• RSS
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
AdLib On July - 16 - 2013

Prejudice-Post

Whether it’s SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts justifying his gutting of the Voting Rights Act or the Right Wing zealots spiking the football on Trayvon Martin’s grave, the refrain we hear from those who aid and/or exhibit racism in our nation is, “I don’t see any racism.”

Ralph Ellison wrote the classic novel, The Invisible Man, whose lead African American character feels that he is figuratively invisible because others choose not to see him, he ends up living underground the city he used to live in. This theme of white society being unwilling to recognize people of color as being people like them is not new nor is the racist’s defense of denying racism exists.

However, in this era when the wrongs of racism seem so familiar and obvious to most, it is difficult to understand how so many hateful people feel so free to openly express their racism as if it is a mainstream value (while pounding their chests and claiming to be a victim of racism if called on it).

George Zimmerman’s attorney, Mark O’Mara declared that if George Zimmerman was black, he wouldn’t have been arrested. Right, you won’t find many black men being arrested nor many in prison, they do have it so much better than Caucasians (African Americans make up 13.1% of the U.S. population but According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, they accounted for 39.4% of the total prison and jail population).

Juror B37, the one juror who has come out publicly to speak about the deliberations says that race didn’t play any role in “George” killing Trayvon (apparently she’s on a first name basis with the non-black killer of the black teen). How blind and ignorant about racism can some white people be? Zimmerman’s justification for calling 911 and following Martin was because he was a young black teenager! He and even his defense witnesses went on to claim that all the burglaries in the community were cause by black men so of course it was natural for Zimmerman to see Trayvon as a probable criminal. Because he was black. But race didn’t play any role? How many white people or Latino people did Zimmerman report to 911 during his time on the neighborhood watch? The answer is, zero, he only reported black men. But that’s just gotta be a coincidence. And this juror believed that only Zimmerman had the right to use force if he felt threatened, she said nothing about Trayvon having a right to defend himself if he felt threatened by a creepy guy stalking him then confronting him.

Nope, black men apparently have no right to stand their ground and defend themselves, that’s reserved for Caucasian men only.

But race didn’t play any role.

I don’t know that anyone’s surprised that the racists who make up the core of the GOP have been out in force toasting each other after the decision and spewing more racism in calling black people, the NAACP, the DoJ, etc. racists for protesting the verdict…and even for having the uppity-ness to have called for Zimmerman to be tried in the first place after the police let him go. And they feel free to vent their racial animosity because, like Bizarros as written by George Orwell, as long as they deny that they are racists and and that racism exists in America, they’re protected from being called racists.

Today’s GOP is based primarily upon denial, whether it’s Pres. Obama’s legitimacy in office, Climate Change, the destruction of trickle down and austerity, the growing economic injustice and class warfare conducted by the Kochs and their allies in the 1%, their intent to destroy Social Security and Medicare and on and on. Meanwhile, Republicans don’t hesitate to see many problems with most of the social programs that serve many African Americans.

What is unfortunate is that this tactic represents that these haters have their heels dug in and will not be easily turned from their racism and their attempts to legislate racism (such as the Voter ID laws and Stand Your Ground laws which have now been exposed as supporting racism). In fact, the more these people see social encroachment on their racism, the stronger and more desperately they cling to and defend their racism.

The image that’s promoted of what America is has blinded many to what it truly is. Race is a huge and terrible problem in America that has not been dealt with and no matter what the denialists on the Right might say to shield themselves from criticism and advance their racist agenda, it will continue to be a huge problem.

For Republicans, denying the existence of issues they feel favor them, allows them to keep them in place. Instead of an Invisible Man, racism for them is an Invisible Issue that lives underground in our cities and states. Instead, what this injustice seems to be doing is bringing  the racism that’s endemic in America to the surface where it is more visible and more activating.

The 2014 elections could be the real test, if those who want an America that can be better than this, come together and vote out those responsible for this unjust society and system and replace them with politicians who will push back against prejudice, the Republicans who refuse to recognize racism may never even see their defeat coming.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

79 Responses so far.

Click here to leave a comment
  1. AdLib says:

    On a day like this, I have a hard time understanding why folks spend time blogging on HP. The rampant hatred and racism spewing out all over the Obama speech post is nauseating and toxic to me.

    What a nasty swamp, why associate with racists? I can’t.

    • SueInCa says:

      Nor can I. Sometimes I go there just to put out a statement about how bad the blog is, but then I leave. It is that way with a lot of “uncontrolled” sites. They play the moderator game but it is evident in the number of posts that get through what is really going on.

      • AdLib says:

        I do go there daily to see what’s going on over there since it has (unfortunately) become so integrated in and a part of the MSM but I am quickly reminded each day why I don’t post there anymore.

        Indeed, the “balance”…or should I say “tension” that they propagate by having hateful racists and extremists posting outrageous insults along with thoughtful and clever posts by others just spoils it all for me.

        As I always say, we have members and there are other great folks over there but the negatives just outweigh the positive for me.

  2. SueInCa says:

    Sound familiar? It should, I know I recognize it.

    DARVO refers to a reaction perpetrators of wrong doing, particularly sexual offenders, may display in response to being held accountable for their behavior. DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender.” The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of “falsely accused” and attacks the accuser’s credibility or even blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.

    • AdLib says:

      Had not heard of this as a syndrome but it is right on the money, Sue. As is quite clear, we’re not dealing with rational people on the other side of this, DARVO explains that very clearly.

      BTW, there’s a dog disease called Parvo (parvovirus) that dogs get from being around other dogs’ poop. Very similar, don’t you think?

