Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bad policing equals lost revenue.

It is getting uglier here in Philly with every passing day as it relates to some of our boys in blue.

"Seven Philadelphia police narcotics officers at the center of a federal corruption probe are also named in scores of civil lawsuits that add more claims of thievery, intimidation and brutality to those described in their criminal indictments, according to court records.

The potential financial impact of these suits, along with any others that may be filed, could expose the City of Philadelphia to millions of dollars in damages or settlements.

Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, John Speiser, Michael Spicer, Linwood Norman and Perry Betts allegedly formed an out-of-control band of rogue officers who conducted illegal stops and searches as pretext to rob people, particularly those they believed to be drug dealers, according to the indictment filed last month. Jeffrey Walker, who is named in the indictment but charged separately, has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his role.
Those same officers are the subjects of at least 81 pending federal lawsuits filed between November 2011 and this month, according to a search of court records.

At least 78 of the suits also name the City of Philadelphia as a defendant, claiming the police department’s alleged failure to properly train, supervise or discipline officers fostered a culture of indifference to constitutional rights."

Sadly, this scandal is going to cost the taxpayers of the city millions of dollars, while yet another story surfaced yesterday about a police officer who was assaulted by....wait for it.....his fellow police officers. Yep, you read that correctly.

I actually saw Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey of all people, commenting about Ferguson last week on MSNBC.

As Kat Williams would say, "The audacity of this N****r!"

Memo to Chief Ramsey: You might want to get your own house in order before you have a sit down with Spittle Matthews to discuss good policing.

"Scores of brutality lawsuits are filed against the Philadelphia Police Department every year. But it’s unusual for an officer, a sergeant no less, to make those charges.

In a suit filed Monday, Sgt. Brandon Ruff did just that.

Ruff claims he was roughed up by seven officers from the 35th District when he attempted to anonymously turn in three handguns at the precinct. Ruff, who says he suffered two sprained wrists and two sprained shoulders in the fracas, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Ruff, an eight-year veteran assigned to the 16th precinct, said the acts of the 35th District officers “were committed willfully, wantonly, maliciously, intentionally, outrageously, deliberately and/or by conduct so egregious as to shock the conscience.”

The City of Philadelphia, he said in his civil suit, encourages and is deliberately indifferent to the abuse of police powers. Among other accusations, Ruff claims the city tolerates officers who misrepresent facts in order to establish probable cause, and allows officers to have persons falsely arrested or maliciously prosecuted. He also asserts the city permits the continued employment of officers who are psychologically or emotionally unfit to serve.

Ruff is currently under investigation by Internal Affairs in connection with the incident. 

In his suit, Ruff said a friend asked him to turn in three firearms the friend had bought from neighbors “in a proactive attempt to stop violence.”

Ruff, who was off duty, checked to make sure the guns were unloaded and then drove to the 35th District station at Broad Street and Champlost Avenue. When he arrived at the precinct, he told an officer he wanted to turn in some firearms. The officer asked who owned the guns. Ruff – who refused to identify the owner -- said he was turning them in under a “no-questions-asked” policy and asked to speak to a supervisor, the suit states.

But according to a police spokesman, a “no-questions-asked” policy does not exist outside of periodic gun-amnesty programs.

“Can you drop them off like a baby? Typically, no,” said Lt. John Stanford, a department spokesman. “That’s only done when we do buybacks.”

After a supervisor failed to appear, another officer demanded to see Ruff’s identification. He told her that he didn’t have a state ID on him but had his work ID instead. Ruff asked to make a phone call outside the building. As he walked out, someone shouted, “There he is,” the suit states. Another officer came up behind Ruff and twisted his right hand behind his back. More than five officers ran to the scene. At that point, Ruff used a code number to identify himself as a fellow officer and said that his ID was in his pocket, according to the suit.

Two of those police officers held Tasers to his chest and rib cage and threatened to activate them. One of the officers spotted a weapon holstered to Ruff’s hip and demanded, “Why the hell would you come into a police station with a gun on your hip? Where is your permit to carry?” Ruff responded that his police officer ID was his permit to carry, according to the suit.

After being held for six hours, Ruff was released. On Aug. 4, he went to Chestnut Hill Hospital, where he was treated for injuries he said he received during his arrest and detention." [Source]

Things got really rough for Officer Ruff in the 35th there for a minute. (Ok, that was too easy)

Seriously, though, this is no laughing matter. There has to be some institutional control and proper policies and procedures set in place in these police departments all over the country. I bet that there would be less Mike Brown type situations if we did.

