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I hear the term victim blaming a lot.  I just can’t quite put my finger on why it bugs me so much. As a current event example.......I am beyond disgusted at the cop who murdered George Floyd.  And, at the same time I feel like George man if you just had not put yourself in that situation you would be alive today.  
 

Why is it these two thoughts cannot co exist?

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I don’t feel that way about George Floyd.

There is no reason that I know of to think that he knew he was using counterfeit money.  And even if he had been, the punishment so far exceeds the crime as to be unthinkable.  Furthermore, that punishment was meted out by an officer of the law who therefore did it in my name.  That is beyond unacceptable.  

There are those who argue that this was not what killed George Floyd, but that kind of treatment is wrong whether it killed him or not. And I think that it did.  To me this situation is so egregiously a clear one of victim and villain that anything said badly about GF raises my hackles and my ire.  There is nothing that has been said about him that in any way justifies the treatment he received.  Or, to summarize, victim blaming is OTT and unacceptable.

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

I hear the term victim blaming a lot.  I just can’t quite put my finger on why it bugs me so much. As a current event example.......I am beyond disgusted at the cop who murdered George Floyd.  And, at the same time I feel like George man if you just had not put yourself in that situation you would be alive today.  
 

Why is it these two thoughts cannot co exist?

So. I hear you. 

But I think, for instance, there's a difference from someone killed while committing a crime -- example: a burglar breaks into someone's home, and is shot as an intruder, because the homeowner feared for their life, and the intruder/burglar is killed -- vs. someone killed due to excessive force after committing a relatively minor crime (as in this instance). 

So, the reasonable expectation if you should choose to pass a counterfeit bill is that you might perhaps end up arrested, if you got caught......but not that you would end up dead. Whereas, say, if he'd been actively robbing the store, and the store owner had a gun and chose to shoot to protect his store, that's a not-unheard of risk for that particular crime. 

Even that's not a perfect example (these days, having your drink drugged is a not-unheard of risk.....but that doesn't mean anyone going out to a bar is "asking for it" if that happens to them), but that's the main thing I see as a flaw in why it's not so okay to think that, in this case. The outcome, the actions of the perpetrator, were so far outside the realm of reasonable, that it becomes clear that it's really *not* George's actions that led to his death. 

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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I hear the term victim blaming a lot.  I just can’t quite put my finger on why it bugs me so much.

I don't like that term, either. I think that's because I think in lots of situations, it gets used reflexively before anyone figures out who the victim is, and whether there is a victim at all. It's often a way to shut down discussion. 

That being said, in the George Floyd case, it does feel clear to me. 

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7 minutes ago, TheReader said:

So, the reasonable expectation if you should choose to pass a counterfeit bill is that you might perhaps end up arrested, if you got caught......but not that you would end up dead.

Would you know if you were passing a counterfeit bill? People pass them by accident.

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2 minutes ago, kbutton said:

Would you know if you were passing a counterfeit bill? People pass them by accident.

One -- that's why I said "if you choose" meaning, intentionally. 

Two -- if you read the rest of my post, you will see that I very clearly do not in any way blame George Floyd for what happened to him, at all. 

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Victim blaming in my country of origin is if a woman is raped then every rotten person, male and female including politicians and defense attorneys would ask why the woman was outside at night in the first place. It is also used to excuse rape of a prostitute in a police station because of her profession, marital rape because a man is entitled to sex from a wife.

It excuses inexcusable behavior and puts the onus on the real victim to be perfect and lets the perpetrator off the hook for some horrific crimes.

I do not follow George Floyd case because I saw the video the first time and cried. I could not believe a human being was treated thus. There is no excuse on this earth why he should have someone's knee on his neck that he dies from it. I do not care if he committed murder, there are ways to restrain a person without killing them. 

 

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Because it diverts the conversation from a discussion about the perpetrator of violence to the victim of violence. 

It is fine to say, have a seminar about safety offered to women. It is not okay to turn a discussion about rapists into a discussion about how women should change their behavior to avoid rape. 

At a separate time, have that conversation. It deserves its own consideration, and should not be used to change the conversation or divert attention away from the perpetrator. 

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If the police had not put themselves in the position of killing somebody for what was, at most, a non-violent crime, then they would not be murderers.

