Posts Tagged ‘Racism’

America has a problem.

We need an intervention

 

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Okay, I can’t stand it any more.  I HAVE to say something about Ferguson and the cop shootings that America is now FINALLY paying attention to.  The tipping point came for me yesterday when I finally watched the video of the Tamir Rice shooting and read an article on the audio evidence that proves Officer Darren Wilson was not telling the truth in his accounts of the Michael Brown shooting.

The U.S. is like a drug addict that refuses to acknowledge they have a problem.  All the signs are there.  The data is VERY clear.    Here’s some examples of what I’m talking about.

Some thoughts that are just pinging around in my brain that I have to get out.  Keep in mind, I’m not some uninformed liberal spouting off–I have a Masters in Criminal Justice and I’ve worked in the system.

  • The Prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, in the Brown shooting did not WANT an indictment therefore there wasn’t one.  A typical prosecutor could indict a comatose 90-year old grandmother if he/she wanted to.
    • He dumped a ton of data on the jury without providing any guidance into what was exculpatory, degree of trustworthiness, interpreting (because the forensic stuff can be really tough to understand), etc.  To expect a lay person to be able to sort through, prioritize and understand all of that data is absurd and no real prosecutor would do that.
    • He engaged in victim blaming by telling them that Brown was on drugs when there was no evidence of that
    • He improperly instructed the jury on the law — this is HUGE and if this had been a trial, it would have been excellent grounds for an appeal
    • He should have recused himself.  His father was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty by, you guessed it, a black man.
    • He failed to perform his duty as a Prosecutor–they are supposed to advocate for indictment. In fact the vast majority of grand juries in this country return with an indictment.

    According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them. 

  • The audio from the Brown shooting proves that Wilson did not tell the truth.
  • White people riot all the fucking time for the stupidest shit and no one blames it on their “culture of lawlessness”.  But let some black people riot and the media and the majority of white people will shake their heads and question why.  Why would they riot when there’s no history of racial discrimination in policing in the U.S. (ht to Bob Cesca)? Why would they riot when they only have themselves to blame?  All of the Fox News coverage has been in this vein, but the best examples are interviews with Rudy Giulani.
  • The Tamir Rice video is horrifying.  The video shows the police lied about many crucial issues.  If you only listen to the police version (as is too often the case), then it sounds like Tamir was a serious threat .  If you watch the video you will be stunned.
    • They said there were multiple people in the park.  The video shows the 12 year old boy was alone.
    • They said they told him to  put his hands up three times.  The video shows less than 2 seconds passed between the car pulling up, the officers got out of the vehicle and when the shots occurred.  So either the officer gave the fastest and clearest commands in the history of human language (award that man a Guinness World Record!) or he didn’t give them at all.
    • Tamir was already down on the ground when they shot him…he reacted immediately to their presence by making himself non-threatening.
    • After they shot him and the boy was clearly no longer a threat they watched him suffer and provided no first aid until a detective and FBI agent showed up.   Although they’re under no obligation to provide first aid IF they felt the situation is unsafe.  But the boy was no longer a threat.  Actually he wasn’t even a threat when they shot him, but why quibble, amiright?  Ironic that the failure to render aid, made sure their version will be the only one we hear (other than the pure luck of the surveillance video from across the street which can’t really tell us the whole story).
  •  The Rice shooting is very scary to me personally.  My stepson is 12 years old, loves guns, and is very familiar with them.   He is also brown–decidedly not white.   We’ve taught him to be safe with them.  He knows not to handle real guns without an adult being present.  BUT he doesn’t know that it’s probably not a good idea to handle fake one’s either.    I am going to make damn sure he never has a fake gun in any public place and when his family is not with him.
  • There was a shooting just reported in AZ of a black man by a white cop.  I’m still waiting for more details to come in.  Cop thought the guy had a gun in his pocket–it was a bottle of pills.

If you listen to what is being said in the media (not just on Fox but on CNN and local stations too), there is a lot of victim blaming and officer excuse making.  White America’s attitude is coming across like this.