And, let's not forget, the police---especially in cities like Philadelphia- do have a tough job to do. It's literally a war zone on some of these mean streets, and in our rivers.

A friend of mine is an attorney who represents the police union and we were just chopping it up recently about what some of the stuff these cops go through.

Needless to say my man had some stories.

It's a tough job, but it's one they all signed up for, and if they can't do it right they should be in another line of work. Hopefully something legal.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jihadist McCain, and little girls with Uzis.

How about this for irony? The young brother from California who was killed in Syria fighting alongside ISIS was named Douglas McAuthur McCain. Talk about rebelling against who you are.

 "An American man suspected of fighting alongside Islamic State militants who have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria to the alarm of the Baghdad government and its allies in the West has been killed in Syria, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

 *"We were aware of U.S. Citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain's presence in Syria and can confirm his death," U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

"We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from traveling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return," Hayden said.

A national security official who asked not to be named told Reuters that the FBI was investigating McCain's death, and a State Department spokeswoman said officials had been in contact with his family and were providing "all consular assistance."

Family members told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that McCain's mother had been called by a State Department official to report that he had been killed in Syria over the weekend."

Mama don't let your boys grow up to be Jihadists, it just won't end well.

"That could place him among the dozens of U.S. citizens that Attorney General Eric Holder said in July were included in a cohort of roughly 7,000 foreign fighters that U.S. intelligence agencies estimate to be operating in Syria, out of roughly 23,000 violent extremists.

Holder said federal prosecutors had opened fewer than 100 investigations into American citizens who may have traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight.

NBC News reported that McCain was born in Illinois and moved with his family to the Twin Cities area, where he graduated from high school in the Minneapolis suburb of New Hope in 1999. He later moved to the San Diego area, where he attended community college." [Source]

Just your typical All American boy with a slight twist.

Speaking of All American kids, things ended tragically for another one recently as well.

But this one was right here at home, and she was doing something that many Americans like to do: shoot a weapon.

"TUCSON Ariz. (Reuters) - A 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her shooting instructor at an Arizona range with an Israeli-made Uzi submachine gun when the weapon's strong recoil caused her to lose control of her aim, police said on Tuesday.

They said that Charles Vacca, 39, had been standing next to the girl at the Last Stop shooting range in White Hills near the Nevada border on Monday morning showing her how to fire the automatic weapon.

When she pulled the trigger, the recoil forced her aim over her head, and Vacca was shot in the head, according to a Mohave County Sheriff’s Office statement.Vacca was airlifted to nearby Las Vegas, where he was pronounced dead. A spokesman for the sheriff’s department did not know how many times Vacca was shot or what model of Uzi the girl was firing.

 Image result for uzi imagesSome Uzi models are capable of firing up to 1,700 rounds per minute, or almost 30 rounds per second, according to the manufacturer’s website. 

The girl, whom police did not identify, was at the outdoor range with her parents." [Source]

I guess "The Last Stop shooting range" was the last stop for Charles Vacca.

Hey, some little nine year old girls play with dolls; here in America they play with Uzis.

*Pic from McCainislam


Monday, August 25, 2014

The Isis candidate, and an American psycho.

JImage result for isis imageust when you think that politicians can't get any lower, they do something to surprise you.

Take for instance the republican senate candidate from New Mexico.

This piece of filth though that it would be cool to use the beheading of an American to make a political point.

"Less than a week after ISIS released a video showing the death of photojournalist James Foley, a Senate candidate has used it for political gain.
Allen Weh, a GOP candidate running against incumbent Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), released an official campaign ad today juxtaposing ISIS’s carnage across the Middle East with Barack Obama‘s recent golf trip, with an extra ironic voiceover from then-candidate Obama talking about the tremendous sacrifices to his personal life should he become President.

Among the footage, however, was a still from the video, showing the man who executed Foley (but not Foley himself.)" [Source]

At least he didn't show the actual footage of the beheading, although, given the desperate nature of politics in America, I am sure that will be next.

So the parents of Michael Brown had the unfortunate task of burying their son today.

The community is understandably angry, but they should remain calm (although I would understand it- not condone it- if they didn't), and they should honor the memory of this young man in a solemn and dignified way. Unlike the way that the authorities in Ferguson, Missouri treated him right after his killing.

