Category Archives: Race

The Anti-De Blasio

No de Blasio he!

No de Blasio he!

The mayor of Norwood, Ohio, Thomas F. Williams, did exactly the opposite of besieged New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in response to activist attacks on the integrity of his police department. He sent this letter to his police:

Letter racebaitingIts substance reads…

“I feel compelled to express my thoughts in writing as police officers across the country are under attack by race baiting black leaders and cowardly elected officials. Now is the time to be extra cautious while performing your duties. Back each other and take nothing for granted. Let it be known that, God forbid, something controversial would happen, I WILL NOT ABANDON YOU. As I have always said, your number one goal is to go home to your family after your shift…”

 

Now, instead of being under fire from his own police like his Big Apple counterpart, Williams’ declaration of support for his own police is being called “appalling” and racist. Bishop Bobby Hilton, president of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter National Action Network, released a statement saying,

“It is appalling that Mayor Thomas Williams would stoop so low as to call black leaders “Race Baiters”.  It is unfortunate he has a problem with blacks and citizens of every group demanding full and fair investigations of the killings of unarmed black men.

“I strongly suggest that blacks stay out of Norwood.  Do not shop there. When a Mayor feels the only way he can encourage and show support for his police department is by making disparaging remarks about black leaders, it is time to stay away for your own safety.”

Jasmine Coaston-Foree, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Cincinnati, demanded, “We want a public apology. We want him to retract the inflammatory statement. The letter was irresponsible for someone in his position given the events that have happened recently.”

For his part, the Mayor, a Democrat, is not backing down. “It’s one of those things where everybody knows, or most people know or can see what’s going on, but they won’t say it,” Williams said. “And there are individuals across the country who earn a living or raise funds by getting involved in something before any of the facts are known. (People) who come in, raise doubt, raise issues, when they don’t know the facts and then they leave. That’s a fact.”

What’s going on here? Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Race

.5 Cheers For The Justice Department Deciding To Be No More Biased, Divisive And Unethical Regarding Michael Brown’s Shooting Than It Already Has Been

one cheer

The Justice Department has reportedly decided not to bring civil rights violations charges against former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. This is not exactly a surprise, since there was no justification, based on known evidence, for opening an investigation in the first place. Still, the decision does show that there are unethical depths to which Eric Holder’s race-obsessed, partisan and untrustworthy regime won’t sink to.

It was obvious to all objective observers that the original announcement, in the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson, that the Justice Department was investigating possible civil rights violations was pure race identification politics at its worst. The Justice Department is supposed to be non partisan. It is supposed to build trust in the system, not undermine it. It is supposed to be objective and fair, and not prejudge or take sides until the facts are known. Never mind: all of that and more was thrown aside, openly and with fanfare, in the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck.

Holder met with Brown’s parents. He consulted openly with Al Sharpton, who was, and is, claiming that Brown was gunned down for being black. Holder’s department sent representatives to Brown’s funeral. Holder’s decision to investigate whether to seek a civil rights violation indictment was interpreted as a statement that the Ferguson grand jury that refused to prosecute Wilson was itself racially biased, though the evidence released proved that was not the case. The investigation sent a cynical, divisive message that a black President and a black Attorney General were going to stand with “their” people, and the conclusions of a “mostly white” grand jury be damned. The decision seemed to validate, as it was fully intended to, the protests, the anger, the riots, and the “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” lie.

However, as we knew, and know, and as Holder’s attorneys knew, the evidence was never there, and never was going to be there. Thus Justice is finally doing the right thing, after intentionally doing the wrong thing to show beyond any shadow of a doubt what side they are on, as an agency of all the people that is pledged to only be on one side, that of blind and color blind justice. Instead, Holder’s minions chose to subject Wilson, and by extension his profession, the police, months of injustice to demonstrate politically useful solidarity with Brown’s parents, who accused their country of racism before the United Nations, and Al Sharpton, whose bar for proving racism is set low enough to call the Academy Awards bigoted for not nominating the actors he would nominate. It was not willing, apparently, to go so far as to hold a trial in which the United States would be thoroughly embarrassed, because it had nothing to prosecute on.

