July Police Shootings and protest aftermath
Jul 06, 2016 2:28pm
‘He’s got a gun! Gun’: Video showing fatal confrontation emerges after Tuesday morning shooting…
Tim Wise, via Facebook:
Soon will come the rationalizations for the cold-blooded execution we see on this video. In rough order:
1) He had a gun. Yes, apparently…in his pocket, untouched in this encounter (his arms are pinned), and in an open carry state where he has every right to have one on his person (thanks to the same people who will defend his death, ironically). His possession of a weapon under these circumstances can in no way justify his death;
2) He didn’t go down when the cops tased him and his body jerked around after he was tackled, meaning he was resisting arrest (i.e., “why can’t ‘these people’ just comply with officers’ orders?”). Yes, but he also wasn’t aggressing against them, and once tackled he was immobilized. Did he jerk around a bit? Sure, which is a natural response any of us will likely make when getting tackled. It is not instinctual for a person to just go limp when they are tackled, especially if they feel they are being tackled for no reason. The natural reaction is to struggle against the discomfort being caused, not to simply be entirely still, especially if the tackle is causing pain. In this regard it is similar to Eric Garner, who struggled against the officer’s arm around his neck because it was cutting off blood supply — an entirely automatic response. If you don’t believe me, next time a stranger jumps on top of you, tell me what you do. The fact that it was an officer in this case doesn’t matter. The human mind and body don’t react differently to aggression just because the aggression wears a badge;
3) He had a criminal record. Yes, he apparently did. But none of those offenses were capital offenses, and none of them have anything to do with this event. If having a record justifies cops killing you, then by that logic, anyone ever arrested for a crime who has a prior should just be jailed immediately without a trial, or just executed, as the logic is exactly the same. And let’s be honest, if he had NO record, the police would still defend the action of the officers, as would the right wingers who will do so in this case. His prior record simply gives them cover for defending an otherwise indefensible action;
…oh and of course, 4) What about Chicago? What about black on black violence? Yes of course, except a) people go to jail for that, regularly; b) that isn’t done in the name of the state with our tax dollars; c) much of that violence is itself the result of a justice system that doesn’t truly protect black people, and thus isn’t trusted (surprise surprise given the recently uncovered history of John Burge and the CPD torture den), and as such encourages folks’ to settle beef on their own; and d) by the logic that says “black folks killing other black folks” invalidates concern over extra-judicial execution or racism, the same thing could have been said in the 1920s. Even then, more black folks died at the hands of other blacks than at the hands of police or other whites (because people are more likely to be killed by people they live around), but most rational people would not conclude from that fact that the fight against lynching or racism or police violence was wrongheaded
…and lets not forget, finally, that there are 2.5 to 4 times (depending on how the tabulations are done) more white-on-white crimes every year than black-on-black ones but we never call them that…Why not? Because we racialize black dysfunction and individualize white dysfunction…because of white supremacy. That is all.
Jul 06, 2016 4:19pm
I want to reiterate a point from my last post regarding the killing of Alton Sterling by a Baton Rouge police officer, because it speaks to something that rarely gets discussed when these things happen. Seems like every time an officer kills someone (regardless of race, but especially when the person is a black male), folks want to know why the person killed had to “resist” the police? Why didn’t they just remain calm and still and do as asked? Putting aside the historical and ideological response (true though it is) about how hard it is for people who are constantly disrespected by police to suddenly be deferential to them, and putting aside the fact that cops kill folks who aren’t resisting plenty of times too (Tamir Rice, John Crawford III, Akai Gurley, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Amadou Diallo, etc), ask yourself:
Have you ever been tackled by someone who then proceeded to get on top of you and hold you down, the way Sterling was? Or choked the way Eric Garner was, by someone who was compressing your jugular, thereby disallowing blood re-circulation from your brain to the rest of your body? If not, consider how unlikely it is that the natural response you would have to either of these would be to “relax,” “stay calm” or comply with what was happening. Even if the person doing it to you was a cop, the fight-or-flight instinct that is part of all of us would kick in. Even people who EXPECT to be tackled (like running backs, for instance) have a tendency to struggle against the person doing it when it happens and they hit the ground, especially if the tackle was painful. And that’s people who know a tackle is coming and for whom being tackled is part of their job, not just some average person.
