Archive for the ‘racism’ Tag

Double Standard   Leave a comment

During WWII, ex-Ku Klux Klansman, now U.S. Senator, Robert Byrd vowed never to fight, “with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.” Just a couple of years ago, Senator Byrd lectured us on the floor of the Senate that, “There are white niggers. I’ve seen a lot of white niggers in my time.” I wonder whether he was talking about whites who act like blacks.

Walter WilliamsSan Francisco’s esteemed mayor Willie Brown once described a successful legislative battle this way, “We beat those old white boys fair and square.”

Spike Lee said in disapproval of interracial marriages, “I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street.”

The National Association of Black Social Workers drafted a position paper calling white adoptions of black children “cultural genocide.” They warned against “transculturation . . . when one dominant culture overpowers and forces another culture to accept a foreign form of existence.”

Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s presidential campaign manager called Republicans “white boys” who seek to “exclude, denigrate, and leave behind.”

At a celebration for retiring Senator Strom Thurmond (R. SC), Senator Trent Lott (R. Miss) said that Mississippians were proud to have voted for Mr. Thurmond in his 1948 presidential campaign “and, if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years.”

Which among the above statements are the most racist, which have received the most media coverage and which caused the most angst? Clearly, Trent Lott’s statement received the most media coverage and created the most angst but it doesn’t begin to qualify as the most racist. You say, “Williams, that’s different. High officials shouldn’t honor and praise racists or ex-racists.” Then what about Bill Clinton’s acknowledged political mentors – former Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright and former Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus – who were both rabid segregationists, yet former President Clinton highly praises Fulbright and bestowed upon him the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. By the way Fulbright was one of 19 senators who issued a statement entitled ‘The Southern Manifesto’, condemning the 1954 Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, and defending segregation. That’s a bit more recent than Thurmond’s run for the White House. Does Bill Clinton’s praise of Fulbright, mean that he supported “The Southern Manifesto” just as the assertion that Trent Lott’s praise of Thurmond means he supports Thurmond segregationist stand in 1948? If so, why not also condemn Bill Clinton?

I have several possible theories on the responses to Senator Lott’s rather stupid remarks – stupid in the context of our politically correct world. My first theory is that conservatives are held to higher standards of decency, conduct and decorum than liberals. In other words, it’s like behavior that’s tolerated in the case of children but ostracized when adults do the same thing. That theory might also explain why racist statements made by blacks are excused. Another theory is that since 9/11 and President Bush’s public popularity, both appointed and unappointed black leaders have had no platform and been paid no attention. Senator Lott’s guffaw gives them platform, voice and mission. Finally, the Democrats, having lost all branches of national government in the recent elections, are desperate to get something on Bush and the Republicans and Trent Lott’s statement is the answer to their prayers.

Walter E. Williams

December 16, 2002

Black Political Power   Leave a comment

It’s often thought to be beyond question that black political power is necessary for economic power and enhanced socio-economic welfare. That’s an idea that lends itself to testing and analysis. Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. Plus, a black man was elected to the presidency twice. Jason Riley, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, tells how this surge in political power has had little beneficial impact on the black community.

In a PragerU video, “Blacks in Power Don’t Empower Blacks” (http://tinyurl.com/y84psoyt), Riley says the conventional wisdom was based on the notion that only black politicians could understand and address the challenges facing blacks. Therefore, electing more black city councilors, mayors, representatives and senators was deemed critical. Even some liberal social scientists now disagree. Gary Orfield says, “There may be little relationship between the success of … black leaders and the opportunities of typical black families.” Riley says that while many black politicians achieved considerable personal success, many of their constituents did not.

After the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, riots, which followed the killing of Michael Brown after he charged a policeman, much was made of the small number of blacks on the city’s police force. Riley asks: If the racial composition of the police force is so important, how does one explain the Baltimore riots the following year after Freddie Gray died in police custody? Baltimore’s police force is 40 percent black. Its police commissioner is black. Its mayor is black, as is the majority of the City Council. What can be said of black political power in Baltimore can also be said of Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans. In these cities, blacks have been mayors, police chiefs, city councilors and superintendents of schools for decades. False Black Power? (Ne… Jason L. Riley Best Price: $7.22 Buy New $10.43 (as of 02:00 EDT – Details)

By contrast, when blacks had little political power, they made significant economic progress.During the 1940s and ’50s, black labor force participation rates exceeded those of whites; black incomes grew much faster than white incomes. Between 1940 and 1950, black poverty rates fell by as much as 40 percent. Between 1940 and 1970, the number of blacks in middle-class professions quadrupled. Keep in mind that was before affirmative action programs. Riley says that racial gaps were narrowing without any special treatment for blacks. After the 1960s, the government began pouring trillions of dollars into various social programs. These programs discouraged marriage and also undermined the work ethic through open-ended welfare programs, helping keep poor people poor.

