This Is All Kind Of Wrong of the Day: Kymberly Wimberly was all set to become her Arkansas school’s first black valedictorian since 1989.
But, at the last minute, McGehee High School decided Kymberly was to share her spotlight with a white “co-valedictorian” who had a lower GPA.
“When I found out I was valedictorian, I was ecstatic,” Kymberly, who has long dreamt of being at the top of her class, told ABC News. She says the student named co-valedictorian agreed with her that “if the tables were turned, there wouldn’t be a co-valedictorian.”
Kymberly’s mom, Molly Bratton, who is the school’s “certified media specialist,” says she overheard school personnel expressing concern that naming Kymberly valedictorian would cause a “big mess.” Furthermore, when Bratton tried to protest the school’s move at a school board meeting, she was told she couldn’t speak because she had “filled out the wrong form” and would have to wait until after graduation to appeal.
Kymberly and Bratton have filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the school, seeking punitive damages and a revision of the school records naming Kymberly the sole valedictorian.
[Raquel]Nelson, 30 and African-American, was convicted on the charge this week by six jurors who were not her peers: All were middle-class whites, and none had ever taken a bus in metro Atlanta. In other words, none had ever been in Nelson’s shoes:
They had never taken two buses to go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart with three kids in tow. They had never missed a transfer on the way home that caused them to wait a full hour-and-a-half with tired and hungry kids for the next bus. They had never been let off at a bus stop on a five-lane speedway, with their apartment in sight across the road, and been asked to drag those three little ones an additional half-mile-plus down the road to the nearest traffic signal and back in order to get home at last.
And they had never lost control of an over-eager four-year-old as they waited on a three-foot median for a car to pass. Nor had they watched helplessly as a driver who had had “three or four” beers and two painkillers barreled toward their child.
That’s right: Because Nelson did not lug her exhausted little ones three-tenths of a mile from the bus stop to a traffic signal in order to cross five lanes of traffic, she is guilty of vehicular homicide. Because she did as her fellow bus riders, who crossed at the same time and place, and because she did what pedestrians will do every time – take the shortest reasonable path – she is guilty of vehicular homicide.
The drunk driver has a history of hit and runs. He served six months in jail. Nelson faces three years in jail. Justice?
this is what I’m talking about when I say that mothers get harsher sentences than the person who actually killed the child does.
And if you’re a guy, especially a father, who thinks women are too uptight about catcalls and whistles, look at your daughter.
Then, read it again.
I’m writing this on the R train as it rattles slowly along toward Brooklyn. I’m headed to pick up my 6-month-old daughter. I’m writing because I’m still reeling from what occurred on the Times Square subway platform a few moments ago. I was walking to the end of the station as I always do. I saw a man, a stout, balding, nondescript looking troll, staring at me as I walked toward him. I watched as he slowly extended his arm and fingers, in particular his pinky finger, so it would make contact with me as I walked by. I’m wearing a skirt. It all happened quickly, in seconds, as these things always do, and sure enough as I passed him his hand jutted out and stroked my thigh. Without thinking I turned around and hit him as hard as I possibly could. I didn’t even stop walking, nor did I say anything. I did turn around to look at him as I hit him, and his face was one of shock but not of surprise. He knew why I had hit him; he just couldn’t believe he hadn’t gotten away with it.
Ive been sexually harassed so many times since my adolescence that I’ve lost count, but I’ve never reacted like that before. Normally I think, process, choose my words. There was no brain power that went into the decision to smack this asshole; it was pure instinct. As I headed away from him I immediately regretted not verbalizing my anger and yelling at him too, but I imagine that choice was instinctive as well. Besides, I think he got the message.
I am not someone who condones violence. But I’m so tired of my safety and personal space being invaded over and over again. I am a 32-year-old woman. I am a mother. I am not someone you can fondle without my consent because you feel like it, nor is any other girl or woman. Not my friends. Not my daughter.
When I’ve explained sexual harassment to men in the past I’ve been struck at their confusion over why it is a big deal. How is someone whistling at you threatening, they ask? Here is what they don’t understand. Those moments, which may seem insignificant and small, create an unsafe environment in which women are forced to live. Last month, after I yelled at some men in a car who made kissy noises at me, I was terrified to then walk down a quiet downtown street out of fear that they’d circle around in their car and hurt me. These moments force us to operate in a state of fear for. They define who is in control and who can have their control taken away. And I’m so fucking tired of it that I’m starting to snap. I’m now hitting people. Because as much as I want to believe my daughter will not have to live with this same fear 10, 20, 30 years from now, I know that she will. And nothing makes me more sick to my stomach.
- The FBI’s definition of “forcible rape” in their Uniform Crime Report (UCR): “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” [PDF]
- What that definition leaves out: anal, oral and statutory rape; incest; rape with an object, finger or fist; rape of men
- Number of men raped in any year, according to the UCR: 0 [PDF]
- Estimated number of men actually raped each year, according to the Dept. of Justice: 93,000 [PDF]
- Number of women raped in 2007 under the UCR definition: 91,874
- Number of sexual assaults in 2007–which includes rapes the FBI leaves out–according to the National Crime Victimization Survey: 248,300
- Dept. of Justice estimate of how many women are actually raped each year: 300,000 [PDF]
- Number of arrests for rape in 2007 (UCR): 23,307
- Percentage of rapes that result in incarceration: 0.35 percent [PDF]
- Number of murders/manslaughters in 2007 (UCR): 17,157
- Number of arrests for murder/manslaughter in 2007 (UCR): 13,480
- Percentage of murders that result in incarceration: 20 percent or more [PDF]
- Average number of rapes to every murder committed annually: 5 to 1
- Two of the top five cities in the U.S. with the most “unfounded” (i.e., falsely reported, according to police) rapes: New Orleans and Baltimore
- Percentage of rape reports deemed “unfounded” by New Orleans police in 2008: 60 percent
- Percentage of rape reports deemed “unfounded” by Baltimore police in 2009: 32 percent
- Percentage of actual estimated false rape reports in any given year according to research studies: 2-8 percent
- Percentage of rape reports deemed “unfounded” by the FBI in 2006: 5 percent
- How Baltimore police once explained their “unfounded” rape rate: “One of the things we know is that victims do lie.”
- Percentage of rape reports deemed “unfounded” (i.e. falsely reported) by Philadelphia police in 1983: 52 percent
- The year Philadelphia was forced to clean up its rape reporting practices: 1999
- Percentage of rape reports deemed unfounded in Philadelphia in 2007: 10 percent
- What a Philadelphia police officer once called his city’s sex crimes unit: “The lying bitches unit.”
- “Reasons” women lie about rape, according to Philadelphia’s police department in 1984: revenge; free abortion; covering up truancy, pregnancy, infidelity, lost money, sexual precocity.
- Number of people who have signed a letter urging the FBI to change its definition of rape: 2,019 (and counting)
For more on rape in America, pick up the new issue of Ms. on newsstands now, or subscribe today to get Ms. delivered straight to your mailbox. Then head over to our No More Excuses! campaign headquarters to sign a letter urging FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder to change the definition of rape.
A deleted tweet from Sarah Palin. She is deleting anything that may show what she has said and done and advocated: TakeBackthe20.com, her tweets, posts on Facebook. She started doing this BEFORE she bothered to extend condolences to Griffords, the other victims of the shooting, and their families.
Do not forget this.