Was ANYBODY going to stop the unfettered lynching of people of color in America? Did President Obama ever deliver anything more than a eulogy? Few police officers are being convicted or even indicted. Videotaped killings of black men by lawmen have become so common, those disseminating the videos are being accused of harboring fetishes. People expressing offense online are being shamed for being clicktivists, though clearly the only fuels firing public outrage are the videos. Meanwhile Black Lives Matter spokespeople have become so jaded they ridicule the efficacy of street protests. And now everyone is condemning the lone direct action taker.
Denver art student informs Tale of Two Hoodies with Goya’s Third of May 1808. This KKK cop executes the black child.
DENVER, COLORADO- Here’s what the Denver Post article didn’t explain about the Denver high school art student who was pressured to remove her controversial piece from public display. Where was it being shown? At the Wellington Webb Building. That’s not irrelevant because it’s where viewers became offended. You could go inquire about the incident, if you knew where to ask, or where to protest the work’s removal. The WELLINGTON WEBB BUILDING downtown on Colfax. What’s so controversial, the scene is real isn’t it? There’s more.
You read that right. All parties are teenagers but the younger African American males (ages 14 to 17) are being charged as adults.
DENVER, COLORADO- Denver jailers killed 50-yr-old schitzophrenic Michael Marshall in the exact manner they killed Marvin Booker five years ago except this time they kept it under wraps. By throwing their victim’s body in with Schrodinger’s cat. Authorities in Denver and Minneapolis have learned you can have your cake and kill it too, so long as you postpone the public learning what the outcome was. It’s the lesson of Schrodinger’s Cat. If you kill an unarmed man, for god’s sake don’t drape him in a shroud. Ship his body to the hospital under guard and stick it on life support. Medical privacy laws forbid health workers from disclosing the patient’s fate. Minneapolis police held off public outrage over the shooting of Jamar Clark with the same technique: say he’s on life support until it’s no longer plausible. Schrodinger’s box works for damning videos too. Until the public can open the box, hopefully never, the police did AND didn’t commit the atrocity.
Who okayed Chicago’s $5 million hush payment for killing Laquan McDonald? Did buck stop with Rahm Emanuel?
Laquan McDonald’s murder was covered up for over a year, five million was paid to his family to keep the killing under wraps. The Chicago police officer who shot McDonald was only charged after the video came to light. Laquan McDonald was killed on October 20, 2014, two months after Michael Brown. Ferguson protests were in full swing. Imagine if the communities of South Chicago had seen the video when Black Lives Matter was in ascendance. It’s hard to say from how high heads should roll over this scandal. Were the Ferguson and Baltimore riots countered from above? Was riot police strategy coordinated by agencies above municipal hierarchies like Chicago’s? We know the Baltimore protests were monitored by FBI surveillance flights. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel most certainly should be forced to resign, but the authority which quashed the Laquan video is no doubt sitting on others, and this abuse extends beyond racism. Laquan McDonald’s killing and coverup didn’t just happen 400-odd days ago. It happened in the thick of Black Lives coming to Matter. Chicago cops were deleting Burger King security camera video while Ferguson solidarity protests were happening in Chicago.
DENVER, COLORADO- All eyes have been on South Carolina, Bree Newsome, and the White Supremacist rallies which have percolated since, but Colorado indignants could note that a Confederate battle flag does still fly over Denver. The historic Riverside Cemetery commemorates Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and notable Civil War anniversaries with flags honoring American soldiers. They don’t fly Old Glory over the Confederate vets and the manager assured me they don’t plan to dishonor the Rebels with a Union flag anytime soon. On the graveyard’s Northwest side, nearest to the Evans crypt there’s a cobblestone patch where the bricks are engraved with the names of Colorado veterans who served the Confederacy. Over the gathering is a flag pole which was dedicated in 2003. It’s a discrete affair visible to only visitors touring the cemetery’s historic tombstones or dog-walkers heading out to the Riverside’s wetland conservation area.
