Death and Racism

Hat tip to Glenn Robinson for tweeting out the article.

The article on The Root hit me hard;

 Reject the “He was a good kid” or “He was a criminal” narrative and lift up the “Black lives matter” narrative. Those who knew him say Brown was a good kid. But that’s not why his death is tragic. His death isn’t tragic because he was on his way to college the following week. His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered. The good-kid narrative might provoke some sympathy, but what it really does is support the lie that as a rule black people, black men in particular, have a norm of violence or criminal behavior. The good-kid narrative says that this kid didn’t deserve to die because his goodness was an exception to the rule. This is wrong. This kid didn’t deserve to die, period. Similarly, reject the “He was a criminal” narrative surrounding the convenience store robbery because even if Brown did steal some cigars and have a scuffle with the shopkeeper, that is still not a justification for his killing. All black lives matter, not just the ones we deem to be “good.”

It caused me to think back about why, during the George Zimmerman case, I did not debate nor defend against accusations that Trayvon was a “thug.”   Here we are again with Michael Brown, and there are folks trying to posture Michael as deserving of death because he was not a “good kid. “

The quote above explains what I have not been able to put in words.   In essence, those arguments for justification convey that there are good Blacks who deserve to live, and bad Blacks whose lives should be cut-short. That standard is defined by people through racially bigoted eyes that are never satisfied. If they cannot find anything to use to criticize the victim, or when their attempts are proven false, they attack the family, and even attack extended families.

“Deserve” to die is another way of saying “unequal” and “inferior.”   While this is prevalent in the issue of racism, it should not be forgotten that there was a time when women were believed to be inferior. We witnessed a mindset of bigotry against women in the judicial system also. Until Trayvon Martin was killed, the only other victims I’ve ever seen accused of their own victimization were victims of rape.

The standard placed upon raped women was too high, unless it was a White woman who accused a Black man of raping her. Then, standards went out of the proverbial window and attention turned on the defendant who, by default, was guilty because of the color of his skin. What demeaning rape victims accomplished was to discourage other rape victims from reporting the crime. It silenced them. It took many decades, and lots of supportive people, before that changed. It was easier to bring an alleged rapist to trial and convict him when his victim was dead. The fun for women-haters was seeing the living victim humiliated.

Now with the internet, there is a diversion to humiliate the living as proxy for the dead.

Johnwaynegacymug

John Wayne Gacy

When I was a young girl listening to older adults talk about having experiences, I thought it was just older people mouthing off to past the time of day. Now, I understand how memories are beneficial. It was in 1978. John Wayne Gacy was arrested for the sexual assault and murder of 33 teenage boys and young men in a series of killings committed between 1972 and 1978. He was later convicted and sentence to death.

 

On December 22, 1978, Gacy confessed to police that since 1972, he had committed approximately 25 to 30 murders, all of whom he claimed were teenage male runaways or male prostitutes. Gacy was a businessman who rubbed elbows with politicians. He actually thought that by painting his victims as “bad kids,” that it gave him superior decision making authority to decide their fates.

Of Gacy’s identified victims, the youngest were Samuel Dodd Stapleton and Michael Marino, both 14 years old. Seven of the victims have never been identified.   Not once did the media paint Gacy’s victims as bad kids deserving of death. Not once did the media delve into the family lives of the victims. It made no difference if the victim was from a one parent home. It made no difference if the victim had a reputation for running away from home. No one questioned why 14-year olds were out alone. No one questioned if their parents worked or were on welfare, lived in a mansion or a trailer park. It made no difference if the victims were homosexual or straight. Parents did not have to defend their children who, by Gacy’s hand, were murdered. All that mattered is that they were murdered, their murderer was arrested, and he was going to stand trial. All of Gacy’s victims were White.

Why has it become the agenda of some to denigrate victims? My thoughts are that DNA and other forensic evidence has made significant changes in the prosecution of murder trials. Coupled with this are video and audio recordings. With such evidence before a jury, the only thing left to convince them to acquit is to taint the reputation of the victim.   We know, for example, that in the George Zimmerman murder trial, the jury disregarded all evidence and instead, blamed Trayvon and the law. In her book Suspicion Nation, Lisa Bloom reports that juror Maddy stated that one juror knew pretrial publicity and said that “Trayvon Martin was a bad kid,” who “planned his own death,” though no evidence of that had come into trial.” (Page 19)

c50546e61f3cfee09afa3cc06d16aff3Death does not discriminate. It doesn’t care about race, gender, age, financial status, education, family structure. Those using death as a means to celebrate the death of some, forget that they are not immune from death. They enjoy humiliating an entire race, hoping they can break people enough to silence them when the next Trayvon Martin, or Jordan Davis, or Renisha McBride, or Michael Brown, is killed.

 

Silence; Chad Oulson; Ronald Westbrook; Kelly Thomas. Silence. But, racial bigots say it’s the fault of major media because the victims were not Black. In actuality, I personally only know about those cases because major media reported them.   When major media is silent because there is nothing to report, we do not see Brown and Black people take to social media and blogs to spread rumors about how many children were fathered by dead victims; doxing, intimidating, and demeaning witnesses; making up nicknames for the dead victim; spreading rumors about parents, extended families, and friends. We do not see the analyzing of the tweets of dead victims with interjection that the dead victim was leading a bad life and destined to be killed or put in prison.

Let’s face it – the majority of “breaking news” comes from rumors given to the media by White Supremacists to keep the pot stirred. I have not seen Black and Brown people doing that to any dead victim of any race.

malcolm-x-quotes-sayings-hurry-peopleBack in the 1960’s, there were two frames of thought in the Civil Rights Movement. One said that if Blacks obtained educational standards, were given equal employment opportunities and moved into decent housing, that it would dispel racial stereotyping. It effectively required that Blacks reach a standard in order to be equal with all the rights and privileges of the constitution.

