Anyone who has experienced childbirth can attest to this fact: no great change comes into the world without pain. From our earliest origins as a nation we have been torn by a fundamental contradiction between our ideals and our reality. With great pain, we are closing that gap, squaring that contradiction.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. Generations before us have borrowed pride from that lofty vision while falling short of its demands. After so many false starts, aspirations, partial payments, and bloodshed, we may be approaching a climax. Over the noise of shouting and gunfire and paid TV commentators, in quieter conversations happening all over the country in person and even in our much-reviled social media, we may be starting to understand one another.
Police represent us in a truer sense than any Congressman or Governor. While our political leaders describe our values in speeches and legislation, police officers express the reality of our values on the ground. When they murder innocent people, they do it in our name, on our moral ledger. When they are killed protecting us, we bear the moral cost of their sacrifice.
The highest of our collective failures, a cost that can never be repaid, is carried by the families and friends of the dead, blue or black. Our black citizens live every day with the worry that they might be next, that they might be asked to foot the bill for our unrealized vision. Our police and their families volunteer to carry the same burden on our behalf.
As we struggle to close that persistent gap between our self-evident truths and our persistent racial lies, police are absorbing friction from both sides. Police are the crucible for this climactic wave of change. That may be good news, because they have developed into one of our least-appreciated strengths as a culture.
Bigotry, racism, guns, fear, and hopelessness are boiling together into an ever more toxic brew. Police have been wrestling with these demons for decades. While high-profile incidents of violence have made them a symbol of our cultural failures, more quietly they have grown into one of our great cultural success stories. Just look at Dallas.
Progressive, intelligent, humane, a model of non-violence, the Dallas Police Department is among the most successful big city police in the country. In Dallas, a rally to protest police shootings that occurred elsewhere in the country was attended and aided by police. Then those protestors were defended by police as one of our other cultural symbols – the psycho mass shooter armed with an assault rifle – murdered officers. In Dallas, protestors and police have wept together. Dallas, of all places.
Our past few years have been defined by a series of pointless deaths and a political environment soaked in gonzo lunacy. We are an electorate struggling to find a common vision for our future. In public we are riven by paid cheerleaders for rage, yet quietly, on our neighborhood streets, hope is stronger than it has ever been.
Humane values are winning. Forget about the politicians and commentators. Look at what is happening on the ground. Look at Dallas, at both the bloodshed and the response.
A wider view shows the truer picture: this outpouring of hatred, fear, and outright lunacy is not our direction, it is a reaction to our direction. A world our ancestors dreamed of creating is being born around us in blood and pain.
This dramatic change is stirring latent poisons from our system, but we are growing stronger. Beneath the voices of outrage, new ties of understanding are being formed. Our best hope for the future is represented by the protestors and the police who were attacked in Dallas. They present a promising picture of a bright new era just coming into view.
We mourn officers killed while protecting others. We mourn civilians killed by police officers for their race. We learn to recognize that neither is an exception. Neither is an outlier. Both represent who we are as a people right now, in 2016. And we develop the determination to become better.
By finally wrestling with the dissonance between our vision and our present-day lives, we are becoming the Americans we always believed we could be. A nation in which “all lives matter” might soon cease to be an evasion and instead become an assumption. That America is within our reach.
We hold these truths to be self evident.
Forgive me if this has been posted before. But since it is from a reputable paper, I have to assume this is correct! Even in Florida, i know of no case of a blind person carrying a gun! But that could possibly be just an oversight of our bought and paid for legislature which they could correct easily:-))!
I can’t take credit for this, but it is funny.
“Black Lives Matter is racist like the American Cancer Society is pro-pneumonia”
We should change the name to the AMERICAN ILLNESS SOCIETY.
I take full credit for that one.
If to say that Black Lives Matter is racist, then being forced to say All Lives Matter is political correctness.
And here’s a quiet little fact that the gun lobby cannot bury despite their successful, shameful lobbying to suppress reporting of gun violence and gun purchasing records:
“late last year, researchers at Harvard and elsewhere discovered an alarming fact: Police officers are much more likely to be killed in the line of duty in states with high rates of gun ownership.”
If I were looking for a job in police work, I’d consider first those states with the lowest gun ownership so my chances of being killed would be reduced.
I think I would argue that “All lives matter” is almost the opposite of political correctness, but I do love the American Illness Society line.
Don’t think I follow you Houston. I see tutt’s point, though. A group has a phrase that angers another group and so it isn’t to be used but is to be replaced by a generic statement. Kinda like ‘happy holidays’ vs ‘merry christmas’ if you ask me. Pretty much definition of PC.
Rudy Guiliani “Black Lives matter is inherently racist.”
Great. Please Mr. Trump, make this delightful humanoid your running mate/vice-president. Think of the spectacle of such a duo, the amazing banter these guys would have on the campaign trail.
