Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

In the clip above, Jon Stewart talks about the terrorist attack (which is what it was) at a black church in Charleston, SC this week, where nine congregants were murdered by a racist white guy with a gun. I especially agree with this: “Once again, we have to stare into the abyss of depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn’t exist. I’m confident though that by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we STILL won’t do jack shit.”

Related: “It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males” [via Salon]

And also: “Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now” [via The Atlantic]

“People Are Finally Talking About The Thing Nobody Wants To Talk About” [via NPR]

!! “It’s Official: A Woman Will Be on the New $10 Bill” [via Slate]

Ha ha: “Two Weeks of Status Updates From Your Vague Facebook Friend” [via The New Yorker]

“Why I Answered My Dad’s Gay Sex Ad” [via Narratively]

Sure, if you think fundraising for your wedding is “awesome”: “The Awesome Pre-Wedding Event to Replace Bridal Showers Once and for All” [via mic.com]

“No, You are Not ‘Running Late,’ You Are Rude and Selfish” [via Vitamin T]

“Insidious Love: Thought Control, Young Love, And One Mother’s Nightmare” [via Buzzfeed]

“‘Trouble With Girls’: The Enduring Sexism in Science” [via The Atlantic]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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42 comments… add one
  • avatar

    SpaceySteph June 19, 2015, 12:12 pm

    No. Uh-uh. No way in hell am I going to pay $25 to attend a wedding fundraiser party. I agree with the half of this article that thinks bridal showers are lame and should be replaced. But let’s replace them with… nothing.

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    • avatar

      Sunshine Brite June 19, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Yeah, I would opt out from one of those parties especially since it sounds like you need to cover your own food and drinks on top of the cover. I think bridal showers are lame in general, but really enjoyed the one my aunts threw for me. I got a lot of handmade items that I never would’ve thought of and got to spend time with people from my hometown I hadn’t seen in years. It made me want to move closer to all of them for a hot second.

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    • avatar

      Sandy June 19, 2015, 2:31 pm

      I wouldn’t mind so much it if it was just the one price and it covered food and drink but you pay a cover charge, you pay for food and drink, and then you pay for the games. And then you also have the wedding party contributing food and prizes when they are already paying for their clothes and whatever else that is required to be in the wedding. That’s a lot to ask of your guests and wedding party.

      My fiancé is from Ontario and when he first mentioned this to me it was the first time I had ever heard of it but it’s a normal tradition from where he’s from. We both agreed though it wouldn’t really work here as it’s not something we do here (I also didn’t feel right about asking people for money even if it would be helpful). We have surprise bridal showers (which I still won’t want) and bachelor/bachelorette parties.

      Maybe if a group of friends and family decided themselves to throw a Jack and Jill party for the bride and groom I’d be more ok with it but I hate making love ones feels like they have to give money or gifts for anything so it’d still be weird (and I think the article said some guests of the party aren’t even invited to the wedding o.o that is what I consider rude).

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 2:53 pm

        I live in Ontario and I don’t know if I’d call it “normal”. It happens, but most of the people I know look down on it. One of my friends from work had one for his destination wedding. Like, dude, you’re already saving tons of money on the wedding, because destinations are cheaper and not as many people go. So you’re already not even buying dinner for most of these people, *plus* they’ll probably give you a gift, and you expect them to pay for your wedding too? I went, but I wasn’t happy about it.
        .
        Of course, it was better than the one I was invited to where I wasn’t invited to the wedding, just the fundraiser. Yeah. That’s just downright rude.

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      • avatar

        Sandy June 19, 2015, 3:01 pm

        Maybe it’s just traditional in his family then but as his extended family is back home it’s still not something we would do. He’s from a town called Hamilton, I know it’s not a normal thing across the province as it is a big place :).