I know that according to some folks (including the ignoramuses at the New York Times) he was no angel", but he was his mother's angel, and a police officer with issues did not have the right to take him from her.

Finally, I was thinking about something while reading the latest story about a "loving" family man killing his family. This time a man in Georgia shot his wife and his toddler to death and then turned the gun on himself. Think about that for a minute.......He. Killed. His. Toddler.

The most depraved and morally bankrupt gangbanger isn't taking a gun and killing his own child who happens to be a toddler.

Brian Miller, 41, shot his wife Kara Miller, 29, and their 21 month old son, Paxton before shooting himself according to Paulding County, Georgia Authorities.And yet, when these types of things happen in a certain community, you don't hear cries of a need for a national conversation about these types of pathologies, or pundits always pointing out these things when there are other issues to be addressed.

Brian Miller, 41, shot his wife Kara Miller, 29, and their 21 month old son, Paxton before shooting himself according to Paulding County, Georgia Authorities."Brian Miller, 41, who's described by his stunned daughter as a "religious" man and "good dad," is suspected of killing his wife, Kara, 29, and their 21-month-old son, Paxton, in their Paulding County home, reported WSBTV.
The tragic discovery came when deputies were called to the home to perform a welfare check Monday after family said they hadn't heard from the couple since Friday. It's not yet clear when they died.

"He's very church involved. He's very religious. He's a good dad and he didn't deserve something like this," Ashley Miller, Brian Miller's daughter from a previous marriage, told WSBTV.

Ashley added that the couple recently celebrated their five-year anniversary and were happy, adding to her agonizing shock and confusion."'

Ashley, his family "didn't deserve something like this"; he, on the other hand, deserved everything he got.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Support in blue and white.

"We are all Darren Wilson". That's what the pro Darren Wilson supporters are saying as they show their support for the murderer police officer in Ferguson.

Well, with all due respect, we are not "all' Darren Wilson. If we were we would be in big trouble.

"We" don't all go around killing unarmed teenagers, and we all do our jobs the way that we were trained to do it.

Still, this is America, and the folks who support Officer Wilson have every right to come out and let their race flag fly. As long, of course, as they do it peacefully.

"The woman, wearing sunglasses, a baseball cap and eye black, said the news media has “shown a strong bias” against Wilson and his supporters. “Many of us have received death threats against ourselves and our families,” she said. “Contrary to media suggestions we are not affiliated with any hate groups.”
She added: “We will not hide, we will no longer live in fear.”'

"Eye black" and "sunglasses"; that sure sounds like someone who is hiding who she is to me. I don't believe the "death threats" story, though. Most of these people are too anonymous for the people making death threats to even know who they are.

As was the case with George Zimmerman, the killer of a young black man is getting a lot of support. ($250,000 for a few minutes work. Only in America.) Much of it from people who are glad that another young black man was taken out of society. In truth, many of them wish that they could have done it themselves.

"We are here to support you, Officer Wilson, and we've got your back..."He has been vilified in the news but his story is coming out." [Source]

I am not sure if he has been "vilified"; she needs to watch more FOX VIEWS.

But as she says, his story (or his version of it) is coming out, and ultimately, just like  George Zimmerman, he might just have the last laugh.

Photo - Trooper Sheldon Robinson, 45, is a 16-year veteran of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. PHOTO PROVIDED <strong>PROVIDED</strong>"But Field Negro, what about Sheldon Robinson? Is he getting the last laugh? He is a black man in law enforcement who shot a non-black man to death; that wasn't right, Field."

Officer Robinson was fired , even though he claimed that he was confronted by two armed men. Operative word being armed. But for those of you who don't believe his story, I can't say that you are wrong for thinking the way that you do.

The folks in law enforcement-- black and white--- have not had a good track record of late.

We will wait to see what happens with Officer Wilson.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Give me a caption for this pic.

*Pic from Getty images.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Damien was.

Investigators gather on Manton Street near South 25th Street in the King Village section of South Philadelphia on Thursday Aug. 21, 2014.  For the Daily News/ Joseph KaczmarekI am thinking of a song....yes, this one:

~Woman hold her head and cry,
'Cause her son had been shot down in the street and died
From a stray bullet.

Woman hold her head and cry;
Explaining to her was a passerby
Who saw the woman cry (cry)
Wondering how can she work it out,
Now she knows that the wages of sin is death~

"Johnny Was" by Bob Marley.

