OMFG. Words fail me.

As I watched this, I decided to post it on my blog, and then my mind went through a series of possible titles for the post, but there were so many yet so few that would be appropriate.

This lady is obviously crazy. Frankly, perhaps the mail carrier is crazy for not driving off with her arm in the door, but I wasn’t there so it’s hard to say.

I should say, for context, that Hingham Massachusetts is a relatively affluent but typically fairly mighty white somewhat liberal region along the “South Shore” of Massachusetts, south of Boston and adjoining Boston Harbor. It dates back to 1635, and sports one of the more interesting really old New England restaurants renamed a couple of hundred years ago to “Ye Olde Mille Grille” (pronounce, presumably, Yee Oldy Milly Grilly).

You can see this woman’s training (Brandeis? no, her accent suggests a Western Mass education, maybe one of the Amherst area sister colleges? Anyway, she wasn’t born in Hingham, but elsewhere in the northeast) rubbing up against her hard-earned opinion of reality, buttressed by the concept that since Martin Luther King was active several decades ago, and black people (i.e., “nigger thieves” in her words) are still, you know, all niggery and stuff, that it must be due to internal strife and back biting amongst them.

And she’s saying and thinking all this talking to a man from some other country, which does make us chuckle a little just because her understanding of context is so provincial.

But is she racist? Not as racist as the system that allowed this event to happen without consequence, in a world in which a black man striking a white mail carrier would probably spend days, possibly years, in prison for violating the Patriot Act.

The mail carrier was, of course, fired. Uppity nigger mail carrier.

The mail carrier may or may not have been fired, and if he was, he may or may not have been fired for reasons that may or may not have been related to this incident, and it is possible that he was a temp. See the link kindly supplied by JustMe in the comments section below for a LOT more information on crazy lady.

More info here

Hat tip, Jaf.


  1. #1 JustMe
    November 12, 2010

    Here is her identity, on gawker;

    Seems this isn’t her first run-in with people.

  2. #2 gwen
    November 12, 2010

    Maybe she is related to the man I am arguing with on CFI’s forum who is also “not a racist”. I’m speechless. 2010…right?

  3. #3 dean
    November 12, 2010

    As I was listening to her the word “harpy” kept running through my head – shit, what a voice. I wonder if she’s not having serious marriage problems (she didn’t want her husband’s letter).

    I was amazed at the mailman’s poise – he performed far better than I think I would have.

  4. #4 Sarz
    November 12, 2010


    *plus fingers in ears* THIS ISN’T REAL THIS ISN’T REAL THIS ISN’T R-

  5. #5 Ophelia Benson
    November 12, 2010

    Try to get the word “harpy” out of your head. For good.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2010

    Ophelia: True, yes, good point, but at the moment we are actually working on getting the term “nigger thief” out of everyone’s head, because apparently it isn’t. In the mean time, no need to appear to defend the ____ who used that term on another person, or to change the topic or distract the conversation, no matter how worthy the new topic may be.

    I have nothing specific in mind for filling in that blank.

  7. #7 jaf
    November 12, 2010

    Mental illness is not an acceptable excuse for assault. If you can’t stop yourself from assaulting someone (or committing a hate crime, oh, say, racism), then you should be institutionalized.
    She signed for the letter. She doesn’t have to open it!
    She is racist! There’s no other explanation!

    I will stop talking now. She is too much for words.

  8. #8 Poose
    November 12, 2010

    Holy FUCK!!!

    Last I checked-assaulting a Federal Employee is a FELONY.

    Why isn’t this stupid bitch in prison?

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    November 12, 2010

    Because she only hit a black foreigner while standing in her privileged white neighborhood in a Boston suburb. In that part of town, she’d have to burn a school bus to really get in trouble.

    Oh, wait, that would actually be an OK thing to do ’round those parts.

  10. #10 anthrosciguy
    November 13, 2010

    Nearby (20 miles away) in Cambridge, Mass was where Henry Gates was arrested for being in his own home (while black) after having shown police his ID; given that how could anyone expect someone who assaulted a black federal employee to be arrested?

  11. #11 Isabel
    November 13, 2010

    Harpy? Bitch? Hmm, the word ‘hypocrite’ comes to mind.

  12. #12 Isabel
    November 14, 2010

    I just followed your “more info here” link to find this *obviously* mentally ill woman repeatedly called an “aging” white woman, along with accounts of pushy entitled “aging white women”, and “the old bag”, “harridan” etc.

    Oh no Greg, we don’t want to distract from the REAL issue, which is racism. So don’t hold back, people!

  13. #13 Stephanie Z
    November 14, 2010

    Isabel, Greg’s comment at #6 makes the distinction between worthy topics and the topic at hand. The reference to “real issue”s is yours alone. Is there a particular reason you don’t want people here to discuss the topic at hand?

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    Isabel, I’ve been looking at your last two comments and trying to figure out what you are saying, and I’m just not getting your point. Could you please expand?

