a hate crime.”

U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday that he and First Lady Michelle Obama had been “deeply saddened” to learn of a shooting that left at least seven people dead at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

“As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family,” he said, in a White House statement.

Police and ambulances have cordoned off the area, and tactical units are on scene, while officers were dispatched to another nearby temple as a precaution.

With reports from James Bradshaw and Reuters

 

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