  3. “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Frederick Douglass

  4. Zimmerman trial turns spotlight on another Florida self-defense case

    “JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) -- Three days after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Rev. Jesse Jackson visited Jacksonville to call attention to another self-defense case that he called a “travesty” of justice.

    Jackson spent an hour in a jailhouse visit with Marissa Alexander, 32, an African American who was sentenced to a mandatory 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into the wall of her home in 2010 to end a violent argument with her abusive husband.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/zimmerman-trial-turns-spotlight-another-florida-self-defense-005758230.html

    Hard to believe that in 2013, this astonishing injustice is still happening. This truly is a travesty.

    • AdLib says:

      KT -- Yep, this story has been getting and deserves a lot of attention as it underlines the racism in our justice system. And it was the same prosecutors who got this woman convicted and sentenced for 20 years for harming no one but warding off her abusive husband, who lost the Trayvon case.

      What does that say?

      • Exactly Ad. If it weren’t for the federal government, Florida would still be lynching black people. I truly believe that, and it wouldn’t just be Florida.

        How in the world could anybody justify what Florida has done to this woman? Does SYG only apply to white males, or at least those who look white, like Zimmerman?

        As you said, this woman did not actually hurt or kill anybody, and she also had a concealed carry permit. She also had a restraining order against her husband, which he violated by entering her home, and the woman gets arrested and tried, and convicted and sentenced to a mandatory 20 YEARS in prison? Plus, her husband had beaten her before, thus the restraining order. The law in Florida doesn’t get any more racist than that.

        • AdLib says:

          It’s not justifiable. How many cases have there been of people legitimately shooting someone in self defense where they haven’t beed found not guilty on grounds of self-defense.

          And if this woman is doing 20 years for not shooting her husband, imagine if she had shot him, she’d probably have been given the death penalty (since SYG only applies to those who aren’t black).

  5. MurphTheSurf3 says:

    A few days ago I reported how the reaction to the Martin Verdict (because that is what it really was) in my little piece of rural America was gunshots and fireworks.

    The next day I overhead a group of my neighbors talking about how it was “open season on c**ns”.

    Today “a friend” told me that he was hoping Grubville (real name of a small town in my region) would reopen its main business now that it was clear who was in charge. That business is as the local center for KKK activity (squashed by persistent police surveillance).

    Missouri is a castle doctrine state with a “stand-your-ground” law. The state enacted a castle law in 2007 that removed the duty to retreat for persons who are attacked within their home or vehicle. The law justifies the use of deadly force when victims reasonably believe their lives to be in danger, and provides them immunity from civil and criminal action. However, the police and prosecutors here counseled by the state’s Attorney General have been very conservative in representing this law. As one officer I know well says that he tells people regularly that they should be very cautious in the use of their firearms. The best rule is still the one that says that force which is most justifiable is that which is a reasonable response to the force being directed at the firearms owner.

    Now, the state legislature is moving to direct that all police officers and prosecutors represent and enforce the law as it has been done in Florida- the widest possible interpretation.

    An attorney here in Missouri was interviewed by a local station. He is a civil rights advocate. He said that he has been approached by a number of black leaders who have expressed their fear that this is step one in a process that will create a new Jim Crowism.

    I have to say that my impression is that many of my white neighbors feel far freer today to talk about how “they” are out to rob, rape, and kill us and that “we” have a right to arm ourselves and use those arms before “they” get a “drop on us.” And now the law is on “our” side for the first time in a long time.

    The stories about Holder’s, and Obama’s reaction are paired with stories of Jackson and Sharpton.

    Today, at a store I have supported and defended from a Wal Mart challenge, the owner showed me a “Missouri is a C**n Hunting State” shirt that some of his customers want him to sell. He asked what I thought. I asked if he planned to have a full line of hoods and white sheets as well. He nodded his head and threw it in the trash. He is a good guy but others are not. I expect to see those shirts on the street.

    • Assumed Name says:

      Thank you for posting this, Murph. I don’t think enough people realize to what extent the Zimmerman verdict presages more intense violence against African-Americans. I wish more people would report honestly and widely what they’re hearing on the ground.

      • Welcome to the Planet, Assumed Name. I have read your comments and definitely think you would be a great addition to the Planet. You have the heart and mind.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Thank you, Killgore, for the warm welcome! (I, in turn, have been perusing discussions with great interest and enjoyment. The civility is refreshing.)

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        Thanks for this. I have followed your posts in the past few days and hope you will become a regular here. You have much to say. I spoke with a sheriff’s deputy I know very well tonight and he says that his department is very concerned about what they are hearing on the streets.

    • AdLib says:

      This is very upsetting, Murph. It’s the kind of reaction many have feared would be the result of a jury affirming that there is nothing wrong with stalking then killing a black teenager.

      As Kalima, AB, Assumed and others have also mentioned here, we’re in for some ugly and horrible times as this all plays out. In the end, the racists will be beaten back but they are emboldened like terrorists now and I hate to say it but it’s only a matter of time until another act of hatred is perpetrated and justified by SYG.

      Americans are rising up now but as this evil continues, I believe they/we will become a tidal wave that sweeps this nation.

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        I find the efforts to shroud this behavior in the law- to make it an expression of the law- so reminiscent of the enshrining of Jim Crow legislation. Just as the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s challenged those laws so this newest civil rights movement must do the same with these laws, with those crafted to limit access to health care for women, with those designed to limit who can vote, with those that further enrich the already wealthy while declaring that food stamps are an extravagance.

