Category Archives: research
Hat-tip to CFBostonBrian who referenced a link on his blog. Reading that link, I found another link to a 20 page report by Phillip Atiba Goff and Matthew Christian Jackson of the University of California, Los Angeles; Brooke Allison Lewis DiLeone of the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Boston, Massachusetts; Carmen Marie Culotta and Natalie Ann DiTomasso of the University of Pennsylvania. The research paper is titled “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children.”
Their study, conducted in 2008, indirectly corrected me on using the term “demeaning”. I should have been using the term “dehumanizing.”
When Trayvon Martin was killed in 2012, there were people online who vigorously argued against Trayvon being a child. That argument continues today. I looked for reasons behind the demeaning because it was more than racial prejudice — it was absolute hatred, wishes of violence, and disrespect for human life.
The research and study conducted by Goff and colleagues supports that there is a link between dehumanization and sanctioned violence. It gives a history of dehumanization in the United States as a necessary condition for state-sanctioned violence. :
“The logic of this assertion is that dehumanizing groups morally excludes them (Opotow, 1990), making it permissible to treat people in a way that would be morally objectionable if they were fully human. U.S. history is replete with examples of this kind of moral exclusion of Black children. For instance, the policies of chattel slavery (mostly pertaining to peoples of African descent) permitted children to be separated from their parents and forced into labor at any age (Guttman, 1976). In 1944, a Black 14-year-old, George Junius Stinney Jr., became the youngest person on record in the United States to be legally executed by the state (electrocuted without the benefit of a lawyer, witnesses, or a record of confession; Jones, 2007). And, notoriously, in 1955, a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till was dragged from his bed, disfigured, and lynched for allegedly whistling at a White woman (Crowe, 2003). What psychological context could explain this treatment of children? Again, there is reason to believe it may be contexts that provoke dehumanization.”
By Guest Blogger Yahtzeebutterfly
April 1, 1949 – Spoken-word, jazz/blues poet Gil Scott-Heron was born in Chicago, Illinois
See Xena’s excellent article, The Gift of Gil Scott Heron – Seeing the Present In The Past.
April 2, 1939 – Birth of singer and songwriter Marvin Gaye in Washington, D.C.
April 4, 1928 – Poet and author Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
In case you missed her moving tribute to Nelson Mandela, here it is:
April 4, 1968 – Martin Luther King was assassinated.
Every time another anniversary of Martin Luther King’s untimely death comes around, there is an echo in my mind of him speaking about how he might not get to the “promised land” of brotherhood, equality, and social justice but that he had seen “the promised land” with all of its beauty from the mountaintop overlooking it. Today, we are still not there. It is a land that my heart yearns for. It is a land that requires all of our fellow citizens’ hearts to yearn for before our arrival there is possible. Hearts need to change and feel the qualities of that “promised land.” It is actually a promise that we must give to each other before arrival is ever possible. Read the rest of this entry
Years ago, I found a bargain book titled “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To American Heroes.” (Please, don’t laugh. Okay. Go ahead and laugh.) Under “Strange Encounters of the Heroic Kind” is the note that George Washington and Betsy Ross sat in adjacent pews at church. The other night as I was going through the book and read that part, I wondered about the “customs” claimed by those who still hold onto the Confederate battle flag. That led to the question, what would America be today had the South won the Civil War?
Would we have the inventions and research of people of color, including Native Americans that have benefited not only America, but mankind as a whole? What about music, literature, movies? What about the result of wars, especially World War II with the participation of the Tuskegee Airmen and Navajo “code talkers”?
This is open for discussion. I would very much like to hear your opinions, and any contributions that have helped make America great, and that would have been impossible, or hindered had the Confederacy won the Civil War.
A little more than a year ago my wife gave me a book titled “El Cinco De Mayo an American Tradition.” The author is Dr. David Hayes-Bautista. I could not put the book down. The history contained on its pages was nearly lost. It is my belief that the historical facts behind Cinco De Mayo were intended to be lost.
With the current race for the White House, and a few of the Republican front-runners who have shown disdain for Mexican-American people, I thought it might be best to share these historical facts.
