“But that’s the crux of white supremacist racial logic: the problem with black people is … well, black people – not mass incarceration and the deindustrialization of urban America, not educational inequality and generational poverty, not 400 years of slavery, lynchings, and Jim Crow. To be black in America is to be victimized and then made responsible for our victimization. We built this country. But, apparently, it is we who are lazy and dependent. We are bullied politically, socially and economically. But it is we who are called “thugs”.
“There is never an excuse for violence against police,” President Obama said. Yet there are endless excuses for state violence against black people. For mass incarceration, there’s the “war on drugs”. For poverty and unemployment, there’s “a culture of laziness” and “government dependence”. For the educational gap, there’s the burden of “acting white”. For Eric Garner: “loosies”. And for Michael Brown, there are stolen cigarillos, jaywalking or anything the police can say to shift the narrative from their white supremacist practices to black “ghetto” culture.
It is to say that black lives do not matter, that our babies deserve death and despair, that our communities don’t deserve protection and justice.”—Nyle Fort
And here’s another chapter in the perennial debate about conservatives: stupid or evil?
Paul Ryan offered his opinion on federal intervention in Ferguson:
"There is no problem with the federal government having a role," he said. "But in all of these things, local control, local government, local authorities who have the jurisdiction, who have the expertise, who are actually there are the people who should be in the lead."
He said that today. Has he literally been hiding under a rock?
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon took his sweet time before doing anything about Ferguson. When he did choose to act (by imposing a curfew), he made things even worse. Local leadership!
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder said today that he wants “Anglo American justice" for Ferguson. Local solutions!
Ferguson’s mayor, James Knowles, has denied there is or ever has been a “racial divide” in his city. Local insight!
A Missouri GOP official has described the effort to register more voters in Ferguson as “disgusting" and "inappropriate". Local politics!
At this point, the only reasonable conclusion is that the local authorities in Missouri and Ferguson are clueless and repulsive. Yet Paul Ryan thinks they should be given the lead to resolve a situation they themselves have created and escalated.
So….is Paul Ryan a dumbass?
I don’t think Paul Ryan is a dumbass, but he often sounds like one. In this instance, he’s chosen to ignore U.S. history and everything that has happened in Ferguson lately because it is evidence that not only conflicts with his ludicrous political philosophy, but destroys it.
But I don’t think it’s just a case of cognitive dissonance. No one who remains a libertarian past the age of 19 or so can be trusted because, in this country, quite a few self-described “libertarians” would be better described as neo-Confederates. Many of these same ‘libertarians’ are even bringing back antebellum classics like nullification.
“When minor characters who are also ethnic minorities start talking among themselves in their native tongues, they sometimes take advantage of their invisibility to say things. Sometimes they break the Fourth Wall and start ranting about the movie director. Sometimes, they spout random obscenities or natter about their lousy lunch. It’s all in not-English, so whatever they say doesn’t matter! And the actual translations of their lines can be a secret source of hilarity in films where actors are instructed to use a Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) in order to make a scene sound more authentic. When some Native Americans cast in Westerns were told to speak their own language to add some authenticity, these actors took the opportunity to crudely editorialize about their director, which allegedly resulted in Native American audiences (in)explicably cracking up laughing during scenes that were meant to be dramatic.”—Minorities can be marginalized in film, but not silenced. (via salon)
Let’s make sure we have the law straight: If you’re a poor mother, you can be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kids alone while you go to a food bank so you can feed them, go to a job interview (so you can feed them), or work (so you can feed them).
In the mid-1990s, President Clinton signed welfare reform legislation into law that changed welfare in America profoundly. One of the major changes welfare reform brought about was the work requirement. Now, even women with young children were required to be working, or looking for work, in order to receive benefits. In a radio address after signing the bill, Clinton promised that if poor people went to work, “we will protect the guarantees of health care, nutrition, and child care, all of which are critical to helping families move from welfare to work.”
We broke that promise. State and federal childcare spending last year fell to the lowest level since 2002. Much of the money available for childcare comes to states through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or today’s version of welfare, but TANF hasn’t been adjusted for inflation since 1996. It’s lost a third of its value since then. The money spent on childcare has declined from a high of $4 billion in 2000 to $2.6 billion in 2013. That means fewer and fewer children get subsidized care. The number of children served by subsidies is at the lowest level since 1998. In [Shanesha] Taylor’s home state of Arizona, childcare spending has been axed by 40 percent, dropping 33,000 kids. In [Debra] Harrell’s, it was cut by more than 30 percent, dropping 2,500 children.
We’ve also taken the rug out from under any mothers who might need assistance because they can’t find work or the work doesn’t pay enough. In 1996, welfare reached 72 percent of poor families with children. That had dropped to a mere 26 percent by 2012.
So when a homeless mother needs to go to a job interview or a mother making less than $8 an hour needs to go to work, what options have we given them? Few, if any.