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 3:04 pm

        Yeah, might be a west of Toronto thing… I think mrmid, who commented below me, is also from the western side of Ontario. It wasn’t common for me, but like you said, it’s a big province so there’s little cultural pockets all over it.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 19, 2015, 5:17 pm

        Oh and the part where you invite people who aren’t invited to the wedding?! How gross is that? Like… you didn’t make the cut to come to our actual wedding, but your money is still good here.
        I just can’t. There is so much surrounding weddings that is so flat out tacky.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 6:35 pm

        Right?!?! I couldn’t believe they did that!

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      • avatar

        L.G.J June 20, 2015, 3:55 pm

        I got Invited to one once, didn’t even know the couple they were friends of friends, I didn’t go. I’m from the east coast and asking strangers to pay for your wedding is not really done down home. I had assumed it was a weird Ontario thing and apparently I was right.
        Also the wording on “Manitoba and Ontario provinces” really bothered me in this article, I think it may be technically correct but it sounds so wrong.

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    • mrmidtwenties

      mrmidtwenties June 19, 2015, 2:49 pm

      Living in Ontario, I’ve just accepted them as a reality I have to live with and I’ll begrudgingly attend. I wholeheartedly disagree with them, but that’s just how things are done here. Some I have been to are clear cash grabs from as many people as they can get to attend. Others have actually been really awesome parties that were definitely worth the money spent. I get much more on board with them when they are treated more like a college keg party where everyone pays $20 for unlimited beer and it get sloppy and hilarious. Some suck and it’s like here are all these raffle tickets you should buy and drinks are $8.00, they’re clearly trying to sucker you out of all your money when you’re not even attending their wedding. In summary, I am against them, but if they’re treated like a college kegger, I’ll be less reluctant about going.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 2:55 pm

        Whereabouts in Ontario, if you don’t mind my asking? I’ve lived/had family in most of the towns east of Toronto along the 401. Not common that I know of. I just got invited to a cousin’s shower in Napanee, totally normal shower, not a fundraiser. Is it a western Ontario thing?

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      • mrmidtwenties

        mrmidtwenties June 19, 2015, 3:20 pm

        It’s definitely not a Toronto or Ottawa thing. I’m in Guelph and they’re usually called stag and does. I have family in the Kingston area and they do seem to be less popular there. From my understanding they started in farming communities when farming was less lucrative than it is today and farmers sons and daughters really had no money to have a wedding. I can say I have been invited to them all over SW Ontario.

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      • avatar

        MissDre June 21, 2015, 6:35 pm

        Yeah are you guys talking about Stag and Doe parties? Cuz I am from Ottawa, Ontario and I have never ever heard of a wedding fundraiser. I’ve only heard of the Stag and Doe which is mostly a rural small town thing. I’d never even heard of that until maybe 3 years ago when I met someone from a town of like 1,000 people. And basically the town shows up to drink and play games. I’ve only been to one, and it was awful lol.

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray June 19, 2015, 12:25 pm

    Thank god for Jon Stewart. He nailed it! I mean, really really really nailed it.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh June 19, 2015, 12:34 pm

    It’s so hard to explain to people not in the South what it is still like in some places. It’s hard to explain why it’s still like that as well. There has been a lot of people coming together after this and I just hope that maybe it will be the cause for more change. And not like Jon Stewart said a case of people coming together after a tragedy and then life going back to normal. The Senator who was killed was a pretty awesome guy. He wasn’t the Senator in my area but I had seen a lot of him because we are close. If anyone wants to learn more about him this article has some links and information, https://myaccount.nytimes.com/auth/login?URI=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2015%2F06%2F19%2Fopinion%2Fhenry-louis-gates-if-clementa-pinckney-had-lived.html%3F_r%3D5&REFUSE_COOKIE_ERROR=SHOW_ERROR. It’s sad that 9 lives were lost in general, but extremely sad that someone trying so hard and actually making changes was killed. Why the confederate flag is still flying here is beyond me. I haven’t heard a single reason that isn’t stupid, but apparently there are enough people who want it that the voices of those of us who don’t get drowned out.
    *
    Completely off topic but related to the racism that is rampant here, I learned this week that the infant mortality rate in the county next to me is 22%. Which is just crazy to me. And is just one factor of many that show how these places have often remained the same. The county doesn’t have an ob-gyn (nor many doctors) and there are actually people living there without electricity. The county is large in size but small in population and so people could be upwards of an hour plus away from any doctor at all. They’re still working on the how to get help to people and what that help should look like in order to be most effective. Why it hasn’t been talked about before now I don’t know, but I’m glad that it is. It is kind of a testament to what life is like for a lot of people here. The county is predominantly African American and extremely poor, which is how a large number of counties in SC can be described. It’s hard to weigh that in my mind against the large tourist town I live in. Life is so different just an hour away.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray June 19, 2015, 2:43 pm

