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Erica Garner, the anti-police-violence activist, has been declared brain-dead. A new mother of a four-month old baby -- named Eric, for her father, who was choked to death by New York city cops for selling loosie cigarettes without a license -- she suffered a massive heart attack this week. The New York Daily News reports her family has been called in to be with her as she goes.


There is no way to separate Garner's death from our recent knowledge of maternal mortality in the United States, exposed in long, detailed reports from ProPublica. One particularly heart-rending installment of the series followed the life and death of Shalon Irving, a striving, perfectionist, overachieving epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control who was herself focused on researching our nation's Third World levels of black maternal mortality. While one doesn't need two doctorates to realize black women are going to predominantly bear the brunt of a lack of access to care -- let alone quality care -- the fact that a woman of such means would herself die shortly after having her baby left pretty much only one explanation, one that was well-fleshed out by ProPublica: The stress of everyday racism on black women's bodies, in combination with their pregnancies, is killing them.

In New York City, where Erica Garner suffered one heart attack after her baby was born and another this week, black women are 12 times more likely than white women to die of complications from their pregnancies. Black women with college degrees are more likely to die from their pregnancies than white women who finish high school.

Researchers call the stress on black women's bodies from a lifetime of racism and abuse "weathering." It affects poor women, middle-class women, the educated, the successful, the lieutenant colonels in the US Public Health Service. The same risks in pregnancy a white woman might have in her 40s start in a black woman's 30s, according to ProPublica, compounded by biases health-care providers may not even realize they have. Black women don't get proper pain medication; they aren't believed when they say something's "not right." When they die, they leave babies behind to be raised by bereft fathers and grandmothers. Shalon Irving's grieving mother will raise her daughter beautifully, but she will still, presumably, live in the United States of America.

Erica Garner watched her father murdered by agents of the state. Strangers abused her and screamed epithets at her every day since, and they aren't stopping now. Pieces of human filth didn't stop mocking her when she suffered her heart attack, as she lay in a coma. Her son Eric will live in the United States of America too.

Our society failed Erica Garner a thousand times. It is past time to FUCKING STOP IT.

[DailyNews / ProPublica]

Rebecca Schoenkopf

Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.

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Photo by Wonkette operative 'Zippy W. Spincycle'

Last week, Yr Dok Zoom talked a little bit about his damn dissertation, which looked at "Wabbit Literacy," the weird thing where we sometimes learn about the world from parodies and jokes long before we ever encounter the original stuff -- like learning about opera from cartoons. More than one person in the comments (which Wonkette does not allow and yet, like life, you find a way) mentioned they were disappointed, as kids, to learn that while roadrunners are real birds, the actual critter looks nothing like this:

Which is not to say that real roadrunners are the least bit disappointing, as animals go, because they're freaking incredible. Yes, even if they don't actually leave lines of flame down the center line of desert highways and go "Meep! Meep!" But they can sprint up to 20 miles per hour, which is faster than you, albeit slower than a real coyote's top speed. Also, yes, real coyotes are among the predators what eat roadrunners, which is why the wily birds adopted the evolutionary strategy of running right through fake tunnels coyotes paint on the sides of mountains.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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