Tag Archives: Racism

White Privilege, In One Tweet

[UPDATE]:

Add the Associated Press to the list of media outlets who just don’t get it:

APfail

Sweethearts. Who “pilfered checks.” Why don’t you just give them a reality TV show while you’re at it?

——————————————————————

From NBC News’ Twitter feed:

NBC News FAIL

Sweethearts? Let’s see:

An 18-year-old Kentucky man and his 13-year-old girlfriend who have been missing for 12 days are believed to have taken off on a crime spree across the South, authorities said Thursday, during which they’re suspected of having stolen at least two vehicles — one of which had guns in it.

“It is imperative that these two be located and apprehended as their behavior is becoming increasingly brazen and dangerous,” the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office identified the pair as Dalton Hayes, 18, and his girlfriend, Cheyenne Phillips, 13, whom Cheyenne’s father reported missing on Jan. 3. They’re accused of stealing a neighbor’s red Toyota pickup truck, which was spotted on security video nine days later outside a Walmart store in Manning, South Carolina. The couple themselves were captured on video entering the store.

They apparently ditched the truck Thursday in Henry County, Georgia, south of Atlanta, and are believed to have stolen a silver Toyota Tundra — which Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins said had .45- and .38-caliber handguns in the back seat.

Chaffins said that both are suspects in at least the two auto thefts and that Hayes is also wanted on charges of custodial interference — that is, luring Cheyenne, a minor, away from her legal guardians.

So basically we have auto theft, kidnapping, possibly statutory rape, all wrapped up in a nice shiny “sweethearts/Bonnie & Clyde” package. How do you suppose this message would be packaged if the couple were black, not white?

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Filed under media, racism

If Only Those Brown People Didn’t All Look The Same

Or, “I don’t think religious freedom means what you think it does,” or, “I don’t think the Constitution works the way you think it does,” etc. etc.:

When we reported last fall on a Hot Springs firing range that was declared a “Muslim free zone” by its owner, several blog commenters asked, “how will she know who’s a Muslim?” The answer, unsurprisingly, seems to be good old fashioned racism. The Times was contacted over the weekend by a college student from Hot Springs who went to the Gun Cave with his father for a round of target practice.

They’re not Muslim, but they do happen to be South Asian. They were told to leave by a woman, presumably Jan Morgan, the owner.

“My dad and I used to go to this gun range,” said the young man, who asked not to be identified by name, “but we haven’t had as much of a chance to go in recent years since I’ve been at college. It’s changed ownership recently.”

“When we went in, a woman asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’ We told her we were from Hot Springs. She said, “this is a Muslim free shooting range,” so if we are [Muslim] and if we don’t like the rule, then leave. We said that we’re not Muslim, but my dad asked, ‘Why is it Muslim free?’ and they started having a conversation. Then, all of a sudden, I don’t know what went wrong, but she stopped us from filling out the paperwork and said ‘I don’t think you guys should be here.’ She told us to leave or she’d call the cops on us.”

Not wanting to cause a scene, they left.

“We’re brown; I don’t know if she assumed we were Muslim,” he continued. “When she first asked us, she said, ‘I would hope if you were Muslim you guys wouldn’t be cowards and would be up front about it.'” The student told the Times he was born in the U.S. and lived in Hot Springs for ten years before going to college in a different Arkansas town; he considers Hot Springs his home.

Sadly, it’s not the first time a gun loon decided Muslims had no business exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

Shocked face.

[UPDATE]:

Seems to come with the territory. Gun loons = racist assholes. Who knew?

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Filed under Guns, Islam, racism, right-wing hate

What We Do Here In Nashville

Nashville’s chief of police Steve Anderson wrote an incredibly thoughtful response to a critic of the department’s handling of #BlackLivesMatter protests here.

Here in Nashville, protestors were allowed to (briefly) shut down major roadways, including I-24 running through downtown. Here’s how the first night of protests, back in November, went:

Instead of responding with arrests or tear gas, Anderson shut down I-24 to allow the demonstrators to stage their protest safely. As he told reporters during a press conference, it was his duty: “We have to safeguard life, even if people put themselves in some peril.” Anderson further noted that arresting protesters one by one would have taken hours; instead, after about 25 minutes, police reopened the highway, and protesters continued on their way.