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4 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

If the police had not put themselves in the position of killing somebody for what was, at most, a non-violent crime, then they would not be murderers.

MY dh mentioned that Floyd supposedly had high levels of fentanyl in his blood and the defense may use that as a point in their arguments. That the drugs might have killed him. We agreed that we'll never know though if the fentanyl was the thing since some thug was kneeling on his neck when he died. 

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40 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

At a separate time, have that conversation. It deserves its own consideration, and should not be used to change the conversation or divert attention away from the perpetrator. 

In practice, though, people claim "victim-blaming" in plenty of situations in which the boundaries of the discourse haven't been set particularly rigidly. That's because people are naturally interested in the upper hand in discussions, and any slogan that gives it to them they will take 😉 . (And I include myself in that "they"!) 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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Perhaps it bugs you because victims frequently do play a part in their victimization.  And it's annoying (to say the least) that the "consensus" seems to be that victims are always free of blame always no matter what always.

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Just now, EKS said:

Perhaps it bugs you because victims frequently do play a part in their victimization.  And it's annoying (to say the least) that the "consensus" seems to be that victims are always free of blame always no matter what always.

I mean, I've absolutely seen people shift to victim-blaming when the discussion should absolutely be about the perpetrators and the cultural context. That's also pretty annoying. 

On the other hand, so is the notion that many situations have a victim. Most situations aren't binary like that. 

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George Floyd isn’t on trial. The person that murdered him and whether he gets immunity for the murder because he was acting within his training or not is. 

Keep in mind people were yelling at the cop that he was killing as he did it, and he stayed right there, glaring and killing as if his power in that moment was the only thing that mattered. 

I am often on the side of cops. My dad was a cop who was involved in two shootings in his career. Both involved men who murdered their entire families in South Florida, drove North, got pulled over for speeding, and started shooting immediately. 

If cops have reasonable belief that their lives or the lives of someone else are in danger, police have not only the right but the responsibility to kill. But justice isn’t justice if it isn’t tempered with mercy. For every time my dad had to pull a weapon at work there were half a dozen times he came to out house, grabbed his own clean clothes out of his closet and gave them to a homeless junkie after taking him to the jail to let him have a free shower and meal. 

Nothing any of those cops did that day was about justice or mercy. It was about power and abuse, and it was murder. I don’t know any cops that defend it. They are all sickened. There is no excuse and that man should go to prison. In my mind his sentence should be doubled because he knew better. 

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@Scarlett, I do understand. The Floyd case I think is completely clear. It was murder plain and simple, and nothing Floyd did should be used in any way to excuse that officer's actions. 

I admit I do still struggle with this sometimes regarding, for example, s*x at college parties. Say you're a young woman. You go to a party. You get completely and utterly trashed. Guy you came with gets completely and utterly trashed. [Edited--not the best example. Let's say guy isn't drunk.] You are in no position to give consent. You wake up in the morning and discover you had s*x with the guy you brought you. You didn't want it. The guy did. 

So, in the past I would have immediately said, you shouldn't have been in that situation! How unwise of you. How foolish. But that shouldn't be my first reaction, you know? Because it was the guy who went ahead and did it without consent. The conversation about safety should be had separately and at another time.

Someone here explained it in this way and it finally clicked for me: say someone doesn't lock their window. Someone comes in the window and assaults them. Is it the *fault* of the person who left the window unlocked that the crime was committed? No, of course not. It's the criminal's fault. And honestly it would be really unkind to the victim to focus on the unlocked window, especially when they are in trauma over the assault. That conversation can be had separately.

You should have the expectation that you can sleep in your house without being assaulted, even if you don't lock your windows. You should have the expectation that you can go to a party and not get raped (even if you're drunk).

I'm still learning.

Edited by MercyA
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46 minutes ago, EKS said:

Perhaps it bugs you because victims frequently do play a part in their victimization.  And it's annoying (to say the least) that the "consensus" seems to be that victims are always free of blame always no matter what always.

Promise I am not trying to argue, have a gotcha of you and I am genuinely curious. I have tried to come up instances where victims play a part in their victimization. Could not think of any. I would like to have a  few examples of what you are talking about.

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2 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

Promise I am not trying to argue, have a gotcha of you and I am genuinely curious. I have tried to come up instances where victims play a part in their victimization. Could not think of any. I would like to have a  few examples of what you are talking about.