      When I drove across the southeast recently, a couple of things I saw shocked me: (i) just how isolated, segregated, and poor a lot of the communities are (which isn’t entirely fair to say, considering Chicago (and a lot of (all?) big cities) is also segregated) and (ii) how the confederate flag is everywhere, including on government buildings. I never understood the rational for that – I mean, why? How do they justify that??

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh June 19, 2015, 3:03 pm

        I think the segregation is almost more visible because of the isolation. Towns are already so distinct from one another, and there is so much rural area, that the segregation is more apparent?
        .
        The confederate flag really is so many places. Growing up (not in SC) someone down the road had the flag as their curtains. It was weird.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 19, 2015, 5:33 pm

        A few months after I moved to Texas, I had occasion to visit the Texas Capitol building in Austin. the capitol building itself is Texas in the best way– gorgeous, over the top, and open all year round with very few places tourists cannot go. (you can even go on the floor of the house and senate when not in session– which is most of the time since they only meet every other year)
        But on the grounds, among other statues of random stuff, are 2 peculiarities…
        1) Moses receiving the 10 commandments and
        2) A monument to the confederacy honoring the “brave men who fought for states rights”

        This stuff really is SO ingrained. On the bright side, this happened yesterday: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/walker-v-texas-division-sons-of-confederate-veterans-inc/
        For those not familiar: the Sons of Confederate Veterans (yes, a real thing, shoot me now) sued Texas for refusing to give them a specialty license plate with a confederate flag on it. Supreme court said state doesn’t have to issue your racist license plates. Yes, I too am shocked that Texas said no in the first place… and shocked that the Supreme court of hateful white dudes agreed.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh June 19, 2015, 8:31 pm

        Kind of like how in Virginia they celebrated Lee-Jackson-King day until the early 2000s. Eventually someone decided celebrating two confederate generals and Martin Luther King Jr on the same day didn’t make a lot of sense….

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      • avatar

        _s_ June 20, 2015, 12:29 am

        I’m also surprised they didn’t approve it. But lest you think Texas is getting too progressive, remember they did approve a pro-life license plate and refuse to approve a pro-choice one.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 22, 2015, 8:34 am

        I live here. I am in no danger of thinking Texas is getting progressive. Sigh.

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      • kmtthat

        kmentothat June 19, 2015, 4:37 pm

        Man, when I moved Chicago it was honestly shocking how segregated it is and how no one thinks that its abnormal. San Diego definitely felt much more integrated.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana June 19, 2015, 1:02 pm

    I just wish there was a way as a white person to honest to god put a stop to racism. I know the ways to combat it in my life, but it is such an endemic, cyclical, culturally ingrained way of life for so many people in many poor, rural places. It is literally bred in to them and was bred in to their parents and their parents parents who were likely living through or direct descendants to the Civil War experience. It petrifies me that my niece and nephew actually are going to be growing up where this sick disgusting specimen of humanity went to school and although their parents aren’t racist, its just a sick ingrained part of life in that area of the country. How do we make it better? How do we make it just go away. I think an easy way to start is to REMOVE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG and change the name of cities, towns, and roads that allude to racist ideals or people who held prominent roles in the racism of the Civil War and Reconstruction and Jim Crowe eras. I mean that is basically all just symbolic but why is it so hard. I would love to hear any legitimate reason for keeping these things around–seriously. Our country is literally sick and there really doesn’t seem to be any way to make it better. I just honestly have never wanted more to crawl in to a hole, move to an island where I can just pretend the world doesn’t exist, or been so close to just losing hope of things ever getting better.