The fact that political success is not a requirement for socio-economic success — and indeed may have an opposite effect — doesn’t apply only to blacks. American Jews, Italians, Germans, Japanese and Chinese attained economic power long before they had political power. By almost any measure of socio-economic success, Japanese and Chinese are at or near the top. Riley asks, “How many prominent Asian politicians can you name?” By contrast, Irish-Americans have long held significant political power yet were the slowest-rising of all immigrant groups.

Riley says that the black experience in the U.S. has been very different from that of other racial groups. Blacks were enslaved. After emancipation, they faced legal and extralegal discrimination and oppression. But none of those difficulties undermines the proposition that human capital, in the forms of skills and education, is far more important than political capital. Riley adds that the formula for prosperity is the same across the human spectrum. Traditional values — such as marriage, stable families, education and hard work — are immeasurably more important than the color of your mayor, police chief, representatives, senators and president.

As Riley argues in his new book — “False Black Power?” — the major barrier to black progress today is not racial discrimination. The challenge for blacks is to better position themselves to take advantage of existing opportunities, and that involves addressing the anti-social, self-defeating behaviors and habits and attitudes endemic to the black underclass.

Source: Black Political Power

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page.

Copyright © 2018 Creators.com

Posted April 16, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in racism, Uncategorized

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Victims Everywhere   Leave a comment

Image result for image of victimologyOne thing that really struck me this week in the aftermath of the Florida school shooting is how much victimhood has permeated this country. Yes, several people were shot and/or killed in that shooting and, yes, they are victims of a horrible tragedy. But to hear the media and the people they chose to interview talk, it would seem that half the nation’s population are victims of this incident that happened in one location. One woman on PBS talked about how her teenager, who attends a school in another state, was very concerned about how someone with a gun could come into her school and the mother wept that her child was being “victimized” like this. A man on another program said all parents with children in public school and their children have PTSD over this incident. Then there was someone else talking about how the shooter was a victim of bullying, almost as if that excuses shooting a bunch of people.

Wow! Is the embrasure of victimhood just an American phenomenon? It seems as if this country is the only place where people get so excited about the idea of being a victim that they will even fake hate crimes against themselves to get that status.

We’ve got women publicly crying that they were sexually assaulted and traumatized because a 93-year-old, wheelchair-bound President groped them. Maybe he was just trying to keep his arm around her for the photo op. He does have Parkinson’s Disease, you know?

Feminism (as in women having the same rights as men) has been so widely accepted in society that it made feminism irrelevant, so liberal feminists reinvented feminism as a combination of man-hating and victimization … a reason to keep bringing up patriarchy and rape culture and complain how men hold doors open for them and compliment their appearance. Disgusting!

Liberal feminism falsely makes women think they could have it all if those awful men weren’t getting in their way. It makes many guys unsure of what reaction they’ll get from women when they behave like men. Forget about the old “Women should be women and men should be men” philosophy; liberal feminism is about women being men and men being shamed for existing at all.

Progressive liberals (as opposed to classical liberals) work incessantly to split Americans into ever smaller groups that are at each other’s throats. If you want to get a sense of how bad it has gotten, we’re having ferocious public debates about transsexuals who, depending on how you define it, make up less than 0.25% to 0.75% of the population. Increasingly, the attitude is moving from the annoying, “You just can’t understand because of your race/color/gender” to “You HATE ME and that justifies ME HATING YOU” because of differences that are often unchangeable. This is incredibly dangerous to our future as a country because you can’t hold any group of people including a nation together long-term when people no longer believe they share the same goals and values as their neighbors.   Our nation’s motto is E pluribus unum (Out of many, one), but what happens when liberals insist that the many never become one?

