Racism in American society (plus more Ferguson)

Artist T.I. takes to Instagram to express his thoughts:

“Look at us….America has created a monster. The result of ignoring & mishandling an already fragile spirited, recently enslaved, presently oppressed race/generation of people. Look at us. We’re the monster that now refuses to be dismissed, overlooked,& ignored. We were brought to this place,unaware of our own cultures,religion,& traditions therefore,we created our own. Now look at us. For years we’ve been crying out for the nation to address the substandard education systems & disparaging treatment of our citizens in communities across America. Our people have had an increasing lack of opportunities for generations.

There have been homes broken,lives shattered,and futures lost on your watch….unanswered. Look at us. How long can u expect a nation/race/generation of people to be blatantly disrespected? Spoken to and treated with arrogant tones of insignificance. Our fathers,uncles,brothers& role models were killed& Imprisoned more often than educated. Now look at us. Our friends,& relatives Murdered and cast aside without thought,as though your human life is more valuable than ours. How long can that go on without consequence?

Now Look at us. How long can u continue to pass the buck & make excuses of why u can’t do today what should have been done yeste-year? Although I DO NOT support the negative responses & actions of my people in light of dis tragedy….I WILL NOT condone your lack of effort to show any urgency to improve the treatment of our people, nor the living conditions in our communities. Your refusal to address these life altering issues makes events such as these seem inevitable. Although I too am at fault to a degree & I admit that I may not have all da answers… I do have a fun fact for you. Insanity is…Going about things the same way,expecting a different result. U wanna different result? U must take different action. What else do u expect? Look at us!!!”

Why won’t they release the incident report?

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters last week that media requests forced him to release an incident report and video that allegedly shows Michael Brown robbing a convenience store and stealing a box of cigars. But he has yet to release another incident report documenting Brown’s killing, which various media outlets have also demanded.

“All I did — what I did was — was release the videotape to you, because I had to,” Jackson told reporters when asked why he released the robbery footage. “I’d been sitting on it, but I — too many people put in a FOI request for that thing, and I had to release that tape to you.”

Jackson later said that officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Brown, stopped him because he was walking in the middle of the street, not because he was a robbery suspect.

The two incidents took place about ten minutes apart, according to USA Today, and generated two different police reports.

But even after nearly two weeks of protests, which grew increasingly contentious the night following the release of the video tape, the incident report for the shooting remains secret.

The Ferguson police department did not respond to a Freedom of Information request from The Huffington Post asking for copies of the FOIA’s related to the robbery incident report.

The department also did not respond to questions from HuffPost about why the Brown incident report or Brown’s autopsy have not been released.

“How do you pick and choose and decide what—the press has asked for a lot of stuff. That’s the only thing you’ve released,” Rev. Clinton Stancil of St. Louis said on Democracy Now. “How did you come to that decision? What was your decision-making process?”

Not every story related to Ferguson will fill you with tears of rage.  This one produces tears of joy:

A teacher in North Carolina has raised nearly $80,000 to feed students from low-income families in Ferguson, Mo., who would ordinarily be getting free lunches at public schools in the St. Louis suburb but can’t because the start of the 2014-15 school year has been delayed twice as a result of civil unrest.

The 11,000-student Ferguson-Florissant School District was supposed to start classes Aug. 14 but now is scheduled to open Aug. 25, assuming that the unrest that resulted from the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of a black teenager by a police officer has stopped. This year, the high-poverty district was planning to start a federal program that allows all students to receive free lunches, not only those whose family incomes qualify them for free and reduced-price lunches, according to this report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Ferguson-Florissant is considered a high-poverty school district because many of its students qualify for free and reduced-price lunches — 68 percent of them last year, though it is likely that the real percentage is higher but some families never filled out the paperwork, the newspaper said.

Wishing to help the students in Ferguson, Julianna Mendelsohn, a fifth-grade teacher in Bahama, N.C., came up with the idea of starting a fund on the Internet to raise money so that the St. Louis Area Foodbank could feed students and their families, according to takepart.com. She started a fundraising campaign on Fundly.com that has raised nearly $80,000, which had been her goal.

(via Daily Kos)

She’s actually raised even more than $80K. As of this writing, she has helped raise almost $150K.  You probably can’t see the smile on my face, but you can imagine it.  The community of Ferguson is dealing with so much injustice.  I can only imagine how much of a relief this will be to them.

Jim Hoft’s Unsourced Claim That Officer Darren Wilson Had an “Orbital Blowout Fracture of the Eye Socket”

More dangerous open-carry antics

How would that situation have gone if the guy was black?

John Crawford III was shot and killed by police in a Wal-Mart for the crime of carrying a BB gun…that he picked up in the toy aisle.  One of his killers is back on the job. You’ll *never* guess Crawford’s race or the officers::wink wink:: It’s like they’ve stopped pretending to value the lives of black people in the US.

Incidentally, I just got through walking my dog, Krystal:

(isn’t she just so precious).  I’ve lived in this neighborhood for nearly 11 years, and neither I nor my roommate have had any problems (my best buddy, Micah, who passed away in 2010 did have an incident while he was living with us.  He was driving home from work one night and as he made a turn into our subdivision, the rear drivers side window of his car was hit by a bullet. Nothing ever became of this, but he was very unnerved by the incident.  So were E and I.)

Anyway, while walking her we passed a home with a police car in the driveway. Given the events in Ferguson, as well as the treatment of People of Color by police across the US (for yet *another* example: Cop Tasers compliant teen into fit of seizures: ‘He was trying to kill my son,’ says mom), for a brief second, I had a flash of “I’m walking down the middle of the street just like Michael Brown was”.  I wasn’t doing anything wrong (I guess technically I was, since I was walking in the middle of the street, but it’s a residential area with very, very little traffic). The thought didn’t last long, but that’s something most white people don’t have to think about.  That’s part of being white and having privilege.  You get to move through life with-on average-fewer obstacles than People of Color.  Having privilege is not a bad thing. It isn’t something you can ‘opt in/out’ of.  It’s about a host of benefits (which are often invisible until you come to recognize your privilege) that you are granted by society by virtue of being born white.  For more on white privilege, check out Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. I urge everyone-especially white people-to read the article.



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Racism in American society (plus more Ferguson)