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Member since: Fri Jul 13, 2012, 12:38 PM
Number of posts: 653

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I don't mind the post

It's something one who has ridden a bike can relate to.

It tries to address a key problem with white privilege: if you're white, it's hard to relate because you haven't experienced being black.

That reminded me of an effort in the early 60s and one before that:

Black Like Me
Black Like Me is a nonfiction book by journalist John Howard Griffin first published in 1961. Griffin was a white native of Dallas, Texas and the book describes his six-week experience travelling on Greyhound buses (occasionally hitchhiking) throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia passing as a black man.
Griffin became a national celebrity for a time. In a 1975 essay included in later editions of the book, he described the hostility and threats to him and his family that emerged in his hometown of Mansfield, Texas. He moved to Mexico for a number of years for safety.

Ray Sprigle
In May 1948, Sprigle, using the name "James Crawford", took a thirty day, four thousand mile trip through the Deep South pretending to be black. He was supported in this investigation by the NAACP and accompanied by John Wesley Dobbs. He wrote a series of articles based on the journey, which appeared on the front page of the Post-Gazette under the title I Was a Negro in the South for 30 Days. The articles formed the basis of Sprigle's 1949 book In the Land of Jim Crow. Sprigle's work predated the more famous John Howard Griffin's similar investigation, reported in Griffin's book Black Like Me, by over a decade

It also reminded me of my favorite musician when I was 4 years old: Fats Waller and a famous tune he contributed to that helped provide some perspective on this:

(Thomas "Fats" Waller / Harry Brooks / Andy Razaf)

Out in the street, shufflin' feet
Couples passin' two by two
While here am I, left high and dry
Black, and 'cause I'm black I'm blue

Browns and yellers, all have fellers
Gentlemen prefer them light
Wish I could fade, can't make the grade
Nothing but dark days in sight

Cold, empty bed, springs hard as lead
Pains in my head, feel like old Ned
What did I do to be so black and blue?

No joys for me, no company
Even the mouse ran from my house
All my life through I've been so black and blue

I'm white inside, it don't help my case
'Cause I can't hide, what is on my face, oh!

I'm so forlorn, life's just a thorn
My heart is torn, why was I born?
What did I do to be so black and blue?

'Cause you're black, folks think you lack
They laugh at you, and scorn you too
What did I do to be so black and blue?

When you are near, they laugh and sneer
Set you aside and you're denied
What did I do to be so black and blue?

How sad I am, each day I feel worse
My mark of Ham seems to be a curse, oh

How will it end? ain't got a friend
My only sin is my skin
What did I do to be so black and blue?

Here's Louis Armstrong performing it in '65 (without all the lyrics)

I think if people keep trying to find ways for others to relate, more people will understand and modify their behavior accordingly.

On one hand, I feel notable progress in my lifetime has been made. On the other, it can be painfully disillusioning to see places like Ferguson continuing to oppress blacks still exist. It says to me "we still have a lot more work to do to wipe out this atrocity".

I suppose I can agree only to a limited degree

When I see the Koch Bros and others spending / or the campaign finance laws ...

When I see all the warrants and oppression against blacks in Ferguson, inhibiting their right to vote and it leaves me wondering how many other cities like Ferguson there are ...

When I see all the stuff the GOP has done against minority or low income people to deny them their right to vote ...

When I see all the gerrymandering that has gone on in GOP run states ...

When I see FOX News and the like ... and the mess in the media giving stupid crap like the Birther issue air time ...

When I see all the voting irregularities ...

When I hear all the obvious lies about Obama and the poor job to widely discredit them ...

When I realize many folks struggling to get by, working three part time jobs, don't have the time to digest the political issues because feeding their kids is desperately higher on their priority list and requires most of their time and they can't afford the internet or a daily paper ...

etc, etc

I'm not so sure all of the Americans you condemn are getting a fair shake. It really troubles me.

My impression based upon personal experience

of the presidents during my lifetime is that there was some reverence for the office lost with Nixon and maybe Johnson before him. Eisenhower and JFK seemed more revered or respected and there seemed to be places you didn't go with them that US citizens started to go with Johnson and Nixon. It carried on or eroded from there.

Some of it had to do with TV journalism of the 60s-70s going against Vietnam or uncovering Watergate (TV broadened the impact of the Washington Post exposing Watergate).

Some of what we see today probably has something to do with the paparazzi nature of some political punditry and playing "us vs them" on cable news to get ratings or the internet giving a broader voice to extreme factions that we haven't learned to filter out proportionately in our dialogues.

But I do feel there is something to what the man is saying. I do not think President Obama has been treated well or fairly. I think a hunk of the difference is based upon racism - even in congress.