‘Don’t black folk know they should never ever carry anything in their pockets AND should always keep their hands in the air AND always have a pleasant or at least non-demonic look on their face.  AND they can’t be too large or physically intimidating because a big black many is very scary, even to really big white men, even when they’re 25+ feet away**.  So if you’re a big black guy, hunch your shoulders.  And whatever you do, don’t be sullen or angry.’

In other words, don’t give the white cops an excuse to kill you and this message is loud and clear to the black community.  Most of their parents have already told them not to do such things.  Not that doing any of that will actually keep black men safe in this country.  When an entire race of people in our society have to raise their sons to live in fear and act more passive and non-threatening with the police than white people do, then something is terribly, terribly wrong.  The sooner white people acknowledge this, the sooner we can address the problem.  But I don’t think white people in general are capable of acknowledging our complicity in this problem because that would mean acknowledging that we’re wrong about something.  As we’ve seen time and time again, too many Americans think that if we’re not exceptional and right all the time, we’re nothing at all.

Notes:

*I totally understand why the police want bigger and better guns.  When I was a probation officer I always felt like I was outgunned.  I had a Speed 6 Ruger, a “brick” cell phone with a dead battery, no partner or back-up and my crappy little car (VW Fox).  I would go into the field armed with these items.  Here are just some examples of what I faced with those “weapons:

  • walking into crack houses where I was surrounded by dozens of male drug addicts and/or dealers
  • interviewing a probationers with serious anger control issues (child abuser/molester/wife beater) in their dark and dingy homes
  • explaining to VERY angry probationers and their family members why I had to talk to their boss at work about his/her probation and why they lost their job and would soon probably be homeless.  (I took no joy in this task.  I was legally obligated to verify employment with a supervisor a few times a year.  Talk about the system shooting itself in the foot.  The minute they lost their job their risk of recidivism would skyrocket)  

I guess if I couldn’t draw my weapon in time or if I lost it, I could have used the cell phone to brain them.

**Brown was 6 ft 5 in and 290 lbs and Wilson was 6 ft 4 in and 210 lbs.  Wilson isn’t small by any means.  He also had at least two deadly weapons–his pistol and his police car.  Who knows what he had in the trunk–one can safely assume a shotgun.  Plus he had a radio so he could call in reinforcements.  In regards to the distance, the audio article clearly proves Wilson was either lying about the distance or lying about Brown charging him or both.

UPDATE:  Regarding the e-mail incident between a U of Berkeley student and Sachi Landscaping–the guy is completely denying it was him but hasn’t provided one iota of proof that it wasn’t (details here).  And Mr. Zeiser contacted me via Twitter and said

Nice little passive aggressive compliment along with an insult.  But whatevs….I have not yet responded but my inclination is no. My thinking is that the kind of tripe he is pushing is already being blasted at the populace by really large media outlets like Fox, The Heritage Foundation, the American Spectator (for whom he has written in the past), the Daily Caller and dozens of other venues. Why should I let him use my little blog to broadcast his viewpoint when the entire Twitter conversation is all one really needs to know.  So I suggest you all read the entire Twitter conversation and make up your own mind.

___________________

So, earlier today I was watching my Twitter scroll with one eye while trying to program in C# with the other and a couple of things jumped out at me.  The first was a Storify* from @AngryBlackLady (one of my favorite writers, commentators and all around smart people online) about a conversation between her and a conservative supposed PhD  who insisted on debating her about Obamacare regardless of whether she wanted to or not.

From @ABL’s Twitter Feed

If you don’t want to read the long exchange (you really should just for the giggles, the image above is a summary of his worst statements) it boils down to her getting angry at him for pestering her for days and telling him to leave her alone.  So he resorts to using some misogynist and racist terms to refer to her and finally he refuses to acknowledge the ugliness behind what he said or apologize for it.  At the end, of course, he claims to be the victim of the whole thing. It will make you feel all fuzzy inside–not.

Not long after reading that I saw a Tweet by @LaloAlcaraz, a man of many talents (you might have seen his comics in your local newspaper if you live in the Southwestern U.S.).  He shared an email exchange between a University of Berkeley student and the owner of a local business.  The student is a member of CASA (Chicano Architecture Student Association) and asked very respectfully if her organization could get a tour of his business.  His response?