El Cinco De Mayo has been mistaken by many as a celebration of Mexican independence, but it is not. It is associated with a battle won in Mexico that had it been lost, might have changed the outcome of the American Civil War.
I hope that you enjoy the video.
The video is a bit over 20 minutes, and is jam-packed with history and information, including interviews and photographs. After watching it, it brought revelation as to why the St. Louis police department made changes in who it appointed to oversee law enforcement during the Ferguson, MO protests after the police came out as a militarized occupying force.. That attitude goes back in history.
A premeditated mass murder of civilians is happening in America. Its victims include the mentally ill, the disabled, the homeless, infants, children, and minorities. The majority of its victims are Black males.
While some victims of the American Holocaust are killed by civilians claiming self-defense, the majority are killed by deputized law enforcement. There are some prejudiced citizens who conclude that certain people are up to no good. They call the police who shoot to kill first before asking questions. Using color and claim of official right, there are no consequences for their actions.
The Eastern European Nazi driven Holocaust of the 1940’s was based on a racist ideology that regarded Jews as “parasitic vermin” worthy only of eradication. America too has an ideology that some people are burdens on society or allowing them to live creates burdens on society. For Hitler and other leaders of the Nazi movement, there was no human individuality. They believed that membership in the human race was a racially defined collective group. Read the rest of this entry
Tamir Rice is the 12 year old who was shot and killed in Ohio by a cop who fired his gun in less than 2 seconds of arriving on scene.
A man had called 911 and told dispatch that a guy was in the park who might be a juvenile had a gun that might have been fake, but it was making him nervous. Dispatch put out the call without saying it could be a juvenile and could be a toy gun.
Tamir did not die right away. Reports have it that the EMT’s arrived about 4 minutes after Tamir was shot. He was taken to the hospital where he died the next day.
Tamir’s autopsy was released today. It makes the reality of life and death profound. One bullet can end a life. One bullet can cause suffering before ending a life.
One bullet. Read the rest of this entry
On Twitter, it started with circulating the headline of an article published on The Free Thought Project titled “Illinois Just Made it a Felony for Its Citizens to Record the Police and the Media is Silent.” The article claimed that Illinois passed a law making it a felony to record police officers. That is not factual. The emotional state of many Americans with the thought that a law prohibits the video recording of police officers using excessive force, was at the forefront of the headline that misrepresents the amended Illinois law.
Snopes has already printed about the apparent confusion of the law, which isn’t a new law at all but rather, an amendment to an existing law and does not prohibit the recording of on-duty police officers.
The Free Thought article states that the wording from the legislation is vague, and it included the following;
(a) Eavesdropping, for a first offense, is a Class 4 felony (from Ch. 38, par. 14-4) and, for a second or subsequent offense, is a Class 3 felony.
(b) The eavesdropping of an oral conversation or an electronic communication of any
law enforcement officer, State’s Attorney, Assistant State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or a judge, while in the performance of his or her official duties, if not authorized by this Article or proper court order, is a Class 3 felony, and for a second or subsequent offenses, is a Class 2 felony.
Had readers clicked the link to the Bill, they would have read two words that should have stood out. Those two words are;
When I read the first tweet reporting this, (and expressing disgust that Illinois would legislate such a law), I didn’t respond. I didn’t respond because my first impression that anyone reading the word “eavesdropping” would understand its meaning. I was wrong, not taking into consideration that people passing the tweet around are not residents of Illinois understanding how “eavesdropping” is defined in Illinois law. Read the rest of this entry
We have seen their faces, heard their names, another senseless loss of life. Gone before their time and all for holding a “toy”. As you will see I use “s” when referring to these “toys”. What I’m talking about are air soft and BB guns/rifles. This is the story of 3:
1. October 2013; Andy Lopez, 13, of Santa Rosa CA was walking to a friend’s home and was carrying a look-a-like AR air soft “toy” and an air soft pistol “toy”. The pistol was tucked into his waist band and while this one had an orange tip, it was not visible due to being tucked into his waistband. The officers approached from a safe distance from behind and used their vehicle as a shield. They instructed Andy to put down the weapon but instead Andy turned toward the officers and, according to the officers, started to raise the “toy”. 8 shots rang out with 7 of them striking Andy. Most were non-fatal injuries except for the shot to the chest.
