The native, as a political identity, was a creation of the colonial state.
It’s no wonder, then, that in their own training materials, prosecutors are encouraged to use music lyrics at trial whenever possible. As the Oduwole case and the growing number of cases like it reveal, rap is the genre that prosecutors target, almost exclusively. And it’s not hard to figure out why. While nobody believes that Bob Marley shot the sheriff or Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno, neither artist tried to convince the public that the crimes were real. There was no question about the distinction between artist and performer. Rappers, however, blur that distinction all the time. Long after they walk off the stage, they often remain in character (still using their stage names), taking great pains to convince fans that they live the sordid lives they rap about. Judges and juries don’t always appreciate that this attempt to establish street credibility is often more marketing strategy than reality.
You cannot cheat with the law of conservation of violence: all violence is paid for, and for example, the structural violence exerted by the financial markets, in the form of layoffs, loss of security, etc., is matched sooner or later in the form of suicides, crime and delinquency, drug addiction, alcoholism, a whole host of minor and major everyday acts of violence.
Redefining sustainable development
“Climate change and other global environmental threats will increasingly become serious barriers to further human development,” says lead author Professor David Griggs from Monash University in Australia. Humans are transforming Earth’s life support system — the atmosphere, oceans, waterways, forests, ice sheets and biodiversity that allow us to thrive and prosper — in ways “likely to undermine development gains”, he adds.
The team asserts that the classic model of sustainable development, of three integrated pillars — economic, social and environmental — that has served nations and the UN for over a decade, is flawed and does not reflect reality.
“As the global population increases towards eight billion people sustainable development should be seen as an economy serving society within Earth’s life support system, not as three pillars,” says co-author Dr. Priya Shyamsundar from the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Nepal.
The six goals
The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health.
But also a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, reducing biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.
Co-author Dr. Mark Stafford Smith, science director of CSIRO’s climate adaptation research programme in Australia says:
Read the rest at Stockholm Resilience Center
For readers interested in learning more about how not to be labeled as registered sex offenders, a good first step is not to rape unconscious women, no matter how good your grades are. Regardless of the strength of your GPA (weighted or unweighted), if you commit rape, there is a possibility you may someday be convicted of a sex crime. This is because of your decision to commit a sex crime instead of going for a walk, or reading a book by Cormac McCarthy. Your ability to perform calculus or play football is generally not taken into consideration in a court of law. Should you prefer to be known as ‘Good student and excellent football player Trent Mays’ rather than ‘Convicted sex offender Trent Mays,’ try stressing the studying and tackling and giving the sex crimes a miss altogether…
Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richardson are not the “stars” of the Steubenville rape trial. They aren’t the only characters in a drama playing out in eastern Ohio. And yet a CNN viewer learning about the Steubenville rape verdict is presented with dynamic, sympathetic, complicated male figures, and a nonentity of an anonymous victim, the ‘lasting effects’ of whose graphic, public sexual assault are ignored. Small wonder, then, that anyone would find themselves on the side of these men—these poor young men, who were very good at taking tests and playing sports when they were not raping their classmates.
Mallory Ortberg of Gawker, critiquing CNN’s disgusting response to the Stuebenville rape trial verdicts.
Her commentary is spot on.
This is so good and so important and the fact that it is written by the sister of one of my good, good friends makes me so proud.
The reason people get pissed off when someone comes into a discussion about rape with “but some women lie about being raped!” is that it’s a very common derailing tactic. It’s not relevant to the discussion, it doesn’t add anything of value; all it does is shift the focus of conversation from the huge number of sexual assaults committed (seriously, one in four women, one in eight men, one in two trans* people, and 60-90% of people with disabilities is a huge frickin’ number), to a discussion of false rape reports that are very much in the minority. False rape reports occur at the same rate as other false reports, and that’s before you take into consideration that the vast majority of sexual assault goes unreported in the first place. And funnily enough, it doesn’t seem to happen with any other type of crime. When I’m talking about a string of burglaries in my neighbourhood, no one has ever chimed in with “well, you know, some people make a false burglary report to get insurance money”. When someone gets beaten up on Courtenay Place on a Saturday night, I’ve never seen a Stuff commenter talk about their “sister’s boyfriend’s cousin who pretended he’d been beaten up because he wanted to get back at his mate”. Yet, somehow, in every discussion about rape that takes place, people feel the need to bring up false rape reports as though they are somehow just as, or more, important than the fact that, if we look ONLY at the sexual assault cases reported to the police last year (remembering that anywhere from 40-90% of sexual assaults go unreported), then nine people a day were raped in New Zealand in the year ending June 2012.
In which a Third Culture Kid considers Waitangi Day
At boot camp this morning, my trainer said, “Happy Waitangi Day!” to everyone as a greeting. It got me thinking about the 6th of February, and how New Zealand responds to it.
I’ve never known how to celebrate (or commemorate?) Waitangi Day. Most of this stems from the fact that I still feel like a foreigner in New Zealand - I may have been born here; and I may have had a New Zealand passport all my life. But I spent my formative years overseas. I am not of Maori descent, either. I’d like to think that growing up in Singapore affords me a varied experience of multiculturalism. It probably just introduces another form of privilege to my views.
Lengthy disclaimer aside, I like that New Zealand was borne of a treaty. I don’t like that we can’t agree what exactly te Tiriti and the Treaty mean collectively; I don’t like that its role today is more token than meaningful. Is this something to be proud of, and to celebrate? Probably. It’s a starting point.
Commentators respond by saying that Maori have a better deal than indigenous peoples across the world (recent Australia/Survival/Invasion Day celebrations across the Tasman come to mind). Why does there need to be a “deal”? Why do we still talk about this in terms of a benevolent colonial state granting concessions to its subjects? Given that Maori (and Pacific Islanders) are still disturbingly over-represented in criminal justice statistics and indicators of social inequality, I would say this ignores the inter-generational trauma of colonisation. (And plenty of other things, but this is a tangent for another day.)
Ultimately, I wish Waitangi Day could be a reminder of what has been done so far, both remarkable and deplorable. I want it to be an occasion to talk about how much remains before we reach a truly multicultural state that is respectful of our indigenous identity.
ETA: the WaPo has a lighter view of Waitangi Day.
I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.