Supporting the Civil Rights Institute

Democrats have historically been great at pressing for greater minority access to justice. Republicans have stressed the opportunity side of the problem of poverty and discrimination. Neither party has been able to formulate policy templates that effectively consider and embrace this challenge from a broader perspective.

Bringing minority communities into full participation in our culture, politics and economy requires more than a poverty agenda. We need a prosperity agenda. Understanding how to make this happen begins by asking questions, not making pronouncements. The Civil Rights Institute is working to do this.

Launched by Regina Roundtree, a black Republican activist in Connecticut, the goal of TCRI is to support research and policy formation that can open up economic as well as political opportunity for marginalized communities. I got involved with TCRI through a friend, Richard Ivory, who founded, but the organization’s leadership extends beyond Republican and African-American circles.

Our initial goal is to revisit the findings of the Kerner Commission, which was assembled by President Johnson to explore the roots of urban riots in the ‘60’s. Current events emphasize that issues addressed by the Commission in 1968 remain depressingly timely today. We are interviewing university researchers willing to utilize a community-focused methodology to measure progress toward the Commission’s goals and determine levels of support for potential policy alternatives.

The research itself will be funded by grants, but we need to establish a base of public support to help get the organization established. Grassroots support of this kind will be key to earning other forms of institutional backing critical to TCRI’s future. That’s why I’m posting this link to a fundraising page for TCRI.

Our fundraising goals are very modest. A little goes a very long way at this point. It is my hope that TCRI may join a growing constellation of center-right institutions pressing both parties toward more responsive urban policy. I hope you’ll help me with this goal.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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132 comments on “Supporting the Civil Rights Institute
  1. 1mime says:

    Speaking of pandering, Jeb Bush is the latest GOP presidential hopeful to visit Liberty U., that bastion of religious zeal. He gave the commencement address and touched all the warm and fuzzy conservative buttons. Here are some advance comments from address: (gag, gag)

    Politico Blast reports: “JEB BUSH will be the commencement speaker at Liberty University tomorrow – the largest evangelical university in the world and the venue where TED CRUZ launched his campaign.
    EXCERPTS: “[S]ome moral standards are universal. They do not bend under the weight of cultural differences or elite opinion. Wherever there is a child waiting to be born, we say choose life, and we say it with love. Wherever women and girls in other countries are brutally exploited, or treated as possessions without rights and dignity, we Christians see that arrogance for what it is. Wherever Jews are subjected to the oldest bigotry, we reject that sin against our brothers and sisters, and we defend them…
    [A]s usual the present administration is supporting the use of coercive federal power. What should be easy calls, in favor of religious freedom, have instead become an aggressive stance against it. Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith. Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience – and in a free society, the answer is No.”

  2. goplifer says:

    I want to issue a very public thank you to those of you who so generously donated to TCRI. It’s really humbling. We appreciate your faith in us and we’re committed to turning this into a positive influence. Thank you.

  3. 1mime says:

    Sorry, OT again, but was intrigued by Great Britain’s election results as a harbinger (or mimic) of things political in America. Seems the U.S. and GB have more in common than language…..fragmentation and dissatisfaction with ruling parties. Surprised, anyone?

    ” The question of Scotland’s position within Britain and Britain’s relationship to the European Union will dominate. But both reflect a deeper issue: a nation that has become both more politically fragmented and more disenchanted with mainstream political institutions. That is the paradox of an election that has seemingly produced a more decisive result than almost anyone predicted.”

    • fiftyohm says:

      Hmmm… Britain, in a not-very-close election, put the Tories more solidly in power. Cameron is still PM. The people apparently believe conservative fiscal policies have contributed to their (relative) improvements in unemployment and the economy in general. (Well better than the rest of the EU. It is not at all clear to this observer how the NYT piece follows from these objective facts.

      • fiftyohm says:

        I could have said that Labor had their ass handed to them. Why didn’t the Times?

      • 1mime says:

        I think this comment said it all, Fifty: “Many voters, however, feared Labour more than they loathed the Tories.” If this is a harbinger of things to come in the U.S., Democrats may be in for a disappointing 2016 election. Because I value the system of “checks and balance” in government, I do not support one party (either) holding all branches – House, Senate, President, especially given that SCOTUS is already in the hip pocket of conservatives.

        Will be interesting. The Scots really rallied. They’re the dark horse to watch.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Fear and Loathing in East Anglia. I think there is a simpler explanation. And the Scots Nats are just plain bonkers. They’re as nuts as the Parti Quebecois.

      • 1mime says:

        I daresay that the religious right of the Republican Party shares the “nutty” title….Mainly, I want government to function – for all, not a few. Compromise will be required and that will be more likely if Dems retain the Presidency and re-take the Senate. I certainly am not counting on the GOP to reach across the aisle unless they have to (a la Boehner/Pelosi pact).

        BTW, don’t diss the Scots! I’m of Scotch-Irish heritage – but, then, you probably figured as much (-:

      • fiftyohm says:

        Well look – the religious right are nutballs. Everybody knows that. It’s a serious, internal GOP problem. But even without that bunch of anti-intellectual riff-raff, I’ve not seen a whole lot of “reaching across the aisle” by the Democrats lately, nor when they were in power. Have you?

