This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
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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.

Libertarians are the new confederates

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.

No, Paul Ryan isn’t a dumbass. Paul Ryan knows what he’s doing.

thebluelip-blondie:

my white protesters please remember that you’re rarely at the same risk we are when you stand up for what is right

thebluelip-blondie:

my white protesters please remember that you’re rarely at the same risk we are when you stand up for what is right

(Source: cartoonpolitics, via abagond)

Not to mention the fact that the completely lawless Ferguson police aren’t even respecting the curfew.

(Source: sandandglass, via face-down-asgard-up)

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”

Police are more likely to use force against protesters when black people are protesting →

A more detailed write-up and the study itself (pdf). Plus, a recent piece of anecdotal evidence:

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.

6 Good Reasons a Black Person Might Resist Arrest →

  1. 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.
  2. Blacks routinely serve higher sentences than whites—for the same crimes.
  3. Once in custody, black men are rough-handled by police more often than whites.
  4. Racial profiling and bias in police departments across the country is well-documented.
  5. 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?

Let’s not forget that the charge of “resisting arrest” is oftentimes bullshit, something cops will either lie about or instigate by violently confronting people over very minor charges in order to give them a stronger case for arresting (or brutalizing) someone.

Why Are They (Armed) "Patriots" in Nevada But (Unarmed) Rioters in Ferguson? →

…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.

fergusonhandsinair.png

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

No one ever showed up. No tanks ever came to Bunkerville. No sound weapons, no tear gas, no flash grenades. No sniper rifles, except those in the hands of the civilians. The militiamen assembled freely, dispersed freely.

Not one of them is in jail. Not one of them is in Ferguson, either. But perhaps that goes without saying too.

We determine whether someone is a “patriot” or a “thug” by race and class, which are other ways of describing who has power and who doesn’t.

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.

never understand where the “as a taxpayer” types are after high-profile incidents of police brutality

jakke:

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

aeon-fux:

This just happened in Seattle. A group of nonviolent protestors in support of Palestine were being harassed by a WHITE MAN, this fucking mall cop comes out and maces and detains a black man WITH NO AFFILIATION TOWARDS EITHER GROUP. AN INNOCENT BLACK MAN JUST WALKING INTO THE WESTLAKE MALL. The protestors are actively telling the mall cop that he MACED THE WRONG GUY, that the black man did nothing wrong, and he still handcuffs him and DENIES him water to flush out his eyes being offered by the protestors. I’m so disgusted. I have been to this area and mall many times in my life and I no longer feel safe going. I hope to god he presses charges and that this scum sucking shitstain loses his job. I’m so scared right now. I’m so fucking scared. Source here, but let the video speak for itself. 

PIG.

(via jean-luc-gohard)

kingjaffejoffer:

xn—78h:

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.

(via wretchedoftheearth)

Man Dies After Being Shot by Police in South L.A. →

boygeorgemichaelbluth:

jesus fucking christ

"a struggle ensued" = pig speak for CYA

(Source: ethiopienne, via aka14kgold)

BREAKING: The Federal Aviation Administration is closing airspace above Ferguson, MO to “provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.” What the fuck are the Ferguson PD about to do?

thepoliticalfreakshow:

FAA just closed airspace “to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities”

Option A: Ferguson police are genuinely concerned that angry residents will start bombing them from private jet planes

Option B: The skies above Ferguson are being cleared for drones, police helicopters, etc. that will be used to monitor residents and disperse crowds with no regard to safety or civil liberties

(via face-down-asgard-up)