Bob could have written this song yesterday--- and not almost forty years ago. Sadly, it's still relevant today.

Bob knows; he lived it. Lasha Bradshaw knows. She is living it now

"TINY SHARDS of glass, gleaming in the sun like diamonds, were scattered yesterday across the top step of the Point Breeze rowhouse where someone shot down Damien James.

James was 16 years old, a kid without a police record. In a few weeks, he would have started his junior year at Audenried High School.

But he's gone now, because someone decided to put two bullets in him as he walked out of a family friend's house on 21st Street near Dickinson shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday.

His mother, Lasha Bradshaw, was with him when a gunman squeezed the trigger in the darkness.

Bradshaw rushed her son to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:35 p.m., said Keishia James, the teen's aunt.

"That was her only son," James said. "She watched her only son die."

The who and why of the slaying remained mysteries yesterday to James' family - and to homicide investigators, who had no suspects or motives to speak of.
It was unclear if James' slaying was related to two other shootings in the area on Wednesday night.

About 9:40 p.m., a 19-year-old man was found shot in the thigh at Dorrance and McKean streets, police said. He was admitted to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in stable condition.

Then, at 11:18 p.m., 9-1-1 dispatchers received a call about a person with a gun on Manton Street near 25th. Cops found a man, shot in the head, slumped in the driver's seat of a Jeep Cherokee. His identity was not available.

As of last night, no suspects had been identified in either incident.

Relatives trickled into Damien James' rowhouse on 31st Street near Reed yesterday afternoon.

Some sobbed. Others sat silently on the cramped front porch, lost in their grief.

Keishia James said her nephew had stayed out of trouble and spent most of his free time at a neighborhood mechanic shop, working on motorbikes and learning how to fix cars.

"He loved to ride bikes, and he loved cars," she said. "I think he would have ended up becoming a mechanic."

When he wasn't working with his hands, the teen liked to go to Sixers and Eagles games with his father, she said.

"He was loved by everybody," she said. "He was like an old soul. He was always smiling, and always laughing."

Keishia James said the teen's parents were too upset to talk to reporters yesterday.

Word of his slaying - and the other two shootings - spread quickly through the neighborhood.

Community activist Anton Moore said he was left "speechless" when he heard that a teenager had been shot to death.

"One murder is one too many, but a 16-year-old . . . that's really tough," said Moore..." [Story]

The thing is this; there are scenes like this playing itself out in urban America almost daily.

Those of us who live in these cities and who have firsthand knowledge of these types of horrific incidents have become almost numb to it.

Maybe it's because we understand what causes it: Poverty brought on by poor schools, and a government that doesn't care about the least among us. Broken homes caused by a men who don't know how to be fathers. And being raised in an environment that is nothing like what America should look like.

So when some people (cue in the racists and the FOX NEWS crowd) wonder how we can be so outraged about the killing of Michael Brown at the hands of the police, and not the murder of young black men by other young black men, it's because we understand the root causes of black on black crime among young black men. But we do not understand why a country that professes to have the moral high ground can put men in a position of authority to murder those black men because of racism and ignorance.

We also understand that the cycle of poverty and all the pathologies that come with it will not stop until those who are put in positions of power by our government act in a way that dignifies the lives of all of our citizens. The carcass of an animal would have been treated with more respect and dignity than what Michael Brown got from the authorities in Ferguson, Missouri. And we still wonder why these young men do not value the lives of each other.

It's why the alleged killing of an unarmed white man by a black police officer in Utah (just as wrong if true) might be cause for protest and outrage in that community, but with all due respect to my friends in the white power movement, it's not a reason to view it in a historical context as a pattern that keeps repeating itself. That would just not be true.

But truth means nothing to some people in the white power movement.

"There’s a mindset out there, and the way it works in situations like this [is] only people of color can be victims. A white person can never be a victim. It just can’t happen. That’s not permitted, that’s not allowed because it isn’t the case. The whites are the oppressors. They’re the majority. In the liberal worldview, every majority is an oppressor, whether they’re white or whatever. They’re all oppressors. The minority is always the victims, and the victims are with whom we should always sympathize, no matter what. And the victims are permitted to do anything precisely because they’re a minority, and I’m talking about in numbers, not skin color. They’re outnumbered. The evil majority does horrible things to the minority. And so the minorities, be it skin color or numbers … [are] always victims.."