      • 1mime says:

        Dems certainly held their noses and supported Bush’s RX plan. They didn’t vote XYZ times to repudicate it. And, this is a plan that was not funded, so there were plenty of grounds to grouse about other than their philosophical disagreement with the concept. Patty Murray worked across the aisle notably with Paul Ryan, with the blessing of Dem Senators on the budget deal.

        I’ll have to think more widely/deeply about your question as to Dems reaching across the aisle. Too late for my head to engage. My gut feeling is that they have a much better record in this regard than conservatives, but that would be a great Lifer article.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Abdia, abadia, abadia…

        Are you talking about W’s completely gratuitous suck-up to the elderly vote, that trillion dollar giveaway called Medicare Part D? And just how would the liberals have “held their noses” at that? Because they hate unfunded programs? Because they hate fiscal irresponsibility? Are you kidding me? Fiscal irresponsibility is a hallmark of both parties of late, as your example quite perfectly demonstrates.

      • 1mime says:

        W may have sucked up to the elderly but he reeely sucked up to the pharmaceutical industry. You are aware that he brokered a deal with them that prohibits Medicare from competitive bidding for the drugs? That has cost we the taxpayers a bundle and is the gift that keeps on giving. Meanwhile, many seniors were hitting the doughnut hole in the first trimester due to the cost of the drugs. The out of pocket was huge until the ACA made some changes.

        Do your research on the RX plan, Fifty. My recollection is that Dems were opposed to the plan because of the pharmaceutical give away. They knew this would drive the cost of the program up. And, yes, both parties are guilty of over-spending. Conservatives just lie about it more.

      • fiftyohm says:

        There was a massive suck up to big pharma in exactly the area you mentioned! I don’t need to “research it”, for crying out loud. That’s perhaps one of the issue’s most disgusting things! And you’re defending the Democrats for letting that go? I just don’t get it, I guess. Could it have been a fear of fallout from opposing Part D that motivated them? And just how noble is that?

      • 1mime says:

        Fifty, I’m not disagreeing with you on the folly of the Medicare RX drug. This was a complete scam from purpose to cost to process. In response to your comments, I offer this Forbes article which gives interesting background – which, I might add, was more heinous than I realized. Bottom line, turns out that only 16 Democrats voted FOR the bill, so guess they were “cooperating” but clearly the majority of Democrats were opposed and voted accordingly. Here’s the sad story:

      • fiftyohm says:

        A very sad and sorry story, mime. Good article.

  4. bubbabobcat says:

    OT, more Texas Repub blatant hypocrisy.

    They are against Big Gub’mint telling everyone what to do, except when they are for it and THEY are the Big Gub’mint.

    Local cities cannot ban fracking in Texas now.

    But we need to “supervise” the US Army (Special Forces too!) when they are in Texas.

    What a bunch of backwards willfully stupid hick tools.

    • vikinghou says:

      Yes, the hypocrisy is mindboggling. I believe there is also a bill to prohibit cities from having non-discrimination laws concerning LGBT people.

      “It should be a uniform standard statewide, and cities can’t just arbitrarily create new classes that criminalize a whole segment of the majority of the population,” Welch said. “It’s just self-evident that they’re going to try to do it city by city. We’re dealing with a broad public policy that creates criminal punishments. That’s a pretty serious issue, and when it’s based on a special agenda by a small, tiny fragment of the population … that’s a legitimate need and reason for the state Legislature to act.”

      Local rule is great unless it conflicts with the goals of big business or the bible thumpers.

  5. 1mime says:

    OT for this post but relevant to the times, this is an excellent parody of Gov. Jindall by a very capable journalist.

  6. bubbabobcat says:

    Back on topic (for a change for me), I would hope our online community would put (some of) our money where our mouths or electronic equivalents are and support Chris’ civil rights initiative? We say Republicans don’t do enough. When they do, we should go all in to support it and do as much possible to help it succeed to sow the seed…

    • 1mime says:

      Put my money up first day, Bubba, with whole-hearted wishes for success. I agree. It’s easier to criticize than to help.

  7. RobA says:

    Jesus. I don’t know what else to say. Florida will be sending a man to prison for 15 years for having sex (allegedly) on the beach. The judge has no discretion, due to a former drug conviction.

    “Land of the free ” eh? Funny thing is, the people who support this insanity are the ones freaking out about some non existent sharia law coming to America. Meanwhile, they’re cheering Christian sharia law wherever they can.

    • 1mime says:

      If the couple had competent legal counsel, they would have challenged on the basis of proving intercourse had occurred, which should have been easy enough to determine. If their behavior was inappropriate, that might fall under reasonable indecency laws, but, 15 years for this or sexual relations? Jeez!

      You are correct, Rob, we have some sick people in our country and it is headed in a direction that I find appalling. Absolutely amazing.

    • Doug says:

      Stupid drug laws, mandatory sentencing, and “example cases”. Poor dude won the trifecta.

    • fiftyohm says:

      RobA – It is an immaculately fu’d situation. I agree without reservation.

      But the wackos screaming about Sharia law aren’t necessarily the ones behind the well- intentioned, but demonstrably disastrous three-strikes-and-you’re-out legislation.

      • 1mime says:

        Re: FL beach tryst….I wonder how many Frat boys (and girls) have been caught in flagrante delicto and mommy and daddy (or the school dean) quietly handled the situation? This is absurd.

  8. Turtles Run says:

    A point that gets ignored is that in many police encounters with minorities are due to people the negative reaction some people at the sight of a black person. Police were called because of the danger of a armed Black person in a Walmart that resulted in the death of a African American male for holding a BB gun sold by the store or the shooting death of Tamir Rice for the crime of playing in the park like an average 12 year old boy.