The other side of that coin said that no matter how educated, obama financially successful, intelligent, articulate; that Blacks will always be stereotyped and never equal. Currently, I think we see the truth of that when having a man in the White House who personifies perfection in education, finances, family, and is articulate, but is yet racially stereotyped, called the “n” word and painted in cartoons as being a savage and a monkey. For his successes, he is accused of being an elitist and racist.

Ultimately, the “good-kid/bad kid” narrative is just another way that racial bigots say that they have an ever-changing standard so that no Black is ever equal to them as a human being. Now I understand why, rather than defend an individual, I focus on equality for all.   No one can ever reach a standard that is set by others, especially when those defining the standard do so through prejudicial eyes.

In the end, those using death to humiliate a race go into a cemetery, or crematorium, the same as the bodies of “bad kids.” They/we are all equal.

Posted on 09/08/2014, in Jordan Davis, Justice For Trayvon, Kendrick Johnson, Potpourri and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 117 Comments.

  1. . There is an inherent need for the racist to feel superior to people of color. I will never understand that need. That delusion that they are ‘better’ than ANYONE else. It’s pathetic. It really is

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    • Mindyme,
      I’ve talked to lots of people and the only thing I can figure out is that the thought of superiority is how people who are unhappy with themselves make themselves feel better. They cannot be happy unless they are putting others down. There are layers including being competitive, envious, and being told sometime in their lives that they could not do or accomplish something because of the way they look.

      Like

  2. We don’t have all the facts in. Yes, loves matter. However, if a person (even a cop) is defending himself ( even from an unarmed person, things do happen.
    Let’s wait to hear the whole story.

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    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Defending himself?

      Like it or not, supporters of Wilson cannot ignore the fact that the witnesses stated that Wilson shot at Michael Brown as Michael was running AWAY from him and continued with more shooting when Michael had his hands up surrendering.

      How can there be any self-defense claim when chasing and shooting at an unarmed teen?

      How there be any self-defense claim when shooting execution-style at an unarmed teen who has his hands up in the surrendering mode?

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    • vrajavala,

      We don’t have all the facts in

      And, whose fault is that? The Ferguson police department, right? Or, is what you mean is that we have not heard “facts” from Darren Wilson? Will his facts render the testimony of eyewitnesses and the autopsy moot?

      I draw a line in the sand when it comes to cops and life — there is never, ever a reason to shoot an unarmed person who is running away.

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      • MurphysSpork

        Xena,
        I am just going to call it like it is. No sugar coating.
        Wilson defender´s are showing the classic move of throwing bullshit at the wall hoping it sticks.

        This case is not a case of “self defense”, but a case in question of whether excessive force was used by a police officer. I refuse to entertain a Wilson defender who makes claim this is a self defense case.

        Wilson defenders appear unaware of what “due process” is. Some claim this is why they are donating to an unarrested Officer who will be legally defended by his PD if externally charged. Wilson defenders seem to know more details of this case by claiming this is a “self defense” case. I think it is revealing when a Wilson defender faced with honest questions states “We don´t know all the facts”, yet talks shit on Mike Brown like he deserved to die! Right away they want to dig up dirt on a dead person and his family, and witnesses, like it justifies the shooting. Then pretend to be upright citizens seeking truth & justice.

        Anytime Police shoot someone there is an investigation. Anytime there are serious questions about the entire PD, external independant State & sometimes Federal reviews are done. It becomes a public saftey issue. Wilson supporters are up in arms & feel a need to defend these very common procedures. Mike Brown´s family deserve those answers, the community of Ferguson deserve to know they are safe from their own PD, the Nation now needs to know our own communities are safe from Police Forces who are defending Wilson WITHOUT ALL THE FACTS!
        Raising funds for someone yet arrested by claiming “I support Due Process”, and supporting an Officer without all the facts is more concerning to me then an Officer´s future earning potential or his reputation!

        I´ve ran across some Wilson supporters who lecture on the dangerous jobs Officer´s have and how they deserve support. They do have dangerous jobs. But, most Officer´s go through their entire careers without EVER firing their weapon. Without EVER using excessive force. Then there are some whom have died on duty by those who refuse to face the music when they commit crimes. Currently there is a 40 yr. low of Officer´s dying in the line of duty. What about these Officer´s? Have they ever raised almost a half a million dollars? No they haven´t.
        Have they ever raised money to train Officer´s to deal with the stressors of their jobs, or to gain social skills needed when they work in high crime areas? No they haven´t. Have they raised money for lapel and body cameras for public saftey of both Officer´s and suspects? No they haven´t.
        These are just a few examples where supporting, and raising almost a half a million dollars for one Officer with the excuse that it is “for due process”, without all the facts is nothing but bullshit!
        All they are supporting is a Police shooting without all the facts!

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        • yahtzeebutterfly

          I agree with you, Murphy.

          And, just the fact that they are donating money for Wilson’s defense reveals that they DO the facts of the killing. From the witness statements and from the autopsy report, it is clear that they DO KNOW that Wilson should be arrested. From the racist comments of donor’s to the Wilson GoFundMe page, we know that they are giving in the name of racism and not because they consider Wilson innocent.

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          • yahtzeebutterfly

            LLMPapa – “Tweets of an Execution”

            http://youtu.be/mX__iHub7vU&rel=0

            Like

          • MurphysSpork

            Yahtz it is just ridiculous! Plain crazy & an insult to American law that there are people defending a Police Officer in the name of “Due Process” when it is clear why they are donating. This case is known Internationally.

            You are right, from the racist comments, to the clear conflicts of interest by those starting the fund, & the quick support for that level of police presence in Ferguson because of protests are being used to Lobby for extrajudical killings!

            Meanwhile, those of us in support of accountability are told to wait for facts because the PD chose to handle this the way they have. When Darren Wilson is arrested I will be glad to afford him his right to due process of inncocence before guilt. However, he has yet to be arrested.

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          • MurphysSpork

            I am also getting a kick out of all these Wilson defenders forensic “theories” in how the shooting happened when the State hasn´t released anything, and the independent pathologist even stated the release of the autopsy results are preliminary.

