Walking while black


There’s a lot to say about being a minority in today’s America and from where Miscellany101 sits none of it is good.  We haven’t talked about the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri although at some point we will, nor have we really dealt with Eric Gardner’s brutal publicly recorded execution by New York City police although we should.

If one really wants to know the depths of American racism, however, and with out ambiguity attached….you only need to look here, where Raymond Wilford was pepper sprayed because he was walking down the street minding his own business and ran across a security guard who thought it was his time to dispense some street justice to the first black person he saw.

Twenty-five-year-old Raymond Wilford, who is black, was walking by on his way to meet a friend at the Westlake Center mall. The shirtless man spit at him, Wilford said, and the two squared off but didn’t throw any punches at each other. Then a Westlake security guard appeared.

“The security guard was like, ‘Stop,'” Wilford said in an interview. “The white guy was still yelling and walking towards the security guard. I was like, ‘Why are you pointing your Mace at me? He’s the one being aggressive.’ And then he [the mall cop] pepper-sprayed me.” According to witnesses and a police report, the spray blew into other people’s faces and left them with red eyes.

ron-johnson-fraternityEven shaking hands and greeting one another on the street can get black men in trouble with the law even when they ARE the law in today’s America.

Today in Ferguson, Mo., news, The Washington Post takes on the assertion that Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson has been photographed flashing gang signs with members of the community.

He has not.

To reiterate: Capt. Johnson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a black fraternity that was formed in 1911 at Indiana University in Bloomington, and the hand sign you see in the pictures below is a Kappa greeting.

 

 

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was right


kareemwhen he said ‘more whites believe in ghosts than believe in racism’ during an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos and as usual this statement brought out the worst in America and underscored his point.  One only need to look at remarks overwhelmingly negative made on the comments section of any media source that reported on this story to see he touched a nerve.  Abdul-Jabbar was on the show to talk about the latest example of American racism…unsolicited by him but for which he was asked to comment, the Donald Sterling affair, where the former owner of an NBASterling franchise made some extremely salacious, racist remarks about African-Americans  and how they are not welcomed at his team’s basketball games, despite the fact more than half of his team’s members are black themselves. 

The Donald Sterling fiasco happened shortly America was given another example of its racist nature when lectured by one Cliven Bundy about the Negro when he wondered

are they(African-Americans) better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.

Nevada Rancher And Federal Gov't Face Off Over Land Use BattleBundy made these remarks during the stand-off with an administration of an African-American president over land rights in Nevada. Why and how is it that Bundy can make such outlandishly stereotypical, nonsensical, erroneous statements is a study in ‘white privilege‘ that is steeped in and indistinguishable from racism itself.

Even earlier than the Bundy example during the news media continuum, there’s the Hank Aaron story where Aaron, a baseball Hall of Famer who was the first person to break Babe Ruth’s homerun record during the days when steriods weren’t a factor in sports achievements, was vehemently castigated by unknown people for merely pointing out that Hank Aaron Home & Museum Opening

We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go in the country. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts…..

It’s sad Aaron, successful on and off the baseball diamond has had to relieve vile racist insults for merely pointing out the obvious…..from his own experience, just as he had to have such insults hurled at him for being merely a record breaking athlete.  This is the nature of racism in America.  It is insidious, raw, ugly and meant to hurt and demean an entire group of people.  Merely keeping quiet or turning a blind eye to it does not mean it doesn’t exist.  Just ask Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hank Aaron, or any other African-American you may know.  Chances are they unlike white America get it and believe in racism’s efficacy more than they believe in ghosts.

 

21 Things You Can’t Do While Black


Florida’s second sensational, race-tinged murder trial in less than a year is underway.(My prognostication is the perpetrator will not be found guilty as charged but rather guilty of a lesser charge)  Michael Dunn, a white, 47-year-old software developer,  shot and killed Jordan Davis, a 17-year-old African American, as the teen sat in an SUV with three friends. Charged with first-degree murder, Dunn is pleading self-defense under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law. He contends that he argued with the teens (over what a witness says he called their ” thug music“) and fired on them after he claims he saw Davis brandish a shotgun. Police found no gun at the scene, and  witnesses say Davis never had one.