    A police officer on Reddit has commented on these people in a really good posting.

    Ya know, I’m just going to complain and get some stuff off my chest.
    So I’m working last week and get dispatched to a call of ‘Suspicious Activity.’ Ya’ll wanna know what the suspicious activity was? Someone walking around in the dark with a flashlight and crow bar? Nope. Someone walking into a bank with a full face mask on? Nope.

    It was two black males who were jump starting a car at 930 in the morning. That was it. Nothing else. Someone called it in.

    People. People. People. If you’re going to be a racist, stereotypical jerk…keep it to yourself. Don’t call the police and make them get involved into your douchebaggery.

    That’s all. End rant.

    • Turtles Run says:

      please excuse the grammer

    • Doug says:

      Another point that gets ignored is that many people are idiots and freak out before taking time to understand the situation. Some friends and I were once surprised by at least six cops with guns drawn one night in the Heights for the crime of moving furniture *into* a house. Had we been black, I suppose we could have blamed it on racism like your Reddit poster.

      • 1mime says:

        No, Doug, if you had been Black, you would have been cuffed and slammed against a car, then, if you protested, you would have been taken to the station and booked. For. being. black.

        Doing the same task, while black.

      • texan5142 says:

        Doug do you think a white man would have been cuffed, searched and put in the back of a police car for a cracked windshield in this situation ? Notice how the cops ask for ID at the same time they tell him to keep his hands up where they can see them.

        Get new glasses Doug, your rose colored ones are blinding you to the facts.

      • Doug says:

        Geez…you guys can’t even stay on topic within a thread. 🙂

        1mime: I’ve experienced both and would much prefer handcuffs to a gun in the face. *If you resist* you will be arrested (or worse) regardless of skin color.

        Texan, I suggest an experiment to prove your point . Set up video in your car an get yourself pulled over for something trivial. (I suggest honking and flipping off a cop in a school zone, neither of which are illegal). Then demand identification from the cop, assert your rights, and generally refuse to cooperate. Be sure to post the video when you get out of the cuffs.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree that it’s smarter to cooperate with police, but it is definitely on point to illustrate how differently police can treat Black people from White people – for the same or lessor offense. As Turtles’ link illustrates, police have learned how to verbalize the “correct” words to protect actions that are inappropriate, at best, and criminal, at worst. Thank God for video, but it’s sad that it’s needed. As your old bud Reagan said, “trust but verify”.

        Body cameras and video from bystanders will help document abusive behavior of both law enforcement and perpetrators. Body cameras need to be standard equipment for law enforcement, and video phones will be standard equipment for all Blacks.

      • Turtles Run says:

        Doug – You may not realize this but the police should identify themselves and tell you why they have detained you. I believe there is a document covering this, one which conservatives pretend to want to uphold.

        This man did not resist or start a confrontation he simply wanted to know why he was being pulled over and instead of saying why the cops chose to act like a-holes.

        You can pretend that there is no difference in the treatment of minorities by LEO and the courts but every study and the reality strongly disagree with you.

  9. flypusher says:

    And now for a bit of humor, courtesy of someone who really puts the “N” in “RWNJ”:

    Could the judge PLEASE allow that case? She has requested some serious public humiliation here, and I think she ought to get it.

  10. flypusher says:

    A nice little opinion piece about false equivalancies (and confirmation that Seam Hannity and his ilk are so bloody clueless it’s amazing that they manage to feed and dress themselves!).

  11. texan5142 says:

    Doug says:
    May 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm
    If you see a woman in a short skirt, do you say she is trolling for rapists?

    Dose Pam Geller have you on speed dial?

    • flypusher says:

      If people want to use analogies, I have a better one. You’ve got country A that’s spoiling for a fight with country B, but doesn’t want to be seen as the aggressor. They put troops in a disputed border region, just waiting and watching for a bloody incident, so they can scream with righteous indignation and strike back. I think Christmas came early for Gellar.

      The local Muslim community was well aware these people wete trolling them, and they had the right response, which was to ignore them. But now they have to apologize for the actions of the morons who took that bait.

      And now ISIS is counter trolling.

    • Turtles Run says:

      I am sure the right wingers will be demanding how these guns got to NYC from Georgia and in the hands of criminals like they did with Fast & Furious. They will definitely be out in force looking for some heads

      ~any minute now~

      ~checks watch~

      ~yup, any minute~

    • 1mime says:

      BREAKING: Oregon will be the latest state to close the background check loophole.

      Once Governor Kate Brown signs the bill, Oregon will become the 18th state to require criminal background checks on all handgun sales — and the 12th to require them on all gun sales.

      This is an incredible victory for Oregon — but also for gun sense across the country — because it shows what happens when we come together…

      And, no one who passes the background check will be denied their gun purchase. (my words) Instead, caution and common sense will prevail instead of paranoia.

      • RobA says:

        I cannot fathom how anybody could possibly be against background checks for handgun sales.

  12. BigWilly says:

    It sounds like a noble enough cause. Don’t forget to enlist your CRs and YRs, and remember not to condemn those who help. Who’d wanna come back after an afternoon of volunteering if all they heard about while stuffing envelopes was how terrible those white conservatives are.

