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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
(11:35 PM) | Stephen:
The Essence of Hate

Via Amanda, we see that Dan Riehl continues mucking about the bottom of the intellectual pond, blaming Jessie Davis for her own murder, among other things.

He gets his column off to a rousing start:
Any murder is tragic; the murder of a pregnant woman is even more so. And nothing should distract from an expedient investigation and prosecution, or fail to appreciate the family's profound suffering because of this crime. Unfortunately, if this is what constitutes crime in the heartland of America, that heart is very sick and we can only expect more of the same.
As Amanda pointed out, a pregnant woman was murdered. If that doesn't "constitute crime" anywhere, let alone "the heartland of America," then I'm quite curious to see just what would meet Mr. Riehl's standards.

The rest is just hateful nonsense, victim-blaming because Davis had the utter gall to get involved with a married man. There's also a strong undercurrent of racism, since Davis was a white woman who had relationships with black men and was carrying the alleged murderer's mixed-race child. It wasn't too long ago that interracial dating and marriage were illegal and Jerry Falwell, for example, first hit the big time by preaching against interracial relationships, and Bob Jones University, pride of the south you know, had a written policy about interracial dating until the 2000 presidential campaign, when continual GOP pandering to the school put just a little too much scrutiny on them.

Another side of this story that Amanda points to is how some medical researchers are starting to conclude that murder is the largest single cause of death for pregnant women in America.
Homicide is the fourth leading cause of death among all American women of childbearing age; and one-third of all female murder victims each year are killed by an intimate partner. As pioneering medical researchers reexamine death reports of murdered women, looking for signs that the victim was pregnant, they are concluding that often, the killer of a pregnant woman is the partner or spouse of the mother-to-be.
The fourth leading cause of death for all American women of childbearing age is murder. One-third of all female murder victims - of any age - are killed by "an intimate partner." The common stereotype about female victims of violence is that they were dressed like sluts, walking down dark alleys, drunk and alone. Since other murders and assaults are committed by people women know who aren't "intimate partners" but are friends, brothers, coworkers, fathers, etc. the plain fact is that women have very little to fear from strangers. It's when they are in their own homes, with their own families or friends, sober, dressed and minding their own business that women need to fear, it seems.

But Dan Riehl, like so many others, would rather blame Jessie Davis than face the truth of this nation and his gender. He and the vast majority of this country - this world - would rather continue to hold women responsible for the crimes committed against them. The evil that lives in the heart of Jessie Davis' killer is far less malevolent than that which lives in the hearts of the Dan Riehls of this world. If it was her boyfriend who did it, at least we can point to his desire to not disrupt his marriage and family life, as sick as that is. We can see a rationale even if we don't value it, even if we refuse to allow it to reduce the penalties.

People like Dan Riehl, though, have no excuse for blaming Jessie Davis. He has no reason whatsoever to blame her for her own murder, to exculpate her killer without any evidence, without any real knowledge of the story other than the bare and changing facts presented to us by a breathless and ratings-hungry media.

Unless, of course, Dan Riehl fundamentally thinks that women are less than human, less than him. Unless Dan Riehl nurses within himself a resentment toward women, a hatred of the things they can do that he cannot, an anger at how his genitalia no longer give him carte blanche to act as he wishes in all circumstances.

Blaming victims is an incredibly pure form of hate. Abusers blame their victims. Rapists blame their victims. Murderers blame their victims. Dan Riehl and those who agree with him have placed themselves on the side of abusers, rapists and murderers. They sympathize with the perpetrators of crimes against women. They have allied themselves intellectually and emotionally with the most vicious, evil monsters our society can produce.

In their hearts, they are all the same.

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