I really hate thinking this, much less writing it.
At this moment, race relations in the United States are in a more precarious and dangerous state than at any time since the 1960s. The arrogance, incompetence, biases, and in some cases intentional political machinations of the nation’s first African American President and his party are substantially and perhaps primarily responsible for this tragedy. This is a catastrophe for the nation and its society, though one that the mainstream media will deny, obscure, or refuse to admit. It is still true.
As we begin December 21, 2014, two NYPD police officers named Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, one white and one Asian, are dead, having been assassinated by a deranged African American criminal who drove from Baltimore to New York in order to put “pigs in a blanket.” He announced his plan with message referencing the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, as well as “them” and “us”—“us” being black men, “them” being police officers.
You will hear and read Obama/Holder/Sharpton/ De Blasio defenders furiously denying the connection between these politicians’ repeated suggestions that white police officers were profiling black men and often killing them, and the racial hatred currently focused on police. They will say that the killer, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, was insane, and perhaps that he was more likely a lone wolf Islamic terrorist. The journalists should be reminded that they were immune to such alternative theories when they blamed the Tucson attack that maimed Congresswoman Gaby Giffords on the rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, even though the shooter in that case had no smoking hashtags that indicated any motivation other than insanity.
Ironically, their arguments apply fairly now, when they did not then. Re-read Paul Krugman’s infamous column from 2011, substituting the “climate of hate” he attributed to attacks on big government by conservatives (because, like the Michigan professor who authored this, Krugman doesn’t regard what he and other liberals express as hate, just well-earned contempt) with the real and deadly racial distrust and suspicion nurtured by the rhetoric of black leaders, progressive pundits, and others, suggesting that young, black men are being hunted down and killed for the crime of being black. Krugman won’t make that argument now, but if he had any integrity or objectivity, he would.
President Obama, elected on the promise that he would bring the races together, lit the long fuse for this unfolding disaster for our democracy in July of 2009, less than a year into his first term. A prominent African American professor, Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., acted like a jerk to a white Cambridge, Mass. police officer responding to a call, and was arrested for disturbing the peace. Obama, in the first of his many unethical pronouncements that interfered with local matters completely unrelated to his job, made public comments suggesting that Gates was treated unjustly because of his race. The facts indicated that Obama had impugned the character of not only a model police officer, but one recognized for extraordinary sensitivity in the area of black community relations. There was no public apology from Obama, however, and the fuse was lit.As Obama’s star-crossed journey through his presidency continued and the gaffes, botches, failures, and examples of non-feasance, malfeasance and misfeasance under his leadership proliferated, he allowed his surrogates to resort to race-baiting as the main line of defense. Republicans were racist, conservatives were racist, the Tea Party was racist, and whites were racist: whatever problems Barack Obama had presiding over the government, they weren’t due to the fact that he had no governing experience and skill whatsoever, or that he refused to get his hands dirty in the rough quid pro quos of politics, they were all due to racism.
No, the country that elected Barack Obama really hates blacks. This theme had the advantage of both providing a ready made excuse for every failure, and ensuring the loyalty and passions of the indispensable Democratic base,—African American citizens whose support for Obama was near unanimous, and based on pride and identification rather than results. Make blacks afraid of Republicans. That has been the plan, and the strategy. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains!” crowed Obama’s #2, Joe Biden, during the 2012 campaign.
A President who was serious about making race relations better would have rebuked his VP after this, just as that honorable loser John McCain rebuked a birther at a campaign rally in 2008 who said Obama wasn’t an American.
Obama applied a blowtorch to that smoldering fuse in March of 2012, when immediately after saying that he wouldn’t comment on the “local law enforcement matter” of Trayvon Martin’s death, noted that the slain young man “could have been” his son, endorsing a racial-profiling interpretation of the events leading to Martin’s death. Though no evidence has ever surfaced to indicate race played any part in the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Martin, the perception that it was a racial hate crime persists in the news media and among the public, especially in the African American community. The fact that the President of the United States endorsed that view—irresponsibly, recklessly, unjustly—is a major reason why.
It worked, though. The fear-mongering got blacks to the polls, ensuring the President a second term.