Trump: It is going be Beautiful, beautiful!
Guiliani: 911, 911. 911, 911. 911… 911.
Trump: It’s gonna be huge. HUUGE!
Guiliani: 911, 911. 911, 911. 911.
Trump: Get out. Get out, get out, get out!
There is a different HRC according to many colleagues than the villainous woman who inspires such hate on the right and confusion on the left. Ezra Klein seeks to find this “other” Hillary in a personal interview.
“Indictment or bust” – HRC should not receive security updates as a candidate for POTUS
Perjury Hunt – House Oversight Committee demands FBI Director examine HRC testimony before Congress
Boy is this going to be ugly. The veil has dropped. Pure, unadulterated hate on display.
Well, 1mime, they can’t argue the issues effectively, so keeping the Bengazi and e-mail pots boiling is all they have to keep their base motivated.
Another close encounter with seek-mental-health advice. Road not taken.
I haven’t had a chance to read about the mental illness angle. Did he at any time actually seek treatment?
No, but a leader of the new black panthers suggested he seek therapy.
That’s pretty amazing…….
RealClearPolitics lives up to its title today by tl:dr’ing basically 90% of the media over the last week.
Oh God is that John Hawkins of “Right Wing News” infamy? He’s basically another Ann Coulter wannabe shock jock but he’s very active in the far-right blogging community.
“It’s generally considered over-the-top to compare modern liberals with communists, but that’s because it’s painful to accept such a harsh truth about fellow Americans, not because they aren’t nearly identical.” – John Hawkins
“Most liberals aren’t patriotic and they don’t love their country.”
“The only practical way to make peace between the Israelis and Palestinians is for the Israelis to transfer the Palestinians and take their land.”
“If you have good character, you should feel ashamed of taking food stamps, taking welfare, or being on a school lunch program.”
For more hilarity: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/John_Hawkins
Didn’t bother reading the article and didn’t know John Hawkins, but one time I attempted to read through quite a few of the RationalWiki’s about right wing extremists and gave up because there’re too many of them. Hard to keep track, really.
From what I can tell they ended up having to split the categories into three areas for right-wing extremists: Libertarian wingnuttery (decentralized government), Conservative wingnuttery (federalist or unitarian government), and authoritarian wingnuttery (exactly what it describes). They’ve also done the same thing for far-left extremists. You could waste a lot of time skimming through it:
Radical Right/Far-right kooks:
Radical left/Far-left kooks:
And centrist kooks too:
Facing down a politically blistering fight over school funding, Kansas Republicans have pulled a real doozy out of their nonexistent hats and started referring to schools as “government schools” and that their children are at risk of becoming “government children”.
What “government children” means, exactly, I dunno, but you can be sure that it’s about the worst thing that you or I have ever seen.
If they fund them and make them the best schools in the country then I don’t care what they call them. Oh, we’re talking about Kansas. Never mind.
One thing that would help in these situations would be for the media to give as much attention to reasonable voices as they do the divisive, strident ones. Two organizers of the Dallas BLM march came out with statements condemning the shooting of the police officers on Friday, but the only place I saw mentioning this was TPM. Black Lives Matter also condemned the shooting on Twitter and on their website on Friday, but I didn’t see that either.
Whereas when someone like Guiliani or Drudge says something horrible, it’s everywhere.
Totally agree, MassDem. The media is complicit.
Here something that is baking my noodle, but I have discussed this subject many times in the past in a different context.
Apparently the shooter besides being trained in weapons, the art of warfare, having served in Afghanistan and having some of the attributes of a competent marksmanm there is one critical feature missing from media narratives regarding this atrocious incident in Dallas.
Instead (for obvious reasons) there is now talk of how…
“It is the BLM movement’s fault.”
“It’s the fault of black militants.”
“It’s Obama’s fault.”
“It’s Al Sharpton’s fault.”
“It’s the police’s fault”
“It’s the left’s fault.”
But what about the fact this man despite being forced out of the service due to allegations of sexual harassment (awful behavior to be sure) that there were interesting statements from the woman/victim in question.
She said she thought he really needed mental health help. You would think that someone like that would be completely hostile to her abuser. That a victim in that situation would not be remotely sympathetic to his plight or make the suggestion that cruelty or sexual desire may not be the sole reasons for such a person’s misbehavior.
But there it is.
Which makes me ask “How can someone with clear mental health issues… who is identified by peers as being someone with mental instability… leave military service with significant combat skills that enable them to kill many human beings efficiently…and easily acquire many powerful firearms… how does such a person leave service without getting sufficient mental health care (or evaluation) or the interest of law enforcement?
And shouldn’t a person accused of sexual harassment be considered too dangerous to have continued access to guns?
The suspect during his shooting spree apparently scribbled messages in blood. That sounds utterly insane to me. Think about how someone like that who had been observed as having disturbing behavior still managed to acquire things like a semi-automatic rifle.
