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Archive for the ‘racism’ Category

In the Name of Love, Take Down that Flag!

Posted by Charles II on June 27, 2015

Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone:

On Saturday morning, [Bree Newsome] scaled the flagpole outside the South Carolina State Capitol in Columbia and took down the Confederate flag herself.

As Newsome made her way down the flagpole quoting scripture (“The Lord is my light and my salvation. Who shall I fear?”), authorities gathered and arrested the activist and a male dressed as a construction worker who assisted her. Both were charged with defacing a monument, CNN reports. An hour later, the Confederate flag was once again atop the State Capitol’s flagpole…

Listen to her. She told the police, “You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!”

The crowd chants, “Let us love and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Bree Newsome interview, which starts about 30 minutes in.

Bree Newsome Twitter feed

Bree Newsome Website

Bree Newsome bail fund.

Links to Daily Kos diaries, from which some links were obtained: NancyK and DEMonRat Ankle Biter

Posted in racism | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

The face of evil

Posted by Charles II on June 24, 2015

Added: To be clear, the point is that evil doesn’t look any different than what we see every day. The face of evil is found in someone exulting in being a slumlord, in the easy acceptance with which the Tea Party–of which many chapters have close links to the Conservative Citizens Council– has met with the media, and in the refusal of this country to recognize the mass murder in Charleston as being the result of something embedded in our national DNA, namely the “original sin” of slavery. This sin can only be removed by genuine repentance, which means de-normalizing racism in whatever form it appears. As long as a guy like Earl Holt III is normal, the whole nation is polluted.

___________________

Via David Nir, DK.

Earl Holt III is a white supremacist, radio personality on WGNU, and leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens. He has replaced the fortunately late Gordon Baum as the president of that organization. Why a man like this was allowed to use the public airwaves is beyond me.

This is how Earl Holt III describes himself in FEC filings:
Earl-Holt,-Slumlord

This is the face of evil, ca. 1990 (From Lindsay Bever of the WaPo):

Lindsay Bever:

[Holt] preferred, he said, “to contribute directly to conservative Republican candidates, ONLY, because we do not trust the RNC to spend our money as wisely as we would. Moreover, if it occurs to us to mention it, we also indicate our preference for Tea Party-endorsed candidates, to whom we have been quite generous the last few election cycles.”

And this is the face of evil now:

(Via Hinterland Gazette)

And here is the list of politicians who happily accepted contributions from a self-described slumlord:

Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas
ex-Rep. Charles Djou of Hawaii
Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

As the Rev. William Barber said, The perpetrator [of the Charleston massacre] has been arrested, but the killer is still at large.

Posted in Congress, conservativism, crimes, racism, Republicans as cancer | Leave a Comment »

Our post-racial society: the shootings in Charleston

Posted by Charles II on June 18, 2015

Republicans are saying that no one knows why Dylann Roof murdered nine innocent people:

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, currently running for the GOP presidential nomination, linked the church murder to his pet topic, the “assault” on religious liberty.

On the same program, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani also confessed to being baffled about possible motives. “We have no idea what’s in his mind,” he said. “Maybe he hates Christian churches. …”

South Carolina Senator and presidential candidate Lindsey Graham questioned whether this was a “hate crime” and tried to suggest factors other than race were involved.

Most digustingly, Roof prayed with the congregation before massacring them. What greater act of blasphemy is there than to ask God for aid just prior to destroying those made in His image?

And of course John Lott is out there saying the reason that Dylann Roof murdered those nince people is that they didn’t have any guns in church.

Because, of course, Jesus Christ was such a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He owned a Glock and a Heckler & Koch.

This is the real Emanuel AME church, courtesy of Harry Bruinius of the Christian Science Monitor:

The seeds for Mother Emanuel were planted in 1791, during the era of “the segregated alter”: A group of slaves and free blacks worshiped under the auspices of Charleston’s Methodist Episcopal Church, a white denomination that provided the group’s ministers. But in 1816, when the white congregation decided to use the black members’ segregated burial grounds to erect a new building, they broke away, joining the nascent movement of black Christians that would become the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

One of the new congregation’s founding members, Denmark Vesey, a slave of a slave trader, organized a major slave revolt. City officials crushed the rebellion before it began, hanging Vesey and at least 34 others. The incident sparked other violence, and a white mob burned the church – and eventually, officials banned independent black churches outright in Charleston.

Dan Wassermann of BoGlobe

The Republican Party is surely going to hell for using this evil deed to spin their talking points. I just wish the good Lord would grant them early entry.