I can't "prove" that. It's just how I feel about it.

I have the utmost respect for President Obama. To me, he's the best president of my lifetime (I go back to Eisenhower). I'm saddened that a man with such potential for greatness is curtailed by the worst gridlock I've ever seen in congress and the most powerful man in the world can't stop it or solve it. The people I'm most sad and heartbroken for are Americans - who deserve better than this.

Neither do I

In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million Americans aged 12 or older—or 9.2 percent of the population—had used an illicit drug or abused a psychotherapeutic medication (such as a pain reliever, stimulant, or tranquilizer) in the past month.

So let's be fair and revise the number:
23,900,000 drug users - 1 Mike Brown, maybe a drug user = 22,899,999 maybe left to go ....

At 11 shots per drug user, they'll need 262,899,989 bullets. Call the Koch Bros and the NRA for funding ...

(/end silly sarcasm)

I agree

I'll rephrase

I hope the Grand Jury makes his lawyer provide an explanation in a criminal court.

I think I'm a fair person, "innocent until proven guilty" and all for due process, etc.

But I think Mike Brown's family and friends and America needs to hear very clearly why an unarmed young man got shot down under the scrutiny of a court carefully examining all the evidence and testimony.

One curious thing:

where's the sound of the shot that supposedly happened in the car? According to the accounts I've read or heard, he didn't shoot six times in the car. It was one shot.

The sound of the shots is quite clear. The car window had to be open for the struggle. Why don't we hear that first shot? I expect it wasn't as loud because it was in the car but those shots are so clear outside the car, I would have expected to hear something from the open window of the car. Maybe it's before the part of the tape CNN played?

The other thing the officer will have to explain are two general decisions to shoot: the first burst and the second burst. There's some time in between to deliberate so two separate decisions got made to use deadly force. Can he really convince that his life or the lives of others was in danger both times? Can he defend that he didn't put other innocent lives in more danger by rattling off all those shots on a residential street -many that missed? I think he's got a real problem there and the audio pause really helps to accentuate that.

My mother has dementia as well

When I was a boy, she was prejudiced against blacks. It's how she was brought up, in poverty with a father who wheezed to death from being gassed in the first world war. She didn't know any better - classic ignorance. MLK, RFK, etc & the civil rights movement gave her kids the support and arguments to work on her and educate her.

In 2008, she was a gigantic fan of candidate Obama. Every day, she'd turn on her TV to see one of her favorite people in the world: Barack. Today, when she gets up, she'll turn on her TV and be back at it, getting snippets of how President Obama is doing. She adores him.

I know when you see things like Michael Brown, 150 years after the civil war and 50 years after MLK, it's disheartening and makes you wonder if things will ever change. But people can change, some do and some have. I've seen it. 60-70 years ago, I have my doubts you'd have ever seen the fuss and front page outcry over the police shooting someone like unarmed Michael Brown as we've seen recently. Not everybody has changed and not enough have changed but a bunch have.

Keep up the good work you do here. Slowly but surely, it is working and changing people.

Don't accept "the difference" with the examples you gave

Yes, they're different.

But, for example, some of the first media I read on Mike Brown was describing him as a gentle giant.


"Janet Reitman delivers a riveting account of how Jahar Tsarnaev became a monster"

So cherry picking media paragraphs doesn't work for me.

Has there been some coverage on Brown that suggests some racism is behind it? Definitely.

Have we seen that level of racism against Tsarnaev? Definitely not.

If that's the point, then I could agree with that.

They claimed they never called 911 but

from the police reports

they reported a theft to the officer who responded to (apparently) a patron calling 911

Watch the video and convince me the retailer was just thanking Mike Brown (allegedly according to Dorian Johnson) for his business.

If Brown did pay for something, maybe he bought one pack of cigarillos and stole 10 more. Who knows yet? Dorion Johnson said Mike had his hands full of cigarillos when the trouble with Wilson started.

I don't think one has to be a rocket scientist to figure out there was an unusual problem at that store that looked like some sort of theft and the police reports show the store employees claimed theft of cigars.

I answered one of the things I wondered about:

from the Boise manual:
The officer or officers directly involved in the shooting will be placed on Administrative
Leave after the completion of their reports.
Administrative Leave is for an undetermined
period of time and is authorized at the direction of the Chief of Police. The officer placed on
Administrative Leave is responsible for advising the respective bureau command of the
officer's whereabouts in order that contact may be made when necessary.

and this:
Any member involved in, or performing any function pertaining to, an officer involved
shooting will submit reports detailing such involvement. Reports will be completed and
submitted prior to securing from the tour of duty during which the incident occurred.
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