Going limp in such a situation is a) not easily done, because of the fight-or-flight instinct to stiffen up and try and get loose; and b) is considered by police to often be ANOTHER FORM OF RESISTANCE ANYWAY, because it makes carrying you away more difficult. I learned this during political protests over two decades ago. We would try and go limp when being carted away by cops but it was hard to do in practice and often made the cops even angrier because now we were dead weight and they had to work harder, so they got even more brutal…
In other words, we are asking average folks to become critical thinkers about their own physiological response to a very stressful and scary moment (i.e., being tackled or choked by a cop, or beaten as happened to Rodney King who “kept trying to get up”), even though moments like that are NOT known for being moments where critical thinking is likely, even as we are NOT asking police who are trained and agents of the state to think critically about how to de-escalate and hold fire. We are asking more of average citizens than the police. Police should not have to think before acting, but the person they are attacking should…it’s lunacy, truly.
JAN MASLEID·THURSDAY, JULY 7, 2016
“A month ago, when 49 people were slaughtered in a gay club, we were told the blame lay at our feet, because if only everyone were allowed to carry a gun, we’d be safe.
Today, after a black man was held down, shot at very close range and murdered, we’re told he would have been safe if only he weren’t armed.
Which is it?’’
One FB friend; #FalconHeightsShooting “I hope the NRA floods the streets in protest. After all, he was a good guy with a gun.”
Of course they won’t. NRA is big repose of these people who think blacks are dangerous animals, and hence one of the reasons why they want to stockpile guns for themselves so much in the first place. The “right to bear arms” isn’t for blacks (just like “liberty” originally wasn’t), it’s just for them. (And maybe a few “good ones” who’ve joined the organization. But certainly not the much maligned guys on urban streets).
LeeAnne Milazzo McCarthy
July 8 at 9:14am ·
The shooting of officers in Dallas was entirely unjustifiable and evil. It also cannot be blamed on the Black Lives Matter movement. Indeed BLM principals are condemning it openly and strongly. Not only do such folks not believe in violence or attacking cops (and indeed, no one actually affiliated with the movement has attacked a cop in the two+ years of its existence), they know (as do we all involved in this struggle) that acts like this will only embolden the far-right, quasi-fascist forces that seek to crack down on people of color even harder. To blame BLM for acts like this is to say that protest movements are inherently to blame whenever someone, totally unaffiliated with their cause, decides to do something terrible to those being protested. Such a standard would chill free speech entirely.
July 8 at 10:17am ·
Right-Wingers like to talk about “personal responsibility” a lot when it comes to black people, as in, they should take “personal responsibility” for their lives/communities, etc. But when it comes to an individual or individuals who kill police, they suddenly switch to “collective responsibility” with a quickness and are ready to blame black folks more broadly or black-led movements. But if you believe in personal responsibility, then only the shooter or shooters is/are to blame for what happened in Dallas.
Yeah, the whole problem is looking at others as monolithic entities, rather than people. Then, they hold themselves up as “par”, and then only when comparing to themselves, do people become individuals. But then every individual in the other group remains culpable for what the group does.
Conservative Media Finally Starting To Realize That Racism Is A Problem
One conservative columnist says “police brutality toward African-Americans is a pervasive problem that has been going on for generations.”
