police brutality

Required Reading (Justice and Dissent)

[#kneelbeforeJustice]Colin Kaepernick (r.) and Eric Reed kneel during the national anthem before a 2016 NFL game. (Photo: Associated Press)

“Donald Trump took time out from comparing missiles with Kim Jong Un and ignoring Puerto Rico to declare that the athlete who takes a knee is a ‘son of a b***h’ who should be fired for disrespecting America. He was harder on the athletes than on the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville.”

Leonard Pitts, Jr.

This is not one of those things where I get to say something like, “What he said!” or, “Plus one!” More directly, we can rest assured my part has something to do with paying the fuck attention.

Dear black people:

I guess we’ve messed up again. Seems like we’re never going to learn how to properly protest, no matter how hard conservatives try to teach us.

(more…)

Advertisements

The Masculine-American Way (National Insecurity)

Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, 13 July 2016, via Daily Kos Comics.And … that would be Matt Bors.

The artist, I mean. Not the closet case with the rifle.

The fun part about asking, “Any questions?” or, “Who needs this one explained?” is the lovely adventure, when someone raises a hand or clears their throat, of trying to figure out just what they need explained and why.

At some point, though, we probably shouldn’t laugh at these people. They unwell, terrified of everything, and carry a killing range on average between a quarter and half mile. As such, they are extraordinarily dangerous.

____________________

Image note: Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, via Daily Kos Comics, 13 July 2016

Beyond Comprehension

Fight: Mikasa awakens ― Detail of frame from Attack on Titan episode 6, 'The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2'.

I … don’t ....

A Kansas police officer has been fired from his post after leaving a comment on a Dallas woman’s Facebook page that threatened her 5-year-old daughter.

Facebook user “Rodney Lee” published the comment at 11:50 p.m. last Thursday on LaNaydra Williams’ Facebook page. “We’ll see how much her life matters soon..” he wrote beneath a two-year-old photo of Williams’ daughter, India. “Better be careful leaving your info open where she can be found :​) hold her close tonight, it’ll be the last time.”

Overland Park Police Chief Francis Donchez Jr. confirmed in a statement that the post was written by one of his officers.

(Grenoble)

I mean, come on, really?

____________________

Grenoble, Ryan. “Kansas Cop Fired After Threatening 5-Year-Old Girl On Facebook”. The Huffington Post. 11 July 2016.

My Own Incoherent Distress

Michelle Obama addresses the graduating class at King College Prep High School in Chicago on Tuesday, 10 June 2015. (Photo: Christian K Lee/Associated Press)

“That’s a burden that President Obama and I proudly carry every single day in the White House, because we know that everything we do and say can either confirm the myths about folks like us―or it can change those myths.”

Michelle Obama

This is not, technically speaking, fair.

Then again, such is life. Michelle Obama stood before the graduating class of King College Prep High school in Chicago, yesterday, and delivered remarks that some have taken as a suggestion that the First Lady has officially entered the fight:

At a time of roiling debate over the issues of race and opportunity, punctuated by the events of Ferguson, Mo.; Staten Island; and Baltimore, the nation’s first African-American first lady has added her voice. It is not a new message for her, but one that has taken on special resonance and one delivered with bracing candor in recent speeches. Along the way, Mrs. Obama has opened a window into her own life, not just in Chicago but also in the White House.

By her telling, even living at the world’s most prominent address has not erased the sting of racial misunderstanding. In recent weeks, Mrs. Obama has talked of “insults and slights” directed at her husband and caricatures that have pained her. It all “used to really get to me,” she said, adding that she “had a lot of sleepless nights” until learning to ignore it. But she said she realized that she and her husband had a responsibility to rewrite the narrative for African-Americans.

“That’s a burden that President Obama and I proudly carry every single day in the White House,” she told the graduating seniors of King College Prep High School on Tuesday, “because we know that everything we do and say can either confirm the myths about folks like us―or it can change those myths.”

(Baker)

Some of us might be pessimistic. After all, what signs have we that President Obama and the First Lady have changed any perceptions about dark skin? Indeed, if we measure by the headlines, we might suggest they have somehow managed to exacerbate race relations.

Then again, that would be a misperception, and this is the important part.

(more…)

Counterproductive

Anonymity is not without its value.

And it is also true that vandalism really does suck, and is a poor method for political communication in the industrialized world.

Illustration by Steven Weissman, 8 April 2015, for The Stranger.Those two businesses are owned by some really nice people (one of whom I see busting his ass every morning at 5:30 a.m., trying to make a living) who had to spend a ton of money to hire the graffiti squad to come clean up your spray-paint vomit. If you’d seen the disappointment in their faces, I’d like to think you’d be ashamed of yourself. Here’s the good news: Guess who has really stepped up patrols in the neighborhood? That’s right, the fuzz! They took a keen interest in your most recent act of stupidity. I hope they arrest you and make you drink your own paint.