    • SueInCa says:

      Murph

      That is all truly frightening. My God how do these people sleep at night? And that store owner, if he had to ask you about the shirt, I wonder about his true intentions as well. I mean why did he even have to ask about that shirt? They truly want a revolution and all it would take is one spark to ignite a serious situation that, quite frankly, would leave law enforcement almost helpless and certainly over powered weapon wise.

      How did the election of a smart, compassionate, caring black man bring all of this to the surface? Quite honestly I wonder why people like the Kochs have not been harmed when people know they are behind a lot of this divisive activity? I mean so many of our leaders have been killed, is it that the right is just more violent than the left? It truly puzzles me that such evil men are left to do their dirty business. I try to be a good person but these people make it awful hard. Living here in California is part of why I have a hard time wrapping my head around this kind of hate in other parts of the country but my inner good person still asks why?

      • The Kochs probably have as much protection as the president does. Mercenary bodyguards. Highly trained ex-military, I’m sure, and most likely, highly paid.

        • SueInCa says:

          KT
          Could be but then I wonder why they went whining to the Kansas City PD about some death threats they got via email. The police deemed the threats to not be actually threatening lol

          • Ha Sue. I would say such “threats,” would fit nicely into their anti-liberal, anti-Obama campaign. You know, those criminal middle class and poor that are such scoundrels and nere-do wells! 😉

      • MurphTheSurf3 says:

        The store owner is struggling with his own roots and experiences that have taken him beyond the world in which he grew up, was schooled, and then worked. I have written of him before. I think he was asking me if the shirt was as objectionable as he thought it was. My allusion to the KKK confirmed his worst fears. So he tossed it out.

        As you point out the real villains hide in plain site and it is a wonder that they have not been the subject of the kind of threats that they support toward others. The trigger- the election of a black president -- the declaration that the world was changing in ways they never thought possible and what we have seen is their push back on that at every twist and turn.

        • SueInCa says:

          Murph
          Forgive me for not coming back to correct that. In a conversation with Assume, I decided that I had judged the store owner too quickly which is something I try not to do. I know he is a product of his times and his area of inhabitation and to tell the truth I should have been more complimentary about his even asking you. It shows a basic awareness, at the very least. Not everyone is born to areas where racism is rare and sometimes I forget that.

      • Assumed Name says:

        SueInCal, you’ve touch upon an important truth: it’s not just the hardened, rough and ready racists who are a threat, but also dangerous are the countless many who support them with either silence or small acts of compliant support.

        • SueInCa says:

          Assumed I was truly puzzled why that store owner even had to ask. He dumped it as he should have and perhaps it was his way of telling Murph what is going on in the background. I sure hope that was his intention.

          • MurphTheSurf3 says:

            I think you are reading the situation and him well. Remember that this is the guy who came to understand the role the GOP plays in Wal Mart’s success- a success that is undermining his family business. AND this is the guy who is now embracing the Affordable Care Act after standing in opposition to it. So…he needs the support and he needs to check out his thinking. I was glad he did it.

          • choicelady says:

            He likely knew Murph would support him in his refusal to sell the shirts and NEEDED the sense that he wasn’t in that alone.

            Back in the Civil Rights days, after Rev. King was assassinated, several white people came out of the woodwork in response to a letter I and my then husband had written to the local Tennessee paper. They -- and we -- were deeply frightened by doing this.

            I think we northern types discount how terribly DANGEROUS it can be to be seen as a ‘race traitor’ in communities that are homes to prejudice. As one who has encountered physical violence from white supremacists over my being with the ‘wrong’ people, I can attest to the fact that they are not to be dismissed. Living in a place that has circled the wagons around prejudice and fear, those outside the circle are at risk not from everyone but from enough. Losing your business over principle? Big risk, too.

            All the people who are not inside the circle of frightened and angry people need one another, always, at all times, everywhere. It is going to be as bad now as it was then I think. It will take all of us working in solidarity to stand OUR ground on justice.

            • choicelady says:

              To both Murph and Assumed: In the 60s those of us in the North who had very little skin in the game, used to sneer at white people for their reticence. Black people stepped up to the plate mostly -- but they LITERALLY had nothing left to lose. It was win one’s civil rights or die. It was that bad. There comes a time when Janice Joplin is absolutely correct: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…”

              But for white southerners, it was losing EVERYTHING they had -- family, friends, jobs, business, church, home, everything. Watching even now to see people do the right thing EVEN IF they do it quietly -- it’s not that different.

              What CAN be different is our solidarity with one another, our willingness to be a small community within the larger one. We did not do that in the 60s. We can do it now. That means Black people taking in white people for what they can give and white people giving it. We, the white folks, are far less empowered because we do NOT have community without Black people. We don’t have security.

              It’s not a uniform set of social relationships. Everywhere, every place is different. But where Murph is -- it’s hard. Not that many people Black or white have that kind of courage.

              The shopkeeper did what he could for now. Maybe next step will be easier. And the one after that. “Every journey begins with a single step”. And the shopkeeper took it. Hallelujah!

            • MurphTheSurf3 says:

              I can’t add much to this. Your analysis is spot on. For someone like this grocer, the person whose family has fed my small town for three generations, standing in opposition to a cultural norm is scary stuff. So that support, even it it is from an outsider like me, is both necessary and welcome. I had forgotten the term “race traitor” until you included it…it is a powerful way of naming what others might call an ethical awakening.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Nice analysis, and I think you’ve correctly read the shopkeeper’s need to not stand alone.