People who put themselves in situations where it is likely that they will be victimized.  You know, like prostitutes who are victimized by their clients.  That sort of thing.  I'm not saying that anyone should be victimized, because no one should be victimized.  But some behaviors are more likely to result in victimization than others.

I am not talking about George Floyd's situation here.

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Just now, EKS said:

People who put themselves in situations where it is likely that they will be victimized.  You know, like prostitutes who are victimized by their clients.  That sort of thing.  I'm not saying that anyone should be victimized, because no one should be victimized.  But some behaviors are more likely to result in victimization than others.

I would say that "drunk college party" situation is a common one. Especially since when both people are drunk, I don't think anyone is able to rationally think about consent. (That doesn't apply to situation where a sober guy sleeps with a drunk girl. That's different.) 

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2 hours ago, TheReader said:

One -- that's why I said "if you choose" meaning, intentionally. 

Two -- if you read the rest of my post, you will see that I very clearly do not in any way blame George Floyd for what happened to him, at all. 

It was an honest question because while I didn't think you were saying GF was responsible, it did make me wonder if you think that people can use them unknowingly. I wasn't sure from the context, and I don't know that I would know if I am passing a counterfeit bill. 

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49 minutes ago, EKS said:

People who put themselves in situations where it is likely that they will be victimized.  You know, like prostitutes who are victimized by their clients.  That sort of thing.  I'm not saying that anyone should be victimized, because no one should be victimized.  But some behaviors are more likely to result in victimization than others.

I am not talking about George Floyd's situation here.

Being in a situation where someone is more likely to assault you does not make you one iota responsible for someone assaulting you. The person doing the assaulting made that choice - it is 100 percent their fault. Period. 

A conversation that starts with, "I'm really concerned with how vulnerable prostitute are - how can we address their safety" is very different than one that starts off talking about men committing assault and then turns to "well, those girls shouldn't have been out there in the first place". The first conversation I would not consider victim blaming, the second one I would. 

Edited by ktgrok
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37 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Being in a situation where someone is more likely to assault you does not make you one iota responsible for someone assaulting you. The person doing the assaulting made that choice - it is 100 percent their fault. Period. 

A conversation that starts with, "I'm really concerned with how vulnerable prostitute are - how can we address their safety" is very different than one that starts off talking about men committing assault and then turns to "well, those girls shouldn't have been out there in the first place". The first conversation I would not consider victim blaming, the second one I would. 

Ok but how about a conversation that is neither of that. You just can’t discuss prostitutes being victimized without discussing how they could possibly prevent being victimized.  

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And this is what makes me crazy about this topic.  I absolutely 100% believe Gf was murdered.  His crime no where near deserved death.  And at the same time I want to scream, ‘there are crazy cops out there, do right, be right, watch yourself so you don’t come into contact with these crazy cops”. 
 

That is not victim blaming.  That is victim warning. As far as timing,,,.what better time to warn people than after someone has been murdered.  

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12 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Ok but how about a conversation that is neither of that. You just can’t discuss prostitutes being victimized without discussing how they could possibly prevent being victimized.  

Yes you can. You can have a conversation about stopping men from assaulting them. You can talk about better investigations when they are assaulted. etc etc. The onus is on men to stop assaulting them. Not on them to be less assault worthy. 

Just now, Scarlett said:

And this is what makes me crazy about this topic.  I absolutely 100% believe Gf was murdered.  His crime no where near deserved death.  And at the same time I want to scream, ‘there are crazy cops out there, do right, be right, watch yourself so you don’t come into contact with these crazy cops”. 
 

That is not victim blaming.  That is victim warning. As far as timing,,,.what better time to warn people than after someone has been murdered.  

That is actually 100 percent victim blaming, unless you are maybe the parent of a child informing that child of your warning. 

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10 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Ok but how about a conversation that is neither of that. You just can’t discuss prostitutes being victimized without discussing how they could possibly prevent being victimized.  

Why not?  Why can you not discuss men committing crime without discussing how women could have avoided being the one that the criminal committed a crime against on that particular occasion?

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

And this is what makes me crazy about this topic.  I absolutely 100% believe Gf was murdered.  His crime no where near deserved death.  And at the same time I want to scream, ‘there are crazy cops out there, do right, be right, watch yourself so you don’t come into contact with these crazy cops”. 
 

