Skip to main content

Crossposted at Of Means and Ends.

Let's start with a quiz. Being convicted of attempted murder after actually murdering an unarmed black teenager is:

(a) a sad miscarriage of justice
(b) disappointing, but at least some measure of punishment for a heinous act
(c) a clear sign of racism embedded in our culture and judicial system
(d) like being raped

If you answered (d), you would probably get along with Michael Dunn. The man who shot and killed Jordan Davis had his ludicrous use of self-defense validated by some members of the jury, leading to a mistrial on the murder charge. It turns out his views on women are about as enlightened as his views on race (which aren't remotely ambiguous given his abhorrent prison letters).

Last week, it was revealed that Dunn sees himself as the victim in this situation, comparing himself to "a chick [who] got raped" and is blamed because of how she dressed. I shouldn't have to waste words on why this is offensive, but since I'm sure there are other people out there who will back him up, I'll spare a few. It's telling how he still clings to the idea that he was threatened by unarmed teenagers listening to "thug music" while he was the one who brought deadly force into the situation, with tragic consequences for Davis and his family. And of course it's disgusting to compare his facing some measure of justice for his crimes to a traumatizing experience faced by millions of survivors.

Dunn is just one of the recent notable people to claim victimhood in this way. Paula Deen, sued for discrimination and unapologetic about planning a plantation-themed wedding with staff dressed up like slaves, got on the victimhood train recently as well.

“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name,” she tells People. “It’s like that black football player who recently came out,” referring to NFL prospect and former University of Missouri football standout, Michael Sam.

“He (Sam) said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.’ I know exactly what he’s saying.”

What better way to show that you don't understand systems of power and privilege than to view accountability for your actions as analogous to facing actual oppression. Being taken to task by people, many of whom have less power and cultural capital, is supposed to somehow be similar to suffering under institutionalized injustice. As if the co-opting of others' suffering weren't enough, the terms they throw around are icing on the cake. They're not survivors of sexual assault, they're "chicks." He's not Michael Sam, he's "that black football player."

These are obviously not the people we would expect to be attuned to racism, sexism and homophobia and how they interact with privilege. But it's a window into the psyche of some oblivious sector of this population that constantly feels under siege. Their lashing out at that perceived attack can have harrowing and often life-threatening consequences.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site