Posts Tagged ‘violence’

bleedsA couple of teenaged girls got into a fight in Georgia. A bunch of other kids got involved, and a boy ended up dying from being stabbed in the neck.

Watching the morning news, I get to see the poor young man running while holding his neck, his hands red from his own blood. I wondered for a moment why I was seeing this. I mean, I know the old news adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” But I didn’t think it meant on my TV screen.

Then I remembered: because it’s available via someone’s cellphone camera. If CBS News wasn’t showing it, someone else surely was.

Still, I’m distressed having seen the various deaths of people, in these instances at the hands of police officers: the choking death of Eric Gardner in Staten Island and the shooting death of Walter Scott. Also, the shooting death of Laquan McDonald was provided from police dash-cam, after being suppressed for over a year.

Have we become inured to the deaths of real people when they’re shown on television these days? I’m pleased to note that I’m still horrified. The line of what’s appropriate to be broadcast on network and cable news has obviously shifted. Obviously, I am woefully behind the times.

On The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore in late March 2016, one of the correspondents, Ricky Velez, suggested that old-line media we don’t need anymore because it’s too slow. “They need three sources to verify a story.” No wonder TMZ breaks so many stories, often correctly, but sometimes not. A guest on that episode of the Wilmore show, an Internet celebrity I had never heard of, said she checks Twitter first for her news.

I think there’s still a place for “conventional” news where the news isn’t determined by what’s “trending,” but what is important to know. I’m not sure how much cinema verite is required, though.

Image from here

toon refugee.santaWeekly Sift explains the US polarized body politic: Small-government Freedom vs. Big-government Rights. Plus the Yearly Sift.

New York Times: For the Wealthiest, a Private Tax System That Saves Them Billions.

Deadliest U.S. mass shootings | 1984-2015.

Short video: A Conversation With Police on Race. Also, Ferguson cop says life is ‘ruined’ after pointing AR-15 at journalists.

No Charges in the Murder of Tamir Rice and Why white people see black boys like him as older, bigger and guiltier than they really are.

A girl narrates a letter to her dad as she grows up, and it makes rape culture obvious.

Shooting Parrots is blogging again! Read the rest of this entry »

DisputationHere’s something I’ve only known about for a few weeks.

“The Disputation of Barcelona (July 20–24, 1263) was a formal ordered medieval debate between representatives of Christianity and Judaism regarding whether or not Jesus was the Messiah.” Apparently, these disputations, over matters of faith, and other important topics, took place from time to time.

“Martin Luther opened the Protestant Reformation by demanding a disputation upon his 95 theses, 31 October 1517. Although presented as a call to an ordinary scholastic dispute, the oral debate never occurred.”

The Barcelona disputation “was held at the royal palace of King James I of Aragon Read the rest of this entry »

Charleston.victims
Once and future blogger New York Erratic asked a timely question:

Was the attack at the South Carolina church terrorism?

OK, I guess I should answer that. But I have to work through the whole incident, because, save for the school shootings in Newtown, CT in December 2012, the story of nine people murdered in their CHURCH for being BLACK has overwhelmed me more than any other story not involving me personally in over a decade.

Actually, I tried greatly not to write about it at all, but here’s the thing Read the rest of this entry »

purplemapJaquandor asks:

How do we solve the police brutality problem? To what extent is it a part of a larger problem with our society, indicating a deep and abiding devotion to punitive violence? I see police brutality as another facet of the problem that leads to our awful prisons and our enormous prison population.

First, I need to note the killing of two New York City police officers on December 20. It was correctly described as an assassination, and I mourn their deaths.

At the same time, I believe the remarks of Rudy Guiliani, blaming their deaths on President Obama as amazingly irresponsible, as well as untrue. The problem of excessive force by the police exists in a small, but significant number of cases. And it’s not “anti-police” when New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, who is white but married to a black woman, instructs his children, and especially his son with the great ‘fro, in specific ways to cautiously and politely deal with the police.

Others, including former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who had some legal problems of his own a while back, suggested that the shootings were ultimately encouraged by de Blasio and the Rev. Al Sharpton, and that “they have blood on their hands.” He told Newsmax: “The people who encouraged these protests — you had peaceful protesters who were screaming ‘kill the cops’ — the so-called peaceful protesters. Who was encouraging these protesters? De Blasio, Sharpton and other elected officials and community leaders. They encouraged this mentality. They encouraged this behavior.”

Anyone who has ever been to a protest – I have attended more than a few in my time – knows that there are occasionally outliers at these events, people whose positions don’t jibe with the organizers’ intents. So would it be better that such Constitutionally-protected demonstrations be quashed?

That, BTW, was what the Tea Party folks said when a couple people killed two Las Vegas police officers in June 2014, that those cop killers, who had rallied with Cliven Bundy, along with people who POINTED GUNS at law enforcement officials, did not represent the movement.

Jon Stewart got it right when he said one can grieve the loss AND worry about the police overreach; they are NOT mutually exclusive.

To the question: I should note that not all the excessive violence is directed toward young black males. For instance, TX SWAT team beats, deafens nude man in his own home, lies about arrest; judge declines to punish cops or DA. There seems to be a need by some police to quash all possibly illicit behavior. If Eric Garner WERE selling individual cigarettes in Staten Island, it certainly wasn’t a felony.

I’m not sure of the cause of ALL the violence. I once posited on someone’s website the theory that these first person shooter games might have some effect on the cognitive understanding of life for some people, but was told by gaming experts that there’s “no relationship.” Maybe, maybe not. I’ve wondered about this at least since Vietnam, when one could drop the precision bombs without having any discernible understanding. And now war can really tidy, with people in the middle of the US dropping bombs on people half a world away; looks very much like a video game to me.

I AM convinced that the tremendous rise in the prison population, mostly for non-violent drug use, which I wrote about extensively, is a major contributor. Prison is, I’ve been told, a great school for becoming a better criminal.

Surely the militarism of the police, with all that post-9/11 money doled about by the federal government has led to a war zone mentality. But even in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military had a plan of engaging with the communities, whereas in the urban centers of the US, some of the residents feel like the police are an occupying force.

Maybe all the things that keep us disconnected from our surroundings – surburbia, synthetic food, our personal electronic devices, the bile that comes from commenting anonymously on social media – matter. SOMETHING is fueling a general rage – road rage, online rage.

Bottom line, though: the anger in the community is not just that there are excessive uses of force. The problem is that there appears to be lack of accountability for the actions. I’ve heard the body cameras for police will be a solution. But there WAS footage of Eric Garner dying. Police video would have not likely change the “no indictment” outcome. Did you see that the Ferguson prosecutor allowed witnesses that were “clearly not telling the truth” to the grand jury?

It may be that guns make police less safe, their jobs more difficult and communities less trusting. Or maybe it’s just the human condition.

This is a long way of saying, “Makes me wanna holler, throw up both my hands.”

Uthaclena wonders:

Okay, here’s one of my ponders: can the United States survive as a united entity? SHOULD it be a united entity, or would it be better off broken up so that the racist, theocratic barbarians can abuse themselves and leave the rest of us alone?

There are lots of precedents in the 20th century suggesting that this is a terrible idea. The creation of the state of Israel did not lead to peace in the Middle East. I learned from watching the Sanjay Gupta episode of the PBS series Finding Your Roots Read the rest of this entry »

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