Image result for image of victimologyThere was a time in America when people wanted to feel strong, capable and able to handle their own problems instead of being victims. There was a time in this country when the goals of oppressed minorities were to compete with white males on an even footing. Today, we’re told that, because of something intrinsic in our biology, we can never compete on even footing with white males who have received their position because of something intrinsic in their biology. They have white privilege, so unless we kill them all off (or at least take away their means of competing with us) we’ll always be victims. That sure sounds an awful lot like the old racism that said something intrinsic in our biology made one race superior to all others.

So what happens if we achieve this utopia? Do we honestly believe that a generation raised to be victims will be able to make use of power that sets aside their victimhood? Because once you’re in the cat-bird’s seat, you’re no longer a victim … right?

It’s a Worldview Thing   Leave a comment

Way back in college, I was a political science minor, and one of the seminars I took was on “The Politics of Violence.” I chose that course because I had previously taken a foreign policy seminar with the professor and I admired his intelligence. I discovered that a man can be intelligent on one subject and a total fool on another.

Image result for symbol racismIf you’re unfamiliar with the 1973 book by psychologists David Sears and John McConahay, “The Politics of Violence: The New Urban Blacks and the Watts Riot, it defined a new type of racism. They called it “symbolic racism” and defined it according to three principles:

  • A newer, subtler form of racism is emerging, due to societal pressure against explicitly engaging in the behaviors and attitudes of the Jim Crow-era
  • This racism manifests itself in the sociopolitical sphere, with many using racially-targeted legislation to manifest their racism in a socially acceptable way
  • This new, subtle, “symbolic” racism has its origins in being socialized to accept certain conservative values.

Symbolic racism as a concept has merit. As a 21-year-old American Indian who was still straightening my hair, I’d encountered a few racists in my short life. Racism hadn’t disappeared from America but had become more subtle. For a while, I bought into the idea that there is such a thing as racially-motivated legislation masquerading as concern for “tradition”, that actually gets passed. I’ve revised that belief over the last 35 years and come to the conclusion that the theory of symbolic racism goes beyond this by defining conservatism as inherently racist.

Sears and McConahay argued that to support equality for African-Americans, but not to support government programs designed to ensure” this equality is a form of racism. So, if you’re for requiring photo ID to vote (the law in Alaska except in small villages where everybody knows everybody) or believe that affirmative action entry requirements in colleges and employment are unfair to whites and Asians, you’re a racist. Not, you might be … you are, according to subscribers of this theory.

Much of the subsequent study of racism since publication of The Politics of Violence has been defined by this element, though David Sears tried in a 2005 paper to stress that conservatism is a separate construct from political conservatism. Whatever his original  intentions, most people take his theory to conflate the two.

Using faulty logic, the book defines conservative/libertarian ideology to be racist by necessitating that anyone who believes in equality of opportunity must support legislation such as affirmative action and welfare, designed to assure equality of outcome. Conversely, if a person doesn’t support such policies, then they are manifesting symbolic racism. It no longer matters what you actually believe. Your “true motives” can be determined by your political actions.

In other words, fiscal, social and political conservatism, together or singularly, must be racially-motivated, despite the lack of empirical research supporting that theory. In a 1998 paper, Ramona Bobocel and colleagues empirically demonstrated there can be ideological opposition, entirely separate from racism or other forms of prejudice, to political policies supposedly designed to ensure “justice.” But that spoils the “racist” narrative, so the empirical research has been ignored by scientists and society.

Today, almost every conservative/libertarian political move is accused of being bigoted. Voter ID laws, welfare reform, Medicare reform, even tax cuts have all been furiously denounced as racist, but symbolic racism’s influence has also spread beyond the realm of racism itself.

If you opposed Secretary Clinton during her presidential campaigns, you were a sexist. It couldn’t be that you found her under-qualified or thought there was ample evidence that she was corrupt. No, the only reason you had to vote for someone other than her was that you are sexist … and that includes if you are a woman. You must be self-loathing if you voted against she-who-would-be-queen.

Those who support the First Amendment are guilty of “coded” hate speech. Clearly, you wouldn’t support widespread First Amendment protections if you understood how truly painful it is for some people to hear opinions they don’t agree with.

Exercising the right to refuse service on moral grounds is equated to Jim Crow-era lynchings and violence. If your closely-held beliefs require you to obey God even in the practice of your business, then you shouldn’t be in business.

