Tag Archives: justice

Wanetta Gibson, The Limits Of Forgiveness, And The Most Unethical Facebook Friend Request Ever

"Come on. Let's hang out. I'm more mature now."

“Come on. Let’s hang out. I’m more mature now.”

Brian Banks, the once-promising high school athlete whose life was upended by a classmate’s false rape accusation that sent him to prison for five years, is now  back on his feet, working for the National Football League, and, by the evidence of his recent profile in the New York Daily News, impressively beyond anger and bitterness. He does tell a stunning story, however, of a day in 2011 when he received an unexpected Facebook friend request from Wanetta Gibson, the woman who, for no apparent reason, did this terrible thing to him. Banks says that she wrote…

“I was hoping we could let bygones be bygones. I was immature back in the day, but I’m much more mature now. Let’s hang out. I’d love to see you. I’ve seen your picture on Facebook. You look real good. I would love to hook up.”

I’ve been trying to think up a fanciful equivalent for this “I know I tried to wreck your life, now will you please let me back into it?” request. Would it be John Hinckley Jr. asking President Ronald Reagan for a job? Edward Snowden replying to an NSA RFP? Maybe V. Stiviano asking Donald Sterling for a job recommendation? I’m not sure any of them would be as bad. “Let bygones be bygones.” Among other things, what an insult this is. How stupid does Gibson think her victim is?

Then there is this chilling statement: I was immature back in the day, but I’m much more mature now.” Translation:  “Yes, now I’m a fully mature vicious sociopath. Don’t you want to renew our relationship?”

These are the situations where someone inevitably argues that Americans believe in redemption, and when I inevitably respond, “You are out of your friggin’ mind.” Some people, not many, but some, are bad to the bone, and the social pressure to forgive the worst of the worst—Did you read the words “I’m sorry” anywhere in that request?—is a trap, set up by those who won’t have to live with the consequences of another betrayal of trust.

Banks, of course, rejected Gibson’s overtures.

Two years later, she recanted her withdrawal of her rape accusation.

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, The Internet, U.S. Society

The NYPD Turns Its Back On De Blasio: What’s Going On Here?

NYPD backs

The rift between New York Mayor de Blasio and his city’s police department  is more than an internal spat. It has the potential to divide and harm the city and citizens, not to mention crashing the Mayor’s already self-jeopardized political career early in his term. Both sides if this dispute committed hostile acts that the other considers grievously disrespectful. Neither combatant appears ready to apologize.

De Blasio crossed what many of his department’s officers consider an uncrossable line when he suggested, in the immediate wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict in the Eric Garner case, that his own bi-racial son was at risk of harm should he be apprehended by the NYPD. As I have written before, this was not, as the spinners would have it, just a case of a mayor being candid about genuine problem in community relations. This was a tacit endorsement of the “hands up” protests and their contention that Garner, Mike Brown and others were the victims of police racism, that police are killing, likely to kill, want to kill, black kids. It doesn’t matter that de Blasio may not have intended that implication: under the circumstances and in the context of events, this is what police officers interpreted his remarks to mean. He was siding against them. He was suggesting that the grand jury was wrong not to indict. He was suggesting not that some NYPD officers were racially biased, but that black children like his son “may not be [Translation: “are not“] safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”

The police have responded with multiple demonstrations of anger and contempt for their boss. Most recently, there were boos and jeers when De Blasio spoke at a police graduation ceremony this week. Over a hundred officers symbolically turned their backs when the mayor spoke at the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos, who was assassinated by a man who suggested that he was seeking vengeance for the deaths of Garner and Brown. That had followed the theme of an airplane-towed banner over the city that read,“Our backs have turned to you,”which in turn was inspired by the spontaneous gesture by officers present when de Blasio visited the hospital where the bodies of Officer Ramos and his partner lay.

The New York Times, which has been guilty of bolstering the “hands up” lie by carelessly linking the deaths of Brown and Garner as well as Trayvon Martin, none of which can be fairly blamed on racism based on available evidence, has come down squarely against the police, writing in an editorial: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Public Service, Race, Workplace

The “Non-Violent Protest” Lie

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The leaders and participants in the protests related to incidents of excessive police force and violence—real, imagined, manufactured or equivocal—are creating an environment of racial distrust, fear and hate that cannot avoid  resulting in violence. Yet astoundingly, they not only deny the natural consequences of their words and rhetoric but feign indignation (and racism, of course) when the effort, long underway with the assistance of such accomplices as Eric Holder, Barack Obama and Bill De Blasio, is properly condemned as the dangerous and reckless attack on society that it is.