In case the message was fading, Obama re-sent it and doubled down in July of 2013, helping to inflame the black community again after Zimmerman was acquitted of murder—a just and necessary verdict, since there wasn’t sufficient evidence to indict him. “When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” President Obama told reporters after the verdict. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” Or he could have been a white kid, or my son: still there was and is no reason to assume that race played any role in Martin’s death, and it was pure cultural poison for the President of the United States to suggest otherwise.
The entire approach of Obama’s racialized administration suggested otherwise. Al Sharpton, a professional race-baiter whose ability to pay off his huge debt to the IRS depends on exacerbating racial divisions, became an ad hoc advisor to the White House. Eric Holder was permitted to send the message to the “base” that Obama’s Justice Department and Attorney General were Sharpton admirers and shared his views, as Holder gave briefings to Sharpton’s organization. Holder met with Martin’s parents—why, if not to make an official statement that their son had been the victim of a racist crime? Why was the Attorney General taking sides in alocal law enforcement matter?—and then, unethically, announced a civil rights investigation of the Martin-Zimmerman affair based not on what happened, but on the activists’ fictional narrative.
By 2013 the ineptitude of President Obama’s leadership and his subordinates had became impossible to deny, even for the complicit news media. This called for increased claims by Democrats that Obama was being criticized only for his race. Obama could have stopped this tactic; he could have stopped it from the beginning. He did not—it was politically invaluable to have African Americans convinced that whites wouldn’t give “their” President a fair shake, rather than allow him to be held accountable for his record.
Everything was in place for a full-blown racial incident, and when the lawyer of Trayvon Martin’s parents got together with the grieving family of Mike Brown, a black teen shot in an altercation with a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, activists, politicians and others decided that this was it. That the unfolding facts again didn’t support the initial false narrative, seeded by what should have been seen as an inherently unreliable source, the slain man’s cohort in crime, couldn’t halt what six years of an organized campaign of racial divisiveness had set in motion. There had been many incidents in past administrations of black men killed by police that never became rallying points for anti-police and anti-white rhetoric—some of them undoubtedly involved racial profiling and excessive force. But the “climate of hate” hadn’t been cultivated then; a frustrated African American population that has fared badly under the leadership of a black President wasn’t seeking explanations then, and most of all, a President and his party weren’t regularly suggesting that all of the progress in racial equality and the elimination of prejudice over the last 50 years was an illusion.
Once again, Holder embraced the parents of the shooting, symbolically siding with them, symbolically making the tragedy a racial one based on no evidence at all. He had, and through him, the President had, endorsed their contention that their son was murdered, indeed executed, with his hands in the air. After a grand jury properly refused to indict, since the most reliable evidence supported Officer Wilson’s account, Holder again announced a civil rights inquiry despite absence of any evidence that race was involved.
“Hands up, don’t shoot!,” a characterization of the circumstances of Brown’s death that essentially accuses Officer Wilson of being a racist executioner, has been chanted by Sharpton, still a regular Obama ally, protesters, rioters, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. When a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict a police officer after African American Eric Garner died following what appeared to be the use of excessive police force and an apparent chokehold, New York City Mayor De Blasio took his cue from the leader of his nation and his party, again implying that Garner was killed by police because of his race. He said, “I’ve had to worry over the years, [my wife] Chirlane has had to worry: Is [my bi-racial son] Dante safe each night? And not just from some of the painful realities of crime and violence in some of our neighborhoods but safe from the very people they want to have faith in as their protectors.”
Police are hunting down and killing unarmed black men, and the white-dominated justice system is content to let them do it.
President Obama could have and should have steered the nation away from this conclusion, which is unfair, divisive, and incendiary. He has the communication skills to do so, and the credibility with African Americans to be believed. He did not. He chose instead to aid and abet the perpetration of that lie, by his own words and actions and by permitting others within his influence and control to repeat that false assertion.
Now two police officers are dead, with more bloodshed likely to follow. Yet this is the least of the damage that has been done here. Fifty years of progress on race has been unraveled by the cynical and irresponsible actions of America’s first black President and his party, and everyone, everyone, as well as the nation itself, will suffer terribly as a consequence, for years and probably decades to come. Unless he works a miracle of education, reconciliation and justice in the two years he has remaining as President, this will be Barack Obama’s legacy, as disgraceful and damning as that of any Chief Executive in our history.
