Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Masculinity is not inherently a bad thing, but when it’s about power & strength over everything else…it becomes toxic. Society allows toxic masculinity to run rampant, which feeds into misogynistic feelings towards women and a sexual assault epidemic.
How exactly does toxic masculinity 
feed rape culture?

And what can we do to detox? 

Monday, May 30, 2016


Nayla Kidd was an engineering student at Columbia University when reports that she had gone missing went viral. She was found perfectly healthy nearly two weeks later, only telling police she wanted to “start fresh.”
...I  found out I was a missing person on May 14.
I had been ignoring the avalanche of calls and texts from friends and family asking where I was and if I was OK. But that night I caved, turned on my phone and decided to look.

Scrolling down the list of messages, I saw one from a friend that read: “Just Google yourself.”
I typed my name into the search bar and a huge list of news reports with photos of my face stared back at me. 

That's when she found out the police were looking for her. Apparently, Nayla decided she didn't want to be an engineer, wanted to study art instead. Not having the courage to face her mother she decided to disappear instead.
And you know what? I don't blame her. I've lived with the kind of pressure she was experiencing. And being black likely magnifies it

Read More
A lot of people have commented about how selfish Nayla is. And that maybe so. However, there's a 50/50 chance that her mother is the problem.
We'll probably never know. And it's possible Nayla just became overwhelmed and responded selfishly. However,
as another blogger has suggested, if Nayla had gone to a police station and told them she was about to drop off the grid for a while and doesn't want to be found before she disappeared, then maybe that would have been okay.


I say maybe because some people have no idea what it's like to have a parent selfish enough to think it's their right to live through their child, that their child owes it to them to do what they want as parents.

Congratulations to those of you who cannot imagine a parent so selfish you have to run to get away and make your own decisions. Let me say I also hope you haven't become that parent yourself.

For those that don't know, let me explain this:

There are literally dozens and dozens of people who consider themselves "good parents" for which respect travels in one direction, toward themselves.

I do not have children. But I have been on the receiving end of this demand for respect from someone who gives none back. And I've met dozens and dozens of black girls now black women who have experienced very similar things.

I swear, nobody's voice disappears into a black hole without anybody hearing it like a girl's and especially a black girl's.
Some parents think they know what a child should do with his or her own life. And that parent will tell their child that the over-control is for his or her own good. A parent will manipulate a child, a young adult, by saying, "You have it so much better than I had it. If only I had the opportunities I'm giving you..."
I remember my father making me feel guilty because he was buying me a new winter coat every year. He said, "Your mother hasn't had a new coat in 3 years because we have to buy you a new one every year."

I believed him.

I believe it was selfish of me to be taking up so much of the family's money. I believed it until I was in my 30's and I was trying to decide if I WANTED a new coat. My old one, leather, had classic lines and looked practically new. That's when I realized I'd owne one of my coats for years because, as an adult, I wasn't out growing them anymore --- not because it was some sort of unselfish sacrifice to keep a winter coat for more than one season.

When a parent makes you feel like you ought to be grateful to be alive when you didn't ask to be born, it's easy to make a 19, 20, 21, or 22 year old feel like they owe you their life, like they don't have a right to any choices about what to do with it.

And if they've been taking you to a special school, and piano lessons, and ballet lessons, and special spanish tutors etc, in preparation for you to go to an Ivy League school and make 6 figures a year like they were unable to do because of racism, well....dropping off the grid might seem like a better idea. Anything might seem better than saying,  
"Yeah, I know you've been planning this and helping me type reports at 1 AM since I was 12, but I don't want this."

We don't know what happened in Nayla's case. But what I am saying that there's at least a 50/50 chance that Nayla wasn't the selfish one.

I don't know what white parents are like, but black parents might seem a little more prone to "you owe me type" X "success" with "a smart child" --because the black parent probably really has been to hell and back trying to keep a child on track in the good ole white supremacy soaked U.S. of A.

But so what? Even black children don't ask to be born. Black children, black girls, don't owe anybody anything at 18. They have choices that people, including parents, will or won't like.

Some over-control comes from natural parental fear. Even I can understand that. But I can tell you from experience that some of it comes from extreme self-centeredness at the very same time. Once some parents decide they know best, there's no more talking to be done.

