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Funny SNL Skit About Race

Keenan Thompson, Jay Pharoah, and Sasheer Zamata

Believe it or not, you can actually buy this song on itunes at http://bit.ly/28reasonsSNL

O’reilly Calls Protesters Race Agitators

I think it’s very interesting that Bill used the phrase “race agitators”. That phrase was exactly what Bull Connor, J. Edgar Hoover, the KKK and other racist called Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement. It’s extremely insulting to think that the African Americans who live in that city aren’t intelligent enough to see and recognize injustice without Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson pointing it out for them. That was the same kind of thinking Jim Crow pro segregationist had during the 1950’s and 60’s. They believed the blacks were fine with being treated like 2nd class citizens with no rights until MLK and others came along putting ideas in their heads about being equal. If Bill wants everyone to believe that things are a lot different than the 1960’s, maybe he should stop borrowing phrases and racial mindsets from the 1960’s.

20 Things To Know About Race

20 Things To Know About Race

I get a ton of angry rants and comments every time I blog about race.  Most of those comments are vile and insulting so they never pass our moderation process. I refuse to let anyone post hate-speech on my blog. Besides being vile and insulting, these comments and commenters have another thing in common. They all lack a clear and basic understanding of what racism is. This lack of understanding impairs their ability to take part in an open honest dialogue about race in an intelligent well-informed non-combative manner. In this blog post I want to help those who fit into that category learn a few things that will help them remove the wall of defense, and open them to receive a perspective they have learned to reject. Shouting past each other or only talking to those who already agree with us impedes progress which leads to racial resentment, racial tension, and increases the polarization on issues of race. So here are 20 things to keep in mind when commenting on race.

1.  Black police can racially profile and violate the civil rights of other black people just like white officers can.  Black people are just as prone to believe racial stereotypes about their own race as some white people are.  Most of these stereotypes are reinforced by the media because they’ve been floating around as fact since the first slave stepped foot on American soil.

2.  Having a black friend does not exclude you from being racist.  It does not excuse your discriminatory or racist behavior.  It does not absolve your comments from scrutiny when they contain ambiguous racial undertones.  And it most certainly does not give you a pass to perpetrate and regurgitate hate speech.  Donald Trump is a serial offender when it comes to this tired trope.  “I’m not racist.  Some of my best friends are black”.

3.  Racism and discrimination are not the same. Racial Discrimination is a process that makes arbitrary distinctions, exclusions, or restrictions that are based on things like race or ethnic origin. This process intentionally rewards one group at the expense of another.

Racism is a construct or a belief that someone’s race can determine the limits of that person’s individual achievement, which leads to the belief that one race is superior and has the right to rule the others.

4.  Someone can use racial slurs without being a racist person.  But those who use racial slurs are much more likely to be racist.  For example; in an argument you say things you don’t really mean.  You may tell someone you hope they die in the middle of an argument.  Does that mean you’re a murder?  No.

5.  Believing racial stereotypes can negatively effect your interactions with black people.  For example; if you run a business and need to hire new employees and you believe black men are more likely to be violent than white men, you’re going to be less likely to hire a black man to fill your open positions. This happens on a subconscious level and numerous studies have proven this to be true. This is also reflected in pay disparity among races, higher unemployment numbers for minorities, job promotions, interview callbacks etc.

6.  Yes, black people can be racist against white people, but a black persons racial bias has little negative effect on whites.  I say this because white people are in a position of power, and black people aren’t.  Whites have much more wealth, they are in charge of every major corporation, and they have much more political power. If they are racist, they have the power and means to turn their racist views into discrimination and racial oppression.  Slavery and Jim Crow has produced an inherent distrust when it comes to the way black people interact with whites.  However, that does not excuse any black person who has racist beliefs, but it’s important to know that black racism and white racism are not equal or the same in any way.

7.  There is no such thing as “reverse racism”.  Racism is racism no matter where it comes from.

8.  Pointing out racism and acknowledging it’s existence does not make the person pointing it out a racist.

9.  The term “playing the race card” is offensive and diminishes the existence of real racism.  It is also detrimental to any dialogue about race.  Ignoring it’s existence does not make it go away.

10.  Calling someones comments racist, and holding them accountable for their hate-speech is not fascism or a war against free speech.  You have the right to say whatever you want because it’s protected by the first amendment.  But I have the right to be offended and voice my opinion about your hate-speech as loud and often as I like.  If you have a job that puts you in a position of power, or a job in the public eye, your employer has the right to protect their interest and end your employment if your hate speech jeopardizes the success of their business.

11.  When talking about one specific person who is racist and happens to be white, it does not mean you’re talking about every white person.  Therefore the ubiquist phrase “not all white people are racist” is unnecessary.

12.  Civil rights organizations and civil rights leaders have made and continues to make this country a better more equal place for everyone.  Not just minorities.  The work they do should be respected.  The leaders who are in the public eye are human and will make mistakes just like any other man.  Their ambition, mistakes, and shortcomings does not make their work any less noble, it does not disqualify them from fighting against racism, and it certainly does not disqualify them from making us aware of injustice when it occurs.

13.  Words and phrases like “thug”, “taking back our country”, “the race card”, “pimp”, “welfare queen”, “food stamp president”, “lawless”, “race hustler”, “race baiter”, “ghetto”, “uppity”, “makers & takers”, and “the race card” are used as dogwistles to those who have racist views and beliefs.

14.  You don’t have to be black to join the NAACP, and historically black colleges welcomes students of all races, not just blacks.

15.  All black people do not share the same views on race and racism.  Our opinions are just as varied as any other group of people.  But the racism we’ve all experienced has put us in a position to recognize it much faster than others who have not experienced it.  The effects of racism and proof of it’s existence can be found in statistical data collected by the government and organizations who study institutionalized racism.  For example, the arrests and incarceration rates of black men vs white men.  Access to health care, interest rates, credit, the home market, the job market, access to education, etc all show intentional disparities.

16.  It is not racist to want to see more diversity in movies and tv shows with an all white cast.  It’s normal to want to see people who look like you in the programs you watch. Calling for more diversity does not mean we believe the creator, director, or producer is racist or intentionally excluding minorities.  Most of the time casting all whites is done unintentionally and once they become aware, it gives them a chance to rethink their casting process and opens the show to a much broader audience.

17.  The intent of racial discrimination is not needed to produce a racial or discriminatory outcome.  For example; a republican can support new voter id laws with the intent of hurting democrats in an election. His intended outcome is to win elections, but the unintended outcome is the decreased participation of black voters.  Any laws designed to negatively effect a specific minority group is wrong and racist no matter the intent.

18.  The election of Barack Obama does not mean racism is over in the United States.  It does mean some of the limitations that race put on minorities have been broken, but the pieces of the broken limitations are still very visible and can be put back together very easily.

19.  Some of the opposition and hate thrown at President Obama is driven by racism and intolerance. Some of it is subtle and subconscious, and some of it is direct and obvious.  Acknowledging this fact isn’t some left-wing conspiracy to make republicians look racist, and it isn’t something democrats invented to use as an excuse when the president gets criticized.  We’re barely 50 years away from Jim Crow and segregation.  Those who grew up in the segregated south are still alive.  Whites who championed segregation, the police who sicked dogs on and beat black people with clubs for marching and asking to be treated equal, political figures who constructed laws that made black people 2nd class citizens are still alive.  I’m sure some of those people have realized the error of their ways and have changed their racist views, but it would be ludicrous to think that the beliefs that lead to Jim Crow all vanished with the signing of the civil rights act.  So those who refuse to admit or even discuss the racial opposition to this president are either ignorant or completely detached from reality.  I feel I have to say this again and be very clear because I know someone is reading this thinking “everyone who dislikes the president isn’t racist”.  I AGREE!!!  THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!!!  JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE A RACIST!!!!  I wrote that in all caps because defensive reactionary statements like “not all whites…” keeps us from advancing the conversation past that point.

20.  We overcome racism, stop discrimination, and end racial stereotypes by having open honest conversations about it.  Not just with people we already agree with, but people who see things from a different perspective.  I wish people would stop being so afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, or afraid to say what they really think for fear of being attacked.  If you make a statement that I believe is racist, and I tell you why I think it’s racist, that is not an attack, and shouldn’t make you defensive and nasty when you reply.  I have numerous examples of this saved in my “comments that failed moderation” folder.  If it weren’t for the hate-speech and foul language I’d post a few, but I created a comment policy and I plan to follow.

