This Week: GLBT solidarity, College rapists get off the hook, & more

Another LGBT Youth Suicide–and the Love that Can Stop This

ColorLines: “How many times did Rutgers student Tyler Clementi hear friends, fellow students, even adults hurl anti-gay slurs like “that’s so gay” and “stop being a fag” without hearing a challenge to them? How often did Aiyisha Hassan hear that she was loved for being a lesbian, not just tolerated? What unspoken shame lurks inside those Bronx boys that would allow them to rape another human being with a plunger? How many grotesque caricatures of manhood were they fed, unchallenged, before they came to believe such behavior is masculine? How often do jerks like Paladino spout off around a dinner table or a water cooler or a locker room without somebody saying, hey, that’s not right?”

[Note: as the author of this article mentions a vigil at Howard University, we’d like to remind you about the vigil at Sarah Lawrence on October 20th.]

Judge Orders U.S. Military to Stop ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

New York Times: “Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court for the Central District of California issued an injunction banning enforcement of the law and ordered the military to immediately “suspend and discontinue” any investigations or proceedings to dismiss service members. In language much like that in her Sept. 9 ruling declaring the law unconstitutional, Judge Phillips wrote that the 17-year-old policy “infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members and prospective service members” and violates their rights of due process and freedom of speech.”

Shocking: College Rapists Almost Always Get Off the Hook

AlterNet:A 2002 report [PDF] commissioned by the Department of Justice found a number of inherent problems with university policies and practices regarding sexual assault, including a tendency to “unintentionally condone victim-blaming.” Only 38 percent of schools require sexual assault sensitivity training for campus law enforcement, while only 37 percent fully comply with federal regulations about reporting crimes. The CPI investigation similarly found that even when college administrators deem a student guilty of sexual assault, they are reluctant to expel the perpetrator:

Verdicts are educational, not punitive, opportunities. … Not every sexual offense deserves the harshest penalty, [administrators] argue; not every culpable student is a hardened criminal.”

Dating White or Dating Right?

Ms. Magazine Blog: “Fathering children one cannot support isn’t ideal, but unprotected sex is a result of high-risk behavior which stems from the apathy of feeling like a failure. When little else is going right, having children is often seen as an accomplishment, and being a father proves that one is hetero. Atlanta mega-church Bishop Eddie Long’s virulent homophobia and the recent reactions to charges that he forced male teenagers into sexual relationships with him reminds us that being publicly gay is one of the worst things a black man can be. Black men have different experiences because of their race, but these problems are not limited to black men and these scenarios do not describe all black men. Men of all races deal with the restrictions of masculinity and can fall prey to the tough guise and its domino effects.”

Telling the Truth and Community Accountability on Columbus Day/Thanksgiving

Racialicious: “Today in Oneida where I live and work part-time we have organized our own “Indigenous Rights Day Oneida – Reconsider Columbus Day”. And in fact for many Indigenous nations this was always the time of the year to honor the harvest. South Dakota has also renamed the holiday as “Native American Day” along with a few cities in California who have taken it back as “Indigenous Peoples Day” as well as other Native American tribes throughout the country. Much respect to anyone who takes this day back for what it truly means to them.”

Study: Single Moms Crushed by Recession

ColorLines: “In the recession, single women mothers are most likely to be unemployed and as a result, their kids are more likely bare the full weight of the economic downturn. But moms with jobs are also more likely to have bad ones. The report finds that the labor market is marred by segregation, with women of color disproportionately relegated to the lowest wage jobs that provide the fewest benefits…. Almost everything about our economy compounds to keep single moms, particularly those of color, stuck in poverty.”

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