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Welcome to the Official Website of James Landrith
Advocacy and Ego Don't Mix (or Get Over Yourself and Start Being Effective)
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Civil Liberties and Advocacy Efforts
Written by James Landrith   
Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I've been involved in advocacy work since 1997 on a variety of issues and causes. Actually, I started on April 23, 1993, when I wrote letters to Senators Simon and Moseley-Braun protesting DADT and the persecution of military members based on sexual orientation. I was still on active duty at the time and sick of the paranoia and maltreatment of my brothers and sisters by knuckle-dragging psychopaths, so I spoke up. That was the beginning of over 20 years of advocacy work.

While I worked on many high profile and national efforts, an advovcacy campaign that stands out was from 2002. I won't go into all the facts here, as you can read it at this link:

 


That campaign was headed up by the Center for National Security Studies and the ACLU. My online magazine, The Multiracial Activist, was one of 20 plaintiffs to join the lawsuit, looking to enforce the Freedom of Information Act. Eventually, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, who kicked it back like cowards. While we did not win, a very diverse group of activist organizations took part in challenging the Bush Administration on its police state assumptions. It helped to start a national conversation and pushback in multiple directions began across the political landscape.

On other issues, many of the organizations involved were on opposite sides, but we put those away to concentrate on one goal. That is cooperative advocacy. That is acting like a professional. That is how to get things done as a group vs. just making a lot of "righteous" noise.

We didn't run each other into the ground on the areas where we disagreed. We saved such battles for the days they were to be fought later. We didn't treat each other like monsters or make hateful and discriminatory comments for the purpose of silencing individual activists. We didn't make it personal. We didn't attack. We didn't promote hate and intolerance. We stuck to the script. We kept on mission.

Adovacy is about the end goal, not our hurt, wounded pride over people disagreeing politely and not telling us we are right and special and geniuses every day, all day long.

Anyone expecting to last longer than a year or two as a serious and effective advocate needs to get a grasp of working together in diverse settings. Not everyone will agree with you at all times. So what. Get over it. If a person wishes to be a serious advocate, at some point it is time to be a grown up about it and get over themselves or they will be ineffective and quickly marginalized - and deservedly so. Further, they will find that fewer people want to work with them over the long-term as they have become known as THE PERSON WHO CREATES BARRIERS and causes strife for those of us actually trying to get things done. Sometimes, serious advocates have to compromise and remember they are human, fallible just like the rest of us and not always "right". Sometimes, they actually have to listen to someone who disagrees in order to reach a joint understanding on the areas that they do agree.

But what do I know, I've only been doing it for over 20 years. I'm still learning how to do this shit...

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 December 2013 )
 
Dear Allison (or Vile Female Rape Apologists Are Vile)
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Friday, 06 December 2013

On January 15, 2012, I told my story to the world via The Good Men Project. This article was quickly one of the most popular on GMP for months. It gained traction again lately, which garned new interest and the usual trolls and haters that all survivors find when they go public. The following comment was left on the article this week by "Allison":

 

"Though it is unfortunate that you went through something so traumatically disgusting, it wasn’t life threatening as it is when it’s men against women. Overall, men are far more violent (for example, war is not a product of femininity) and that sucks because men are physically stronger 99% of the (biological) time. Some women are raped SO hard that thy can never have children. Some women are even murdered after rape, because the rapist doesn’t want to be identified. Men don’t usually tell their stories of abuse because they want to appear strong, but for every man, there are hundreds of victimized (silent) women. So I apologize for not being too sympathetic, it’s just that your (rare) experience was merely unfortunate, NOT widespread & detrimental."

 

For the record, since "Allison" believes she is an expert: Rape IS traumatic. Rape is not cookie-cutter.  Rape does not conform to a single format.  Physical injuries are NOT universal for men OR women.  Further, sexual violence is not trivial for ANYONE. Use of minimizing terminology and being informed that what happened to me is not "detrimental", but "merely unfortunate" is ridiculously commonplace.  As a male survivor, I've run across this mentality repeatedly from both male AND female rape apologists.

 

Since "Allison", brought it up.  Let us talk about the physical damage rape can do to men.  I've known men who have recurring physical problems, needed surgeries (sometimes multiple) to repair the damage following brutal attacks.  I know men who fight PTSD, deal with regular nightmares, self-harm, panic attacks, anxiety, suffer a complete loss of trust, have difficulty holding down jobs, interacting publicly and living full, happy lives. Yet because they are not female, "Allison"  believes it to be of no consequence.