I hope all of this will help those who read my blog and feels the need to call me a racist every time I write about racism.  You’re never too old to learn something new.  If you disagree with anything I’ve written I welcome your input because you may teach me something I didn’t know.  But if you try to post comments with derogatory language or a long tirade attacking me, I will not allow your comment to get posted, and I will not respond to anything you’ve written.  So writing those long tirades will be a total waste of your time.  If you’re not sure what may get your comment booted, take a look at our comment policy.  If you include your email address when leaving a comment, I will give you a chance to modify the language and repost it if there are mod issues.





How Fox News Views Race

FOX REACTS TO STOP AND FRISK:

“TRAYVON MARTIN IN REVERSE”: CHRISTOPHER LANE SHOT DEAD IN OKLAHOMA

In August of 2013, three teens — one white, two black — shot and killed Christopher Lane, a white Australian attending school in Oklahoma, while he was out for a jog.

There was no evidence that the murder was anything but cold-hearted and random – officials investigating and prosecuting the homicide repeatedly rejected suggestions that race played a factor in the crime.

Nevertheless, conservative media immediately began covering the story with a racial lens. Radio host Rush Limbaugh called the murder, “Trayvon Martin in reverse, only worse,” and imagined that the teenagers “got bored and said, ‘Let’s go shoot a white guy!'”

THE KNOCKOUT GAME

Perhaps the one story that best encapsulates the way Fox News goes out of its way to paint a distorted image of the crossroads of race and crime in America, it’s the network’s coverage of the so-called “knockout game.”

Fox described the knockout game as a violent and spreading trend primarily involving black youths assaulting unsuspecting and primarily white victims on the street for recreation. The network has run numerous segments on the alleged craze, and Fox’s Greta Van Susteren has dedicated a recurring segment to the phenomenon.

The primary take-away for viewers: Be afraid of young, black men and women, and don’t let yourself be an unsuspecting victim — black people could assault you at any time for no reason other than the fact that you’re white.

Contrary to Fox’s knockout game narrative, it’s not new, isn’t growing, and there’s no evidence it has anything to do with race.

A New York Times piece on the knockout game cited police officials in several cities where attacks have been reported who concluded that the game “amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred.” A USA Today report similarly questioned the game’s existence.

Philly Mag’s Stephen Silver noted that media consumers are being fed knockout game framing for stories in which no connection to the game has been established:

What we’re seeing is, every time there’s a mugging or violent assault anywhere, it’s attributed in media coverage to the Knockout Game, even when the connection is not confirmed — every single assault is now suddenly a “possible knockout.”

It was the Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie who struck at the root of this coverage — race — noting that this kind of sensationalized media coverage “is almost certain to become tomorrow’s excuse for justifying our skepticism and fear of black teenagers”:

Race is an obvious element in all of this. In almost every report, the assailants are described as young black men, and many of the victims have been white. It’s hard not to see the sensationalized coverage of “knockout”–and before that, “wilding”–as a reflection of our national fear of young black men. Indeed, in the more sinister corners of the Internet, you can find people who argue that these incidents are the opening shots in a “race war” by “feral black youth.”

It should be said the same logic drives the racial profiling behind policies such as “stop and frisk.” Never mind that the vast majority of young black men don’t commit crimes; the behavior of a few turns everyone into a suspect.  This continues to show up in how Fox News views race.

Charlottesville Reality

Charlottesville Reality

Everyone has seen the awful events that took place in Charlottesville Virginia (8/12/17). Neo-Nazi, anti-semitic, alt-right racist planned an attack on our country and carried it out. Lives were lost, people were injured, and those of us who watched these things happen on the news were horrified. Our president Donald Trump made a statement immediately after the attacks and refused to call these attacks terrorism and refused to denounce the alt-right white supremacists by name. Some people were shocked by his comments, and a lot of people are still hoping he will denounce these hate groups by name. I do not share this hope. I am happy he didn’t denounce these hate groups, and here’s why.

President Trump hired a leader in the alt-right white supremacist movement and made him a senior advisor (Steve Bannon). There are many more like Steve Bannon who work in Trump’s administration with very close ties to hate groups and a well documented history of their racist beliefs. Most of the people who consider themselves a part of Trump’s base are well aware of the people Trump has chosen to surround himself with. They are aware of Trump’s racist well established world view (Central Park 5, housing discrimination, birtherism, Islamophobia, staffing choices in his casinos and hotels, encouraging police brutality, Judge Curiel, etc).

Charlottesville Reality

They got an earful of it at every Trump rally. The nastier the rhetoric, the louder they cheered. He didn’t try to hide his racist views so it always puzzled me why establishment Republicans believed this was an act that would go away after he took the oath of office. As if putting his hand on the Bible would change the ways of a 70 year old man.

This is why I believe his supporters who are holding out hope that he’ll make another statement with a more forceful unequivocal denunciation of the neo-Nazi white supremacist hate groups, aren’t really hoping he has seen the error in his beliefs and the hate in his heart. What they are hoping for is plausible deniability. They want to pretend they are unaware of Trump’s bigoted views. They want to pretend their support of him has nothing to do with him being a racist. They want to continue ignoring the background of his advisors. They want to continue to believe that his win in 2016 had nothing to do with race. They want to continue to believe that political correctness and not race are the real problems we’re facing right now. Events like Charlottesville rips away that cover. President Trump’s non-denouncement of specific hate groups that took the lives of Americans shines a light on something that was there all along. We have a racist president with racist views who will always sympathize with people and groups who have beliefs similar to his own.

That’s why I hope he doesn’t try to walk-back his statement about “hate on both sides”. From this point on, his supporters must be honest about why they thought he would “make America great again”. Or at the very least stop acting surprised and outraged at his behavior whenever that shield of deniability slips and gives us another peek at the bigot behind it. #Charlottesville #altRightWhiteHouse #SociallyUrban

Truth And Patriotism

This truth and patriotism post is a discussion that took place on a forum I participated in. The fact that it took place on Independence Day was purely coincidental, but the unintended relevance of the holiday is the reason I decided to share it with you. This person’s comment I responded to was talking about his dislike of President Obama and what fueled that dislike. The screenshot is his comment and my response to him is below the screenshot.

Truth And Patriotism

I’m not challenging your assertion that President Obama’s race had nothing to do with your disagreements with him on policy. I don’t know you and I can’t see what’s in your head, so I’ll take your word on that. But I do have to challenge your assertion that our country was built on “self-pride, self-support, and self-respect”. That is definitely not true. This country was built on the blood of slaves and kept afloat with the generational subjugation and oppression of the offspring slavery produced. Jim Crow laws and legislation that purposely disenfranchised African-Americans created a system of government where African-Americans were free on paper but oppressed by law. To pretend those facts don’t exist does a disservice to history which dooms us to repeat those atrocities and blinds us to the inequalities that still exist.

I have no problem with displays of patriotism and those who take pride in the greatness of America. But I believe owning up to America’s shortcomings can be a form of patriotism where we can all marvel at and take pride in how far we’ve come. That’s exactly what the founding fathers meant when they wrote about forming a more perfect union in our Constitution. To do that we must acknowledge the past and never ever stop working to make things better for the next generation.

Happy Independence Day Everyone!

Rev Barber Undoing Trumpism

Rev Barber Undoing Trumpism

Like many progressives the election of Donal Trump left me in a very depressed withdrawn and sometimes angry state. I have read and listened to many of our leaders try to give pep talks but all of them were woefully inadequate.  Then I read an article written by Reverend Dr William Barber and found my inspiration.  “Birth Pangs Of A Third Reconstruction” is a brilliant assessment of our current political reality post-election and a diagnosis of Trumpism’s cancer.  Rev Barber traces the roots of our current political situation to America’s first Reconstruction at the end of the 1800’s.

…every stride toward freedom in U.S. history has been met with this same backlash.  We faced it during Reconstruction, in the shadow of slavery and amid the wreckage of the Civil War. African Americans joined hands with whites in the North and in the South who were willing to see one another as allies.

Within four years after the end of the Civil War, white and black alliances controlled every state house in the South. Together, they elected new leaders. Almost all of the southern legislatures were controlled by either a predominantly black alliance or a strong interracial fusion coalition. They hammered out new constitutions from a deeply moral perspective.