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          • Annie Cabani

            Yatzee – Thanks for the LLMPapa video. Powerful, as always. And heart-wrenching.

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        • Murphy,
          That “due process” that Wilson supporters scream is very one sided. Due process also applied to Michael Brown. The “self-defense” B.S. is just that. I heard a person on MSNBC say yesterday that no one knows what happened before Wilson got out of his car. That means there is a mindset that says as long as a person feels he/she was harmed and the perp runs, that gives them the right to pursue and kill. That’s not self-defense but retribution, revenge, unlawful assault, murder.

          Your comment is right-on.

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        • Well stated my good man……

          “I´ve ran across some Wilson supporters who lecture on the dangerous jobs Officer´s have and how they deserve support. They do have dangerous jobs. But, most Officer´s go through their entire careers without EVER firing their weapon. Without EVER using excessive force. ”

          This is a fact…and in fact most officers who have fired on someone and / or used excessive force are repeat offenders. The thin blue line seems to be pretty wide in it’s ability to cover this up however.

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        • Annie Cabani

          Yup. You called it like it is, MurphysSpork. And it ain’t pretty. It’s disgusting.

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          • yahtzeebutterfly

            It is disgusting, Annie.

            And, you know, I have read and reread Xena’s article here….She speaks the truth.

            And just the title……

            There is so much wrong going on…….so much that needs changing.

            And, then tonight hearing the Ferguson people tonight on the live link, one by one, telling the mayor and City Council members their grievances…..I just don’t think those members and mayor are listening with their hearts and even attempting to feel the community’s pain.

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    • Hey dude…we have more than enough facts. Ohhhh, I’m sorry, you meant “More shitty spin from the Ferguson Police Dept.” don’t you.

      Get lost and let the adults talk.

      Everybody else here has it right, you are a way off base. Racists always tip their hand like you do with that “..all the facts..” crap. Typical since the real victim is dead, but unlike FogenPhoole, this time there are witnesses……you know…..with facts.

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      • Racer and Yahtzeebutterfly,
        Did you notice that vrajavala had nothing to say about the overall article but instead, focused on the Darren Wilson case?

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        • yahtzeebutterfly

          Yep.

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        • I saw that. It’s the same old racist spew. We don’t know ALL the facts, just some of the facts.

          One fact we know is………all the facts and witness accounts point to an execution. This is almost as plain as the WW II videos of lining innocent people in trench and shooting them. No different.

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          • yahtzeebutterfly

            Yes, racer.

            Take a look at LLMPapa’s video making that comparison:

            (Just so those who aren’t religious know ahead of time…LLMPapa’s video does has a hymn accompanying the video)

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          • Annie Cabani

            Yahtzee – Thanks for ANOTHER LLMPapa video. Gut-wrenching. What the heck HAVE all our soldiers fought and died for … hypocrisy?

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    • Dude is this you?

      The “Wait for Evidence” Troll
      This troll may or may not be anonymous and pretends to be focused on respecting and upholding the law. “We don’t know what happened yet,” they say, “wait for evidence before you lambast an officer of the law.” They pretend that things like racism, police brutality, police corruption, etc. don’t exist and insist that if concrete evidence is released, they will be swayed to feel “sympathy” for Mike Brown. But they won’t. When evidence arises, they find objection to its relevance or veracity. They then transform into The “Mike Brown Shouldn’t Have [insert human action here]” Troll, to follow.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/olivia-cole/the-10-kinds-of-trolls-yo_b_5691405.html

      You are funny.

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    • Annie Cabani

      vrajavala says:

      We don’t have all the facts in. … Let’s wait to hear the whole story.

      1. Actually, the facts ARE in – from several witnesses, as well as observations from a private autopsy. Most “facts” that are NOT in are being withheld by interested parties who face potential liability and thus have incentives to manipulate those “facts” … and lie.

      2. As for the “story” … well … the “story” is no doubt being concocted and evolving while stalling strategies run interference for the “storytellers.” When it takes this long for a “story” to come out, its credibility is pretty low and getting lower every day. It gets less “worth waiting for” with every passing day.

      But the fatal flaw of your comment lies in your inexplicable, false assumption that “the whole story” will ever – or can ever – be heard! You can wait ’til the cows come home, vrajavala, but you will NEVER hear “the whole story,” because Mike Brown is DEAD.

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  3. No matter what their race, no kid deserves to be killed for small transgressions like shoplifting or getting into a scuffle with someone. I suspect what makes a difference for some is that it was a cop doing the shooting–the person in authority–but that only scares me more. The violence from police is going too far.

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    • Eurobrat,
      The violence from police has gone too far. I also agree that no kid deserves to be killed for small transgressions, but will add to that, that I do not believe anyone should be killed for what legislatures deem a crime. I’m against the death penalty also.

      What I would like to see is a study for the last 10 years, that sets forth situations where cops actually needed to have guns in capturing or arresting suspects.

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      • You’d have to qualify the term “needed” to have guns to capture/arrest.

        remember the TV shows where the cops had to chase suspects for blocks on foot. the neighborhood guys would know the short cuts and eventually lose the cops in a chase? Lenny, an older cop would have a younger partner run the long way while he’d jump in the car to cut the guy off in the ally way..
        remember when they had to pass laws that forced cops to stop at some point during high-speed car chases because of the danger to regular commuters?

        look at a great majority of cops these days. so many are overweight or out of shape and certainly don’t have the physicality it takes to chase suspects on foot. even ones who appear to be in shape have been found to be on steroids, which is another issue with the over aggression. but it seems to me that most cops just don’t feel the need to chase anyone when the gun is so much quicker.
        they have the attitude that it’s simply beneath them to exert themselves in any way, whether it’s by cajoling or chasing or convincing suspects to obey their orders.
        nowadays they don’t need to use their intellect or communication skills either.
        Instead they just force ppl to submit to their absolute authority!

        notice too, that when a cop is alone he’ll put much more effort into keeping the situation from getting violent, but as soon as his 10 buddies get there they ALL jump on the person like a pack of rabid dogs.

        these murderous cops are just fat, angry, ignorant, lazy cowards with chips on their shoulders. they aren’t there to help anyone but themselves.
        they pretend to be heroes by claiming they’re risking their own lives to protect everyone else, but that’s just an excuse for the excess force on those with less power.