Where is that discussion in the media on that? Why are people not chomping at the bit to investigate this further?
People need to discuss how a lack of mental health care inside and outside the military may have laid down the foundation for this suspect’s armed onslaught on a city.
I agree. But it gets complicated.
When the guy was in a military organization, it seems obvious he had some issues. Who is responsible for getting him to a mental health clinic? A friend? His CO?
Should his military outfit recommend he get on a watch list after he left the military? If so, whose watch list?
When is odd behavior merely non-conformist and when is it more than that? (I say this as an artist who frequently gets the stink eye from my home owners’ association.)
How do you choose?
Does it matter “who” chooses? Is the more important point that people who need help get help. It’s a huge problem in the military but it’s everywhere. It’s all wrapped up in each of us being uncomfortable in suggesting that someone has a problem and trying to get them help. Once they’ve crossed the line, like in Dallas, or in so many other recent cases, it’s too late. Why are we so afraid to reach out and help someone that we can see is in pain? To be sure, we have all had opportunities that we didn’t act upon and regret later.
In the reading I have done on the subject, the VA cannot meet the mental health demands that exist. Funding, staffing (funding), organization, it’s just not working well enough to meet the needs that are out there.
Sir Crow, I also was bothered by the fact that he was recently discharged and only 25. I haven’t seen the reports you referenced about his mental health problems, but when you think about it, how could anyone in their right mind selectively shoot to kill innocent people? I know psychopaths exist, but it seemed something else existed here.
It is pretty widely known that many soldiers have mental issues coming out of military service and are unable to get the help they need – even when they seek it through the VA. The suicide rate within our military forces – both active and those who have completed duty, is terribly high.
I’m glad you brought this forward because as a society, we need to look more deeply at motives, circumstances and needs when we think about causes of violence.
Of course it matters who chooses.
Seeking a mental health professional on one’s own is completely different than being directed to or forced to seek care.
The first is fairly private and the privacy is theoretically protected by HIPAA.
The second could being restricted from some professional licenses, maybe being added to a watch list, and has the potential to negatively impact one’s income, for starters.
Yes, I understand that, Bobo, but my larger point was simply that it happen – however it is possible and appropriate. Where compulsion is required, there should be a humane process for that; where it is a private, personal matter, family and friends can help. Just so long as the help is forthcoming, which often doesn’t happen. I understand and respect the differences you refer to.
Sir Magpie De Crow: “And shouldn’t a person accused of sexual harassment be considered too dangerous to have continued access to guns?”
I’m going to go with a hearty no here. I’m not a big fan of the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, but I’m less of a fan of curtailing the constitutional rights of folks who have not been convicted of things.
HT, I totally agree with you.
You ALL make good points. I especially agree with Bobo about the need for privacy with regards to mental illness, and about the dangers of labeling harmless eccentrics as mentally ill, and I agree with HT that, generally speaking, you shouldn’t restrict a person’s access to firearms based on an accusation; however, by law, a person formally accused of a felony is supposed to be denied access. I don’t know what the situation is in the case of military law.
I am not religious at all. Just throwing that out there. But Jesus H Christ! Just saw a picture that is to me the Mount Fuji of f**ked up responses to protesters by police.
from Baton Rouge:
If civilian law enforcement needs a regiment Stormtroopers from the film “Star Wars: The Force awakens” and two Robocops to arrest an unarmed, lightly dressed female in the following picture, they are doing it wrong.
This country got a lot of work to do in embracing actual sanity.
LA is pathetic….I hope this photo makes the first page across the world. Pitiful.
Mass Dem, yes, ma’am! We can’t really tell the media what to do, but we can reward it in ways it understands ($$$) for focusing on reasonable voices by clicking on those articles, by forwarding them by email, or posting the links on our social media pages, and in this way we can generate more attention for this type of article, and more articles of this type.
Reblogged this on CarolDuhart's Coffeehouse Podcast and commented:
Some essays speak for themselves…just read this..
Lifer’s concept of the pain of birth brings to my mind the idea that we must hit bottom in order to begin working our way back up, and I keep thinking of what Viking wrote, that this time is similar to the late 1960s, with its riots and assassinations, and that from that pain was born a more just society.
And all this makes me wonder if we still have farther down to go until we really hit rock bottom. I fear the worst may be yet to come. With emotions running so high (thanks to the “reviled social media”) I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that, God forbid, a public figure will be assassinated this year — President Obama, Mr. Trump, maybe even Mrs. Clinton.
And the worst thing I fear is that instead of uniting our country in grief, an assassination of this type will just result in smug declarations that the victim “deserved it” for being divisive, or for being part of the establishment, or for working to steal an election. We will continue to be divided.
My bad opinion of Mr. Trump has been duly noted many, many times here, but that should be the last thing anyone wants. For the sake of our republic.
Agreed. My point exactly.