 

  • This, is why so many male survivors do not speak out.
 
  • This, is why so many male survivors suffer in silence. 
 
  • This, is why many male survivors take their own lives, rather than seek the help they desperately need and deserve.
 
  • This, is why cynical gender-based politics do not equal survivor advocacy.  Those engaging in such are doing so at the expense of the survivors they see as expendable and unimportant.

 

Compassion should not have gender labels, nor be attached to a cynical hierarchy of suffering. True compassion, sympathy and empathy are independent of such arbitrary and irrational excuse-making, arrogance and rape apologia. "Allison" is a rape apologist and a miserable excuse for a human being.

Male and female survivors need each other.  Together, we can actually counter the shaming, victim-blaming and disbelief we face from strangers, friends and even family.  We can use our unique perspectives and experiences to make our lives better.  What we don't need, are examples of false compassion and blatant minimizations, as demonstrated above.  What we don't need, are gender warriors co-opting our traumas to make broad-brushed, ideological statements that put personal politics above survivors needs.


I'm trying not to hate the world again, but arrogant, sexist, hateful rape apologists like "Allison" make it extremely difficult.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 December 2013 )
 
238th Birthday Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Foreign Policy, Military and War
Written by James F. Amos   
Sunday, 10 November 2013

 238th Birthday Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps

November 10, 2013

 

For 238 years, The United States Marine Corps has proudly served our great Nation with unfailing valor – bolstered by the enduring fortitude of our fellow Marines, our families, and our friends. This is why each year on November 10th, Marines from all generations gather together, in groups large and small, to celebrate the birthday of our Corps and to reflect on the proud legacy and warrior ethos we share. This is what unites us as Marines. From our first battle at New Providence to today in Afghanistan, Marines have always shown that they were made of tougher stuff – that when the enemy’s fire poured in from all angles, and the situation was grim, Marines unequivocally knew that their fellow Marines would stay behind their guns, fight courageously, and drive the enemy from the battlefield. We have always known hardship, fatigue, and pain…but we have never known what it is to lose a battle!

 

Marine of generations past built our reputation as the most disciplined and honorable warriors to ever set foot on a battlefield, and we have triumphed in every battle because our Corps has always focused on iron discipline and combat excellence. This is who we are…this is what we do! It matters not whether you carried an M-1, and M-14, or an M-16. It matters not whether you fought on a lonely island in the Pacific, assaulted a citadel in the jungle, or marched up to Baghdad. It matters not whether you are a grunt, a pilot or a loggie. What matters most is that, when the chips were down and things got tough, your fellow Marines could count on you to stand and fight…and fight we did!

 

This year, we celebrate the anniversary of several epic battles in our celebrated history: the 70th anniversary fo the 2nd Marine Division landing on Tarawa, the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Hue City, and the 10th anniversary of the “March Up” to Baghdad. Marines who fought in these legendary battles each made their mark upon the history of our Corps. They have passed a rich and illustrious legacy on to us – a much heralded reputation. It is ours to jealously guard, and it is up to us to make our own marks and thus proudly pass it on to the generations of Marines who will follow.


Sergeant Major Michael Barrett joins me in congratulating each of you. Because of you, your selfless service, and your many sacrifices, our Corps remains strong and ready to respond to any crisis. Throughout history, Marines have faced tough times and there will be tough times ahead, but there is no challenge we cannot overcome if we remain honorable and always faithful to our Nation, our Constitution and each other. Happy Birthday, Marines!

 

Semper Fidelis

 

James F. Amos

General, U.S. Marine Corps

Commandant of the Marine Corps

 
Donít Blame the Victim
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Amanda Nist   
Friday, 01 November 2013

Don't Blame the Victim

by Amanda Nist

Granite Bay Today

November 1, 2013

 

Opinion Piece

Sometimes, it’s just easier to blame the victim.

People can’t admit to themselves that a friend, a family member, or someone they admire could rape someone, so they take the easy route and say it’s the victim who caused it. People say they’re lying, or they were “asking” for it.  Ultimately, they’re putting the blame on the person who was traumatized, and telling them it was their fault for being attacked.

How can you hold someone accountable for something that was forced upon them?