It never even occurred to me that I had a choice to deviate from my father's plan from the time I was 12. Even when a next door neighbor, a grad school student in her early 20s, tried to intervene on my behalf saying, "You're putting too much pressure on her!" Only 17, I didn't understand what she meant.

I just assumed I was supposed to check off all these boxes to have "a good life."

So I think it's ultra-excellent advice, that another blogger gave, telling teens and those in their early twenties who are trying to take control of their lives to contact the police before they feel like they have to drop out of he world for a while. I'd like to hope an adult child would have a truly adult mentor or minister or somebody that would really listen and intercede with a parent on their behalf.

But I don't hold out much hope for the interceding. Most people, it seems to me, think they own their children like luggage. Maybe that's changing. I hope so.

Yet since I tend to think that a would-be intercede-er would be likely to have children and maybe feel possessive of their own children, I'm willing to bet most adults will not help a 19 year old tell her parent(s) they need to back off.

In fact, I think that's why child abuse goes unchecked in so many situations. People with children do not want to interfere with other people raising their children unless they see blood flowing or broken bones because they don't want anybody to interfere with their own child raising. I don't know what the answer to people owning children like luggage is, but I know that we are living in a society that is very much against,

"It's takes a village to raise a child"

And sometimes I think, "It takes a village to get a parent to listen to a child."

So if you can't get your parent to listen, and you don't have another adult to help you make a parent listen, well....I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. But if you decide to go the Nayla route, I say tell the police first.

Whether your parent deaf or is the best parent in the history of parenting, sometimes you need everybody else to shut up so you can think about what to do next. A life is a lot to plan sometimes. Maybe instead of going the Nayla route, some can be brave enough to leave a message saying, 'I'm going to gone for x weeks, I"ll contact you on a specific date.'

If I had a time machine, that's what I'd go back and do.

By the way, let the rest of us all keep in mind that some teenagers and early-twenties-ers choose suicide in order to not disappoint parents who can't back off, shut up, and listen. It doesn't matter what a parent think he or she knows about a kid. It doesn't even matter if the parental units are right x years later about what path a kid should take. Everybody has to make their own way in this world. And parents have to respect that.

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Connecting The Scattered 
And Untold Stories 
of the 
Black/African Diaspora 


Nationality/Citizenship based on Whiteness for
the "Native Dutch" (Whites)


Islam, As Racialized Religion

Feeling At Home

Recent Persecution of Dutch Somalians
by current Prime Minister

Treatment in grade school

Overt Dutch Racism Daily

Human Zoos 

E-raced History

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Maybe you already knew that 1 out of 4 women are victims of domestic violence.

But did you also know that a woman's chances of being the victim of domestic violence jumps to 1 out of 2 if your husband is a policeman?

What if, a man (or a woman) couldn't get a job as a police officer if he has a domestic violence charge (not necessarily conviction) on his rap sheet? What if a police officer was removed from his job instantly if neighbor's call the police and evidence shows photos of bruises, black eye, finger prints in arm flesh? What if he lost his second amendment rights for two years, his ability to have or use a gun FOR ANY REASON, at the same time?  What if he lost his second amendment rights permanently if there's a conviction or plea bargain originally based on any sort of domestic violence issue?

“There are a lot of good cops who go into the work for the right reasons, to help people. But then you have these others who are more interested in the authority, in the badge and the gun.”

Maybe you're trying to figure out how this stopping wife beaters from having police jobs stops police brutality?

The logic is pretty simple.

Racists are violent, at the very least have a bully mindset. Wife beaters are violent with a bully mindset. If a dominant culture racist is violent with his domestic partner/wife then the black or brown person he encounters next is toast.

When a entitled bully encounters someone he sees as a person that can't really complain and be taken seriously, then that entitled bully that carries a gun for a living is much more likely to beat or kill the black or brown people he sees. 

Some people join the police force in order to gain authority over other people so they can abuse them, just as the quote above says. The wife beater/ intimate partner beater already has one person to abuse. The abuser that becomes a cop is looking for more.