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    • something random

      something random June 19, 2015, 6:22 pm

      I think that there is definitely different cultural pockets where racism thrives from setting, tradition, and lack of exposure to anything else. But I will say I’ve heard some pretty deplorable shit come out of the mouths of the rich and privileged northerners. For example, once, years ago I heard someone (very wealthy) say outright that he just didn’t think black people were as smart as other races, that they were “bred” to be more athletic. I lost my composure and had a very loud, angry, shouting, response. The people around him defended him and acted as though I had lost my mind. Another time, when I was a student I went on a vacation. There was a white, middle-aged, obviously affluent man traveling with his wife and young daughters. I don’t know how we got on the topic but I told him I came from a very conservative family. I swear it’s like that phrase is a code telling others its okay to start making horrible racist/sexist/homophobic statements. And I’m lighter but I definitely look like an ethnic minority. For some reason people think it’s still okay. So he starts talking about all of his politics and black people in Philadelphia and how they all acted like animals and the kids were all violent and hopeless. I’m alone stuck next to this guy on a bus and I don’t want to engage this nut any further but he just keeps going on. I try to interject that I don’t believe that and he tells me I’m just a young, idealist and it’s the truth. I finally lost my temper and snapped that it wasn’t the truth, it was a lazy preclusion and looked out the window. But not before I got a glimpse of his blond wife’s and young daughter matching bitter expressions.

      I’m not sure racism is ever going to fully disappear. People are always going to go tribal or define themselves by a smaller community. I think for many it’s their version of escaping the confusion of everything and going off to an isolated island. It seems racism is still particularly bad towards African-Americans because the relatively short time since the long, arduous road to legal rights for them in this country. When I really appreciate the amount of time that African Americans were brutalized in this country, I’m not as shocked that things are still so bad. I mean, the U.S. had slavery for 250 years. Two hundred and fifty damn years! Then there was a long war that spit the whole country into half for four of bloodiest years in history. Then there Jim Crow laws for 75 years. The U.S. government has only just begun really promoting equality for the last 40 years. So people who are so eager to ignore the obvious historical disparity and claim that racism isn’t still a rampant problem that requires ongoing healing from this current generation are just sticking their heads in the sand (or someplace closer and smellier), in my opinion. I do think tensions towards Latinos are on the rise and it is perhaps becoming an even bigger problem than other minority profiling in some areas. Especially because illegal citizens have little to no protection from abuse. I don’t really have anything else to say. Just that it’s not all poor, misguided southerners and that inherited privilege dies a hard death.

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      • something random

        something random June 19, 2015, 6:58 pm

        I hope they will remove that defiant, middle-fingered flag. It might not solve anything but it might start popping some people’s bubbles. And I think removing inciting names from roads and government buildings is a great idea. It’s far too damn soon and we have still have at least a few more generations before those names aren’t as solicitous.

        Just to be clear, I liked your post muchachaenlaventana. I probably should have just created a new post instead of going on long-winded tirade as a reply. I hope you don’t mind me getting out my general frustrations (not directed at you)

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 19, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I truly do not believe you can understand how people can be so racist and close-minded in the South until you drive around the towns and see how small, simple, and secluded they are. At least in Texas, where you may have to drive 3+ hours from a small town to get to a big city. These towns are located in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing. Most people who grow up in a small town never leave, either, and so their view of the world is limited to their surroundings. We can talk about these people like they’re racist idiots, but that will do absolutely NOTHING to solve the problem. I don’t even think talking about the confederate flag will solve any issues… the people flying the flag around often have NO IDEA what it represents.
    .
    There is plenty of racism in the North, too, it’s just not as apparent. Even the so-called progressive white people live in predominantly white areas and literally self-segregate, which is a huge part of the problem. I actually think this is the MAIN problem at its core. I think education plays a huge factor, but ultimately it comes down to living among other races as your equals. We humans do not like “others” whether that is referring to race or class. As long as minorities are segregated by class and geography, racism will thrive.

