Category Archives: racism

Curious

White man parades in front of a high school in one of Nashville’s wealthiest neighborhoods with a high-powered rifle. He’s not shot by police. Indeed, he’s not even arrested:

Embody

White people walk down the street in Medina, Ohio with AK-47s. Are not shot by police. Indeed, they aren’t even arrested:

WEBcarry03

Black man picks up an air rifle from a shelf in an Ohio Walmart. He’s shot and killed by police. Grand jury does not indict the officers.

Black child with airsoft rifle in public park is gunned down by police. Grand jury decision pending.

The take-away: White people can parade around public places with massive firepower on display. Black people cannot carry a toy gun through the very store that sells them. Why is this? Black people are scary. Duh.

When the open carry loons walk around with their guns in Nashville, Tennessee, or Medina, Ohio or or Texas, what they’re really doing is reaffirming their power and privilege. They do it because they can. Let us imagine what would happen if a black man walked by Hillsboro High School with a high-powered rifle strapped to his back. He’d be lucky to see the sunset. That’s just reality.

I wonder why that is.

A popular ruse among the fringe of the gun-nuttery is that modern gun control laws are enacted to deny African Americans their 2nd Amendment rights. Which is a hilarious denial of history. Sorta like saying the Democrats are the real racists because Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

American history. Enjoy:

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Filed under gun control, racism, Tennessee

Is Feature, Not Bug

Every now and then amid the celebrity gossip and news of the weird I find something over at Gawker that resonates on a deeper level. Albert Burneko’s post on the Eric Garner case is one of those times:

The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates has written damningly of the American preference for viewing our society’s crimes as aberrations—betrayals of some deeper, truer virtue, or departures from some righteous intended path. This is a convenient mythology. If the institutions of white American power taking black lives and then exonerating themselves for it is understood as a failure to live out some more authentic American idea, rather than as the expression of that American idea, then your and my and our lives and lifestyles are distinct from those failures. We can stand over here, and shake our heads at the failures over there, and then return to the familiar business, and everything is OK. Likewise, if the individual police officers who take black lives are just some bad cops doing policework badly, and not good cops doing precisely what America has hired and trained them to do, then white Americans may continue calling the police when black people frighten us, free from moral responsibility for the whole range of possible outcomes.

The murders of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Sam Shepherd, and countless thousands of others at the hands of American law enforcement are not aberrations, or betrayals, or departures. The acquittals of their killers are not mistakes. There is no virtuous innermost America, sullied or besmirched or shaded by these murders. This is America. It is not broken. It is doing what it does.

More later. But yes, these are not aberrations. This is how our system is set up.

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Filed under racism

Set-Up Like A Bowling Pin

It’s obvious Robert McCulloch’s delayed announcement of the grand jury decision was a strategic move designed to shift the national narrative away from the decision itself and toward the reaction to the decision.

Now the national narrative is, “violent black people are rioting in the streets.” When our TV screens are filled with pictures of fires and mobs overturning cars, the media is justifying police brutality. It’s reinforcing the “angry/dangerous/scary black people” stereotype that is to blame for shootings of black teens like Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and Renisha McBride in the first place. Protestors of all races hoping to start a national conversation about police misconduct, militarization of local police forces, the value of African American life, etc. were set up. And they walked right into it.

It’s a damn shame, too. Wouldn’t it have been lovely if instead of the fires and overturned cars and blocked interstates in places like Nashville we had positive, peaceful images of resistance? But that requires discipline, and that comes from leadership. Sadly, it’s something we don’t have — even President Obama’s message seemed lackluster and resigned.

I keep hearing the looters and violent protestors were not from Ferguson, and that may be true. But this wouldn’t be the first time outside agitators came in to discredit a legitimate protest movement. Those who want real change need to take a cue from protest leaders of past generations. None of this is new. We’ve seen it all before: how a media storyline is crafted and manipulated, how outside forces can disrupt, how a powerful television image is used to further an agenda.

Sad. Y’all were set up like bowling pins.

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Today In Tennessee Hate

Hey everyone, remember this story? Ha ha, well, funny thing, it seems the accused party has sued both Red Lobster and the waitress who posted the offending receipt on Facebook:

He said he was running tight on time, so he had his waitress put the meal into a to-go container. And when he paid the bill, he wrote “none” under tip.

The next day, a friend told Barnes to check Facebook, because his personal information was on a receipt where someone had written the n-word.

The story soon went viral and got worldwide attention.

Yes, it certainly did! This became national news, in fact. I, your humble scribe, vented a good bit of spleen over this one. I said, “Williamson County is both petri dish and microphone for the conservative worldview” and also, “let’s not fein surprise that it’s racist as hell, too.”