We can use domestic violence issues as a way of weeding out some of those likely to find police brutality, or murder, appealing. Getting rid of a person's federal second amendment rights after a domestic violence conviction ensures the police perp doesn't get another police job anywhere in these United States. 

Wife beaters, those who carry out intimate partner violence do not belong on police forces ANYWAY. But getting rid of policeman guilty of domestic violence probably gets rid of two vultures with one stone.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


"Being a black woman in Brazil is to be reborn every second, because the only thing we are sure of in our day is that a twisted look will certainly penetrate you, if you’re “lucky”."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


image by Yume Cyan

"I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom.

By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better."

~ Mary Oliver 
“Sleeping in the Forest” 

 * * * * *

More on the"Dream-like long exposure photos of fireflies
by Yume Cyan"
is herehttp://ego-alterego.com/dream-like-long-exposure-photos-of-fireflies-by-yume-cyan/#.V0Cz7vkrJD9

Tuesday, May 24, 2016




So now I'm trying to figure out which forgiveness scenario leaves the children better off -- the way men are seen after cheating versus how women are seen after cheating.

If the mother cheats, "betrayal" is understood from the outset. She is more likely to get kicked out as a "whore" 

The child might be told the mother is gone or not worthy of being his/her mother. The children are not being told cheating a,k.a. "betrayal" is a tiny thing, that the mother is just human. When the child finds out (even in a fictional world of books, music videos, and plays) the child understands cheating as "betrayal."

If a man forgives a woman for cheating, he forgives betrayal there's no minimizing beforehand. There's no whispering of "she's just human," as if  "cheating" is a little thing. Forgiveness is not the objective so as to be seen as masculine either. The relationship self is worthwhile or it isn't.  If his friends, if they find out, will likely call him a fool - UNLESS he is attending a church somewhere. If not,  a man that forgives a woman that's slid into the "whore" zone is observed to be sacrificing a lot.


If the father cheats, a lot of times he stays in the home.
A certain percentage of his buddies may see him as a hero for being able to keep multiple women on a string -- his false masculinity increases.  

Not wanting to be an unforgiving b*tch, a woman actively pursues minimizing the betrayal into nothing because "boys will be boys."   It's not long before there's virtually nothing for her forgive -- over and over and over again.

The man stays in the house, the wife-mother acts like everything is jake, and the girl children learn it is their lot in life to suffer while the boy children learn they have the right to indulge themselves and be forgiven, over and over --unless the woman is a b*tch

And if the woman is a b*tch (a.k.a expresses knowing her self worth when a man isn't capable of fidelity), the boy child learns he can just move on to the next woman where

"pseudo-insta-forgiveness" is at the center of a woman's decision making 
instead of  
 the man's worth and the imperfect relationship's worth

It seems clear to me that we, as women, need take an attitude that is quite a bit more like men in this instance.  We need to stop minimizing. We need to let cheating be "betrayal, " as big as it and then decide WHICH form of forgiveness is appropriate.


In order to rework how we are responding to various forms of betrayal, we probably need to de-center forgiveness. We probably need to stop thinking of how forgiving we are or aren't. We need to stop thinking of how perfect we are or aren't.

When we as women are betrayed, we need to stop thinking about forgiveness until AFTER some time has passed, time enough to decide whether the relationship is worthwhile.

The relationship is the center. Forgiveness is a path to what kind of relationship you'll have, and there's more than one.

Restoration of relationship is always better. But the pseudo-insta- forgiveness shown below wreaks havoc on everybody for generations. 

This TINY forgiveness that doesn't even qualify as forgiveness.
This just winds up being a method of making the offense small enough to ignore. 

* * * * *

The way this is different for Beyonce, than it is for most women, is that she stands on a stage x number of times per year and people tell her she is beautiful. In the world as it is now, as terrible as this is, for a woman this is the same as being told you are a worthwhile human being.  In this society, her money and power also tell her, and everyone around her, that his betrayal is not really about her. She even states this aloud in her song.
In "Lemonade" she essentially says she knows she's gorgeous and she knows she's puttin' it to him in the bedroom, too.

In other words, his betrayal is not tearing her apart emotional limb from emotional limb like it would 80 to 90% of other women.

