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Archive for the ‘Racism’ Category

Here is an article about Jennifer Kristiansen, a 37-year-old Portland mother and attorney who was arrested. She was not read her rights. Her crime: standing in solidarity with other protestors in Portland. Apparently anonymous troops in battle fatigues, without nametags, without badges, without identifying insignia, can just pick people up off the streets on American cities now and our government seems to think this is acceptable. Not only is it unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it is offensive.

Are they seriously asking us to “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the republic for which it stands?”

This republic?

Here is a picture of another victim in Portland. This is Donavan La Bella, a 26-year-old peaceful activist in Portland, shot in the face by United States officers. He may have brain damage, and a bad right eye for the rest of his life. He will definitely need reconstructive surgery in his face. Was this necessary?

There are people in this country who think that he deserves it, that he should not have been there. He should not have stood up for this ideals and protect the republic for which the flag stands.

What kind of “officer” shoots an unarmed young man point-blank in the face. What kind of government orders its law enforcement officers to commit atrocities against its own people?

Syria’s Assad did that, and we sent dozens of missiles into his country. After this, we no longer have the moral authority to suggest to any other country to get its human rights policies corrected. We have no more moral authority, and it will hurt our leadership for decades, maybe forever.

This same government of ours was not indignant when this happened:

While the protestors in Portland are unarmed, while the wall of moms are simply concerned citizens with nothing but the clothes on their backs and facemasks, these protestors in Lansing, Michigan just two months ago stood in front of the governor’s office in the Michigan State Capitol. Their protest was not about the rights of oppressed minorities. Their protest was about having been ordered to stay home to shelter from infection and wear masks in public. They, however, were allowed to be fully armed with military assault rifles. Where were the federal DHS officers in that protest? Why didn’t they shoot rubber bullets into their faces?

Something tells me things would not have ended well for the officers if they’d started shooting at them.

I have to say that they look way more dangerous and menacing to me than the wall of moms in Portland did:

Credit: Mason Trinca for the New York Times

Our government now raises arms against its own people in its own country, against those who do not agree with the government’s policies and the morality of its actions.

How can I pledge allegiance?

 

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For decades, the American military has invaded and terrorized other countries. We have blasted drone bombs into weddings in Yemen, shot up villages of civilians in Vietnam, went house to house in cities in Iraq, and occupied many countries for decades. That’s why we need a military budget larger than that of the next eight nations combined.

When you’re that kid at a wedding in Yemen and your entire family is wiped out by some malign robot high up in the sky, you are completely powerless. You can grieve, you can hate, you can become a terrorist to get even, but you can’t change what was done to you and your loved-ones, you are a victim of state-sponsored terrorism.

We have watched these scenes on television since the Vietnam years in the 1960s. We are used to them. We have become numb to our government committing atrocities in our name all over the world. After all, it’s been good for the economy.

[click for image credit: NBC News]

Now these men in uniforms and guns have started descending on our own citizens in our own cities. They are, apparently indiscriminately, plucking protesters off the streets, with no probable cause other than having been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and hauling them away. The protesters don’t know the names of the officers or their affiliations.

Back in the Nazi days in Germany, just such officers, heavily armed, would break down doors of ordinary citizens at 3:00 in the morning, and taking them away, never to be seen again, no reasons given, no accountability. When military or paramilitary operators start terrorizing their own citizens in their own countries, things usually don’t take too long to go completely out of control. That happened in Germany in the 1930s, not so long ago. Oh how quickly we forget.

Our military terrorism has come home to roost in our own nests. Perhaps we have run out of Afghanistans, and Yemens, and Sudans. We need new fresh meat in Portland and Chicago. There are plenty of young black kids who can watch their parents be beaten and hauled away, hopeless, powerless, victims without recourse.

We have started terrorizing ourselves in America, setting up our own federal troops against our own citizens, forcibly dividing the country. Are we trying to foment a civil way? It sure looks that way to me.

Here is the definition of fascism:

Fascism: A governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Welcome to fascism, America. You thought socialism was bad?

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But I made the mistake of pulling James Cone’s ‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’ off my shelf — a book designed to shatter convenient complacency. Cone recounts the case of a white mob in Valdosta, Ga., in 1918 that lynched an innocent man named Haynes Turner. Turner’s enraged wife, Mary, promised justice for the killers. The sheriff responded by arresting her and then turning her over to the mob, which included women and children. According to one source, Mary was ‘stripped, hung upside down by the ankles, soaked with gasoline, and roasted to death. In the midst of this torment, a white man opened her swollen belly with a hunting knife and her infant fell to the ground and was stomped to death.’

— Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter, quoting from a book.

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This picture shows an example of heavily armed but unmarked riot “police” in the streets of Washington, DC. Mind you, we don’t know who these people are. With no names, no identification and no badges we have no idea. If we were to be assaulted by one of them, there would be no recourse whatsoever. Is this not frightening to anyone?