  15. #15 Isabel
    November 14, 2010

    Oooookay real slow

    The woman is upset (and undoubtedly mentally ill but setting that aside for a moment and taking the post at face value)
    She spews racist hatred

    This racism upsets people, so they spew sexist hatred.

    When this is brought (a rather gentle comment about the use of ‘harpy’) up the response is to stick to the issue at hand.

    This makes no sense at all to me.

    Why must we use words like ‘harpy’ ‘bitch’ ‘aging white woman’ ‘old bag’ and ‘harridan’ to express our disgust with her racist rant?

    And when we do, how on earth are we any less bigoted than she is?

    “Is there a particular reason you don’t want people here to discuss the topic at hand?”

    I said absolutely nothing to imply this.

  16. #16 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    Isabel: “When this is brought (a rather gentle comment about the use of ‘harpy’) up the response is to stick to the issue at hand.”

    Yes, of course. Read carefully what I said: I agree with the critique of the sexist language, but I am also sensitive to the fact that when certain things are being talked about, it is common to distract away from them. That includes sexism. If there is sexism being noted, and that is the main topic, is it appropriate to divert the topic to some other topic? Well, mentioing some other topic is OK, but diversion is subversive of the in process critique of the sexism.

    I was trying to avoid an in situ diversion of the in process critique of racism while at the same time noting that the use of sexist language is not good.

    I’ll add this: The vast majority of the sexist language that is being bandied about is NOT on this thread or this blog, but on comments on the local blog. That would be a good place to make note of it.

    It is a balancing act, and there is not one way to balance it.

  17. #17 Isabel
    November 14, 2010

    “harpy’ and ‘bitch’ were used here out of the five terms I mentioned. And you provided a link to the other blog where I was confronted with the remaining ugly, misogynistic insults. So I think it is perfectly appropriate to bring up here.

    “same time noting that the use of sexist language is not good.”

    It is completely unacceptable. No qualifying warnings about sticking to the issue at hand were needed or appropriate.

    Your analogy is a bit off. Suppose sexism was being discussed-would it be a ‘diversion’ to object if someone made a gratuitous, unambiguously racist comment, along the lines of what is being said in this case, about the person being discussed? I doubt it would be anywhere near as likely to occur in the first place.

    Finally, what critique of racism going on here that cannot be interrupted or ‘diverted’? it just sounds like a lot of ranting and venting.

  18. #18 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    Isabel, I’m simply tired of seeing the racist conversation derailed and diverted again and again and again. I’m sorry if you have a problem with that. Is this going to be one of those threads that goes from a valid discussion of racism to a rant fest on how to blog?

  19. #19 Isabel
    November 14, 2010

    Okay I can see you’re being defensive and refusing to admit you were wrong. No one likes to be called out and all that. I think I’ve made my point here.

    There was no “valid discussion of racism” going on here anyway; just the usual scab-picking. One bigot’s ugly rant as a springboard for some other bigot’s ugly rant.

    At least the first bigot has the excuse of suffering from some form of dementia. What’s yours and your commenters’ excuse?

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    November 14, 2010

    Okay I can see you’re being defensive and refusing to admit you were wrong. No one likes to be called out and all that. I think I’ve made my point here.

    Wrong about what? That sexist language is bad or that it is annoying to derail a thread?

    Isabel, remember back when you were annoying me a lot, before you disappeared for a while? Somebody actually went through the comments, and on pain of death promised me that I would not reveal who did it, and discovered that your outrageous arrived every 28 days like clockwork. I wonder why.

    For other readers, I quickly add that there are two distinctly different Isabels that comment on this blog. This one, the horrid shrewish harpy-like hysterical bitch on the rag chick, and the other one, who is quite an excellent commenter.

    (I didn’t say that out loud, did I?)

  21. #21 Isabel
    November 14, 2010

    Unbelievable. Vile sexism is acceptable (or funny-hard to tell).

    Thanks for the laugh. It answers the question – you are as crazy as the woman in the movie.

    Now you can go back to your deep analysis of racism.

  22. #22 Samantha Vimes
    November 15, 2010

    OMFG. Words fail me.

    Greg Laden, I hope someone hacked you, because its time for a denial or an apology.

  23. #23 ellid
    November 15, 2010

    Uh, two things –

    First, this woman doesn’t sound like any alumna of either Smith or Mount Holyoke I’ve ever met, and I went to Smith. I also live near the college to this day. Where you got the idea that Pioneer Valley Seven Sisters alumnae have a common accent is beyond me.

    Second, for someone who’s decrying racism, you certainly had no problem with the old “angry woman must be menstruating” cliche. Nice.

  24. #24 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2010

    Samantha, this is between me and Isabel. Denial or apology would be entirely inappropriate. My comment was, obviously, a parody.

    Isabel, that is your last comment on this blog. You are a vile person and this blog is not your forum. Though, I was utterly surprised that you recognized my absurd comment as humor (entirely at your expense, obviously). I had not seen any evidence of a sense of humor in you before.

    Ellid, I wasn’t going on the accent. And, if you knew Isabel as I know Isabel you’d probably get what I said, but I don’ expect it.