The original theory of symbolic racism said traditional values were only being used for racist purposes. The modern manifestation of this theory equates the two. To believe in anything “traditional” is now a form of prejudice and we refuse to engage with any sort of “prejudice,” so we can’t even talk to one another anymore.

This is a fundamentally different worldview that many leftists accept without question, often far less questioned as free trade or free speech might be to those of us on the right. They might not necessarily be trying to put words in our mouths or be disingenuous. They truly believe symbolic racism is hidden in our “coded” language and they’re trying to catch us out so they don’t find themselves agreeing with us and finding themselves shamed by their fellow leftists for being “open and accepting” toward “racists”.

The way you address worldviews is by addressing presuppositions – the basic assumptions that drive this belief in symbolic racism. Only until you have examined the foundation can you rebuild the superstructure.

Yeah, that will take time and a willingness to recognize that they are sincere … if sincerely wrong.

Posted February 20, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in racism, Uncategorized

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Defining Racism   Leave a comment

So I’m on the tread mill just before Christmas, pre-sweating for my pumpkin pie, when Tucker Carlson’s hilarious list of 100 things people have deemed “racist” in 2017 comes up. It took me a while to find it — mainly because I wasn’t trying very hard — but it really is funny.

“We live in revolutionary times,” Carlson told his followers on Twitter.

 

Image resultCarlson gave each “racist” item its own separate tweet, and while the list is worth reading in its entirety, I just couldn’t do them all. I have novels to write.

Apparently TREES are now racist. A group of trees in Palm Springs, California, was considered racist because the trees separated an upscale golf course from a historically black neighborhood. City officials promised to kill the trees, ridding Palm Springs of a longtime symbol of oppression.

DISNEY movies are now racists, according to Kat George, a writer for VH1’s website, who insisted that in 2017 some of your favorite Disney movies are racist. The Little Mermaid was listed as an offender because Sebastian, Ariel’s crab sidekick, spoke in an exaggerated Jamaican accent. Maybe he was a Jamaican crab.

MILK is now racist. Who knew? Who cared? It’s apparently became a symbol of the alt-right and neo-Nazis this year because racial minorities may be more likely to suffer from lactose intolerance. Even worse, the USDA’s dietary guidelines further such oppression by advertising dairy as an essential part of a healthy diet. As an American Indian who does indeed get gassy if I drink too much milk … get over yourselves. Seriously? If you don’t like milk or can’t drink it … don’t. My brother, as American Indian as I am, loves milk. Does that mean he’s self-loathing?

SCIENCE is apparently now racist. Students in South Africa declared that science is racist because it cannot explain “black magic” — no, really.

“I have a question for all the science people. There is a place in KZN called Umhlab’uyalingana, and they believe that through the magic, the black magic–you call it black magic, they call it witchcraft–you are able to send lightening to strike someone,” one student explained. “Can you explain that scientifically? Because it’s something that happens.”

Military CAMOUFLAGE is also racist. Don’t use face paint while sneaking through the jungle, or you might be accused of racism! The British Army was accused of donning “blackface” after they posted a picture of a soldier wearing dark face paint and holding a rifle.

Some CEREALS are now racist. A diversity officer at Miami University was actually open to the idea of banning Lucky Charms because some undercover students claimed the cereal was racist against Irish Americans. Yikes. Brad, did you know about this? Were you upset when the kids would eat them when they were little? No? How out of touch with your cultural roots can you be? Get angry! Be enraged! Where’s the war-bag?

 

Apparently TIMELINESS is now racist. Expecting students to show up on time to class might be insensitive to “cultural differences,” Clemson University said in a diversity training program.

 

BABIES are also racists. According to a study by the University of Toronto, babies show preferences to adults of their own race. Should we start diversity training in the nursery?

You can follow the full thread on Tucker’s Twitter account HERE. 

Posted February 2, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Common sense

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Simplistic Thinking about Mass Shootings Re-Dux   Leave a comment

I wrote this right after the South Carolina church shooting a couple of years ago and then couldn’t find it after the Texas church shooting a couple of months ago. So I decided, having found it today, that I should run it again. Except for the occupant in the White House, not much has changed.

 

Perhaps it is human nature to blame something other than ourselves for the events we see in the world. The South Carolina church shooting shows that tendency in full view.

  • Guns caused the shooting. Their very existence demands that they be used for the mass killing of folks.

