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Member since: Sat Sep 15, 2012, 01:49 PM
Number of posts: 29,145

About Me

Epitaph: She was taken down by two hides for pointing out she found hurtful comments that focus on the failings of victims of domestic violence rather than the violent abusers who break the law. As a survivor of domestic violence, I do indeed find such comments hurtful, yet two juries have insisted I have no right to say so. When it is okay to say \"some women will do anything for money,\" but it is not okay to point out victim blaming hurts people, something is seriously wrong. If community standards truly do sanction victim blaming but do not allow survivors to talk about how they experience those comments, that is not a community that values justice, non-violence, or freedom of speech.

Journal Archives

Stop pretending racism is confined to Florida

I find it astounding that people have decided that Florida alone is responsible for the kind of racism in the American judicial system evident in the Zimmerman case. There is a bizarre myopia happening where too many want to imagine that the factors that led to Trayvon Martin's death and George Zimmerman's acquittal can all be blamed on Florida alone. Racial profiling, gun proliferation, Stand Your Ground laws, and racism in the judicial system exist throughout the country. Black males are pathologized from Alaska to Rhode Island, from California to Minnesota--in each and every one of these United States.

The focus on Florida is an effort to externalize racism, to pretend it is the product of a limited, other location. The fact is racism is all around us. Black men are profiled and killed in every state in this country, and their killers too often get off because many Americans consciously or unconsciously view African Americans as worth less than whites. This is as much about our own towns, cities, and states as it is Florida. If Florida fell off the map tomorrow, we would continue to have more Trayvon Martins and George Zimmermans. Stop looking for easy scapegoats. Racism, gun violence, and unequal justice exist in all of our communities. Pretending otherwise ignores just how serious inequality and injustice really are.

Breastfeeding Mother Stunned by Note on Receipt

I love that the Pizza place is called Fong's.

A breastfeeding mother at a pizza restaurant got the surprise of her life when she received a free pizza and a kind note on her receipt from a waitress.

Jackie Johnson-Smith, 33, a stay-at-home mother from Ankeny, Iowa was celebrating her 33rd birthday on Sunday at Fong’s Pizza in Des Moines with her husband and their three kids, ages 4, 3, and 12 months, when her youngest started fussing. “I usually don’t go downtown for dinner because lots of places aren’t family-friendly but I had heard good things about Fong’s,” Johnson-Smith told Yahoo! Shine. “It was chaotic—I had one kid licking the honey container on the table, another standing on his chair, and my baby was fussing.”

So Johnson-Smith threw on a nursing cover and began discreetly breastfeeding her 12-month-old. “I usually don’t like to breastfeed in public because people can be judgmental,” she says. “The waitress kept walking by, and I was worried she didn’t want me nursing in the restaurant.” Eventually, worried that her baby would continue crying, Johnson-Smith left the restaurant and finished nursing in the car.

Shortly after, Johnson-Smith’s husband walked out with a huge smile on his face. “He handed me the dinner receipt and at first I was confused—why is he showing me how much my birthday dinner cost?” said Johnson-Smith. To her surprise, there was a handwritten note on the paper: ‘I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!’


No need

I just like to keep track of all the examples that expose the lie of the law abiding gun owner.

One-eyed justice bound by race.

I came across this image that I think captures well the nature of the American Justice system. Justice is not blind. Racism permeates all aspects of the justice system, from sentencing guidelines (crack vs. rock cocaine) to the death penalty. Putting Trayvon Martin on trial for his own murder is just the latest chapter in the racist application of "justice." Our society treats black manhood as pathology. The notion that a black male could be in fear rather than threaten others seems inconceivable to many like juror B37.

Black women, for their part, can also be pathologized. The jury took only 12 minutes to find Marissa Alexander guilty.

Orphaned baby elephant needs a hug

Teacher, I know. . . I know . . . ask me!!!!!

Searching for Blame

I've observed an impulse to find explanations for Zimmerman's acquittal by placing blame on the jurors, judge, prosecutors, the omission of a single jury instruction, or another single factor. While it's natural to seek answers for something that seems so unjust, I believe the explanation is not nearly so simple as the jurors being scumbags or that the judge set Zimmerman free through the omission of a jury instruction. A series of factors led to Trayvon's murder and Zimmerman's acquittal, foremost among them the racism that pervades American society. The problem is not simply that Zimmerman was motivated by irrational fear of African American males, but that American culture teaches all of us that black men are dangerous. We are imbued with such cultural messages through the media from an early age, and we must work to overcome them. There is no question Zimmerman singled out Trayvon for suspicion because he was African American, but the influence of racism did not stop there. The police didn't arrest Zimmerman because they too share the image of the dangerous black male. Race likely played a role in the jurors's perceptions that Zimmerman had reason to fear Trayvon, and race has certainly framed the public reaction to this event. Other factors, however, also played a role. Gun culture encouraged Zimmerman to carry a gun with him as he did his neighborhood watch. The spread of shall issue concealed carry and Stand Your Ground laws influence the actions of gun owners who are empowered by laws that allow them to "defend" themselves even when they are the first aggressor. While Zimmerman's lawyers didn't invoke SYG in his defense, the law is a central part of contemporary gun culture and emboldens concealed carry holders in acting aggressively.