Requiring activists to “make space” for black or brown voices, if apolitical or reformist, is a counterinsurgency trap.
OFF-STREET ACTIVISM floweth over with do-gooders begging for a seat at the table, literally, tables, where the powers-that-be want them. Street protest organizers are berated about providing forums for disenfranchised voices, as if indoor choir-singing yields redress of grievances. Leaders of disadvantaged communities mistake cis-gendered, white activists for their actual oppressors, because that’s easier than facing down the police. But the dynamic is disingenuous subterfuge and it’s not coming from the allies who matter. The people of Ferguson did not wait for white social justice groups to “make space” for their protest. You’d think the lesson of Ferguson is obvious.
SORRY, I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with government telling me how to think or telling me what I can’t say. Flags mean a lot to me and I CAN imagine MY flag being declared hateful or a public threat. How is anyone to rally like-minded dissenters when a government and its corporate media can declare their rallying symbol non grata? I don’t like the Confederate rebel flag either, it is modern code for unrepentant white racism, but I’m hugely skeptical when Big Brother is driving the bandwagon. How amusing that activists eager to burn Confederate flags find that the major retailers have already banned them. There’s a statement you’re being prevented making.
PHOTOS: Activists calling for Justice for Jessica Hernandez in 2015 Denver Pride Parade, blocked police joining in.
DENVER, COLORADO- A #JusticeForJessie action led by Branching Seedz of Resistance jumped into the Denver Pride Parade to block a police contingent from joining the procession. Activists held off the DPD for 10 minutes while leaders spoke against the January 26 murder of queer Latina teen Jessica Hernandez by DPD. After the disruptive standoff, BSEEDZ stood aside and was cheered by passing paraders until tucking themselves back into the parade under cover of allied group.
When a white racist mass murderer is apprehended, it’s a Western law enforcement tradition not to treat the suspect as cops do suspects of color. Fortunately television audience are now rejecting this inequity, and predictably they call for blood, instead of suggesting that all pre-trial interaction with police be conducted with respect for the presumed innocent. Similarly, white shooters and bombers are not called terrorists or racists but rather loners struggling with mental illness. I think it’s hugely important to call out the racism and xenophobia which breeds antisocial renegades like Dylann Storm Roof, and NOT judge Roof differently than the rare but much abused non-white even un-domestic insurgent. But why dismiss the insanity defense, when it obviously plays a part in more crimes not fewer. Dylann Roof was on psych meds. That’s another nightmare altogether, by which I mean for the pharmaceutical industry, who I think have a perfect record for supplementing white mass shooters. American prisons are filled with mental illness and mental disability and mental shortcomings. The justice system needs to be reformed with respect for mental health challenges, not with calls to get tougher on those with lesser ability to cope in society.
Let’s all grab our pitch forks, run around and find something to kill. There now! that should make us all feel better about what happened. If you listen to moron politicians like Nikki Halley, then you are the sucker she is counting on. “Kill Dylann”, there! problem solved.
It was reported by some news media, that Dylann wanted to start a race war, because he lost a girl he liked to another boy who happen to be black. Guess Dylann wasn’t keeping up with current events, there is already a race war in progress. You need only look at the fact that he is still alive, after the horrific crime he is suspected of, while many, many black men, women and children are dead, committing no crime at all.
African American Freddie Gray died as a result of his spine being severed at his neck. It’s no hyperbole to describe the continuing police murders of young black men as deputized, mob LYNCHINGS. The overwhelming victims of these extrajudicial executions are people of color. As if to underline this point, Baltimore police made this clear in no uncertain medical terms. I’m not a doctor, but what injury could better support the inference that Freddie Gray was lynched?
