The Problem With Truth, Is That It Is Unwanted

Everyone has his version of the truth, but seldom share it. Whether it’s the taste, the smell or whatever, the ugly thing can help you lose friends and create bitter enemies. I wonder if it’s because once acknowledged, truth will not leave until you do, or stop doing, a particular wrong. Our criminal justice system is an apt example.

Let’s take the current situation in Missouri. Not that it’s unique. Far cry. But because it is active, makes that a good example, willing to say a textbook case of what leadership is not. Step back with me a bit.

Jay Nixon was a two term democratic governor when Ferguson managed to make world news. That was due to the police killing of Michael Brown and the conduct of the entire criminal justice system in Missouri. As Gov Nixon and Ferguson Mayor Knowles went into hiding for four days, the police were left to “pacify” peaceful protesters. No one could have imagined police management to be that inept, or any criminal justice system be so inbred and corrupted.

The current governor Eric Greitens is a republican. He never went into hiding, but nothing says “I don’t know what to do”, like readying the National Guard to control a relatively small number of cooperating protesters. So far, more than 150 persons have been arrested for petty misdemeanours, especially not moving when told by the police.

Both dealt with protesters as the problem. Neither appeared capable of confronting and addressing the root of the problem. But quite willing to talk tough and use force.

No civic minded person supports lawlessness. So I agree for now, lock them up. Repeat next year and the years after. Finally both the state and protesters would be locked in an increasingly dysfunctional way of life that the state CANNOT win. That would be despite being a police state. Right now, both Blacks and Whites, males and females are being threatened and arrested. How long does the state and local governments think that they can keep this up? I’ll hazard a guess. When you stop seeing truth as the enemy.

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We Hang Murderers, Well, Some Of Them We Do

 No one has the moral authority to kill another human being.

Once we start from that premise and understand that capital punishment rests on a foundation of muck created by men, there’s nothing more that needs to be said.  It is legal only because they say that it’s legal. It is legal because of citizens, who ought to be repulsed by shameless lawmakers, who use “tough on crime” to secure votes, permit that. It behooves our electorate to inform ourselves of the history surrounding the subject.

The fact of its immorality means that capital punishment cannot ever be justified and constitutionally acceptable. Running back and forth to the United States Supreme Court, to collectively ponder whether a particular case meets the test, the artificial standard, of “cruel and unusual punishment” is redundant and ridiculous. Being so because the actions of the State create circumstances of suffering that make it cruel and unusual.

But capital punishment extends further in its obscenity, corrupting each individual who facilitates the killing, from the judge who claims she’s only following the law, to the governor whose bloody hand approves the evil, all the way down to the brute that seeks the vein to administer the poison. Each participant, at every stage, makes a personal decision to kill the particular human being. There’s no excuse. Nothing decent can be found in what you chose to do. Stop the barbarity.
                                                                                  

Freedom, Human Rights and Other Hypocrisies 

I woke up optimistic and went back to bed disillusioned. So I thought the least that I might do is bring attention to the plight of African-Americans caught up in America’s Criminal Justice System. An institution, if not by design, then surely by malice, IS determined to eliminate that particular segment of citizens. A protracted war could not have inflicted more suffering and human destruction. America’s Criminal Justice System is by practice, an evil institution. 

One hears grudging admissions such as “well, the system is overwhelmed.” Platitudes about reform and trust building initiatives. If you refuse to believe that America can sort a billion Chinese, to find one prisoner unjustly incarcerated, then vehemently condemn China at international forums, as we do much the same at home, then I’m with you, because it’s truly incredible. So, the attached, though fictional, is worth imagining. 

Democracy Was Never Our Intention

Equality for All, and I Mean ALLA few days ago I saw a graph of citizens fatal encounters with police in the United States. Compared with any country of similar standing in the world, our record is appalling. What is interesting is that we either still think the incidents are aberrations or we don’t give a damn. After all, the brunt is bourne by groups we have ascribed pejorative labels.