PS: I know this post is linked below by WordPress, but it really does put the disingenuous arguments, mounting below and elsewhere, that the issue is police using excessive force, not racist police, in perspective.
40 thoughts on “President Obama’s Unexpected Legacy: The Deadly Deterioration Of Racial Reconciliation And Trust”
.Police are hunting down and killing unarmed black men, and the white-dominated justice system is content to let them do it.
This. While I don’t think that police are deliberately hunting down black men and killing them, when a rogue or bad cop does go too far and abuses or kills someone of a marginalized group, very rarely is any punishment forthcoming for that cop. Instead, the cops close ranks, and no justice is forthcoming. It’s a phenomena that has been happening for decades (if not centuries) in this country, and it has been too easy for it to be swept under the rug. After all, who are other whites supposed to believe, a fine cop from their own community, or one of the outcast groups, who everyone knows are are all hulking criminals anyway?
It is only recently, with the near ubiquity of the cell phone camera, have people been unable to deny what people have been telling them all along. Yet even with indisputable evidence, like in the John Crawford case, where the video clearly shows he was not even facing the cops, not pointing his airsoft gun at anyone, nor even given a chance to put it down (all in an open carry state) before he was shot and killed by the cops, they still get off scot-free. The police report said they had told him to put the weapon down, clearly contradicted. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/24/john-crawford-air-rifle-video_n_5878022.html
Or Tamir Rice, where the police report said they told him to drop the weapon three times before fatally shooting the 12 year old. Video shows no such time for that to occur. It also shows he didn’t have his toy gun out at all.
It is the stop and frisk policy where recordings show that police were directed to target African-Americans (even against individual police wishes), and the results show that more black men were detained by police than actually exist in NYC? Yet people are not supposed to protest? People should humbly bow their heads and accept it. Just ridiculous. People are supposed to trust the police and their outcomes, when the police have shown no such inclination to police themselves? It’s frustration boiling over that you see, and Obama has nothing to do with it.
Perhaps for you, there is no race problem. You probably have no fear of visiting NYC and being thrown up against a building to be patted down in front of your friends and family, or of being pulled over, and shot while reaching for your wallet to show your ID, or of being detained because you fit the description (i.e. white guy) while walking somewhere and minding your business. But just because you don’t see it, feel it, and live it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is unethical to suggest that people who are feeling the effects of such unequal policies shut up and accept the injustices ladled out to them, and to excoriate people who have some power to try to ameliorate the effects of those who are powerless.
So which ethnic groups should police target, then?
None. People should be stopped because of suspicious behavior. Walking while African-American, Hispanic, Eskimo, etc is not a suspicious behavior. If the police can’t articulate anything more than that, they shouldn’t be stopping people.
The problem is, some ethnic groups commit more crimes than others.
Deery wrote: ” It is unethical to suggest that people who are feeling the effects of such unequal policies shut up and accept the injustices ladled out to them, and to excoriate people who have some power to try to ameliorate the effects of those who are powerless.”
Agreed. But you’re missing the larger point – which is this: when the central narratives of those protests are politically-motivated lies – regardless of the larger underlying issue – the protests will ultimately be futile.
Actually, worse than futile, because in addition to not reaching the goal, they will actually undo a lot of the good that has been done.
Putting things in more pragmatic terms: if you even imagine that these assassinations will make cops more circumspect and less likely to shoot first and ask questions later, you’re delusional.
Agreed. But you’re missing the larger point – which is this: when the central narratives of those protests are politically-motivated lies – regardless of the larger underlying issue – the protests will ultimately be futile.
But what are the lies? Police have been targeting African-Americans and Hispanics for decades now, on the record, with statistics to back it up, and the response by those in power has been to defend the policies or shrug and pay attention to other things. Police are very rarely prosecuted for killing or abusing civilians, even when their accounts have been clearly contradicted, and the reaction has been to defend and/or shrug and turn away.
Rather than drumming the bad apples out of their ranks, the police reaction has been to instead close ranks and defend the bad apples instead. The “blue wall” is real.
