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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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What "The Talk" is about: It’s pragmatism for a society that doesn’t consider you fully human.

The Talk
How black parents prepare their young sons for life in America

By Bijan Stephen
Illustration by Skip Sterling


It’s odd to grow up not really believing that the various protections enshrined in law apply to you — or rather, that they only apply to you when it’s convenient. That’s really what the Talk is about: It’s pragmatism for a society that doesn’t consider you fully human. James Baldwin notes something along these lines in “Stranger in the Village” — my favorite essay from his 1955 collection Notes of a Native Son — when he discusses the reasons why American blacks, unlike the other black men who live around the world, don’t and can’t fit anywhere but America. It’s because these histories end, inevitably, in a bill of sale.

My family immigrated here, but it’s not as though we went untouched. My ancestors were slaves too, and after a certain number of generations my own history disappears into the ether. In any case, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, here. It’s the inescapable fact that, if you happen to have dark skin in America, you are immediately and irrevocably trapped in the narratives of race that swirl about this place. Death, destruction, despair. We are here and we are here to stay, was Baldwin’s sentiment. Yet I, along with every other black person in America, live with fear every day. We are human — why does that never come to light until we’re forced to show our animal pain grieving another dead child? I’m tired; I am so, so unendurably tired.

It’s tough to believe in anything other than the present when you’re forced to fight for every inch of ground you’ve got; it’s harder still when you’ve got to question most of your interpersonal interactions. Is this why I didn’t get the job? Is this why my lease application was denied? Is this why I got into college? Is this why this person keeps following me around the grocery store? And when you ask, you’re looked at like you’re crazy, met with denial — because it’s always plausible, deniable.

My story is not unique. I could have been Michael Brown, or any of the other murdered ones. I’ve grown up enough now that I know when things could devolve, when I might have to run, when to avert my eyes and cloak myself in blackness — that is, in the body language of utter submission, of chattel.


MORE (amazing mho):

Pool Party!

Ferguson Prosecutor Says No Charge Decision Until October

Source: Bloomberg

The Missouri grand jury that began considering evidence today in the police killing of an unarmed man won’t decide whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson until October “at the earliest,” a spokesman for the local prosecutor said.

The grand jury, which is presented testimony and other evidence by prosecutors, must decide whether to indict Wilson for the shooting in the St. Louis suburb, and on what charge.

A grand jury, which in this case is a panel of 12 jurors, traditionally hears evidence in many cases during the course of its term. Unlike a trial, or petit jury, a grand jury hands up an indictment rather than a verdict.

The Clayton, Missouri grand jury was empaneled in May, said Edward Magee, spokesman for prosecutor Bob McCulloch. He said that the process of presenting evidence will last until October.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-20/ferguson-prosecutor-says-no-charge-decision-until-october.html

Palin Goes 0-for-2 In Alaska As Clout Disappears Nationally

WASHINGTON -- Sarah Palin has lost the magic. The defeat of her choice Tuesday in a Republican Senate primary in her home state of Alaska capped a primary season in which her favored candidates have stumbled across the nation.

A referendum to restore Palin’s signature achievement from her time as Alaska governor, a state tax on oil companies, was also headed toward defeat following Tuesday’s voting, dealing a double whammy loss to Palin in her home state and highlighting her declining influence.

Only four of the 15 congressional candidates endorsed by Palin nationwide this year have won their primaries, a far worse record than the previous two elections, when Palin played a role as kingmaker and her approval was eagerly sought by candidates looking for an edge with Republican voters.

Palin remains talented at raising money. “But her influence on the actual political process is diminishing rapidly,” said John Feehery, a Republican political consultant and former aide to GOP leadership in the House of Representatives.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/20/6642066/palin-goes-0-for-2-in-alaska-as.html#storylink=cpy

NYT Editorial: McCulloch needs to step aside in this case or be replaced with a special prosecutor

The Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL

A Fair Inquiry for Michael Brown


Justice is a process, and it won’t necessarily result in the arrest the officer who fired the fatal shots, as many of the demonstrators say they want. Witness accounts sharply differ on the events leading to the shooting, and it’s impossible to predict whether the grand jury that began hearing evidence on Wednesday will indict Mr. Wilson. But those in charge have an obligation to demonstrate fairness at every step, and that means there cannot be even a hint of bias in the process.

