Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Shirley situation.

This is to give a historical perspective for My comments on the smearing and firing of Shirley Sherrod.

Segregation was fought in the fifties and sixties changing the laws.
In the seventies forced integration was used by the courts to try to do what the forces of society would not and they achieved one of the desired results; young people today have lost the racial prejudice portion of their tribalism in vast numbers.

In the seventies the expansion of women into the work force as well as minorities effectively crushed the upward mobility of labor. The combination of loss of ego structure created a serious backlash in the eighties leading to Reagan being elected and the strange relationship of poor rural people voting for the interests of the rich against themselves in the vain hope that they would regain their superior position.

The nineties presented the one percent at the top with the unprecedented opportunity to pit third world labor against the American working class. As they had pitted the poor blacks against the poor whites. Further reducing the pie for the no longer rising working class now some what integrated.

Allowing the education system to erode was a factor in that ability to shift labor overseas. When the courts forced the schools to integrate in the south the whites fled to private schools. There were similar flights in the north but they created a different style of problem, the suburb. As a result the public school system in the south received inadequate funds as did the city schools in the north and the bottom half of the populace was left with effectively no education.

With the removal of trade protection in the free trade agreements and the ability of computer directed machines to simplify the work requiring one skilled programmer to supervise less and less skilled workers doing more complex tasks.

The speaker at an event for the NAACP, Shirley Sherrod was relating her experiences over this period to demonstrate the evolution of her thinking on economics. I personally find this type of speech a waste of time. I find anecdotes to be bullshit, give me the facts to make the general case. I am not part of the aggrieved class and I understand that lots of people need a narrative.

There is value for the aggrieved to tell their stories. It makes them feel better if nothing else. I think if your father is murdered and you don’t get justice you have the right to at least be heard honestly on the subject. . In this event she was simply abused by the powerful a second time.

The right wing desperately wants to roll back the civil rights movement. They feel that enforcement of the equal protection clause was the beginning of the end of limited government in the modern era. They may or may not be racist in their motivation they simply want all restrictions removed from private property.
To that end they have persons that believe that, “the end justifies the means” and a propaganda piece was created to counter the accusation that there exists a racist element in the far right. The only counter the racist’s seem to be able to muster is that the Obama administration and black people are reverse racists.

I tweeted the other day about the Senator from Virginia and his fail on why blacks should just get over being treated like crap. His earlier works of misogyny were overlooked by many in the attempt to get to 60 votes but he is treading close to Mel Gibson land for my taste. When the propaganda is released this is the type of ignorant mind set that is predisposed to believe it. The Media seem to be predisposed to the same view as they accept this tripe at face value. The disturbing reaction is how afraid the White House and cabinet are of the reverse racism meme.

If you take seriously the idea that the NAACP is part of a wave of oppression washing over white people in America you are divorced from reality to an extent that it is pointless for me to respond. All the data shows that it sucks to be poor but to be nonwhite makes poverty more likely.

The ease with which all those involved accepted the lie points to the sad truth that still have a vast chasm to bridge on the path to equality for all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Little help?

Back in the day we all spent a little time on the playground learning to get along at recess. For many kids it was the best part of school but it seems to be a vanishing item from today's schools much like art and music. One of the most important playground lessons was, "A little help?" Every time someone missed a ball and it rolled away or they smacked a foul ball the cry went up for a little help and somebody would grab the ball and throw it back. Learning to help out your fellow nan as a matter of course. It was one of a thousands little things one learns to become a member of society.
Along that vein I have some friends in need of a little help getting back to their game. Mina and her man are going through some difficult challenges dealing with a literal foul ball. Joe has testicular cancer and is undergoing treatment. His prognosis is positive and he is undergoing treatment but he is unable to work during chemo. Mina is blogging about their situation here if you are interested. If like the rest of us you are just another kid on the playground perhaps you can lend a little help.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Policing the Police