That is not victim blaming.  That is victim warning. As far as timing,,,.what better time to warn people than after someone has been murdered.  

Philandro Castile would like a word.

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1 minute ago, Danae said:

Why not?  Why can you not discuss men committing crime without discussing how women could have avoided being the one that the criminal committed a crime against on that particular occasion?

Because it is diverting the discussion? WHY can't we discuss men being criminals without turning it into a discussion about women's actions? 

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2 minutes ago, Danae said:

Why not?  Why can you not discuss men committing crime without discussing how women could have avoided being the one that the criminal committed a crime against on that particular occasion?

That just does not seem logical to me. Don’t walk the streets because it is dangerous. Saying that after a street walker has been murdered seems logical.  No where in that statement does it imply it is the victims fault.  

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1 minute ago, ktgrok said:

Because it is diverting the discussion? WHY can't we discuss men being criminals without turning it into a discussion about women's actions? 

Because protecting women should also be part of the discussion.  

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12 minutes ago, Danae said:

Philandro Castile would like a word.

Breonna Taylor might too....

Charles Kinsey

Tamir Rice

This list could get very long.

Edited by Stacia
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8 minutes ago, Danae said:

Philandro Castile would like a word.

 

4 minutes ago, Stacia said:

Breonna Taylor might too....

Ok, seriously, this is what makes me crazy,  what do these cases have to do with my question? Did I ever say situations happen where there would have been no way out?  I am talking about the situations if you had not passed a counterfeit  bill or fought the police. 

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11 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

 

Ok, seriously, this is what makes me crazy,  what do these cases have to do with my question? Did I ever say situations happen where there would have been no way out?  I am talking about the situations if you had not passed a counterfeit  bill or fought the police. 

So, my friend Richard unknowingly tried to pass a counterfeit bill at the bank the same week George Floyd did.  He's a white man in his mid 40's.  Do you know what happened to him?  The cashier showed him what made it counterfeit, apologized and said they couldn't accept it, and was polite and educated him.  They did not call the police.  Nobody assaulted him.  Nobody murdered him.  It's not always easy or obvious to know when you have a counterfeit bill.  

Of course you can talk about what people have done wrong without talking about what the people who got assaulted did "wrong."  It's the very rare situation when those conversations belong together.  

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FWIW, I think Scarlett is just being honest and open and wanting to understand other people's thinking on this. 

Like I said, this was and is a difficult subject for me to wrap my head around. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is. 

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Ok, seriously, this is what makes me crazy,  what do these cases have to do with my question? Did I ever say situations happen where there would have been no way out?  I am talking about the situations if you had not passed a counterfeit  bill or fought the police. 

Because in all those situations, those on the side of the police (or whoever is committing the violence in cases like this) come up with reasons why it was "justified". There's *always* a justification given. Not that they make sense, not that they are legit, not that it is ok to have responded with such force when the situation did not warrant it. I think part of that is driven by our litigious society. A CYA mentality. Even if it was a mistake or a trigger-happy sociopath high on power, the attitude is often to "justify" things; justification is easier if the victim is seen as not innocent.

They had drugs or something suspicious delivered in an amazon package.

He was waving a gun around.

I thought he was in danger.

He was acting erratically.

She didn't listen to my commands.

There's always a "reason" that's rolled out to the public. The statements can be true, half-true, total lies, or a mix. But the reasons almost always include some form of victim-blaming. It makes you have less pity for the victim, makes you think that excessive force might still be a reasonable option, makes it easy to keep the divides we are struggling with as a country in place. Because it makes the victim the "Other" rather than just getting to remain the "Victim". 

Imo.

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12 minutes ago, Terabith said:

So, my friend Richard unknowingly tried to pass a counterfeit bill at the bank the same week George Floyd did.  He's a white man in his mid 40's.  Do you know what happened to him?  The cashier showed him what made it counterfeit, apologized and said they couldn't accept it, and was polite and educated him.  They did not call the police.  Nobody assaulted him.  Nobody murdered him.  It's not always easy or obvious to know when you have a counterfeit bill.  

Of course you can talk about what people have done wrong without talking about what the people who got assaulted did "wrong."  It's the very rare situation when those conversations belong together.  