So I kinda get why a person like Beyonce might take a pass or twenty through the bullsh**  (I'm lying. I don't get it).  Maybe she's sleeping with 10 guys outside their relationship for every one woman he steps out with -- if "Lemonade" is real and not PURE fiction for album sales.  But Beyonce is selling something rancid and rotten to everyday girls that follow her. She is selling something rotten to girls who will one day become mothers.

I know it's not Beyonce that's really leading since women have been pretending that the worthwhile lowlife they are hanging onto is worthwhile since the dawn of time. But she is a powerful woman and a feminist and black, I expect better.

I expect her to NOT REPEAT that it's a black woman's lot in life to suffer. Nobody is putting out the black woman imagery on as large a scale as she is right now. She's pop culture but she's important. There are black girls without Beyhives to tell them they are special, worthy, and important when a man betrays them.

Why does a powerful woman do this to herself?

I don't know. But I know I've seen women excuse betrayal  over and over again -- super intelligent, beautiful women in my own life. But I doubt I'll ever really have an answer -- other than

1) women are taught incorrect lessons on forgiveness,

2)  women don't have enough lessons on how to rebuild yourself a backbone when you're scared of being lonely

3) women don't learn what it means to be a friend to a woman who is failing herself. Sometimes you gotta step up and say I don't like he's treating you and/or I'm not staying to watch this. Do not blow sunshine up another woman's skirt. Ever.

I hope, in Beyonce's real life -- if Lemonade was about her real life AT ALL -- there was some evidence of repentance from her husband. I hope their cute little family stays together. But I'm not going to let what she's put out pass without severe critique.

You can't put out art that's supposed to be about forgiveness when it's really only about the same thing black women talking about forgiveness is always about-- putting on the blinders, minimizing the betrayal into "he's just human" and destroying the black community one insta-pseudo forgiveness act at a time.

Let me say it again.

When and if I ever give Lemonade to a little girl I care about. Either the last song or two will be erased or they will be  dubbed over.

In my personally dubbed over version of "Lemonade," the last songs will have Jay Z will giving a 10 minute laundry list of the things he's done to that shows he is genuinely repentant and worthy of the gift that is circular forgiveness that restores relationship RATHER THAN linear, we need to go our separate ways type forgiveness.

Better yet, I will replace the last songs of "Lemonade" with a more feminist version of Beyonce from a movie she was in.

 In the movie "Obsessed", Beyonce tells a husband by Idris Elba, 'I know you didn't cheat on me. I'm kicking you out because you lied to me about that woman coming on to you. I'm kicking you out because WE SAID that WE ARE A TEAM and you lied to me again and again, didn't even tell me she she was very actively trying to seduce you.'

And Movie-Beyonce kicked Idris out of the house until he made multiple efforts to restore trust.

 In "Obsessed" fictional Beyonce knows that true forgiveness, the circular one that involves restoring relationship, requires two people talking  -- and not just one person wishing like there was in "Lemonade." 

In real life, we don't know what happened. And I loved the black woman imagery in "Lemonade" But the end of "Lemonade?" The end of "Lemonade" had a message was off -- way off.  And the reason most women don't recognize it as being "off" is because we've all been told these messages since birth -

Boys will be boys

Girls are made to suffer and pseudo insta-forgive so they can suffer some more

At the very end of  my adjusted version of "Lemonade" for young black girls, I will change the Beyonce's attitude to being one of unsure hopefulness instead of the hopeful satisfaction.

Beyonce will seem hopeful that she's seeing EVIDENCE that Jay Z deserves more than linear forgiveness. She will seem hopeful that the relationship is worthy of a circular forgiveness that can restore their relationship because
 "Lemonade" as it ENDS repeats a destructive pattern that I would destroy out right, with my magic wand if I had one.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Balltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams on Monday rejected the state's case against Officer Edward Nero, acquitting him on all counts for his role in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray....

[Officer Edward Nero]...is one of three officers who were on bike patrol when they chased and arrested Gray in West Baltimore on April 12, 2015. Gray died a week later of his injuries, touching off citywide protests.

Prosecutors initially charged Nero and Officer Garrett Miller with wrongly arresting Gray for having an illegal knife, which they said was legal under state law. They later backed off that theory after defense attorneys noted the knife was banned under city code, and instead said the officers did not follow legal requirements in how they went about stopping Gray before finding the knife.