So. Black man Eric Harris was killed by Oklahoma lawmen last week, accidentally shot in the back by a deputy who thought he was triggering his taser, not his gun. He didn’t unholster one instead of the other, he actually jumped out of the cruiser with a weapon in each hand! Funny thing about that deputy… –But first let’s make clear that the Tulsa County Sheriff has already excused the officer of wrongdoing, likewise all the other cops who piled on Harris as he died, mocking his final breath. “Fuck your breath” said one cop as they kneed Harris’ face into the pavement until he died.
Americans tend to see racism in terms of being solely a Black and White, White versus Black sort of issue. And since we no longer have an overt and blatant, separate but not very equal Apartheid State, White Americans tend to pat themselves on the back and then deny that much any racism actually still exists in US society. This mindset then goes on to blame Blacks for there still being huge problems in their communities. Whites have done their part to make equality supposedly happen say these Whites, and if US Blacks are worse off today, it is only because they are not as good and hard working as Whites mostly think that they themselves are.
The New Yorker Magazine’s MLK Day issue has everyone upset. It’s not that there are no women in the march, sorry. That’s another issue. Marching with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are now iconic men of color whose lynchings have sparked recent protests. There’s Eric, Trayvon, Michael, and …WTF, one of the NYC cops whose murder might be attributable to the unrest. Maybe. But it wasn’t due to his race. To the elite, these lives may be equivalent, and to hell with #BlackLivesMatter. One of these things doesn’t belong here, one of these things just isn’t the same. One of these things killed all the other, including Martin. WHICH OF THESE MARCHERS WASN’T KILLED BY A COP, WANNABE-COP, OR THE US GOVERNMENT?
Might a satirist consider exercising SOME discretion in one’s pursuit of Freedom of Speech? AS IF that is Charlie Hebdo’s lofty ideal. Heralded as court jesters, I would submit they are weapons of cultural imperialism, the point men propagandists in a very real, genocidal war. Playing along with the corporate spin that the Paris gunmen simply had no sense of humor, I can hardly imagine that American Taliban, many of our armed soldiers among them, would stomach similar desecrations of their Lord Jesus. One has merely to Google “Charlie Hebdo” to see the paper’s unrelentingly racist attacks on Islam. I do not condone executing their cartoonists, but I’m not about to stand in solidarity with their foolishness and bigotry, or their condescending secular ridicule in promotion of Western fascism.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- Someone tried to firebomb the Springs office of the NAACP yesterday. A pipebomb failed to ignite a can of gasoline left leaning behind the building located in Hillside, the city’s traditionally African American community. The FBI claims to be interested in a white male with a beat up pickup truck. Across the state activists are alarmed at the subdued media response and lack of outrage. I’d like to explain why this bomb, a typical racist MO, has yet to resonate here.
Maybe St. Louis police were offended by the NFL Rams’ “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT” salute because police would never consider brutalizing wealthy black football players. I doubt it, but this could suggest that police abuse of power is about CLASS more than race. That St. Louis police feel it is their place to tell African American players how to act would confirm this is about RACE.
In other Ferguson news, African American church leaders tell Ferguson protesters to go to hell. While students and solidarity activists organize protests nationwide, spiritual “community leaders” have been gathering in churches in a coordinated effort to ease police-community relations. Some of these are even religious ceremonies which feature law enforcement commanders as honored guests. “Make Change Not Noise” read a local program. The fence-sitters are forgetting that President Obama already got the CHANGE thing covered.
Who is it you warn not to “play with matches”? Not an adult.
With crowds still in the streets of Ferguson protesting the murder-by-cop of African American teen Michael Brown, another white officer in neighboring St. Louis has pumped another two digit number of bullets into another black teen. The off-duty policeman was attempting a “pedestrian check” –a term authorities are yet reluctant to explain– when according to him the victim began firing. Insensed residents are again taking to the streets. No confirmation yet on whether video will emerge to prove witness accounts that the victim was holding a sandwich and not the 9mm which the police claim to have found. Community leaders urge calm but fortunately St. Louis locals are undeterred. In Denver, where commuynities of color are still reeling from a string of typical lynchings by police, religious keepers-of-peace are successful at diffusing the outrage. They admonish against misplaced anger, declare we’ve made ourselves heard, laud us for bringing attention to racism, and urge everyone to all go home. Here, have a sandwich.