  25. #25 Josephine
    November 15, 2010

    Ellid, you failed to understand the comment. Dr. Laden was not referring to the woman in the video as menstruating.

    There seems to be a lot of this going on here, mostly from Isabel. People commenting here pointing to other web sites did not say the things on those web sites.

  26. #26 Samantha Vimes
    November 15, 2010

    Ah. I rarely play videos, so if it was the subject of the original post you were parodying, of course someone only reading would miss the joke, and see only a sudden turn from a reasonable request not to threadjack to a descent into unmasked sexism. I acknowlege the failure on my part to research, but that is the danger of assuming your audience will go beyond reading when you write.

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2010

    danger of assuming your audience will go beyond reading when you write.

    I dealt with that goblin a long time ago. I ask a lot from my readers. I probably have a lot fewer readers than I otherwise would because of that.

    The video is where the racist shit is. The white suburban woman explains to the black mail carrier that blacks have lower IQ and that is why he is being held back calls him a “nigger thief” and physically assaults him. So now you don’t have to see the video. If you follow various links in the comments and onward, you can eventually find the local (Hingham MA) web site where this is being discussed, and people who may or may not know the woman and/or the man in the video make random, often obnoxious comments which Isabel is holding me responsible for.

    And, if you go way back and read this Isabel’s comments (there are at least two distinct Isabel commetners here) many months back you’ll find that for her, sexism is actually all about her, about her being right, about her judging, and about her punishing.

  28. #28 Stephanie Z
    November 15, 2010

    Also, for (this) Isabel, just about any other topic is a grand excuse to not discuss racism. That includes sexism, classism, how someone once “promised” her some information, all bloggers’ history of lying, a commenter’s mental health….

    Isabel is like a train wreck that only happens in certain places. After a certain number of derailments, a pattern emerges.

  29. #29 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2010

    Is it possible to work the Third Rail into this metaphor? Somehow seems appropriate.

    … which reminds me …

    I just read the autobiographical description by Winston Churchill of his being taken prisoner in South Africa by the Boers in 1899. The “armored train” he was riding on as part of recon into enemy territory, as a news correspondent, was ambushed by Boers. This was the very week, possibly the very day, that the British suddenly learned that the Boers were not loosely organized yet “brave and honorable etc.” farmers with their shootin’ irons, but rather, the technologically best equipped army in the world at that time, having been semi-secretly (and well-fundedly from their own gold) been supplied by European sellers with the latest in artillery, excellent long guns, and various super machine gun sorts of devices, and this new device called a “shell” which loaded very quickly into the newly designed deadly artillery pieces.

    They used rapid firing artillery thingies to subdue Churchill’s train’s soldiers while elsewhere long range artillery with smokeless powder in the pre-made shells were bombarding the town of Ladysmith, in which was trapped most of the in-country British military force of Natal.

    “So what?” one might say… (Well, if you didn’t know that Winston Churchill spent time in South Africa as a POW, that would be a nice bit of new info). So what is this: Though the train and the military units on it were subdued with artillery, that is not how it was originally caught. It was originally caught using a very intelligent plan and the oldest technology there is. Like this:

    First, as the train came ’round the bend the Brits could see the Boers up on a nearby hill (clue: you never saw the Boers unless they wanted you to see them, but the Brits didn’t know that) at a point where the train was closest to the hill on a curve (clue: one would not normally avoid shooting at your quarry until the moment it is turned to escape, unless you wanted them to run away) shells started to land on both sides of the train (clue: they seem to be systematically missing the point, but it scared the shit out of the civilian engineer who opened the throttle!) so the train sped up as fast as it could go.

    Then the train ran smack dab into a medium sized rock the Boers had put on the track, and derailed (clue: The best way to derail a train is with it’s own massive weight. And a rock.)

    The lesson: Running or trying to capture an armored train behind enemy lines in the Boer War is a lot like blogging, in so many ways that it leaves me speechless. Except all the words, of course.

  30. #30 Stella
    November 15, 2010

    (I didn’t say that out loud, did I?)

    Oops, Greg, yes you did.

    In public.

    The woman in the video needs to be held responsible for her racism. It’s hideous and outrageous and insupportable, but not tied to her female identity.

  31. #31 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2010

    Stella, no it certainly is not, and I was not speaking of her or about her.

    Reader, do the work, I say!

  32. #32 Stephanie Z
    November 15, 2010

    Hmm, not sure about the third rail. With respect to derailments, though, I was thinking about the myth of the penny on the track. Some people do seem to get terribly upset when it turns out to not be true–to the extent of getting in there and trying to push the train off the track themselves.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2010

    When I was a kid in upstate new york camping on Lake Champlain I would scrounge for coins to put on the freight train track near the lake. Usually, you couldn’t find the squished count, but when you could it was cool.

    A little chewing gum would keep it on the rail until the train hit it.

    (I think for a while my parents thought that encouraging me to play along the rail road track would be more efficient than leaving me in the forest)