              It’s difficult to embrace people who seem weak in conviction, but perhaps this is an object lesson (although a difficult one to accept given what is at stake and at issue) that there are times when a soft response goes farther. (Full disclosure: I’m soft spoken; however, not hat the shopkeeper would have ever broached the issue with me, unlike Murph my response would have been harder…and most likely to no avail. (“Know thyself,” and so on. *smiles*)

            • choicelady says:

              Can’t reply directly…

              I was a temporary resident of that town and not risking much. They didn’t like me anyway as a Yankee, so… It was the other white folks -- longtime residents -- who had the REAL backbone because yes, they risked a lot standing as ‘race traitors’ in that insular community. THAT is courage.

            • AdLib says:

              Cl -- It’s frightening, I don’t take for granted being fortunate enough not to have been born and having to grow up in such a community.

              Some good people aren’t as fortunate and live under a kind of intellectual imprisonment in such communities, not so free to express their opposition to the racism surrounding them without becoming a victim of it themselves.

              I’m not surprised that despite the threat, you stood up to racism. Courage is contagious but being at the forefront takes a lot more courage.

            • SueInCa says:

              I like to think that too CL. Sometimes I write before I speak and have to go back and do the mea culpa thingee. It would be nice to have that magic wand Batshitcrazy Bachman claimed President had.

      • choicelady says:

        It has been simmering since Reagan gave white people permission to hate people of color. He justified it as protesting ‘Welfare Queens’, but it’s just racist BS crawling back out from under the rock where it’s been. It never really went away. All we have to do is remember Jasper, TX to know.

        This happened all over the South and border states in 1968. The best thing that could happen is a crackdown by the DOJ though since it’s in the hands of “those people” it might not work as it would were the occupants of the DOJ and White House also white.

        So it’s up to us. I am going to DC for the 50th anniversary March on Washington. It is critically important for white people to be there. Anyone else wants to come, we’ll also have a party together -- GROW could finally BE Grass Roots Over Washington in Washington! As an enticement, many of the hotels seem to have lowered their rates -- not that they’re cheap -- compared to their usual ones. There are still good vacancies, so…

        We will stay in touch if anyone decides to go. AdLib can put us all together so we can have a meet up. Only regret I have is that my fave place, the Hawk and Dove, the Dem staffer hang out where I once sat next to Ted Kennedy’s staff, is now yupped up and not the wonderful dive it had been. Oh, well. We can find something.

        • SueInCa says:

          Sounds interesting, keep me posted. I guess it would depend on the cost for me, limited income now and all but I would like to know about the possibilities

  6. Assumed Name says:

    Very nice piece, AdLib. I would add that, with regard to the African America prison rate it’s instructive to notice what percentage of African American men and women are imprison on drug possession charges (often for years, as in 10 or 20) as opposed to being incarcerated for violent crimes.

    Also of a piece is the extent to which imprisonment disrupts black families…I believe about 40% of black men lived with their children before imprisonment and (I think!) 65% of black women lived with their children before imprisonment. About 20% of black children are present when they’re father’s are arrested--the vast majority are 6 or younger. It’s also the case that many prisons now are ran by private organizations…and there are many that are for profit. (“Ding, Ding”…remember that peculiar institution? It just siddled on over behind the bars.)

    And last, but not least, in many states, especially in the south, it is near impossible for ex-convicts to regain their right to franchise…the industrial prison complex does a lovely job of flicking away those pesky things called voters.

    In solidarity,
    Assumed (who’ll now disappear for a day *smiles*)

    • AdLib says:

      Assumed, here are a couple of very revealing graphics, keeping in mind that the War on Drugs began in full force in the 1980’s under Reagan:

      [img][/img]

      [img][/img]

      Perhaps the single greatest force behind the growth of the prison population has been the national “war on drugs.” The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelvefold since 1980. In 2000, 22 percent of those in federal and state prisons were convicted on drug charges.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States#Violent_and_nonviolent_crime

      Some other stats from the NAACP site:

      • 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
      • African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months).
      • One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime

      http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet

      One more set of stats:

      In 2010, 39.1 percent (90) of persons killed with a gun in a justifiable homicide were white, 60.0 percent (138) were
      black…

      http://www.vpc.org/studies/justifiable.pdf

      But as Juror B37 said, “Race did not play a role” in the trial. Nope, it never does in the eyes of those who intentionally or unintentionally help perpetuate racism.

      • Assumed Name says:

        Thank you for posting these statistics--they are numbing.

        I don’t want to frighten my son, so I haven’t gone into detail (yet--he’s too young), but he knows the 1 in 3 statistic, and to be wary of police. (He’s only 9 and, biracial, he tends to sincerely not become caught up in race when interacting with people. Indeed, his best friend is Iraqi. However, I do remind him periodically that in the U.S. there is no “driving while half black (or half white if the other half is black)” and, as he matures, most will see him first and far most as a black male.)

        • AdLib says:

          Assumed, my daughter attends the local public elementary school and like most children, is color blind when it comes to friends.

          What has been an eye opener for me is how, as other of her neighborhood friends who are white have grown older, their parents have moved them out of this school and into “whiter” religious/private schools.

          The racism is subtle but clear in their explanations (although one couple was very open about their displeasure at there being too many Latinos at the school), they try to come off as if race wasn’t the issue but their reasons are generally based on race.

          One couple claimed growing class size was the reason since there were 28 kids in their child’s class the previous year…so they moved their kid to a religious school that is mainly white…and has a 35 kids class size.

          Several other stories like this one and I’m in L.A. which is pretty liberal. So even though I hammer on the South where this is far more exaggerated and widespread, racism is everywhere to one degree or another, no matter how liberal any community is. It’s not likely to be breaking news to you but to many out there, the concept of our being in a post-racial society needs to be exploded.

