Mario Balotelli is an Italian footballer who may soon become a Liverpool player. He has long been one of my favorite players, and I can’t help but think that the way his reputation in Europe is shaped by race. (Balotelli has been the victim of horrific racist chants throughout his career, but I also think institutional racism shapes media coverage and popular opinion, as pointed out here and elsewhere.)
Balotelli is certainly an unusual footballer: Once, while signing an autograph for a child, Balotelli learned the kid was being bullied, and then drove across town to confront the bully and discuss the matter with the school principal. And he is famed for his generosity, although this is often portrayed popularly as an inability to handle his money well.
He also has a reputation for volatility and immaturity, and is often criticized for getting in fights with teammates. He once threw a dart at a younger player. You hear a lot that Balotelli is crazy and/or lazy. You hear that he stays out late.
Now, I think some of Balotelli’s professional behavior has been poor, and I’m not here to defend it. But look at the way we treat white players:
Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler once PRETENDED TO SNORT THE WHITE POWDER OF THE TOUCH LINE after scoring a goal, in reference to his cocaine use.
Point being, in all the cases above (and many, many, many more) the offenses were seen as youthful indiscretions, or as hilarious examples of Boys being Boys.
Fowler is now a coach; Beagrie is now a well-respected commentator; and Bellamy is still playing. You rarely hear about his on- and off-field indiscretions, even though they’re probably more numerous than Balotelli’s. Meanwhile, Balotelli makes the news (and gets fined $200,000) for eating curry.
Those of you who follow football will begin to hear a lot about Balotelli if he returns to play in England. You will hear about how he cried after being substituted (although you might not hear that he cried because he had to sit on the bench while racist chants rang through the stadium). You will hear about how he is “wild” and “unpredictable” and “lazy.”
But watch him play. Watch how good and smart and creative he can be, how he can find paths to goal that make people call him lazy (they called Messi lazy, too, remember) when really he is just waiting, like the chess master who sees four moves ahead. Watch him off the ball, moving to reshape the opposition’s defense.
And then watch him score, turn around unsmiling, and lift his shirt to ask the immense and complicated question.
have no regrets
except all those facebook pages you liked back in 2009, regret those
Something for my feminist theory class.
I’d love to see the reactions to this from a crowd. I can kind of imagine a quiet, solemn understanding from the ladies and a lot of confused questions from the guys… If my memory of art school serves me.
In 9th grade English we read Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak”. For those of you who haven’t read it, the author makes it abundantly clear that the teenage protagonist, Melinda, was raped, before the protagonist actually says it.
Our English teacher asked the boys in the class what happened to Mel. They came up with the most ridiculous answers. Every girl in the class just knew.
This just goes to show…
Not all men menace women, but yes all women have felt menaced by a man.
Every girl understands this because every girl knows the fear implicit in this image.
In March of this year I threw a grenade into the Nerdfighter/YouTube community. As difficult as the aftermath has been, I’m proud of myself and of my friends for speaking up and I’m thankful to all of you have been standing with me and supporting me through this. I would truly be lost without you guys.The reason I’m rehashing all of this is because I’ve seen a great number of posts wondering why the discussion of Internet-related sexual abuse / fan-creator power dynamics has dwindled off. I’ve noticed it too! There was a lot of productive discourse happening immediately following the accusations, but not so much now. I guess that first thing I want to say is that many of the accused male YouTubers are planning, consciously or subconsciously, to make comebacks when the social climate feels safe enough to do so. How do we prevent this from happening? Continue talking about it. Let them know we have not forgotten.I’d like to give an update on a few of these dudes so that we’re all aware of where things currently stand. I’ll start with my own personal situation.First, I’d like to tell you all something that I didn’t mention in my first post about Alex. When the Tom Milsom news broke, I immediately thought of Alex and began to feel guilty for not having said anything about my experiences with him up to that point (feelings that would lead me to writing my initial post).The day I read about Tom Milsom, I texted Alex. I asked him if he was nervous about being accused of similar things - he said no. Don’t believe me? Here’s screencaps of the conversation, including some additional fucked up comments he made about sexual assault / rape. I want it to be known that Alex didn’t think anything he’d done was wrong until we spoke up about it. He only ever apologized to me after my initial post.