Yes, I’ll compliment Holder and the Justice Department for doing the right thing that they made necessary by months of unethical conduct. Good for them. They were not as unprofessional and atrocious as they might have been.

With this Justice Department, that qualifies as progress.

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights

The Destructive, Useful, Unethical Presumption of Bigotry, Part 2: The Oscar “Snub”

selma-4

For the second time in nearly two decades, and for the first time since 1998, the Oscars will be awarded to only white acting nominees. This, then, if you listen to the caterwauling race-baiters, is because Hollywood is racist. The Academy’s voters just hid it well since 1998, that’s all. Does that make any sense to you?

There are few more infuriating and transparently illogical examples of an unfair slapping down of the race card than looking for bigotry in the notoriously arbitrary, bias-soaked, essentially meaningless choices for “best” in the various Academy Award movie-making categories. Yet the race card sharks were up to the task.  Naturally, the authority on the subject was Al Sharpton, he whose own performance quality on his MSNBC TV show is so amateurish that it would be shut out in any community theater awards.

“In the time of Staten Island and Ferguson, to have one of the most shutout Oscar nights in recent memory is something that is incongruous,” Sharpton told The Daily News. Wait, what??? Incongruous is the assertion that the nominations for film-making excellence should be influenced in any way by how many blacks are killed resisting arrest. Anyone who finds that to be a logical argument for why more black actors should have been nominated for Oscars is useless to any rational discussion of the issue. I want a show of hands. Continue reading

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Popular Culture, Professions, Race

The Destructive, Useful, Unethical Presumption of Bigotry, Part I: California’s Anti-School Discipline Law

Last year, in September, California became the first state to prohibit by law the suspension of students for “willful defiance” unless the activities involved were certified by the school superintendent as meeting the specific standards enumerated in the law, all of them very serious, most of them already crimes. What was the rationale behind Assembly Bill 420? Well, it seems African American kids were being disproportionately suspended. They made up about 6 percent of total enrollment, but 19 percent of suspensions for defiance.

According to the Justice Department’s politically motivated embrace of the “disparate impact” approach, any policy that disproportionately affects a minority group adversely is presumptively racist. It couldn’t possibly be true that black students are, as a group, more likely to defy authority, especially the authority of white teachers, right? The fact that pundits, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, MSNBC, Al Sharpton and the President keep hammering on the idea that America is run by a racist cabal, and that the only reason we aren’t getting ready to replace Teddy Roosevelt with Barack Obama on Mount Rushmore is that his wonderful accomplishments have been denied and distorted by white racists, and that our police departments are hunting down and murdering unarmed young black men as the justice system looks the other way—none of this could possibly be feeding anger, frustration, and hate among  among young black students that is translated into willful defiance in class—why would anyone think that?

The law is lunacy. The California state government is endorsing the idea that the schools, especially white teachers, are bigots, and thus the government is reinforcing exactly the emotions and beliefs that feed African American classroom defiance in the first place. Now uncooperative minority students will be able to have their disruptive conduct validated (with disruptive conduct by non-minority students similarly encouraged), treated gently and with understanding, inevitably reducing the educational value of class by allowing more chaos and less discipline, undermining the education of well-behaved students black or white. Meanwhile, toxic behaviors, attitudes and conduct by students that will hamper their prospects of success after school will not attract trigger negative reinforcement.

And when the out-of-school defiant conduct occurs later in response to a lawful command by a police officer?

You might get Michael Brown.

This is such a good plan. Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Education, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, U.S. Society

Ethics Poll: Target Practice For The North Miami Police

mug shot targets

From the BBC:

[P]olice officers have been…using mug shots of black suspects for target practice in Florida. The images used by North Miami Beach Police were discovered by a female soldier who used the firing range after a police training session…Police Chief J Scott Dennis said that his officers had used poor judgment but denied racial profiling.He told NBC that using real suspect images was an important part of training for his sniper team and that his officers had not violated any policies.

“There is no discipline forthcoming from the individuals who were involved with this,” he said.

A police spokeswoman added on Friday that officers use targets of all races and genders in their training sessions.

Embarrassing. A public relations nightmare for the department. But was using the mugshots unethical? Why?