These fusion coalitions 150 years ago also built the first public schools and in state constitutions gave all persons a constitutional right to public education — somethingRev Barber Undoing Trumpism

that to this day has not been done in the federal constitution. In the state constitution of North Carolina they stated that “beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate, and the orphan is one of the first duties of a civilized and a Christian state.” They included labor rights and the right to “enjoyment of the fruit of your own labor” in 1868, long before the Knights of Labor came south with their first southern campaign.

They knew then — black and white together — from a moral fusion perspective, that labor without living wages is just a different form of slavery. They expanded access to the ballot and wrote a new fairness into criminal justice.

His plan to overcome the current backlash in response to changing demographics and 8 years of a black president, is so simple and left me thinking why I hadn’t heard more of this during our presidential campaign.

First, we must recognize the need for indigenously led, state-based, state-government focused, deeply moral, deeply constitutional, anti-racist, anti-poverty, pro-justice, pro-labor, and transformative movement building. There’s no shortcut around this. We must build a movement from the bottom up. We must build relationships at the state level because that’s where most of the extremism of the current-day deconstructionists are happening.

They see the possibility of a Third Reconstruction, which is why they’re working so hard this time to strangle it in its cradle — and we must know that. We have to recognize that helicopter leadership by so-called national leaders will not sustain a moral movement. What you need are local movements.

Obviously Trump and his supporters have no legitimate moral argument for any of the policies they are pushing just like the pro-slavery faction of the 1800’s, and the anti-civil rights faction in the 1960’s.Undoing Trumpism The lesson to take from that; if you appeal to the civility and inherent sense of fairness in an honest and sincere way, people will begin to open themselves and really listen to what you have to say. That’s how you build a diverse coalition of both democrats and republicans. But one thing progressives must do is make sure the leaders who take on this message have the credibility to say it with conviction. Local organizers, pastors, local social justice leaders, and advocacy group leaders are perfectly poised to take this on.

This new movement isn’t about “taking back America”. That kind of language implies that one party is more American than the other. It also implies that one group is more deserving of America’s promise than the other. That kind of thinking will never advance our ideas.  We’re all Americans. This movement is about restoring America. Restoring it back to the moral leader of the world. Restoring it back to the ideals that made us great. Reverend Barber has not only given us the blueprint, he has proven it can work. Now it’s time to upgrade the “Moral Monday” movement that ousted republican governor Pat McCrory in North Carolina, and replicate it in all 50 states.

Great article, great message, great man, great plan and most importantly, great inspiration. To read Rev Barber’s full article go to https://thinkprogress.org/rev-barber-moral-change-1ad2776df7c#.vn17l4ym7

Where’s The Video Gov McCrory

Gov Pat McCrory

North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory and the state’s republican led legislature had a very different way to address the police shootings of unarmed African-American men happening in our state and around the country. The most recent shooting took place in Charlotte just a few days ago. There are conflicting accounts of what happened but here are the basics. Keith Lamont Scott was sitting in his car waiting for his son to get out of school. A Charlotte police officer arrived on the scene to serve a warrant to another man who had no connection to Keith Scott at all. At some point Keith exits his car and a few seconds later the officer shot and killed Keith as his family and neighbors looked on in horror. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered but our governor Pat McCrory and the republican led legislature passed a bill last month that will further inflame the already tense relationship between African Americans and police. And the really sad part about the bill is there was no need for it at all. McCrory is up for reelection and his race became a lot tighter than he expected. To help turn out the republican base he crafted a number of bills just to get his supporters to turn out and vote for him in November.

A month ago they announced, passed, and signed into law a bill that prohibits the release of police body cam and dash cam video to the public. In order to see any of the video from police dash or body cams it has to first be where-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-protest-photoapproved by the governor or adjudicated by a judge. The bill was written to give the governor total discretion over this and there’s no way for a citizen or a journalist to demand a viewing or release of this footage. So Governor McCrory is perfectly fine with police brutality against African-Americans and police killing unarmed African-Americans, he just wants to keep it private. That’s his answer to this problem. That bill is a huge middle finger to the entire African American community and the governor along with his fellow republicans in the state legislature couldn’t care less.

To me it seems as if these guys pine for the days of Jim Crow and have passed a lot of legislation that gives credence to this theory. They want African Americans to suffer in silence while our rights are being trampled over daily. This new law also allows white people to ignore these horrible situations of police brutality, unjust murder, and misconduct perpetrated against African Americans. All they see is the angry protest and violence that follows. Without proper context and video evidence of the incident they may look at the community’s reaction and see it as unreasonable. Of course that was the intention McCrory and NC republican legislators had in mind when they drafted the bill. We’re supposed to ignore the violence andwhere-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-press-conference dehumanization when it’s coming from police, but everyone gets to pay attention to the protest that follows not even acknowledging that it was a response to an unjust shooting and one more life of an African American needlessly taken. Governor McCrory has shown us his character (or lack thereof) throughout his term as governor. He has shown the African American community what he really thinks of us through the bills he signs, the actions he takes, and the constituents he chooses to listen to. He let the extreme right-wing of the state’s legislature turn him into a callous unsympathetic alt-right cliche. I’m not sure why they even bother wasting money on body cams in my state when the public can’t even view the footage. The body cams weren’t going to end these wrongful deaths but they were supposed to bring a sense of accountability so the community could start to build trust with law enforcement.

So I ask myself What is our governor doing with these videos? Maybe McCrory and his fellow republican lawmakers collect these videos to show them when they have movie night at the governor’s mansion… eating popcorn and laughing at African Americans getting stopped by police for no reason, getting stripped searched on the side of a highway as cars slow down to witness the indignity, watching a man get chocked to death by police on a sidewalk while pleading for his life telling them over and over that he can not breath. Watching an 8 year old African American child playing alone in a park get shot by police before he could even see what was coming. Watching an unarmed African American teenager walking away from police then getting shot in the back. Then that same officer walks over to the teen’s lifeless body and decides to unload the rest of his clip into the already dead teen as the young man’s body heaved and convulsed after each shot hit him. Or maybe they are watching the one of the where-is-the-video-gov-mccrory-charlotte-police-shooting-protest13 year old African American girl who got thrown to the ground and manhandled like a rag doll before the officer puts his knee and his full weight into her back while pushing her face into the dirt while she screamed and begged for her mother, all for the crime of attending a pool party in an all white neighborhood thrown by a classmate. I bet Governor McCrory and those far right extremist he tries so hard to impress would get a huge laugh at all of that kind of stuff. Putting those new body cameras to good use.

Offended by History

While listening to some very early blues players music on youtube a while ago I had an inspirational thought that made me feel even more connected to the music because of the rough history my people have had in this country. I thought about the vileness of slavery, the hell of Jim Crow, the rough journey we’ve taken from being sold as slaves to where we are now… a free people with full constitutional rights. While listening to Arthur Crudup literally inventing a new genre of music it makes that journey seem even more remarkable to me. A very small number of oppressed black people 1 generation removed from slavery creating new art-forms that have become wildly popular all over the world. Blues, rock, jazz, R&B, etc all created in a country that officially amended our constitution counting black people as 1/5th of a person. Just that thought alone inspired me. If musical pioneers like Arthur Crudup could achieve so much with so little, it makes me feel that anything is possible regardless of your current circumstances. Unfortunately someone read my inspirational comment and got offended by it. This person read it and thought what I wrote was racist. It literally makes no sense so I decided to do a print-screen and share the exchange with everyone. Here’s the full conversation so you can decide for yourself. I didn’t edit anything out or add anything in. I did blur his name and picture because I thought it was the right thing to do.

Offensive History Youtube Post pt2

Offensive History Youtube Post pt3

Interesting right? I’ve never had anyone tell me I should be thankful for slavery. That is definitely a first. After the last comment above, I informed him that I would love to share our conversation on my blog which lead him to quickly delete his side of the conversation. I figured something like that might happen so I made sure I copied everything just in case. It’s weird how he saw my comment as being racist against whites. History is history. Slavery happened, Jim Crow happened, lynchings happened, the kkk happened. Using those very hard times as a marker for progress shouldn’t upset anyone and it certainly doesn’t make someone a racist for talking about it. Especially when someone talks about it in an inspirational way like I did. Americans shouldn’t be ashamed of the progress we’ve made. We should talk about it more in my opinion. That’s a pretty stark contrast from then to now. That should be celebrated. Even-though we still have inequality within our institutions we can overcome that as well. Just like the abolishment of slavery, just like ending Jim Crow, just like gaining amendments to protect our right to vote. There’s always progress to be made. In my opinion, I think he knew what he was saying wasn’t right. He probably had some time to think about it and that may have lead him to come back, read it again, and delete it. Misunderstandings happen all the time and we’re all imperfect human beings, so I don’t think any of this makes him a bad person. But that’s just my opinion.

