Katherine Bigelow’s “DETROIT” is terror porn; devoid of resistance and hope


As one fellow movie goer said I feel violated, and that about sums it up. If you relish seeing Black people getting their behinds kicked and terrorized and murdered, if Black pain, Black helplessness and Black victimization (minus resistance)  turns you on, then this is the film for you.

On the other hand, the film shows that police violence  and oppression has been with us for quite some time and it brings to the fore one of the more beastly chapters in that history.

However, the film’s interpretation of the events at the Algiers Hotel during the 1967 Detroit riot undercuts why the rebellion occurred.  It wasn’t because of a few bad cops but because of an entirely oppressive police force and oppressive and racist and discriminatory power structure that caused Black Detroit to explode.

Black Detroit existed in a kind of caste society.  They faced injustice and discrimination in every aspect of their lives: from limited housing opportunities to inadequate and overpriced housing, underfunded and inadequate schools; the inability to obtain bank  loans; job discrimination; White privilege on the shop floor; two tiered wage structures;  over-inflated prices for goods and services; higher prices for poorer quality and on and on.

Director Katherine Bigelow’s slice of the Detroit riots is nothing more than a horror film, terror porn, posing as thoughtful art. But Bigelow is not known for thoughtful art, she produced the US propaganda film “Zero Dark Thirty” that sought to rationalize and justify US torture while  portraying  Muslims as violent.

We are treated to one horror scene after another, no doubt police violence and this instance was especially horrific. But it was over the top, starting with a little Black girl being machined gun after being mistaken for a sniper.  We witness a cop shooting a Black man  in the back who was running from him. There was one brutal scene after another. The film held us down and rubbed our noses in the carnage.

According to interviews Bigelow made this film to wake up White people? “I always feel that the purpose of art is to agitate for change, but you can’t change anything if you’re not aware of it,” she said in a Variety interview.

Bigelow’s statement is problematic on a few levels.  First she fails to show folks advocating for themselves and she doesn’t understand her fellow White folks they are more than aware of police violence against their fellow citizens, but they have been programmed to not put themselves in the shoes of their fellow citizens which at bottom is what empathy requires .Unfortunately some  White people have made it clear by their inaction and apathy that they are quite comfortable with and un-empathetic to  Black people’s pain.

“My hope is that a dialogue comes out of this film that can begin to humanize a situation that often feels very abstract.”

Bigelow reveals her class setting and her proximity to the oppressors, because oppressed folks don’t want to talk about oppression, they want it ended. But the comfortable can afford to dialogue and experiment .

The most dignified moment of the movie occurred when Anthony Mackie’s character take a beating with guts.” I see what you are doing but I am not going to go along with it,” he told his tormentors.

Some reviewers noted that they witnessed redemption in the film, but there is little redeeming or liberating about this film. It portrays Black folks as victims throughout having little to no ability to do anything about the situation in which they find themselves. The White people are doing most of the acting and Blacks are reacting.

White folks are multi –dimensional in the film. There are the bad racist White cops, the Michigan State Police who recognize a wrong is being done and leaves, the National Guardsman who helps one of the Black teens and the White girls involved escape. There are sympathetic cops like the Internal Affairs folks. There is a nice White male cop who wonders aloud who could do this to someone.

Some reviewers reveal just how far they have not advanced when it comes to understanding Black folks one noted  that Motown’s giving the Dramatics a record contract after all the carnage was a form of redemption. Really allowing a few musicians to prosper, atoned and covers  for all the brutalization and oppression  Black Detroiters faced?

Worse yet the film ends with one of the survivors and original members of the Dramatics who drops out of the group because he is traumatized by his experience, singing James Cleveland’s version of “Peace Be Still.” Is the screenwriter Mark Boal, implying that Jesus is sleep as well?  “Carest thou not that we perish” the song asks.

And Micheal Eric Dyson consulted on this film which he is on record praising which raises questions. Was he paid off; has he sold out;  or is he not as “Woke” as he would have folks to believe?

Despite the good intentions of the White liberal screenwriter and director, the likely unintentional psychological message is, this is the way it is and nothing can be done about police violence or the system that requires it. In other words resistance is futile, abandon all hope. White folks have power (the White Power Structure even more powerful) they have will, and  they have agency. Black people while proving that they can  take a beating  well they got music and Jesus…..