          • Assumed Name says:

            I hear you AdLib. We lived in a well-heeled, mostly white and Asian area, until my son attended pre-kindergarten. After a year we moved to a mixed (race, ethnicity, class, and citizenship status) suburban neighborhood because the first place had incredible undercurrents of hierarchy and privilege.

            Now that my son is older and I feel that he’s both comfortable in his own skin and he gets along well with various others, I’m considering moving further away from the inner city once again. My concern currently is that he has safe places to explore when leaving home for an evening with future buddies or significant others. (Of course, it’s not clear where is safe, but we do what we can in the circumstances presented, I suppose.)

            Hmm…sorry for the constant “my son” references…it’s unusual for me, but I hope understandable. *smiles* In any event, cool kids such as your daughter and my son are bright spots and hope for the future, yes?

            Cheers,
            --Assumed

            • AdLib says:

              Assumed, sound like very wise choices which will really benefit your son in the long run.

              I know a dean of a very prestigious private school and though some might think that going to school where the privileged go would be a coup, there is a whole other dimension of class pressure and elitism that kids can have added to the normal angsts and frustrations they go through in school and growing up.

              With a solid grounding, as it sounds your son has, he can be so much better equipped to deal with such things.

              It’s just messed up though that on top of all that, some kids have to worry about things no child should have to worry about.

    • SueInCa says:

      Assumed I had a conversation with a friend a few years ago and I pointed out that I knew of NO black men that had been convicted as serial killers. She insisted they had just not been caught, at which point I stopped discussing it with her but it is true, the crimes are drug related mostly. But actually many who are imprisoned find it hard to regain their right to franchise, jobs and a nod from society that they had served their time.

      • Assumed Name says:

        Meta Off Topic: Your response reminded me of a current FB posting making the rounds…a split screen, the upper half a snapshot of Florida newspaper announcing the acquittal and the lower half a still of the television character Dexter looking straight ahead knowingly, with one eyebrow raised, no caption. (Not to be taken seriously, of course, but it is an indication of how strongly people feel. It was posted on my (whatever they call it) by an interracial couple who usually post scripture and photos of their four children.)

        • SueInCa says:

          I heard there was a lot of flak about that Dexter posting since he is a serial killer? I have never watched his show. Do you honestly think, though, that there are not some people dreaming of getting Zimmerman? I would be there are many. Not condoning it at all, just stating to me what is obvious. Goes to show even religious people can lose their perspective at a perceived injustice.

  7. SueInCa says:

    Adlib

    Very thoughtful piece. I truly believe racism played a role in Irish people leaving the big cities like New York and Boston and settling in the hollows of Appalachia. The only problem with their migration is that they, in turn, turned racism on the Native Americans who had lived there for many generations and who were thriving.

    I believe that racism led Italians to come up with the idea of their own “families” which turned into crime syndicates eventually of major proportion. People think the term “pessonavante” means Big Man when in reality Italians used it pejoratively when referring to people who just think they are big shots. They really started those families to trade among themselves with a bit of crime thrown in for measure but eventually even between families the grudges and prejudices grew, just of a different nature.

    The Germans were treated badly in the 30’s and 40’s because they became scapegoats for Hitler.

    The Japanese were put into internment camps because they were somehow responsible for Emperor Hirohito and would, with out evidence, be spying for the Empire of Japan.

    Latinos are vilified because they come here to seek a better life. What they figured out is they could take the jobs no one wanted and be valued employees but white people even blame them for that although most spouting off would never demean themselves to take their place. White people get mad at them for being coached to come here and work in our fields for slave labor and are totally surprised when they decide if they can work under those circumstances, why not stay?

    We have a long history of vilifying the “other” and it is not new, the problem is that is is a long term attitude of which we can never quite eradicate from our society. The idea of American Exceptionalism is one problem, but intolerance is another. After all didn’t our forefathers settle this land in response to a form of tyranny in England and then had no problem running the Native Americans off their land after they had used them to learn the lay of the land? It is in our history and we can grow leaders who say stop, this is not right but what happens to them when they do? They are assassinated and some scapegoat is at fault. Even in our assassinations here and abroad, we cannot be totally honest.

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, such a great overview of the provincialism and elitism that leads to prejudice. I’d add one last group to your list, the Muslims who were rounded up and either imprisoned for a period or “talked to” by the FBI right after 9/11 then persecuted afterwards for wanting to build a cultural center in NY, contact relatives or simply practice their religion.

      You’re so right, honest recognition of racism can’t truly occur side-by-side with convictions of American Exceptionalism, one necessarily denies the existence of the other. At least, in the conventional mindset. Many of us can both recognize America as an exceptional place while also recognizing its failings. What kind of infantile insecurity has to be behind these racists who need so desperately to believe that they and America are superior because of their “whiteness”. Really? Just a fluke of birth that they had nothing to do with makes them superior? And the fluke that they were born in America means it has to be superior to all other countries?

      It sure is time that most Americans embraced “growing up” and our imperfections as people and a nation. Instead of mindlessly chanting “USA!”, people need to be saying “Enough!”

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Amin, AdLib! Stand up for Muslims. Kes and I are in the SMS -- no, that’s not the Stephanie Miller Show, but the Secret Muslim Society. I went on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to my favorite imam’s masjid, where we stood and sat shoulder to shoulder with Muslims in solidarity. My only “fear” was that Allah/God would strike us all with a bolt of lightening when the Blov was seen to be bowing and praying with the rest of the guys (knowing he now describes himself as agnostic). Bito was also in the “Secret” club.