Do we really believe that? Certainly our president and some pundits say they believe that, but isn’t that the equivalent of saying “the devil made me do it?” I’ve been around guns my whole life. It’s stupid to go into the woods where there are bears, wolves and moose without a firearm. I shot a 22 when I was 7. I first handled my mom’s 357 when I was in junior high right after three soon-to-be rapists tried to break into our house and Mom (all 95 pounds of her) scared them away.

My guns have never whispered to me that I should go out and shoot up a church, a movie theater, a shopping center. Guns are inanimate objects. If there’s any whispering going on, it’s coming from the mind of the shooter, not the guns. Guns are simply a tool for keeping users safe. Make them illegal and it leaves law-abiding citizens at the mercy of law-breakers, because law-breakers won’t be obeying the gun laws.

  • Racism caused the shooting.

There may be some validity to this argument in the case of this particular church. It was a historically black church and the shooter seems to have had some racist beliefs. He was also high on drugs and may have been mentally ill. So is that racism or mental illness or some other problem not yet identified. The shooter spent an hour in that church during Bible study before he opened fire. If it were my church, I’d be asking “What happened during that hour that escalated rather than de-escalated his violence?” Maybe it was nothing. Maybe he was just bent on killing people and it took him an hour to get the courage, but … as I said, if it were MY church …. Is it possible they weren’t very welcoming to the weird white guy in their haven for the dark-skinned? If you think that’s a racist question, note the number of fingers pointing back at yourself before you pop off.

  • Mental illness caused the shooting. Lock up all mentally ill or make it illegal for them to have guns and all will be better.

I worked in the mental health field for 15 years. I’ve met some mentally ill people who would mow down a church group because the voices in their heads told them to do it. Not the gun, not racism — mental illness. But I’ve also met mentally ill folks who would never hurt anyone (except maybe themselves) and others who stay on their meds because they don’t want to ever hurt anyone else. Delusional disorders are not all the same and it’s wrong to treat some folks like criminals because they are ill.

  • Churches are at fault.

I actually heard this from an atheist neighbor this weekend. If churches weren’t these monolithic structures that judge people, he said, they wouldn’t become targets for crazy people. Do away with all churches and people would be free to love one another and violence would be reduced immeasurably. Wow, you just can’t make that up.

All of those simple causes are probably partially at fault. Churches ought to be more welcoming to those who are odd. Yes, that puts them more at risk. Jesus never said being His followers would be safe. There is a lovely man who occasionally comes through our church. We call him John the Baptist and I can’t say his real name because I signed agreements years ago. He is a Christian who is also bat-crazy with schizophrenia. Often when you talk to him, it’s like reading Alice in Wonderland on acid, but he also cuts right to the truth of the gospel in a way that sane people rarely do. He knows his Bible and his application is spot on. And (some people find this creepy), he seems to know things about you that he shouldn’t know, but he uses that knowledge to help the Christians he meets. I wonder if he’s not talking to angels, who are the demons who chose to obey God. Yeah, I worked in the mental health field for 15 years and I believe in demons. That’s another topic. Churches should be more welcoming to people who are not stereotypically “church” people.

Mental illness is a tough nut to crack. Europe and other nations handle it by doing what we used to do — locking folks up and forcing them to take their meds. There is a growing movement in this country by mental health advocates to never force anyone to take medication against their will. Did you know that? Yeah! So maybe there’s more to these mass shootings than just undiagnosed mental illness. But maybe in a country that prides itself on individual liberty, we really don’t have a right to force others to be medicated against their will. There are some folks who think we should treat mental illness like a crime. I don’t, but I also acknowledge that some people won’t stay on their meds and they aren’t John the Baptist motivated by God’s spirit to share the gospel. Some of them are scary scary people and we need to have a discussion about what to do with that. Currently, if you call for help because you think someone might be developing schizophrenia and about to harm someone, you have to show that they really are an imminent risk to themselves or others. In essence, they have to mow down a church group before the police will act.

Notice that I’m sitting on the fence with this because I’m an individualist who has experience with both good people who are mentally ill and scary people who are mentally ill. I’m not sure what the answer is here and I suspect there is no “good” solution.

