Wednesday, June 8, 2016

An Open Letter to Brock's Dad, aka Everyass

I don't know you, but I see you. You could be any entitled rich white ass. You could be every entitled rich white ass. You are Everyass. You are the poster child of Rape Culture, White Culture, Might Equals Right Culture. Because it’s all the same thing. 

What I can take was always mine, and will be forever, hallelujah, amen.

You’re still in caveman tribal mode: Good Guys vs. Evil. In that fight, you're justified in using whatever it takes to survive, no matter what. Smash and destroy and betray and disregard and overpower. Take what you need and want. Survive. No time for integrity. No time for compromise. No time for anyone else’s needs but your own. That's the price of success. As the media has been in such a hurry to point out, your golden boy was caught raping a woman at a top university. His swim times are phenomenal.

Surely though you can see why, when you claim he’s too delicate for the sort of consequences the rest of us suffer out here, here in this fantastic dystopia that you, Everyass, and those like you fight so hard to create, our rage begins to grow.

When you don’t bat an eye as families are torn apart and parents languish in literal slavery, when you don’t seem to think brown and black children are too delicate to grow up without parents who dared self-medicate with weed instead of OxyContin or Prozac or Xanex, but god forbid your rapist son spend six months in jail for condemning an innocent woman to a lifetime of trauma, our rage grows. Maybe you’re right; maybe jail is so cruel and unusual that even the cruelest and most unusual criminals, like rapists, shouldn’t be subjected to it. If that’s how you really feel, it’s about time you got more upset about all of your fellow Americans being subjected to it for far lesser reasons. 

The truth is, you don’t care about justice or liberty. What you really want is a personal, consequence-free zone for you and yours. And the more you succeed at this, the more you protect your children from any experience that would allow them to relate to, care about, and grow into decent human beings alongside of the rest of us. Money can stand in for a lot of personal growth. It has clearly saved you and your terrible spawn from ever learning a damned thing from life. You've nurtured a careful inability to understand that other people experience pain, too. Well done.

Empathy is not a small trait to be missing. The ability to balance your own needs and desires against those of others is a baseline skill for participation in a community. Your son caused another human being grave harm. He should suffer over that. You should feel anguish over that. If you had this basic decency I'm talking about, which you're going to need if you don't want to be voted off the island one of these days, you'd be examining your teachings, thinking about what attitudes you hold and convey about the value of other humans, the beauty of individuality, the inviolable sovereignty of a person over their own body. Maybe you couldn't have done any better but maybe you could have, right? Maybe a rapist son is a good wake-up call, a good time to re-evaluate your ethical model of the universe?

Sir, this is what it looks like to care about others besides yourself: you'd tell your son to spend as much time and energy as it takes to help with this woman's healing, to understand what she's been through, to do anything he can do. You'd encourage him to bow his head and accept whatever consequences society sees fit to give him. "Don't think only about yourself and what you're going through, son," you'd tell him. "That's what got you in this mess in the first place. It's time to start thinking about what experiences we provide for others; what kind of world we're creating for the people in our lives. It's time to understand, from her side of things, what experience you forced on this woman that night."

If you had the baseline sense of empathy necessary to thrive in a community, you would recognize that the most important fact about your son right now is his demonstrated willingness to violently sacrifice another human's welfare to his whims. He is a threat to intoxicated women everywhere. You shouldn't protect that. Your son's delicate monsterhood doesn't deserve to be preserved!

What you call love is better known as psychotic overindulgence. A loving father wouldn't be trying to explain to the world about his son. A loving father would be doing everything in his power to help his son connect the suffering he will experience now to the suffering that others experience; the suffering that woman experienced. A loving father would be trying to help his son forge a new sense of self through adversity, shaped in important ways by the magnitude of the pain he has caused another.

I hope you figure out in time that the Everyass way of life is dying.


A More Generous America Than You Should Expect

1 comment:

  1. This is right on. I would only disagree with one word: "intoxicated". There is something in the nature of this act that speaks to an inability to empathize with any woman, and a willingness to take any advantage. Boys learn their attitudes towards women from the men in their lives, and it's pretty obvious now where Brock Turner learned his. It's almost a cliché now, but rape is a mens' problem, and men need to stop it.

    In the midst of this ugly business, too soon to be forgotten, the best thing I've read (besides the letter from the victim herself) is the paragraph that begins "Sir, this is what it looks like to care for others besides yourself:" Thank you, and well done for spelling out the right alternative along with a richly-deserved excoriation. It's that right alternative I've come to think of as your hallmark.