They are not always the victims, Rush, just way more often than not. But don't
worry, if we keep going down this path, one day you will be a victim, too.





Thursday, August 21, 2014

The propaganda kings.

The media is a powerful tool. And whoever controls it controls the narrative and the perceptions of those who consume it.

The Nazis used propaganda to their benefit, and they made it work for them in unimaginable ways. "Radio propaganda" worked in Rwanda and a million Tutsis were slaughtered because of it.

The truth is, media has always played a role in conflicts both domestic and global. (Do you remember all those flags in the FOX studios during the lead up to the Iraq war?)

But lately it seems that the right wing propaganda machine has been forced into overdrive.

"Earlier this week, Fox News reported that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown, suffered a fractured eye socket following his confrontation with the teenager. The reporter, Hollie McKay, cited a “source close to the [police] department’s top brass” as providing that information to the network.

However, on CNN Thursday, Don Lemon reported that Wilson did not suffer a fractured or broken eye socket and was rather treated at the hospital for swelling around his face and eyes. Noting that that specific injury has not been reported by CNN, “but is making its way around other media organization,” Lemon cited a “source close to the investigation” who told CNN that Wilson’s x-rays came back negative for a fractured eye socket.

“That source says it is not true, at all, he did not have a torn eye socket,” Lemon said. “Unequivocally.”

Following Lemon’s report, Nancy Grace offered up her official position on the matter: “I really don’t know if we’re going to know what any of this is, or the truth of it, until it comes out in court.” [Source]

Oh yes, FOX VIEWS comes to mind when we think of propaganda. But it is not only FOX. It's newspapers, websites, and blogs. The right wing spin machine is working overtime to make this uprising in Ferguson, Missouri something that it is not.

“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”   ~     Joseph Goebbels~

My "lying eyes" see a "square" in Ferguson, Missouri.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Waiting on "all the facts".

This is a terrible time for law enforcement in America.

Police officers from New York to Los Angeles have been killing first and answering questions later.

We all know what happened in Ferguson, Missouri recently, but very few people are talking about what happened in Los Angeles, California, where the LAPD shot a mentally ill man to death.

"The atmosphere in a South Los Angeles church was at times tense Tuesday night as residents and activists peppered Los Angeles police officials with questions about two officers' fatal shooting of a mentally ill man.

Pictures of Ezell Ford dotted the Paradise Baptist Church, where a crowd of more than 200 people often shouted and interrupted Police Chief Charlie Beck as he tried to address concerns surrounding the investigation into Ford's death.

Beck emphasized that the investigation was only a week old, saying that officials had not yet gathered all the facts. But the crowd grew frustrated when he declined to share information such as the names of the officers involved or why they had stopped Ford.

"Of course that is important to us," he said when asked why the officers approached Ford. "And that will be revealed in the investigation."
The crowd groaned.

"Wait, wait. Stop, please," Beck said. "I will not give you half a story.… We have to find out all the facts." [Source]

Waiting on all "the facts". That has been a popular refrain from those in law enforcement these days. They are waiting on "all of the facts" in Ferguson, Missouri now as well. Good luck with that.

The grand jury convened  today in the Michael Brown case, and I am sure that there will be plenty of "facts" as seen through the eyes of Officer Darren Wilson.

It should be all very interesting.

The prosecutor says it will be the middle of October before all of the evidence is presented.

That should give you Negroes enough time to cool off before all "the facts come in".

Anyway, I was thinking of the Michael Brown shooting while reading about a case from Orlando, Florida.

Kody RoachIn that case a white man ----unlike Michael Brown was wildly waving a gun outside of a nightclub, when sadly, things took a turn for the worse.

"As Florida cops gunned down an armed felon outside an Orlando nightclub, one of their stray bullets killed an innocent college student.

The shooting outside Vixen Bar claimed the life of Maria Fernanda Godinez, 22, early Tuesday even though Orlando Police Department officers’ intended target was Kody Roach, 23, an intoxicated man who kicked out of the club by employees moments before for threatening to shoot patrons, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“I have a gun-wielding maniac,” one of the club’s employees told 911 dispatchers as Roach banged on the door with the pistol just before 1 a.m. “He set it on the bar top and he wielding it many times. I had to throw him out.”

bouncers kept Godinez and other club-goers inside as Orlando officers rushed to the scene and found an irate Roach outside.

