"A Complete Failure"

[Content Note: Rape culture; misogynoir.]

Last week, I wrote about the sports site SB Nation having published a despicable 12,000-word piece of rank apologia on Daniel Holtzclaw, the former Oklahoma City police officer who sexually assaulted 13 black women.

Today, at Deadspin, Greg Howard details how the "complete failure" happened.

The whole thing is worth your time to read, but two things in particular stuck out to me:

1. The chief problem with the content of the piece is that it all but ignored the 13 black women who were sexually assaulted by Holtzclaw. In a bitter irony, the chief problem with the publishing of the piece is that the white male editors and writer ignored their black female colleague, "senior editor Elena Bergeron, who explicitly and repeatedly drew attention to the story's flaws in the days leading to its publication."

2. The writer of the piece, Jeff Arnold, is quoted describing what his intentions were: "I hoped to present a more fully-rounded portrait of Mr. Holtzclaw than had appeared in the press. I hoped to explore the question of what had happened to this once-promising young man. I and my editor at SB Nation hoped to find possible answers as to what could have led to him to become a convicted rapist and sexual predator." Yeah. There are a lot of problems with that, not least of which is this: Treating rapists like they emerge individually from a vacuum is a breathtaking misunderstanding of both rapists and the rape culture.

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