I am not sure which amazes me more: that demagogues like Al Sharpton would have the audacity to proclaim that his organized campaign of hate against police, accusing them of being both racist executioners and the embodiment of a racist justice system, or the caliber of pundits who have rushed to Sharpton’s defense. How can this be? African-Americans are told, for years now, that whites with guns are hunting them; that police are determined to kill them, that the justice system is rigged to let the carnage continue. The carriers of this message includes members of Congress, celebrities, civil rights activists, the Attorney General and the President of the United States. False accounts that support this gross characterization of  disparate incidents, each with unique circumstances, are turned into rallying cries, such as “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!”  The left-biased media openly endorses the narrative, which says that black Americans are being hunted coast-to-coastby an armed force, determined to kill their children.

But the protest is “non-violent.” Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, The Internet, U.S. Society, Unethical Blog Post

Just A Reminder: I Warned About This From The Start, Almost Three Years Ago

Poor Cassandra. I know how she felt.

Poor Cassandra. I know how she felt.

The Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck, which encompasses the shooting of two police officers in New York City, is just the second section of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck. The coordinated effort to represent the American justice system as hostile to blacks, and white society as determined to harm them, was launched in Florida in early 2012, nearly three years ago.  It might have failed then, as it deserved to since there was no genuine racial element in the actual Martin-Zimmerman episode, had not the President of the United States used his bully pulpit, credibility with black Americans and the power and influence of his office to declare the local incident as emblematic of societal hostility to African-Americans, and Obama personally. This, as I wrote earlier this week, lit the fuse that exploded into racial violence against police this past week.

I saw it then. I have seldom seen anything more clearly.  So I wrote:

What does {Obama] think he’s doing? Teens, children and adults are murdered every day, many of them right where Obama lives, in Washington, D.C. Aren’t all of the violent deaths “tragedies”? Why is this one, and only this one, worthy of specific presidential attention? Is it because black leaders called for the President to overstep his proper role? Who cares what activists call on the President to do—certainly he shouldn’t. Does this now justify their calls for retribution and violence, or validate high school students who are staging walk-outs to protest law enforcement officials investigating a case before they make any arrest? (Are high school students now empowered to dictate law enforcement policy? Suspend every single one of them.)

What earthly difference does it make what Trayvon looked like, who his death makes the President think about, or whether he looked like the son Obama never had? So what? What if he looked like my son? Not good enough? When a white, Hispanic or Asian kid in a hoodie is shot by some gun-wielding hysteric, can those parents also count on a statement of concern by Obama? What if they are just run down by a drunk driver, or killed by being left in an over-heated car? Not tragic enough? Doesn’t strike the same chord of of “seriousness”? Or will these tragic deaths not be viewed as sufficiently important to the President’s “base” in an election year? Do you think these questions are unfair? Who laid the groundwork for them?

Misusing his office and prestige in such matters simultaneously diminishes the presidency and warps its function. The position has always included the role of Mourner-in-Chief, at times of genuine national tragedies, such as the Twin Tower bombings, the Challenger disaster, and Pearl Harbor. Cheapening this solemn function by intervening in local crimes and contentious race-charged controversies accomplishes nothing positive: it is divisive, intrusive, and dangerous.

Got that? Dangerous. I chose that word deliberately. March 12, 2012.

Reading the comments again now is fascinating: readers conservative and liberal denounced my criticism as unfair, after the usual “Bush did it too” spin from the reflex Obama defenders.

Arthur in Maine wrote: Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Race, U.S. Society

Comment Of The Day: “After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My ‘Smear'”

Neil Dorr is among my favorite regular Ethics Alarms commenters, because he is passionate, articulate and fearless, and because he disagrees with me about 85% of the time. I’m also fond of Neil because he is part of an esteemed father-son team here: Karl Penny, his dad, had registered his commentary at Ethics Alarms since its launch. Neil informed me this month that his father had died, suddenly and unexpectedly. It is strange: I had never met Karl face-to-face, but I feel like I have lost a friend, so vivid and good-natured were his periodic communications here. Neil, of course, has lost far more, and my heart and good wishes go out to him and his family.

Someone had to register this response to my conclusions regarding the assassinations of two police officers in New York. I assumed that this would be the reaction of many and perhaps the majority, which is why I almost didn’t post my position. I know it walks into the spinning propeller of predictable resistance to truth-telling on this issue.