For that reason, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, Robert McCulloch, needs to step aside in this case, or be replaced with a special prosecutor by Gov. Jay Nixon. Mr. McCulloch’s parents worked for the St. Louis Police Department, and his father was killed on the job in 1964 by a black suspect while helping another officer. Last week he gratuitously criticized Mr. Nixon’s decision to put state police officers in charge of the response to the unrest.

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigation found that after a shooting in 2000, when two detectives shot two unarmed black men in the town next to Ferguson, Mr. McCulloch failed to bring any independent evidence to the grand jury. He claimed that “every witness” testified that the detectives were defending themselves, but secret grand jury tapes showed that several witnesses did not do so. When the grand jury chose not to indict, he said he supported the decision. That’s why many black elected officials — including Charlie Dooley, the executive of St. Louis County, where Ferguson is — have called for a special prosecutor in the Brown case, and more than 70,000 people have signed an online petition to that effect.


US Military Launched Secret Rescue Operation in Syria for James Foley, Other Americans

Source: ABC

US Military Launched Secret Rescue Operation in Syria for James Foley, Other Americans
Aug 20, 2014, 6:30 PM ET
U.S. special operations forces early this summer launched a secret, major rescue operation in Syria to save James Foley and a number of Americans held by the extremist group ISIS, but the mission failed because the hostages weren’t there, senior administration officials told ABC News today.

President Obama authorized the “substantial and complex” rescue operation after the officials said a “broad collection of intelligence” led the U.S. to believe the hostages were being held in a specific location in the embattled Middle Eastern nation.

When “several dozen” U.S. special operation members landed in Syria, however, they were met with gunfire and “while on site, it became apparent the hostages were not there,” one of the officials said. The special operators engaged in a firefight in which ISIS suffered “a good number” casualties, the official said, while the American forces suffered only a single minor injury.

The American forces were able to get back on helicopters and escape.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/james-foley-us-military-launched-secret-rescue-operation/story?id=25060796

Cartoon: Fear of a black victim - by Matt Bors


The Stupidly Simple Science That Nails Michael Brown's Killer For Murder

7:27 AM PT: Courtesy nosleep4u-a summation-

Shorter version
PD report says MB charged from 35 feet away.
Wilson fired 8 shots.
MB died at 20+ feet away.

15 feet is at most 5 steps for a big person like MB.

5 steps for (A) MB to get up some speed (B) Wilson to judge its a charge and (C) Wilson to fire 8 shots.

Which is impossible. MB would have to have been "charging" like a tortoise.


GWB on ice

i know its for a good cause, but this pic really startled me...

OOOPs: Police Reporter Spreading Bullshit that "Ferguson Teen Attacked Cop" -RETRACTs STORY


Yesterday , the controversy surrounding the conflicting stories of Michael Brown's death grew hotter, when Christine Byers, a police reporter with the St. Louis Dispatch tweeted the following information about officer Darren Wilson:

Christine Byers ✔ @ChristineDByers
Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop's version of events in shooting #Ferguson
7:30 PM - 18 Aug 2014


But she backtracked, tweeting this semi-retraction hours later:

Christine Byers ✔ @ChristineDByers
On FMLA from paper. Earlier tweets did not meet standards for publication.
10:50 AM - 19 Aug 2014


Yeah, she was spreading this tale even though she's not reporting this story, or any other story -- she's taking a Family and Medical Leave Act leave from her job. But her rumormongering also spread like wildfire -- thanks to sites like The Blaze and (again) Gateway Pundit.


Is local law enforcement just tilting the story the way law enforcement always does with local media, but the result this time is that right-wing propagandists with a national base are listening? Or does someone in this process actually grasp how the right-wing puke funnel works? It's probably the former, but the result is the same either way: rumors and disinformation, once they're out there, get enshrined as fact on the right, and that colors the story for all of Heartland America -- and, by the way, for any potential Darren Wilson jurors. Whatever's going on, it's clear that the other side always work the media more skillfully


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