    • 1mime says:

      I’m a Democrat, BW, and it is my hope that Lifer’s efforts will help this group succeed. It is far more important to me that he succeed for THEM than for the party. I would hope that as this project develops that people from both sides of the aisle will get involved, because, that’s what it’s going to take to bring about change…..and, I’m not just talking about change for the Black Community; I’m talking about change IN the White Community. Lots of blame to go around here so lots of opportunity if everyone is genuinely focused on the same goal.

      • BigWilly says:

        Karma, the spiritual version of the free market, seems to take care of itself. As far as involvement of interested parties you could probably persuade Dr. Carson and Pres. Obama to agree to participate in some form. That’s where your 504 (c) (4) might work exactly as intended-not that the others are or are not but simply because the organization behaves.

        The Articles of Incorporation and the Charter and By Laws are so key to a good organization it can’t be understated. Look at our own corporate governance, the shareholders have run wild.

      • 1mime says:

        Yeah, well the articles of inc. are only as good as the next SCOTUS vote. Used to be this body at least made an effort to “look” non-partisan. That ain’t the case now, that’s for sure!

        As far as Obama getting involved, as I recall his years post law school were spent working in his community and he got a lot of grief for that…He’s a little busy right now so others like Lifer will have to step up, but I fully expect him to devote his life to helping his community – black and white. Can’t speak for Carson. He seemed like he was doing a lot of good where he was – working on sick people, tho, guess you could say there are a lot of those in Congress….maybe he needs to run for a seat there….

  13. flypusher says:

    Some interesting and sobering analysis of racial biases:

    So even Black people can be biased towards a “Black men are more dangerous” mode of thinking.

    • Doug says:

      Why wouldn’t they be? Statistically, black men are more dangerous.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t know where your substantiation is for that statement, Doug, but I will say this:

        Black men should be more dangerous. They should be more angry. And, if I were you, I’d keep that in mind. Black people generally have more reason than you can ever imagine for being mad, and if that makes them dangerous, may be that will keep them alive.

      • vikinghou says:

        Doug, to feel safe you can just stay in your gated community in Katy. The most dangerous people there are the Stepford Wives with their Suburbans and cell phones.

      • Doug says:

        “I don’t know where your substantiation is for that statement, Doug”

        From the FBI. Look at pretty much any category of violent crime.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        FBI statistics would certainly indicate the Black folks do a whole lot more drugs than White folks…oddly, that is not the case.

        Traffic stops and speeding tickets in my neighborhood would suggest that Blacks and Hispanics drive like maniacs on the streets while White folks rare speed…oddly, that is not the case.

      • Doug says:

        homer, murders aren’t speeding tickets.

      • 1mime says:

        From the FBI. Well, we know one thing for damn sure – Blacks sure do get arrested more than their White Brothers, and they sure as heck get imprisoned a whole lot more. Statistics in areas like this are suspect to me because of the social forces predicting them.

      • flypusher says:

        Why stop halfway Doug? Men (of all races) commit over 90% of the murders IIRC. So shall we extend the same assumptions and shoot-1st-ask-questions-later to cover that overwhelming violent segment of the population?

      • Turtles Run says:

        Flypusher – Maybe this chart will help you in your determination of whether a shoot-1st-ask-questions-later scenario arises.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Given the propensity of men who rape women, it is a wonder Doug hasn’t been shot by a woman who recognizes that men are more dangerous.

        By any available statistic, there are more White male rapists than Black murderers, yet folks seem to be able to not generalize to the entire group.

        Kinda makes you wonder why that is.

    • 1mime says:

      I started following the New Georgia voter registration project prior to the 2014 elections as I was impressed by the leadership of GA Representative Stacey Abrams. What I want to know is why DOJ isn’t investigating Sec State Kemp? If ever there was a case for voter intimidation, this man personifies it. I didn’t know about the other incidents and this makes me even more angry. This is horrible, Rob, just horrible. Here’s another link to the New Georgia Project. 85,000 people were registered. 50 were found to be disqualified for one reason or another. Of course, by the time Kemp finished “investigating”, the election was over and these people couldn’t vote. As for the election that seated an all-Black School Board that was then over-turned, who believes anything these people do is not racist?

      Read and weep for those who have been tolerated so much and continue to try to participate in Democracy only to have to deal with people like Kemp. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN IN TODAY? HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE GET AWAY WITH THIS?

    • Turtles Run says:

      These stories highlight a point I have tried to reconcile in my mind. We often say that these actions are the last gasps of a majority that remembers “Whites Only” facilities. It is often written here that this generation is dying along with their hate. But look at those in the picture. They are our age and will be continuing the Neo-Confederate fight for decades to come.

      I see this century actually rolling back into the 1950’s in some ways. I find it quite depressing. Sure it won’t be as overt but the result will be the same. Then we get to listen to these tea party types mew about how they are the champions of MLK.

    • vikinghou says:

      Desperate people do desperate things. There should be more coverage in the media about this. Voter registration efforts should be relentless despite efforts to suppress them. It’s going to be a test of wills.

      • 1mime says:

        NO, Viking! It should be a matter of prosecuting public officials like Kemp and the others who have bent the law for their own purposes. Until there are legal consequences, until these actions are called out and brought up in a court of law, Nothing will change.

      • vikinghou says:

        You are correct, of course. But, like I said, registration efforts should be relentless.