        Right here, in San Antonio TEXAS, someone shot out the windows of a restaurant owned by an Iranian woman soon after 9/11. What happened? An outcry of protests from the rich and brave like I have never before heard. Her restaurant, which normally did very little business, was packed to the gills. The wait was over 3 hours! The throngs of support lasted for weeks, and helped her defray her law school expenses. I was so proud. I KNOW who we are, deep down inside, despite the Rick Perrys and their heinously named ranches. But it was great for others to see. And how about my well-known host families, who have embraced these children from Afghanistan, and who love them like their own? And MANY are hard core Republican -- those who CAN and DO open their eyes. You just have to keep trying. Never give up.

        Stand up and be counted. We are out to register voters on Saturday OR Wednesday. waiting for the assignment. AND I have two more deputy registrars in waiting to help. Game on. -- AB

      • SueInCa says:

        Actually Adlib, I think I am going to make a sign and put it in the window of my car. ENOUGH and see if people react. {shakes head}. I did completely forget about Muslims and that is strange for me but I also forgot Hindu, Sikh, Chinese. The list could go on and on with variations(as Assumed pointed out below) on how badly any certain nationality is treated.

        Some people claim that to live harmonious is a Utopian kind of attitude but I think if people were more spiritual than religious we might come close. I do try to do that daily but when you run into to haters and people who cannot see the truth right in front of them, it is hard to remain spiritual. It must be hard for many people the world over.

    • Assumed Name says:

      SueInCa, if I may weigh in, first, I agree that AdLib’s written a very thoughtful, well presented piece on race.

      Second, I wanted to acknoweledge your recognition that various groups have been deemed “the other” in the U.S., especially when their populations reach a critical mass due to immigration. I think, however, that “otherness” is not all of a piece. The Irish on the eastern sea board, the Scotts-Irish in the Appalchias, and the Italians in the east and in the the midwest are all now accepted as “white.”

      To some extent, at least romantially, Native Americans are accepted to the extent that the most ardent white racist might proudly proclaim to be “really American” because she or he has Native American ancestery. The same person, however, would never prodly claim sub-Saharan African ancestry, and there’s the rub. It is as if blackness is an absolute standard of “otherness,” and it is a standard embraced by anyone who hopes to become white in America, hence George Zimmerman, or hopes to be embraced even if only as “one of ours” in America, hence Justice Clarence Thomas.

      I have more to say (I think *smiles*), but I need to reign in my enthuiasm in order to turn my attention to more immediate projects. Before I do, however, I’ll peruse a few more of these most interesting of responses, comments, and ideas.

      All the best,
      Assumed

      • SueInCa says:

        Assumed Oh I know there is a difference in Black acceptance, what I was really trying to portray is that we have always had an “other” to scapegoat. The Black man and woman in the US has definitely been treated far longer as the “other” and as Adlib pointed out, I completely forgot Muslims and Muslim Americans.

        Quite frankly I wonder if the French have ever regretted giving us Lady Liberty because from as far back as I am aware we may have welcomed immigrants to our shores, but somewhere those good intentions turned ugly and the only reason I can see is “the other”. We found out they were not “just like us” and turned on them. I say “we” in the interest of describing Americans(white) in general and in no way blame all Americans.

        • Assumed Name says:

          Indeed…although the French are often blatantly racists--and sexist. (It’s not a nice place to visit, and I definitely wouldn’t want to live there. *smiles* )

          • SueInCa says:

            I am not questioning your opinion, I am stating that many countries are guilty of hypocrisy, including this one.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Oh: no worries. (Also, I sometimes take time to respond…I’m attempting to write (hah!) while entertaining my summer vacationing kid. *smiles*)

          • SueInCa says:

            Contradicting yourself would be nothing new for any country in the world. Never been there but have heard opinions from both lovers and haters.

            • Assumed Name says:

              Hmm…maybe it’s changed, but given the recent reaction to gay marriage I doubt it. (I studied abroad in France part of my sophomore year in college. My perception is based on my experiences and the experiences of (then) fellow international students of color.)

  8. PatsyT says:

    On SYG , Good explanation here-


    • Assumed Name says:

      I’ve not watched the entire vido, PatsyT, but I’ll definitely return to it. What struck me most is the “reasonable person” standard. To my mind, given the plain meaning the the SYG language, if Zimmer is *already* somewhere he has a legal right to be (say, in his home), then he has no duty to retreat even if he is able to (say, flee out the front door as a theif comes in throught he back door). What I *don’t* “hear” is that anyone is allowed to instigate a confrontation as to have an excuse to use deadly force…say, leave one’s vehicle, follow an innocent stranter, at night, in a threatening manner, and then confront them with the pretext that the person accosted’s flight or fight response is enought to fear for one’s life and, therefore, justifies use of deadly force resulting in that accosted person’s death.

      My point is, (and it’s comin’ *smiles*), even though SYG is a travesty of justice in the first instance, there is room to argue that it was misinterpreted or misapplied. The issue, of course, is that making such an argument seems to justify or accept SYG, which I don’t; that said, the above.

      Best,
      Assumed

    • AdLib says:

      Patsy, check out his page which documents usage of SYG in murders in FL:

      http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/fatal-cases

      Drug dealers killing buyers, people killing others for attempting thefts, it’s insane! Criminals are using SYG! And the victims of these legal murders are a higher percentage of black people.

      SYG has to be legally killed itself.