Black GOP Senator Talks About Being Pulled Over By Police 7 Times In One Year
Criminalizing the hustle: Policing poor people’s survival strategies from Eric Garner to Alton Sterling
Garner sold loose cigarettes; Alton Sterling hawked CDs — and they both died at the hands of police
Why President Obama can’t bring us together
there are significant numbers of white people who will always believe that on issues of race, Obama is intentionally trying to set Americans against each other, no matter what he actually does or says. Any reasonable observer would look at his statements about racial controversies and see someone being painfully careful and tentative, struggling to confront the reality of discrimination and racism without offending whites. But for his trouble, he has been cast by his opponents as a racial avenger, some kind of Black Panther using the powers of the presidency to wreak vengeance upon innocent white people.
Republicans have told themselves a story in which the nation was moving toward racial harmony until Barack Obama came into office and immediately began dividing us over race, pitting blacks against whites and tearing the country asunder. And they have been telling their constituents this from the moment he took office. No one familiar with conservative media can deny that it has featured a festival of race-baiting since 2009, blaming Obama for every racial incident anywhere and casting all his policy decisions as motivated by the desire to stick it to white people. Some black kids beat up a white kid on a school bus? “Obama’s America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now,” Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio host in America, tells his listeners.
Another FB friend:
“Blaming the Black Lives Matter movement for division is like blaming victims of rape for speaking out. They are NOT the source of division.”
Don’t Blame Black Lives Matter For The Deaths Of Dallas Cops
“Black Lives Matter advocates equality, justice and freedom. Not Murder.”
No, We Are Not In The Midst Of A Race War
Calling this a ‘Race War’ implies only one side should win.
Black Lives Matter Co-Founder: We Can Grieve For Dallas And Still Demand Accountability
“We are not anti police. We are anti-our-people-being-murdered-in-the-streets.”
July 10 at 8:34am ·
Got a thought-provoking e-mail from someone who follows my work this morning (Danny Molina) and wanted to give him credit for the following thought, which his e-mail raised:
So, here we have most people on the right condemning black folks for “resisting” law enforcement (not fully complying with their own brutalization, or simply struggling mildly when tackled as with Alton Sterling or Eric Garner for instance). We are told by them that resisting law enforcement is grounds for execution
And yet, when these folks talk about their fears that the government is coming for their guns, what do they PROMISE to do? They PROMISE, as in guaran-damn-tee, that they will resist law enforcement, even to the point of shooting it out with them when that same law enforcement comes to “take their weapons.” I mean, who do they think is gonna come to the door and demand that they hand over their high-capacity magazines? President Obama himself? AG Lynch? No. It would be uniformed law enforcement officials. (Not that it would be OK to shoot it out with Obama or Loretta Lynch either, but ya know, they would probably think that was different, so I’m just sayin’) Of course in truth it isn’t going to happen and these people are paranoiacs, but you get the point, yes?
Basically, they are saying that black people shouldn’t resist denial of equal protection (14th Amendment) or Due Process (5th Amendment), or Freedom of Speech (1st Amendment), but by God, if someone messes with that precious 2nd Amendment, oh hell no…then not only can you resist an officer by talking back or refusing to comply with an order, you can SHOOT IT OUT with that officer in the name of your rights…
In other words, in the eyes of a lot of folks on the right, the Constitution is for white people…
That’s the great double-standard.
Only their “rights” are valid, and so when the government is at odds with them it needs to be brought down, and they are rugged heroes for fighting for their rights. Blacks don’t have “rights”, they have false “entitlements” (there’s a difference, as they define them, see previous article), and so when they react, it’s falsely playing a “victim”, and “whining” to get “free stuff” they haven’t “earned”, or to justify the criminal “pathology” the police are trying to contain.
So they don’t have the right to protest, resist or anything; government strong-arming is valid against THEM, so they should just submit. (Just like 150 years ago, as much as they claim we’ve come so far from that! Remember, their forebears vowed “the south shall rise again”)
This is the entire conservative racial ideology in a nutshell, just hidden behind all the indirect language.