      • 1mime says:

        Of course, Viking, but how can we expect people who are rebuffed at every turn to continue their dogged efforts at citizenship if the Democracy they live in doesn’t support their lawful efforts to access the process? It’s mindless and endless. I have spent years working with Black people and they feel shut out of the process because. they. are.

      • flypusher says:

        We need lots of sunlight focused on these shady activities, and by focused I mean like with a giant magnifying glass that fries them like the mean little insects they are.

        (Sorry insects, that was a cheap shot.)

      • 1mime says:

        Fly, I’ve enjoyed all your posts. Don’t know that I’ve ever seen you this engaged before! Your sharp wit and laser-focus add a great deal to the conversation.

        I think that RobA’s link on the voting suppression in GA really drove the last nail in the GOP dirty tricks coffin. This man Kemp needs to be jailed.

  14. flypusher says:

    Speaking of justice denied:

    I see the whole homeless shelter angle is a cheap attempted tug at the heart strings, because that’s the lady’s choice. But not being able to bury your son? That’s legitimately bad. Having the investigation drag on this long? Also legitimately bad. What the hell more do authorities need to do? They’ve had 5 months. They have a video of exactly what happened. Make the decision already.

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, it’s outrageous and unconscionable. The video in the Vox link said it all. Body cameras should be mandatory for all police.

      The Tamir Rice murder is dragging because law enforcement is trying to find a way to justify what happened. After all this time, there is nothing else that is plausible.

      This has got to stop.

      • RobA says:

        i agree it’s dragged in this long in an attempt to either wait for things to blow over and limit the blowback of an exoneration or to try to find a way to justify this somehow.

        Ironically, the strategy could very well backfire. given yhe events in Baltimote, It’s a much more precarious move, politically, to exonerate now then it would have been a month or two ago

      • flypusher says:

        They’re going to have to get very creative to get these guys off the hook. If you think you have an active shooter, why the hell do you drive up right next to him?

      • 1mime says:

        Not to mention this was a kid! And, that the police started firing within seconds. It’s dirty and these cops need to go down for this. But, the delay begs the question: why aren’t these people being held accountable? There has been plenty of time. How can they get away with delaying the legal process like this?

        And, people wonder why Blacks are rioting? How well has the legal system worked for them lately?

    • Turtles Run says:

      Marcus Jeter of New Jersey was facing years in jail for resisting arrest. The officers had hidden dash cam footage that clearly showed Jeter with his hands raised and not resisting. As the officers were beating Jeter they kept shouting for him to stop reaching for the officers gun. The police understand the words that need to be uttered to justify their actions.

      Cameras are a good tool but the evidence can be manipulated. Instead of making the technology better the Police and local governments are trying to enact tougher laws regarding filming the actions of law enforcement officers.

  15. texan5142 says:

    Now for some fun, notice there was no sound of running water to indicate that he washed his hands.

  16. texan5142 says:

    Civil rights for all equal hate crime to others.

    “We need y’all to stand up for us,” Torres told the lawmakers, adding that the legalization of same-sex marriage was a “hate crime.”

    • GG says:

      I cannot understand this obsession with same sex marriage. Who cares? How does it personally affect them?

      • flypusher says:

        Somebody’s having sex for enjoyment, and we can’t be havin’ any of THAT, now!!

      • GG says:

        I read this somewhere and it’s apt.

        “Religious fundamentalism: The fear that somewhere someone is having a good time.”

  17. flypusher says:

    Speaking of poor urban minority problems and law enforcement disparities, this is totally messed up:

    The kid absolutely should face the system and be punished for what he did. But a half million for bail????? Seriously?????

    The purpose of bail is to make sure you show up on court. Given that the kid’s patents made him turn himself in, that ought to count for something there.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Basically, a car windshield holds more value than the life of a Black man. Yes, I realize that bail is also set based on flight risk, but how far is an 18 year old broke teenager going to get. It is another sign of the inequality of the justice system.

    • 1mime says:

      Another thoughtful and insightful commentary. I was struck by this statement:

      “To be a real factor in America’s inner cities, the GOP would necessarily have to create a different “urban Republicanism” that would look and sound different than the RNC line, and make policy in ways that are at odds with the exurban red-state core of the party.”

      Undoubtedly true, but, if the effort is driven purely to expand the GOP base in urban areas, without a change in political beliefs and policies, without a deeper understanding and commitment to address the real needs within those areas, it is patently false, and it will fail. Lifer will find in his work with the Civil Rights effort that anything less than total honesty will fail. Black people have been down this road too many times. It would be more honest for Republicans to stay away from the issue than to pursue it superficially in an attempt to grow their base.

  18. RobA says:

    Troubles a-brewin’ over in Texas.

    The identities of the gunmen will be pretty interesting to see

    • flypusher says:

      The organizers of that event are trolls. I wouldn’t be shocked if they are secretly delighted some fools violently went after the bait. Or even if they were openly delighted.

      • GG says:

        I wouldn’t be shocked if that hadn’t been their plot all along. Goad some crazies into doing something like this so they can say “see, we were right, all Muslims must go”.

        Trolls indeed.

      • GG says:

        Speaking of trolls again, a “giddingsshooter” is over at the Chron trolling. I’d forgotten all about that particular “Walter Mitty” troll.

      • Doug says:

        If you see a woman in a short skirt, do you say she is trolling for rapists?

      • flypusher says:

        Seriously Doug, THAT’s your rebuttal? Do I really have to spend electrons explaining how bad it is?

