I wrote some months ago that one shouldn’t jump to conclusions on the issue of Ferguson, Missouri. The predictability of this scenario is not helpful in solving problems of racism. What predictability? The one were whites kill blacks, then blacks destroy stores.
I will assume that the grand jury in Ferguson is NOT made up of a bunch of idiots. I will assume that they are reasonable people who wanted to do what is right (although, statistically, grand juries virtually NEVER indict the police, irrespective of the crime. They tend to be an arm of the prosecutor’s office, with which the police are closely aligned).
One can’t confuse desired result with just result. Simply because you really, really, really want something to happen does not mean that it should happen. Just because you really, really want to prove a point does not mean that your point is correct.
From my perspective, it sure seems coincidental that so many blacks are killed by so many whites, especially those with real (Ferguson police) or imagined (George Zimmerman) authority. I’ve seen the statistics, including those bandied about by the right-wing nut jobs that claim to show that black on black crime is more prevalent than white on black crime. These dolts never bother to go a step further to discover that white on white crime happens with virtually the same regularity as black on black crime. Any group that lives in close proximity to each other is going to commit crimes against members of their own group. So the statistics that they’re so proud of themselves for having uncovered is of no intellectual value whatsoever, but that doesn’t stop them from using it.
Personally, I have no idea if Darren Wilson was justified in killing Michael Brown. Brown certainly didn’t come across as some innocent, angelic teenager. He appeared to be a huge guy who liked using his size to get his way. A bully. Someone confident that he could intimidate people into doing what he said. Its entirely possible that he came after Wilson and that Wilson felt the need to defend himself. But that’s not the point here. The point is that we see this cycle being repeated over and over.
The cycle includes the history of Ferguson, Missouri, where a police department that is 95% white is policing an area that is more than 75% black. Its the history of numerous racial incidents all over that city, where black men are frisked unnecessarily, where the police use military equipment to suppress peaceful protests. Where it appears to all intents and purposes that the police look at the black citizenry as the enemy; as someone to by held down, restricted and controlled in their movements. They appear to be GI Joe wannabes and have the equipment to match. It is when police departments treat the citizenry like Afghan tribesman that it becomes difficult to believe that when a white cop shoots another black kid that it was a justified act. It’s just hard to believe that those who are apparently on a hair-trigger to kill the “enemy”, have the presence of mind to not do so unless fully justified.
Police departments are charged with protecting ALL people from danger, including the potential danger inflicted by those police officers with Rambo mentalities who are so cowardly that they shoot first and ask questions later.
No, I really have no idea who is at fault here, or if racism was involved in Michael Brown’s killing. I also don’t know how many more of these killings will occur before we learn that dark skin is not synonymous with criminal activity. But people tend to look for patterns of behavior to help them decide who is right in matters of this type. And I’ll be damned if this doesn’t look like a pattern…
Ok, I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to admit what I’ve been keeping a secret for many years now, partly due to embarrassment, partly due to fear of public reprisal, partly because I didn’t think others would understand. Yup, I’m coming out today…
Oh no, not that kind of coming out. I still like girls (err, ah, women). And no, I’m not a secret Repub, closet sports fan, clandestine lover of Disney World or Dancing with the Stars aficionado. I’m admitting that I hate Christmas. Yeah, all of it.
The story of Christmas is the first lie we tell our children. Then, as we watch their gullible little minds absorb all the requisite preposterous myths as fact, we, smug and self-assured for being so much smarter than they, take pictures of their adorable little faces as they put their trust in some stranger dressed in a ridiculous red suit and beg him to bring them all the materialistic garbage that we will later in life tell them do not make for true happiness. Yup, that’s what we do to our kids.
Then, as they grow and we teach them that the real meaning of Christmas is some alternative lie, (you know, Jesus and all that crap) the only difference between the two being that the second one has an entire book dedicated to it (or two books, if you count the Old Testament). So, we teach them the first lie, then, when they get too “smart” to believe that one, we say, “oh, no, no, no, no, you don’t believe THAT story, do you? But the NEW one we’re going to spend the rest of your life telling you is true. And we have this old-looking mass produced faux leather-bound book to prove it.”
We then spend every year complaining about how early the Christmas “season” starts (I was raised with Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall) while strategically planning our mission to Wal Mart on Black Friday to get a special deal on that 80″ TV that we just MUST have this year, lest the neighbors peek in our windows and see us watching the Food Network on a mere 42. We do this while complaining about rampant consumerism as we, insouciant at the irony, gleefully contribute to it.
We watch TV in the evenings to see obese, tube-topped women stand, pressed against the door at Target, awaiting the blow-out sale where everything is 150% off plus an added 10% bonus discount for only the first 30 seconds or until at least 10 customers are trampled so badly that the bloody floor makes people trip and slide into the XBox display. Cleanup on isle 3 indeed.
Then, victorious in our tracking, hunting and ultimate capture of our very own Playstation XPS5000 Violent Savage-Terrorist Killer Edition with Hyper Connectivity, instructions for hacking Iran’s nuclear facilities as well as the Deluxe Carry Handle, we grab a burger at Applebees and drive home, resplendent in the knowledge that we have once again achieved…
So, right after the election, co-dolts John Boehner and Mitch McConnell both whined how the President wasn’t cow-towing to their whims, with the justification for that expectation being that the American people had given the Repubs a “mandate” by electing so many of them to congress and state governorships.