The media is already doing a bang-up job confusing the public and muddying the water, primarily by misrepresenting the situation as a) a dispute over “police abuse,”when the issue is the presumed racism of the system; b) focusing on NYC Mayor De Blasio, who is a minor player at best, and c) making it seem like the consequences of the despicable “Hands up!” propaganda are a local New York issue only. In this they have been ably assisted by clumsy blow-hards like Rudy Giuliani, who virtually made a straw man and handed it to his critics. “Is Giuliani correct in saying that President Obama started a propaganda campaign four months ago that “everybody should hate the police”? asked Washington Post “Fact Checker” on the way to giving Rudy four “Pinnochios.” Of course he wasn’t correct. I, however, am correct when I conclude that Obama and others have created an environment where African Americans fear and distrust the police, the justice system, and their fellow citizens who happen to be white more than any period since the Civil Rights movement. I know that Obama supporters  disheartened Democrats hate to hear this, and will resist accepting it like the approach of grim death. They can take solace, perhaps, in the fact that my influence on and ability to enlighten public perception is negligible, so with the help of the news media, accountability can be ducked once again, at least for a while. Maybe after the death toll rises sufficiently, people will be ready to listen….to someone else with a bigger megaphone, presumably.

Here is Neil Dorr’s Comment of the Day on the post “After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My ‘Smear,'” and yes, I will have a rebuttal at the end: Continue reading

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Filed under Comment of the Day, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race

After The Brooklyn Cop Murders, The Sound Of Spinning: WindyPundit Takes On My “Smear”

None for me, thanks.

None for me, thanks.

Mark Draughn, a.k.a Windypundit and the Ethics Alarms 2013 “Blogger of the Year,”  has swallowed the Kool-Aid, apparently, and decided to defend the race-baiters, from the tippety top of our government to the stygian depths of MSNBC, who have finally managed to get police killed in retaliation for the “racist murders” of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and others. In his most recent post he challenged my analysis, and ended up making me feel pretty good about it. I love Mark’s blog and admire Mark’s mind, and if can’t do any better than this, I am obviously on firm ground.

I want you all to visit Windypundit, for Mark is terrific (usually), so I’m not going to go through the whole post, which you can read here. I will make a few salient observations though. Let’s play “Mark Says”:

Mark Says:

“I knew there would be people who would take Brinsley’s reputed motive and use it to smear protesters and activists who had spoken out against police abuse.”

1. Mark wrote this before my straw man post, and sure enough, he followed the script. It’s about “police abuse.” Right. Not race. Not the racism of whites, the hunting down of black men; not about how blacks can’t get justice even when they have been gunned down with their hands in the air. Indeed, it’s not “about” any of the irresponsible, exaggerated, inflammatory accusations that we have been hearing since Trayvon Martin was shot…and not by a cop, either.

2. “Reputed motive.” Mark thinks I am unfair to conclude that a killer who wrote online that he was going to kill some “pigs” in retaliation for police killing Mike Brown and Eric Garner killed the two police officers in retaliation for police killing Mike Brown and Eric Garner.  Got it.

3. I’m smearing protesters! These are, recall, protesters who, by their use of the “hands up, don’t shoot” theme, were smearing a specific police officer with the false claim that he was a racist and a murderer, though the evidence says otherwise, and smearing the integrity of the citizens on the grand jury who refused to indict him.  By extending this smear to police generally, they were also asserting that this—that is, the fictional racist murder of that “harmless, unarmed black teen” who had just tried to take the officer’s gun and was charging all 300 pounds of his body at Officer Wilson—was the potential orientation of all white police.  I was smearing them by pointing out that this was divisive, inflammatory, dishonest and irresponsible. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Train Wrecks, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, U.S. Society

The Straw Man Cometh: Confronted With The Inevitable Results Of Their Race-Baiting, The “Hands-Up!” Crowd Claims It Was All A Misunderstanding

strawmanargument

Don’t let them get away with this.

The Straw Man logical fallacy occurs when a person ignores the actual issue being debated and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of the opposing position that is easier to rebut. For years, there has been an organized effort in the Obama Administration, the progressive movement, the civil rights movement and among black activists to represent American society as racist, along with the American law enforcement system and justice systems, and to maintain  the false narrative that racism was responsible for several high-profile deaths of black men, and that specific police officers, such as Darren Wilson, were guilty of racist executions and exonerated by a racist system.

The strategy has been richly fertilized by relentless accusations that white voters and the Republican party hold racial animus against Barack Obama because of his race. The deliberately divisive effort has resulted in a level of fear, anger and distrust of white Americans in the African American community not seen in over half a century, with white police officers serving as the immediate targets. Predictably, two New York City cops were assassinated by a deranged black man after posting social media messages referencing the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, and critics have correctly stated that the reckless race-baiters have “blood on their hands.” Sensing that a looming tipping point may be going against their divide and conquer agenda, they are ducking and weaving like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Continue reading

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Filed under Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, U.S. Society