      • 1mime says:

        Even Donald”comb-over” Trump got all over this woman’s case. She lives in Long Island, for gosh sakes. What logical explanation is there other than she was here to cause trouble?

      • flypusher says:

        You’re 0 for 2 here Doug. Nobody here said that trolls don’t have first Amendment rights. Nobody here said that violence was an acceptable response to being trolled. She’s smacking a line of strawmen.

      • flypusher says:

        “These are not free speech advocates — they are anti-Muslim advocates. What sort of pro-free-speech activist invites a keynote speaker who has advocated banning a religious text, or taxing someone for wearing the wrong piece of clothing? Someone for whom “free speech” only applies to people with the right demographic background, and must be conditional or outright stripped for people from the wrong demographic background.”

        You have the right to be as anti-Muslim as you want. You don’t have the right to present that kind of hate as just free expression and not have anyone call bullshit on you.

      • Doug says:

        I’m guessing that if a Christian went after Mapplethorpe with an AK you’d be talking about his free speech rights and condemning the Christian.

        The fact is we have people in this world that kill over stupid cartoons. That can’t be OK in this country. The Muslims are free to call bullshit all they want. They are not free to kill people who aren’t believers. I’m glad there are people who stand up. Ecstatic that a cop with a handgun was capable of putting down two savages with AKs.

      • flypusher says:

        You really don’t get it, do you Doug? That fact that someone responded violently and inappropriately to getting trolled does not make the troll any less a troll. Exactly who here is expressing any sympathy for the two inept idiots who got taken out by the cops? If you really that that Gellar and her ilk are doing this for the sake of freedom, I’ve got some nice beachfront property in Kansas for you. Did you even bother to check out her history?

        As for your Maplethorpe example, yes he had free speech rights, yes, any Christian shooting him over that expression would have been wrong, and yes, Maplethorpe trolled people. So did Madonna, BTW.

      • flypusher says:

        Speaking of making threats over Mohammed cartoons, there’s some truly delicious irony here:

        (Sorry for the double post)

      • 1mime says:

        This is how the lie becomes the truth. It only takes one crazy woman (Geller) to set up an event that incites the deranged so that the predictable outcome can support the GOP position that Obama is weak on national defense.

        The Hill: “The threat of lone wolf terrorist attacks is becoming a growing challenge for the Obama administration in the wake of a shooting outside a “Draw Muhammad” event last weekend in Texas.

        Republicans have used the latest incident to bolster their criticism that President Obama has weakened national security, highlighting an issue the GOP hopes to make a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign. “

    • 1mime says:

      Garland, TX…a Dallas suburb, TX is really showing its underbelly. American Freedom Enterprise Institute led by Pamela Geller, the damsel who protested the building of a mosque near ground zero and coordinated attacks alledging free speech against muslims who took out ads. A real class act.

      I wonder what the guv is gonna say now? Call out the TX National Guard? Nope, they’re busy, watching all those green berets and seals practice war skills in Bastrop. Maybe he should call on the KKK or White Supremacists. Or, heck, just cut to the chase and let those Bastrop dudes ride in and take care of things.

      • GG says:

        Well, now, it’s certainly working out well for them isn’t it? There is a segment in this state that is determined to force us to regress instead of progress. When I was a kid I had sex ed or “health” in 5th or 6th grad(?) if I recall. No big deal. We learned about menstruation and why it occurs, learned the difference between men’s and women’s genitalia and just basic knowledge about procreation and birth control and, yes, STDs.

        No one was traumatized and none of our parents had conniption fits.

    • flypusher says:

      Speaking of making threats over Mohammed cartoons, there’s some truly delicious irony here:

      • 1mime says:

        There is an angry, irrational population in America and they are very comfortable in expressing their violent thoughts through violent action. Free speech is one thing; hateful speech is another. When an event is specifically chosen to incite violence and vitriol, that gets outside the confines of “free speech”. Whether it is the police (certainly not all), the Bastrop rednecks, the bully in your kid’s school, the bullies posting or demonstrating, or the Pamela Gellers of this world, this is dangerous behavior and people are getting hurt. Why should Ms. Geller get a pass on being complicit in the violent outcome to her event? She knew her audience and she got what she hoped for – attention to her “cause”.

  19. johngalt says:


    After admitting that looting and rioting were not the best ways to represent the community and to seek answers, protester Danielle Williams asked Roberts a question of her own.

    “My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear, and nobody heard us,” Williams said. “So now that we’ve burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us.

    “Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry?” she continued. “I mean, enough is enough. We’ve had too many lives lost at the hands of police officers. Enough is enough.”

    …Protests actually began in Baltimore the day before Gray’s death and continued for five days without violence. Over the weekend, some protesters clashed with police, although demonstrations remained largely nonviolent.

    Are we so tin-earred that we do not respond to anything that is not – literally – on fire?

    • flypusher says:

      “Are we so tin-earred that we do not respond to anything that is not – literally – on fire?”