Donate to the Emanuel AME here

Posted in crimes, Flying Monkey Right, racism, rightwing moral cripples | Leave a Comment »

Grand Juror sues Ferguson D.A. in Michael Brown/Darren Wilson case

Posted by Charles II on January 5, 2015

Via Shaun King at Daily Kos

A grand juror in the faux proceedings used by Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to pretend-exonerate Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting has sued him to be allowed to speak about McCulloch’s malfeasance.

Posted in racism | 1 Comment »

Oh, yes… Ferguson Witness 10? Changed his testimony, presumably coached by police, and still “cannot fully recall”

Posted by Charles II on December 17, 2014

DemocracyNow:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, and, of course, Witness 40 was—the importance of her testimony was that she, and there’s at least another witness, as I recall, Witness 10, who were the ones who said that Brown charged at police officer Wilson. And so, obviously, if her testimony is impugned, then the issue becomes: What about this other witness? And I want to turn to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. Late last month, he dissected the credibility of that other witness, Witness 10.

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Witness number 10 was working in the neighborhood, and he begins his story to the police with: “I seen the two young guys walkin’ down the street on the same sidewalk that I was on.” Six weeks later, witness number 10 testified to the grand jury and changed his story about where Michael Brown was walking. He said under oath to the grand jury, “I seen Mike Brown and his friend walking down the street closer to the curb, not on the sidewalk.” That is the kind of thing the district attorney was complaining about last night—witnesses changing their stories to fit the publicly known facts.

Here is why witness number 10 was the most important witness to appear in Darren Wilson’s defense. This is what he described Michael Brown doing when Officer Wilson got out of the car and chased him: “[Michael Brown] stopped. He did turn. He did some sort of body gesture. I’m not sure what it was, but I know it was a body gesture. And I could say for sure he never put his hands up after he did his body gesture. He ran towards the officer full charge.” So there’s witness number 10 saying the magic words: He never put his hands up, and he ran towards the officer full charge.

In the grand jury, when the prosecutor asked witness number 10 to describe what he called a “body gesture,” he said, “I can’t say for sure what sort of body gesture. I cannot fully recall. All I know is it was not in a surrendering motion of I’m surrendering, putting my hands up or anything. I’m not sure if it was like a shoulder shrug or him pulling his pants up. I’m not sure.” So, there’s the district attorney’s favorite witness, the only one he quoted last night, saying, “I cannot fully recall. … I’m not sure. … I’m not sure,” within the body of an answer in which the only thing he’s absolutely sure of is that Michael Brown did not do a surrendering motion. In a real courtroom, when a witness begins his answer with “I can’t say for sure,” and then in the body of his answer he says, “I cannot recall fully,” and then says, “I am not sure,” twice within that same answer, that witness observation does not survive cross-examination. But there was no cross-examination in the grand jury room.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Lawrence O’Donnell on his show on MSNBC, Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. And he went on from there. His final point about [witness] number 10 is that when he was asked by the police how far away he was, he said about a hundred yards—a football field away. When he goes into the grand jury, he says something like 50 yards—he cuts it in half—or 50 to 75 yards. Can he see? Does he wear glasses? None of those questions, because this isn’t a trial. This is a grand jury.

This certainly sounds like a witness who was urged by police or the prosecutor to change his testimony. If there are two witnesses who perjured themselves, then the likelihood that the prosecutor is guilty of having induced witnesses to perjure themselves is significant. Time for federal action.

Posted in corruption, racism | 1 Comment »

It would be constructive if…

Posted by Charles II on November 25, 2014

Crossposted as a comment on DK regarding the decision of the Grand Jury not to indict in the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Wilson in Ferguson Missouri:

It would be constructive… (1+ / 0-)

In situations like these, emotion is not very helpful. I would like to see a careful deconstruction of the narrative that McCulloch constructed.

One example is McCulloch’s claim that Mike Brown suffered a “graze wound” to his thumb. Yet, as I understood his presentation, blood and tissue were spattered all over the car, both inside and out. This does not sound to me like a graze wound.

A second example has to do with the question of whether Mike Brown “charged” at McCulloch after being shot several times. If that’s so, there should be a blood trail that is miniscule when Brown allegedly turned, then much larger when he was hit by several bullets, leading a considerable distance to the place where he collapsed.

A third question is whether Officer Wilson had heard about the theft. McCulloch said yes. The reporting I heard early on said no.

Without seeing all the evidence, it’s hard for me to know what basis the Grand Jury made its judgment.

The most powerful rebuttal to an opponent is to take what they claim happened and interrogate it– carefully, without pre-judging, and without hyperbole.