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        • yahtzeebutterfly

          You nailed it, Shannon!

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        • Shannon,

          You’d have to qualify the term “needed” to have guns to capture/arrest.

          That’s a good point. I would say it is asking the question, “What would I do if I didn’t have a gun?”

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          • butterflydreamer2

            About 15yrs ago we lived in an apartment in Northern Calif. We were watching tv in the back room, when I thought I heard someone call mom. I went down the hall and turned the corner into the kitchen, and I saw a man by the refrigerator. I ran back into the room, and my husband saw the look on my face. He told me to take the phone into the bathroom, lock the door, and call 911, which I did. They asked me if my husband had a gun, I said no. Within 2 minutes there were 5 patrol cars there. My husband had the guy on his knees at the front door, and had grabbed one of our swords off the wall.

            The guy was drunk and got hungry, so he opened the freezer and stuffed some hot pockets down his pants. One of the officers told him he should be glad he was alive, cause if that had been him, he wouldn’t be. I asked the officer if my husband had a gun and used it, what would have happened, and he said all he would have to say is that he was in fear for my life, and no jury would convict him. The other officers agreed with him.

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            • Butterflydreamer,
              Yep. The proverbial defense of protecting the White woman has worked since before the Civil War. Mark O’Mara used the same theory at Zimmerman’s trial.

              At least there is one drunk, hungry guy who wasn’t killed for being stupid.

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      • Ah, good. I’m with you on the death penalty. My personal spiritual beliefs certainly prevent me from being able to support it.

        That being said, we live in a country which still has the death penalty at this time, sadly. I would at least like to see the number of unnecessary deaths caused by police brutality to be reduced….I agree that a study of the kind you’re suggesting would be the first step to that goal.

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  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    Racial bigots will never change, but we can render them impotent and pry loose the grip they have on the justice system, on the media, and on local and national legislatures.

    We can expose their motives and methods as we push for equality and justice for all.

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  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    Racial bigots ARE against equality. Yes, they will always be trying new gimmicks and new ways to try to keep Blacks from receiving justice and equality.

    “Ultimately, the “good-kid/bad kid” narrative is just another way that racial bigots say that they have an ever-changing standard so that no Black is ever equal to them as a human being.

    Now I understand why, rather than defend an individual, I focus on equality for all.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      How many roads must a man walk down
      Before you call him a man?

      How many years can a (racist) mountain exist
      Before it is washed to the sea?

      How many years can some people exist
      Before they’re allowed to be free?

      How many ears must one man have
      Before he can hear people cry?
      How many deaths will it take until he knows
      That too many people have died?

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  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/media-black-victims_n_5673291.html

    Part of the problem is the media itself, they also have come up with headlines that immediately feed into the “he was a bad person and deserved it” just by their headlines. Read this huffington post story to see what I mean. Media will typically portray a white person as a good person but misunderstood while they portray a person of color as bad right away.

    The news media system also has a lot to learn and they need to stop feeding into the good kid/bad kid mentality.

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  7. kindheart101

    As I sit here and look back over many decades of life, I ponder this question:

    Is it “A Lack of Empathy” or “A Need for Control” that results in disasters like this?

    These are only my thoughts, and I promise I will try to keep it short.

    From a very young age, we gently urge our small children to share that favorite toy, hopefully teaching them through gentle persuasion that they will “Again” regain “Control” over it when their playmate or sibling has gone. We entice them with other, less favorite toys, to offset the feeling of frustration, or “Lack of Control” they feel when giving it up. As a toddler, they are too young to feel “Empathy” for the other crying child, and only know that they want control of it!

    Then we move on to school. It is at this age we start to experience “Empathy”.

    I find “Empathy” to be a small word, with a vast meaning. To me it means this:

    To be able to walk in the shoes of another.
    To be able to accept differences in others.
    To genuinely feel sorrow if another is hurting.
    To do on to others….as you would want done to you.
    To Never willingly bring pain to another.

    Now, I would be lying if I said I always lived up to this in school. There was always a time it was more tempting to go with the “In Crowd”, and shun those that were not welcomed, feeling no “Empathy” for their hurt feelings. Or, the times sitting at a full table in the lunchroom, laughing with friends, while a few sat and ate their lunch alone. Or, wearing my brand new outfit, just like the other girls had, while the girl who sat behind me in math class wore the same outfit all week long. (I ask you this: Was this a “Lack of Empathy” on my part, or “A Need to be in Control” of what my social standing in school was?)

    As I think back on my early years, I would honestly say both. Fortunately, I would hope most of us grow out of this as we Grow Up!

    Which brings me to racism, murders, wars, hacking, stereotyping………

    Trayvon and Michael paid the Ultimate price for being a young black male! Their lives were stolen from them because Zimmerman and Wilson felt they had the “Right” to be in “Total Control.” Zimmerman never uttered one word of remorse about putting a bullet through Trayvons heart, yet begged for “Empathy” about a few scratches on his head which didn’t even need a band aid! And though we haven’t heard from Wilson yet…….I’m sure he will beg for “Empathy”, stating he feared for his life, while putting 6 bullets in a kid with his hands up!

    And the “Hacking” of the Leatherman blog? Is that a scream for “Control” or what? So they have been stalked and burglarized, forced from their home. “Lack of Empathy” or “The Need for Control?”

    I see this over and over again daily. All of the wars, murders and racism.

    IF WE EVER GET TO A POINT IN TIME WHEN “EMPATHY” IS ACTUALLY FELT……..A “NEED FOR CONTROL” WILL BE NILL.

    (Stepping down off my soap box. Sorry, I just had to vent)

    Like

    • I believe empathy should be taught to you as a child. If you’re taught that early on in life, it will stay with you.

      Like

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Yes, Lolypop, If you ARE taught empathy as a child, it will stay with you.

