Structural Racism in the US

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:58 am


Rather than filling up the Orlando thread with thoughts about police violence and the role of race in our unequal and unjust society, I started a new thread. Feel free to not read it. ;-) I can always use it as a clearing house for links to help me through my own journey to fight injustice as best I can.

This morning's first story: op ed in NYT Death in Black and White.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:43 am


Another great essay/sermon (from 2015 after the Charleston church shootings by Dylan Roof): I, Racist.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:47 am


One more, then I gotta get to work. We *can* live in a society where police "protect and serve," yet do not shoot people. It happens all over Europe. BLM activists organized a group called "Campaign Zero" with some pretty common-sense ways to make policing more effective and less violent.

https://bitchmedia.org/article/“we-can-live-world-where-police-don’t-kill-people

(can't get the link to work because their url doesn't take out problematic characters in the article titles; you're gonna have to cut and paste it, not click it)

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mmeadow
Supporter 2004-2017

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:45 am


snowflakey, I tinyurl'd it into this direct link:

http://tinyurl.com/gwf4484

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:59 am


:-) Thanks!!

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:21 am


"Stopped 52 times by police: Was it racial profiling?"

"MINNEAPOLIS — When Philando Castile saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror, it wasn’t unusual. He had been pulled over at least 52 times in recent years in and around the Twin Cities and given citations for minor offenses including speeding, driving without a muffler and not wearing a seat belt."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/stopped-52-times-by- ... c_story.html

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Wheekers3

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:57 am


It seems like he did not like to follow rules for everyone. Still he did not need fatal shots. What ever happened to taking out a knee?

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:35 pm


Oh, come on. Many of those charges were dismissed.

I myself have driven with broken tail lights/brake lights. The drivers behind me told me about them. I have driven with broken headlights at night. Nobody pulled me over. I don't drive without a seatbelt, but my dad does all the time.

These are precisely the kinds of "citations" that lead to a distrust of the police, and which fall heavily on poor communities of color. In Ferguson, the investigation into the force showed how the police and courts colluded to cite poor black citizens for minor infractions, then manipulate the court system so that even those who tried to pay COULD NOT, and their fines went up and up and up. Ostensibly this "filled the coffers" and helped pay for the police, but it has other impacts as well.

When you make statements like that, you ignore the fact that many, if not most, people commit minor infractions like this. Have you ever exceeded the speed limit? I do, many times. Have you ever driven with a broken tail light or headlight? I have, unintentionally, and then intentionally as I went to the mechanic to get it fixed (electrical problem, not just a broken bulb). But the cops aren't pulling you over.

The one time I was pulled over, I was on my way to work and my headlight was out. A cop pulled me over - the "routine traffic stop" that so often ends in a dead black man. He treated me very politely and told me, after I answered his question about whether I was going to work (loaded question), that he'd be done quickly. And he was. I am a middle aged white woman driving a clean, fairly new Subaru, and I don't have any outstanding warrants nor any citations for broken headlights. But if I had been pulled over each time my car had a malfunction I couldn't see, I'd "have a record."

What his citation record tells me is that the police in that neighborhood are doing the wrong kind of policing. It also tells me that he is probably not very well-off, because repairing and insuring cars is expensive. There is also a story that some media outlets are publishing that the police scanner has a recording of the policeman who shot him telling the dispatch that he was pulling over the car because the driver looked like a suspect in a robbery, because he "had a wide nose." However, he told the dead man he was being pulled over for a broken tail light. So what was it? Did he look like a robbery suspect? Or did he have a broken tail light?

Wheekers, have you read any of the linked essays here and on the other thread, about POC and their interactions with the police? If you have, it surprises me that this would be your reaction.

And while I appreciate that non-lethal force can be appropriate, why is it appropriate to shoot a man AT ALL for a broken tail light (if that was the reason he was pulled over)??? He was licensed to carry a gun, he was getting his ID, as he had been instructed. Obviously he knew the drill because he survived over 50 "routine traffic stops."