The narrative that much of white America understands is that a young man, high on drugs, robbed a store. A police officer confronted him with the intent to arrest him, the suspect feloniously attacked the officer, the officer shot him and then pursued a fleeing felon. If I as a Grand Juror believed that narrative, I’d support Darren Wilson. As much as I see the clear evidence of racial bias in Ferguson, a juror has to focus on the facts of one particular case. But I don’t believe McCulloch’s narrative, because of all of these threads hanging off of the story begging to be unraveled. By someone. Someone who can set aside their feelings and make the precise truth plain.

It would be constructive to see a careful, dispassionate deconstruction of the McCulloch narrative. I haven’t seen it anywhere yet.

I don’t think we’ll see this done about this case.

By the way, if you want to see the quality of evidence presented to the Grand Jury, consider Witness #40 (via Betty Cracker). If that link–which shows that this is a legitimate item–fails, try this one from Chris Canipe of the Wall Street Journal. Very strange.

Posted in judicial rulings, racism | 4 Comments »

Florida, where magical things happen

Posted by Charles II on December 12, 2012

Richard Luscombe, The Guardian:

The scale of abuse at a notorious youth residential school in Florida has been laid bare with the release of a report by investigators who say they have evidence of almost 100 deaths at the institution.

Investigators say they believe more graves are yet to be uncovered at the Arthur G Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, which closed a year ago following revelations of the widespread physical and sexual abuse of youths sent there since early last century.

It means the enormity of the outrage, in which survivors have told gruesome stories of regular beatings, rapes and even murders by staff members, is much greater than reported by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 2010, when the agency announced the presence of 31 grave sites.

“No understanding of the Florida State Reform School over the course of its history can be understood without consideration of the impact and implications of segregation, particularly those relating to criminal justice,” she said. “The majority of boys committed to the school and that died there were African American.”

Many of the deaths and abuse occurred within living memory. Some of the “law enforcement” criminals…er, officers… who committed these crimes are probably still alive.

When will there be justice for the sins of racism?

Posted in Florida (where magical things happen), racism | Comments Off on Florida, where magical things happen

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” –Faulkner

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2012

Santayana said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. He might better have said that those who do not know the history made by others are doomed to misunderstand their own. The more that one reads and understands the history of this country, with its great blessings and the curses that came with them, the more one comes to know that we will never be free of our evils until we air them–fully–and come to terms with them.

Thomas Jefferson recognized slavery America’s original sin, a deep and unrepented evil present at the founding that contaminates everything we do. In modern times, our knowledge of history is so eroded that we imagine that slavery was a southern matter. But this is a false history:

Ira Berlin, in his Generations of Captivity: A History of African-American Slaves, shows that the Northern states, despite having gradually emancipated their own slaves between the Revolution and the 1830s, were deeply implicated in the protection and preservation of slavery in the South. Northern free blacks agitated vigorously for the freedom of their brethren in bondage, but the discrimination and violence to which they were exposed in the North left them for the most part disfranchised, impoverished, and (especially after the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850) unsure whether they could maintain their own freedom against slave catchers and kidnappers.

And it is worse than even that, since pockets of slavery remained in the north. The most infamous of these was perhaps the Philipsburg Manor in Westchester County, yet slavery continued in New York State until 1827. Even so, there were diehards in New York State:

the counties most vociferous in their opposition and who voted, “nay” were Ulster, Dutchess, Richmond and King’s,

these being the rural counties that bracketed New York City from north and south.

And so I was struck today by a DemocracyNow show on the Battle of Peekskill Peekskill Riot (in Westchester County) in 1949:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, talk about the Peekskill Riots. Exactly what happened?

WILL KAUFMAN: OK, 1949, August, late August, early September of 1949, the Civil Rights Congress, through People’s Songs, got Paul Robeson to agree to sing a benefit concert at the golfing grounds up in—or the Lakeland picnic area up in Peekskill, Westchester County. And before Robeson even got to the grounds, he never—in fact, he never even made it to the grounds, because for the whole previous week, the Peekskill Evening Star and other local newspapers and the Ku Klux Klan and other right-wing organizations were firing up the populists to prevent Robeson and to prevent his followers from coming to Peekskill. Robeson—you know, it was all this Robeson, you know, Jew-loving commie kind of stuff like that, because Robeson had declared—his crime was declaring, in the midst of the Cold War, that no African American would voluntarily go to war with the Soviet Union. He’d been to the Soviet Union. He said he was treated with more respect there than he was ever treated in the United States. And for that heresy, he was met with a burning cross on the hills above Peekskill, which, you know, kind of proved his point. And so, he never made it to the grounds there, but the concertgoers did. They were on the grounds there, and they were met by masked gangs of men and women and teenagers hurling rocks and abuse and beating them up with, you know, fence posts and baseball bats, and destroying the grounds and what have you.

