Monday, 4 August 2008

Trans Panic

It's all too common that when a Transsexual woman is killed, that the crime is not considered to be "really" murder. The more extreme elements think it's more like laudable pest extermination, but they (thankfully) are in a minority.

All too often though, a sizeable proportion of the heterosexual male population think that it may be "understandable", if a bit extreme. So the penalty should be about the same as for mere common assault, that the killer was provoked by being defiled. She was asking for it.

The result is that bails and bonds are set at absurdly low levels, and killers get to walk free in the community, sometimes for years. And sometimes with the prosecution lapsing. About the same treatment they'd get for unlawfully killing any other animal.

From Out and About :
Last night, WREG-TV in Memphis reported that the man who was charged with the February 16, 2006, murder of Tiffany Berry, has now been arraigned on a second murder charge. On Thursday, authorities in Shelby County charged DeAndre Blake with the murder of his own two year old daughter.

At the time of this second murder, Blake was walking the streets of Memphis as a free man on a $20,000 bond. According to Berry's family, Blake admitted he had killed Berry because he did not like the way she had "touched" him.
Yes, that's right, a killer was free for two and a half years. Free to kill again - a child this time. A full human being, not a third class citizen, whose death was "understandable".


Chap said...

I'm spending a lot of time looking at a few other cultures. Seems to me "honor" killing has the same character, although more blatant.

BTW this post over at Belle de Jour might be of interest. She's a Brit hooker made good (book and TV show on the way) with some observations about herself in the post linked.

Battybattybats said...

Would there be legal and/or political recourse or effect if it is statistically shown that the law is being applied in a biased fashion in these places?

Zoe Brain said...

Good Question, BBB. Sounds like a promising line of attack.

But a 2 year old is dead, and nothing can change that. All we may be able to do is stop it from happening again.

Battybattybats said...

How the heck did someone charged with such a crime have custody of or unsupervised access to their daughter anyway?

Layers of madness!

A country with 1% of it's population imprisoned yet something like this still happens... makes me question if one iota of the approach taken in the whole field involves any results-based work at all or if it's just another self-perpetuating commercial industry?

I guess there is less money and less votes in preventative mental health systems than there is in long-term imprisonment after the crimes been comitted.

The media is deeply complicit in the injustice. The sort of case which they focus on because of it's push-button outrage instead rates only fairly minor mention because of the first victim being transgender.

The editing room choices of the evening news team are the choices that render the struggles of the most needy the most invisible because they aren't currently empathised with (to varying degrees) because of colour or suburb or gender or sexuality or transgender.

But it is in exposure to different people from which empathy grows. By failing to do that, by ignoring the issues of minorities, by rendering invisible huge chunks of the broader real community the media bears a large part of the responsibility.

Every broadcaster, commentator, current-affairs program etc that would be screaming from the rafters about someone charged with murdering someone being free and going on to murder their own daughter but who isn't making as much a fuss now because the first victim was transgender is guilty of perpetuating the circumstances that allowed this to occur.

Sevesteen said...

Everybody I've known who has had reasonably detailed firsthand knowledge of a news story (myself included) has said that the reporting was either significantly incorrect, or left out very pertinent facts.

Everyone. Not sometimes, 100%.

Zoe Brain said...

sevesteen, if you have first-hand date, I'd appreciate you sharing it - as much as you can.

I aim to be accurate. I usually meet my aim. I don't always do it on the first try though. I like my corrections to be timely too, ASAP.

"If 'twere done, 'twere best done quickly" as Lady Macbeth said.

Sevesteen said...

I wasn't referring to a particular story or error, but rather a general trend of mainstream media, basically in response to Battybattybats complaints of media bias. The stories I've known personally have been fairly insignificant in worldwide terms.

When a shooting is reported here, the media too often says "The shooter has a permit", in an area where the only permits required are for concealed carry. It usually turns out that the shooter did not have a permit, and in most cases could not have qualified for one. The story will be corrected in a day or two on the web archives, but nowhere else is the error mentioned.