Racism is a swinging door. The first time I ever saw racism directed at me was not because I’m an American Indian and white folks don’t like Indians. It was a black man who had decided I was white and he didn’t want me in his shop. Racism doesn’t have a color. A traditionally ethnic church of any stripe might think its meeting separately because that’s how white folks want it, but in reality, in this day and age, they are meeting separately because they feel most comfortable with that. Guaranteed, if a group of any ethnicity showed up at 90% of traditionally white churches, nobody would turn them away and most might not even notice the color of your skin. Racism and reverse racism are not excuses for mowing down a church group, but it is certainly something churches need to consider. And, not just churches. Society as a whole exhibits this problem. When you’re pointing a finger at someone else as a racist, pay attention to how many fingers are pointing back at you.

Guns do not kill anyone by themselves. They are simply a tool. If we didn’t have guns, mentally ill people and racists would find other ways to kill people. Knives, gasoline bombs, cars, baseball bats, bow-and-arrow, hammers …. As a small woman, I’m not going to go mana a mana with a man swinging a baseball bat or wielding a knife. With a gun, I become his equal and therefore, equally able to protect myself and those around me. If you disarm me, you relegate me to the role of victim, leading to my death.

I know we don’t want to hear this. We want simple causes and simple solutions, but we don’t have those and until we accept that the issues are more complicated than we want to believe, we can’t hope to solve the problems.

Posted January 3, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Gun control

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How Do We Stop Racism?   Leave a comment

Image result for image of morgan freeman on racism

Posted September 26, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in racism, Uncategorized

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Missing the Point Yet Again   Leave a comment

Another police officer gets away with murdering another citizen.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/betty-shelby-acquittal-terence-crutcher-protests-tulsa-cop/

Protests follow Tulsa cop’s acquittal in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

TULSA, Okla. — A jury late Wednesday acquitted a white Oklahoma police officer who says she fired out of fear last year when she killed an unarmed black man who had his hands above his head. The verdict led almost immediately to protests.
To me, the issue is NOT that this man was black and this officer was white (and female), but that he was an unarmed member of the public and she was (and will be again) an armed member of a gestapo force.
shelby.jpg We need to get away from this black-versus-white nonsense. It divides us and keeps us from addressing the real issue – that police feel they have authority to shoot people to death in the streets and face no consequences. Take the race element out of it and we can all get behind the idea that police shouldn’t be shooting citizens unless the citizens are actively engaged in trying to harm someone or someone’s property.
I find it disturbing that, in the incidents of officer-involved shootings where both the officer and the dead citizen were black, the black community hasn’t flooded the streets in protest demanding justice. I find it disturbing that in the rare incidents where the cop was black and the dead citizen was white, the white community has not flooded the streets in protest.
See, if we took the racial aspect out of this, the black community would have whites marching with them, but because whites know they’re not welcome, only elites show up who buy into the same racial nonsense we need to be getting away from.
The point shouldn’t be the race of those involved in the incident, but that the incident occurred at all.
The other thing I would like to point out from the article … it says that four jurors were visibly fighting tears and wouldn’t look at either the defendant or the dead man’s family. If that doesn’t pique a journalist’s curiosity, something is wrong with that journalist. That smacks of jurors who have been coerced. They didn’t want to arrive at the verdict they did, but for some reason they did. Why?
Well, the defendant is a police officer being prosecuted by her employers, who have ever reason to want her acquitted. Yeah, think about that. Ordinarily in a court of law, a defendant has the cards stacked against him or her. The judge and prosecution work for the same government and if they are using a public defender, even their lawyer is not on their side. Follow the money. The same government is paying everybody’s salary. The only ones interested in justice are the jury, who are often misinformed as to what their role in a trial is.
But in this situation, the role is reversed. The lawyer was probably provided by the Police Union, which means the money is also coming from the government. The only ones interested in justice this time was the jury. Were the judge’s instructions that they have to rule according to the law (that no doubt favors the officer shooting a citizen)? The Founders would shake their heads sadly and probably already be advocating for throwing off the yoke of a tyrannical government. Why? Because they believed that juries had the right to overthrow unjust laws. I believe this jury may have wanted to do that, but felt intimidated by the government apparatus arrayed against them.
Either way, this cop should have been sent to jail for a long number of years and that is a travesty, made possible in part by our being divided along racial lines rather than united by a unitary philosophy that cops should face consequences when they gun down unarmed people.

Race with Us? Really?   8 comments

This is a 2015 post that I decided to rerun because it somehow feels timely. I also ran the companion piece “On Being a Racist.” Lela

 

Pouring my coffee over her head occurred to me!