And yes, I continue to blame social media. I know that it’s helpful because it shines light on ugly truths, brings injustice out into the open, and this isn’t about hiding our heads in the sand or sweeping things under the rug. I just think the constant back and forth on social media causes emotions to run abnormally high and encourages people to engage in destructive behavior, to do things they would not normally do. It adds fuel to the fire, fans the flames.
I know this is easier said than done, but the insanity needs to stop NOW.
Mime will dismiss this as unrealistic, but I think we should reach out to our neighbors, even if they are of the “opposing camp,” find some common ground, put out positive vibes in any way we can, because this negativity is eating us alive.
NO! That is not unrealistic. That is precisely where each of us can begin to make a difference. And, sometimes, the only way we can make a difference. Heart to heart is where we have to start.
But, there is more we can do. We can vote. We can help others register to vote and get to the polls. And, we can call our legislators, council men and women, and members of Congress – or their offices. If you’re not comfortable doing any of this, you can still reach out to your neighbor, your work associate, anyone who will listen.
Some compare and contrast, 1968 vs 2016:
Like Chris’ post, this interview is optimistic. We can choose our path.
And 1861 was the absolute worst.
I’m oddly optimistic. We can make our next actions just.
While not all elected officials (eg, Patrick) see this is a goal, I think most Americans do.
Justice for all.
My fear is that one half of the country would be grieving, and the other half celebrating.
If a public figure were to be assassinated.
I just read that the Dallas sniper wrote the initials RB in his own blood on a wall during the standoff.
I am wondering if RB stands for Red Blood, to say that all races share the same red blood, and if there is Black blood, there will be White blood, too. White blood for Black blood. An eye for an eye.
Just a theory.
Racial Bias? (RB)
Simple bias is too weak a concept in light of what he did.
No, no NO! These people are being just as bad as Dan Patrick:
‘One day after the Black Lives Matter march against police violence went more wrong than anyone could have imagined, members from the Dallas Action Coalition, one of the organizers, gathered at a lawyer friend’s office a few blocks from the crime scene to debate just what had happened.
The three group leaders who’d attended the rally were still wearing their “Dallas Action Coalition” T-shirts. They traded videos taken by friends, posted on Facebook. One depicted what looked to be man on the ground, not a sniper, shooting police officers. Another seemed to show the shooter was a white man. Someone heard that there were two black shooters dressed in Kevlar and they stole a police car and started shooting as they drove. And above all, everyone thought it was strange that absolutely no one had ever heard of the alleged shooter, Micah Johnson. All of the groups in the coalition spent much of Friday scrubbing videos looking for any sign of Johnson at the rally; some went so far as to speculate he was a police plant to gain sympathy just as their movement was gaining steam.
“How do we know he was targeting white cops? The only people who heard that was white cops. How do we know who he was or what color he was? He was blown up. There’s nothing left of him,” says La’Shadion Anthony, 29. “We don’t trust anything they say.” ‘
We don’t need loony conspiracy theories from anyone on either side. It’s very likely that this nutjob was not connected with your group. It’s just as likely that he wasn’t in cahoots with your opposition either. There’s going to be recordings of the negotiations with the SWAT team. Even though he was taken out by a bomb, there’s more than enough left for forensic science to ID him. Be patient and wait for the facts to come out. You are not helping your cause with the crazy talk.
I agree that we need to give the professionals time and space to pull all the information together, but do you think that these sorts of gatherings, even when they may be counterproductive, could be a plaintive cry to “do something”. There is no apparent public movement on addressing these problems. In the absence of appropriate leadership, people step up who may not be the best advocates for the cause, but whose frustration levels and need to help push them into roles for which they are not qualified.
What we need is for our legislators (local and state), members of Congress, members of the law enforcement community, religious leaders, chambers of commerce, members of the public – to do what they can – individually and collectively to make meaningful progress in the reduction of violence.
Moments of silence are becoming excuses and lord knows we don’t need any more of that.
I hope that our President will address the issue of everybody not jumping to conclusions when he comes back from his trip, but anybody who is involved in BLM is free to speak up right now. A statement from someone who’s in a leadership position, or even an active participant, is going to carry more weight than anonymous online comments. Not policing your extremes just gives ammo to your opposition’s extremes.
You mean comments like this, from this?
“So if you want to deal with this on the black side, you’ve got to teach your children to be respectful to the police, and you’ve got to teach your children that the real danger to them is not the police. The real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times,” is “other black kids who are going to kill them; that’s the way they’re gonna die,” Giuliani said. “Now on the white side, we have to understand whether we get it or not there’s an extraordinary fear of the police, and police have to institute a policy of zero tolerance like we did for crime in New York. Zero tolerance. No disrespect.”