Roach was ordered to drop the weapon, but he refused and the officers shot him with a stun gun. It apparently had little to no effect on him, because it didn’t knock him over and he instead began to raise his arm.

At this point, it’s not clear whether Roach was moving his arm to grab the wired prongs off his chest or point his weapon at the police, but the group of three officers didn’t take any chances.

They opened fire before Roach could attempt a single shot.

The officers ultimately fired nine shots and critically wounded Roach, but two bullets went astray. One hit an officer in the leg and the other went through the club’s door and found Godinez inside. [Source]

The color of Kody Roach's skin saved his life Tuesday night. Please note that the police officers tried their stun guns before resorting to using their firearms and deadly force. The stun gun would not have been a consideration had Mr. Roach been a black man. He would have been dropped before he had a chance to raise his gun. Heck all it had to do was look like he had a gun (a cell phone will do) and a Negro named Jamal Roach would have ended up dead.

*Pic from AOL




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is the fix in?

darrenwilson.jpgI sure hope that the prosecutor in Ferguson, Missouri recuses himself from this Michael Brown case. Even he believes that he can be totally objective, the circumstances surrounding this case and his back ground say otherwise.

As is the case with many of these small towns (and some large ones), the Ferguson prosecutor, a democrat, is very much invested in the police department.

Mr. McCulloch has family members who work for the police department, his father was a police officer in the sixties, and he (his father) was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic violence call. Oh, and to make matters worse; his killer was a black man.

All of this is troubling, but what's even more troubling is what the prosecutor has already stated publicly.

"The county prosecutor, Bob McCullough,[sic] described the governor’s decision to put the state troopers in charge as “disgraceful” and “shameful.”

This hardly seems like a man who is seeking justice.

Regarding the issue of his father being a policeman who was killed in the line of duty, McCulloch had something to say about that as well.

"McCulloch said his father's 1964 shooting by a black man at a public housing complex was an "incredibly irrelevant facet" as he sought to "make sure everybody gets a full and fair hearing." McCulloch was 12 when his father was killed."

I suspect that he is only concerned with one individual getting a "full and fair hearing". Nothing about Bob McCulloch prosecuting this case and making a presentment to a grand jury says fair to me.

Bob McCulloch should listen to the folks from the African American Bar Association in St. Louis who are calling for his recusal.

"The community is gravely concerned about the lack of transparency and lack of candor that St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has openly displayed about the way in which this case should be handled," Mount City Bar President Kendra Howard said in a Tuesday press release.

"Mr. McCulloch has shown that he is emotionally invested in protecting law enforcement, and therefore should immediately step aside and allow the Justice Department to investigate the death of Michael Brown. The only way we can ensure trust is for the Justice Department to take over the investigation."

Those are my exact sentiments.


Monday, August 18, 2014

When being the "Magic Negro" is not enough.

Police confront demonstrators on August 15. "..Obama expressed sympathy for the "passions and anger" sparked by the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, but said giving in to that anger through looting and attacks on police only stirs tensions and leads to further chaos. He said overcoming the mistrust endemic between many communities and their local police would require Americans to "listen and not just shout."

Sorry Mr. President, but with all due respect, when they do "listen" all they hear is just more of the same kind of things you have been saying.

And I get it, you are the president of all Americans, you can't seem to be favoring those Negroes over all others. It's how you got elected in the first place: The "Magic Negro", the "uniter", who speaks well and seems so non-threatening. The Negro who views himself as an American first and who only sees "one America."

If you had been any other kind of Negro you would not have been elected.

But I also understand the angst and criticism that you are getting from folks like my homeboy, Marc Lamont Hill.

 "In an official White House statement on Wednesday and a brief speech from Martha's Vineyard on Thursday, the President played his usual role of "the uniter," preaching calm and healing to the American public.
I wish he'd just said nothing.

To be clear, I didn't have any unrealistic expectations for Obama. I didn't expect him to pump a black fist in solidarity or scream "fight the power" from the makeshift press room. I didn't even need him to take a clear side on the issue. I did, however, expect him to tell the truth. Instead, the President delivered a polite but ultimately dangerous message to the American public.

Noticeably absent from President Obama's remarks was the issue of race. Despite Ferguson being 68% black, Ferguson's police force is nearly all white. Blacks in the town comprise 86% of all vehicle stops and 85% of all arrests. Over the past week, black residents of the town have complained of racial harassment from law enforcement. That, combined with the trend of unarmed black men being the victims of extrajudicial killings, makes the racial implications of Brown's death quite strong.