Like the George Zimmerman trial, during which the self-styled neighborhood watchman successfully argued that he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in self-defense, Dunn’s case has raised questions about Florida’s broad self-defense law, racial profiling, and how the two issues intersect. Would Martin and Davis be alive if they weren’t black? Would they have been afforded the benefit of the doubt by their killers if they had been white? Their deaths didn’t happen in a vacuum. There’s evidence that just being black in the United States is often all it takes to arouse suspicion. Here are 21 examples from the last five years of some of the things black people can’t do without others thinking they’re up to no good.

1. Listen to loud music at a gas station.

2. Walk home from a  snack run to 7-11.

3. Wear a  hoodie.

4. Drive after swimming.

5. Drive in a car with a white girl.

6. Appear in public in New York City.

7. Walk on the  wrong side of the street.

8. Wait for a school bus to take you to your high school basketball game.

9. Drink iced tea in a parking lot.

10. Seek help after a car accident.

11. Inspect your own property.

12. Show up at your job.

13. Talk trash after an NFL game.

14. Throw a temper tantrum in kindergarten.

15. Buy designer accessories at Barney’s.

16. Buy designer accessories at Macy’s.

17. Be a 13-year-old boy.

18. Enter your own home.

19. Botch a science experiment.

20. Be a  tourist.

21. Lay face down in handcuffs.

Hat tip to AlterNet

What is offensive about this picture?


snorestop-hed-2013Evidently some in America don’t like the imagery of an American soldier hugging a niqaabi clad woman in this snorestop advertisement that’s appearing in California.  Too many of us are still in the business of deciding for others who they can and cannot mate with.  Perhaps that is the discontent many have with Obama; the thought that a white woman would actually have sex with an African man and produce a child that would be as competitive in the western world as any  white child is too fearful a thought for some.

America is too culturally diverse today to have such limitations placed on people and their choices. There are Americans embracing Islam and Muslim women/men are marrying them and many of them are in the US military. Neither act, accepting a religious belief and being American or in the service of your country  is mutually exclusive unless you’re a bigot who believes in really antiquated notions of racial superiority being diluted with co-mingling.

Meet the players behind the picture

If you wanna’ see just how ridiculous today’s GOP party is


just look here and here.

Twenty-seven Republican senators voted with Democrats on Oct. 16 to lift the debt ceiling and avert a catastrophic default. And each one of those 27 senators voted Tuesday to “disapprove” of their own votes. (It’s called having your cake and eating it too)

I was surprised to see what I thought would be moderate Republicans on the list of those engaged in this act of senility.  John McCain, Lamar Alexandar, Lindsay Graham?!?!?  What a wasted party.

The Right to bear arms and murder people in the streets is an exclusively white right no matter how hard Ted Cruz tries to paint it as beneficial to African-Americans but to assert that to Trayvon Martin’s mother is taking chutzpah to a whole other level.  What Stand Your Ground insures is ‘blacks do not benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law, but it is pretty obvious that since the law was passed in 2005, those who kill blacks do. In Florida, “Stand Your Ground” has become a license to kill people of color.’

 

Obama-A Wolf in Sheep’s clothing


There has been a rather shocking revelation from Dr. Cornell West about his interaction with Barack Obama which explains some of the things that were inexplicable before now.  It appears President Obama is a lot more think skinned than his job calls for, and he goes through great lengths to let people know his displeasure.  One can feel  Dr. West’s sense of betrayal on a personal as well as philosophical level when talking about Obama and the many personal appearances West made on his behalf during the 2008 campaign.