 I remember your story. It is also reality.  Ftr, I heard the testimony this week.  The clerk said he knew instantly the bill was counterfeit but accepted it in part because he knew GF was under the influence and wanted to cut him a break.   But all of that doesn’t matter to me.  It still doesn’t mean to mean that GF deserved to die.  At the same time I can hold two thoughts in my head......don’t be stupid in life, and also don’t murder people .  That is not victim blaming.  If we don’t discuss all sides we are not being honest.

 

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4 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

 I remember your story. It is also reality.  Ftr, I heard the testimony this week.  The clerk said he knew instantly the bill was counterfeit but accepted it in part because he knew GF was under the influence and wanted to cut him a break.   But all of that doesn’t matter to me.  It still doesn’t mean to mean that GF deserved to die.  At the same time I can hold two thoughts in my head......don’t be stupid in life, and also don’t murder people .  That is not victim blaming.  If we don’t discuss all sides we are not being honest.

Why do you think GF was being stupid? (That's what I'm inferring from your statement.)

What if he did not know that it was counterfeit?

What if he wasn't as aware of things because he was under the influence? Was he under the influence because of an addiction? Is addiction a choice? Does being addicted to something make you stupid?

Perhaps being under the influence of something or being high means you need help rather than being judged stupid?

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5 minutes ago, Stacia said:

Why do you think GF was being stupid? (That's what I'm inferring from your statement.)

What if he did not know that it was counterfeit?

What if he wasn't as aware of things because he was under the influence? Was he under the influence because of an addiction? Is addiction a choice? Does being addicted to something make you stupid?

Perhaps being under the influence of something or being high means you need help rather than being judged stupid?

Addiction is addiction.  It can and should be a warning for us.  Don’t go down this path because bad things happen is different than saying he deserved to die because he was on drugs.

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I don't think the drugs should matter. Let's imagine a similar situation where a victim dies during the commission of a crime- assault, robbery, hostage situation, etc. Maybe the victim had drugs in his system, but had the crime not occurred, or had the hostage taker allowed medical personnel to help, he could have been saved...the perpetrator will be charged with murder. It happens all the time! The only difference is that the people being charged in these murders are not wearing badges during their crimes.

I really dislike how George Floyd's behavior is being used to minimize the behavior of the cop. So what if he did overdose? Do we think maybe the paramedics who wanted to help could have saved him if they were allowed to intervene? Do we think maybe having his breathing restricted was a contributing factor?

We have a clear pattern of victim blaming whenever the police are involved and I think it serves to prevent real accountability and change. It's a harmful distraction. The same with sexual assault. People have been telling women how to behave to protect themselves for who knows how long? Hundreds of years at least. It doesn't really help and it is a form of social control that limits the freedoms and choices women feel they have- if my DH can walk the dog at night safely, I really should be able to as well in a perfect world! It also allows men to avoid the conversation about their own behavior and beliefs and lets society off the hook for putting the burden on women to try to control everyone while simultaneously controlling nothing. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Paige said:

We have a clear pattern of victim blaming whenever the police are involved and I think it serves to prevent real accountability and change. It's a harmful distraction. The same with sexual assault.

It not only prevents accountability & change, it allows it to flourish. And it flourishes in an environment largely built on racism & sexism.

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17 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Addiction is addiction.  It can and should be a warning for us.  Don’t go down this path because bad things happen

People fall into addiction for so many reasons.

Some people end up addicted because they have suffered an injury & have a hard time functioning with the pain.

Some people end up addicted because they turned to something to deal with terrible emotional pain or trauma.

Etc.

Many times, though, a person is literally just trying to get through a day, or an hour, or a minute, & they are addicted before they realize they have gone down that path. It's easy to be an armchair quarterback for judging it or seeing it in hindsight, but it's not usually so easy to recognize it happening to in real time. It's easy to say to avoid it, not always so easy to actually do so.

I know you don't think that GF deserved to die. But what if a different guy had passed counterfeit money, possibly not realizing or caring that he was doing so because he was under the influence of prescribed drugs which he had gotten because he had been badly injured in a worksite accident a year ago? Would you consider that person stupid? That his "stupid" addiction actions would be legitimate to call out if & when the cops show up & murder him? That it would be ok to say he was stupid to be an addict & to have put himself into that situation?