      Having sampled a whole lot of internet commentary about this incident, and other police shootings (and making allowances for trolls, of course), I see a whole lot of people who just don’t want to consider that maybe sometimes the police are wrong, don’t tell the truth, and don’t always treat all citizens equally. They’ve never been on the receiving end of condescending/hostile treatment from law enforcement, and they can’t imagine why anyone would be unless of course they deserve it. Stuff on fire does get their attention, but only reinforces their biases. Stuff on fire works in the short term, but people lose in the long term. But I see how this could be a long, hot summer reminiscent of the late 60s, if police departments keep failing to get the hint here. The spotlight is on them, and anyone who continues with crap like rough rides, or planting tasers is an idiot. There are surveillance cameras and citizens with smart phones all over the place now. I feel that it’s now a civic duty to record any police civilian encounters if one can. The cop who shot Walter Scott probably gets away with it but for a brave citizen who came forward with that phone video.

      • GG says:

        I believe the police force needs to be cleaned up, Do more psych tests before hiring, provide a lot more training in cultural differences and reach out to communities. Seems as though too many have turned into bullies with guns and badges. I know a few cops who are good guys, and I’ve met a few who were swaggering assholes. Those are the ones who need to go. I think perhaps we need to take a look at the training of police in other countries.

        Also, the continued militarization of our police is out of control.

      • johngalt says:

        The police have a difficult and dangerous job, made more so by our society’s obsession with guns. They’re everywhere and an officer basically has to assume that every person he stops is armed. That would give me an itchy trigger finger. This did not exist 30 years ago. The guns are also more powerful, so the cops get into an arms race. There is also a long history of distrust between some police forces and minority residents that cannot be fixed overnight.

        The points you made are valid, GG, and better training would definitely help, but it won’t solve all of the underlying problems.

      • 1mime says:

        Body cameras would help – but, they have to be “on”. Some states are promoting bills that would ban video within a certain proximity to a crime scene. Appears phone video has been too effective in documenting police abuse.

        We can talk all day about abusive police tactics but remember: these officers are sadly representative of the social hate and fear in our country. If they grow up in households where people say and do the irrational things we write about here, why would anyone expect them to behave differently with a uniform, badge, taser, and gun?

        America is breeding an extreme, irrationally independent, militant, theocratic population. The Black community don’t have anyplace to hide and they certainly can’t call their lobbyists for help. They can’t run away from the problem that the rest of us hope we avoid in our WASP neighborhoods and schools.

      • flypusher says:

        If you’re the type of person who can’t deal with “contempt of cop” in a calm, nonviolent manner, I don’t want you carrying a badge and a gun. I personally think giving police attitude is a very stupid thing to do, but it in no way merits a violent response from police, such as what happened to Eric Garner. I suspect that’s how the Micheal Brown shooting escalated too.

      • GG says:

        Exactly, Fly, Just because someone gives lip to the cop that person does not merit being tased and beaten or, worst case, shot. If the office cannot handle a bit of mouthing off they shouldn’t not be in that profession. A female friend of mine ended being dragged out of her car and jailed because a cop approached her as she sat in a parking lot waiting to pick up a friend from work late one night. When he asked what she was doing, she asked him “Why? Is it illegal?” He went back to his car, then came back and opened her door and dragged her out and threw her on the ground causing some facial injuries. That is a thuggish cop.

        She’s all about her rights as a citizen. She was, btw, wearing a dress suit and heels, so it’s not like she looked like some crack whore.

      • flypusher says:

        Don’t leave us in suspense GG! Did your friend ever get any justice?

        Some right wing types would probably say “Well, she shouldn’t have mouthed off to that cop” (Although that sounds really, really mind on the mouthing off scale). Those sorts of attitudes enable bully cops.

      • GG says:

        Fly, she went to the hospital then called the station when she got out and spoke to internal affairs who said “we have all of it on tape”. She said “good, my attorney will be in touch”, I can’t remember what charge she was booked on but it was something ridiculous and sounded made up at the spur of the moment. They also covered her medical bills because her injuries were unwarranted and the behavior of the cop was totally uncalled for. I’m sure he’s still working though.

    • way2gosassy says:

      Sadly for a large portion of America I think that’s true. What really upsets me more than the the politicians making hay out of this sorry state of affairs is the part the media is playing in all of this. 24 hour coverage on every news channel and not a single one can seem to get the facts straight. It’s sensationalism or nothing and the truth be damned.

      If that isn’t bad enough then you get Paul Ryan making stupid statements like this, “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) asserted over the weekend that poor communities — like in Baltimore — were stuck in a “poverty trap” because lucrative welfare benefits did not encourage people to find jobs.” Then it gets better from there,

      This was left by a poster on this article and it reflects some of the issues Chris has talked about in the past.

      ” nosuchuser • 3 hours ago

      He is right to a point. Simply spending money on ‘welfare’ cannot and will not fix the problem in black communities. The root cause of the problem is that America is a white supremacists society and enforces white privilege. Blacks cannot improve their conditions because we (as a society) make damn sure that they can not.

      When I was a little squid in the Navy, I noticed that the greatest ambition of our black crew members was to own an impressive car. They appeared to be more than happy to live in a dump and have nice car. Naturally, I thought that they had misplaced priorities.

      Later I learned about ‘red lining’, ‘block busting’, and all of the rest. Only then did I realize my fundamental misunderstanding: that they (as American citizens) could not rent, or buy, any home that they could afford like I could.

      While I may have figured this out too late to understand my fellow shipmates plight. I am now committed to do whatever that I can to ensure that every, and all potential/future, citizens get their fair crack at the American dream. We as American Citizens are ALL entitled to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; I used to think that I could guarantee that by manning a destroyer; I now know that was a ‘down payment’ and the real fight is on.