***UPDATE***

After I posted this blog I got another comment from the same person. Apparently I have angered him. He wanted to call me a racial slur but he stopped himself and left hints about the slur he had in mind instead. So here’s the latest:

Offended by History Racial Slur

Where is Bill O’Reilly’s KKK Hood

Watching this Fox News clip made me wonder where is Bill O’Reilly’s KKK hood. The same racist ideas Bill and his all white panel expresses about young black men were repeated by the racist ignorant mass murderer Dylann Roof right before he slaughtered 8 African Americans in a South Carolina church not too long ago. For the viewers who rely on Fox and O’Reilly as their only source of news, they get this racist distorted stereotypical view that sees African American males as violent, rapist, drug dealing murderous thugs who’s life is dedicated to committing crime, and are beyond any kind of help because they lack human decency and moral character. As long as Bill continues this constant verbal assault on the character of all black men, there will be a lot more people like Dylann Roof and George Zimmerman… and a whole lot more situations where white officers falsely feel threatened by unarmed non-aggressive African American men because Fox and Mr O’Reilly drills fear into them with stories of the big scary black menace who can’t wait to kill good hard working law abiding white folks… just because they are a young black male, and that’s what young black males do. Holding this view without any effort to understand the circumstances that created higher crime rates in some inner city neighborhoods all but guarantees further deterioration of race relations in this country. A real debate dicussing some of those circumstances will never be a part of Mr O’Reilly’s program because his racist mindset will only allow one explanation for any crime committed by an African-American. That explanation goes something like this; if you’re an African-American and you commit a crime, you committed that crime because you’re an African-American. That’s as far as his analysis will ever allow him to go.

Think about this; if a crime is committed by an African-American, the next day you’ll hear Fox News and some mainstream outlets talk about “crime in the African American community”. But you’ll never ever hear anyone in the news label a crime committed by a white person as a “problem in the white community”.

One last point before I end this and go nurse this headache brought on by O’Reilly’s racist crusade. It is ridiculous for anyone to believe that I don’t have a right to protest police brutality and speak out against cold-blooded murder committed by a police officer just because there are high crime rates among blacks in a few large cities. Mr O’Reilly and Fox News wants me to end all crime and social ills in black communities that I do not live in and have never visited, before I can have the right to protest against police brutalizing and murdering young black males like me. In the history of the world no one has ever been able to end all crime, but that is the bar Mr O’Reilly has set before I can expect to be treated fairly by law enforcement. My taxes help pay their salary, but unless I’m white I can’t ask them to treat me as a human being. That simple request coming from an African-American male is asking too much. How is that right? How could anyone look at that and still not see the inequality and hopeless frustration that it produces? This isn’t a white vs black issue no matter how hard Mr O’Reilly tries to force it into that box. It’s a right vs wrong issue. It’s a freedom vs fascism issue. It’s a hope vs cynicism issue. It’s an inclusive America vs a divided America issue. Mr O’Reilly has made it clear which side he wants to stand on but i know we’re a better country than that. Our history of ending slavery, abolishing Jim Crow, and the passage of civil rights legislation proves it. Please don’t let him and his network drag us back to that dark place.

Who Is Offended By History

While listening to some very early blues players music on youtube a while ago I had an inspirational thought that made me feel even more connected to the music because of the rough history my people have had in this country. I thought about the vileness of slavery, the hell of Jim Crow, the rough journey we’ve taken from being sold as slaves to where we are now… a free people with full constitutional rights. While listening to Arthur Crudup literally inventing a new genre of music it makes that journey seem even more remarkable to me. A very small number of oppressed black people 1 generation removed from slavery creating new art-forms that have become wildly popular all over the world. Blues, rock, jazz, R&B, etc all created in a country that officially amended our constitution counting black people as 1/5th of a person. Just that thought alone inspired me. If musical pioneers like Arthur Crudup could achieve so much with so little, it makes me feel that anything is possible regardless of your current circumstances. Unfortunately someone read my inspirational comment and got offended by it. This person read it and thought what I wrote was racist. It literally makes no sense so I decided to do a print-screen and share the exchange with everyone. Here’s the full conversation so you can decide for yourself. I didn’t edit anything out or add anything in. I did blur his name and picture because I thought it was the right thing to do.

Offended By History Youtube Post pt1

Offensive History Youtube Post pt2

Offensive History Youtube Post pt3

Interesting right? I’ve never had anyone tell me I should be thankful for slavery. That is definitely a first. After the last comment above, I informed him that I would love to share our conversation on my blog which lead him to quickly delete his side of the conversation. I figured something like that might happen so I made sure I copied everything just in case. It’s weird how he saw my comment as being racist against whites. History is history. Slavery happened, Jim Crow happened, lynchings happened, the kkk happened. Using those very hard times as a marker for progress shouldn’t upset anyone and it certainly doesn’t make someone a racist for talking about it. Especially when someone talks about it in an inspirational way like I did. Americans shouldn’t be ashamed of the progress we’ve made. We should talk about it more in my opinion. That’s a pretty stark contrast from then to now. That should be celebrated. Even-though we still have inequality within our institutions we can overcome that as well. Just like the abolishment of slavery, just like ending Jim Crow, just like gaining amendments to protect our right to vote. There’s always progress to be made. In my opinion, I think he knew what he was saying wasn’t right. He probably had some time to think about it and that may have lead him to come back, read it again, and delete it. Misunderstandings happen all the time and we’re all imperfect human beings, so I don’t think any of this makes him a bad person. But that’s just my opinion.

***UPDATE***

After I posted this blog I got another comment from the same person. Apparently I have angered him. He wanted to call me a racial slur but he stopped himself and left hints about the slur he had in mind instead. So here’s the latest:

Offended by History Racial Slur

***UPDATE #2***

Here’s the latest developments (2/2/2016). This guy came back and deleted his comment about calling me a racial slur (the one from the 1st update), then tried to pretend he never said anything about a racial slur, and somehow I hallucinated the entire thing. He should have known I was going to screenshot the comment as soon as he posted it. It was only up for 20 seconds but I was quick enough to grab it. Here’s how it went:

Who Is Offended By History

Who Is Offended By History

Who Is Offended By History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this last comment he decided he had enough and deleted everything again.  People don’t know how to react when they are angry and lashing out but you are cool, calm, and rational.  They end up looking like the irrational crazy person, which is what they are usually.  When you’re smart, confident in your message, and honest about your point of view, there’s no need for anything extra like insults, slurs, and put-downs.  Whenever I engage with people who try to attack me personally instead of debating the merits of my ideas, I try to keep that in mind.  It’s hard not to call people like him assholes, but I know measured restraint is always the better option.

Creators Of A Racist Killer

Creators of a racist killer

This year mainstream America have been forced to witness something that black America has known and tried to sound the alarm on for decades. RACISM EXISTS AND IT EFFECTS EVERY PART OF AMERICAN LIFE. Amazingly we have social media to thank for exposing this simple truth. Network news and print media’s failure to properly address and report the truth about systemic racism gave enterprising bloggers an opportunity to correct this using the power of social media. Mainstream media’s reporting on race issues were all one dimensional only focusing on overt racism (white people using racial slurs, KKK, refusal of service based on race etc).

After the Civil Rights movement our government put in place laws that ended segregation, ended refusal of service based on race, and protected the voting rights of African Americans. All of these changes were huge steps toward racial equality, but none of them addressed systemic and institutional racism. Those outside of the minority community assumed racism was over and turned their attention elsewhere. Mainstream media did the same. In instances where institutionalized racism appeared (such as incarceration stats, or public school funding) those who didn’t want to see it or acknowledge it would come up with 50 different explanations besides race to explain it. Those who objected were labeled “race baiters” or “race pimps” and African Americans who wanted to discuss this were accused of playing the “race card”.