In case you don’t know, Starbuck’s has decided to instruct the rest of America on race relations in this country. In doing so, they’ve managed to lose my business for a while.

RACE WITH US!

It’s what was scribbled on the side of my husband’s coffee cup last night. It was also scrawled on the side of his friend PJ’s cup. We ran into PJ and Susan in the parking lot of Barnes & Noble. Susan and I talked quilting while PJ and Brad discussed how the early spring is messing up their snow machining. The guys got coffee and the gals got coffee. Susan is Athabaskan Indian. I’m part-American Indian (but white people don’t usually see it unless it’s pointed out or if I’m with someone for them to compare me to and see similarities). Brad is Irish-American, I think PJ is German-American – blond and his last name could be German (okay, I never thought to ask).

The problem?

Susan and I had no such missive on the sides of our cups!

RACE WITH US?

It is not just white people in this country that need to have a conversation about racism. I’m a tribal member. Trust me. Reservation Indians are the most racist group I know personally. The Tanana Chiefs Conference just called for a 100-year plan that includes (in my opinion, but Susan agreed with me) some highly racially-oriented ideas. My black-nephew-in-law took the election of Barack Obama to start having a race conversation in which he has decided all “white” people are racists who need to be confronted about what he supposes is going on in our heads.

Kind of like Starbuck’s.

Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a day when a man might be judged by the content of his character not the color of his skin. I thought we were there when we elected Barack Obama. That would seem to have been a pretty clear indication that blacks at least were welcomed into the circles of power not just by the elites, but by the voters. Sadly, I was mistaken. This has been the most racially-divisive presidency since Richard Nixon.

These days having “white” skin immediately means you need to be educated about race relations by bigots with dark skin. Brad and PJ, two white men, need the conversation. Susan and I apparently do not. The message I got was that if you’re a person of color, you’re exempt from this race conversation. Or maybe it’s that if you’re hanging out with a person of color, you don’t need that conversation. If you are white and you have friends who are white then you clearly need the conversation. For the record, PJ and Brad are married to BIA-recognized tribal members and have children who are BIA-recognized tribal members.

So now you know why I wanted to pour my coffee over the barista’s head.

I resent the insinuation that if I am not of a certain racial group I must be a bigot. Until this conversation started coming up every other day, I personally hadn’t thought much about racial issues for a long long time. That’s right. I’m an American Indian who had not thought much about racism. Why? Because I don’t experience a lot of racism in my life. That may be because I don’t go looking for it. The world is full of rude people of every skin color. I don’t assume they are rude because they are racists. I assume they are rude because they are human. Maybe ignorance is bliss or maybe I only encounter racism when the person is truly being a racist, when I can’t avoid the reality.

Like when the Starbuck’s barista scribbles “Race with us” on the side of my husband’s coffee cup, but not on mine.

And, by the way, overt racists are (in my experience) almost always people of color. White people got it knocked out of them a long time ago. Maybe there are still racist thoughts kicking around in their heads that come out when they drink heavily, but for the most part they don’t say it and they don’t act on it. Reservation Indians and certain communities of black people, however ….

If we want to have this conversation, let’s invite everybody to the table. Let’s be honest about racism in America and admit that while white people have learned to keep their heads down and their mouths shut on the subject, people of color feel their skin color have been given a pass on their own racism.

RACE WITH US?

Posted January 6, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in racism, Uncategorized

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On Being a Racist   1 comment

This is a post from 2015 that I just feel is timely. I’m also going to post the companion piece.  Lela

 

Hello, my name is Brad and I am a racist.

I must be a racist because the barista at Starbuck’s scribbled “Race Together” on the side of my cup. Apparently I look like a racist. Apparently Lela does not because her cup just had her name scrawled on the side along with the secret code for how she likes her coffee. Her friend Susan, who looks very Alaska Native, was also not blessed with the invitation to have a conversation with a white coffee-dispensing college student about race. My friend PJ — RACIST!

Lela and I are generally opposed to putting our images out on social media. It’s not like the NSA doesn’t know who we are or what we look like, but we don’t want to make it any easier for them. You’ll just have to take my word for it — I’m white. My eyes are blue-green, my hair is sort of honey brown and my skin — well, this time of year, it’s blindingly white. We don’t get a lot of sun in Alaska in the winter and since it rained all last summer, it’s been about 18 months since I’ve tanned. So I think this is the whitest I’ve ever been.

