Ross Mirkarimi Update: Allegations of Abuse "Out of Context." Say What?

Categories: Politics
Mirkarimi Lopez Luke Thomas FCJ.jpg
Luke Thomas, Fog City Journal
La famille Mirkarimi
There was, understandably, much talk about the awkwardness of Ross Mirkarimi's Sunday inauguration as San Francisco sheriff. The progressive stalwart and former supervisor is facing allegations of domestic abuse; if things go badly for him he could be booked into his own jail.

Yet that awkwardness didn't seem to faze the Mirkarimi family much during yesterday's ceremony. Addressing the press afterward, Eliana Lopez, Mirkarimi's wife, interrupted her husband to firmly state that the allegations of domestic violence were "completely taken out of context."

The truth of what happened at chez Mirkarimi on New Year's Eve is not known to anyone but the principals. But the notion that, somehow, these allegations have been misconstrued because they've been "completely taken out of context" is baffling. In what context would claims of domestic abuse -- the physical effects of which were allegedly documented by the neighbor who filed the charges -- be in  some exonerating context?

It would seem the term "out of context" is out of context here.

Of course, this may be reading too much into the phrase "out of context." For decades, this has been what people who wish to cast aspersions on the media have used as something of a catch-all to clean up for any unfortunate thing they might have said or done. 

The Oxford English Dictionary lists its first usage as 1940. That instance, in a publication titled Econometrica, reads: "Our national indexes of wealth, income ... etc., are out-of-context summations of such data." That's hardly in the same context as Lopez's statement -- but it's not hard to find many such usages of "out of context" as a synonym for "I didn't say what I said":


  • Ike Lashes Out at Kennedy In Island Furor, Chicago Daily Tribune, Oct. 16, 1960 (The White House today accused Sen. John F. Kennedy, Democratie Presidential nominee, of quoting President Eisenhower out of context and intent in the dispute with Vice President Nixon);

  • 'Lust' Remark Out of Context Says Rosalynn, Boston Globe, Oct. 6, 1976 (Rosalyn Carter, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Jimmy Carter, said yesterday that the controversy over her husband's remarks about lust in a Playboy magazine interview will subside...)

At the present, it remains unclear how allegations that Mirkarimi grabbed and bruised his wife's arm, leading her to allegedly send a distraught text to a neighbor -- who purportedly filmed this bruise prior to filing a police report -- have been taken "out of context." 

Perhaps that elusive context will grow clearer in the future.

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Kristen
Kristen

The battered victim is acting *exactly* like a battered victim who is being pressured to keep her mouth shut by the aggressor's friends. She is getting pressure from all sides. She has caved in. (In Venezuela, battered women are expected to just shut up and take it)

VivlianWozz
VivlianWozz

 

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s b
s b

It's fascinating when a "progressive" pol is accused of Neanderthal behavior.  People do somersaults trying to avoid saying the wrong thing.  People's public and private lives are not always a mirror image. 

A woman went to her neighbor's house and complained that her husband grabbed her so hard, he left a mark. She asked for documentation of the injuries, too.  Why? The incident was reported to the SFPD, who must investigate.  How hard do you have to grab a person to leave a physical mark? 

Guaranteed, if this involved an African-American man down the Point, he'd be charged already.  Out of context...ridiculous.  Politics.

Youbedoo
Youbedoo

Ouch! But you can easily imagine how it went down. Pothead soon to be next sheriff, doobie in hand, priming himself for New Year's eve, tells his recently wedded wife and new mother, the former soap opera star from Venezuela, that she must stay home with the child now in the midst of his terrible two's while he cements political relationships while partying across the city on New Year's. Did she understand him right? Her English isn't so good, but did he say he was leaving her alone on New Year's with the kid who just won't go to bed and wakes up 4 to 5 times a night, and they don't have any family around to help out, not like that Chris Daly who shipped his kids to Fairfield for free grandparents help, on New Year's? Yes, the sheriff elect says, he is a public figure and needs to grease the politco wheels on an important night like this by visiting numerous parties and somebody has to stay home with the kid. "Qué coño," she screams, "is this why I came to the Land of Plenty, to be treated like dirt by a Pinche when I was a star of the TV, pampered and doted upon in my native Venezula?" The soon-to-be sheriff has had enough. Why is this woman always screaming at him and carrying on about how hard it is to look after a kid? His nerves are jangled. It's the effect of the weed (great stuff from the Pot Club run by his former lover in the lower Haight, maybe he should stop by and see her on this special day) and shot of Tequila he had earlier. Goddammnit! He grabs her by the arm and tells her to please shut the fuck up for once. She hollers something in Spanish. Next thing you know  she's at the neighbor's, the kindly woman downstairs, telling her what the Pinche did, and the neighbor, a fourth wave feminist, gets out the video camera and films the big bruise on her arm where the Pinche sheriff grabbed her too hard. And two days later it's in the papers! Holy fuck! Damage control time!

Guest
Guest

This story is so plausible it is scary and very typical of the types of fights married couples have - especially when one of the partners (usually a woman) is continually expected to sacrifice her needs to further the career of the other partner. Thanks for the profile - it may not be anywhere near the case but I would not be surprised if it was. 

Patrick Connors
Patrick Connors

I hope you had a nice wank while spinning that tale. Sounds juicy.

Doobie Sister
Doobie Sister

It's true, he is a pothead just like his buddy Terrence Hallinan.

z00m
z00m

You seem to forget that Lopez is from Venezuela. English is not her first language so we cannot assume that the words she says conveys what she means. You're taking her 'out of context' comment out of context.

Chris
Chris

Yes, because of course a Venezuelan cannot learn to speak English.  She is an educated woman who has a good grasp of English, and she seems to understand the common term of taking things "out-of-context."

If she wanted the issue kept private, then she should have decided to keep it to herself, rather than going to her neighbor friend and asking her to take pictures to document the bruise.

People should not rough up their significant others, there is never an excuse.  However, if said significant others are stupid enough to put up with being abused, then they should not complain and get self-righteous when the police get involved because they decided to go blab about how they were being abused.  I assume on some level she really wants help, which is why she told her friend.  Of course, she is going through the motions of denial now because she is scared or embarrassed or still in love, etc,  I understand the psychology behind it, but now the wheels have been set in motion and the events will play out. 

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