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    • kare

      kare June 19, 2015, 2:28 pm

      I grew up in a small Texas town, and there was some racism, but usually limited to a small group. Typically the really country guys that dip at school. Most of the town was pretty diverse and even the elderly people don’t bat an eye at interracial couples or things that would typically be “scandalous” in the South. So I was pretty shocked when I moved to the city and work with people that are so blatantly racist. I expected well-educated, upper-middle class people to be a lot more enlightened than my rural hometown. Nope, not at all. One girl, when asked for favors, typically replies “do I look like I just walked off the plantation to you?” and has referred to one of our black coworkers as Rosa Parks. Other coworkers will pull up the Facebook account of another coworker and talk about how “ghetto” and classless they are. Many black women have had coworkers question why they don’t straighten their hair or otherwise do something so it looks more “white”. Other coworkers hide their dating history because they don’t want to get branded as the “white girl that sleeps with black guys”. It’s seriously appalling that people have these thoughts to begin with and vocalize them in the work place. And apparently I’m the only white person who thinks it’s inappropriate so people think I’m an over-sensitive liberal who has to disagree for the sake of disagreeing.

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      • something random

        something random June 19, 2015, 7:40 pm

        Out of curiosity, is the city still in the south?

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 3:01 pm

      I live in Canada but have travelled to the US a fair bit for work. The first few times I went, it shocked me that almost all of the service employees are black. At airports, car rental places, transit and taxis, hotels, fast food, etc. Except at the front desk at hotels, those are almost always white. I expected it in the south, but it was surprising to see it in the north-east too.

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      • Moneypenny

        Moneypenny June 19, 2015, 3:05 pm

        Out where I live (west coast, Ca) there are many service people who are latino, asian, and middle eastern (I feel like most taxi drivers I get are middle eastern). It could be a regional thing.

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      • avatar

        RedRoverRedRover June 19, 2015, 6:40 pm

        Yes, in Florida and California they’re more often latino or another minority.

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      • Miel

        Miel June 19, 2015, 4:16 pm

        I had the same exact shock. In Canada you would have asked me “what’s going to be the skin color of the bus driver passing by ?” and I would have been “ugh, what the hell ? how could I guess that ? Green ? Orange ?” but here it’s almost always black, that’s just the reality, and it’s so sad that I would be able to make such a guess and be right.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray June 19, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I don’t think bad parenting is the cause of all people who do messed up things, but really where did he learn to be so racist and so hateful? His parents must have played some role. And as some “friends” pointed out he had been planning this, said point blank he was going to kill people, why didn’t anyone actually say anything? That’s really sad.

    Also, it disgusts me that the confederate flag is still seen here where I live. When I first moved down here to Georgia, I noticed that even the highway signs stating that it’s the law to wear your seatbelt were eerily close to the confederate flag.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros June 19, 2015, 2:33 pm

    I’m from the South, too, and I don’t think racism is solely related to education level or whatever. Plenty of my family members and people I grew up with come from poor, secluded areas. Some of them are racist, and some aren’t. Some support the Confederate flag, and some don’t. For the ones who don’t, it’s not about education. Many of them just talk about their own personal values of caring about all people and wanting everyone to lead happy lives, without being treated badly. My mom is all about social justice (though she certainly doesn’t know the word) and she grew up super poor in the country and barely made it out of high school. So, yes, I think that some people haven’t been educated about issues as much, but a lot of this is about being a kind person who doesn’t hate others. It’s about having empathy for people even if they aren’t the same as you. Those things can be promoted by education, but that’s not the only way you get them. So, on the other hand, I don’t think we can say that it’s expecting too much to want Southerners to stop being racist, especially when we’re still talking about hugely problematic things like violence and slurs and everything else, or that it’s classist or whatever to want that.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny June 19, 2015, 2:59 pm