I know — disgraceful! How can I have any understanding of what darker-skinned people feel when my skin is this white? And I was buying coffee with another white guy at a bookstore! Can’t you just smell the white privilege?  White men who can read at a 6th grade level and afford designer coffee! Obviously we need to discuss race relations in America with our barista! I mean, she has dreds. She can’t possibly be a racist!

So here’s something to know about the inner workings of my mind. Like most human beings on the planet, I do have some prejudices. I prefer vanilla over chocolate ice cream, for example. I discriminate against flavorless Lower 48 blueberries in favor of tart Alaska blueberries. I like Jeeps better than Subarus which I prefer over Fords. If given a choice, I will choose movies that feature explosions over romantic comedies. I don’t like some people and love to hang out with others. I discriminate all of the time. We all do and that is not necessarily an evil thing. Trust me on this — Alaska blueberries — WAY better than Lower 48 blueberries!!!!

Ah, but is my choice of coffee companions an indication that I discriminate in favor of white people? Could be. I grew up in a rough New York City neighborhood during the bussing era of the 1970s. In the 5th grade, I was stabbed by a Puerto Rican girl for no reason I ever knew and I haven’t really had much use for Puerto Ricans since, but if you are a friendly Puerto Rican and don’t try to stab me, I’ll eventually warm up to you. You know the saying — once stabbed, twice shy, but you can prove to me that I can trust you. And, then I was once beaten up by two drunk (Alaska) Native men, so if you’re a drunk Alaska Native man harassing people in downtown Fairbanks Alaska, you might want to steer clear of me. I’ve learned to growl and threaten to bite rather than get kicked in the ribs again.

See — RACIST! Or maybe the Puerto Rican chick and the Native guys hurt me and I learned the lesson they were trying to teach me.

In high school, I was smitten by a black girl in my history class who would never give me the time of day. My best friend is an Alaskan Eskimo. My wife is part-American Indian. My very beloved daughter actually looks more Indian than her mother. Once I was the only white man on a remote job site and three of my black coworkers announced I could call them the “n-word”. I guess these non-whites have f failed to notice that I’m a bigot, huh?

I’m Irish American and like most American whites, I am uncomfortable with this topic. In fact, I feel like I don’t have a right to have a contrarian opinion on this subject. The only reason I’m posting this is that Lela insisted. It was about 17 years ago that my coworkers honored me by trying to let me into their group. I couldn’t say the “n-word” without blushing and choking. They thought it was funny and tried to get me to practice it, but I never could do it. Finally, they took pity on me and said I didn’t have to. But why was it hard for me to say it? They called each other “nigga” all the time. It appeared to be a term of endearment and camaraderie. I was honored that they gave me permission, but I couldn’t say it. Since then, I’ve asked quite a few white people if they could say “n-word”. I haven’t found any that could. They are absolutely embarrassed by the term.

Why?Because we’ve all been indoctrinated to never have bigoted thoughts about people of color and to never, ever say the n-word. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing, but I want to just point out that there’s a double standard. White people have been taught to be careful of the sensitivities of non-whites, but non-whites are not necessarily held to the same standard.

Have you ever seen an Indian fella wearing a “Native Pride” hat? You see it a lot here in Alaska. I’ve often wondered what would happen if I wore a “white pride” T-shirt, but I fear getting beat up again, so I’ve never run that experiment. This week in Fairbanks, we’re having the Festival of Native Arts, where Native people get together for Native dancing and eating ethnic foods (muktuk and seal oil, yummo!) and non-Natives are expected to plunk down big money to go watch this, but they aren’t permitted to participate. We’re supposed to respect this exhibit as healthy cultural pride. What if Irish people were to get together for jig dancing or Germans were to get together for beer drinking and glockenspieling and say it’s okay for non-Irish to pay money to watch, but they can’t participate — what would be the reaction?

BIGOTS!

But what really bugs me is that 17 years ago, I could say “nigga” to a black man and he would call me friend, but today I don’t think those same men would honor me with that privilege because black people today are no longer judging white people by the content of their character, but by the color of our skin. White people are expected to apologize for being white, as if that is anything we can control any more than a black person can control being born black.

Doesn’t that sound a lot like racism to you? It sure sounds a lot like racism to me.

Source: On Being a Racist

Posted January 6, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in racism, Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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