“We can genuflect and comply. We can raise our arms in the air and scream that we are unarmed. We can look up at the police with our hands behind our heads and our knees on the ground. We can wait in line through checkpoints to get water and work. We can crawl through the desert in the night with our babies on our back. We will still be counted as collateral damage. That’s if we are counted at all.
We can fire a warning shot into the air to protect our children. We can follow all the rules and get all the papers. We can work 20-hour days in the field. Our compliance will not protect us. Our papers will not save us. The police are not here to protect us. In their eyes, which we see from behind riot gear, we are not human. We are not their charge.”—Eesha Pandit, “If You Are Black or Brown in America, Your Parents’ Warnings Can’t Keep You Safe”
At a rally against Israel’s bombing of Gaza over the weekend in Seattle, a shirtless man allegedly harassed protesters, yelled, picked fights, and used words like “towelhead.” When a security guard was called to the scene, however, he ignored this alleged instigator, macing and detaining a black bystander instead.
Non-black activists have a duty to protest, record/document, publicize, and follow-up on any suspicious, racist, or illegal police behavior toward black people (fellow activists or not) in the vicinity of a demonstration or act of civil disobedience.
The idea that “if you didn’t do anything wrong, you don’t have anything to fear” does not hold true for black people. Most people who end up being exonerated for crimes they served time for, but didn’t commit, are people of color.
Racial profiling and bias in police departments across the country is well-documented.
There are many well-known cases of police torture directed at blacks in prison, such as the dozens of black Chicago inmates who were systematically tortured over a span of 20 years. Scientific studies shed light on how racial bias can influence witness testimony, like this finding that race can make people “see” guns, or a reach for a gun, where no weapon was present.
Asking why a black man with even the slightest bit of awareness of these facts wouldn’t fully cooperate with the cops is a bit like asking why William Wallace didn’t simply extend a warm welcome to the invading English forces. Here’s a better question: What are law enforcement agencies doing to heal their relationships with the black communities they’re supposed to protect and serve?
“The politics of respectability are, at their root, the politics of changing the subject—the last resort for those who can not bear the agony of looking their country in the eye. The policy of America has been, for most of its history, white supremacy. The high rates of violence in black neighborhoods do not exist outside of these facts—they evidence them.
This history presents us with a suite hard choices. We do not like hard choices. Here’s a better idea: let’s all get together and talk about how Mike Brown would still be alive if Beyoncé would make more wholesome music, followed by a national forum on how the charge of “acting white” contributes to mass incarceration, then with a keynote lecture on “Kids Today” and a shrug. Then we can all move on.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates
…In Nevada, Marky and dozens of his companions were armed: with sidearms, rifles, and at least one .50-caliber anti-vehicle rifle, the kind used in war zones to shatter engine blocks from up to a mile away. They were forthright about the type of disobedience they were willing—even hoping—to put into action. “One bullet at a time, straight in line,” another militiaman told me. “Destroy anything in sight.”
Needless to say, his hands were not raised in the air at the time.
“Military weaponry makes a bad situation much worse, but the core problem is still police forces that have nothing but contempt for the populations they’re supposed to “protect and serve.” By all means criticize the hardware — but the real problem isn’t going to go away if the use of that hardware is dialed back, because cops will treat civilians they despise with contempt using whatever’s at hand. And if Paul’s fellow libertarians get us talking almost exclusively about gear and government, then they’ll have successfully diverted the discussion onto their turf, for their ends. We mustn’t let that happen.”—Steve M., reminding us that Amadou Diallo and Rodney King were brutalized with what were basically glorified sticks. The pricey military gear makes it easier for the police to monitor and attack larger numbers of civilians at one time, but it’s the institution itself—its bigotry, authoritarianism, and lack of accountability to the public it professes to serve—that is the real problem.
The Ferguson police are a public service that’s spending a ton of money forcibly intimidating the residents and restricting media access and protecting their total impunity rather than suspending the officers responsible without pay and cooperating with an external inquiry. If ever there were a totally wasteful and self-interested government agency, it’s the Ferguson police right now. And there are so many pundits and think tanks and elected officials who make a career out of loudly criticizing misallocation of government resources, but somehow they’re all totally silent on this one.
The criminal justice system is working perfectly as far as those “as a taxpayer” people are concerned. They’re not the ones being harassed and assaulted by the police—the folks they’re scared of (black people, poor people, queer people, immigrants, etc.) are. These “as a taxpayer” types probably think outfitting cops with paramilitary gear so they can more effectively terrorize minorities is a great use of their tax dollars.
And the “misallocations” of government resources that these same people tend to be focused on are welfare programs for those same despised minorities. Agricultural subsidies that mostly benefit white farmers and artificially raise the cost of food? Fine. Food stamps to help struggling families afford to eat? NOT FINE WHAT ARE WE SOVIET RUSSIA
I say fuck all cops because, rather than be critical and take a stand against their fellow officers, good cops are nowhere to be fucking seen when wild shit goes down. No police officer, especially police chief, gets on the news or social media or some type of fucking platform and says shit about bad cops. So fuck them. Fuck them for standing in camaraderie with corrupt individuals.