You can see Lalo’s photo of the full email exchange and the explanation here.    Not only is the business owner’s response ugly he also claims to be victimized by the request for the tour.

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing a rash of white males (just one example) running around crying about being victims to us “delicate flowers” and/or “savages” and/or “illegals”.  The irony is that anybody with a brain can see that white males, particularly older ones, still run this country and pretty much the entire fucking world.  This is serious “crazy making” behavior . It’s like women and minorities are in an abusive relationship with the rest of U.S. society.  They keep kicking us and then telling us that it’s our fault and we made them do it.  And then we when we legitimately confront them over it, they tell us that we’re the racist/bigots trying to stir up ill feelings that disappeared the moment the Black Marxist Muslim Usurper was elected in 2008.  And us wimmin folk, once we got the right to vote back in 1920 it’s been easy pickings since then, amiright my fellow delicate blossoms?   It’s all unicorns shitting one hundred dollar bills, rainbows and cotton candy, dontcha know!  Except, of course, for that painful black eye and those sore ribs we keep getting.

But there might be some hope.   Take for instance the revenge that has been enacted against ABL’s harasser.  If one were to Google his name (I highly recommend it, click this link and it will do it for you automatically) you will find a link to the Storify item I mentioned earlier about 4 or 5 results down.   The more people click on it, the more this will rise in Google search results whenever anyone searches for Mr. Zeiser.   And in so doing, it will air his statements about how much fun it is to “collect scalps”, how he called people of color and anyone who disagrees with him “savages”, and other various lovely things.  Note this isn’t harassment or libel or slander**.  He really did write these things and by doing this on Google we can ensure that even if he tries to deny it, the proof is easy to find.  As a side benefit whenever someone looks him up to find out more about him, one of the first things they will learn is that nature of his character is less than desirable.  Also do not Tweet about this conversation and mention ABL’s Twitter nom de plume. She’s over it and I don’t blame her–keep her out of the discussion unless she chooses to rejoin it on her own.

The other little bit of good news is that the Berkeley student has approached her College’s faculty in hopes that they will address the matter but many people have seen this exchange online now and I’m hoping it will descend squarely on this guy’s head so that he loses his license to practice.  However, the student has asked people online not to interact with the company directly so DO NOT contact the business owner or the company.  Nevertheless, if you live in Southern California (and I know a few people that do) keep this guy and his business in mind because if he or his company tries to get your business (or anyone you know) you can tell him to “piss off”.  If he wants to know why tell him it’s the “Free Market” coming back to bite him in the ass.

The ugliness of these kinds of exchanges is why I have to take a break from the Internet on occasion.  Then again, people like ABL and Lalo pull me back in because they are never afraid to point it out, call it what it is, and they don’t let it make them crazy.  I don’t have their coping mechanisms yet but I’m getting there.

___________________

*For those who don’t know, Storify is a way to document a series of Tweets over a long period of time.  It puts them in the proper time order which can be very hard to do on your own without such an app.

**I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV.  However, libel/slander is propagating something you know is untrue.  And it don’t get any more real than that there Twitter exchange.

The link to the Spanish version of this post

So I was over at The Daily Banter commenting and reading a satirical piece on how white women have appropriated belly dancing from the Arabs (it makes fun of Salon.com’s weird penchant for fainting over really stupid shit).  Anyway, that’s when I stumbled across this little gem of a comment:

Stupid, racist comment

Stupid, racist comment

My initial reply:

My not so friendly reply

My not so friendly reply

Another bigot anonymously decides to join the party and support the first comment:

2nd asshole chimes in

2nd asshole chimes in

I just can’t stand it anymore and I unload:

My last reply

My last reply

My work is done

Well, here we go again….the Republican dominated Arizona legislature is flirting with yet another unconstitutional law.  The Senate passed along party lines a law that would permit private businesses the right to refuse services based on their religious beliefs (of hate and intolerance) about LGBT people.

Why is it that many conservatives simply do not understand the nature of Religious Freedom in this country?  You have the right to believe whatever you want, to talk about those beliefs and to practice your religion without interference by the government.  Notice I said “government”, not everyone else, just the government.   Private individuals violating others rights is a mixed bag and one would have to look at the 200+ years of legal jurisprudence to tell what has been considered acceptable and what has not.