I guess that makes sense, since the Repubs were so cooperative after the American people gave the Democrats a “mandate” when they elected Barack Obama-twice! Seems only fair…
Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, the latest Repub led investigation into, you guessed it, Benghazi, was released late last night, you know the night that you release information to the news media that embarrasses you, hoping that since the weekend is coming no one will bother reading it. Yes, the latest Congressional investigation, lead by Repubs, found no wrong-doing on the part of the administration, Hillary Clinton, the CIA or anyone involved. Nothing. So, now we have this investigation as well as that of convicted criminal and Congressman Darrell Issa, finding no wrong-doing regarding Benghazi.
I’m expecting a very well publicized, heart-felt thank you to Barack Obama for commencing what the Repubs have been too cowardly to do for nearly two years, that is, pass a law on immigration reform. After all, now that Repubs have, for the umpteenth time, been revealed as the cowardly, low-IQ, uninformed, gullible, reductive, third-grade reading level, gun-worshiping, Duck Dynasty and Cliven Bundy defending, malodorous racists that they are, what else would Fox “News” have to talk about? Well, now they can talk about how weak Obama is, while at the same time trying to reconcile that with the fact that he is defying the do-nothing Congress and actually governing, showing that he’s more concerned with doing his job than looking good in front of the camera, and that he’s got bigger balls than collectively every Repub who’s ever lived.
Hey, I haven’t heard much about Obama’s birth certificate lately. Anybody got anything new on that? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
In 1868, Democrat Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives on 11 counts of “high crimes and misdemeanors” after defiantly removing Edward M Stanton as secretary of war. The House could not muster the votes to actually remove him from office and he was found innocent of the charges.
In 1974 Richard Nixon resigned as President, for the purpose of avoiding certain impeachment proceedings against him, for the crime of covering up a politically motivated burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices in Washington DC. Few would argue whether this cover-up constituted a “high crime” or “misdemeanor”. Others of his staff went to prison in the aftermath of this crime, but Nixon avoided any penalty due to his cowardly resignation.
In 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for, effectively, lying about an extra-marital affair. That’s it. Republicans spent $25 million over 5 years trying to get anything they could on this guy, and ended up with nothing more nefarious but a blow-job. Clinton stood his ground and was found innocent of any “high crimes or misdemeanors”.
Now, Barack Obama, having waited over a year for the House, under John Boehner, to even vote on immigration legislation, has decided to stare down the do-nothing Congress and use his constitutional powers to create executive orders that would attempt to resolve our dire immigration problems. And the Repubs, absolutely apoplectic over the fact that their mid-term “mandate”, as they keep calling it, did not terrorize this guy, are running in circles and stamping their feet because he won’t do what they say. They seem to have forgotten another of these mandates that was given only two years ago, WHEN THE COUNTRY RE-ELECTED BARACK OBAMA! They also forget that Ronny Reagan AND GW Bush both used the same Presidential powers to give amnesty to the same illegal immigrants we’re talking about right now.
You know, Repubs love to talk about how tough they are and how weak Democrats are. Yeah, Repubs consider themselves tough when they send other people’s kids off to war, but as Richard Nixon proved, they run for the hills when they have to face any serious opposition or impeachment, even for serious matters.
Yet Barack Obama is showing true political courage in the face of vacuous impeachment threats, years of so-called investigations by Darrell Issa, and one of the most ineffective legislatures in the history of the US. Funny how Congress seems to want to get back to work as soon as they hear the word impeachment.
You know, I’d like to see them try. I’d like to see them make the same idiots out of themselves they did in 1868 and 1998. I’d like to see them impeach Barack Obama in the Congress and see if it sticks.
Obama is showing the kind of courage that scares and confuses Repubs. It’s about time.
As far as his “low” approval ratings are concerned, 40% is not too bad when you consider that half the country is Repub anyway. Repubs seem to have forgotten the fact that their favorite son, George “Cowboy” Bush was at 19% in his 6th year.
I vote for the Barack Obama a third time if only I could…impeach that!
I am posting what will likely be the introduction to my new book, Reluctant Racist: A White Man’s Perspective. I will likely post other portions as time goes on. I’m currently about 2/3 way through it and have found a couple of publishers who appear to have an interest. I’d be interested in your comments.
The “soft bigotry of low expectations” is a phrase attributed to Michael Gerson, a speech writer for George W Bush. It is, in my mind, a much more pervasive attitude than many will admit. We try to train our brains not to hate, convincing our intellects that racism and bigotry are wrong, but our biases and stereotypes remain, like a jar of old salsa on the bottom shelf of the fridge, way in the back, almost unreachable. We see it, but ignore it because there are more pressing things to do at the moment than clean out the fridge. Yet it remains until our sense of responsibility reminds us of it.
Modern racism, for many, is so profoundly intrinsic yet so publicly distained that the evidence of its existence is often in inverse proportion to its vehemence. The deeper our racism goes the better it is hidden. We’ve gotten good at that.