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“Putting oneself in a situation” is a somewhat valid (imo), isolated prevention discussion, poorly phrased. Similar to how one might take a self defense class in a studio, sparring with classmates rather than roaming the streets to find an actual assailant to practice on. Preventing trauma doesn’t need to degrade real victims by labeling their actions as “wrong”.

The actual criminals are the cause, the real problem, and the concept that needs the focus. Detracting from that doesn’t help victims.

For a less emotion laden example - my cars were once ransacked by a bunch of little thieving schitz. Stuff was taken, other stuff was thrown in the woods. Yup, my cars were left unlocked in our long driveway on our quiet little street in the woods of a gated community while my great big dogs slept until the very end.  
For years now, when I go to toss something in my trunk only to realize my car is locked, I don’t think “Oh, I’m so smart now!” I think, “Those little jerks still complicate my life!”

And, when I mostly still forget to lock my car anyway, I don’t tell myself I’m stupid. IM DOING NOTHING WRONG! I did nothing wrong. Some really crappy people did, and that’s not my fault. It wouldn’t be anyone else’s either.

If a new neighbor moved in and asked about safety/security, I’d tell them about my isolated incident, but it wouldn’t be in the context of “You have to lock your doors around here or you’re asking for trouble.” No one is asking to be robbed unless they put an actual sign in their yard with the words “Please rob me.” And no one does that.

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Scarlett, I totally understand your frustration with this issue.

I think a HUGE part of the problem with civil discourse nowadays is that far too few people can, or understand that others can, hold two even slightly contradictory thoughts at the same time. Shoot, sometimes I have multiple at least slightly contradictory thoughts stomping around in my brain about any given issue. Other people live in black or white land, I live in the land of shades of gray. It's often crazy making. But I think most issues are multi-factorial, and I think we'd all be better off if we could get back to acknowledging that, and having more nuanced discussions. We don't always have to choose one side to dig our trench on. Unfortunately, I do think social media--even something as great as the Hive--coerces people into choosing sides and digging in to defend them.

The problem with some of the examples being given is that they're not illegal. They may perhaps be seen as unwise, but leaving your bedroom window or your car unlocked isn't illegal. Most of us don't, even in the wee dark recesses of our brains, think that someone who leaves their window or car unlocked is doing anything illegal. And neither are, AFAIK, seen as morally wrong by anyone. And that's why we don't so much blame the victims in those cases.

Then you get into situations where the things someone does isn't technically illegal but might often be viewed as immoral or simply a bad decision that subtly reflects on character. I think the getting-drunk-and-then-getting-assaulted fits this category. It's easy to say well, you shouldn't have gotten drunk. We morally judge those folks. We judge their decision making ability, and we find them lacking. Some see their actions/decisions as contributing factors to what happened. Personally, I think that's okay--and maybe even a good thing--to acknowledge that, as long as we understand that the ultimate responsibility/blame for the assault is on the assaulter. It's the old two-wrongs-don't-make-a-right thing. There is a kinda sorta wrong or at least bad decision (getting drunk) and a really, really wrong (assaulting someone). 

Then you get into the category of something like the GF case, where the victim did, wittingly or not, do something illegal. Most of us have been raised and have tried all of our adult lives to be law abiding people. We try our best to not do illegal things, even unwittingly. Sure we might take the pen or the sticky note pad from our office, or drive five miles an hour over the limit sometimes, but that's about as unlawful as we get. We don't get drunk in public, we don't pass counterfeit bills, etc. So it's very easy for some people to say "Well, if he hadn't put himself in that situation . . ." It's fairly easy to see the victim in a case like this as also being in the wrong, sharing part of the blame for what happened. And like in my previous example, I don't necessarily think that's wrong. I think rational people can and should analyze an incident and parse out the individual elements that make the whole. But in the end I think rational people also have to conclude "this incident should not have ended the way it did." Someone who commits a civil crime, even someone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and who isn't acting entirely right, shouldn't end up dead because of that. We shouldn't have to learn to avoid bad cops. None of us. There shouldn't be bad cops. Full stop. So sure we can say "GF did some wrong" but we need to make sure we don't let that overshadow the really, really, really wrong thing that Chauvin did, and that the other officers (IMO) contributed to.

Tl;dr -- Life is complicated and messy.