Bill O'Reilly on Fox News Addressing Race

Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Addressing Race

Fox News and the network’s show hosts became pros at dismissing racism with condescending editorials full of misinformation. They explain every symptom of institutionalized racism as a moral failure of African American culture. We’ve all heard this before; having children out of wedlock and one parent homes explains why kids join gangs and end up in prison. Dependence on welfare explains why the unemployment rate is higher among African Americans. Laziness and a poor work ethic explains the large income gap between whites and African Americans, and hip hop music explains an elevated crime rate in African American inner city neighborhoods. What most people fail to realize is, the moral failure argument is the same argument that slave owners and segregationist used to justify their racist views on African Americans. In other words, if you buy into the “moral failure” argument, you’re also buying into the white supremacist African Americans are inferior argument. That’s exactly what Fox News and conservative media have relentlessly pushed for decades. The election of Barack Obama seemed to accelerate their appetite for this kind of reporting even more.

Dylann Storm Roof taken to Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015.

Dylann Storm Roof taken to Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, N.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015.

Bottom line is this: if you look at the high incarceration rates, the wealth gap, the crime rate, the drop-out rate, and the high unemployment rate of African Americans as a moral failure that you have no obligation to help or correct, then you are RACIST. I use that word with great caution when I write because it requires some personal knowledge of how a person thinks and reacts to the world around him. But I feel extremely comfortable with labeling people who adhere to the Fox News and conservative media school of thought as a racist. Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh are leaders in the conservative media entertainment complex who have made millions by supporting white supremacist ideology hidden under the cover of political debate and commentary.

The rise of police brutality against African Americans, police killing unarmed African Americans, white people who fear physical violence at the hands of African Americans, the growing divide between the races, the rise in organized hate groups, and the rise in hate crimes are the result of conservative media’s white supremacist ideology that continues to inch closer and closer towards the mainstream. The depravity of those who make a living by misinforming their audience needs to be exposed, and those who consume this misinformation needs to open their eyes to the consequences of their consumption.

Charleston-Emanuel-AME-Church-Shooting-Victims

9 shooting victims that lost their lives due to Dylann Roof

The most recent consequence is named Dylann Storm Roof. On June 11, 2015 a 21 year old named Dylann Storm Roof walked into a friendly, kind, loving Christian church who welcomed him (a stranger) with open arms. He sat with them for the hour long Bible study service they were having. He listened to them pray, he listened to them sing, he watched them engage in Christ-like fellowship. After watching all of this for an hour he stands up pulls out a gun and began shooting. He killed 9 goodhearted Christian people just because they were black. He listened as one of the church members who welcomed him like family a few minutes prior, begged him not to do it and responded saying “you rape our women, you’re destroying our country, you’re taking over our country, so I have to kill you”, then reloaded and continued putting multiple bullets into the church-goers to make sure they were dead.

This terrorist may have grown up in a household where racist thoughts and beliefs were very common. But he could have shed those beliefs while entering adulthood and gaining a more realistic look at race and the world around him. Instead, that early predisposition for racist thought found a place to feed and grow in conservative media. Dylann told his African American victims that he had to kill them because they were criminals and rapist, and he wanted to take his country back. This horrendously racist way of thinking isn’t far from the kind commentary you can find in conservative media on any given day. Political commentator Chris Hayes pointed this out on his MSNBC show “All In” (see video below).

 

Dylann Storm Roof is responsible for his actions and he should be punished accordingly, but we can’t ignore the atmosphere that created this deranged racist killer. We can’t ignore the steady diet of racist propaganda and misinformation from Fox News and conservative media that gave him the justifiable motivation needed to commit this heinous atrocity without a shred of remorse. So Fox News and the conservative media entertainment complex bares just as much blame for the 9 deaths in Charleston as Dylann Storm Roof. If our justice system really was fair, Fox News would be facing 9 murder charges while sitting in a cell right next to Dylann.

 

 

Resources and thought provoking links

Socially Urban Racism PostsVideoLinks

Police brutality statistics
http://graphs.net/police-brutality-statistics.html

Twice a week white officers shoot black suspects
http://mic.com/articles/96452/one-troubling-statistic-shows-just-how-racist-america-s-police-brutality-problem-is

Blacks suffering under stop and frisk:
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/05/where-blacks-suffer-under-stop-and-frisk-on-steroids/371869/

Race and the drug war:
http://www.drugpolicy.org/race-and-drug-war

Stats on African American’s disproportionate contact with police:
http://sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/jj_Disproportionate%20Minority%20Contact.pdf

Mass incarceration of minorities:
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie.html

Racism in the prison industrial complex:
http://www.colorlines.com/articles/masked-racism-reflections-prison-industrial-complex

Prison became the new Jim Crow:
http://www.uua.org/multiculturalism/ga/200393.shtml

Racial Bias in hiring:
http://www.chicagobooth.edu/capideas/spring03/racialbias.html

Whiter jobs, higher wages – EPI Report
http://www.epi.org/publication/whiter_jobs_higher_wages/

The Racist Housing Policy that Made Your Neighborhood:
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/05/the-racist-housing-policy-that-made-your-neighborhood/371439/

The Case for Reparations:
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

Take Down The Confederate Flag:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/take-down-the-confederate-flag-now/396290/

Racial Wealth Gap:
https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.msnbc.com%2Fmsnbc%2Fwashingtons-silence-the-racial-wealth-gap&redir_token=OfTV4A639WKnA1Qh3_hB7Ah7wF58MTQzNDg4NjA4M0AxNDM0Nzk5Njgz

Race Forward important research about racism:
http://www.raceforward.org/research/reports/moving-race-conversation-forward

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum thinks government funded social programs are the government giving lazy black people hard-working white people’s money: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdfZmcuomcE

Special thanks to Laci Green for the reference material and links. Follow her on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/officiallacigreen and twitter http://www.twitter.com/gogreen18

Proof Of Racial Profiling

Original ArticleMy ThoughtsLink to Original Article
KALAMAZOO, Michigan – In September 2013, police officers in Kalamazoo were forced to face an ugly reality: concrete data that they were racially profiling residents.

Proof of Racial ProfilingThe yearlong study by Lamberth Consulting, which specializes in racial profiling assessments, examined police stops at 12 different locations in the city of 75,000 starting in March 2012, and found that black motorists were more than twice as likely to be stopped as white drivers. And even though whites were more likely to be found with contraband like guns and drugs, far more blacks were searched, handcuffed and arrested.

Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley, who commissioned the study, said the results shocked the entire force. “It kind of takes your breath away,” he said. “But what do you do? Do you sit there and act like a deer in headlights? Do you dismiss the study that you asked for?” Hadley didn’t do either of those things. Instead, the chief used the data to try and right a decades-old wrong.

Implicit bias

Before the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice at the hands of white officers sparked feverish debate about police abuse and racial targeting, Kalamazoo began to confront bias in its force. For many who’d vowed to protect and serve this small city, the stark numbers were difficult to swallow.

“We were offended at first, because we thought, how dare they do this to us?” said Sgt. Andre Wells, a 12-year veteran of the force. “It’s making us look bad, when we really mean well and we’re trying to do the best that we can.”

If the profiling study shocked police officers, it was hardly a revelation for Kalamazoo’s black community. More than 20 percent of the city’s residents are black, but only 21 of the 212 public safety officers, who do police work and fight fires, are African-American – 10 percent of the force. “Most people I talked to were not surprised,” said Jacob Pinney-Johnson, 27, a Kalamazoo native. “I don’t think it was necessarily new news.”

Growing up in the city, Pinney-Johnson says getting stopped by police was par for the course. He never trusted the police and always felt that officers were there primarily to harass him, not to protect him.

“There were numerous ongoing complaints about driving while black,” said Lewis Walker, who runs a research institute that bears his name at Western Michigan University focused on raceProof of Racial Profiling relations. “And [people] who did think that they were being stopped simply because they were black.”

At first, many Kalamazoo police officers reacted to the study by cutting back their traffic stops dramatically. In the month after the study became public, stops fell off a cliff, dropping by 45 percent.

According to Chief Hadley, it’s only natural that officers faced with the report’s conclusion would get more skittish making stops. But his hope was to reform the force in a deeper way. His first move was to consult leaders in Kalamazoo’s African-American community, like Walker. A retired sociology professor, Walker felt that much of the problem was rooted in implicit bias – beliefs that operate outside your conscious awareness.

“It is important to me that police officers understand implicit bias. And not fight it, but understand that we are all socialized. This country socializes us to be biased,” said Walker. “It is not just a white thing. It’s an American thing.”