2. August 5, 2014; John Crawford III, 22, Fairfield, Ohio. John was out with a friend and was in a Wal-Mart store when he picked up a look-alike assault air rifle “toy” from one of the sporting good aisles of the store. The “toy” had been removed from the box by an unknown person and was not loaded. While he carried the “toy” around a Ronald Ritchie approached store management and then called 911 with a story, in fact it is filled with outright lies. He claimed that Crawford was waving the rifle around and pointing it at children and several times told the 911 dispatcher that he was loading ammunition into the rifle. You can listen to the 911 call and the store’s video which have been timed together.
We have all seen the headlines, “Fla. Mom gets 20 years for warning shot”. We have all heard some of the stories trying to tie this long sentence to race. What most don’t know is the history behind what happened. I’m not talking about what happened to Ms. Alexander but the history behind the sentencing. What most fail to realize is that it wasn’t the crime she was found guilty of, it wasn’t her race and it had nothing to do with a warning shot. It has everything to do with a law.
Since the killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, the public has focused largely on Florida’s stand your ground (SYG) law. While many consider this to be an unjust and vague law, to me there is a more unjust law on the books and one that existed before Florida’s SYG law.
Back in the late 90’s there was a surge of violent felonies in Florida in which a gun was used. At the time, Florida had a mandatory sentence of 3 years when a gun was used in a violent felony. Jeb Bush, while running for governor, came up with and ran a campaign platform for the 10-20-Life law. When he was elected in 1999, the State Legislature passed Bush’s proposal and the law went into effect on July 1, 1999. In 2000 it was expanded to cover 16 and 17 year old’s who fire a gun and have prior criminal records. Read the rest of this entry
In 2013, a federal Judge cited the Loving case in his ruling when striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban. The Loving case has become the foundation in which other courts are striking down bans against same-sex marriage. How did it come about?
Loving — The last name is so appropriate.
In 1957, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married. They met and lived in Central Point, Virginia, but married in Washington, D.C. because in Virginia, it was illegal to marry a person of another race. Richard, White, and Mildred, “colored,” fell in love at first sight.
At about 4 a.m. one morning, the local police came to their house and arrested them. It wasn’t just the law against interracial marriage that the police was going to arrest the Lovings for violating. They were hoping to catch them in the act of making love, because there was also law against interracial sex.
Mildred showed the police their marriage certificate, but that marriage certificate became evidence for the criminal charge of “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.”
On January 6, 1959, the Loving’s pled guilty. The law they were charged with violating was passed in Virginia in 1924. It was the Act for the Preservation of Racial Integrity. That law set forth that any trace of nonwhite ancestry (the infamous “one drop” rule) defined someone as ineligible to marry anyone defined as white.
The court found the Loving’s guilty and sentenced each to one year in prison, but suspended sentencing for 25 years if they moved out of Virginia.
They moved to Washington, D.C. and could only return to Virginia separately, not together, to see their families. The Loving’s were unhappy in D.C. and in 1964, Mildred wrote to Attorney General Robert Kennedy. He referred her to the ACLU. Two attorneys with no prior experience, but believers in equality and the constitution, went to work.
Thanks so much for keeping us up-to-date on these cases.
UPDATED May 31, 2016
2013 was the year stand your ground law became a national controversial issue. A case could fall into this category if a person who takes a life claims self-defense under stand your ground laws or may have the option to invoke the law. Here are some of the most shocking incidents that made headlines:
CLICK THE VICTIM’S NAME FOR MORE DETAILS OF THE INCIDENT
RONALD WESTBROOK, Georgia
On November 27, 2013 Ronald Westbrook, a 72-year-old man with advanced Alzheimer’s disease, wandered four miles away from home with his dogs in the middle of the night. He jiggled the doorknob and rang the doorbell of a home in Walker County, Georgia, alerting the resident, Joe Hendrix, 34, who went outside.
Hendrix said that he saw a figure walking toward him in the darkness, ordered the man to stop several times, and fired his weapon, killing Westbrook…
View original post 609 more words