“You can fuck Magic Johnson for all that I care, just don’t put him on Instagram” billionaire Donald Sterling told his mistress in a now infamous recording in which he also explained he didn’t want her bringing black people to his basketball games. The NBA responded by stripping the LA Clippers owner of his franchise because they won’t abide blatant racism, as if the NBA performer audience color divide wasn’t overt enough. Who could have envisioned a boyfriend being more jealous of Instagram than actual physical infidelity? KUDOS INSTAGRAM! And three cheers for billionaires so greedy that they can’t abide a sex-worker mistress being compensated with a house and car. Sterling’s wife sued the mistress to recover less than one percent of their tax-evading family trust, in spite of being forwarned that an incriminating tape would be leaked to the press. But I’m really curious about the friends Sterling said were complaining to him about the Instagram pic. Who sees someone posing with Magic Johnson and asks “why is your girlfriend standing next to a BLACK MAN?”
OUT OF CONTROL. New Mexico state police stopped a minivan for speeding and the African American mother at the wheel decided, correctly it turned out, that she and her five children risked who knows what on a rural backroad at the hands of white cops. Oriana Ferrell of Tennessee –perhaps of no small relevance– tried to drive her family to safety after officers reacted violently when her 14-year-old son lunged to protect her from being tased. Officers fired at the minivan as Ferrell drove her children to a public location in Taos where there would be witnesses to the inevitable police assault. Ferrell and her son are charged with felonies. Hopefully the officers who fired tasers and guns into the vehicle full of children have friends who are just insufficiently racist to tell them not to brag about it.
George Zimmerman’s MO has nothing on the US justice system. High school freshman Philip Chism is accused of murdering Boston teacher Colleen Ritzer. Though he’s only 14, Chism is being arraigned as an adult. The media is playing it down but Philip Chism is black. You’d think somewhere in America, district attorneys want to prosecute an African American juvenile AS A juvenile because, you know, Obama and shit. Neatly bookending this story today, white felon and Kennedy kin Michael Skakel, has been granted a retrial. Skakel was 39 when the law finally caught up with him, but Skakel was TRIED AS A JUVENILE (AT 39) because he was 15 when the murder was committed. In a further flaunting of priviledge, the judge granted Skakel a retrail because the judge decided his original defense must have been inadequate. That should set quite a precedent for anyone who’s been failed by a public defender, which would be EVERYBODY! But probably this precedent will only apply to everybody who’s white, and a Kennedy.
Grace is only afforded to juveniles who are white, consistent with Western disregard for the children of the Global South whose adult worklife begins even before puberty.
Bored Oklahoma teens who shot a random jogger in the back are being tried as adults not juveniles because “it was an adult crime”; though killing while bored seems a juvenile crime by definition. So does immediately confessing a motive, “we were bored,” to the police, it would seem to me. But there’s more. Despite the confessions, it was not immediately clear who pulled the trigger as the three teens trailed their victim, Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane, in their car, then sped away to find a next target. But that didn’t stop Oklahoma police from charging just TWO of the boys with first degree murder, bail denied, with the third considered an accessory. I’ve provided the mug shots to give you a hint. For which 15 and 16 year-old do you think the state of Oklahoma is seeking the death penalty? (Spoiler: YES) And the older accessory –17 but white– gets bail and will be tried as a juvenile.
Pundits deride African American leaders for not decrying the Lane murder like they did that of Trayvon Martin, presumably because the victim was white. But I’ll ask where is the community outcry for young James Edwards and Chancy Luna, joy-killers they may be? Though I understand full well that other than the “doing it for fun” headlines, this event is unexceptional. Black children bear the brunt of law enforcement everyday, our prison system follows in the lynching tradition.