The blame for Zimmerman's acquittal can't be placed on the judge, the jury, or any other single factor. Trayvon's murder and Zimmerman's acquittal is a product of an American society characterized by racism and gun proliferation. Ours is a society where gun culture emboldens gun carriers to act out on racial fears, even and especially when they are not aware of how ideas of race influence their actions. Race prompts police to place blame on African Americans and excuse whites or non-blacks who act with lethal force in response to imagined threats posed by the image of the black criminal that looms in their minds more than in reality. To allocate blame for the death of Trayvon and the acquittal of Zimmerman, we must examine our own role in perpetuating racial stereotypes and how we contribute to a predatory gun culture. Blame does not lie with one individual or a group of people. It resides in all of us--in the fabric of American society.

It means guns are more important than human life

It means your children are not nearly as important as my guns. You have no right to press for political change in your children's name because my guns are more important. Mourning for the dead makes you emotional. I don't care about anyone's life but my own, so I'm not emotional. (Even though he's agitated through the entire speech.) Emotion is defined as concern for slain love ones. Rationality is worship of guns above human life.

This is exactly what gunners deny their believe all the time. Here they are cheering that someone says it.

They will claim I've twisted their words. I haven't twisted them. I've pointed them out. "My rights trump your dead," means your children's right to life isn't worth shit. All that matters is my right to guns. He couldn't be clearer, and the ten recs for this thread show that those DUers feel exactly the same way.

Thanks for exposing yourselves. Obviously I always knew this, but I have you all red handed admitting to what matters to you in life, and it sure as hell isn't children slain by gun violence. So don't any of the gunners dare get pissed off the next time someone accuses you all of not caring about dead children. You made the fact you do not perfectly clear in this thread. BUSTED.

So that I have this for my permanent record, the ten recommenders of MicaelS's OP are:

So let's dispense with the pretense shall we? Here we can see quite plainly where you stand.

How the NRA and Its Allies Helped Spread a Radical Gun Law Nationwide

THE FLORIDA LAW MADE INFAMOUS this spring by the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was conceived during the epic hurricane season of 2004. That November, 77-year-old James Workman moved his family into an RV outside Pensacola after Hurricane Ivan peeled back the roof of their house. One night a stranger tried to force his way into the trailer, and Workman killed him with two shots from a .38 revolver. The stranger turned out to be a disoriented temporary worker for the Federal Emergency Management Agency who was checking for looters and distressed homeowners. Workman was never arrested, but three months went by before authorities cleared him of wrongdoing.

That was three months too long for Dennis Baxley, a veteran Republican representative in Florida's state Legislature. Four hurricanes had hit the state that year, and there was fear about widespread looting (though little took place). In Baxley's view, Floridians who defended themselves or their property with lethal force shouldn't have had to worry about legal repercussions. Baxley, a National Rifle Association (NRA) member and owner of a prosperous funeral business, teamed up with then-GOP state Sen. Durell Peaden to propose what would become known as Stand Your Ground, the self-defense doctrine essentially permitting anyone feeling threatened in a confrontation to shoot their way out.

Or at least that's the popular version of how the law was born. In fact, its genesis traces back to powerful NRA lobbyists and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing policy group. And the law's rapid spread—it now exists in various forms in 25 states—reflects the success of a coordinated strategy, cultivated in Florida, to roll back gun control laws everywhere. . . .

As Florida became known to some as the "Gunshine State," it began exporting its laws, with ALEC's help, to other statehouses. This effort was no doubt aided by the fact that the vice president of Hammer's Unified Sportsmen of Florida is John Patronis, cousin to Republican state Rep. Jimmy Patronis—sponsor of the aforementioned bill that kept names of concealed-weapons license holders secret and ALEC's current Florida chairman. The organization would also be instrumental to spreading Stand Your Ground nationwide. "We definitely brought that bill forward to ALEC," said Baxley, a member of the group. "It's a place where you can share ideas. I don't see anything nefarious about sharing good ideas." The NRA has served as "corporate co-chair" of ALEC's Public Safety and Elections task force, which pushed Stand Your Ground and other gun laws. Since 2005, the year Florida's law was passed, gun manufacturers like Beretta, Remington, and Glock have poured as much as $39 million into the NRA's lobbying coffers.

Baxley defends the NRA's involvement: "They have lots of members who want this statute. They're people who live in my district. They're concerned about turning back this lawless chaos and anarchy in our society." Records show that the NRA's Political Victory Fund has long supported Baxley—from a $500 contribution in 2000 (the state's maximum allowable donation) to $35,000 spent on radio ads in support of his state Senate bid in 2007. Peaden received at least $2,500 from the NRA and allied groups over the years. The NRA also maxed out on direct contributions to Jeb Bush's gubernatorial campaigns in 1998 and 2002, and it gave $125,000 to the Florida GOP between 2004 and 2010—more than it gave to any other state party. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the NRA spent $729,863 to influence Florida politics in the 2010 election cycle alone.

Rest of a much longer article at Mother Jones: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/nra-alec-stand-your-ground

Trayvon Martin, Medger Evers, and Emmett Till

"will forever be remain in the annals of history . . as symbols in the fight for equal justice for all." "For Trayvon to rest in peace, we must all be peaceful." --Benjamin Crump

Please put down your guns for a day and reflect on the life and death of Trayvon Martin.
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