I do agree with you that without some articulated goal, the protests will ultimately be futile. After Ferguson, there was a big push for body cameras, but after the Garner case, many people believe that is a waste of money, since even a killing on video tape can be excused. So some now are calling for special prosecutors to be appointed in the case of police killings to overcome the perception of bias that has infected the prosecution of some of these killings, but I remain skeptical of that as a solution. Right now people are obviously frustrated, angry, and scared. They feel dismissed, as if their concerns are not being heard, and they want their experiences taken into account. Hopefully some real, workable solutions will come out of it, but that will take some time.
As far as the killer lunatic goes…I’m not moved. Killers in America crave fame, and they often attach themselves to news items, or try to kill famous people to achieve it. Those that can’t do that just try to rack up kills in numbers. This guy seems in the tradition of those types. Disturbed person gets his hand on a gun, uses it to kill people. Another day in America. Yet no one in power on the protestor side is lauding his actions, or supporting him, or saying we should “wait until all the facts are in before rushing to judgment.”. Compare and contrast.
The lies, Deery, include that Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown in the back when he had his hands up, and that Trayvon Martin was targeted because he was black. As Jack has pointed out time and again, there is NO evidence in either case. Wanna bring Garner in? Clear case of a guy resisting arrest. Ample evidence of underlying health issues.
You want to center the discussion on that kid with the toy gun, we can probably find agreement. And I’ve not doubt that there are numerous other cases that can be cited in which the police were clearly overzealous in response, and in which race may very well have been a factor.
So if we want to have a sober discussion centering on THOSE cases, I’m with you. But if you want to center the discussion – or the protests – on incomplete information, selective editing and sensationalism by the news media, exploitation by radicals and race hustlers and abuse of power by the Executive Branch – which is in a unique position to both calm things down and effect real change – then I tell you this: Jack is absolutely right. These assholes are taking us backwards, and undoing in a few months what took more than 50 years to build.
God help us all.
With Garner, the police used a forbidden chokehold to take down a guy who should not have even been arrested in the first place. Brown, there were conflicting stories, but I think one of the reasons it caught the attention of the media in the first place, even before the surrender story was put out, was the fact that the officer was shooting at a fleeing suspect, and then they left his body out, uncovered, for so long (and then later there were the missing/truncated reports, the conflicting stories, yada yada). And then there was Crawford, Gurley, Rice, Corey….for many people it became obvious that the police had carte blanche to do as they willed with minorities, up to, and including killing them. I think it was a sense of mounting frustration, and each case built on top of the other, until the camel’s back broke. It isn’t an individual case, it is part of the historical record of policing policies in minority communities, the rise of the camera, and a sense of shamelessness on the part of the police departments.
With stop and frisk, once the recordings came to light which showed indisputably that the police were indeed, as had always been alleged, targeting specifically African-Americans and Latinos, did the police back away from defending the policy? No, instead they doubled down, defending it even more than they did before. Yet they wonder why minorities view them with suspicion and fear?
I don’t think anyone is taking us back. I don’t see race hustlers and agitators. Such talk reminds of whites back in the Civil Rights era blaming outside agitators for riling up their “good blacks” in the community, who were perfectly happy (of course) before someone from the outside got them all excited demanding their rights. People were unhappy with the state of things. All the recent events have done was coalesce those feelings into a widespread sense of action and a demand for change. Once again, just because some people don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
There is obviously an institutionalized problem with getting rid of the bad apples in the police force, and it will need a systematic change to fix it. Those who have no stake, and feel that things are perfectly fine the way things are now will of course see no need to fix a system they feel works perfectly fine for them. Those who feel the brunt of those effects, will feel differently.
“With Garner, the police used a forbidden chokehold to take down a guy who should not have even been arrested in the first place. Brown, there were conflicting stories, but I think one of the reasons it caught the attention of the media in the first place, even before the surrender story was put out, was the fact that the officer was shooting at a fleeing suspect, and then they left his body out, uncovered, for so long (and then later there were the missing/truncated reports, the conflicting stories, yada yada).”
Let’s stipulate that the chokehold on Garner was forbidden; I’ve seen the videos and while Garner was clearly resisting arrest, the officer indeed used a forbidden move. I remain unconvinced, due to the fact that he had a lot of underlying medical conditions, that the chokehold itself killed him.