        I am sad and distressed that there are parents (White Supremacists and racists) that continue the historical family tradition of teaching their children to be racist and hold to the parental beliefs. Some send their children to “Whites only” private schools in order to avoid the diversity found in public schools.

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        • Yes yahzee, it’s terrible. Sad, but that will never change and those kids will never have a chance to have learned anything but hate.
          IMO, it’s mental and emotional child abuse, really!

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          • yahtzeebutterfly

            Yes, it is abuse, Lolypop.

            Those kids will never be allowed to be their own person. They will be cheated out of their identity and who they could have been.

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    • yahtzeebutterfly

      @kindheart

      ( APPLAUSE!!! )

      You have reach deeply into the root of the problem and the ultimate remedy!

      Here is an article which attempts to answer the question “What we can do about race and the police?” (Hat tip to CommunityVillage that posted this article) :

      “Beyond Ferguson”
      http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/beyond-dialogue-what-we-can-do-about-race-and-the-police-20140905

      Like

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Correction:

        Actual title is “Beyond Dialogue What we can do about race and the police”
        by Joshua Dubois

        Like

    • Kindheart,
      Hands Clapping Applause

      Never apologize for taking the soap box here. It’s all yours.

      Like

  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    Our Black youth should be able to have peace of mind. They should not have the heavy, stressful burden of worrying about whether they will be unfairly stereotyped and profiled by the police and other citizens.

    I ache when I look at this photo. Here are children. I can only begin to grasp what they are feeling inside.

    http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2014/08/16/image-453666854.jpg?itok=BjRsb9uk

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    • Good afternoon, Jueseppi! Thanks for the reblog. Word Press reader has not been acting properly lately and I’ve been able to keep up with your blog. I hope that it gets rid of the hiccups soon.

      Like

  9. I am all for waiting for ALL facts to come in. I am all for police officers having the right to defend themselves in their profession. It is/can be a dangerous job. I have close relatives who are police officers. My brother-in-law is a Lieutenant with the New York City police department. He has some scary stories. He has told me that police have the right to fire upon a suspect, even if the suspect is running, if that suspect is considered dangerous.

    But here is the problem with the Michael Brown shooting:
    Was Michael Brown a suspect? I am not convinced that DW was aware that MB had robbed that store.

    FACT: DW stopped MB because he was walking in the street. What has not yet been proven is that DW knew MB was a suspect in some other “crime”. And as Eurobrat pointed out..should MB be shot 6 times for that?

    A cop can detain you and not tell you what why but, according to my brother-in-law, they HAVE to tell you they are detaining you. If DW did not tell MB, but instead just tried to grab him or fire at him,then MB had every right to run. Did MB know he was considered a suspect by DW?

    FACT: MB was running. He, at best, was fleeing the police. This is a time to call for backup and give chase. Did DW call for backup? He did give chase, but he did so as he was firing his weapon.

    FACT: MB was unarmed.There does not seem to be a dispute there. These people who argue that MB just committed strong armed robbery and was violent can kiss my a… While the robbery may be true, MB was running AWAY from the officer, not strong arming him. So far, no information has been released that MB hit this officer. So until it is proven that MB touched this officer, it didn’t happen.

    And it does/should make any intelligent person ask why DW decided he needed to fire his weapon 10+ times. DW was not in danger; MB was no where near DW. The public was not in danger, at least not from MB. Cops should only fire their weapon when they have to, and that is when someone is in danger, including themselves.

    FACT: DW fires his weapon at least 10 times, in a public area….where people live….where children play. He fired his weapon as he was running. He did not have a good shot, which is why MB was struck so many times in an area that was not considered “body mass”. Police are trained to aim for body mass. They are trained to “shoot to kill”. They are trained to not fire in a public area unless they have a good, clean shot. Otherwise, the police are reckless.

    FACT: DW fired at least 6 shots that hit MB as MB was turned and facing DW. What is in dispute is whether MB had his hands up. I believe he did. I believe the forensic facts will support that. And if MB did have his hands up, DW should have never fired the kill shots. That crazy from Canada doesnt’ think that means surrender. It does. That is exactly what it means. It means, I am not armed and I am giving in to your authority.

    While I believe that police have a right to protect themselves and a duty to protect the public, and that includes firing their weapon if necessary, I do not believe that is what happened in this case. My opinion is that DW fired excessively and recklessly. And I believe it has been covered up from the beginning. I don’t trust any person of authority in Ferguson.

    I hope the grand jury will look honestly at the evidence. And if the evidence supports DW, I’ll accept it. I just don’t’ think it will. I hope they seek the truth, and hold this officer accountable.

    I like what Eurobrat said…”No matter what their race, no kid deserves to be killed for small transgressions like shoplifting or getting into a scuffle with someone. I suspect what makes a difference for some is that it was a cop doing the shooting–the person in authority–but that only scares me more. The violence from police is going too far.”

    The violence in this shooting went too far.

    Like

    • “FACT: DW stopped MB because he was walking in the street. What has not yet been proven is that DW knew MB was a suspect in some other “crime”. And as Eurobrat pointed out..should MB be shot 6 times for that?”

      The Chief of the FPD has stated Wilson did NOT know about any alleged cigar heist. The store owner did NOT call the police, it was a customer who thought he saw a strong arm robbery.

      Wilson did NOT call for backup, that has been confirmed as well.

      Personally I won’t accept a Grand Jury not handing down an indictment because they will have it wrong, which is extending the coverup which you allude to.

      Like

      • thanks. I thought what the police said was that DW did not stop MB for that, not that he was unaware of the robbery. I know it was a customer who called the police. They have a report from an Officer who went to the store and that officer stated he put out a description on the radio, leaving the impression that DW could have heard the call.

        But, to the point you and I are making, I don’t trust this police or the local judicial system.

        I wasn’t sure about the backup. I don’t remember hearing anything about that. My brother-in-law made that a specific point when we discussed this case. Backup should always be called.