The need for police departments to confront this fact has gained popularity in the last year, alongside the groundswell of activism around racialized police-involved violence.

Hadley made racial bias training mandatory for Kalamazoo officers and also ordered that they document probable cause for every suspect they search. He also set up quotas for interactions with the public meant to build better relations with the community.

One thing that drives me crazy about the way people talk about police and racial profiling by police is the misunderstanding of implicit bias and overt racism. An officer does not have to be racist to racially profile a black person. If this concept confuses you please read my blog about Trayvon Martin because I explain this in detail. www.sociallyurban.com/no-justice-for-trayvon

The frustrating thing about the article (in tab 1) is the reaction of the officers when they learned the results of the study. They said they were shocked to learn they were racially profiling, but if that’s genuine shock then that means they believed every black person who’s been telling them this for decades were all liars. I’m not sure which one is more troubling. Them knowingly using race to determine who they stop and letting race influence how they treat the people they stop, or them (police) being totally clueless to their own implicit bias when it comes to stopping motorist, but discounting information coming from black people because they seem to be less trustworthy. Both are horrible and equally depressing. I know this particular police department deserves a lot credit for trying to change things, but still my frustration remains.

– Traline D Spencer

A police force confronts its racial bias

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/2/23/kalamazoo-police.html

by: Sameen Amin for Aljazeera

 

 

Fox News Racist Views

Fox News Racist Views

If anyone is curious why I despise Fox News and everything they represent, the video clip below is a perfect example that explains why. You have 4 people pretending to have an intelligent debate on terrorism and policing in the wake of the recent terrorist attack in France, but if you listen to the overall theme of this phony debate you’ll see that it’s really another opportunity for Fox to make their viewers afraid of black and brown people. They try to make racism sound reasonable, to desensitize us all from that sick feeling we get when we realize we’re taking part in or doing something or saying something that we know is wrong. When we lock our car doors when we see a young black man approaching thinking he’s a criminal who might rob me. When we see a black mother and her kids in the grocery store with a cart full of food and think she’s probably paying with food stamps. When we see a Muslim man boarding our flight and hope that he was stopped for extra screening. Fox News and their guests are constantly telling their viewers that it’s not only ok to make racist assumptions, but those racist assumptions are most likely true. This ignorant moronic woman suggest that skin tone is an indicator of criminal behavior, or as she put it an indicator of who’s a “bad guy”. The man beside her takes this even further and connects the terrorist attack in France to the way policing is done in New York. He suggest that targeting black and Latino men, ignoring their rights as Americans, and policing ethnic neighborhoods with military style police armed with military style weapons will somehow prevent terrorism and make us all safer. Then another ignorant panelist adds something very telling. She says people like her will not be targeted so in her mind it makes it all ok. This was the only truthful utterance in this pathetic racist discussion. Everyone on that panel knows that their race would exclude them from the dangers and dehumanization of racial stereotyping and racial profiling. Even the African American female panelist would be excluded due to her gender.

This video encapsulates everything that’s wrong with Fox in 4 short minutes. After watching it a few times, I feel it’s necessary to challenge or break down some of the ridiculousness and speak directly to each problematic statement:

1. Militarizing the police or making them carry larger or more powerful weapons would not have prevented 9/11. Making police in France carry larger weapons would not have prevented the attack there. The police officer who died in France had a gun. Giving him 10 more guns wouldn’t have changed a damn thing.

2. Stop and Frisk in New York had absolutely nothing to do with the decrease in crime there. Every study that has been conducted to answer that question has shown that targeting people based on race is a waste of police time and resources and it has a negative effect on the relationship between minority communities and police. Stop and Frisk was an unconstitutional failure that should never be repeated anywhere.

3. The male panelist said he never felt like police looked at him as “the enemy”. Of course they didn’t because his race wasn’t targeted. That’s why it’s called racial profiling. Stop and Frisk made NYPD look at blacks and Latino’s as “the enemy”. NYPD officers were told that if they assume everyone they stopped potentially had a concealed weapon, that would make the encounter legal. So black and latino men weren’t looked at as law abiding citizens anymore, under Stop and Frisk they were all looked at as potential criminals.

4. NO ONE IN THE UNITED STATES IS BEING HUNTED BY ISIS. That ludicrous assertion needs no debunking or rebuttal from me.

5. The best way to be safe is arming everyone with guns. This is probably the most irresponsible piece of the Fox News ideology. First they convince their viewers that young black and brown males are dangerous, deserves to be targeted by police, and are most likely criminals; then after they are convinced of this they tell them all to go out and buy guns to protect themselves from the black and brown men who are out to get them. This is the kind of reporting that leads to unarmed men of color being shot and killed because the shooter perceived them as a threat, only later realizing that they posed no threat at all. Crime continues to drop in this country but when polled most Americans believe crime is at an all time high. That misconception is mostly due to media who use fear to sell products. Unfortunately that misconception is also costing lives.

6. If a terrorist sees a heavily armed police officer they might decide to call off their planned attack. This kind of thinking is almost laughable. The truth is if a terrorist is determined to attack Americans and take lives, there really isn’t a lot we can do to prevent this. Human’s aren’t perfect and neither is our government and law enforcement. For every 10 attacks that they prevent, there’s always going to be 1 or 2 that gets by them. That’s why I believe looking at the reasons that lead someone to become a terrorist and trying to address those issues in a realistic rational way would be much more effective than waging wars and stockpiling weapons and passing concealed carry laws that encourages citizens to be suspicious of those who do not look like them, and adopt the role of a vigil anti justice crusader.

7. The NYPD being exemplary in blending in with the citizenry and becoming part of the population without being the enemy? This statement is only true if you’re a white New Yorker which makes up about 33% of the city’s population. For the rest of the non white citizens this statement is not true, and even more so for the black citizens who make up 25% of the population. Choking an unarmed man to death on a sidewalk, forcing a man to strip naked while people on the street watch, or anally raping a man with a plunger is not what I would call an exemplary police force. But this panel at Fox if fine with all of that just as long as their white privilege protects them from it.

At the end of this video clip the panel talks about the bravery of those who worked for the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. I’m in total agreement with them on that, but “brave” is a word that becomes meaningless when it comes out of a Fox News anchor’s mouth. There is no bravery in ignoring the suffering of those who aren’t a part of your perceived “good guy” skin tone or race, and there’s certainly nothing brave about profiting from manufactured fear. Fox News and those who subscribe to their ideology are cowards. Racist predictable cowards. Charlie Hebdo’s cutting edge commentary that spared no one’s sacred cow is the antithesis of Fox News and their crusade against African American culture and the minority community.

 

Here’s a link to an older post that also points out Fox for their racist ideology. ttp://sociallyurban.com/video/how-fox-news-views-race/.

 

Tamir Rice New Video

Tamir Rice

More video of the events that took place after the murder of 12 year old Tamir Rice finally got released today (1/9/15) and it’s even worse than I expected. After watching the behavior of the officers in the video I thought to myself, this is what happens when life is devalued because of race. To people like me this video is sickening and hard to comprehend how children could be treated this way. A little boy murdered by police while playing on a playground. His older sister tackled and wrestled to the ground, forced in handcuffs then tossed in the backseat of a police car while watching her little brother bleed to death only a few feet away while police officers offer the dying kid no medical help at all. No one calls an ambulance, no one tries cpr, no one tries to stop the bleeding for a full 8 minutes. You can see them walk very casually around the bleeding dying kid with no sense of urgency. It was like Tamir’s life didn’t matter at all to them. It was more important to tackle and arrest his 14 year old sister who only wanted to help her dying brother.

If you read the account given by the officer before he knew this tragic incident was all caught on video, you’ll notice some disturbing similarities to the statements given by other officers who were also involved in shooting an unarmed African American. In the cases where there is no video, most officials and non minorities tend to believe the account given by police. But in every case where there is video of the event, the video directly contradicts the story given by police. What’s even sadder is even when there is a video that proves the officer lied or misrepresented the events that took place, the officer still does not get charged. Apparently murder, conspiracy, reckless endangerment, and giving false statements aren’t crimes when the victim is African American and the perpetrator carries a badge.

 

By watching the initial video of the shooting we’ve been able to confirm 5 lies that the Cleveland police department and Officer Timothy Loehmann have told:

1. Police said that Tamir Rice was seated at a table with other people.
TRUTH:  Tamir Rice was not seated at a table with other people.