[…]

In essence, Nashville’s police department made a decision to treat the protests like a parade, an event at which the law enforcement role is to provide security, not confront danger. Officers even greeted protesters with hot chocolate when they showed up at the police department. When the protesters went off script, taking to the highway unexpectedly, the police response didn’t vary. According to Anderson, a group of ministers showed up the following day, “bright and early, just to tell us how proud they were of what went on last night”—a response that he attributed to the close relationships between the department and community groups.

“In Nashville, if you want to come to a public forum and express your thoughts, even if they’re against the government, you’re going to get your First Amendment protection, and you’re going to be treated fairly by the police officers involved,” Anderson said. “That’s what we do here in Nashville.”

A few folks of a more punitive inclination weren’t happy about that, and Chief Anderson shared an email he received about it, which our local paper has reprinted. The critic wrote that he (or she) raised their children to respect the police, wondered if the MNPD was getting pressure from Mayor Dean to not make arrests, and criticized the response as “putting the department at disharmony from the majority of the citizens.”

After assuring the writer that the department’s response was made without any interference from Mayor Dean, Chief Anderson wrote:

As imperfect humans, we have a tendency to limit our association with other persons to those persons who are most like us. Unfortunately, there is even more of a human tendency to stay within our comfort zone by further narrowing those associations to those persons who share our thoughts and opinions. By doing this we can avoid giving consideration to thoughts and ideas different than our own. This would make us uncomfortable. By considering only the thoughts and ideas we are in agreement with, we stay in our comfort zone. Our own biases get reinforced and reflected back at us leaving no room for any opinion but our own. By doing this, we often convince ourselves that the majority of the world shares opinion and that anyone with another opinion is, obviously, wrong.

In other words, your is not the majority opinion. And then this little nugget:

It is somewhat perplexing when children are injected into the conversation as an attempt to bolster a position or as an attempt to thwart the position of another. While this is not the type of conversation I ordinarily engage in, here are some thoughts you may find useful as you talk with your son.

First, it is laudable that you are teaching your son respect for the police and other authority figures. However, a better lesson might be that it is the government the police serve that should be respected. The police are merely a representative of a government formed by the people for the people—for all people. Being respectful of the government would mean being respectful of all persons, no matter what their views.

Exactly. Because government isn’t a building somewhere, it’s people. Of the people, by the people, for the people.

Thank you, Chief Anderson, for reminding us all of that. Kudos.

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Filed under Current Events, Nashville, racism

Things That Should Be A National Outrage

While the shooting of two NYPD police officers has understandably sparked national outrage, perhaps a little bit of that anger should be focused in a more productive direction: namely, how a man with a long, storied criminal past was able to get his hands on a gun. We’re starting to get some answers:

It was at Arrowhead Pawn Shop, a sprawling store tucked into a shopping center along a busy commercial corridor in this city of 4,700 people just south of Atlanta, that the gun was last purchased in a legally traceable transaction in 1996, according to a police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation.

An Asian man purchased the gun, according to the official, but that buyer told investigators this week that he gave the weapon to a cousin. Federal investigators are now trying to determine what happened to the gun after that.

[…]

As recently as 2010, Arrowhead was the leading out-of-state source of guns recovered in crimes by the New York Police Department, according to an article in The Daily News. Georgia is also part of the “Iron Pipeline,” a chain of Southern states with looser gun laws that is responsible for sending a steady stream of firearms into New York and other Northern cities, where there are many more restrictions on who can purchase a gun.

As long as we continue to treat guns like used bicycles, these agents of death are going to end up in the wrong hands. And the NRA will continue to tell us that the only way we can stop this is … more guns. Fantasy, meet reality: dead cops.

Slow clap for the “guns make us safer” crowd who have enabled the flow of guns to criminals. And now they’re pointing the finger at people protesting the deaths of their kids who have been targeted because of the color of their skin? Well, that seems about right. The old Confederate states are still fighting their lost cause. Some things never change.

8 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, 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:

23 Comments

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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Filed under racism