They never tire of serving up that red herring, do they? Black on black crimes are a SEPARATE ISSUE from the failure to hold bad cops accountable. It is possible to be concerned about racial biases in some police actions AND also want to deal with the problem of young black men killing each other. In fact, if you law-and-order types would take some time to THINK about these issues instead of knee-jerking, you’d see that the fact that some citizens are AFRAID OF THE POLICE makes the problem of crime WORSE.
Also Mr. Giuliani, exactly what did Mr. Castile do wrong? From what I’ve heard so far, he wasn’t being disrespectful and he was following the officer’s orders.
“…it is the “war on crime itself that is most to blame. More than any other nation in the world, we turn to the state-sanctioned compulsion of the criminal justice system to “solve” social problems, including mental illness, drug addiction, poverty, homelessness, and lack of opportunity……We can’t seem to find the resources to invest in those neighborhoods to support adequate schools, job training programs, after-care for children let out of school before their parents come home, or economic development. ”
These costs are viewed as rewarding “slackers”….The old “chicken and the egg” scenario…Those ivory towers are still workin’ good for those who live in them….
OMG, I’m listening to Gen Flynn (a possible Trump VP pick) dodging questions about Trump’s fitness/ judgment in dealing with the racial tensions/ police-community convicts. He’s talking about cooler heads prevailing but he’s backing Trump???????? He’s talking about intellect and voting for leadership, but he’s backing Trump??????
And he just declared himself to be pro-choice! He’s probably out of the running now!
Conflicts, conflicts $&@# autocorrect.
College-Educated White People Put Hole In Trump Coalition
“I’m not a real fan of Hillary,” Melton says from her office in Atlanta. “But I think it would just be awful to have Donald Trump.” She adds: “I cannot in good conscience let that happen.”
That nicely sums it up. Even the reluctant HRC supporters can cite reasons in her favor: experience, temperament, etc. But I have yet to see any Trump supporter successfully explain away his thin skin, his failure to stay on top of current events, his extreme flip-flopping, his lack of substance and detail on his policies.
I haven’t met anyone that will admit they are voting for him.
Right On, do you think these same college-educated folks know what is happening to our core institutions? I know most don’t pay attention to the details of the budget process, but it’s all there – all in the name of a “balanced” budget….meanwhile, forcing the navy to buy a $400+million ship they DON”T want…when critical program budgets are being cut? It’s shocking, really, and I think the magnitude of the cuts will surprise even those here who pay attention.
Nah, he’s safe. Doonesbury’s got it all figured out in today’s cartoon/satire. When you’ve been both for and against every major policy, how could you possibly hold your running mate to a fixed standard?
The Black Lives Matter movement’s response to unjustified police shootings is understandable and reasonable.
But the deeper question is: Why are cops so trigger-happy? The answer is fear.
Every time cops approach a stopped vehicle or answer a domestic disturbance call they are risking death because in this country, any moron cops encounter — often impaired by drugs or alcohol — might be carrying a legally purchased gun.
Cops are afraid of the citizens they are supposed to be protecting.
“Thoughts and prayers” will do nothing. A radical, absolutist, re-interpretation of the 2nd Amendment has only made the situation worse. Until we reform our fundamental approach to firearms in this country — as Australia did — the body count will only continue to increase.
I’m personally tired of the “Moment of Silence” in congress when tragic events like this happen. If we don’t put pressure on our law makers to get gun control passed this shit is gonna become the norm. I say that as a gun owner that has one of the first CHL in the state. I like my guns as well as any other owner but this BS from the gun nutters and NRA is just plain stupid.
I hope Democrats respond every time there are any deaths due to violence. Let Republican members of Congress invoke a “moment of silence”. Democrats should stand and turn their backs to the hypocrisy of the empty gesture by a party which is condoning violence by their refusal to take meaningful action.
Chris – the clarity by which you see and describe the current state of the union is stuffing. I appreciate the vision and the positive spin. We need more of that and I would hope that your thinking and writing spreads more broadly. In this context here is an article from the Atlantic that I think is a great fit: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/black-police-chief-on-the-dallas-attacks/490496
I read that the peaceful march in Baton Rouge encountered problems….many arrests. The arrests occurred while Black people were walking on the shoulder of the road outside the driving lane line (there were no sidewalks) when the arrests started. Here’s what happened,
What is striking is the different way local police forces handle situations like this. Some would call this “protection” others would call it intimidation. You decide.
Here is more on the Baton Rouge peaceful march from the local newspaper, The Morning Advocate, where at least 34 were arrested, including prominent BLM leader, Deray Mckesson.
I remember hurricane Katrina. You had a republican adminstration nationally and state democratic administration who were inept at rendering relief to New Orlean or evacuating people at risk . A military who rescued many black people who was mainly white. A mix of good and bad. People are like that , complicated. Most of the time all you need is to sit down and talk to de-fused conflicts. When you talk to that scary (white, black, hispanic, etc) dude you find out they are just like you with the same needs, fears and empathy is not that hard.
