Eve Ewing has written an absolutely dazzling book—in “Ghosts” she illuminates the core issues underlying urban school failure, welcomes the marginalized to center stage, unlocks the wisdom in the room, amplifies the voices of the people who are so easily talked about but so rarely listened to, and grounds her work in an ethic of love and compassion. Part personal essay, part portrait, part ethnography, part history, “Ghosts” reads like a beautiful (if often angry) love song. There is no other book on schools and school reform like this one—an essential text for the struggles ahead.
Jeremy Scahill with Eve Ewing, Charlene Caruthers, Jamie Kalvin, Malcolm London, and me at the Logan Square Auditorium. Quite a night!
From my friend Susie Day @ Snidelines:
Now that you’re a confirmed Supreme Court justice, it must be a huge relief to realize that whatever you did or did not do to Christine Blasey Ford never really mattered.
Thing is, I actually do believe Christine Blasey Ford. But I’m not sure that makes me, as a woman, any safer. People like me believed Anita Hill, and where did that get us? Hardly anybody in power noticed there was a systemic problem, and sexual harassment never went away. So Brett, what with your ascension to the U.S. Supreme Court and all, I have decided that, in order for people like me to survive, we have to believe you, too.
Ergo. I hear you, Brett. There, there. Do you want my hankie? I’m using empathy now — how’m I doing?
I hear, Brett, that you feel rejected by us liberal haters, who don’t understand the good that all your hard-drinking, serious puking, and ruthless genital thrusting have wrought on society. You feel that you’ve been asked to bear shame for your actions, and to reject your deeply felt identity as a bully. But I get you, Brett – bullies are people, too.
Yes, inside every inebriated, pussy-grabbing, belligerent Beltway thug is a terrified, whinging child, whose deepest desire is not to be humiliated by some emotionally abusive Father Figure. “Golly,” you shudder to yourself, “what if, because of this confirmation kerfuffle, President Trump secretly sees me now as some sort of girly-man, being gang-banged in a torn nightgown by a bunch of fake-news feminists? After all, he saw me … crying.”
I’m guessing, Brett, that you feel violated.
Your social station, however, demands that you keep your feelings private. You see, despite the advantages of coming from the haute bourgeoisie, Brett, life, in some ways, has been harder for you than for most of us peasants. As a white, heterosexual, upper-class male, you’re expected to shoulder heavy societal responsibilities.
Think of Oedipus, for example. If his father had been some lower-middle-class drugstore clerk instead of a king, do you think Oedipus would have gouged out his own eyes after he realized he’d just had sex with his mother? No. The neighborhood would have hushed it up, and everybody would have gone on calling everybody else and their dog “motherfucker” anyway.
Like Oedipus, you belong to the eye-gouging class. It’s been rough, hasn’t it, Brett? You’ve been forced to give up yin for yang, to chug that beer and grope those snatches and snap those locker-room towels until your buddies gouged out those favors that helped you up that ladder so you could arrive at the top of our judicial system, where they were already expecting you.
Clearly, it’s acceptable for aspiring prep-school rapists to be welcomed at most levels of our government. And I admit how most of us uptight losers never noticed when you were appointed White House Staff Secretary or Circuit Judge for the DC Court of Appeals. It was only when you were about to get a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court that we got mad.
You’ve got a right to your feelings, Brett.
So you go on, follow your dream! Dance, Brett! Yes, dance on that great glass roof of society — all the while laughing down at the struggling women below, who stupidly think it’s a ceiling.
The Supreme Court should not be closed to you, simply because you got roaring drunk and tried to rip the clothes off a fifteen-year-old girl, while your friends laughingly egged you on. Heck, your federal Father Figure has done way worse. I can hear him right now, advising you:
“Next time some rude elevator screamers accuse you of sex crimes, don’t get mad! Just say some undocumented Mexicans did it — too much cerveza. That way, you won’t raise the liberal stink you did by saying, ‘That never happened.’”
Remember to take care of Number One, Brett Kavanaugh. There’s too much on your plate for you to internalize the fact that women and queers and children of all genders, classes, and every race, face sexual harassment, humiliation, rape, even death, from men – especially men who want to be just like you.
#MeToo is an amazing movement. But below the #MeToo media conversations, god-knows-what continues to go on. Given the gathering rage in our boys-against-girls zeitgeist — when boys like you feel violated while girls like Christine Blasey Ford speak their truth — I wonder how bad it may have gotten for sex workers who hook up with johns like you and Donald Trump. How much spite and anger they’ll have to soak up, and in what form. My dad, who grew up on the streets of Tulsa, naturally assumed that every woman would be raped at least once in the course of her life. At the dinner table he told me, “When it happens to you, scream. Scream your head off.”
I recently came across the obituary of Freddie Oversteegen, a Dutch woman, who died early this September, at 92. In the 1940s, Freddie, with her sister Truus and their friend Hannie Schaft, was part of an underground cell that killed occupying Nazi troops. As nubile, seductive teenagers, they met German soldiers in bars, then lured them into the woods, where the soldiers were executed.
Thankfully, Brett, that will never happen to you. Given the nature of your current Father Figure and our current Fatherland, you won’t be one of those soldiers. You’ll be one of the men sending in the troops.