The police kill with impunity everyday. The very fact that the jury convicted on anything was to some degree an improvement. This was my first reaction to the announcement in the trial of the murderer of Oscar Grant. I had seen the video of the murder when it made the viral scene and added my disgust to the electronic realm and went about my business. It gets to the point that I throw up my hands in disgust. We accept tyranny and call it security. We create wage slavery and call it freedom. When we demand that the rich pay their taxes we are called tyrants. It is a crazy Orwellian world when billionaires buy elections and call it populism.
The reaction from the family was understandable anger. They have a very good lawyer and will get a huge chunk of cash from the city and from BART. It will not ease their pain much and it will further damage the poverty stricken folks in a blighted city. The sad part is that it will do little to help with the problems.
The Jury struck what I am sure they thought was a compromise. The cop was a total fuck-up and the jury wanted to let him go but they were afraid of a riot. The news media that is totally vested in the scary black man trope so they repeated the same video of a shoe store being broken into and robed over and over while they talked about looting. During the hour and a half that I flipped around the news coverage I saw it dozens of times. It was also the dominant feature commented on in my “twitter verse“. My sample size is small only three folks out of 233 commented on the subject but the one retweeted a rather disturbing tweet by a self described christian that was pretty much a long stream of the N word over and over.
Perspective tends to color perception and those folks that step over and around the poor folks in the transit stations fear them. For them the cop was just moving along the “bums” and that is not their affair. It is the same reasoning that has Republicans voting against extending unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed in a recession caused by the banks. Poor people are lazy drug addicts and should pull themselves up and get a job. It feeds back to the welfare queen urban myth started under Ron the Chimp Wrangler.
The people rioting in the Oakland footlocker could have been reacting to the fact that Lebron James chose not to come and play for the Warriors. My theory explains as much as their trope. Angry people get together and shit gets destroyed, it’s axiomatic. Let’s just not look at why they were there in the first place. Never examine the repression. Why was the cop thinking it was ok to torture this guy?
I am sure that my own perspective drew my eye to the multiple instances during the coverage that showed police running up to an unassuming citizen grab them and throw them to the ground and beat them. The most egregious were shown about 10 minutes into the cbs newscast at 10pm.
Here is my problem with the perception. There was no reason to taze this guy in the first place. This cop and his bully partner went out of their way to push around a poor kid. When the poor kid didn’t grovel properly the beat him up and planned on throwing him in jail for the crime of being poor. The jerk had him down and his excuse for killing him was that he screwed up when all he meant to do was torture him. This poor piece of human detritus had dared to talk back to his betters and needed to be made an example of. The jury assumed that the pig felt horrible about his mistake but it was just a mistake.

If some cops got spit on and attacked with rocks and bottles in Oakland they have themselves to blame. There are no good cops as long as they lie every time they murder someone. If the pigs want respect they can go through the news video from last night and identify every one of their number striking a blow against an unarmed civilian and send them to trial. You can bet they will scour the video to try and arrest the shoe thieves. As long as the police feel they have the right to beat citizens I will call them Pigs and show them the contempt they have earned. If there were any good cops they would already be doing this. The burden of proof is on the government to justify the action it has taken not on the citizen freely exercising their right to assemble.
Now there will be some bullshit DOJ double jeopardy civil rights violation horse shit investigation to placate the rabble. Never fix the solution just try to bullshit the outcome. If the rule of law meant anything the DoJ would be embarrassed to look at civil rights violations conducted by anyone if they are going to let crimes against humanity go. The problem stems from an unwillingness to clean up corrupt cops.
Perhaps if we fired all the assholes there wouldn’t be enough people to take the job. I have no desire to be a pig but if they weren’t pigs I might think about it. I was able to serve honorably in the military despite my contempt for the military industrial complex because it does for the most part operate from a position of honor. The prison industrial complex is a powerful lobby and because the 1% wants the populace afraid they have the Overton Window right were they want it.