Since March, Alex hasn’t been active online other than liking posts on Facebook and favoriting tweets. This is the best possible scenario in my mind. He shouldn’t come back to YouTube. His presence is a trigger to anyone who’s had a similar experience and to make himself present on the very same platform he used to manipulate many, many girls would be self-serving and detrimental to a lot of people. Although he hasn’t been present online, he’s been reaching out to many of his victims via text, asking them to talk and apologizing to them. I hope everyone sees how invasive it is for him to do that. If I were to text Alex (which I have), THEN it would be appropriate for him to respond and initiate conversation. To inject yourself into the life of someone you assaulted (or worse) is inappropriate, inconsiderate, and harmful.Unfortunately, many of the other accused YouTubers are doing worse things. Ed Plant has been very active on YouTube. He posted an apology song awhile back and another video just today. Again, I want to emphasize how inappropriate it is for these men to return to a platform they abused. A comeback on YouTube is selfish. It helps no one but the abuser. No matter how many fans continue to blindly follow them and beg them to make videos again, their wants will never surmount the absolutely necessary need (for the victims’ sake) for these men to stay off YouTube…forever.Alex Day has been pretty quiet…except on Reddit. Alex has been posting frequently about false accusations and how people don’t know “his side of the story”, even though he wrote a post admitting fault. His comments are extremely manipulative. He’s said, “I found three (posts) where people said they felt manipulated into sexual things” and “But unfortunately, when people see ‘there have been fifteen accounts’, they don’t bother reading them.” Basically, he’s not denying the fact that he sexually manipulated at least three people, but at least it wasn’t 15 people! Right?? No, not right, Alex. Then, he said that he only ever wrote the admission of fault post to see if it would calm everyone down. So, he says he’s lying, but would like us all to believe he isn’t lying now. Frankly, this whole “you need both sides of the story” nonsense is…nonsense. It’s absurd to think we don’t know enough when, yes - three people say they’ve been sexually abused, 13 or so other girls say he was (at least) inappropriate with them, and even his very best friend is unable to take his side on this.Let’s move on to Luke Conard, who I probably have the most personal experience with after Alex C.. Luke’s been mostly quiet since he was outed as a manipulative, cheating asshole (except for that early tweet where he said he would “be back soon!”). Recently he’s begun posting on Twitter and Instagram. The worrisome thing about Luke is that his fans want him back badly. A return to YouTube is not only probable, but also likely to go off without a hitch. Unless, maybe, we keep talking about this. The scary thing about Luke (as opposed to these other men) is that he’s, without a doubt, a sociopath. I’m saying this as someone who spent a great deal of time with Luke in his home, at conventions, and on tour - not to mention I’m very close to the women he’s been a dick to. Luke has no remorse for the pain he’s caused. He’s not sorry. He doesn’t think he did anything wrong. And he literally does nothing that doesn’t directly benefit #1 (himself).A prime example of this is the fact that he bought a puppy to sway people into feeling kindly about him. I know this sounds like a leap of my imagination, but I can’t stress to you how classically Luke it is for him to have bought a puppy for the sole purpose of getting his fanbase to accept him. Notice how the only posts he’s made since March have been about him being in the hospital and about his new puppy? He is out for sympathy and he is receiving it. Meanwhile, he’s deleting negative posts about him on all platforms, blocking people, and even threatening those who are too outspoken. How much guiltier can you get?
So many of you will send me disgusting anonymous messages, tell me I’m out for attention, tell me I’m making something out of nothing, or maybe even tell me that these men are “just trying to live their lives” or that you STILL “don’t know the full story”. Honestly, I don’t have time for you anymore. I hope you know you are slowing down necessary change and your support towards these men is a detriment to many people’s well being. This conversation needs to continue. We really can’t let these men get away with it and continue living the lives they had before. They have to move on and not be present in places where their victims will see them. Keep talking.
I am so indebted to Sarah for being able to talk so openly about this stuff when I am, even months later (years, really) still afraid Luke might retaliate at me in some way if I make an outward effort to continue the discussion.
But we must continue the discussion - for ourselves, for the others out there that need our support, and to keep these toxic people away from our community.
This isn’t “over”. We aren’t “past the drama”. This is an ongoing issue we need to talk about and educate people on. We can’t let this happen again. We can’t let them continue to profit off a community they took advantage of. As Sarah said, please keep talking. Please keep reading. Please keep fighting to keep YouTube (and yourselves and the Internet and the world) a little bit safer.
Plot twist: The next companion is a normal girl/boy who only dies once in their lifetime and has no remarkable back story but he thinks they’re wonderful because they are human and the Doctor needs reminding that you don’t need to be a mystery to be remarkable.
so basically we want Donna back
FAVORITE THING THAT HAPPENED ON THIS SHOW EVER
Fellowship of the Ring + Scenery
Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Those are the countries. It will be drought-resistant species, mostly acacias. And this is a fucking brilliant idea you have no idea oh my Christ
This will create so many jobs and regenerate so many communities and aaaaaahhhhhhh
more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Green_Wall
it’s already happening, and already having positive effects. this is wonderful, why have i not heard of this before? i’m so happy!
This man…I swear! Is there a stronger word then love? Because that is what I feel for him.
How can I be racist if I work with blacks
How can I be racist if one sold me slacks
I’m not racist I’m just like you. I’m best friends with a black or two.
i’m not racist, you see, it’s just a preference
i love eastern culture and its women’s deference
the west lost its way with no room for clemency
If I love Asian women, how’s that white supremacy?
i’m not a racist, i can’t be, you see
my great grandma’s grandma was part cherokee
plus one time i got called “cracker” to my face
don’t we all bleed red? i don’t even see race…