Woopsies! I may owe Williamson County a teensy weensy apology over this one! We will wait and see. However, I still maintain you people down there cannot drive. Especially you ladies in your big SUVs with your cell phones pressed to your ears. In particular, the lady in the black Acura SUV with the Romney-Ryan bumper sticker who blew through a stop sign at the Hill Center yesterday. Your friendly little wave did not make up for the fact that you nearly T-boned me.

But while one person in Williamson County may possibly not be the racist asshole we thought he was, at least one Nashvillian is an anti-gay bigot. They caught this one on security cameras:

According to a Davidson County affidavit, Massey was holding beer while waiting in line at the register.

Another man asked him “Where’s the party at?” and Massey allegedly responded with a gay slur.

The man, who is gay, asked if he had been called the slur and Massey said he did, then repeatedly asked “Now what’s up?”, according to the affidavit.

Massey allegedly went back to his car and told another person to help him “handle that.”

The pair went back inside the market and punched the victim in the head and face, causing the man to lose consciousness, police said. The victim needed 13 stitches on his face.

So, we’ve still got a ways to go here.

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Filed under GLBT, racism, Tennessee

“You’re Looking Sad, Master Race”

“Tens” of neo-Nazis tried to rally in Chattanooga yesterday, but they were drowned out by the jeers, laughter, and heckling of hundreds of counterprotestors:

At times, the scene was farcical.

A woman in white make-up and a polka-dot dress held a sign reading, “Who is the real clown here?”

Another woman in clown gear played the accordion and danced on the sidewalk, pointing and laughing at the Nazi group.

“Your kids are going to be listening to hip hop and Ricky Martin tonight,” said one man heckling the small group of neo-Nazis on the courthouse plaza.

[…]

Knoxville attorney Chris Irwin held a sign that read, “Follow your leader.” It was stenciled with a photo of Adolf Hitler shooting himself in the head.

“My gosh, I would be embarrassed to have that number at a spaghetti dinner benefit,” he hollered at the group as they emerged. “That’s so sad. … You’re looking sad, master race.”

He and others hit a nerve. The neo-Nazis yelled back at the protesters, calling them homosexuals.

“We have followers everywhere we go,” responded one neo-Nazi.

Oh yes, no doubt. I guess they just couldn’t be pried out of their Barcaloungers on a Saturday afternoon. The counterprotest was peaceful, though at times tense, according to reports:

Officers begged the protesters: Don’t get violent. Don’t lose control.

“That’s what they want,” said one officer.

The Detroit-based National Socialist Movement, which brought about two dozen people to the courthouse lawn — compared with several hundred protesters across the street — is notorious for inciting violence. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that it is the largest neo-Nazi group in the country and is known for its violent anti-Semitic rhetoric and racist viewpoints.

I am encouraged at the knowledge that the largest neo-Nazi organization in the country could only muster a couple dozen people. As bad as you think things are these days — and the appalling comments of people like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy illustrate that racism and bigotry are alive and well across a wide swath of American culture, SCOTUS be damned — this at least shows us that the voices against hate can be louder.

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Filed under racism, Tennessee

Nobody Could Have Anticipated, v. Eleventybillion

Nobody could have anticipated that the Tea Party’s newest hero is a raging racist nutball:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

A spokesman for Mr. Paul, informed of Mr. Bundy’s remarks, said the senator was not available for immediate comment.

Indeed. This is my shocked face.

Keep talking, folks.

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He’s Not Racist BUT ….

Good grief, don’t know how I missed this one from last week:

Filmed at the church April 24, the 17-minute video has racked up nearly 40,000 views on YouTube in less than two weeks, and it has some websites asking whether Reagan is the most racist pastor in America.

“My god has nationalities outside the city,” Reagan says in the video, going into the gist of his argument that he doesn’t consider it right to marry white people with black people, continually calling such relationships “hybreeding.”

“Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh, how terrible, hybreeding,“ he says. “What white woman would want her baby to be mulatto, made by a colored man? Let’s stay the way God made us. I believe it’s right.”

This lunacy comes from the pastor of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in, you guessed it, Johnson City, Tennessee.

This gets me:

“I feel terrible,” Reagan said. “I’ve been sick since it came out and haven’t eaten in days.”

As terrible as Reagan feels, he’s not backing off the message. He said he’s seen the hardships those in biracial relationships have felt, and though he admits a lot of it has to do with being in a conservative area, he wouldn’t officiate biracial weddings in other parts of the country either.

Wow. Wonder if it ever occurred to this racist fuckwad that the hardships biracial couples experience are a direct result of the words and actions of people like Brother Donny Reagan?

But ya know, it’s so cool that he reminds us that he’s not racist and even has some black friends. Got it.

Watch the sermon here:

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Filed under Christianity, racism, religion, Tennessee