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8 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 I remember your story. It is also reality.  Ftr, I heard the testimony this week.  The clerk said he knew instantly the bill was counterfeit but accepted it in part because he knew GF was under the influence and wanted to cut him a break.   But all of that doesn’t matter to me.  It still doesn’t mean to mean that GF deserved to die.  At the same time I can hold two thoughts in my head......don’t be stupid in life, and also don’t murder people .  That is not victim blaming.  If we don’t discuss all sides we are not being honest.

 

Two things can be independently true. Using drugs makes it more likely you will be involved in an out-of-control situation and using drugs doesn’t mean you deserve to be killed.

The fact that they are independently true means that they can be discussed independently.  It is not necessary to bring up the fact that George Floyd would have been better off if he’d never taken drugs when discussing the trial of the man who murdered him.

It’s useful and good to discuss ways to prevent COVID infection. It is not necessary when someone posts that they or a loved one has tested positive to talk about the things they could have done differently that might have prevented it.   

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9 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Because protecting women should also be part of the discussion.  

Protecting women deserves to be its own, separate discussion. 

If your child dies dies in a car accident due to your car being hit by a drunk driver, my reaction should not be to go into a discussion of defensive driving techniques. It's not appropriate to have that discussion at that time, or to veer away from the pain and suffering you are feeling to lecture you on how you can prevent it next time. It just isn't. 

That doesn't mean that a general discussion of defensive driving techniques isn't an okay topic on it's own. Just at it's own time, in it's own place.

8 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 I remember your story. It is also reality.  Ftr, I heard the testimony this week.  The clerk said he knew instantly the bill was counterfeit but accepted it in part because he knew GF was under the influence and wanted to cut him a break.   But all of that doesn’t matter to me.  It still doesn’t mean to mean that GF deserved to die.  At the same time I can hold two thoughts in my head......don’t be stupid in life, and also don’t murder people .  That is not victim blaming.  If we don’t discuss all sides we are not being honest.

 

See..but that phrasing to discuss all sides tends to equalize the various "sides" here. It takes an attack in which someone needlessly assaulted and killed a man and implies there is blame on both sides. 

 

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Yes, as others have pointed out already, dwelling on the victim's actions has reduced the urgency of addressing the perpetrator's actions in our society. We tolerate bad police for lots of reasons, one of which is because we dwell on the actions of the victims. If we lived in a society where violent, racist police were extremely rare and dealt with quickly when discovered, conversations about the victim's actions would be much less of a problem. But we don't, and here we are. 

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The reason victim blaming is seen as diverting attention away from the true perpetrator can be seen in this very thread. At this point, most of the posts are about George Floyd - his drug/alcohol use, did he know it was counterfiet, etc etc. No one is talking about the police officer anymore. More energy is being given to discussing the victims actions and what he could/should have done differently, what blame he has for various things from immoral to illegal, etc....and none is being given to the actual person on trial. Again. We are not discussing what HIS behavior was driven by, did he have an addiction, mental condition, bad childhood, obsession with power, history of abusing others, poor training, poor leadership, etc etc etc. All valid things to be brought up in a discussion about HIS actions. Instead, we are going over the victims life and actions. Again. 

That is what happens when you victim blame. You THINK you are discussing both, but what seems to always happen is it focuses on the victim almost entirely. 

Edited by ktgrok
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7 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

The reason victim blaming is seen as diverting attention away from the true perpetrator can be seen in this very thread. At this point, most of the posts are about George Floyd - his drug/alcohol use, did he know it was counterfiet, etc etc. No one is talking about the police officer anymore. More energy is being given to discussing the victims actions and what he could/should have done differently, what blame he has for various things from immoral to illegal, etc....and none is being given to the actual person on trial. Again. 

That is what happens when you victim blame. You THINK you are discussing both, but what seems to always happen is it focuses on the victim almost entirely. 

Ummm . . this thread is about victim blaming. So of course that leads to discussing . . . the victim.

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Just now, Pawz4me said:

Ummm . . this thread is about victim blaming. So of course that leads to discussing . . . the victim.

Plus, I don't think anyone in this thread disagrees that George Floyd was murdered or that the murder was egregious or that the police officer should be punished. So there's only so much to say about that. 

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4 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Ummm . . this thread is about victim blaming. So of course that leads to discussing . . . the victim.

 

Fair enough..but this is what happens in discussions even when the thread isn't about it. 

 

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