The argument being made in support of this bill is the same as the argument made in favor of discriminating against African Americans.  Here’s what they used to say.

Black people cannot eat in my restaurant because the Bible says so.

Now they’re saying…

LGBT people cannot eat in my restaurant because the Bible says so.

What if my religion said that men are stupid, lowly and sinful creatures who deserve death as punishment for their wickedness.   Do I get to refuse to worship with them?  Yes.  Can the government force me to worship with them?  No.  Can I say and write all kinds of horrible things about them?  Yes.   Do I get to refuse to serve them at my restaurant?  No.  Do I get to refuse to rent a place to live to them?  No.  Do I get to charge them more than other customers?  No.  Do I get to give them worse service or less value for their money?  No.  Legal precedence and this country’s values say that this is simply not acceptable.

It was an ugly sentiment back then and it’s just as ugly now.  We don’t get to discriminate against people just because our religion tells us to.  So if this bill passes the Arizona House, then the ACLU or NAACP or someone will file a lawsuit (and rightfully so) and our hard earned taxpayer money will be poured down the drain, once again, in defense of another patently stupid and unconstitutional law.

Why can’t our legislature focus on governing instead of making hateful laws?  Although we have plenty of problems that need to be tackled they’d rather pander to their foaming at the mouth base and waste what little financial resources we have.  Congratulations Arizona!   You voted them in and they’re screwing you over again.

The lawyers waiting to swoop in and make bank off the crappy decisions made by Republican Lawmakers.

The lawyers waiting to swoop in and make bank off the crappy decisions made by Republican Lawmakers.

PS: This pic is of three buzzards that I discovered sitting on a light post outside of my office the other day. An animal had probably died or was in the process of dying in the empty field across the street and they were biding their time. I’ve seen buzzards in AZ before but usually circling high up in the sky in rural areas. This is the first time I’ve seen them hanging out in a relatively urban area.

The stoopid, it hurts

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Discrimination, Racism
Tags: ,

Well, you may or may not know this but Miss New York won the Miss America pageant last night.  But there’s a big hullaboo because she’s…….wait for it…….of Indian descent.  Buzzfeed has a list of some of the choicest Twitter reactions by blatantly racist and woefully ignorant Americans.  These kind of people make me sick.  She’s a beautiful woman.  She is American.  And Indian has nothing to do whatsoever with being an Arab or a terrorist.   AND she is on her way to medical school so she’s probably smarter than you, me and everyone else in the room.  So STFU and STFD you eedjits (oh, and go back to grade school because you clearly slept through Geography and Social Studies).

 

Not American enough? /facepalm

“To cheapen the lives of any group of men, cheapens the lives of all men, even our own. This is a law of human psychology, or human nature. And it will not be repealed by our wishes, nor will it be merciful to our blindness.”
–William Pickens

You might have already seen the story about the rodeo in Missouri that had a clown dressed up in an Obama mask and proceeded to engage in a disgusting display of hate.  At least one of the attendees was shocked and posted about it on his blog and then the national media got a hold of the story.  The attendee said when the announcer asked the people if they wanted to see the Dummy Obama get run over by a bull, the crowd screamed with such enthusiasm that he actually felt fear.  Not fear for his own safety but fear of that level of hatred.   He characterized it thusly,

“They mentioned the president’s name, I don’t know, 100 times. It was sickening,” Beam said. “It was feeling like some kind of Klan rally you’d see on TV.”

I first read the story a few days ago and it made me feel sick to my stomach too.  I’ve always been so shocked by how the conservative power structure is so willing and capable of whipping their flock into a lather of hate against Democratic politicians.  Remember the fervor with which they pursued Bill Clinton (and his wife and poor teenage daughter)?  The ongoing loathing of the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) mystifies me as well.  Conservative TV and radio hosts have vilified her for years.  They’ve been focusing their bile on President Obama since he first declared himself a candidate for the White House.  The jokes about Hillary, Chelsea and Pelosi were and are often sexist.  So it’s no surprise that the hate-filled propaganda against the President tends to be, more often than not, racist.  After all, in their view, his skin color is the most obvious thing about him.