This is what I expected would happen when the Prosecutor stepped up to say, "The Van Did It," arrested 3 black people and 3 white people, and COINCIDENTALLY stopped protests. I'm still reading, but I thought the Prosecutor handed the judge and excuse to release the officers that beat Gray -- So far, that's still what I think.

In Mosby's defense, it seems to me, the judge did a Chicago move -- just like the judge did with Rekia Boy'd's killer, Dante Servin. It seems to me the judge decided he wouldn't even take the chance that a jury would find differently.




* * * * * * * * * * *

On Prosecutors choice to say "THE VAN DID IT" - from May 2015


* * * * *

Previous Freddie Gray Prosecution:  Hung Jury  - from December 2015


I've been writing about "Lemonade" and "forgiveness" not worthy of the name "forgiveness" because all week because I've seen other bloggers, other black women riffing on forgiveness...AGAIN

And while I'm not anti-forgiveness like some --I'm actually all for the real thing-- I'm tired of women, especially black women, talking about forgiveness.

I thought I was just tired of the pseudo-insta-forgiveness. But I realize that I'm tired of hearing about real forgiveness too --from black women.

I'm on a black-woman-forgiveness strike that might last the rest of my life because I'm not going to be listening or reading black female somebody's lectures on forgiveness unless I read something twice as long from a black male lecturer on what you lose when you betray another person and what it takes to earn another's attempt at forgiveness.

I say "earn another's attempt at forgiveness" because you cannot "earn forgiveness" Forgiveness is a gift. But true forgiveness is not something that's given lightly because it's at a cost to the forgiver -- and that cost, in the case of betrayal-- is long lasting damage because forgiving and forgetting are not linked.

I've been focusing on "Lemonade" which has kept the conversation centered on men betraying women. But now we can dive into how very, very different it is when a woman betrays a man by telling you about an old book and a play I  saw in New York recently.

"The Curious Incident Of The Dog In Nighttime," is a story about a boy, his father, and how the neighbor's dog died. (If your going to see it ever, stop reading. This is your last spoiler alert) We are told early on the mother is dead. Come to find out the mother is not dead. The mother went off with the female neighbor's husband. The father, at some point, killed the dog in a fit of misdirected rage at the wife that ran off.

In the classic book, Anna Karenina goes to be with her lover and is not allowed to see or be with her children.

Do you know what these two stories, told more than 100 years apart, have in common? In both stories when a woman cheats, she is shown as becoming a whore.  That's how other characters treat her. And when she becomes a whore, she is no longer worthy of being around her children. Whores don't get insta-forgiveness. Men don't get hours and hours long lectures on forgiveness at church, on the street, on the internet when the woman cheats in fiction or in real life.  

When people see the "Curious Incident..." play in 2016 they will not confused about why the woman is away from her child. She's a whore. The reason she's been removed is automatically understood. When people first read the book Anna Karenina, about why she is kept away from her child, the audience is not confused about why she's gone either; she's a whore.

The father killing the dog in the play? That's understandable because betrayal makes people  crazy-- IF the person doing the betraying is a woman and the one betrayed is a man, then rage is understandable and "pseudo-insta-forgiveness" is not a subject that comes up.

For men, when they are betrayed, real forgiveness is the subject. 

Do you see how that works? When women cheat they are whores that must leave and not infect their children with their heinous character. When men cheat he's "human" and worthy of insta-pseudo forgiveness  -- but somehow we are not seeing that pretending betrayal hurts children when men are given a pass.



Sunday, May 22, 2016


Connecting The Scattered 
And Untold Stories 
of the 
Black/African Diaspora 


Dutch Citizenship

"But We're Tolerant" 

Dutch History: Post WWII Indonesia 

Dutch Racism vs U S Racism 

E-Racing History

Immigration Policies and Homelessness

Words Present and Absent In The Dutch Language

Mental Health / Racism /Strong Black Woman



'Strolling' is a short documentary film series created by Cecile Emeke where we take a stroll with people in various cities and countries around the world, having refreshingly raw and honest conversations about various issues at the forefront of their society. We touch on everything from feminism, sexuality, gender, race and politics to philosophy, art, history, capitalism, war and poverty and everything else you can think of.