The media establishment’s intense focus on occasional riots is so misleading you can’t help but interpret it as willfully malicious. If anything, black people have demonstrated extraordinary restraint and peacefulness in the face of shocking brutality and oppression.
A 24-year-old man has died after being shot by police during an encounter in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles, officials said Tuesday. The incident began at 8:12 p.m. Monday when officers responded to a report of a shooting at the intersection of West 65th Street and South Broadway (map), said Lt. Ellis Imaizumi of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Eight minutes later, at 8:20 p.m., the officers stopped a man who was walking in the 200 block of 65th, authorities said. “A struggle ensued” and police opened fire, according to a statement from the Police Department.
The man was transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery, according to Officer Sara Faden, spokeswoman for the LAPD. He later succumbed to his injuries. No officers were hurt in the incident. It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations, police said.
A woman who said she was the deceased man’s mother identified him as Ezell Ford. Tritobia Ford said her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers’ commands when he was shot.
In the aftermath of the shooting, she said, police refused to inform her of where Ezell Ford was hospitalized. An LAPD supervisor at the scene of the shooting was unaware of anyone being denied that information, Faden said Tuesday.
An investigation into the shooting is underway. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Force Investigation Division at 213-486-5230.
More than 270,000 people have shared the tweet, which means that, per the analytics site Topsy, as many as 69 million people have seen it.
The problem? It violates well-established public health standards for how we talk about suicide.
“If it doesn’t cross the line, it comes very, very close to it,” said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Suicide should never be presented as an option. That’s a formula for potential contagion.”
“Why are police calling the people of Ferguson animals and yelling at them to “bring it”? Because those officers in their riot gear, with their tear gas and dogs, want a justification for slaughter. But inexplicably…we turn our attention to the rioters, the people with less power, but justifiable anger, and say, “You are the problem.” No. A cop killing an unarmed teenager who had his hands in the air is the problem. Anger is a perfectly reasonable response. So is rage.
…How dare people preach and condescend to these people and tell them not to loot, not to riot? Yes, those are destructive forms of anger, but frankly I would rather these people take their anger out on property and products rather than on other people.
No, I don’t support looting. But I question a society that always sees the product of the provocation and never the provocation itself. I question a society that values property over black life. But I know that our particular system of law was conceived on the founding premise that black lives are white property…
Nothing makes white people more uncomfortable than black anger. But nothing is more threatening to black people on a systemic level than white anger. It won’t show up in mass killings. It will show up in overpolicing, mass incarceration, the gutting of the social safety net, and the occasional dead black kid. Of late, though, these killings have been far more than occasional. We should sit up and pay attention to where this trail of black bodies leads us….”—Brittney Cooper
[This] focuses instead on the most incendiary comment anyone heard at the scene….The only cited source stating the phrase “kill the police” in the AP story is the St. Louis County Police Department. It’s transparently obvious why the police would want the press to know they heard this phrase. This rhetoric, in their minds, justifies the outrageous over-reaction of the police force, including snarling K-9 units and paramilitary vehicles. The cops want the public to know these words were shouted, and they were afraid for their own safety.
We need objective journalism. At the very least, we need both sides of the story.
Like many people,I first learned about Michael Brown’s murder through social media sites and blogs. The national media didn’t seem to get interested in the case until after the rioting began. They simply don’t care about violence against black people—just the possibility some property might be damaged, some white people might get hurt, and the chance to show black people in a way that confirms bigoted stereotypes. It’s a fucking disgrace and it’s why I don’t get much of my news from traditional media anymore.
Lately, you can’t escape mournful essays about the demise of old media like newspapers. I say good fucking riddance if this is the kind of crap they keep serving up.
“Some problems we share as women, some we do not. You [white women] fear your children will grow up to join the patriarchy and testify against you; we fear our children will be dragged from a car and shot down in the street, and you will turn your backs on the reasons they are dying.”— Audre Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (via sundayafternoonsocialclub) [Happened today July 13th, 2013] (via blackfeministrants)
“Lifestyle feminism ushered in the notion that there could be as many versions of feminism as there were women. Suddenly the politics was being slowly removed from feminism. And the assumption prevailed that no matter what a woman’s politics, be she conservative or liberal, she too could fit feminism into her existing lifestyle. Obviously this way of thinking has made feminism more acceptable because its underlying assumption is that women can be feminists without fundamentally challenging and changing themselves or the culture. For example, let’s take the issue of abortion. If feminism is a movement to end sexist oppression, and depriving females of reproductive rights is a form of sexist oppression, then one cannot be anti-choice and be feminist. A woman can insist she would never choose to have an abortion while affirming her support of the right of women to choose and still be an advocate offeminist politics. She cannot be anti-abortion and an advocate of feminism. Concurrently there can be no such thing as “power feminism” if the vision of power evoked is power gained through the exploitation and oppression of others.”—bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody (via oldfrnd)