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Friday, November 15, 2013

Punk Band Vocalist Accused of Assault - Viral Lynch Mob Ensues

Taking a bit of a departure from roasting pigs for just a minute, there is something that needs to be addressed. There is a blackout, shut-down, and censoring of objectivity regarding this, which is why this forum is being made available. 

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NYC Punk band THE CASUALTIES are currently on tour with Negative Approach and (Portland locals) Millions of Dead Cops. They had been scheduled to play a show here in Portland at the Branx club on Saturday Nov. 16th 2013. Recently a disturbing accusation surfaced  accusing Casualties lead singer Jorge Herrera of sexual assault [roughly] 16 years ago. The accusation came about via a [guest] post on a political blog called 'Put Your Damn Pants On'.  
The post was written by someone identified only as "Beth", which can be assumed is a pseudonym. The post is very long, but you are encouraged to read it and draw your own conclusion. The short version is, "Beth" accuses the Punk singer of making unwanted sexual advances at her (she never uses the word rape) at a house party roughly 16 years ago. The post was published on Nov. 5th, so one can reason that this allegation from the accuser is fresh and very recent. 



Since the post first appeared on that blog, it has been reposted by several other Punk and Alternative forums, including individuals who openly admit to having a severe vendetta against the band, independent of any rape allegations. Within a matter of a few days, a virtual witch hunt ensued. The band's FaceBook page had been deluged with many hundreds, if not thousands of comments - most negative and hysterical. This included many trolls who've seen fit to critique on the band's appearance and music, as well as opportunists who've admitted to never having heard of them in the first place. 


Jorg the vocalist, and by extension the band, were instantly assumed GUILTY-AS-FUCK by a viral surge of people who read a semi-anonymous account from one person... of an incident that was alleged to have happened 16 years ago. And anyone who DARED made attempts at objectivity or declared that they prefered to WAIT FOR MORE INFORMATION before picking sides was ruthlessly shouted down and slandered as "supporting rape culture". An attempt at just such objectivity failed when a submission regarding this issue and asking some inconvenient questions was [initially] published on Portland so-called "Indymedia". The submission was removed within an hour of it first being posted. 
Since then, The Casualties have been pulled from the Portland bill. 

before...

... after

It turns out that the venue promoter for the show made the decision to kick the band off the 11/16 bill, and that the half-assed "reasoning" for this was due to anonymous phone calls, emails, and messages threatening to boycott and protest the show. Admission price for the show, however, had not been reduced - same as it had been when the headliner was still on.  


To be TERRIBLY FUCKING CLEAR, rape/rape culture is fucked up! Sexual assault is fucked up! Misogyny is fucked up! Being molested or having anything done to you against one's will is fucked up! 

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But what's also fucked up are false allegations, viral lynch mobs, and trial-by-social media! And one must always be OBJECTIVE and SKEPTICAL when it comes to disseminating information on the internet. The band themselves have released a statement addressing this, as quoted:

"Living in the modern age of smartphones and social media it's easy for information to be shared and spread without any thought to it's validity. Anyone that is a fan of The Casualties or who knows us personally can confirm we do not support or condone abuse of any kind. While we fully support free speech and free opinion, unfortunately sometimes people can get careless and wrong information gets spread around. The claims are 100% FALSE and we appreciate all of the support we have received from around the world from our friends and fans. We always have and always will be a band that stands for equality, anti-racism, and unity."

Also, one of the sites which posted the original blog post has since taken it down, due not only to lack of evidence, but lack of verification that the alleged victim even exists! 

 

Now having read the post on the 'putyourdamnpantson' blog here are some facts that cannot be over-looked:

* The accusation comes from one person only. 
* This person, for some reason, decided to wait 16 years to tell her story (presumably, great advancements in technology and social/online media have made this more possible).
* There are no witnesses, even though this supposedly happened at a house party.
* This person claims that she's openly posted about her assault on Instagram and FaceBook before. However, no links are provided. In fact, the ONLY account of this that seems to exist anywhere on the internet is her one single blog submission, and nothing prior to Nov. 5th 2013.
* NO time, date, city, month, state, nor location of ANY sort are provided. All we are told is that this alleged assault happened at a house party (somewhere in the world, one might guess) 16 years ago.
* We don't even really know that this happened at a house party. You can read the post over again, all you'll get is that it happened in one room and [the victim] ran into another room where she barricaded herself until the next morning. So we can reasonably guess that the alleged attack took place in either a house or apt, at least.
* This person claims this happened to her  roughly 16 years ago (1997, roughly) when she was 16 years old. So she is 32 now. She says she is a mother, wife, home and business owner now. Yet, she still has not gotten over that some guy [apparently] tried to put his hands down her pants when she was a teenager. She considers herself a "casualty" (nice pun) and "survivor" of this experience. Yet, nothing in the post suggests she was forcibly and violently RAPED. Being molested in such a way is still goddamn lousy, yeah, and sucks that it happened (if it did). But eh, still...   
There is NO way to confirm that this attack happened in the country at all. 
There is no way to confirm that a single word of the post is true or accurate. 
* There is NO way to confirm whether the alleged victim, "Beth", even physically exists!

  

I'm not taking sides here and I will not engage in any level of victim-shaming! If "Beth's" accusations are indeed true, then Jorge should most certainly pay! And at the very least, there is NO discounting that sexual assault and sexual violence happens ALOT and that the Punk scene is in no way exceptional to this worldly fact. Which would make it all the more worse, should this turn out to be a complete goddamn fraud! 


