Flight Papers

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Archive for the ‘violence’ Category

Nidal Malik Hasan: civilian casualties “highly suspect”

Friday, November 6th, 2009

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“Every conceivable effort made” to avoid civilian casualties.

FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army psychiatrist who led a ground assault against U.S. forces stationed at Fort Hood said that yesterday’s ground assault was a “surgical operation,” and that reports of civilian casualties are “likely overblown.”

“We will be performing a full and thorough investigation,” he continued, “Provided we are able to secure the support of authorities on the ground.” U.S. authorities have thus far not allowed Hasan access to the area in which the attack was conducted.

“Of course, caring for injured soldiers remains our top priority,” Hasan said, his breathing assisted by a ventilator, “But I’m actually feeling pretty good right now.”

The U.S. has alleged that anywhere from two to five civilians were caught up in Hasan’s attack. The allegations have not yet been substantiated. Military police refused to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, Afghan and Iraqi leaders have offered tepid, sarcastic condolences to the families of those killed. “Yeah, wow, that sucks.” Iraqi president Jalal Talabani wrote in a press statement, “I can’t even imagine. Twelve lives lost. And for what?”

“Well, never mind that,” the statement continued, “CNN is so depressing. What else is on TV? There must be something good. Isn’t it sweeps week?”

Thank you.

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

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Thank you for your ignorance. Thank you for your apathy.

Thank you for walking on our bodies until we join the sidewalk; thank you for barely noticing. Thank you for shedding a small tear for the tragedy that inevitably ends our lives, and thank you for so efficiently erasing our names and our stories thereafter.

Thank you for letting our families know what manner of things we are. Thank you for helping them let go of us. Thank you for helping them push us into the street. Thank you for helping them kill us. Thank you for helping them forget us.

Thank you for the names you have given us: Abomination. Grotesque. Thank you for telling us these names, on our streets and in our homes. Thank you for helping us erase whatever other names we might have had or foolishly thought we wanted. Thank you for giving us these to take their place: Freak. Monster.

Thank you for helping us realize the value of our lives—how painful they must be, how pathetic. Thank you for helping so many of us find the courage to cut open our own throats.

Thank you for killing us.

Thank you for stabbing us. Thank you for bashing in our skulls, for putting bullets into our organs, for beating us until we could no longer remember how to breathe. Thank you for drowning us in water and in the liquid parts of our own bodies. Thank you for your remarkable efficiency, that the dead should be so many that no single one of us could remember them all.

Thank you for all you have done for us.

Had you done otherwise, we should not have learned what manner of creatures you are.


Thursday, November 20th, 2008

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Kellie TelesfordGabriela Alejandra AlbornozStacy BrownAdolphus SimmonsAshley SweeneySanesha (Talib) StewartLawrence KingLunaLloyd NixonSilvana BerishaRosa PazosJuan Carlos Aucalle CoronelAngie ZapataSamantha Rangel BrandauNakhia (Nikki) WilliamsRuby MolinaAimee WilcoxsonDuanna JohnsonDilek InceTeish (Moses) CannonAliUnidentified Iraqi WomanUnidentified Iraqi WomanValentina FalcoNakia Ladelle BakerHasan SabehKeittirat LongnawaTatiana (Aldomiro Gomes)Moira DonaireRuby RodriguezErica KeelManuela Di CesareVictoria ArellanoOscar MosquedaStefania CoppiMaribelle ReyesThanawoot WiriyananonSally (Salvador) CamatoyThousands upon thousands whose names we have forgotten.

It would be nice to think that we actually had respect for the dead.

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

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It’s not exactly like we gave her much in life, is it?

I haven’t written about Angie Zapata, which is particularly unforgivable since she was killed in my city. I find myself having trouble articulating anything that hasn’t already been said.

It might be that it’s too close, that those things made clear by her murder seem to large and too obvious. Trans women—like most women, as it happens—are acutely aware of how much our status makes us targets; how much random men on the streets want to either fuck us or do violence to us, or maybe some exciting new combination of both.

It looks like the prosecutor is going to prosecute her murder as a hate crime, which means the defense is probably going to advance the idea that it’s an all-American hate crime. The kind of hate crime that’s fun for the whole family; the kind that any red-blooded American boy would be practically forced to commit (or not commit—such a nasty, criminalizing word—but maybe enjoy) after a nasty, dirty, brown (of course she’s an illegal immigrant, even if her family has lived in Weld county since the invention of, say, dirt) tranny coerces and deceives him into getting a blowjob and then sexually assaulting her.

It could have happened to any of you (straight, white men), and then what would you have to do?

So the trial’s going to be hilarious, in that way that leaves you in shock, shaking and sobbing on the floor and perhaps I have not quite selected the appropriate adjective.

The D.A. is prosecuting her murder, at least, and while I don’t exactly put a tonne of stock in our criminal justice system, I have to feel a little better about that. Little steps, I guess.

Speaking of the D.A.

“It doesn’t matter who the victim is,” Buck said, “. . . a crime like this cannot be tolerated at any level.”

That’s nice to hear, Buck. It would have been nicer without the implication that trans women are, somehow, almost tolerable victims. That we ought to prosecute this man not because of his demonstrated vicious hatred for transgender people, or women, or Latinas, per se, but because of a philosophical commitment to discouraging people from bashing heads in with fire extinguishers.

Little steps.

The papers are reporting it as a hate crime, which it is, and the stories are written an unfortunately-shocking sympathy for the victim. It’s nice that the Denver Post, at least, refers to Zapata as “she,” and “her.” It would be nicer if they didn’t use her birth name in half their ledes (when someone changes their name, legally or not, the paper generally uses their chosen name—unless they’re trans, of course). It would also be nice if they extended trans people this courtesy while we’re still alive.

And while I’m wishing for horses, it would be nice if after her murderer is convicted, we maybe started asking how he felt like what he was doing was sanctioned by society, and how he could mount such a grotesque defense with the expectation that people would, y’know, buy it.

It would also be nice if I didn’t wince in my stomach whenever I wrote “I,” or “we” in this post.

Little steps, little steps…