* * * * *
A DEB LYNN EXTRA: I'm not a vegan. But more than one researcher has made a case for increased violence in slaughterhouse workers. It makes common sense to me. In order for people to do the kind of things they do in slaughterhouses, they'd have to deaden emotions associated with compassion and empathy.  It doesn't surprise me that this could lead to very negative, not just violent, results in communities.


Saturday, May 21, 2016


It seems to me, that black women hang to bad relationships longer than other women. This is the impression I have, true or not. And I think that black women hang on longer because oppression in the form of racism provides more "reasons" for black men to behave badly in way it doesn't for black women.

It's also likely the black women also hang on longer because "eligible" black men SEEM rarer than hens teeth some days. In other words, some of us are, understandably, a little desperate for our love to work out with black men.

Again, all I used to hear from women in their 20s was "But I love him...." no matter how foul the behavior of their man was.

But the thing I heard later, the thing I heard from black women in their 30s and 40s as I got older was...

"All black men are ___________"

-insert negative stereotype 
or negative reality in the blank. 

This view of men, this hatred of men, should be seen as the mental, emotional scar tissue that's created when women hang on too long.

And  when the negative inserted in the blank IS a reality instead of stereotype, it seems like that it's a reality at least partially created out of false forgiveness given too cheaply.

So we have to admit something here.

Part of the reason for black women's wide-spread, long lasting, soul deep, disappointment with black men is due to other black women-- and not the ones they cheat with.  Black mothers that hung on too long to men that betrayed them, did so while dragging their daughters and sons through it with them.

And that matters.

I don't want to victim blame. I really don't. But once you get past year one, year two, year three or four of a betrayal situation, the only true victim is the child you are dragging through it with you.

At some point, a woman has a responsibility to remove herself and her children from emotional harm --especially if there's no physical threat in doing so.

In some ways being a victim of emotional abuse is like being a victim of 
racism,  sexism, or misgynoir

The racism, sexism or misgynoir is not your fault. You are not causing the racism or sexism. But the -ism IS your problem to fix by changing something drastically or leaving because you are the one suffering.

And if black women are doing most of the black child raising, then some changes need to be made in our collective behavior. We shouldn't see a video like "Lemonade" and nod our heads in agreement.  

Maybe it's because I don't have children that I can remember my child's perspective better. I don't know. But it must be something. Because the thing that men and women in "troubled" (a.k.a. betrayal filled) relationships involving children have in common is their ability to tell me about what their children do NOT see, do NOT hear, and do NOT understand

 -- when it's obvious the children are miserable regardless of what they understand in detail.

So it is not okay if your friend or sister or female cousin to think standing by her man as he dogs her is just her own personal business. Well maybe it is up to a point. But it's not just her affecting her. A woman deciding to let a man betray her, emotionally abuse her in a fashion, is breaking down black community one bad relationship at a time.

So be a better friend than just being a "yes woman" -- even if it costs you the friendship.

You can't tell people what to do. But you can decide not to blow sunshine up another woman's skirt, especially if the friend accepting betrayal has children that are watching her. Not standing by to be a silent witness to, an enabler of, betrayal is actually a choice about yourself that benefits black community.

Victims of abuse can be selfish as hell --and they can be selfish in the name of their children while hurting their children (see yesterday's post). That's why I've found myself in awe of mothers I've seen look in the mirror and say I need to stop this for myself and my child -- and before a decade has passed.

So when I watch "Lemonade" again, and I will because it's beautiful, I'm going to skip the wishful thinking at the end.

The ending may be a true reflection of real life for black women. But it's a reflection of something that IS NOT neutral but ugly and damaging instead.

Insta-forgiveness based on wishful thinking only looks pretty on the outside. And I think a larger and larger percentage of young black women are realizing this.

A larger and larger percentage of them are anti-marriage because they are not up for the same old, same old.

And until black women
and black men's attitudes  
toward the betrayal of women 
is closer to that of 
the betrayal of men, 
I hope young black women 
stick to their guns for future generations' sake.

More tomorrow on how very accurately women's cheating is seen as "betrayal" but via a truly ugly path