I wrote this yesterday in regard to a police shooting of a black motorist…
“Getting back to one of the most recent police shootings of a black motorist… Been reading the details and it is beyond awful. It should give people of color who legally own weapons pause (and probably sleepless nights).”
“The NRA will almost certainly not come to your rescue or be your (posthumous) advocate.”
“Philando Castile, 32, was shot to death in his car during a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight in Minnesota. Castile’s fiance Diamond Reynolds and her 4-year old daughter were in the car. Sterling had a gun in his pocket, but he never grabbed it when he was confronted by police officers. Castile told the officer who pulled him over that he was armed and had a concealed carry permit, and as he reached for his wallet to get his licence the officer shot him 4 times. Castile’s girlfriend then live streamed the aftermath on Facebook, with Castile bleeding to death on camera as the officer kept his gun pointed at him. Castile was a school nutrition services supervisor who was popular among his colleagues and students, according to his employer. He had no criminal record.”
Notice the line “The NRA will almost certainly not come to your rescue or be your (posthumous) advocate.”
Well check out this story from today, because I’m thinking now maybe I’m some sort of prophet.
“The NRA’s internal revolt over Philando Castile”
“After a white Minnesota police officer fatally shot a black man on Wednesday, gun control advocates weren’t the only ones criticizing the National Rifle Association. Some of the blowback was coming from within the organization.”
“The NRA is facing internal division as its members argue that the group did not do enough to defend gun owners’ rights by speaking out on behalf of Philando Castile of Falcon Heights, Minn., who was shot to death during a traffic stop.”
“Castile had a valid permit to carry a gun. He also reportedly informed the officer who shot him that he was armed in an attempt to head off a misunderstanding.”
So now I have come to a logical conclusion that I think posters like Tracy Thorleifson need to hear.
The so-called second amendment movement and the NRA (who clearly have decisive control over gun control legislation) are full of sh*t. The really stinky kind.
They now seem almost entirely comfortable with the right of white gun owners to kill nefarious negroes regardless of their complicity in criminality (or lack thereof in the case of Travon Martin) but are perfectly fine in letting some of their legit gun carrying brothers die simply because their ethnicity spooks police officers…
Like the kind of police officers who begin to sweat when someone black flinches funny.
Expectation of ideological consistency from the NRA (whose leaders include Ted Nugent of all people) is truly a fool’s errand.
Here is the link:
Here is another look at the dilemma the N.R.A. has created for itself. It is readily apparent that this organization is concerned about gun rights of white people only. I assume few Black people are N.R.A. members, come to think of it.
I’ve seen some comments from people who say they’re quitting the NRA over this. It will be interesting to see how many do end up breaking ranks. This is where we see what the organization is truly made of. Either you are for every law-abiding citizen’s 2nd Amendment rights, or you are not.
The NRA is reputed to have between 3-5 million members. Why are they so powerful when they represent such a small minority of America’s population. Within the NRA ranks, many do not share the leadership’s harsh and obstructive positions to reasonable gun regulations and laws. They need to speak up and/or drop out. I hope it happens.
“The NRA is reputed to have between 3-5 million members. Why are they so powerful when they represent such a small minority of America’s population.”
I speculate because probably just about all those members actually vote, along with a lot of non-members who are afraid of their guns being confiscated. They are also, very, very good at their lobbying and advertising.
Rhetorical question, Fly….also, one of wonderment that the other 320 million allow such a minuscule number of people with such narrow views to dominate national opinion.
Here is John Oliver on the NRA! As he points out, the gun fanatics are very vocal. i always wondered how Prohabition passed when so many politicians drank. They, a minority, accomplished this the same way the NRA gets what they want. Focused, one issue voting. And all the big gun manufacturers give very large amounts of money, in the $1,000,000 range apiece, to the NRA to keep the policies unchanged.
None of this will change until our politicians grow a pair.
And what does anyone think of the chances of that happening?
Don’t ask our politicians to grow a pair when voters who vastly outnumber both those in elected office and the NRA membership don’t vote and don’t call them to let them know how the majority of the other 320 million Americans feel on this issue.
Have you noticed the dearth of commentary from NRA supporters in the wake (pun intended) of the shootings this week? Is it that their position is utterly defenseless and hypocritical? The 2nd amendment only applies to white gun owners, or could it be they ashamed that they are part of the problem. That is a statement, not a question.
Yep, the NRA always becomes very quiet after these incidents. The Dallas shootings were perhaps the ultimate refutation of the “good guy with a gun” premise. The police force was ultimately forced to kill the sniper with a bomb delivered by a robot.
“The Dallas shootings were perhaps the ultimate refutation of the “good guy with a gun” premise. ”
There was also the matter of the guy who was legally open-carrying a weapon, and his picture got posted as a possible suspect. Fortunately that mistake got corrected before he could get hurt, but I heard in an interview that there are idiots making death threats against him. I don’t fault the police for initially posting the picture, as you’ve got hell breaking loose, and you are still trying to figure out exactly what you are up against. I do fault all the people who jump to conclusions and don’t keep up with the follow up information.