STAND WITH THE CASUALTIES ARMY! FUCK COPS!!!


People must be vigilant, discerning, skeptical, and objective in anything they disseminate in any media forum! Many millions of people (including professionals whose jobs it was to supposedly fucking know better) have been hoodwinked by some very emotionally-wrenching hoaxes:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-13744980


False accusations can easily ruin the lives of innocent people:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152409/Brian-Banks-Player-falsely-accused-rape-NFL-auditions-teams.html


Sometimes, things we read and hear about are being orchestrated [to us] by dangerous sociopaths:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1312802/Bethany-Storro-hoax-Acid-attack-victim-confesses-injuries-self-inflicted.html





And sometimes, telling lies can get innocent people killed. 




7 comments:

  1. It's "PUT your damn pants ON", sweetiepie. And a lot of people know who posted this. Yes, she physically exists, and given that you are from the USA, she does live in your country.

    Also, who are you to tell someone the right time to report their sexual assault? Look at the vile comments people are typing up, the fact that the police is treating victims like criminals, and so on.

    Don't say you are against rape culture and then use all of the arguments it's built upon.

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    1. Duly noted, the correction has been made.

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  2. Reports of false rape are very rare. According to the FBI it is under 8% of REPORTED rapes are false but many of those are only called 'unfounded' because the reporting police officer decided that it was not rape because the victim did not fight back hard enough, or knew the rapist, or there are no apparent physical injuries. It goes on from there.

    Rape is very hard to prove to most people, since men like to assume that women use sex as a power play, but when a woman cries "rape" it needs to be taken seriously.

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  3. According to Wikipedia there were about 200,000 rapes reported in 2006...and (as mentioned above) the statistic for false accusations is around 8% AND rape is underreported, thats more than 16,000 "false reports". Rape is aweful. We shouldn't be quick to deny when a woman says she was assaulted. But you really have to understand WHY people ask the questions they do...because rape accusations can be just as damaging to a person. If by chance I am one of the 8% of men falsely accused of rape...am I supposed to just let people smear my name and ruin my life for the sake of the other 92%. These questions aren't meant to destroy these people. No one wants them to relive the experience. But someone has to stand up for the innocent...and sometimes the innocent is the accused. Call that "rape apology" all you want...but in other crimes the victims are faced with questions all the time. If a person is murdered, first person they suspect is the spouse...never mind their partner is dead and they are probably in emotional anguish. If my business burns down, I'm gonna get some questioning to make sure I didn't do it for insurance. If someone wrongs me in any other situation, I have to supply the evidence its the person I say. In rape, we're supposed to just believe them at their word because other wise we are rape apologists. And in a situation like this when the accusation surfaces for the first time so suddenly and online, we have to believe that as well because this person "has nothing to gain from this". Nevermind, the internet is full of trolls, rumors, and all out made up stories. (I just read one about people eating human fetus soup in China. Which with some quick research proves completely bogus. What the fuck did that person have to gain?)

    With all that rant out of the way, I will add...I had the same skepticism about this particular story, but thats because I didn't have a face to put to it. After researching the story online, I found her facebook page. She is in fact a real person. Having a face to go with the story has softened my stance on this whole issue. Before, I was weighing a band that basically pulled me head first into the punk subculture and I owed part of my inner existence to against a faceless blog post. But after seeing pictures of this woman, of her kids and getting a sense of who she is I dunno what to think. Its still a decision of believing a band that shaped my life versus a woman I don't know, but now the scale is more equally balanced and possibly leaning in her favor. So let justice be served to whoever isn't lying.

    I know my comments will catch some flack as "support of rape culture" But letting that small 8% of false accusations get away with using rape as a revenge tool, is also rape culture. Rape is serious. Its not a weapon to be used...even if its used extremely rarely. I'm done...flame me all you want.

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    1. You've put a very balanced perspective on this so thank you! This is just the sort of objectivity I had been trying to address.

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  4. Thank you for this good abstract about this sh. story. One of the few which is not biased and full of hate. Even most comments are reasonable.

    I am not a big fan of the band, but I met them several times over the last 11 years. They have always been nice. I met Jorge as a caring and thoughtful person, but I cannot say whether he always was or now is. Of course there is no excuse for rape or better in this case sexual assault and in case he did it he should pay. But as I do not know if the allegations are true or not, I think it is important not to prejudge him. Unfortunately discussions are made impossible as concerns are not accepted. This is unique in the case of sexual assaults: guilty - doubts not accepted.

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  5. I have known Jorge since I was 15 years old (I am female). I have known him with and without girlfriends. I know exactly how he acted around girls since I was still around him at the time when this allegedly took place. There is absolutely no way that Jorge could ever do this to any girl. He has always been so respectful and shy of women, no amount of alcohol could make him act this way. I have no idea why this woman has made up this story, maybe she hit on him and he didn't like her and it has stuck in her so long she wants to lash out. People may not know Jorge, but my friends and I, who we all grew up together, have known Jorge for over 30 years, and this is not him. This girl is a flat out liar and should be ashamed of herself. So should the ignorant people with the knee-jerk reaction that if a girl said it, it must be true. Girls lie and say they are pregnant when they're not, they lie and say somebody molested them because they are ashamed of the drunk sex they had the night before. I feel extremely strongly about this and I will stand up and say this in front of anyone because Jorge is a sweetheart who would never hurt anyone. He stands up for the rights of the victimized, he would never victimize anyone himself.

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