Einstein on race:
Rudy Giuliani’s Shameful MSNBC Appearance On Dallas Shooting
The Real Problem in America: _______ Like Rudy Giuliani
DL Hughley: ‘The Only Place Racism Doesn’t Exist Is Fox News’
People Aren’t Too Happy About President Obama’s Town Hall On Race
One activist called it “a bunch of fluff.”
“POTUStownhall is just a none too subtle blue lives matter party”. Would this ever satisfy the conservatives who claim he does nothing but “divide” the races (in favor of “black lives” only) and stir up hatred against cops? Of course not! These types of statements are always invisible to the other side, but they are just enough to anger the first side, so that everyone ends up critical of him.
The Alt-Right‘s Fear of a Black Planet
This is basically the collective term for the ideologues (white nationalists,white identity, other “supremacist movements, etc) leveling the “cuckservative” term at mainstream conservatives seen as selling out for dog whistling instead of auduble whistling, like they are.
Ian Haney Lopez’s post: Jul 13, 2016 2:26pm
“And another article on Trump’s support among white supremacists — or, using their nomenclature, among the ‘alt right.’ The move here is to sanitize racism by re-packaging it, not as hatred of others, but as love of one’s own group in a world in which each group is supposedly out for itself. In this narrative, whites are the only group not allowed to express pride in their identity or to have clubs or political agendas promoting their interests, making whites the real racial victims in today’s zero-sum racial competitions. The supposed antidote: whites must organize around their white identity and protect white interests (and vote Trump). In a country deeply rooted in and still fundamentally shaped by white supremacy, alt-right is only its newest incarnation.”
“White nationalism has moved into the mainstream, like it or not.”
The KKK is trying to make a comeback – and Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric is only adding fuel to their fires.
Unfortunately, something called “culture” has developed around the different skin colors, and THAT’s what the racists (most, now actually claiming to be “colorblind” themselves) are judging by now. Another group’s “culture” is bad, and that’s why they deserve to be shot, or have no right to complain until they clean up their “problems” first. This is how they think now.
So while the “alt-right” is still pitching genetic differences, the so-called “cuckservatives” they have been criticizing are still benefitig them, by providing a “colorblind” front for the beliefs to fester behind. Now, they seem ready to erupt!
Nikki Lee Martinez
July 9 at 12:58pm · Pueblo, CO ·
No one is born into policehood.
It is not a race or a religion. It’s not a skin color. There are no blue men born to blue mothers. Although individual humans collectively embody a blue-clad police force, it remains an extension of the judicial body of our government.
As such, the police are a symbol of our judicial system that is most interpersonal to us as citizens. They are the face of American law–law that is unarguably founded on racism and historical, ingrained white supremacy. This racism, passive and subconscious at times, rampant and apparent at others, works its way through police officers like a fluid–their words, their hands, their guns and their citations based on racist laws that are carried out in racist court hearings and punishable by racist sentences. In this way, it is a fluid that chokes and drowns its victims– inevitable because it is systemic; pervasive because it is foundational.
So when people say “blue lives matter”, they unwittingly assert that members of our government–whom we interact with personally and often–are above scrutiny because they are humans and yet somehow not also voluntary members of a larger, complex and tax-funded system. This revered acknowledgement of humanity in the “blue lives matter” movement of course conversely applies to the publics they serve, as well. But unlike police officer humans, black-skinned, civilian humans do not clock out after a shift, take off the blue, retire eventually; they aren’t applauded for a lifetime of the dangerous line of work they’ve endured when they pass away–a line of work known as being black in America–that is exhausting and heavy and assuredly beautiful in private moments away from the unending racism they face every day.
No. Being black isn’t a uniform.
Of course there are those who don the blue hue who are just, kind, ethical–but these men and women in blue, not unlike their corrupt counterparts, applied for and were hired to uphold government positions in a historically corrupt, broken and dangerous system. Dangerous for them and dangerous for black people. We in the movement can appreciate efforts toward change from the inside, and we can mourn their deaths because they indeed are humans, but we know we have the right to criticize and protest our government–especially when it becomes ungoverned and tyrannical–especially when it is overwhelmingly and fatally interpersonal–especially when it is our lives and the lives of our fellow citizens at stake.