Your statement that Garner “should not have been arrested in the first place” is a matter of opinion, not a matter of law. He was known to police, and had a long track record of arrests. That the vast majority of these crimes were misdemeanors does not give you the right to determine whether or not he should have been arrested.
Jump shift to Brown: The media made a massive assumption that “the officer was shooting at a fleeing suspect” – an assumption based on a lie told by an accessory to a crime. The media is absolutely complicit in the current shitstorm. The Ferguson PD made a numbrer of serious mistakes in this case – including your cited “leaving his body out” and not clearly putting forth a cogent story of what happened earlier.
Then again, I deal with some of this stuff for a living. Often, you don’t know until many hours after the fact what actually happened. Sometimes it takes a very long time.
Finally, deery, consider this: African-Americans constitute approximately 25 percent of the population of New York City. According to NYC PD stats, African-Americans are responsible for at least 54 percent of NYC’s murders, 46 percent of its rapes, 62 percent of its armed robberies, 52 percent of its felonious assaults, 51 percent of its grand larcenies, 73 percent of its shootings and 69 percent of its firearm violations,
Yet they account for only 55 percent of police inquisitory stops.
Here’s a suggestion. Want cops top stop targeting African-Americans? So do I. Come up with a cost-effective program that decreases African-American criminal activity. The US government has spent trillions on this without success.
Create such a program and I guarantee there’s a Nobel Peace Prize in it for you.
How long Brown’s body was left in place is optics only: it has no relevance to the circumstances of Brown’s shooting, not one bit. ME’s have told me that the amount of time required to process that scene was not unusual or unreasonable. But like everything else in the Brown case, that issue was also interpreted through toxic media bias for public misinformation.
Between African-Americans and Latinos, they made up about 90% of all stop and frisks. Of those stopped, about 90% were innocent of any wrongdoing. While you may be content for your rights to be violated to catch the minority of wrongdoers out there, most people tend to resent that. Why should people’s rights be violated because of other people who they have no control over, and they have no voluntary relationship with. I guess it is easy to tell people to have mud for dinner if you are secure in the knowledge that you won’t be eating it any time soon.
As far Garner and Brown go, it’s almost beside the point. They and Rice, and Crawford, and the countless others are symbols of the ongoing distrust that many minority communities toward the police. This isn’t new, and it wasn’t created by Sharpton or Obama. It has been an American constant for decades, if not longer. The fact is, there is the persistent feeling that the police are allowed to violate minority rights with impunity, and the greater community is either content to look away or explicitly cheer it on.
Americans pride themselves so much on being individuals, yet think nothing of denying minorities basic rights based on the actions of a tiny subset of individuals that the broader community has little to no control over. Yet collective punishment seems to be the answer? But on the other hand these self-same people will also deny that any racial discrimination exists. The cognitive dissonance is amazing.
As far Garner and Brown go, it’s almost beside the point.
There you go again: the facts are beside the point. This is pure Sharpton: it doesn’t matter that Tawana Brawley wasn’t really raped and smeared with shit, what matters is that she could have been. Pre-Obama and Holder, this was understood, even by the left, to be the irresponsible and fraudulent argument it was. Now its standard issue. When a cop unjustly stops a citizen, prove it and discipline the cop. When a cop guns down a citizen without just reason or provocation, prove it and punish the cop. Picking a random incident and assuming that a crime has been committed to create a sacrificial scapegoat is barbaric as well as unjust and stuoid, and I really don’t care what the imagined or real provocation for it is. It’s wrong.
Stop and frisk has always been a policy ripe for abuse and profiling. Ethically, its a tough call…it is, however, essentially the same trade-off as airport security, and it’s less intrusive and more effective. As a flyer, I’ve been profiled and searched over 50 times this year, more, I’ll bet, than any innocent black man in NYC. I have no choice in the matter, and I’m not looking for fake allegations of TSA cruelty so I can justify a protest. As an innocent, not terrorist, I’m willing to accept the indignity and inconvenience in the interest of saving lives. Are innocent black citizens not similarly willing to be inconvenienced to save 300 lives a year, including, perhaps, their own? If not, why not?