2. Police said that as they pulled up, they saw Tamir Rice grab the gun and put it in his waistband.
TRUTH:  Tamir Rice does not appear to grab the gun and put it in his waistband.

3. Police said they got out of the car and told Tamir Rice three times to put his hands up but he refused.
TRUTH:  Police shot and killed Tamir in less than two seconds and could not have told him to put his hands up three times.

4. Police said that Tamir Rice then reached into his waistband and pulled out the gun, and was then shot and killed by Officer Timothy Loehmann.
TRUTH:  Tamir Rice absolutely does not pull the toy gun out of his waistband and brandish it in any way. This fact is crucial.

5. The officer who shot and murdered Tamir Rice (Timothy Loehmann) was described as a rookie.
TRUTH:  Timothy Loehmann was not a rookie, but had been an officer for over two years.

 

 

Pointergate Exposes Racial Divide

Pointergate Exposes Racial Divide

Are you asking what the hell is #pointergate? Well here’s the answer. A local news channel in Minneapolis (KSTP) aired one of the most egregiously racist news stories I’ve seen from a mainstream news network in a long time. Two young African American community organizing volunteers were out registering people to vote. Both volunteers were working for a very well respected organization named “Neighborhoods Organizing For Change”. While out doing this work they run into the city’s mayor Betsy Hodges who was up for reelection. They spoke with the mayor and then asked to take a picture with her. The video below is a KSTP news report of what occurred during the community volunteers encounter with the mayor. It’s hard to believe that this is a real news story and not a parody of a news story. Warning: This should make your blood boil and stomach turn no matter what race or political affiliation you have.

*There’s a second video at the end of this blog with the volunteers talking about their work in the community and why it’s important to them.

Completely INSANE! It’s stories like this that makes me, as an African-American male, extremely cynical about where this country is heading. It seems like everything no matter how small or insignificant gets interpreted as criminal behavior when you’re an African-American man. This story reveals one of the main reasons African Americans are distrustful of law enforcement and local news. If a black man isn’t smiling in a photo, they’ll describe his expression as menacing. If a black man is pointing or giving the peace sign in a photo, they’ll say he’s throwing gang signs. If a black man wears jogging pants and a hooded sweatshirt while going for a run in his neighborhood, he’s a thug casing houses to rob. Pointergate kstp News Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges If a black man complies with an officers orders too fast or eagerly, he’s obviously reaching for a gun. If a black man questions an officer about why he’s being harassed or targeted, he’s arrested or shot for non compliance or labeled combative. A cell phone in the hands of a black man are constantly mistaken as a weapon by law enforcement. Young black males exhibiting normal teenage rebellion of authority will get himself arrested and labeled a felon for the rest of his life, while the same exact behavior by white teenage males are considered youthful indiscretions that rarely lead to an arrest or a lifelong label stripping him of his rights as a citizen and limiting his chances of becoming a successful productive member of society.

Events such as this exposes the inequality that has fractured this country into two very different Americas. There’s one America where you’re assumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Where you’re given the benefit of the doubt when contradictions arise. Where you’re treated with respect by law enforcement. Where a mistake or a temporary lack of judgement does not define who you are. Where poverty isn’t seen as a character flaw. And then there’s another America where a lifetime of honesty still leads people to question your word. KSTP News Anchors Where 2nd chances are rarely given. Where anyone who needs help or assistance from their government is looked at as undeserving or lazy, while others who benifit from government assistance are looked at as honest citizens who are being hurt due to a bad economy. Where unarmed men and young adults can be murdered without cause while their killer is never held accountable, and in some cases, treated as heroes in conservative media. Where pointing out or discussing racism of any kind gets you labeled racist. Where an ethnic sounding name is enough to negatively effect your job search possibilities and get your resume tossed in the trash before even considering your qualifications. Where police openly target you and overly scrutinize your behavior strictly based on your race and you’re powerless to stop it. An America where your life and self-worth isn’t valued or respected by the people who are in power. An America where a petty theft or any criminal act no matter how small can retroactively justify the taking of your life with the approval of many conservatives and conservative media alike.

After the civil rights movement America seemed to be bridging the divide between those two very different Americas. Then Ronald Reagan became president and ever since then there’s been a concerted effort to destroy the progress that our county worked so hard to achieve. President Clinton entering office slowed the decline but did little to address or acknowledge the growing divide. Then came Fox News and the rest is history. The election of Barack Obama seemed to bring out the absolute worst in conservative media. They convinced a large portion of the country that it’s ok to hold racist views and it’s ok to believe racial stereotypes. The popularity of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh

Pointergate exposes Racial Divide

Recent victims of racial stereotypes who paid with their lives.

are huge indicators that this divide will continue to grow and lead the country into some very rough times ahead. I hate to end any blog without showing a glimmer of hope, or giving my readers something positive to hold on to, but sadly I don’t see any hope with this issue. If it were just a problem of awareness, writing blogs like this would make me feel like I’m doing my part to help solve things… but it’s not about awareness. Media highlighting stories like this are everywhere. Especially on social media sites. So the information and verifiable truth is out there. The real problem is people who aren’t willing to change because they benifit from the inequality. That’s a character issue that can only be solved in the hearts of each and every American citizen. Until then “pointergate”, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Levar Jones, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Oscar Grant, etc will continue to occur.

*UPDATE: A Socially Urban reader sent me this suggestion. If you’re outraged about this pointergate racial news story call the station and let them know. Tell them you want reporter Jay Kolls and the producers who put this on air to issue an apology and some kind of reprimand for Jay Kolls’ blatent lack of journalistic integrity. Here’s the phone number to KSTP – 612-588-6397.

Teacher Makes Racist Threat

A teacher in North Carolina tells a white student that she’d like to kill all black people if she only had 10 days to live.  This student was shocked and decided to tell her mom about the teacher’s racist statements when she got home from school that day.  The mother was outraged and immediately contacted the school’s principal, the school’s superintendent, and the school board. After learning about the incident the school superintendent did an investigation to find out if the student’s story was true.  He found 4 other students who were close enough to hear the racist remark and they corroborated the account given by the original whistleblower.  The school board met and decided to suspend this teacher for 10 days with pay and now she’s back on the job as if nothing happened.  She basically got a 10 day paid vacation. This idiotic sorry excuse of a human being made vulgar violent racist threatening remarks fantasizing about committing genocide in front of her students and the school board rewards her with a paid vacation.

If I were a parent with a kid at that school I wouldn’t feel safe sending him/her there.  Anyone who fantasizes about committing racial genocide has to be mentally ill.  Educators are tasked with a noble mission to mold and shape young minds.  It’s absolutely unacceptable to have a teacher with these kind of beliefs because there’s a very good chance that these beliefs will show up in her teaching style. Taking everything she said into account we’ve learned two things about her.  #1 She’s racist and #2 she’s not afraid to express her racist beliefs to her students.  Knowing that, it’s very safe to assume that she treats her black students different than she treats her white students.  Maybe she doesn’t give them help when they ask.  Maybe she gives them a lower grade than the one they earned.  Maybe she’s hostile to her black students.  All of these are credible possibilities and for that reason she should have been fired and barred from teaching ever again.  It makes me physically ill to think that my tax dollars are paying the salary of this bigoted, judgement impaired, ignorant buffoon of a teacher. I hope and pray the school board will rethink their decision now that it’s a national story and finally do the right thing and fire her.

THIS IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF WHY YOU NEED TO VOTE. If that school board had more diversity, she’d be out of a job right now.  LOCAL ELECTIONS MATTER!!! GO VOTE!!!!

Cynthia Ramsey Teacher Makes Racist Threat
Teacher makes racist threat Cynthia Ramsey, a math teacher (and head of the math department) at Camden County High School in North Carolina. She’s the teacher who told a student she’d like to kill all black people.