  9. PatsyT says:

    I have a bit of hope and its because of my kids and their friends.
    Check this out..
    My oldest daughter sent me this and its circulating amongst many of her friends
    http://www.dailydot.com/lol/kids-react-cheerios-commercial-race/

    • Hey Patsy, great video. I saw an article bout this ad and how some people were upset by it. Unfreaking believable. It just blows my mind that here in the 21st century, we still have people who see bi-racial couples as something horrible. Ignorance dies hard.

  10. choicelady says:

    AdLib -- this is the essential issue. It has underscored very RW and EmoProg nastiness since January 2009. It has simmered since 1965 when it went underground but never went away. Have things changed? Of course -- and for the better overall -- but beginning in 1980 Reagan and his ‘Welfare Queen’ gave the conservatives the right to be openly racist and openly violent.

    I want to say to Juror B37 that when I come up on her and challenge HER right to be wherever she is, and she gets angry and pushes back, do I then have the right to shoot HER? Because that can happen. If we decide all strangers are suspicious, she’s just as much at risk as anyone. Failure to understand that means she sees this entirely through the prism of white privilege and racist profiling. She has no clue she could be next.

    But the overall issue is not her. It’s the residual groups of people, even faux progressives, who have always believed that people of color are inferior. Lots of that is changing. Too much of it is not.

    This may be the last hurrah for white supremacy, but it terrifies me that many more people will die -- innocent kids included -- sacrificed to the death throes of racism. And the old white men who make policy in the states and in our Congress will not usher in justice and equality easily and willingly. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey CL, Juror B37 would say, “Of course that wouldn’t be right, after all, I’m not black or male so I wouldn’t automatically look threatening.”

      However, let’s put it this way. If the SYG rule is that anyone is justified murdering someone that they think is a threat, then wouldn’t any young black man now have legit precedent for fearing anyone who walks behind them? Including Juror B37?

      And going in another direction, doesn’t this law provide for someone who is clinically paranoid to kill whoever he perceives as a serious threat, be it man, woman or child, whether or not it is a total delusion?

      And what about criminal on trial who fears that a judge is about to give him the death penalty, can he stand his ground and shoot the judge to protect himself from death? It may be far fetched but where are the boundaries in a law that makes one’s feelings of fear a license to murder?

      You’re right, many things have changed for the better in our society when it comes to race but the damage of racism is still deeply rooted in our society, I mean this trial is sad proof of that. Even more so, the rampant and hard-to-escape poverty in many black communities, the criminalization of black men and over-conviction and imprisoning of them and of course, the ongoing legislative and political actions to keep and increase the racial oppression against black Americans.

      I hate to agree on this but I think you are completely right, there is going to be a lot more tragedy and suffering ahead as these racist animals feel themselves being pushed more and more into a corner. They are on their way out and true, this sure does seem like their last main gasp before collapsing but this gasp could last a long time.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        AdLib and Choice: It has been my experience (and of a personal nature) that as those who wish to control others start to lose their grip, they get more and more violent. I Look at the case I mentioned before -- in the Dead Before Sunset book -- as the victim REALLY “broke free” from the grip of her oppressor, he wobbled like a top, becoming more and more bizarre and more and more dangerous. It ended with him beating his soon to be ex wife to death with a flashlight. The investigator called it one of the most vicious crimes he had ever seen, and I could not even stay in the courtroom for the blood spatter expert.

        It’s the EXACT same thing happening in Afghanistan right now. As the Taliban watched their reign of terror dissipate, as more and more young people learned there was a world outside and that the internet existed, they have become more and more determined to take over. Khalid Hosseini himself spoke to this at a book signing. When the U.S. leaves next year, things will get MUCH worse. But over the next 10-20 years, things will likely change because no matter how much you try, when people are shown the truth, it’s hard to keep control.

        So yes, it’s likely to get much worse for women, for minorities, for the poor -- but take heart in why this happening. It’s a dying gasp of an obsolete system of greed and corruption. WE just have to keep moving through it, for Trayvon, for Planned Parenthood and the right to choose, for religious freedom, for equality and justice.

        Or at least that’s my two cents. -- AB

        • AdLib says:

          AB, your 2 cents are worth a great deal.

          A sad but excellent illustration of the nature of the beast. As they feel power and dominance slipping away, they become more brutal and desperate to claw it back.

          Even though we know that this is a sign that things will get better in the long term, it is awful that in the short term so many will be attacked and harmed as the haters freak out.

          I’ve thought about what Obama might do after his Presidency and I can’t think of anything better than him leading a movement against the bigotry that has infected our society, bigotry against blacks, women, Latinos, the poor, etc.

          A movement needs a leader and I know of one who’ll be looking for a new gig in 2017.

        • choicelady says:

          This is an excellent summation of a millennial long problem. That’s exactly the case. Throughout history those losing their supremacy and control and privileges begin acting in violent and repressive ways. Such is the stand of white people who cannot tolerate being equal with others not like themselves. Truth be told there are hierarchies within the white community, male to female, class, status. But with the exception of the male-female relationships, they don’t tend to resolve themselves routinely as violently as race seems to engender.

          Excellent analysis, AB. Thank you.

  11. Kalima says:

    I have one question for the GOP, the TP, and the crazies. If there is no racism in America and her politics, then why the almost insane opposition to President Obama since before he even took office or they knew much about his policies? Why the secret meeting of the top GOP tribe to make him a “One term President” and obstruct him every step of the way? They didn’t even know him, and I don’t remember any media or journalist ever asking them to explain this.