You blame Holder and Obama and Sharpton for stirring up resentment against the police, as if there was a time when minority communities trusted the police to police themselves, and but for Obama et al’s actions, everyone would be sitting around singing kumbaya. All Obama and Sharpton and whomever have done is provide a more publicized voice to what has always been a common sentiment. I also note the concentration on Brown and Garner, and the complete dismissal of Rice, Crawford, and the others. With Brown, people are more willing to believe Johnson’ story because experience has taught them that police lie in these situations, and that they will invariably disbelieved in the absence of clear evidence otherwise. Garner was
If stop and frisk was randomly deployed the way that screening for TSA (supposedly) is, you would see far less resentment from minority communities. But when the brunt of police action is concentrated on certain populations, the vast majority of whom have committed no wrongdoing, yes, you will see protests. People scream bloody murder about those TSA checks, and they are relatively unobtrusive. Imagine being thrown up against the wall and subjected to a full genital fondling when you just want to come in and out of your house. But I guess that is something black people should just accept and endure…because they are black. For someone who doesn’t believe there is a racial caste system, you certainly endorse just such a system; I guess for black people’s own good, the poor dears. Yet you also believe that for some reason black people couldn’t naturally resent such treatment, they have to be riled up by outside agitators. Cognitive dissonance indeed.
You are aware that this is done because so many black people are victims of criminals who happen to be black, right? That is the rationale behind profiling.
Ah, “we are depriving of your rights for your own good.” You can see why that doesn’t fly? Correct. Let’s do the same for gun owners, or men, or people who make less than $75,000 a year and see how well that reasoning flies.
It depends on the degree of the intrusion.
Without exception, everything the government does involves an amount of coerciveness. The question we need to ask is what level of coercion is acceptable, and especially in areas where rights are involved and conflict, the best answer is often a net sum game. Black people are killing black people in the thousands annually in America. If black lives actually matter, things like stop and frisk should be seen as a necessary evil. Stop and Frisk has racial connotations, but it has those connotations against the backdrop of crime statistics that show that young black men are more likely to commit a crime.
The vast majority of young black men are innocent of any crime. Why should they give up their rights in favor of the minority that are criminals? Who agrees to be deprived of their Constitutional rights to be seen as individuals under the law and by government institutions in favor of collective punishment?
Men do the overwhelming majority of crimes too, let’s also deprive them of their rights as well. People who make under $50,000 a year fall under this category as well, let’s do the same. Or is it ok because black people are an easily distinguishable minority? “Constitutional rights for me, none for thee”, I guess seems to be the operating MO around here. “Black people aren’t victims of unfair treatment and discrimination, though when they are, it’s for their own good, and they should accept it”, to basically sum up your line of argument. The hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance are overwhelming.
Black people are killing black people in the thousands annually in America. If black lives actually matter, things like stop and frisk should be seen as a necessary evil.
Apply your same arguments to gun control. But stop and frisk has not been shown to stop crime, or lower murder rates. It’s security drama, make-busy work for police officers, as the supermajority of people they stop are innocent of any wrongdoing. In places that do not employ stop and frisk, crime went down at the same rate as it did in NYC. Stop and frisk is ineffective, intrusive, and as practiced, unconstitutional and discriminatory.
Gun control (like searches of people’s homes) involves a greater degree of intrusion than stop and frisk, as it infringes on a fundamental right.
One can consistently argue that racial profiling is acceptable regarding stopping and frisking people in public, but not so when it comes to deciding who may get concealed carry weapons permits, or the issuance of warrants to search people’s homes. A search in public that takes less than a minute is surely less intrusive on one’s rights than the search inside one’s home, or being denied the legal ability to carry a concealed weapon.
A search in public that takes less than a minute is surely less intrusive on one’s rights than the search inside one’s home, or being denied the legal ability to carry a concealed weapon.
Being thrown up against a wall, having your genitals fondled, and having a gun drawn on you might be less intrusive than having your house searched, but that would be a matter of opinion, and both can incredibly violating experiences. I posted this on another thread, but here is a audio recording of a stop and frisk in progress, one of the few known to exist: http://www.thenation.com/article/170413/stopped-and-frisked-being-fking-mutt-video Imagine having to endure that on a constant basis. This treatment by police is what people are protesting, and what you and others are blithely recommending that people endure, “for their own good”, of course.