        I had also forgotten to add a critical piece earlier. This officer must have already had is weapon drawn and ready to fire prior to pulling up to the boys, otherwise he would not have had the time to do it as he was speaking to them. That to me is very telling of this cop’s agenda.

        I hold out hope that a grand jury of our peers will be honest, but after Trayvon Martin’s jury, I am pessimistic.

        Like

        • I tend to agree as to the pistol drawn, not exactly sure when he drew it, but I think it was very early on and not after he got out of his SUV.

          According to the FPD Wilson stopped Brown for walking down the middle of the street (while black to boot) with his friend. A sure felonious action……walking while black that is.

          It’s been a month since the murder but it was over a month with FogenPhoole so I hear your pessimism, but the whole world is watching and there has been no comment at all meaning even the blind can see they are working on a spin move.

          If they hire “Robbie the Racist”…………Game – Set – – – – – – Match !!!!!

          Like

      • The Chief of Police gave conflicting statements about it. He, when the tape was first released, said that the robbery didn’t have anything to do with the shooting, that DW didn’t know. Later he said that DW heard the description of the “robbery” suspect and it was when that DW put his car in reverse to confront MB.

        The lack of released information and the release of conflicting information has contributed to the problem.

        Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      FACT: White racists refuse to acknowledge the truth of the statements by the Black eyewitnesses.

      Like

  10. Trial for Marcus Faella set to begin.

    Jury selection is set to begin on Tuesday in the Florida trial of an alleged ringleader of a white supremacist group that was broken up in 2012 while training near Orlando and Disney World for a “race war”.

    http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/jury-selection-begins-in-trial-of-florida-race-war-planner#tscptmt

    Like

  11. Some people think that eyes lie. I hope this guy’s conscious haunts him for the rest of his life. His fraudulent call cost John Crawford his life.

    Like

  12. Judge Ellen Levy Siwak denied a request by the Post-Dispatch to release Michael Brown’s juvenile records.

    Cynthia Harcourt, a lawyer for county juvenile officer Kip Seely, had contested the release of any records, saying the integrity of the family court was on the line. In comments to a reporter after the hearing, she confirmed that Brown had never been found delinquent of the juvenile equivalents of Missouri’s class A and B felonies and was not facing any at the time he died.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_43dfd98b-32ec-550d-b399-750133f69203.html#.VA97yHEN2fg.twitter

    Like

  13. Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Good.

      The only thing we need to know is that Wilson shot and killed an unarmed teen whose hands were up surrendering.

      Like

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        No wonder there was an immediate protest by the community; no wonder “Hands up, don’t shoot” became the chant of the demonstrators!

        Like

      • Absolutely! Juvenile records are sealed by law — not a judge’s order or circuit clerk’s decision. Prosecutors have standing to unseal juvenile records and only then, if the juvenile has been charged with a criminal offense. Parents or parties in a civil case might have standing to have juvenile records unsealed, but they have to prove to the court that the records have meaning to the case.

        The logic of bigots doesn’t make sense because had Michael been convicted of a felony as they alleged, he would not have been walking in Ferguson for Wilson to kill him — he would have been either in juvenile detention or jail.

        Like

  14. Annie Cabani

    FACT: Darren Wilson did NOT stop Mike Brown EITHER because he was walking in the street OR because of any alleged theft. He didn’t “stop” them at all.

    What Darren Wilson DID do was a “drive-by police harassment.” He drove past Dorian Johnson and Mike Brown and yelled at them from his vehicle, “Get the fuck on the sidewalk!”

    A legitimate police action might have been to pull his vehicle over, and issue a citation for jaywalking or whatever. Or, not. But barking orders and cursing while driving by was NOT a legitimate police action – it was nothing but harassment, plain and simple.

    Then, Darren Wilson became enraged by an understandable response to his drive-by police harassment. So, screeching tires, and all, he backed up to the young men and started a FIGHT! Again – NOT legitimate police action; not a “stop.” Darren Wilson then continued to escalate his OWN illegitimate police actions until he outright murdered a citizen.

    I have never understood why there is any discussion or debate about the reason the two young men were “stopped,” because they were NOT “STOPPED'” AT ALL! A cop harassed them and then picked a fight with them employing his city-issued deadly weapon.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      YES!

      You are so right, Annie!!

      Like

    • I forgot about that aspect…..I keep hearing that the boys stopped BECAUSE he screamed at them…..I forgot action………then reaction.

      My bad.

      Like

  15. I remember this case where the cop said, “You’re not a fucking American! I’ll put you in a UPS box and send you back to wherever the fuck you came from!” It was just settled.

    http://blog.angryasianman.com/2014/09/chicago-to-settle-police-abuse-lawsuit.html

    Like

  16. yahtzeebutterfly

    I have been watching live the town meeting in Ferguson. Here is the link:

    http://www.ksdk.com/videos/news/local/2013/11/12/3144211/

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      It will last until 10:00 p.m.

      Like

    • Annie Cabani

      Darn it, I missed it. Actually, though, I was too pessimistic to try to catch it. I feared it would be wimpy and tangential. Hope I was wrong.

      Like

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Annie, it was the first City Council meeting since the killing of Michael Brown where dozens of the members of the Ferguson community were given the chance (3 minutes each) to address the mayor and members with their grievances.

        There was so much that they had to say and it was all from their hearts.

        I hope they can oust the present council and get true representation from their own community.

        Like

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          One person told the council that, although they might think things will quiet down and that they can go back to business as usual, that the Black community was not going to stop and that they were not going to go away.

