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Newsletter – Well, This is Pretty Awful

I wrote this for the Urban News for June 2020.

It is really hard to know where to start. I thought about just submitting a column that starts with expletives; it would also be completely filled with expletives and it would end with expletives. Somehow, I did not think the thoughtful editors of The Urban News would accept such an article.

It Happened Again

This time it was Minneapolis, but the sad truth is it could have happened anywhere in the United States. Another black man, George Floyd, was detained by police because he was suspected of passing counterfeit $20 bills. There was an altercation, a detainment, a handcuffing.

There was yet another infamous cellphone video. We see George Floyd being held down by a white police officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck, one hand casually in his pocket. Mr. Floyd is on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind him, and can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe.”

This is so reminiscent of Eric Garner, it hurts. It hurts badly. As you recall, Eric Garner was a black man who was stopped by police for selling individual cigarettes—a crime in New York. As he is dying, his last words are, “I can’t breathe.” The police officer used an illegal chokehold on Mr. Garner—also a crime in New York.

That was almost six years ago. As in Minneapolis, the officers do nothing to resuscitate a lifeless Garner. The police officer who used the illegal chokehold to kill Garner was fired. There was no indictment. No one went to jail.

Almost any black American—well, I should say, almost any progressive American—can name five to 10 Black Americans killed at the hands of American police officers over the past several years. Their names are widely known, the incidents infamous. Sandra Bland was pulled over in Texas for a traffic stop while visiting for anew university job. She was arrested for almost no reason, and she died in jail with no explanation. No-one was held accountable; no-one went to jail.

Michael Brown got into an altercation with a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. His offense, which ultimately cost him his life, was walking in the middle of the street. Michael Brown ignored the police request to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk. The incident escalated and ended with Michael Brown being shot to death. The officers were not indicted; no-one went to jail. (The 13th Juror is a book that I commissioned Nelda Holder to write. It is about the death of Michael Brown.)

Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old black youth who was developmentally delayed. He was playing in a park by himself with a toy plastic gun—the way white boys play “cops and robbers” with impunity. An unidentified stranger called the police because this 12-year-old boy was playing with a toy gun. The police drove up with their guns drawn. Rice did not respond to initial instructions that were shouted at him, and two seconds after their arrival, he was shot dead. He was treated as a hardened criminal. There was an investigation and the conclusion was that shooting was “justified.”

More recently, Ahmad Aubrey, former football standout, was jogging in a neighborhood close to his home. The unarmed 25-year-old black man was spotted by a father and son, both ex-police officers. They decided that Aubrey fit the description of a suspect responsible for several break-ins in the area. They grabbed their weapons, hopped in their pickup truck, and chased Ahmad down. They followed him, hit him with their truck, and when he tried to challenge them, they shot him to death on a public street in Georgia. For months—until a video came out—there were no arrests. (Let’s not forget Breonna Taylor.)

Ahmad Aubrey’s case echoes the death of Trayvon Martin, a young man was walking back to his house from a convenience store when he was confronted by a resident of his father’s apartment complex—a former “neighborhood watch” leader. A fight ensued. Trayvon Martin was shot dead. George Zimmerman, the security guard, never saw a day in jail for killing an unarmed man. (more…)

By |2020-06-14T22:58:23-04:00June 14th, 2020|Civil Rights|Comments Off on Newsletter – Well, This is Pretty Awful

Meet the Press – Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King

I thought that I would re-post this episode of Meet the Press.

Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, and Martin Luther King were on Meet the Press back in 1963.  This was just before the March on Washington.  The format of Meet the Press was a little different.  There were three reporters firing questions at the guests.

This is very interesting. One of the reporters was terribly worried about violence, which in looking through a 50-year retrospectoscope, looks to be awfully racist to me.  What he appears to be saying is that Blacks can’t assemble in large numbers without tearing stuff up.  Hell, we know that Whites have trouble assembling in large numbers without tearing things up (Woodstock II).

Interestingly, it appears that Wilkins is the more “important” guest.  King becomes the great MLK, after the March on Washington and after his “I Have a Dream” speech.

 

By |2019-03-03T20:36:46-04:00January 21st, 2019|Civil Rights, Race|Comments Off on Meet the Press – Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King

News Update – Hacked emails explained, Physician’s story, Sinclair

Sinclair is a huge news group that appears to be getting bigger. From Vox: This month, the 193 local TV affiliates owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group began running a series of promotional segments, warning of a scourge of “fake news” promoted by “members of the media [who] use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.’” The segments, which echo the Trump administration’s anti-media rhetoric, are eerily uniform across all Sinclair affiliates, so much so that Deadspin’s Timothy Burke was able to edit them together into a supercut showing dozens of Sinclair anchors saying the exact same words. More at Vox.com

A physician got caught up in the anti-doping campaign that is going on behind the scene in the US. In order to combat the opioid crisis Medical Boards are looking for problems in how controlled substances are prescribed. This physician’s story is heartbreaking. I have done no fact checking on this story. This doctor was going thru a divorce. She got depressed and wrote for some Xanax for herself. According to her story, the time that she was on the Xanax was “brief”. In the end she lost her medical license, her board certification…she lost everything. As I see it, she made one huge mistake. She wrote herself a prescription for a controlled substance. This led to allegation of alcoholism and substance abuse. Very sad.

If you are interested to know why those hacked emails PROVE that Russia wanted Trump in the White House and not Hillary, then you need to read this story. There wasn’t one hack instead there was a series of several hacks. This is a must read.

Danish spied on Russia – The Dutch intelligence service passed on “crucial evidence” to the FBI about Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported Friday, citing the results of an investigation. Hackers from the Dutch intelligence service known as the AIVD gained access to the network of Russian hacking group “Cozy Bear” in the summer of 2014. While monitoring the group’s activities, the AIVD learned of attacks launched on the Democratic Party, according to six unidentified American and Dutch sources cited by the investigation.

Another shooting – This shooting is at the YouTube headquarters in California. 3 people are reported dead at this time.

 

The 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King is coming up. King interrupted his Poor People’s Campaign to help the sanitation workers in Memphis. Here is a very nice op-ed by Jessie Jackson (a complex figure in the civil rights movement). The night before King’s assassination he gave his famous MountainTop speech. King had several famous speeches. Please read or listen to his MountainTop speech.

By |2018-04-03T20:10:48-04:00April 3rd, 2018|Civil Rights, Domestic Issues, Hacking/Data Breach, Media|Comments Off on News Update – Hacked emails explained, Physician’s story, Sinclair