Category Archives: Alton Sterling

The Blind Cannot Lead The Blind –Blindness, The Movie

Okay.  I admit.  When I first became aware of Mark Ruffalo was in The Avengers.  I fell in love with how he played Dr. Banner/The Hulk character.  That movie was released in 2012, and I suspected that Ruffalo had to have started his career long before then.  Since then, I search for movies On Demand that he appears in.

On my channel line-up is the Indie movie channel.  It is showing a movie titled “Blindness” starring Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore.  It was released in 2008 and is categorized as a mystery, drama, and sci-fi movie.

Imagine a city where everyone goes blind – citizens, emergency response personnel, police, military, doctors, scientists, politicians, criminals, etc., and you are the only person with eyesight.  Because everyone else is blind, they believe that you are too and you don’t tell them otherwise.

This post is going to be longer than I generally write, but I hope it captures your attention and reads fast because the movie Blindness is intensely symbolic.

Wikipedia describes Blindness as;

Blindness is a 2008 English-language film, an adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by Portuguese author José Saramago about a society suffering an epidemic of blindness. The film was written by Don McKellar and directed by Fernando Meirelles with Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo as the main characters. Saramago originally refused to sell the rights for a film adaptation, but the producers were able to acquire it with the condition that the film would be set in an unnamed and unrecognizable city. Blindness premiered as the opening film at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2008, and the film was released in the United States on October 3, 2008.”

Although I have to address portions of the movie, (spoilers) this is not a movie review, per se.  It took me about 2 minutes into the movie to realize that blindness is a metaphor.  “Blindness” is about an ineffectual government. Blindness is about how people relate to each other under crisis – or not. Blindness is about disconnection of social structure.  Blindness is about people driven by what is just and fair – or not.  It’s also about people driven by fear – or not. It’s about placing value on self and others – or not.  It’s about the differences between control and power.  It’s about self-governance during social collapse.

I’ve only read synopsis about the book “Blindness,” but with art imitating life, I get the impression that Saramago’s written creation is intended as actor Danny Glover describes, “The story deals with something we have to confront, which is our own inability to see what’s going on around us.”

By the time the movie ends, the viewer should understand that there is a difference between “sight,” “seeing,” and “vision”.

None of the characters in this movie have names.  The city is unnamed.  The year is unknown.  What causes the blindness is unknown.  How long it lasted is unknown, although we get clues by seeing beards grown, fruit swiveled up, and dead plants, that it lasted over a month.

There are many scenes in this movie that I have not included.  Some give more understanding of the personalities of the characters.   There is symbolism, such as people rejoicing in the rain as a symbol of baptism into new life. The only person who has eyesight shows her overwhelming emotions as she witnesses the filth and chaos that others cannot see.  I was captivated by this film.    Read the rest of this entry

Baton Rouge Policeman Fired Over Killing of Alton Sterling

The Crusader Journal

(Reuters) – A white Louisiana police officer was fired on Friday and a second suspended for the killing of Alton Sterling, a black man shot in a 2016 incident that inflamed the U.S. debate on racial bias in law enforcement, a police official said.

Baton Rouge officer Blane Salamoni was dismissed for violating department standards on use of force and for losing his temper in the deadly incident, Police Chief Murphy Paul told a news conference.

The second officer involved in the confrontation, Howie Lake, was suspended for three days for violating the command of temper standard. The decisions followed an administrative review of the July 2016 shooting, and both officers plan to appeal, Paul said.

The decisions are designed “to bring closure to a cloud that has been over our community for far too long,” he said.

Sterling, 37, was shot outside a convenience store after a resident reported…

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UPDATE: Alton Sterling’s Family Seeks Videos Not Made Public

Alton Sterling being stunned and shot at close range

Alton Sterling was 37-years old when he was killed on July 5, 2016, in Baton Rouge, LA.  Alton was selling homemade CD’s and DVD’s outside the Triple S Food Mart when Officer Blane Salamoni fired six shots into Alton at close range. Officer Howie Lake II, shocked Alton with a stun gun and helped wrestle Sterling to the ground but did not fire his gun.

In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not bring federal criminal charges against the officers.  The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office is now investigating the case.

Alton’s children and their mothers have filed a civil suit.  Attorneys representing them have requested a private viewing of videos that include police body cams and surveillance video that captured the moments before Alton was fatally shot.  The Attorney General’s office has those videos, but as of October 5, 2017, have not complied with the request.

Two cellphone videos taken by bystanders captured the violent end of the encounter and were made public, but body cam and surveillance videos are in possession of the Attorney General’s office and have not been made public.

In May, the DOJ told lawyers and family members about the audio and video from the shooting, and at times described it.  According to a source who spoke with The Advocate, Officer Salamoni is seen pointing his gun at Alton’s head, yelling profanities, and a threat to kill him. Read the rest of this entry

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