Even if one were to believe that Michael Brown's killing had nothing to do with race -- a naïve position at best -- the wave of protests and debates that emerged after it happened have been undeniably racial. By not mentioning this racial dimension, the President reinforced the immature notion that racism can be defeated simply by pretending it doesn't exist." [Source]

The thing is, Marc, in the minds of most Americans it doesn't exist. And that black person speaking from the podium with the Presidential seal on it, in their minds, proves it.

One of the bitter ironies of all of this is that in spite of Barack Obama going out of his way to be the president of all Americans and not show favoritism to his father's ancestors, he is still viewed by those on the right to be the most divisive president ever.

They are decrying the fact that racial tensions have increased and not decreased  during his presidency. Failing to realize, of course, that the anger and hate have come primarily from their ideological soul-mates in the majority population, who resent the fact that a black man such as Obama could have been elected to lead them. (Twice!)

So yes, racial tensions have increased, but it's not because of the way that the very non-racial Barack Obama acted in office; it's because he is in that office in the first place.

"There are young black men that commit crime. We can argue about why that happened — because the poverty they were born into or the school systems that failed them or what have you— but if they commit a crime, then they need to be prosecuted," Obama said. "Because every community has an interest in public safety."

Yes they do "need to be prosecuted," and so do the police officers who are charged with keeping the public safe and not breaking the very law that they are charged to uphold. 

*Pic from Scott Olsen-Getty Images.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ferguson, the Ayatollah, and the Reverends.

khameneiAs a country you know you have a problem with race relations when you are being "trolled" on the subject  by Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei of all people.

My man took to twitter to rip this particular aspect of "American exceptionalism".

"Racial discrimination is still a dilemma in the U.S.

"Today like previous years, African-Americans are still under pressure, oppressed and subjected to discrimination. "

"In 1992 a popular uprising protesting the blatant oppression of black ppl couldn't be subdued by the police so got involved. "

"During Clinton’s presidency,+80 Davidians including men,women & were burnt alive at a house. This is their !" [Source]

Yo Ayatollah, back away from the computer there for a minute. Maybe a little more focus on giving spiritual guidance and less on hashtags is needed.

Anyway, I am not aligning myself with the Ayatollah, and I am pretty sure that most black folks in America feel the same way. They understand that they are times when they are mistreated in this country, and that America has a long way to go to become a perfect union, but they are not naïve,enough to believe that they would have it any better in a place like Iran. Or that, compared to America, Iran can take the high road on the issue of human rights.

Still, there is an important lesson to be learned here: America cannot get away with not placing equal value on the lives of all of her citizens. That "shining city on a hill"  is being watched by others.

Sadly, though, that city isn't shining as bright as it should be. And it doesn't take an Ayatollah from across the world to see it.   

Speaking of twitter, I tweeted about Rev. Jesse Jackson being booed in Ferguson and the response I got from the white people in my twitter line was interesting.

Jesse Jackson being booed by black folks is not surprising to us black folks, but apparently it was to whites.

The only people who hold up Jesse Jackson as the leader of black folks are white producers on cable news shows, conservatives, and white trolls in the Internet.  

While we respect what Jesse Jackson did during the civil rights movement and all the other times that he spoke up for people of color when it was not cool to do so, his power and influence (at least among black people) started fading a long time ago.

White people, on the other hand, are still under the impression that we view Jesse Jackson as our go to person on racial injustice in 2014 the same way that we did in 1984.

But we understand why this is the case. When you don't actually know any black people, and all of your perceptions about us are programmed for you by cable news, we don't expect you to know any better.

A popular black pundit on CNN called out Al Sharpton today. Black folks were not surprised. Because, as with the case of Rev. Jackson, there is a myriad of views about him within the black community.

"FAMILiES of the victims pleaseeeeee stop asking #alsharpton to speak or ur behalf,you have a better chance having #caesar the monkey from #planetoftheapes to get justice for you..the stats also show AL coon sharpton has not helped one situation he has protested at,he actually made it worst and because of him the jury goes the other way..(think about it) Jena six,trayvon and the list goes back way back..#AL ur like a #THOT in the club,lookn for attention what u said at trayvons rally #enoughisenough ur right were tired of u PRETENDING” [Source]

That was another black person.

It's hard out here for a reverend these days.