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:00 pm


"What his citation record tells me is that the police in that neighborhood are doing the wrong kind of policing. "

Ditto this. I put a link up to this story as a racial profiling story. His being targeted (often) to be pulled over.

Half the charges were dismissed. He did not deserve this. No one does.

GPIG

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:51 pm


I drive a 2 hour round trip each night to the border of NY State beginning about 10pm for the past 2 1/2 years. I have been pulled over 9 times. Mostly for brake lights, license plate light, headlight (coldest night of the year - I thanked the cop for taking the trouble to let me know and get out of his car in that cold because it was safety issue, no ticket), once texting on cell phone (told the truth and the cop let me go). Once I cut off a state trooper, careless driving ticket. I pleaded it down to obstructing traffic, he was chasing someone without lights on, how was I to know he was going like a 100.

All in all I received 4 tickets I had to pay from $25 to about $60. Every cop except the state trooper was professional and polite, because I was. I do believe the pulling over for brake lights and such is a reason to look for other infractions. If you aren't breaking the law and are polite, you don't have anything to worry about.

That is of course if you aren't a car full of 19 year old black kids. It can't be denied. It happens. I don't believe they’re pulled over more than I am (I’m just a magnet for some reason), it's what happens when they are pulled over that is different and concerning. But cars full of white kids get pulled over also I suppose.

I don’t know, I hate the whole thing. To protect and serve. Just do that, no more no less and we'd all be ok.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:26 pm


"If you aren't breaking the law and are polite, you don't have anything to worry about."

Again, I ask, have you read the stories from POC about their interactions with police? By all accounts, Philando Castile was polite, he was "compliant," he obviously knew what to do as a black man pulled over for a routine traffic stop.

Being "polite" just IS NOT ENOUGH. Please read these stories. They are filled with examples of black men being polite, doing what the police tell them to do, answering questions, not "talking back," not "non-compliant." I'm not saying your lived experiences with the police are not true because they are. I'm saying that YOUR lived experience isn't a metric to judge the lived experience of POC when they encounter the police.

It's like a burly construction worker saying, "I can walk down the street in shorts and men don't cat-call ME!" as a rebuttal to the hundreds and thousands of stories by women about their lived experience as a woman walking through the world.
Last edited by snowflakey on Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 9:26 pm


oops! double post! :-)

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hammer
Supporter in '10

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 10:10 pm


Snowie I really appreciate ask the links you've put up here and on Facebook. They're very interesting.

I'm just so sad and defeated and frightened. It seems like a terrible combination of "same as it ever was" and the tipping edge of an all out race war coming.

People I know and love have commented, in the face of such damning videos for Castile and Sterling..."if you reach into your pocket a cop doesn't know if it's a gun...we wouldn't be having thud conversation if the cop got shot", and "well, he [Sterling] is a career criminal."

Since when has petty theft and drug possession warranted the death penalty without trial? Or why is acceptable that the police are so fearful that they shoot first and ask questions later and people think it is ##**ing OKAY?!

It's not ok. None of this is ok, and it seems like the two groups of people who should have no more differences between them then what they had for breakfast are perched on opposite sides of a chasm so deep that we will never bridge the gap.

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jacqueline

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:05 pm


For what it's worth, what I've been hearing on media and from the circles I travel in, this won't/can't be same old same old. There is a swell happening, a serious call for change. It will in all likelihood not be enough change, but it will be a start. A significant start.

It's being pointed out alot how silent the NRA has been in light of recent events.

Everyone I know feels scared, including myself. And while the rallying cry around terror attacks was that if we caved in to the fear, and changed our lives, the terrorists will have won. I haven't heard people say the same things here, mostly because it just doesn't apply. Unless you want to bunker down in an underground cave.

GPIG

Post   » Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:25 pm


I'm not sure you read my post. I'm agreeing it's different when black kids are pulled over

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:14 am


I don't remember ever being pulled over. Maybe though?