          Their movement (their OWN movement) has steadfast determination. I feel the youth have the spirit found in the lyrics of this song:

          The higher you build your barriers the taller I become
          The farther you take my rights away the faster I will run
          You can deny me, you can decide to turn your face away
          No matter ’cause there’s

          Something inside so strong
          I know that I can make it
          Though you’re doing me wrong so wrong
          You thought that my pride was gone
          Oh, no, something inside so stro.o.ong
          there’s something inside so strong

          The more you refuse to hear my voice the louder I will sing
          You hide behind walls of Jericho, your lies will come tumbling
          Deny my place in time, you squander wealth that’s mine
          My light will shine so brightly, it will blind you ’cause there’s

          Something inside so strong
          I know that I can make it
          But you’re doing me wrong so wrong
          You thought that my pride was gone
          Oh, no, something inside so strong
          theres something inside so strong

          (chorus with a bit more umph)
          Something inside so strong
          And I know that I can make it
          But you’re doing me wrong so wrong
          You thought that my pride was gone
          Oh, no, something inside so strong
          theres something inside so strong

          Brothers and sisters
          When they insist we’re just good not enough
          When we know better
          Just look ’em in the eyes and say

          I’m gonna do it anyway
          I’m gonna do it anyway
          I’m gonna do it anyway
          I’m gonna do it anyway

          Because there’s something inside so strong
          And I know that I can make it
          But you’re doing me so wrong
          Oh, no, something inside so strong
          there’s something inside so strong

          Like

        • I watched about 15 minutes of the meeting before my eyelids decided to check themselves from the inside. 🙂

          Just heard on MSNBC today that the Gov. if up for re-election in November — but he is running unopposed. That seems to be a pattern in many small towns. Where I live has a larger population than Ferguson, but there are political positions that run for re-election time after time without opposition. I don’t vote for the person in that case, so my card always gives a signal and I am told that I didn’t complete the ballet. My standard answer is, “I don’t vote when candidates run unopposed because they can vote themselves and still win.”

          By doing that, it is my hope to send that politician a message that just because they are in office, it’s not because the majority of voters want them.

          Like

          • yahtzeebutterfly

            Excerpt from article link below:

            During the first city council meeting in Ferguson, Missouri since Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, black residents powerfully responded to how the city dealt with the shooting.

            A young man in a “Peace Keeper” t-shirt who introduced himself as “Mike Brown from Ground Zero” said that the problem with the white people at the meeting who claim to speak for the entire city “do not represent us.” Although whites only make up 29 percent of Ferguson’s population, five of the six sitting city council members are white, as is Mayor James Knowles.

            “It is time for us to get suited and booted and kick their you-know-whats out of office,” he said. “We’ve got the power — they don’t. We’re trying to figure out how this man, that man, the old man — the Man, the Man, the Man up there on his iPad who don’t care what we have to say. How do we get him out? We vote him out! We recall him out!”

            “A month ago, a young man was shot down several times, and that’s a fact,” the man said, alluding to a comment by an older, white male who earlier had yelled, “You want facts? I’ll give you facts!”

            “His body laid on that pavement for hours, and that’s a fact,” the young man continued. “All the videos, all the nonsense they try to put out there, but the facts are out there — and they’re still hiding behind one white officer. They are letting all this go on for one white officer.”

            “But do you know what? We ought to thank them,” he said, “because it’s time for us to kick them out. They don’t care about us, that’s been proven. And they won’t care until we show them that we have the power to vote them out.”

            http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/10/young-black-man-warns-fergusons-white-establishment-weve-got-the-power-you-dont/

            Like

  17. Annie Cabani

    Xena – I’ve been here a few times today but have yet to compliment you on your excellent article. Well thought out and well presented. Stellar job! Thank you.

    Like

  18. It reminds me of the days of sit-in’s. We are still in the 1960’s folks.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Excellent interview just took place with lady from Cincinnati who explained how the citizens had their own Michael Brown and same problem of no accountability with their PD. She went on to tell that they were able to turn their PD around and now have an independent citizens body that can oversee the PD, that has subpoena power and is a safe place for citizens to bring their complaints against the Cincinnati PD.

      Like

  19. CNN interviewed the constructor workers who witnessed Darren Wilson gun down Michael Brown with Michael’s hands up.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/10/us/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-witnesses/index.html

    Like

  20. yahtzeebutterfly

    Today at Howard University:

    Like

  21. yahtzeebutterfly

    “MISSOURI LAWMAKERS EXPAND GUN RIGHTS IN SCHOOLS”

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/missouri-lawmakers-expand-gun-schools-cities
    http://t.co/BsuLY74Csi

    Excerpt:

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers expanded the potential for teachers to bring guns to schools and for residents to openly carry firearms, in a vote Thursday that capped a two-year effort by the Republican-led Legislature to expand gun rights over the objection of the Democratic governor.

    The new law will allow specially trained school employees to carry concealed guns on campuses. It also allows anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns openly, even in cities or towns with bans against the open carrying of firearms. The age to obtain a concealed weapons permit also will drop from 21 to 19.

    Gun bill is SB656.

    Online:

    Senate: http://www.senate.mo.gov

    Like

  22. VOTE

    To make sure you are registered, use this link:

    http://www.canivote.org/

    Like

  23. Annie Cabani

    God Bless MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell (and CNN’s Sonny Hostin)!

    Lawrence just did something even Rev. Al didn’t do earlier this evening. He exposed the elephant in the room with reporters’ clamoring over the “two new witnesses” to Mike Brown’s murder. He even showed this Jeffry Toobin’s tweet (i hope this embedding works):

    Huge breaking news #ferguson on tonight's @ac360 @cnn. It changes my understanding of what happened to Mike Brown.— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) September 10, 2014

    Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out that CNN’s reliance on these “new witnesses” (who aren’t even new witnesses) is just second hand, through a CNN reporter’s report about what they guys say and that they say essentially the same thing a half-dozen other witnesses have already said.

    But WHY are these “new witnesses” such a game changer for folks like Jeffry Toobin and other “legal analysts”?? Well, let’s just GUESS why. Hmmmmmm, could it be BECAUSE THEY’RE WHITE??!!

    That has been pissing me off, and I am SO GLAD LAWRENCE O’DONNELL SAID IT OUT LOUD! Everyone else has been saying crap like, “They’re so significant because ‘they don’t live there’ so they’re ‘more objective’ and ‘don’t have any stake/interest'”.