Rallying conservatives at public gatherings with some good old “dog whistles” is , unfortunately, as American as apple pie.  Some politicians wisely came out and denounced it because ultimately to use such rhetoric is demeaning to us as a country and well, it’s just plain wrong.  Others, however, jumped right into the fray and have not only enthusiastically supported the rodeo producers and clown but have offered to give the clown more gigs performing the same routine in their home state.  One of those is Steve Stockman (R-TX District 36).  He felt sorry for the radio clown, who had been banned for life from the Missouri State Rodeo, and invited the guy to perform in Texas.

You might remember Stockman–he’s done and said some wacky things over the years.  He’s the asshole who lied on Twitter saying that female spectators planned on throwing tampons at Texas State Legislature while they debated and voted on an abortion bill last month.  He’s also the gem of a guy who thinks that arming fetuses is the solution to abortion.  He proposed legislation to defund any school that punishes kids for pretending to play with guns.  He’s even praised Ted Nugent as being a patriot and had him as his guest at the 2013 State of the Union.   For those of you who don’t know, Nugent is a washed-up musician posing as a politically involved citizen who is in reality a pants-shitting draft dodging piece of crap who threatened Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and President Obama on stage in such a ugly and convincing fashion the Secret Service had to have a little talk with him.  This is just a tiny sample of Steve Stockman’s character, or lack thereof.

And now Stockman is saying that the rodeo clown wasn’t wrong but the liberal reaction to it was.

“The liberal reaction is straight out of Alinsky,” he continued. “They want to crush dissent by isolating and polarizing anyone who questions Obama, even if it’s a rodeo clown with a harmless gag. The idea to create a state of fear and make people afraid to trivialize Obama.”

There’s so much nonsense in this quote, it’s ridiculous. First, Stockman clearly doesn’t understand the First Amendment. Second, his assertion that liberals are trying to create a state of fear is pure projection. Stockman and his ilk are the ones running around calling the President everything from a fascist dictator to a Muslim socialist usurper who is going to take everyone’s guns and force Sharia law on the country.

Third, the clown (and the rodeo announcer, the enthusiastic crowd, etc) weren’t “questioning Obama”, they were fantasizing about hurting him. Have you ever been in a large crowd that gets all frenzied focusing their anger at a single individual? It’s pretty damn chilling and creates a state of fear–just ask the poor man and his family who first reported the incident to the world. How many other citizens in that crowd sat silently through the event quietly horrified by the level of hate but too fearful to speak up. Anyone with any sense knows that to speak out against something like that risks having the frenzied crowd turn on you in mob fashion.

Fourth and finally, name dropping Alinsky is laughable.  Only conspiracy theorist nuts and avid listeners of conservative shock jocks (like Beck, Limbaugh, Jones, etc) will recognize that name.  Most liberals that I know never even heard about Alinsky until the right started to use him as some kind of leftist symbol of the devil in recent years.  The reference to Saul Alinsky, the founder of modern “community organizing”, is important though because it also implies a few things.  Stockman is implying that liberals coordinated their reaction to the rodeo event and that this is just one part of a larger subterranean campaign to crush dissent against the Obama Administration.  When he says “right out of Alinsky” he’s saying that there is some kind of playbook written by Alinksy that liberals are following.  He is also trying to link Alinsky’s politics (which the right think were horribly extreme) to the President and liberals in general.  And finally, there’s the implication that the Jews are behind it all.  Had Alinsky’s name been Wyatt McWhitey, I’m pretty darn certain the right would never have used him as a symbolic cudgel.

In any case, Stockman (and anyone else on the right) using this situation to stir up anti-Administration fervor should be ashamed of themselves.  Of course, they’re not.  This kind of hate mongering has actually kept the Stockman’s, Gohmert‘s, and Issa‘s of the world in power so why would they be ashamed.  It’s kept them famous (infamous in my eyes), wealthy, and given them seats in our governmental power structure.  The fact that Americans keep electing someone like Stockman is the most disgusting and disheartening aspect of the whole thing.  The voters in Texas’ 36th Congressional District have some serious ‘splainin to do to the rest of us and so does the Republican Party that tolerates this idiot.

h/t JM Ashby over at BobCesca.com