Midterm Elections Matter

Midterm Elections Matter

This is for everyone who think elections don’t matter, and to those who only vote in presidential elections, please consider this:

Midterm elections and elections for local government are even more important and consequential than presidential elections. That’s especially true for the coming election on November 4th. Look at what happened in Ferguson Missouri. A town where African-Americans make up a majority of the population, but almost none of their elected representatives are African-American. If those voters would have turned up at the polls, that police department would have handled the shooting of Mike Brown in a totally different way. This is more than just my opinion or conjecture. I say this because there’s evidence that seems to back this up. Just a few miles away from Ferguson in the city of St Louis a very similar officer involved shooting occurred a few days after Mike Brown’s murder. Within hours of that similar incident the St Louis PD and mayor released the name of the officer. Made the police report public. Made contact with the victims family. Made the officer’s work history and arrest records public, and suspended that officer pending investigation. None of that happened in Ferguson because the elected officials didn’t represent the racial makeup of that community. The district attorney handling the Mike Brown shooting is an elected official as well. In his entire career he’s never prosecuted an officer for misconduct, and he’s never experienced the fear and humiliation that comes with racial profiling at the hands of the police. Unarmed black men getting murdered by the people who are supposed to serve and protect doesn’t seem to bother him. Black life matters… and this election matters.

We also elect judges that play a big role in how our courts and legal systems treat us. They make rulings on things like voter id, voter supression, stand your ground laws, stop and frisk, marriage equality, civil rights protections, environmental regulations, etc.

The people sitting on your local school board are elected as well. They have a say in the making of school curriculum. Teacher disputes, suspension rules, testing, etc.

All of these things directly touch your everyday life. I’m probably the biggest cynic I know but even I can see how voting in midterm elections matter. It makes a HUGE difference. I would be such a hypocrite to complain about local law enforcement and then not get off my ass and vote for someone who I think will do a better job and represent my values as a citizen.

If all of that hasn’t convinced you to vote, maybe this will. Right now the US House of Representatives has a republican majority. The Democrats have a majority in the Senate. If republicans win a majority in the Senate, they will have the power to undo everything the president has accomplished over the past 6 years. And the #1 thing on their to do list will be impeachment. Yes, they will be able to remove the first elected African-American president. I think most of the moderate reasonable republicans will be against this but they’ve spent the past 6 years telling their base that President Obama is the devil. He’s Kenyan, not a US citizen, anti-American, secretly Muslim, communist, socialist, constitution ripping, terrorist sympathizing, criminal, race bateing thug, incompetent antichrist who is bent on the destruction of America. They’ve heard this on a constant loop for 6 years straight. The republicans in office have publicly stated their desire to impeach on a number of occasions. They said the only obstacle keeping them from doing it was the fact that the democrats had a majority in the Senate, so the impeachment wouldn’t go through. If they win control of the Senate, there’s no way their base will accept anything less than what they were promised… and that is impeachment. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP THIS!!!! VOTE!!!!

VOTE NOVEMBER 4th
If you are not sure about voting locations or voting rules in your state please leave your question or concern in the comment section and someone will point you in the right direction.

To find info on your local polling place visit the website below:
www.pollingplaces.democrats.org

☆REMEMBER TO VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4TH☆

Morning Joe Turns Racial

Today I watched a segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe where one of the show hosts (Mika) started a discussion about the NFL Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal. There were three other guests who took part in this discussion (Donnie Deutsch, an MSNBC contributor whose name I forgot, and a black man named Steve Stout). Mika started off the discussion with a news report saying the NFL decided to not use Rihanna’s song “Run This Town” during their game broadcast on CBS like they planned to do before the Ray Rice scandal broke out. Mika voiced her opinion that because Rihanna was assaulted by her boyfriend years ago and didn’t become a spokesperson for domestic violence, the NFL shouldn’t use her song. I think that’s pretty ridiculous and here are a few reasons why.

1. Rihanna did not choose to get assaulted by Chris Brown.

2. Rihanna’s song “Run This Town” has no controversial lyrics and it does not speak of abuse or violence.

3. Rihanna was the victim in her assault so she has every right to choose not to become a political spokes person for domestic violence. She’s an entertainer who loves to sing and perform. That is what she’s good at and we should not criticize a victim of domestic violence if they don’t want to talk about it, or if they don’t do what you want them to do.

4. The controversial song Mika was talking about was not the song the NFL was going to use, and it was not even Rihanna’s song. It was an Eminem song that featured Rihanna. It’s appalling that Mika would criticize Rihanna, a victim of domestic violence, for lyrics written by Eminem for a song that was Eminem’s. Not once did she say anything about Eminem. She decided to attack Rihanna instead.

5. In the middle of her attack against Rihanna they show a photo of Rihanna’s beaten and bruised face that was taken after her assault. This victim blaming and slut shaming has got to end. Mika should be ashamed for her behavior in that segment. I think she owe’s Rihanna and all abuse victims an apology.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, Mika and the panel decided to connect hip hop with Ray Rice’s abusive behavior towards his wife. This pissed me off almost as much as their unfair treatment of Rihanna.Rihanna GQ Cover Mika and Donnie Deutsch must think all young black men are connected and controlled by hip hop. Why else would they bring it into a discussion about Ray Rice? Many people who are not fans of hip hop think they know what the genre and the music is about. They think hip hop music is excessively violent, and promotes violence toward women. That is not what the genre or culture is about. Of course there are songs with violent lyrics, and some are derogatory toward women. But that isn’t a significant part of the music. Hip Hop is extremely diverse. There are rappers like Common, Outkast, Nas, The Roots, Black Eyed Peas, etc who are very popular and are known for their socially conscious lyrics. But Mika and Donnie aren’t listeners of the genre so they don’t have a clue. Just like some racist, they see a black man with baggy clothes and dread locks and immediately think criminal, or mistake normal everyday behavior by a black man as aggression. Like the black man who was walking around Wal-Mart talking on his cell phone while playing with a toy gun. The police are called and kill him before he could even explain the gun was a toy. It’s sad that we as black men are all painted with the same negative brush.

While discussing Ray Rice, Donnie Deutsch proclaims he’s going to end hip hop with lyrics he thinks are bad. He says Jay Z is responsible for young black men committing crimes. The music influences them to do it he says. But he has never called for Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino to stop making violent movies. This double standard is unfair and the racial implications are clear. I bet Donnie isn’t even aware that whites purchase more hip hop albums than all other races combined. Inner city crime has ZERO to do with hip hop music. Before silencing artist and trashing their 1st amendment rights, maybe we should do something about the lack of opportunity in those poor black neighborhoods. Maybe we should improve the schools in those neighborhoods. Maybe we should look at the over-policing of those neighborhoods, maybe we should stop giving tax cuts to people like Donnie and Mika and use that money to spark growth in those neighborhoods. Maybe we should stop locking up black people for things that white people get a pass on. They don’t understand that hip hop music reflects the current conditions in the artist neighborhood. Right now it’s the only outlet that gives them a platform to speak to the world. Killing the messenger will only make things worse.

My closing advice to Mika and Donnie,

1. I know young black men may scare you but every thing we do shouldn’t be viewed as aggression. Listen to some of the artist I referred to in my 2nd paragraph. Instead of watching a hip hop video, listen to the song and read the lyrics. That’s the only way you can dissociate the thug cliché you have in your head from the socially conscious artist who wrote the song.

2. Ray Rice is not a rapper. His skin color may throw you off a bit, but trust me. He’s an ex-football player who abuses women and should be in prison right now.

3. Hip Hop culture is not the same thing as black culture.

4. Hip Hop music is entertainment. Just like movies, tv, and other music genre’s, it’s an art form. Your network (MSNBC & NBC) programming depicts a lot more violence than hip hop music does. It’s incredibly hypocritical to chastise Jay Z and hip hop for its violence while being silent about the violence your network makes millions off of.

5. Football is a very violent sport. You praise them for pulling a Rihanna song because some other song she was on with another artist contained a lyric you thought was promoting violence. Your logic makes no sense and once again you’re BLAMING THE VICTIM. Stop it!

I hope my harsh critique adds some much-needed perspective so these mistakes and misrepresentations do not gain credibility. I’m actually a really big fan of Mika and she usually serves as the voice of reason on “Morning Joe”. I want everyone to understand that I am not calling Mika racist. Her misguided commentary definitely seemed out of character, so I won’t hold it against her. We all make mistakes.



Bob McDonnell Family Values Fail


MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reports on the guilty verdicts in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, and traces the declining arc of McDonnell’s pious “family values” political persona to his legal defense of scapegoating his wife. This is the kind of candidate the 700 Club and Pat Robinson wants to lead America and impose their religious beliefs on everyone while not following them in their own lives. They claim they are trying to protect traditional marriage between a man and a woman the way they believe god intended it. But the McDonnell’s marriage can’t be the model the religious right claim god intended. Greed, infidelity, lust, and lies is not a model I’d like anyone to follow… gay or straight, christian or non-christian.



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