Let’s vote:

 

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, U.S. Society

Ethics Hero: Montgomery County, Md. Police Chief Tom Manger

"Cops": Chaz Pando as the doomed perp; Nello DeBlasio as the hostage.

“Cops”: Chaz Pando as the doomed perp; Nello DeBlasio as the hostage.

My theater company is performing the 1976 Terry Curtis Fox drama “Cops” as we wind down this season after 20 years. I chose the show, and its companion piece in an evening called “Crime and Punishment in America,” William Saroyan’s classic one-act “Hello Out There,” in direct response to Ferguson, the growing controversy over police violence, the increased racial divide in the U.S. and the gun control debate. Both dramas, as cast, involve African American victims of violence in a law enforcement setting. “Cops,” in particular, features openly biased Chicago police (at least based on their choice of words) and the police execution of a disarmed and surrendering cop-shooter. As the lights fade, the police are discussing what their cover story should be.

I invited the Chief of Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, Tom Manger, to come to the production and field questions from the audience regarding its relevance to current controversies in Ferguson, New York City and across the nation. [Full disclosure: I have known Chief Manger and his wife for many years, and consider them friends] You might recognize him: he was a major figure in the apprehension of the D.C. Snipers, and has been seen and interviewed on the national news and on issue talk shows several times, most recently on CNN’s “State of the Nation” with Candy Crowley. Not only did Tom agree to come, but he let me schedule him twice, said the sessions could be videotaped, and that no question would be off limits.

The first of the talkbacks took place last week (I am moderating another this Sunday), and Tom was as good as his word—candid, blunt, open, and frank.  He was quizzed, hard, by our diverse, astute and always combative audience members about police training, police force diversity, bad cops, police who lie and cover-up misconduct, and racism in the ranks, as well as the details of specific shootings including the local one I have referred to here more than once, in which an unarmed white man, John Geer, was shot and killed by police as he stood in his doorway negotiating with them over a domestic dispute.

Since the episode in Ferguson, Chief Manger said, he has been meeting with community groups two or three evenings a week, doing everything he can to bolster community trust. Among his comments in response to questions: Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Heroes, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, U.S. Society

The Sixth Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2014 (Part 4 of 4)

mamoru-samuragochi2

Outrageous Hoax Of The Year

Mamoru Samuragochi, the composer sometimes known as “The Japanese Beethoven” because he composed critically acclaimed works despite being deaf, was exposed as double fraud: he didn’t compose the works that made him Japan’s most popular classical composer, and he isn’t even really deaf!  Samuragochi hired a musical ghostwriter named Takashi Niigaki to compose more than twenty compositions for Samuragochi since 1996.

Funniest Outrageous Hoax

Fake Panda

This.

Unethical Artist Of The Year

Performance artist Maximo Caminero, who  walked into the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, entered a special exhibit of sixteen ancient Chinese vases painted over in bright colors by celebrated Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, picked up one of them, and immediately after a security guard instructed him not to touch the exhibit, allowed the vase to fall from his hands, shattering into bits. Caminero admitted that smashing the pottery, which was valued at a million dollars,  was intentional, and was his protest against in support of local artists like himself whose work is not exhibited at the museum while the art of international artists like Weiwei is.

Unethical Veterinarian Of The Year

Fort Worth, Texas veterinarian Lou Tierce lost his license for five years as a result of, among other transgressions, his telling the owners of a Leonburger (it’s a very big dog) that their pet was terminally ill and had to be euthanized, then secretly keeping the dog alive in a small cage so he could use Sid’s blood for transfusions to Dr. Tierce’s other canine patients. Eventually an assistant at the clinic blew the whistle and alerted Sid’s owners, who rescued their dog and sicced the law on the worst veterinarian since Dean Jones menaced Beethoven.

Unethical Doctor Of The Year

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s medical expert, endangered the public by defying a voluntary quarantine for possible Ebola exposure,  because she just couldn’t bear to be without her favorite soup.

Scam of the Year

Jonathan-Gruber-1

The Affordable Care Act.

 Unethical Federal Agency Of The Year

The Secret Service. Lots of competition in this category: the Veterans Administration, the I.R.S., the CDC, the Justice Department, NSA…but when you essentially have one job to do and do it badly, sloppily carelessly and dangerously, there’s really not much more to say Continue reading

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