Daisy Coleman was 14 and living in Marysville, Missouri. Audrie Pott was 15 and living in Saratoga, California. Rehtaeh Parsons was 15 and living in Dartmouth, Canada. Cherice Moralez was 14 and living in Billings, Montana. James Landrith was 19 and living in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Lizzie Seeburg was 19 and living in Notre Dame, Indiana.

What do these people have in common? They are all victims of rape who have been blamed for their actions.

In Pott, Parsons, Moralez, and Seeburg’s cases, they were bullied to the point where they felt they could no longer be in this world, and all four committed suicide. They were told they asked for their rape and they should be blaming themselves. Moralez’s attacker only suffered 30 days in jail, because the court ruled that she was over developed and looked over 14, so she had put herself into the situation.

So, because the judge thought that she looked older than 14, he ruled that it was okay for her teacher to rape her, and gave him the minimum sentence. How can this girl have been told it was her fault for getting raped because she went through puberty before the rest of her classmates?

This is the problem with people today. Victims of sexual assault are told that what they’re going through is not a big deal and they should consider their role in the attack that happened to them.

I once heard my brother tell his friend “I’m going to rape you,” while he was just implying he was going defeat him in a video game. I’ve also heard sports players at this school say “we’re going to get raped” while talking about being beat in an upcoming game.

So, if we associate being “raped” with being defeated or being destroyed, how can we blame the victim? That’s like telling someone who got hit by a car, while walking on the sidewalk, that it was their fault for getting hit because they were walking on the sidewalk. It doesn’t make any sense.

It’s not just individual people that need to take this more seriously either, groups and organizations need to as well. Recently, reports have come out stating that USC failed to report at least 11 sexual assault cases because they did not want to hurt their image, so they blew it off saying they’d tell the rapists to “knock it off.” And if this is just at USC, can you imagine all of the unreported cases throughout the whole country? That could be hundreds of people, male and female, not getting the attention and help they deserve because people don’t care enough to report it.

A recent study done by the CDC (Center of Disease Control) reports that only 5% of college rapes are reported and only 10% of those rapes result in the rapist going to prison. This means barely anyone who is raped gets justice for what’s been done to them.

Also, according to One in Four USA, a non profit organization dedicated to preventing rape, of just the rapes reported to the police, which is 1/3 or less to begin with, only 16% result in prison sentences. Therefore, approximately 5% of the time, a man who rapes ends up in prison, and 95% of the time he does not.

I want people to be able to report their assault and get justice for it. Boys and girls shouldn’t have to live in fear of being bullied or accused of lying if they want their attacker to be rightfully sentenced. And above all, rapists shouldn’t get the satisfaction of thinking they can do whatever they want and get away with it. They need to be told that they are at fault and it’s not okay to think they can force sex upon someone.

As a society, we need to know right from wrong, and we need to take the issue of rape more seriously. However, most importantly, we need to stop blaming the victim of rape. It is not their fault they got attacked, they did not want it to be brought upon them, and they most certainly did not ask for it.

Ultimately, stop taking the easy route in blaming the victim, and open your mind to the possibility that maybe a friend, a family member, or someone you look up to, did do something wrong.

http://www.granitebaytoday.org/2013/11/dont-blame-the-victim/


 

 
For Listeners of The Tom Leykis Show
User Rating: / 0
Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Monday, 21 October 2013

As promised today on The Tom Leykis Show, links for anyone searching for help for a male survivor of sexual violence are listed below:

 

Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma - Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma seeks to empower male survivors and their allies and raise awareness of male survivors of sexual crimes in the military.

 

Male Survivor - Committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism.

 

1 in 6 - 1in6 helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives.

 

Survivors Manchester - A survivor-led/survivor-run voluntary organisation that aims to create and facilitate a safe space for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape to work through personal and sometimes painful issues.

 

ManKind Initiative - A national charity that provides help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.

 

Mankind UK - Since 2000, we have been delivering specialist support services to men (18+) who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and/or adult sexual assault at any time in their lives.

 

MatrixMen - Run By Survivors for Survivors, Raising awareness about the effects of sexual abuse and sexual assault on a man's life, and helping men heal.

 

South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (SAMSOSA) - An organization has emerged to provide a support structure for non-offending male survivors of sexual abuse and rape.

 

After Silence - An online support group for survivors of sexual violence

 

Pandora's Aquarium - A message board and discussion forum for survivors of sexual violence, operated by Pandora's Project.

 

RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network) - Male sexual assault information.

 

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 October 2013 )
 
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