      I will now fight with the book, the pen, and rhetoric instead of the main battery. When manned by a good crew a Destroyer is a fearsome weapon of war, but as President Eisenhower made clear, it (and her crew) can defend us but it cannot build. But a good pen, driven by a human mind, can.”

      • 1mime says:

        Great post, Sassy. Sometimes the “pen” is all one has; others may have more opportunities. Speaking out quietly with friends or family who make comments that open a door for a personal conversation – letting them know where you stand, and, why. Performing small acts of public kindness for the poor (not all of whom are black as we know), contributing to efforts like the one Chris is working. Working to improve local schools, volunteering in minority schools, supporting programs that help abused women and children…..there are many opportunities to “build” trust and understanding. For too long we have stood quietly by. Stop that.

      • 1mime says:

        Sassy, we have a tough road to travel in TX – on many fronts. There are so many inequities, not the least of which is a concerted, REAL effort to disenfranchise or discourage voting by making it harder, not easier.

  20. 1mime says:

    This effort sounds promising Lifer and worthy of your time. I can’t think of a better person than yourself to help guide reasonable, pragmatic planning. That said, I would hope it would have a “center” focus than “center-right”, keeping politics as subdued as possible even if difficult.

    In the 90s, I was fortunate to serve on a Bi-Racial Commission charged by our local school board with developing guidelines for changes to be presented to the federal courts overseeing our desegregation order. I may have spoken about this in one of my posts but wanted to mention it again because it was very successful in bringing a highly polarized school board and community and courts together.

    Here’s how it worked: A black board member, (there were only 2 on a 14 member board despite a 40% black student system), suggested a 14 member biracial commission with 7 black and 7 white members to help guide the Board towards development of a re-zoning plan, which all agreed was needed, but that was the extent of the agreement. These members were to be selected by respected groups in the community which would be agreed upon by the board, but independent in their nominations with no veto by the Board. I was chosen as one of the 7 White representatives. All of the nominating entities understood that this would NOT be a political group, rather, the goal was to learn about the needs and concerns of each party to the federal lawsuit. Thus, the goal was “pure” and the Commission members equally so. There was time spent trust-building, lots of general conversation and weekly meetings, but, on whole, it was an honest, one on one heart-felt exchanges with a common purpose: develop guidelines for a re-zoning appeal that would benefit all children in our parish, regardless of color or income. The right 14 members had been chosen. We spent about one year developing the guidelines and were fortunate to have an attorney (white/Democrat) who was very familiar with census data and walked us through that aspect of the issue. More important, however, was the honest collaborative effort. We were united in our commitment to demonstrate that black and white people could find common ground and could develop guidelines that would satisfy the federal court which was overseeing our desegregation order.
    Trust was critical and it was achieved.

    We developed the guidelines, the Federal Court approved our them as the basis for the re-zoning to be developed by the school board. That part, the political part, was not as smooth, but, in the end, our commission’s guidelines provided a template that the community at large bought into, the Board couldn’t ignore, and the federal judge advised that anything that didn’t follow these guidelines would result in non-approval.(and don’t come back to the courts anytime soon with another request) In the end, re-zoning happened, it was a tremendous improvement over the previous plan, and the Federal Court approved the plan. The federal judge let the members of the Bi-Racial Commission know that he felt our guidelines could serve school districts everywhere as a template for seeking changes. That was satisfying.

    The group you are joining will have a much larger mandate but at its core, it’s all about trust and people finding understanding and common purpose. I wish you the best and simply wanted you to know that this can succeed, if the right people participate and the process has integrity and honesty, which, with you on board, it will.

    Best of luck and keep us posted on the blog.

  21. fiftyohm says:

    Best of luck to you, Chris.

    Closely related was the lead on CNN this morning. Skip the video. The story is by a former Baltimore resident turned journalist. It’s telling.

    • 1mime says:

      Wonderful story, Fifty. And so very true. This CNN article article affirms a long history of disintegration of the traditional Black family that I have watched over time. The problem has grown worse and has been exacerbated by willful neglect and manipulation by “leaders” from within and without Black communities….mostly, around elections. Without a broad buy-in by leaders within the Black community, change will not happen. Without the support of the right kind of White people, change can not happen. The problem is so pervasive that it will take time, honesty, and deep commitment to restore hope and bring about meaningful change within the Black families and communities. The program Lifer is supporting has a real chance if the right people are leading the effort. It is going to take a lot of work. And, it’s worth it.

      Thanks for the super link.

    • blusky1 says:

      “She turned on her own people, calling us thugs,” a 16-year-old high school student named Malik said as he waited at a bus stop next to Mondawmin Mall, a flashpoint for the riots.
      The mayor called them thugs. The president called them thugs. Just a guess but Mr. Shields probably would have called them thugs too. Maybe if he was around Malik would know that having an underlying feeling of justification doesn’t make rioting/looting any less criminal and that being called out for it is no cause for indignation.

      • fiftyohm says:

        Y’know what? Mr. Shields probably would have. But had he and others like time been around, he wouldn’t have had to.

      • fiftyohm says:

        “…others like him…”. Sheesh. I hate typing on glass.

      • 1mime says:

        You could always go back to the manual typewriter, Fifty, if ya love to reeely feel the keys (-:

      • fiftyohm says:

        Sure – but how do I plug it in to this internet thingie here?

      • 1mime says:

        Hey, you’re the techie expert, not me!

    • way2gosassy says:

      Great piece 50 thanks for the link.

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