You blame Holder and Obama and Sharpton for stirring up resentment against the police, as if there was a time when minority communities trusted the police to police themselves, and but for Obama et al’s actions, everyone would be sitting around singing kumbaya. All Obama and Sharpton and whomever have done is provide a more publicized voice to what has always been a common sentiment.
I doubt that I really have to explain what’s ethically absurd about THAT statement. So as long as a lot of people think that racist cops are trying to kill them, it’s OK for the leader of the country to encourage that belief based on no facts at all!
This logic also gets Michelle off the hook: since a lot of her admirers are racists and think that all whites are bigots, its reasonable for her to accuse an innocent white shopper of “profiling her” when even she didn’t think that’s what happened.
Yup, according to all polls, studies and current events, racial distrust is at an all-time high, and I believe the current President, who has more influence over black attitudes than any President before him, is substantially responsible. Because he is.
I don’t know about racial distrust, but polls do cite that more people are increasingly aware of race as an ongoing problem. I don’t see that as necessarily a bad thing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/19/americans-increasingly-say-race-is-the-countrys-most-important-issue/
Ask the families of the dead cops if they see this as a bad thing.
Interesting conflation. Communities asking for fairer treatment are responsible for some lunatic gunning down police (as well as other people, who don’t count, I guess)? How can a problem be addressed if some refuse to see exits, or worse, acknowledge that it exists, but feel that no one should protest this unequal treatment, as you apparently do?
You’re ducking, and until you focus, I won’t fix that typo. Nothing wrong with demanding reform and addressing real misconduct. What’s wrong is dealing in gross and extreme generalities and misrepresentations, victimizing innocent public servants for political expediency, fearmongering, and lying. (Hands up! is a lie.) Racial distrust becomes racial hate–you are justifying and rationalizing the cause of those murders. Distrust is always a bad thing, unless it is justified. So you are arguing that blacks should distrust whites. Racist. That’s what that is.
Distrust is always a bad thing, unless it is justified. So you are arguing that blacks should distrust whites. Racist. That’s what that is.
Once again, conflation. The police do not equal white people. You have a habit of equating the two, which may be part of the problem. Communities do have a distrust of the police, because they have proven over and over again that when it comes to abuses that originate from their ranks, there will be little to no repercussions. These protests are the natural result of the that realization. If there is nothing wrong with wanting reform and wanting to police to address misconduct, then what’s the problem? Agree to the reforms, address the misconduct when it occurs, and move on.
Demonizing people who are concerned about real issues in their communities, dismissing their concerns, and even worse, advising that they should endure the erosion of their rights and agree not to be treated as equal citizens of the law because of their skin color seems to me to be the height of racism, but I guess we all have our own definitions at this point.
Once again, embarrassing bullshit. So now it’s just police, as if they are a different species if white? Would we have heard of Mike Brown if Wilson was black? No. So it is whites under suspicion, not just white police.
Why was Zimmerman accused of profiling, by the President, no less, if this is just about those strange, inhuman, brutal racists known as “police”? He wasn’t a cop, but he was (sort of) white, and he shot a black man, so it was automatically a racist murder. Then it was the racist DA, then then racist jury; in Ferguson, it was another racist DA and racist grand jury…because they were white, and that means racist.
No, you can’t walk this back and pretend that the last six years of claiming political opposition to an atrocious, dangerously weak and inept POTUS was based on anti-black racism, not after Sharpton, Maher, Holder, the NAACP, Rangel, Pelosi, Matthews and other Obama mouthpieces have been saying that over and over again, until a majority of blacks believe it.
Or were they really saying that we were all undercover cops? Is that what was happening? Is that your fallback position?
I think what deery is trying to point out re: the bigger issue is that cops, both the good and bad ones, tend to close ranks against outsiders whenever one of their own comes under potential public scrutiny, regardless of whether s/he deserves it or not. It’s certainly not a problem unique to the police (indeed, I think it’s one most professions involving tight-knit colleagues suffer from to some degree or another; remember how a lot of people in show business closed ranks around Polanski?), but it’s certainly one worth tackling.
Of course, the way things are going now, cops are likely only going to feel more tempted to close ranks, as opposed to thinking that maybe something does need to change.