    Of course we know the answer. The idea that the people elected the first black man to lead the country was and still is an open wound to their “white supremacy”pride. It was at this time that they let down their guard out of anger to openly display and encourage racism from their moth-eaten base. It became part of their campaigning, but ultimately lost them the election.

    It is truly sickening, but what is even more sickening is those who deny it exists.

    Great article AdLib, and I so hope that this leads to a nationwide debate about what still ails America, and the racist SYG law lobbied for with such fierce and hateful frenzy by the obnoxious NRA. Pity they can’t be sued as being complicit in Trayvon Martin’s murder, because they are as guilty as Zimmerman and those who passed this awful law. The SYG law has to go before the next innocent person is murdered in cold blood because someone decides they don’t belong and have no business walking in what is considered to be a “white” area. Sounds a lot like S. Africa’s apartheid to me.

    • AdLib says:

      Hey Kalima, no doubt you remember the lynch mob types frothing at the mouth at Palin rallies when McCain was running against Obama. They’d yell out, “Traitor!” And “He deserves to die!” while she would howl about how Obama wasn’t one of them, he didn’t love America, he was a socialist and a Marxist and palled around with terrorists. I remember one cracker had a monkey in a noose with Obama’s face on it.

      And all the Bagger racist signs during their rallies against the ACA.

      Funny, I don’t remember any white President or nominee for President being subjected to such things.

      Even the MSM displayed oblivious racism, in the primary they had a meme for a while, “Is Obama black enough?” What?!

      And of course after the Rev. Wright BS it changed to, “Is Obama too black?”

      Obama has been called Kenyan, forced to show his birth certificate and even after that, called a foreigner who is illegally occupying the WH, he’s been treated as an inferior even in his SOTU address when “You lie!” Was screamed at him by another GOP cracker.

      The list goes on and on.

      I was one of those who thought Obama’s Presidency would speed up the evolution away from racism and who knows, maybe it will in the big picture but in the short term, it just seems like it’s been an excuse to double down on racism by the haters who use the excuse, “One of you became President so you can’t complain about inequality or needing protections anymore!”

      I too wish Trayvon’s parents could sue ALEC and the NRA as well for being accomplices in their son’s murder. In a just world, they would be able to but we’re stuck where we are.

      Your reference to South Africa and apartheid is very appropriate. Do black men have to show their papers to prove they live in a community if any white man stops them? Do they have to be subjected to humiliation or being demeaned or stalked and if they push back, they can be legally murdered?

      What kind of racist, bloodthirsty country have the Repubs tried to turn America into? Really? Pushing into place laws that increase the murders of people who aren’t criminals, that’s a good thing.

      You’re right, these SYG laws need to be repealed, along wi Voter ID laws and other laws passed to prevent black people from registering or voting (including Souls to the Polls early voting by church groups).

      These Repubs are soulless, maniacal over their agenda to dominate women, blacks, latinos, gays, non-Fundamentalist Christians, the youth, the poor, the unemployed, the middle class…damn, if that isn’t an overwhelming coalition that could right the wrongs if they came together, I don’t know what would be.

      • Kalima says:

        Hopefully this from Holder, and the efforts of many others could be a start. As you wrote, the SYG law, right to vote law, the attack against women’s rights and Roe v. Wade, Medicare and the ACA are making America into a sad former shadow of itself. Now with some polls showing that some of the younger Hispanics might vote for republicans, they see no reason to change the immigration system. It’s ALL about them you see, not the country or it’s citizens unless those citizens vote for them. The rest of the population can go to Hell.

        Yes I remember the sewer politics of the McCain/Palin campaign, it brought out the worst of the worst and no one did a damned thing to stop them.

        No, there has been nothing like the opposition Obama has faced anywhere in the civilised world, and many of my friends around the world were and are still shocked by the sheer aggressiveness of it for all these years.

        All I can say with absolute certainty to all Dems, Progessives and Liberals is, don’t let 2010 happen in 2014 again. Vote as if your life depends on it because in some cases it just might.

        “Attorney General Eric Holder denounces ‘stand your ground’ laws”

        http://m.washingtonpost.com/politics/naacp-urges-eric-holder-do-the-right-thing/2013/07/16/530425da-ee49-11e2-9008-61e94a7ea20d_story.html

        • AdLib says:

          Kalima, I wouldn’t put much weight in the polls that show younger Latinos as potential Republicans. Of course there will be that small percentage of greedy, selfish people as there are in any group but I don’t believe too big a percentage would ignore the long track record of hatred of Latinos that is so much a part of the GOP.

          There are the Log Cabin Republicans, wack gay Repubs who support a party that is bent on their oppression, there may be some small sliver of Latinos who are just as self-hating but most have families who are directly impacted by immigration laws, they know which party and politicians have been working for their interests and the historical numbers show that Latinos are predominantly moderates who vote Democratic.

          The GOP House is intent on scuttling the immigration bill which will be yet another nail in their coffin in national elections with Latinos.

          And once they and the rest of Americans begin experiencing the benefits of the ACA/Obamacare, I think there will be even more appreciation and loyalty towards the Dems.

          • Kalima says:

            Oh, I don’t believe in those polls but the GOP do, and it gives them the excuse not to do the immigration reform. Their loss for being so dumb and disorganised, not that I care.

            Yes I agree about the ACA and the benefits people will experience, something we have already heard here from two of our members who were uninsured. Once the benefit is felt nationwide, the GOP, the TP and all those in the pockets of the insurance companies, can respectfully jump off the nearest cliff. Stick a fork in them, they’re done.


Leave your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Back to top
PlanetPOV Tweets
Ongoing Stories
Features