And so, Robeson is not able to sing at Peekskill that week. But he makes a declaration. He says, “I don’t get scared when fascism comes near, like it has at Peekskill.” And he says, “I’m going to come back in a week, and I’m going to sing this concert.” And in the intervening week, they amass between 20,000 and 30,000 supporters to protect Robeson and to protect the concertgoers. And they make it into the grounds. He sings the concert. He’s buzzed by police helicopters, FBI helicopters, who try to destroy the sound. But he sings the concert. And then, there’s no violence on the grounds, but the concertgoers, as they’re leaving, they are directed deliberately into an ambush road by the Westchester County police. And all along the road there, there are gangs of teenagers and mostly young people with rocks and boulders piled high at periodic staging posts along the road all the way towards the Bronx, on bridges overhead. And they are destroying the cars. They’re throwing boulders through the windows. Glass is shattering. Hundreds of people are getting injured. Pete Seeger was there. He recalled what it was like to have his car surrounded by mobs, rocked back and forth. He’s got, even now, embedded into his chimney breast in his home up in Beacon, New York, a huge boulder which had crashed through the windscreen and almost killed his young son Danny. And this is collusion between the Westchester County police and the Ku Klux Klan and the gangs and the newspapers and what have you.

The Ku Klux Klan was not only able to get about 4,000 people to engage in racially-motivated (though politically-rationalized) violence, they had the Westchester police and the FBI on their side– almost one hundred years after the civil war and in a liberal, northern state!
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in crimes, history, racism | 3 Comments »

Maybe if she’d had a gun: Minneapolis denies the right of self-defense against hate crimes/corrected

Posted by Charles II on April 27, 2012

DemocracyNow:

A transgendered African-American woman is set to go on trial next week on charges of second-degree murder for an altercation after she was reportedly physically attacked and called racist and homophobic slurs outside a Minneapolis bar last year. Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald received 11 stitches to her cheek, and was reportedly interrogated without counsel and placed in solitary confinement following her arrest. There were reports that the dead victim, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattooed on his chest.

So McDonald’s face was slashed open and then she killed the person who did that.

These are facts similar to those asserted in the Trayvon Martin case, but with some important differences. Compare McDonald to Zimmerman and the deceased Dean Schmitz with the deceased Trayvon Martin:

1) Schmitz did have a deadly weapon, while Trayvon did not have a deadly weapon, while McDonald had been assaulted and seriously wounded.
2) Schmitz pursued her, while Zimmerman alleges that he was assaulted by Trayvon, who Zimmerman was following.
3) Schmitz was allegedly tattoed with a hate symbol, while Trayvon had none.
4) Schmitz allegedly had a history of harassing McDonald, while Trayvon was unknown to Zimmerman.

Now, there’s one more similarity and one more difference. McDonald used a knife, scissors while Zimmerman used a gun. And both of the dead people, one an assailant, one allegedly a victim, were black.

One is reminded of an ancient (50 years ago) Dick Gregory joke: “You complain about us cutting people. Well, hell, you won’t sell us any guns!”

This appears to be a stark illustration of why we need to confront hate crimes and demand an end to the stirring of racial hatred by TV news. Every person, black or white, gay or straight, has an absolute right to mind his or her own business in safety. For Minneapolis to charge someone in fear of her life with second degree murder, while it took a national campaign and intervention by the Governor to get Zimmerman charged with the same crime is clear evidence that the scales of justice are not balanced in this oh-so-free-and-fair country.
_____________
Note on the corrections: apparently one of Schmitz’s female companions opened up the wound on McDonald by throwing a glass at her. So Schmitz was not carrying a deadly weapon. Also, Schmitz was apparently stabbed with fabric scissors. Sorry about the mistakes. Like Stormcrow (see comments) I was completely disgusted by this. I got careless in writing it up.

Posted in abuse of power, gay rights, gun issues, race in America, racism | 3 Comments »

About 100 years too late (UN investigates treatment of Native Americans)

Posted by Charles II on April 22, 2012

It is not widely appreciated, even in this country, that the US government haD an explicit policy of genocide toward Native Americans until the 1930s or that, after John Collier‘s service as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the policy reverted to one of erasing Native culture. A Native man of my acquaintance reported being kidnapped from his family and forced to attend a school hundreds of miles from his family–in the 1960s. And today, the reservations are, for the majority of Native Americans, places of hopelessness, deep poverty, drug trafficking, and violence.

Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian:

The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history.

The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.

Many of the country’s estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.

How this can go on in a nation which holds itself up as a beacon of liberty and justice is beyond me. That the UN has only gotten around to it at a time when the great nations, such as the Lakota and the Dene (Navajo) are at the edge of terminal decline is… well, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but only after thinking about it for a moment.

Posted in poverty, racism | 3 Comments »

 
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