All parents and wives and children cry when their fathers, brothers, and friends are shot and killed. It doesn’t matter what race they are. Why is it so difficult to grasp that loss of a loved one is just as painful for Black people as for White people. That is why video is so crucial to share the pain and sorrow and graphic details. To make death real.
I like articles that simply make me want to think and reflect, to let it sink in, without feeling the need to analyse and expound upon it, to add to it, to comment on it. Today’s blog entry is that sort of article.
Lifer has written an inspiring post on what “can be” if we work together to reduce violence. We need to hear these positive thoughts to dispel concern and fear. At the same time, the situation at hand is very tough, and we cannot ignore reality even as we work to change it to something better.
Here are three pieces from The New Yorker that speak to the frailty of our peace, the futility experienced by those to whom we entrust it, and the danger America faces in our 2016 presidential election. Note the reference to a PBS/Frontline Documentary that the author, David Remnick, highly recommends: “Policing the Police”.
“Few spectacles in American life seem darker or more futile than that of the President stepping forward yet again to ask for sane legislation on gun control, for reform in police behavior and training, for greater awareness of the racial disparities that characterize the United States in 2016, and, above all, for empathy: with officers of the law, who face danger every day in their jobs; with people of color, whose lives are, for all the reasons we know, more endangered than white Americans when they walk the streets or get behind the wheel of a car.” (Remnick)
The second article deals with the danger of massive numbers of guns in America.
And, finally, how we handle tragedy – our words, our actions, our choices.
Here’s a website the breaks down policy proposals to reduce police violence on the local, state, and federal level, includes links to contact your own representatives at that level, and provides some amount of written policy to offer.
What I like about it is even if you don’t agree with every policy proposal, you still can ask for the ones you do agree with, or look for ideas for others.
Excellent list, Formdib.
The atmosphere in the country today reminds me of the 1960s when Watts, Newark, Cleveland and other cities exploded with racial violence. As tragic as those events were with the loss of life and property damage, they generated societal progress.
From all quarters of our country black and white Americans began talking to each other. Doors formerly closed to African Americans were opened and they suddenly began to appear, in significant numbers, as reporters in media, students at highly selective colleges, appointees in local, state and national government and in commercials, etc.
How sad that it took massive upheaval and loss of human life to open ears and mouths to that healing conversation. Have we come again to such a time?
Viking…I don’t think we are there yet with what we saw in the 60s.
Honest to god riots in the streets of major cities…at least no yet.
We don’t yet have fire hoses and dogs going at protesters.
Actually, I think this week’s protests across America have been very restrained. There will always be outliers but the hundreds and thousands of people marching peacefully have been impressive – both in numbers and in temperament. I have to assume that there is some organizational impetus but the message was more profound given its quiet nature. MLK would have been sad for the reason, but proud of the participants.
I don’t want to return to the 60s environment and I don’t think society would welcome it either.
I agree that over time we will get to a better place, but I think there is going to be a very difficult road ahead in the near future–too much wanting to divide and dig in for your side, not enough searching for reasonable solutions. At least based by what I see in the media right now.
One of the things that strikes me is that the DPD demonstrated that a good way to prevent additional deaths of their officers was to sent in an armed robot to take out the sniper. I think they were entirely justified in this situation, but it opens a very scary door. How likely is it that police departments will consider using drones to either gather information or even in a situation requiring the use of deadly force? This practice could protect officers to be sure, but at what price?
An “eye in the sky”concept using miniscule drones and robotic bombs? If it saves lives and follows legal protocol protections, why wouldn’t this be more desirable than sending in live officers? After all, the police talked for hours with the Dallas shooter (just as they did with the Orlando shooter), and gave him numerous opportunities to stop shooting and come out under protection. Both refused.
I don’t have any problem whatsoever with what the DPD did to protect their officers or how they went about it. Going forward though, I wonder how widespread the use of drones could become, and what restrictions would be placed on their use. Very tempting technology if it spares the lives of officers, but not without its downsides. .
As far the use of drones, I think they’re going to become a very commonplace thing in the not too distant future. You already hear about Amazon wanting to use them to deliver products within the span of a few hours and how police are already using them, of course. Someday you may see an ordinary citizen being able to buy one on the cheap for any number of things.
I’m not afraid of the difficult road, rather I embrace it and even relish in the thought of overcoming it. Bloodshed and pain are as much an unwanted friend in that journey as anything else.
Lifer…I hope you are right, but the Lt. Governor over the good folks of Dallas went full-stupid and called the protesters hypocrites for wanting police protection from gunfire. The man in the second highest, and in some ways most powerful, position in the State government is fanning the flames of divisiveness.