That’s the bigger issue? Bigger than black Americans being told that cops are hunting them and trying to kill their kids? Where did you get that idea? How is that bigger, or even the issue? Liberals like deery close ranks when Obama has engaged in outrageous conduct—this is a universal problem of loyalty and tribalism. In the case of cops, the alternative is having a non-functional force: people who have to trust others with their lives must have each other’s back. MUST. But I don’t know what deery’s excuse is.
But I don’t know what deery’s excuse is.
He’s fucking stupid, that’s what.
Well, I just fixed about 15 typos, large and small, from missing letters to missing links to run-on sentences that were supposed to be two, or even three.
I’m really sorry. I felt it was important to get this one up today, it was a complicated one, and I was writing it while being called to do everything from running holiday errands and driving around family members to buying a Christmas tree. I must have started and stopped 20 times. I was, also upset about this issue, and still am. I’ve noticed that the media’s Obama ptotecting tactic this time is representing this as a local De Blasio problem. But it’s national, and I really fear for the country.
None of which excuses my sloppiness. I’ll keep trying to do better.
I was, also upset about this issue, and still am.
Everyone I’ve spoken to regarding this story feels very emotional about it.
I saw the moment of silence at the hockey game on the news this morning and burst into tears.
This time of year I’m already at the end of my rope and needing time off…I just can’t read anymore of the ignorance spewing forth.
I don’t know if it’s a consolation or hint of things to come, but the people in my immediate orbit are mostly struggling and preoccupied with that. They don’t have the time or energy to care much about the media, right or left. But now this is getting their attention AND tainting their holiday season. People start ignoring nags and then take the opposing view just so they can get back to surviving. Their reality checks are more robust than media might like. I don’t think this will advance things as much as spawn a backlash. There are a LOT of other important issues that need addressed, too, so focusing only on this is a displacement from others.
Anyone stop and think that the actions of a deranged man would have happened regardless of what happened in NYC? No one has thought of blaming the media or an entire movement over the insane person who broke into the White House or the guy who shot Reagan to impress Jodi Foster. Get a grip people. I haven’t run out to buy a gun to defend my apparent God-given rights to live in a State-dominated Republic even though the Tea Party tells me to. Why are we assuming that all Black people are mad because Sharpton has told them to be mad? That’s insulting. Maybe they have a reason to be mad.
Moreover, I find it depressing that while the nation can collectively mourn these officers who tragically lost their lives (as we should), we can’t come up with the same compassion for people (mostly minorities) who lose their lives at the hands of the police or frequently have their lives disrupted by the authorities because of the color of their skin. I know that I have a bad day when I am stopped by the police, but it always has been for a driving infraction. (And I don’t get tickets even when I am stopped.) I’ve never been frisked for being white nor have I been suspected of shoplifting.
One of the benefits of growing up in an entirely white town (there were relatively few) is that one could observe how the police act in a white vacuum. They targeted the poor people because most crime is born out of poverty. Sometimes they were committing crimes, other times they weren’t. In more diverse neighborhoods, race apparently equals poverty which, when combined with a fear of “other” that we are socialized to recognize, can have devastating effects. The last time I checked, the police were supposed to have probable cause. Now, with advancements in technology, they can just target neighborhoods with high incidents of crime and do stop and frisks — because that requires less brain power than determining probable cause.
We need more wearable cams (although I am uncomfortable with where this could lead), more diverse police departments, more accountability, and probably federal oversight for police shootings. The local prosecutors have a conflict of interest in handling these investigations in the best of circumstances.
Explain the hashtags. That’s all.
Explain to me how we are blaming Al Sharpton for the police shootings done by a troubled man who killed his girlfriend earlier that day. He was sick — not an activist.
What’s to explain? Naked, crazed tribalism and fear-mongering from Sharpton calling legitimate police work murder and crying racism where there is evidence of none prompts the weakest and most unstable to violence. Murder is activism, and his activist motive was domestic terrorism: kill one of “ours”, we kill one of them. If murder isn’t activism, what is?
Good grief, so every insane murderer is an activist? I love you Jack, but this analysis is way off. Why did he kill his girlfriend — was that motivated by racist hatred too?
I am saying that murder based on public controversies is certainly activism, if illegal and excessive. Madness is not mutually exclusive with activsm: mots political assassins, including Booth, were probably nuts.