I think I live in a pretty progressive town. The new police chief especially is very picky about who he hires. That's not to say there have not been issues in the past.

Charlottesville got bad press when a popular college student was injured but it was NOT the cops but Alcoholic Beverage Control agents who used excessive force (though in reading up, he did get charged with two misdemeanors: obstruction of justice without force and profane swearing and/or intoxication in public) over a year ago. http://abcnews.go.com/US/excessive-force-eyed-arrest-uva-student-alcohol-agents/story?id=29738514

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:15 am


GPIG, I did. I just got a little nettled by the bit that about not breaking the law and being polite ;-) That is where the lived experience is going to be different for people like me and an AA man. Even if I did break the law! (busted headlight or worse!) I'm sure you've all seen the pictures of the white guy at the KKK rally at Stone Mountain threatening to shoot cops, who is subsequently talked down and not shot himself. That is how policing should work. Not "I'm scared! I'll shoot! Oops! Now I'll plant the taser next to the man's body and lie about what happened!" (true story)

Maybe I'm stupid, but I'm not scared about a race war. I think the idea of the race war is, like Islamic Terrorism, used to divide people and sow fear.

I am very disheartened and depressed about the world we live in, soaked in hatred, fear and violence.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:25 am


I posted this shorter article about the origins of the police on the Orlando thread, and I'll post it here to keep things together. They are written from the perspective of labor rights and labor history, so they do focus on class (and race) and the rise of capitalism, but those things are hardly irrelevant to this discussion.

The True History of the Origins of Police: Protecting and Serving the Masters of Society

Here is a longer one:
Origins of the Police

In any honest discussion of what is going on right now, I think that the actual history of the police and its purpose as an extension of the (capitalistic) state are really important to acknowledge. If the modern police force is an outgrowth of capital's desire to protect property (return slaves to slave owners and prevent the poor from organizing), you get a larger picture of why POC and the poor are so often the victims of aggressive social control via police.

As I said in the other thread, the image of Officer Friendly who keeps neighborhoods safe from the Bad Guys (whomever they may be) is one that is comforting to white middle class people, and one that is probably in line with their lived experience. However, it is absolutely in conflict with the lived experience of many people, those who are victimized by the police, or who cannot get assistance from the police because of the neighborhood they live in, their gender, their race. If talking about race is difficult, consider the history that police and law enforcement have with battered women or rape victims. It isn't a particularly rosy history.

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snowflakey
E's Moriarity

Post   » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:17 am


Another frightening nugget of information about our police:

2006 FBI report about police forces in the US being infiltrated by KKK members. It is difficult to read (lots of redactions and weird formatting) but the fact that the FBI counterterrorism division released this unclassified version TEN YEARS AGO is pretty flippin' scary.

But people still persist in thinking of police as an institution that is benign and color-blind.

As the police become more militarized and have more "tools" at their disposal, the worse things get. Here is a short blog post that summarizes larger studies and articles about roadside drug tests and how they ruin the lives of innocent people. You can read the longer essays at the links within the blog story, but the blog story condenses the information for a quicker read.

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Wheekers3

Post   » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:49 am


Snowflakey, I laid awake upset all night after you called me out a few posts above, only to adjust yours way later then 10 min limit. (5 hrs? ) Not fair. I can't take my temporarily stupid one away.

There are so many articles out there there with many untruths. One I read earlier in the day, ( and lets face it there has been 1000's ) said that the guy was waiving a gun at someone, thus the police call in by supposedly the store manager, so yes, I thought the cop was warrented to be on alert, but I never felt it was okay to unload his gun into him. Hence my kneecap comment.

As with everything lately too much wrong info, too many hair triggers. I refuse to watch the videos. - Because I watched an al jazeer video that ended in a beheading that I'll never get out of my mind. I am very happy for the camera movement because it does show more sides.

Just to say I am not the person you suspect I am.

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