Cutting Off Air

Think about this.

Choke holds are banned in New York.

An officer used a choke hold on Eric Garner.

Garner was gasping out that he could not breathe.  The cop did not stop.

Garner died.

The coroner determined this was a homicide.

This was caught on video.

A grand jury just said this was not indictable.

If this is not probable cause for a trial…what is?

This is an injustice.  You can excuse it however you want.  But this is not mere cases of opposing views.  The grand jury in New York was fundamentally wrong.

The members of the grand jury were morons.

Apple Fight vs Orange Fight

Yes.  Video footage of a large man standing in front of a small female cop, less than two feet away suddenly grabbing her, throwing her to the ground and pummeling her, getting up and walking back to his car (all while his daughter stands by and watches) is horrifying.

The video appears below the cut, you may want to skip it.

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Anger Within the Royals

So, I started watching the Voice a couple years ago.  I was really pleased this season, until America kept saving Ryan Sill over much better performers.  Seriously, America…Anita Antoinette and Reagan James were both far more deserving to go on.  And Sill did not make me eat my words last night.  Also, not really feeling Chris Jamison.  These guys are both decent singers…but they should not have beat out the people they did.

But the performance that really killed it for me last night?

Taylor John Williams and his take on Lorde’s Royals.  He found an edge the original did not have.  I like the Lorde version well enough…but it is wistful and daydreamy.

Williams found the aspect that gave his performance bite.  Drawing upon the plight of the homeless, he brought an anger to the song that is appropriate and missing from the original.As Blake Shelton noted, Williams is an artist, and manages to make each song he performs sound like his, rather than a cover.

As an aside, I really liked that Taylor saw no need to switch the song to a masculine perspective, rather leaving in the lines about being the Queen Bee.


Holidays on the Offense

I confess, I find it a bit humorous that some of the same people I hear lament that the crass commercialism and greed of the Christmas holiday season are also often offended by being charitable to all by saying things like “Happy Holidays.”  Or simply acknowledging other holidays exist.


Target’s War On Christmas

Just Don’t Understand

My Facebook feed filled up pretty quick with white people lamenting the Ferguson situation.  Except, it was not the kind of lamenting you would hope.  It was white people expressing how they cannot understand how black people cannot get it through their heads how destroying their own community solves nothing.

Think about that.  Let it sink in.

A few facts…the vandals and looters were not all black.  White people have been involved in the Ferguson violence.  Ferguson officials confirmed that there were outside groups that came in.  Anarchists and the Klan showed up in Ferguson.  The Klan even marched the streets in their hoods and robes in the last couple of days.

And yet, if a black person suggests institutional racism, they are accused of being a “Race Baiter”.

I am sorry (oh, no I am not)….but the biggest race baiters are the people who complain about Black people not understanding they should not destroy their own neighborhoods.

The protesters were not violent.  The looters and vandals were multi-racial and taking advantage of an opportunity for mayhem.  And yet, anytime there is looting and vandalism?  The entire black community is called to account for the actions of a few.  White people rioted when Joe Paterno was fired.  Give that a little time.  White people rioted over the removal of a guy who covered up for a child rapist.

Yet, never did I hear a single white person post a “thoughtful” status on Facebook about “why don’t white people understand _______? I just cannot understand it!”  White people were not called to task as an entire group for any riot that white people participated it.  It was not seen as a white thing.

And yet, White people are perfectly comfortable casually calling out all black people for the actions of a few.  As if rioting, looting and vandalism were uniquely “black things”.

Instead of taking a moment to listen, we jumped right in to tell people how to act who were not guilty of acting that way.  Stay classy my fellow white people.

The Shift

With riots, there are many tragic issues at hand.  Looting is not an expression of rage against an injustice.  And if I came to find my store burned to the ground?  I would be devastated.  And this to, is not raging against an unjust system.  Of course, looters and vandals are people who are taking advantage of legit grief and anger in a situation.  There were many peaceful protests last night.

But in the end, the greatest problem of a riot is this:

It allows the white community (of which I am a member) to avoid focusing on the real issues.  Instead of having to face and address the injustice in front of us, we have a diversionary tactic that allows us to shift focus and blame.

The issue is police brutality, and more specifically, how it applies to the black community.  If you look at this situation and your focus is looters and vandals, rather than how an officer with very minor injuries can shoot an unarmed young man in a hale of bullets?  You have a unique privilege.  This is a reality for non-white America.  If a cop kills them?  People will leap up with great fervor to prove the victim really had it coming.

Mike Brown was not the “Perfect Victim”…well, outside of young children?  Victims are seldom without blemish.  Yet, neither is Wilson.  He is far from the shining example.

Brown looked like a Demon to Wilson.  That is Wilson’s description.  And one that might be understandable to an average person with no crisis training.  But for a cop?  The standard is higher.

And yet, now, the main focus will be on “Why is there looting?”

A few days ago, an elected Republican suggested that people would possibly take to the streets violently in negative reaction to President Obama’s Executive Order.  It, of course, did not happen.  Not because white people do not riot.  But because the stakes were so different.  President Obama did not make a statement that the lives of certain Americans do not matter with his executive order.  What happened in Ferguson is part of an ongoing problem that is happening across the country.  and we were told the police do not have to fear threat of a trial if they take the life of an unarmed person.

Stacking the Shipdeck

A couple days ago the Daily Currant ran a news story about Sarah Palin and her plan for immigration, which involved cruise ships and shipping people who were in the country illegally across the ocean back to Mexico.

It is, of course satirical.  The most common responses were, “Oh, that is obviously a satire site” and “No way…even for her that would be hard to believe.”

But Michelle Malkin went off to find all the dumb liberals who fell for it.  Her examples are kind of dubious…only one person qualifies as a famous liberal, and that tweet asks “Can this be for real?!”  In other words, that Hollywood person (Marg Helgenberger) Malkin uses found the story suspect.

I do not fault people for not knowing a site is a satire site.  There are a million of them, I do not expect anyone to be familiar with them all.  But Malkin’s attempt at a Ha Ha is pretty much one that falls flat.  It is, after all, not hard to find Conservatives who eat up any news that feeds their view of liberals-even when it turns out to be a well known site like the Onion.  But Malkin fails to prove Liberals were overwhelmingly duped by this one.

Yup.  Some people fell for it and missed the satire.  But from what I have seen, the major response was to recognize that it was a fake story from the outset.  That is if people even saw the story.