Whether you are a 46-year-old black man, or a white female college student, or New York State Senator Myrie, or Rep. Ocasio Cortez, any of these thugs could assault you, possibly even kill you, and there’d be no recourse. How is this possible? How do we tolerate this?

Word is that these are mercenaries from Erik Prince, the brother of our illustrious Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, but how would we know? Also, do you all realize how expensive these forces are? Do we know how much money Trump is funneling into this buddy Prince’s pocket right now under the guise of national security?

The corruption is immeasurable.

I can’t believe I am writing this, but it seems like it’s time that we exercised our beloved Second Amendment Rights.

At the time when it was ratified, the Second Amendment was intended to have at least two security purposes other than a well-regulated militia:

  1. a practical purpose, to protect people from thieves, bandits, Native Americans, and slave uprisings
  2. a political purpose, to remind the rest of the world that the United States is well-armed

I haven’t been assaulted by any Native Americans in a long time, and I don’t know anyone who has been. We don’t have slaves anymore, so uprisings are not a danger. It also goes without saying that the rest of the world has, since 1792, figured out that the United States is well-armed.

However, the founders had another objective with the Second Amendment: During the early massive shift of power from the states to the federal government, the Anti-Federalists argued that the states and the people needed to be armed in case of federal usurpation of power. As a result, the American people are well-armed, as we all know, and as the NRA has been making sure we would be.

The picture above makes me feel assaulted by the federal government. Perhaps I should go to my local gun store (an essential business, after all, per the NRA), buy myself a few AR-15s, a helmet, a shield, black gloves and sunglasses, and go out there and fight for my freedom.

In other words, I should exercise my Second Amendment rights – since the federal government is clearly now turning against its own citizens.

Do you all see how Great America has become Again?

 

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Here is a picture of New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie, pepper sprayed and handcuffed.

Senator Myrie has a masters degree in urban studies, and a law degree from Cornell University. At Cornell, he served as student government president, prison law instructor, and pro bono scholar.

After law school, he joined the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell where he worked pro bono to fight police brutality.

I think the NYPD picked the wrong guy to mess with. But worse, for every Zellner Myrie, there are thousands of other peaceful protesters who are being violated right now that will not make headlines.

I think this will not end well.

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Just a couple of days ago was the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Europe, the day the Nazis surrendered about a week after Hitler killed himself. What most people do not realize is how short the tenure of power of the Nazis actually was. Hitler didn’t come to power until March 1933 and his Third Reich (which he called the 1000-year-empire) lasted only 12 years.

Today, May 11, 2020 is the 100th anniversary of a milestone speech Hitler gave at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich at 7:30pm, titled “Was wir wollen?” (what we want?). Below is a poster proclaiming the event. This was the time when the fledging Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei (the Nazi party) recognized Hitler’s oratory and propaganda skills and he started to rise within the party. He proclaimed he fought for the worker class, he called the people Genossen (comrade) and his mantra was to Make Germany Great Again after its humiliation by the allied powers after “the World War” which we now know as World War I.

Germany didn’t know it at the time, but the dark period started that day. The name of Hitler on the poster was still in very small font.

[May 11th, 1920] First NSDAP advertising posters in Munich. Call for the public party rally on May 11, 1920. Speaker: Adolf Hitler from 100yearsago

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It is 1962 in New York City. Tony is an Italian-American in the Bronx. He is a bouncer at a local club and hangs around with questionable mob types. At a party at his house he observes his wife giving two glasses of water to two black workmen when they are thirsty. Later, when nobody is watching, he drops these two glasses in the trash. Blacks in 1962 were treated as sub humans.

When Tony loses his job because the club is remodeling, he looks for a job and hears that Dr. Don Shirley is looking for a driver. Tony shows up at the interview and discovers that Dr. Shirley is black. He is a world-class pianist and he is going on tour in the Deep South. Tony reluctantly signs on. The manager gives him “The Green Book,” a guide for establishments in the South were blacks are welcome. Many times, Tony has to stay at one hotel, while Shirley stays at another.

As one would expect, there is severe resistance to a black man of status in the South, let alone one that has a white driver. The two run into a number of difficult situations, and with every one of them, their mutual respect for each other seems to rise, and they slowly build a friendship. Tony gets lessons in grammar, speech, etiquette and general humanity from Dr. Shirley, and when he comes home after a months-long tour, he is not quite the rough neck that he was when he left.

Green Book is very rewarding movie. It gives us a glimpse of America before Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement of the mid-sixties. Discrimination and racism were rampant and brutal. But the human spirit transcends the differences, and two very different men become friends.

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Racism

Racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed.

— Will Smith

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