West knew he had been “had” when he took a look at Obama’s appointments, as well as the President’s lack of speaking out forcefully enough on the rights of the poor and working class.

when I looked at the neoliberal economic team. The first announcement of Summers and Geithner I went ballistic. I said, ‘Oh, my God, I have really been misled at a very deep level.’ And the same is true for Dennis Ross and the other neo-imperial elites. I said, ‘I have been thoroughly misled, all this populist language is just a facade. I was under the impression that he might bring in the voices of brother Joseph Stiglitz and brother Paul Krugman. I figured, OK, given the structure of constraints of the capitalist democratic procedure that’s probably the best he could do. But at least he would have some voices concerned about working people, dealing with issues of jobs and downsizing and banks, some semblance of democratic accountability for Wall Street oligarchs and corporate plutocrats who are just running amuck. I was completely wrong.

I feel West’s pain.  Having surrounded himself with such “advisers” it’s easy to why Obama’s foreign policy so closely mirrors George Bush’s and with main stream media peddling such tripe as this  it doesn’t look like there is any relief in sight.

….in the U.S., we will have to deal with some unpredictable consequences of withdrawing so many troops…more than 60 percent of the Department of Defense’s workforce is contractors, meaning contractors are the majority of the U.S. presence in the country. With the war winding down they’ll be coming home to uncertain employment prospects.The war in Afghanistan is more than just the troops and contractors who are deployed: there is a vast ecosystem of small, medium and large companies back here that support those deployed workers. Without a hundred billion dollars in war costs every year, those companies will struggle to stay in business. An executive at a small defense contractor recently joked to me, “Afghanistan is our business plan.” I asked him what he would do if the war ended. He stared at me for a moment and said, “Well, then I hope we invade Libya.”….Ten years of war have established a discrete class of entrepreneurs, mid-level workers and administrators who are completely reliant upon the U.S. being at war to stay employed.

and one has got to wonder whether the types of advisers Obama has surrounded himself will make that case for America to remain at war in perpetuity with some intractable foe and in so doing  convince Obama to refute  his progressive roots in much the same way as he has with other issues?

In didn’t take long for Obama supporters to come out and blast West for detailing his personal experiences with the president.  To totally discredit West he was even been equated with “birthers”, those who doubt Obama’s citizenship and are in fact racist.  That means therefore West’s opposition to Obama is racist in nature, despite the fact West  himself is an African-America.  Things have come full circle in American politics, and it only promises to get  more interesting as the campaign goes into full swing after Labor Day.  Hang on to your hats!

Uncle Toming with bigots


Every group of people has them.  You know the ones who are effusive with praise for people who conceivably mean them harm, therby hoping to be accepted by these sheep in wolves’  clothing.  Jews call such people, self hating jews, and African Americans call them Uncle Toms. Meet today’s new Uncle Tom. Allen West, the newly elected US congressman from Florida went on The Shalom Show, that alone should tell you where this is going, and when asked a very leading and bigoted question about  Keith Ellison, another US congressman from Minnesota, and Islam had this to say:

Well I think it’s most important that I stand upon the principles that people elected me to go to Washington, DC and represent them on Capitol Hill. So that when you run into someone that is counter, or someone that really does represent the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established, you’ve got to be able to defeat them intellectually in debate and discourse, and you to just have to be able to challenge each and every one of their assertions very wisely and very forthright (sic).

First off, it’s embarrassing for a Jew in America, with all the history that means to ask anyone to comment on the religious preference of any other American in a defamatory manner.  I wish someone would call the ADL on the announcer, host Richard Peritz for asking a question he knew would solicit the kind of hatred he and other Jews in America once feared and fought against.  But then to have West, an African American member of Congress respond to  that fear mongering and bigotry in kind, well that’s just mighty white of him.

Hatred and racism have come full circle in America.  A black man and  a Jew team up together to denigrate the choice of a fellow American and imply that such an American has no right to that choice and should be discriminated against because of it.  That’s where America is today, in the 21st century, in the year of our lord, 2011.  This is who we’ve become and it is as ugly today as it was in during the days of the Jim Crow south and as worthy of the attention of the masses of people to protest and demonstrate against.  Racism must be alleviated in America; it is detestable no matter who spews it, even if they were once its victims, they cannot, must not victimize others with it!