I got to understanding the phenomena of brutality perpetrated by police officers. They are the contact point for the systematic subjugation of people regarded as non-white and undeserving. The privileged, NEVER affected, pretend there is complexity to police conduct across this country. In fact it is as simple and evident to anyone willing to do even cursory reading of our history. The real history of privilege and how it was set up to benefit only wealthy, White males. Yes, not All Whites, only certain propertied, White males. That group co-opted all the institutions ensuring that competition, objections and other pesky barriers were removed….Legally!

Do you not think it odd that data is collected on the killing of alligators and bears, but not on police use of force? Is it well-known that you can be denied employment based only on an arrest, not necessarily a criminal conviction? Every time an officer chooses an arrest rather that a citation, he is ensuring your elimination from hire. Do you know of any democracy where you expiate for your crime and still lose your right to vote, so fundamental to a democracy?

So if we know this, it cannot be surprising that people like George Will; people of questionable character like Rudolph Giuliani and the echoes at Fox News, would do cognitive contortions to defend a system that top to bottom has no regard for anyone’s constitutional rights. The most ill-advised comment being that “this would not have happened if he/she had complied with the officer’s (illegal) instructions” and then challenge the grounds for arrest in a court of law. That is the most stupid, cruel joke I have ever heard. Try Pro Se. You annoy the judge who then moves you along the escalator with more time in the for profit prisons. Ask Marrisa Alexander of Florida who refused a plea bargain and now faces sixty years in jail for firing one shot into a wall during a domestic violence incident- the so called DV advocates  and Feminists say peep.

I say to all those of the pacification camp. When Eric Garner said “It stops today”, he was saying what the well-heeled White could never comprehend, that is, I should not in a democracy, be expected to cooperate in my own debasement. I have a duty to resist injustice and I know I may have to lay down my life for my own dignity and that of  others.

No democracy tolerates what we are experiencing. No citizen should be bullied by the Police Benevolent Association whose support is narrowing to the Ku Klux Klan. Every law abiding citizen, including policemen should be very concerned.

Is Race President Obama’s Boogeyman?

imageAs a Black,Liberal,Pinko,Commie,Bastard, I would not unjustly criticize President Obama and the White House on anything. Fox and Rush are already making vulturous living off that. I know of no other President who commented on extra judicial killings of unarmed Black men more often than President Obama. He did so before international bodies, from the White House and several other occasions, going way back to Prof. Gates. And he called the victims by name. So, I am not really concerned about his speaking out. What I am troubled by are the solutions he suggests.

That the daily scourge of police atrocities happen to be common and on his watch is more than just unfortunate as to him. But it was inevitable. Black people in the U.S are the collective political football and the spectators are having generalized anxiety. I am unhappy with the tired, tried-and-failed solutions of more training. I am outraged that again, the public pays and miscreants dare citizens to even scold them.

Tell me why you are responsible to train racist attitudes out of me? Especially after you have screened, interviewed and hired me. Did his reference give no clue? Tell me which police officer does not know that it is criminal for eight, fifteen of them to club and kick a handcuffed man on the ground, confident that their Watch Commander would say nothing, the State Attorney would say nothing and the Judge would not ask why this bloody, contused man is standing before her on some petty charge to which the Public Defender would later offer a deal? Tell me what purpose it serves to have these hundreds of pocket police forces rotating bad cops and worst Chiefs, all jealously protected by a one-eyed,lousy hen called the Police Benevolent Association? The PBA will stand with their usual gaggle at a “press Conference” defending the discharge of one hundred and sixty seven bullets into a car in an apartment complex, even though the car is trapped and no one is firing back. All this recklessness just to execute a warrant for burglary.

I still ask our elected officials at all levels, why they are so willfully blind and tongue-tied, that they do not advocate for police forces to reflect the racial diversity of this country. Or is it easier to continue using taxpayer dollars paying suits in Federal Court?

I my years of public service, I have never seen a bureaucracy that, when a long foreseen calamity arrived, did not call for more training. Thank God for the courageous, indefatigable young people of Ferguson and all the people of conscience, taking to the streets all across this country. We demand change.