I hope you are right. People seem not be believe you can be pro-BLM, pro-police, but against folks being shot for relatively little reason.
I hope you are right. We have a cop here on this board that believes the guy in Minnesota would be equally likely to get shot if he were White. There are just too many folks in the world who will bend over backwards and try to explain away every possible racist event, as though African Americans are making all this shit up.
I hope you are right. It is “Donut Saturday” in my house, and we were passed by a cop as the boys and I walked to get donuts this morning. I nodded and the boys waved to the cop car, and I was thinking that at no point did a middle-aged White dude walking down the side of the street even have a fleeting thought of “oh crap, it’s a cop” – not even a thought that enters my worldview. I wonder how many African Americans would have that thought, “oh crap, it’s a cop” because they themselves or someone they know, got hassled simply for walking down the street.
I hope you are right. I believe the, “Obama is the most racially divisive President in memory” and “race relations are worse under Obama” are the idiotic reactions to progress. Maybe all these things are the last throes of desperation and anger before we get to a more unified place.
I hope you are right.
This article by David French of The National Review (a conservative site) offers a different retrospective of the week’s events. I agree with many of his points and not at all with others. But, what really was mind-blowing were the comments….I stopped about ten into the over 2050 listed. I couldn’t take it anymore. We (liberals and conservatives) really, really do live in alternate universes.
I made it a bit further through the comments. They absolutely reinforce the author’s point. To them it’s all the fault of the leftys/socialists/commies/Alinsky disciples. And of course, President Obama. Their side, they are the true American patriots, with all the right values. I doubt they will ever engage in the self-reflection the article calls for. The best the rest of us can hope is to move forward and just leave these people behind.
Here’s just part of one of the screeds that caught my attention:
“White guilt. The most powerful political and cultural force in the universe. Evidence:
BLM: it’s why so many of us actually believe there is some kind of institutionalized white racism that accounts for the shooting deaths of a handful of black males, despite all the statistical evidence that 1) more whites are shot by police than blacks, 2) blacks commit significantly more crimes than whites, 3) cops are in black neighborhoods far more often because this is where most of the crime is happening, obviously increasing the odds of deadly encounters, 4) a lot of young black males have so obviously embraced a gangsta hip hop mentality, making them a threat to each other and everyone else, where 5) black on black crime is by far the more significant cause of death among blacks than police, or whites, or white police.
Hip hop: it’s why we’ve all looked the other way while this vulgar and violent subculture has become mainstream culture; we are simply too afraid to criticize anything black no matter how horrible or ignorant.
Hollywood and advertising: it’s why we don’t flinch when we see so many black faces all out of proportion to their representation in society in films, media, and advertising…and why we pretend to think it’s just fine as all the white male leads are replaced by black males (paired so often with white females- an obvious message about the deliberate demotion of the white male)…………..”
Lots of stereotypes and selective statistics (without any actual numbers), as is common. According to this person, Black people are just taking over everything and White people are allowing it because of guilt. Can’t differentiate between the unrelated actions of individual criminals (the familiar “Black on Black crime” red herring) and holding police who abuse their power accountable. Freaks out over Black people getting more screen time, with the very unsubtle “Black men are out to steal all the White women” scaremongering. I don’t know what TV shows/ movies this paranoid person partakes of, but I see no shortage of White people at all. There’s also no shortage of White people in elected offices and corporate boardrooms and all the other places where the real power is. Methinks if you actually do the math you’ll find that the out of proportion still skews towards the White side. The anti-hiphop rant is very narrow-minded to those of us who read Chris’ post in honor of the late Merle Haggard. I choose not to feel threatened by the fact that non-White people are getting a few more crumbs. I am not embarrassed by the fact that I am White, but neither am I proud of it. It was the way I was born, just like I was born female, and born straight. I’ll be proud of the things I work to achieve. I’ll be embarrassed if I break Wheaton’s law. IOW, the things I choose to do or not do.
I dug a little deeper into the comments, too. It was a real slog. Very discouraging.
My real life experience is a little different. When I talk with conservatives at work or socially, for example, I’ve often found they express surprise that we can find any areas of agreement at all.
And when we discuss solutions to particular problems and find some agreement there, too, they’re pretty sure the situation is unique.
To my mind, the comments section points out the dangers of listening to and seeking only views similar to one’s own.
Personally, I would also vote for re-instating the fairness doctrine. Radio and television stations licensed to use a segment of the nation’s bandwidth have an obligation to provide op eds opportunities to the content they produce.
In my distant past, I heard reasonable sounding radio broadcasts one day only to hear a mind expanding response on the same radio station the next day. It was a good thing.
Media control of messaging is a critical part of the strategy of controlling what people hear and think. Personally, I listen to NPR exclusively on the radio so I don’t have that problem, but we know how many people tune in to a partisan station and never seek an alternative viewpoint. Same with television, of course.