There are so obviously no blue people born to blue mothers, but there are most certainly black people–husbands, wives, children–who deserve a just government that includes and depends on folks in blue. Folks in blue who, in time, can be relied on to consistently protect them. Folks who, in this moment in time, are caught in a system that favors and exudes racism.
It is of the utmost importance that people understand that what is being said, being shouted, being plead and bled for, is that those of us protesting this judicial sect of government are asking for the reform of a system, not for the lives of other humans who are paid to wear blue and to protect us civilians. We are asking for acknowledgement of and an end to a sick machine that continues to churn despite black bodies being crushed in the cogs.
We are begging–as black people have had to too often in the history of this country–that their lives, black lives, matter. The slogan new, the sentiment hundreds of years old. We plead that their beating hearts count. It is not much to ask; it is painfully obvious, and yet we are shouting until our lungs bleed against unnecessary counter arguments–blue lives, ‘all’ lives, everyone else but black lives it seems.
So we say again and again and again until it is accepted wholly: black lives matter. Black lives exist to be counted. We are demanding to tear down the machine, building in its place a new order that can’t be fed by blood and bones, that includes black people in its foundation so that they and the blue-clad folks can stop clashing and begin a civilian-government relationship worthy of American pride.
The BLM movement asks that you hear us. Join us. Demand with us. Or, at the very least, be quiet so we don’t have to shout over you.
That is all.
A FB and typology friend of mine is involved in this one! Says the police break through a ring of white people and arrest the blacks only!
Eighteen arrested in Portland as group protesting police shootings blocks Commercial Street
I can identify with this one, as I too had though we were so “post-racial”, and began to see the depths of racism on the internet, especially Facebook:
We Were Never Friends, We Just Grew Up Together
View story at Medium.com
After high school…Some of my childhood friends…were able to keep in touch via Facebook. We would like each other’s pictures and status updates occasionally.
I would visit their Facebook pages occasionally to check in, that is when I first began to notice that our differences continued to develop as we grew older. But this growth made me uncomfortable, even angry at times. Most of it was anti-Obama rhetoric.
It offended me, but I chalked it up to just being a difference in political ideology. Even though I slightly felt their arguments were rooted in racism. As Facebook began to become more popular I saw more of my classmates and friends sharing their ideals, principles and personal views. I too was very active on social media, typically voicing my concerns of injustice and the state of the black community.
Some where between the re-election of Barack Obama and the murders of black and brown bodies at the hands of law enforcement, I saw my white friends grow comfortable in their anti-blackness. I watched them share racist right wing articles and argue who was worthy of life and humanity.
I watched my friends who I played, went to school, laughed and even occasionally got in trouble with devalue my life and reality.
Individual Police Shootings are the Tip of the Spear
In DC, wiggling while handcuffed counts as assaulting an officer
NYPD cop secretly records supervisor pressuring him to racially profile black men
This should remind us of this warning from last year:
FBI warns racist groups have been infiltrating law enforcement for years
Why Have We Forgotten The FBI’s Warning That White Supremacy Had Infiltrated Law Enforcement?
Perhaps this answers my question of how cops can have no shame in killing after other highly publicized incidents. It might just be an orchestrated plan capitalizing off of the publicity.
Not directly about these latest incidents, but still about a very much racist system:
Our Bail System Is Leaving Innocent People To Die In Jail Because They’re Poor
When I read all of this, in light of everything else here, what comes to mind is the old vow, “The South shall rise again!” This is part of how they are truly aiming to make it happen, and Trump is their great hope!
(Breaking: As I prepare this article, the next incident occurs, shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge!)
More good memes:
Regarding the gun issue in general:
On a much more positive note:
After Dallas, Mount Vernon police officers and the community came together – with dancing, block parties and some music.