    I was out of town until yesterday, so I felt totally out of the loop when I heard something about a shooting at a church in SC. I just feel so sad that this happened. And appalled. And horrified. I live in a nice liberal west coast bubble, so it is really tough for me to fathom that there are people out there who would do such a thing. It also always bothers me when I see a confederate flag on someone’s car, on a sticker, cell phone case, etc. I understand that, for some people, it’s a matter of heritage and such, although, I don’t totally understand why you’d be proud of such a thing. I was at a wedding a couple of years ago and ran into an old friend and her husband- they live in a small city in northern CA, and her husband grew up there, and he’s into hunting and fishing and stuff like that. His cell phone case was of a camo background and a confederate flag. I was truly baffled because he’s not southern, and as far as I know him, not bigoted in any way towards others, but I was a bit taken aback. I didn’t ask, but I still wonder to this day why he chose to have such a thing.
    Also, I read this article about other racist symbols that this killer had- very interesting: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/06/18/charleston_shooting_the_flags_in_dylann_roof_s_facebook_profile_photo_are.html

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  • avatar

    csp June 19, 2015, 3:11 pm

    Vague Facebook thought. Is it weird that I feel like people owe me an explanation when things happen. I might not have seen you since high school, but one day you put an engagement ring on facebook or wedding pictures then all the sudden you are single. Or one person wrote “Pray for a good outcome to my biopsy.” then there was no resolution. I want to call people and say, “So, we haven’t spoken in 7 years but what happened?” I feel like you need to give me a quick couple paragraphs about the whole thing. I know it is unfair but I really feel annoyed when things are left hanging like that. Maybe I just need to get a life.

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    • Portia

      Portia June 19, 2015, 4:29 pm

      You know, recently an acquaintance from college wrote a Facebook post explaining that her and the boyfriend of many years were going their separate ways. It seemed odd at first, and I’m still not sure what the exact intended purpose of it was (an FYI, to avoid questions, to get super), but she got a ton of supportive replies and it seemed to really be good for her. It still strikes me as odd, but I think it’s because people just don’t really want to do that particularly if it’s bad. I usually assume if there’s no resolution, it was bad.

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    • something random

      something random June 19, 2015, 4:48 pm

      I hardly ever facebook but I’ve had this conversation before and its just motivates me to stay off even more! I understand Facebook can be a really convenient way to make personal proclamations to the world. But sometimes people proclaim really big stuff in a very passive way. I guess that they don’t feel like answering a lot of questions or sharing details and that’s fine. But if I was coming out, changing genders, getting married/divorced, etc. and I wanted to go the Facebook route I feel like I would write at least two or three sentences just to give people clues on how I would like them to approach or ignore the elephant in the room. So, I dunno. It kind of seems like it makes one person who likes to avoid awkward conversations comfortable, while everyone else on his/her page is uncomfortable. I’ve never understood Facebook culture.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 20, 2015, 5:09 pm

    Eh, the writer of that “proudly-stalking-my-gay-dad” piece has some serious issues. One of which is definitely homophobia. Look, dude, your dad is a part of a messed up religion and as a result of that has one hell of a fucked up sex life. Deal with it. What was interesting is that fucking dreary piece was seemingly endless. And yet didn’t even raise one of the more INTERESTING questions. And that would simply be this… NEWSFLASH! If your father HAD been true to himself and simply been (GASP!) gay — none of you kids would even be around to bitch about him. Just, uh… something to think about…

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    • avatar

      Ange June 21, 2015, 7:19 pm

      I was so horrified by that piece. Who DOES that? Especially after their mother admitted she knew and had accepted it. At that point you butt the hell out of your parent’s sex life. It’s not great that the dad was parroting all the usual right wing talking points but geeze, the daughter wasn’t using him as a political point she was just terrorising her poor mum.

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      • avatar

        Cleopatra Jones June 22, 2015, 8:50 am

        I agree. The whole time I was reading that I was thinking, ‘why are you doing this? Mom knows and she’s OK with it, so you should be too.’ And the very idea of forsaking your emotional growth and happiness so you can prove without a doubt that your father is GAY, is beyond me.
        Why? Why are you doing that? What is this going to prove?

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