Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


The Good Ol’ Days

Donald Trump’s surrogates and campaign supporters claim that his words have not incited violence and that it is, instead, the other side – Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s supporters(the far left) – who have perpetuated violence.

His talking heads on the news networks are likening his words inciting violence to women wearing short skirts asking for rape.  Which, according to them, isn’t true at all.  Women don’t ask for rape by wearing revealing clothing.  Except that’s what these same talking heads have been saying is exactly the case.  Every Evangelical I know implores women to dress modestly because it causes men to have thoughts.  And women are responsible for what happens to them when men have thoughts.

I would argue that what Trump has done in his rallies is much different than that, though.  If a woman wears a short skirt and walks past a man and yells, “Come on, rape me, I dare you,” then, yes, she is, quite literally asking to be raped. No woman in her right mind would actually do that. And, I would argue, if the man raped her he would still be responsible for his actions, but she couldn’t be absolved of her participation in the act either.

That Trump would actively call for his supporters to punch dissidents in the face, that he’s offered to pay their legal fees, is exactly endorsing violence.  Apparently, though, while he believes that his own words don’t cause anyone to participate in violence, he does believe that a protester’s words do.  His supporters are only reacting to the protesters.  He is “having his people look into”  the seventy-eight year-old coldcocker’s legal situation and quite possible offering to pay his legal fees because the protester provoked the old man by taunting the crowd and flipping the bird at the crowd as he was being escorted out of Trump’s rally.

Let me get this straight:  Donald Trump’s provocative words do not cause reactions.  Protester’s provocative actions do.

I in no way condone the protesters disrupting or causing violence during these rallies.  But I also know from personal experience that bullies cannot be reasoned with.  You can’t ask a bully nicely not to take your lunch money.  Minorities know this, too.

If black students in the sixties hadn’t had the courage to sit at lunch counters instead of their designated seating areas in the back of restaurants they’d still be sitting there today.

If  Rosa Parks had quietly moved to the back of the bus and given up her seat for a white bus rider, blacks would likely still be relegated to the back of the bus.

If Amzie Moore and Fannie Lou Hamer hadn’t actively pushed her counterparts for voter registration minorities wouldn’t have a voice at the ballot box.

If not for planned marches on Washington and Selma, Alabama many blacks would still not be eligible to register to vote, among many other things.  Do we need a reminder of what those things looked like?

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Donald Trump keeps saying he longs for the good old days.  Is this what he means?  You, know, the good ol’ days when protesters were carried out on stretchers?



May I See Your ID, Please?

One of the headlines on my local morning news this morning addressed a bill that is before the Florida State Senate. It limits the use of public restrooms by transgender persons.  One legislator says that the bill is to prevent rapes, molestations, voyeurism, and other bathroom crimes.   From the Associated Press:


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Transgender women would have to use women’s public bathrooms and transgender men would have to use men’s rooms unless they have a license or passport that proves they’ve completed their transition to their new sex under a bill that passed its first committee.

The House Civil Justice Subcommittee approved the bill Wednesday after listening to more than an hour of emotional testimony from transgender residents who oppose it and supporters who said people shouldn’t be using bathrooms designated for the opposite sex.

Republican Rep. Frank Artiles of Miami said the bill was needed to prevent rapes, molestations, voyeurism and other crimes in bathrooms.

But opponents said the bill was simply a way to discriminate against transgender people.


At the end of the news show there was a poll asking what the viewers thought of this legislation.  I took the poll just so I could see the results.  Here they are, folks:


I must say I was a little astonished at the numbers.  I expected it to be the other way around and here’s why:

Are transgendered people more likely to commit any of these crimes than cisgendered people?  How exactly is this going to curtail crime in bathroom facilities?  If a person is a pervert they will still be a pervert after their transition, won’t they?  I would venture to guess that there are more pervy cisgendered people than there are transgendered people. According to transgenderlaw.org :

An estimated 2 to 5% of the population is transgender (i.e., experience some degree of genderdysphoria). The number of people who identify as transsexual and undergo sex-resassignment is smaller. Recent statistics from the Netherlands indicate that about 1 in 12,000 natal males undergo sex-reassignment and about 1 in 34,000 natal females. Over time, the gap between the reportednumbers of MTF and FTM transsexuals is closing.

How will this law be enforced?  Who will police public restrooms and ask for identification?  Isn’t that a violation of privacy?  If a person is dressed as a male how would anyone know that they aren’t one?  Is everyone going to have to produce an ID to go to a public restroom in the state of Florida?  Or will you only be asked for ID if it’s suspected you might not be the gender on the door?  What happens when a effeminate man is asked for his ID upon entering the men’s room?  What happens when a masculine woman is asked for hers when she tries to go into the women’s bathroom?

I’m scratching my head and wondering what on earth people are thinking. Fear is a powerful motivator.  We are afraid of what we don’t understand.  And if you are different we are very afraid of you.  We even imagine sick and twisted things that you will do if you aren’t monitored closely.

Yes, Americans, this is the kind of asinine legislation our lawmakers are spending our tax money on.  I feel safer.  Don’t you?

I’m intrigued, though, so I’m going to have the same poll here.  I’d like to see what you all think.  Is this a stupid as I think it is, or am I being obtuse?


Here’s a link to the news story.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to embed the video.  http://up.anv.bz/latest/anvload.html?key=eyJtIjoiZ3JheSIsInAiOiJkZWZhdWx0IiwidiI6IjMwNzY0NjkiLCJwbHVnaW5zIjp7ImRmcCI6eyJhZFRhZ1VybCI6Imh0dHA6Ly9wdWJhZHMuZy5kb3VibGVjbGljay5uZXQvZ2FtcGFkL2Fkcz9zej02NDB4NDgwJml1PS8zMDE3MjE3MTUvV0NUViZjaXVfc3pzJmltcGw9cyZnZGZwX3JlcT0xJmFkX3J1bGU9MSZ2cG9zPXByZXJvbGwmZW52PXZwJm91dHB1dD14bWxfdmFzdDImdW52aWV3ZWRfcG9zaXRpb25fc3RhcnQ9MSZjb3JyZWxhdG9yPVt0aW1lc3RhbXBdJmNtc2lkPTc1NSZ2aWQ9QU5WX0dSVFZfMzA3NjkzOSJ9LCJhbmFseXRpY3MiOnsicGRiIjo0NDQyNDE3OX19fQ