Getting Down to Business - Monday is the first official day of our new TPM Investigations Desk. So our editors don’t kill me, I want to be clear that no one should expect a flood o...
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The sketch, “Football Town Nights,” is a loving parody of Friday Night Lights that also works as a pitch-perfect satire of the various ways rape culture perpetuates itself.
Josh Charles plays “Coach Thompson,” a direct homage to Kyle Chandler’s Coach Eric Taylor on the beloved football drama. (Amy Schumer plays his wife, gently sending up Connie Britton’s wine-loving, free spirited performance on the show.) Coach Thompson wants his team to be inspired, to work hard, to win games and oh yeah, to not rape.
The team’s locker room reaction to his instructions not to rape is immediately familiar to anyone who has dared to peek at the comments under any article denouncing rape: a bunch of dudes making increasingly convoluted arguments about why there should be exceptions or caveats to this broad no-raping philosophy. “What if it’s Halloween and she’s dressed as a sexy cat?” “What if she thinks it’s rape but I don’t?” “What if she’s drunk and has a slight reputation….” It’s only a mild exaggeration of the kinds of arguments feminists get with this relentless prodding strategy.
Or in some cases, not exaggerated at all. “What if the girl said yes but then she changes her mind out of nowhere, like a crazy person?” adds one, which is one we’ve heard a lot.
But while the persistent whining of trolls is the funniest part of this sketch, the satire of rape culture goes much deeper. The community frames Coach Thompson as an unreasonable fun-killer, and his wife even tries to argue that maybe he should let this one go—all reactions that feminists are intimately familiar with when they speak out against rape. Tellingly, the sketch doesn’t include any girls at all, making it clear that rape is a product of male entitlement and isn’t about the girls or what they do and wear.
The best part may be the end, when Coach Thompson, frustrated that his players are losing focus because they’re so obsessively angry about this extremely reasonable “no raping” rule, screams at them in a classic rallying-the-team locker room scene. “How do I get through to you boys that football isn’t about rape?” he yells. “It’s about violently dominating anyone that stands between you and what you want!”
As statistician Nate Silver has noted, most police don’t live in the cities they serve and patrol. This is especially true for white police officers. Out of the 75 largest cities in the U.S., only 35 percent of white police officers live in the cities they serve; rather, a large majority of white police officers live in suburbs surrounding the city.
In cities such as Baltimore, Houston, Detroit, Denver, Newark, Los Angeles, Birmingham, Tampa, Orlando, Minneapolis, Oakland and Miami, fewer than 25 percent of white officers live in the cities they patrol. This might not seem to be a big deal—until one considers that most suburbs were extremely segregated until the 1980s due to the critical role of the Federal Housing Administration in subsidizing the construction of suburbs. Therefore, white police officers live in and/or grew up in disproportionately white suburbs.
Federal, state and local policies also explain the conditions of urban black neighborhoods that white police officers will patrol after commuting from their suburban home. America’s residential segregation is a result of over 100 years’ worth of race- and eugenics-based policies, including... [the article lists five of them] ...
Due to these devastating government policies that sanctioned racial segregation, the areas where more than 60 percent of white police officers live are jurisdictions where black people have been intentionally excluded. This creates a dynamic where most white police officers who live in suburbs and patrol in black neighborhoods are commuting to work with ingrained, longstanding racial biases and stereotypes intact. As James Loewen argues in Sundown Towns: “Segregated neighborhoods make it easier to discriminate against African Americans in schooling, housing, and city services.”