    And I’ve been thinking – WTF?? As if … just because you “live” where you witness a murder you can’t be considered credible about witnessing the murder? Surely you don’t mean to say that, do you? What are you REALLY saying?? Maybe: Because they’re black witnesses they don’t have credibility? Well, where the hell does THAT come from, other than sheer racism??

    Anyway, then Lawrence showed a clip of Sonny Hostin reacting in a similar way right in front of Jeffrey Toobin, himself. Thank you, Lawrence and Sonny!

    PS to Jeffrey Toobin: Good God, you FOOL! You just lost all credibility and any claim to offering objective legal analysis! Time to just retire and DISAPPEAR, please!

    Like

    • Maybe: Because they’re black witnesses they don’t have credibility? Well, where the hell does THAT come from, other than sheer racism??

      It’s part of that proverbial stereotyping that Blacks have a bone to pick with LE, so they could never be objective and honest witnesses.

      Of course, the effort to denigrate the eyewitnesses is intended to overcome any and all forensic evidence that comes from Wilson’s vehicle, where the bullet casings were found, and the autopsies with the paths of the bullets. We’re suppose to forget that Mike was shot in the top, center of his head and that was the fatal shot. What was he doing, bum rush crawling towards Darren Wilson? No. Wilson committed 1st degree murder and he knows that he did which is why he did not file a written report.

      Like

    • kindheart101

      Annie!!!!!!!!!!

      Clapping…Clapping……..and Clapping! I agree with every word, and have been waiting for the same thing to happen.

      I have also sat and listened to: “Well, we have to wait and see”…”There may be more”…”Maybe Browns hands were up to rush Wilson”…”Let’s just wait”…”We don’t have all of the facts”………….

      Then, BINGO………a 15 second video of 2 white contractors, one that was obviously upset and even displaying how Michael had his hands in the air.

      (Wink Annie!) Let’s see if they try to discount this, brush it off, or try to dig up dirt on these two? My guess is No……..:)

      Like

      • Annie Cabani

        It’s so maddening, isn’t it, kindheart?

        Here’s a link to the Lawrence O’Donnell segment, for those interested:
        http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/watch/why-are-new-ferguson-witnesses-different–328328259517

        Like

        • kindheart101

          It’s sickening, racist, demeaning and bigoted behavior that has once again violently claimed another young black mans life, and even manages to cloud the truth, and just punishment, because Wilson is a white police officer.

          It turns my stomach to think about those that will certainly pick up the gavel of bigotry and claim it once again took a white man to take another black youth off the streets.

          Truth is…….this was excessive force, and deadly violence, used against Mike Brown by Wilson. There are too many witnesses to allow anything other than an indictment, followed by a murder trial punishable with prison.

          We have seen Presidents impeached, Mayors on drugs, and Congressmen and Senators revealed for “breaking” laws vs making or passing them. To even suggest that because a person, of any color, ethnicity or gender, absolutely obeys the law because they wear a badge, is extremely naive. Quite to the contrary, having police officers in my family, I find it gives them a sense of empowerment, authority, which can backfire when mixed with personal beliefs. Hence, a White Cop puts 6 bullets in a Black Male, unarmed teen, surrendering with his hands in the air.

          Thanks for the link Annie, I’ll pass it along.

          Like

  24. Annie Cabani

    Hi, Xena – FYI – I’ve got a comment in moderation – not sure why, except I tried to embed a “tweet” and it may have multiple hyperlinks. 🙂

    Like

    • Annie,
      It’s been set free. 🙂

      Since Yahtzee hasn’t replied yet, here are instructions for embedding tweets:

      On the tweet you want to embed, check to the right of the “handle” where the time appears. Click on the time. Another page will open with the tweet. Copy the URL in that browser window. Come to the comment box and paste that URL. Submit comment. It will appear as the tweet on the blog.

      Like

  25. yahtzeebutterfly

    Chris King @chriskingstl · 12h
    “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create crisis & foster tension [so] a community that refused to negotiate is forced to.” MLK via Vickers

    Chris King @chriskingstl · 13h
    A really soulful I-70 shutdown video by @Rebeccarivas of the @StLouisAmerican – ->

    Like

  26. yahtzeebutterfly

    I feel this is a good article to help understand institutional racism and police stereotyping:

    “Doreen Lawrence, police spies and institutional racism”
    ADAM ELLIOTT-COOPER 14 January 2014

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/adam-elliott-cooper/doreen-lawrence-police-spies-and-institutional-racism

    Like

  27. yahtzeebutterfly

    Community Oriented Policing Services Outlines Best Practices for Use of Body-Worn Cameras for Police Officers. http://t.co/AlEHqTTvka— DOJ Civil Rights (@CivilRights) September 12, 2014

    Like

  28. yahtzeebutterfly

    “Brown family attorney blasts St. Louis paper for ‘gossip and racist speculation”

    http://us.cnn.com/2014/09/12/justice/ferguson-michael-brown-newspaper/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

    Like

  29. yahtzeebutterfly

    Antonio French @AntonioFrench · 5h
    Video from yesterday’s Public Safety Committee Meeting (Part I) http://youtu.be/JQw1zpXubVM

    Antonio French @AntonioFrench · 5h
    Video from yesterday’s Public Safety Committee Meeting (Part 2) http://youtu.be/Kysbw6HxzyU

    Like

  30. yahtzeebutterfly

    Antonio French @AntonioFrench · 7m
    The parents of #MikeBrown are marching in downtown Clayton demanding the arrest of the man who killed their son.

    https://t.co/bl1REQdEdB

    Like

  31. yahtzeebutterfly

    Going back to the article you quoted, Xena, it IS so important that we do keep our focus on

    “His death is tragic because he was a human being and his life mattered.”

    Michael had so much to look forward to and so much to live for, but one act of violence by a coldhearted officer ended Michael’s dreams.

    Our society and our police need to CARE!

    Black Life Matters!

    Targeting of our fellow Black citizens needs to be STOPPED!

    We can’t have this anymore:

    When will the change come??

    How long and how often has this song been sung??? – – – >

    “It’s been a long, a long time coming,
    But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will.”

    Like

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