There are many forms of what some refer to as racism, bigotry, stereotyping, bias or discrimination, but they all lead to the same thing. They lead to one’s imagined superiority over another, for reasons not well defined, other than those used to bolster already-formed beliefs that rarely have a basis in fact or historical record. These feelings tend to flow from past injustices, real or imagined, perpetrated on ourselves or our ancestors, for reasons that matter less with the passage of time. Chronology diminishes the rationale, but the feelings of superiority perpetuate.
I grew up in a racist household. When I say racist, I don’t want it to sound as if we were Klan members. My parents never really had to courage to “walk the talk” and fully identify with a racist organization-but their sentiments were aligned with those who did.
When I was an adolescent I dated a girl, Jennifer, who was, shall I say, not from the best family in our Bronx NY neighborhood. Ok, she was a bit of a slut, or at least came across that way to my parents and everyone else on our street. When my parents found out about our little romance, they admonished me, in the strongest of terms, to stay away from her, not because she was less sexually scrupulous than they would have preferred, not because she wore short skirts and tight tops, not because she wore too much makeup for a 13-year-old, but because she had been seen holding hands with what my mother referred to as a nigger. This was in 1969.
I remember wondering where that kind of dislike for, not only a member of another race, but someone who would do something as innocent as hold hands with a member of that race, could have come from. My mother had grown up in Manhattan in the 1930s, gone to a Catholic school and had a rather normal upbringing for a city girl. Her formative years were not ones that were pock-marked by the civil and racial unrest that had plagued the 1960s. She had spent no time, say, in the south, where racism was a way of life. She was a northerner, raised in a moderately sheltered manner, among others of various ethnic and racial backgrounds, with no reason, that I could discern, to hate those with whom she had probably spent little time. Something or someone had taught her, the daughter of Greek immigrants, to hate black people and feel perfectly comfortable referring to those of a different skin color than her’s as niggers, even to her own children. Her hatred of these people was so profound, so embedded in her bloodstream, so a part of her bone marrow that she felt no embarrassment in displaying this weakness of character. In fact, she was slightly proud of it.
Anyone who has read this far should understand right away that the only way someone like me can write this book is to dispense with any fear of accusations of racism. My sole intention in writing this book is to have an honest talk with all who read it based on the perspective of a white man who considers his own racism to be a personal failure. That is the fundamental impetus for the research and effort involved in writing this book. Anyone who imagines, or artificially constructs, any other motivation on my part is welcomed to do so as he or she sees fit. But those who do will simply be wrong. I don’t fear the accusations and vitriol of those who don’t believe that white people are qualified to discuss black people by simple virtue of the fact that white people haven’t had the black experience. To suggest that the “walk a mile in my shoes” argument overrides all others suggests that men can’t have opinions about women, Christians can’t have opinions about Muslims, or, to go all reductio ad absurdum on you, tall people can’t possibly have the imagination to know what it’s like to be short. I reject those blanket assumptions as simplistic to the point of being imbecilic. Anyone who disagrees with my conclusions is certainly within their rights to do so. But no one is entitled to question my motives or my ability to interpret that which I see. I am not attempting to look through the eyes of others. I am communicating what I’ve seen through my own.
Mitch McConnell, who recently won re-election in Kentucky and will likely be majority leader in the next senate, yesterday said, when asked about his plans, “It also means renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.”
The unemployment rate was nearly 10% when the ACA was passed. The unemployment rate is currently 5.9% nearly 4 years later. For all my statistically challenged Repub friends, that’s an improvement. Just the opposite of what McConnell said.
Regarding whether its “hurting…American’s health care”, 10 million Americans now have health insurance who didn’t have it before Obamacare. And that’s not just people who couldn’t afford it, that’s people like friends of mine with Diabetes who simply couldn’t get it before at any price since they have preexisting conditions.
I’ve always wondered about this, but its becoming quite evident that the only way Repubs win elections is by appealing to their most uninformed members. They create false narratives that the economy is still in bad shape (it isn’t) and that Obamacare kills jobs (it doesn’t). But if they say it, Repubs will believe it.
Note to Repubs. Your leaders are smarter than you and have no respect for your intellect. They consider you to be monosyllabic dolts, who spend their nights watching football, their weekends going to Disney World and the rest of the time doing as little original thinking as possible. They know that you get your information from 3 second sound-bites and probably haven’t read a book in years (unless it was about gun repair). They know that, like Ivan Petrovich Pavlov’s little puppy, you’ll salivate when someone even suggests that they might ring a bell.
And if you have to Google the last reference, you’ve proved my point.
Jeez, the one Repub who I actually wanted to win (local city councilman) lost, but lots of other Repubs won. Sheesh!
Oh well, it’s common enough for the opposing party to win in the last two years of a two-term presidency, but I was hoping that we’d break that pattern. No such luck.
OK, then commence with the bombing of Iran, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, put anyone who’s been downwind of an Ebola patient in a concentration camp, commence stoning gays and killing abortion doctors, start sending the tax rebates to rich people and, oh yeah, where’s my free gun?