(Anonymous)

But we have a problem in Seattle; the police department is a brutal, murderous gang. People really are pissed off about this. And while it is true that vandalism really sucks, it makes exactly no sense whatsoever to hope “the fuzz” go out of their way to make things worse. Advocating further police brutality gains nobody anything. Well, that’s not exactly true. The advocate can feel empowered by calling for other people to commit criminal violence. Then again, this only further harms a community already reeling under the burden of a police racket.

You, Anonymous, are part of the problem.

____________________

Anonymous. “I, Anonymous”. The Stranger. 8 April 2015.

A Hopeful Look Ahead to the Rest of 2015 … Or … Something

Detail of 'The K Chronicles', by Keith Knight, 3 February 2015 (via Daily Kos Comics)As much as we might look at our last tantrum and wish to open with, “In cheerier news …”, well, right. Like we’re gonna do that.

At right is a detail from The K Chronicles, by Keith Knight (via Daily Kos Comics, 3 February 2015).

Any questions?

No, seriously, if you need to be filled in at this point in the story, by all means stand up … you know, mostly so your neighbors can know who you are and look at you suspiciously like they never have before.

____________________

Knight, Keith. “Your rights”. The K Chronicles. 3 February 2015.

Important Reading

Samaria Rice and her daughter Tajai, left, in Cleveland near where Ms. Rice's son Tamir, 12, was killed by a police officer. (Credit Michael F. McElroy for The New York Times)

It really should be required reading, this article from Shaila Dewan and Richard A. Oppel Jr. of The New York Times:

Seconds later, the boy lay dying from a police officer’s bullet. “Shots fired, male down,” one of the officers in the car called across his radio. “Black male, maybe 20, black revolver, black handgun by him. Send E.M.S. this way, and a roadblock.”

But the boy, Tamir Rice, was only 12. Now, with the county sheriff’s office reviewing the shooting, interviews and recently released video and police records show how a series of miscommunications, tactical errors and institutional failures by the Cleveland police cascaded into one irreversible mistake.

Yes, we have considered these aspects before, but, you know, just who the hell are we and why would we matter?

And Rachel Maddow covered some of these questions in December, but, you know, liberal media conspiraciess and all that. So now we have the New York Times.

Oh.

Right, then. Let’s just cut to the chase, since we all know what the FOX News headline would be: “No Second Chance: Racist msnbc Thugs Hate White People Who Are Trying Really Hard”.

Meanwhile, back in reality, yes, Dewan and Oppel’s article really should be required reading.

____________________

Dewan, Shaila and Richard A. Oppel Jr. “In Tamir Rice Case, Many Errors by Cleveland Police, Then a Fatal One”. The New York Times. 22 January 2015.

NBC News. “‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ for Thursday, December 4th, 2014”. Transcript. NBCNews.com. 5 December 2014.

One of Those Things That Shouldn’t Be Said Explicitly

“Sadly, the bloodshed will most likely continue until those in positions of power realize that the unequivocal support of law enforcement is required to preserve our nation.”

Fraternal Order of Police in Baltimore

Alright, then. From their pen to your eyes: Unequivocal support of law enforcement is required to preserve our nation.

Carte blanche. That’s all they’re demanding. If you don’t back the police hell or high water, regardless of what they do or fail to do, it’s all over, people. So say the Baltimore cops.

(more…)

An American Priority

Detail of cartoon by Matt Bors, 10 December 2014, via The Nib.Something about priorities goes here. And in our experience the underlying sentiment is not uncommon, yet many people do not like to admit it.

____________________

Bors, Matt. “White People Problems”. The Nib. 10 December 2014.

A Perfectly Reasonable Request

Detail of cartoon by Randall Enos, 4 December 2014, via Cagle Post.

Over at Daily Kos, Dartagnan makes a perfectly reasonable request:

Considering the gravity of the circumstances and their potential impact on race relations in this country, it would seem prudent to hear from some actual police officers reacting to the non-indictment of one of their own for the “chokehold” death of Eric Garner. As has been pointed out repeatedly both here on this site (although those voices are decidedly in the minority) and in many other web-based forums, the job of a police officer entails a high degree of personal risk and stress often with very little in terms of reward. I think it’s incumbent on all of us to at least consider and try to appreciate some of their views so we can have a full understanding of the attitudes towards African-Americans in general of the officers to whom we have entrusted our safety and protection.

As Reported in The Week, several confirmed legitimate police have publicly weighed in on this tense and delicate debate on the website PoliceOne.com ....

With that kind of setup, certainly you have some idea of what comes next.

Call it what you want, but it is important to note that the one thing we shouldn’t call it is new.

____________________

Dartagnan. “Wait A Minute—Let’s Hear From Some Actual Police Officers Before We Rush To Judgment”. Daily Kos. 4 December 2014.

Image credit: Detail of cartoon by Randall Enos, 4 December 2014, via Cagle Post.