justice then peace

The Colin Kaepernick dilemna: the NFL really is a plantation

kaepernick quote

The Colin Kaepernick situation reveals all you need to know about US Big Business and its most popular non-profit the National Football League. Kaepernick remains unsigned because he stood up against racism and police violence, both of which are important to the rich and powerful in maintaining their hold on US society.
The NFL owners are hypocrites. What does the flag and the national anthem have to do with professional football? Not a thing the pageantry is about getting fans to tie country and sports together in a way that guarantees people will be interested in making it the American past time. When owners introduced the flag and the national anthem they introduced politics into the game.
But who can fault the owners for protecting their interests? The police serve and protect them as members of the privileged class; not White folks in general but specifically, The White Power Structure. The police don’t protect ordinary White folks no matter how much some folks want to believe that lie. The statistics reveal police kill White people as well even unarmed minding their own business working class White folks. But they don’t kill and or brutalize RICH White folks, the one percenters and those in range of it.
Anti racist activists could take a page from the NFL. Instead of taking to social media and incessantly talking about how much they don’t want to deal with Kaepernick, rather they took action. They have “apparently” banned Kap while sending a clear message to the other well-paid serfs in their employ.
Incidentally, Baltimore Ravens owner took a page out of the old plantation owners playbook when he used his BOY former Ravens linebacking great Ray Lewis to pass along the message that if Kaepernick doesn’t behave and become more docile like the other serfs there will be dire consequences. The buck- dancing know nothing Lewis, immediately took to social media and encouraged Kaperneck (who he calls his friend) to dance to massa’s tune so he can play. Lewis was on camera telling the quarterback to stop doing what he is doing while all the while saying he has his back. Lewis says, “he has learned from his mistakes” and hasn’t repeated them twice, as if to say Kaepernick’s protest was a mistake.
Imagine that standing up for the rights of Black people in a very public forum is now categorized as a mistake. Lawd look how far Black people have come.
Incredibly former Black NFLers who should remain quiet are volunteering their two cents, more like half cents. The man who would-be quarterback, former Pittsburgh Steeler Kordell Stewart is telling the quarterback to be quiet. Somebody should tell him that he doesn’t have to shuffle his feet anymore, he isn’t in the league anymore. I wonder if he wanted folks to be quiet when it was clear the Steelers didn’t trust his Black self to run its offense?
And poor Mike Vick suggested that Kap should cut his hair. Vick doesn’t realize that the White folks who love their animals more than even people, (well at least Black people) are never going to forgive him no matter who he tries to throw under the bus.
Jerry Rice chimed in chastising Kap for supposedly disrespecting the flag. Rice likely had problems with the fact that Kap unlike him cares about things other than himself unlike JERRY.
It’s likely Lewis, Vick and the others have no idea that historically Black people used sports as a platform to advance racial justice in this country. They likely don’t know that athletes like Jim Brown never hesitated to tell the truth about US society. They probably aren’t aware that Muhammad Ali sacrificed his boxing prime to protest the illegal US war against Vietnam.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar observed that Kapernick’s stand was not un-American, but what was un-American is the failure of the country to address the reason for his stand. Jabbar has it wrong, White dupes, as well as the power structure, have no intention on bringing about an end to racism or police violence, to do that would be un-American. It would cut into the profits of the ruling rich by making it much more difficult to divide and rule, which is what racism effectively does. And it would end the reason for living for those who relish and cherish White Supremacy.
NFL president Roger Goodell unintentionally revealed the truth when he said “teams make decisions [based] on what’s in the best interests of their team.”
Those complaining that the league shuns Kap while turning somewhat of a blind eye to the league’s criminal element don’t understand that what is considered criminal to the money grubbers is anything that might interfere with making money. The theme of Big Business, to paraphrase former owner Al Davis is, just make money baby.
Kapernick threatens their bottom line, unlike the wife beaters and the occasional stick-up man in its employ. The fans are likely to forgive someone who has been arrested 10 times if he is a good player. But the thoroughly indoctrinated folks who make up the USA are quickly offended by a seemingly ungrateful Negro who is not appreciative of all the bountiful goodness the White settlers have afforded him here in this Shagri-la. After all he could be toiling away in some drought forsaken part of his home continent.
Justice then peace

We can and we ought to take the mic!

press conference interrupted 2 (2)

Last night in a moment captured all over the country and parts of the world, people witnessed in Minneapolis an amazing moment of lucidity, clarity and sense of purpose. My fellow protestors lead brilliantly by John Thompson, Chauntyll Allen, Michelle Gross, Curtis Avent Jacob Ladda, Emily Flower,AJ Cardenas Nekima Levy-Pounds ( who would have been with us but was having her baby) KingDemetrius Pendleton (Listen Media) and a few others, with an uncanny sense of timing turned Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges press conference into the people’s press conference calling, for her resignation, while denouncing the unresponsiveness, lawlessness and ineffectiveness of her administration in meeting the needs (especially safety from the police violence) of its constituents.
Hodges called the conference to appease the demand for justice for victims of police violence, the latest of which was Justine Damond, by firing the current police chief Janae Harteau and appointing Black assistant chief Medaria Arradondo as the new chief.
But the effort to hoodwink and distract the public was exposed by anti- police violence activists before she could make her announcement. John Thompson rightly called on her and her entire staff to resign saying, “if the mayor can’t represent us then she ought to step down.”
“This is our house you can’t lock us out of our house,” said Thompson during the “Peoples Press Conference. He very astutely pointed out that the problems in City Hall has been going on for decades.
During “OUR” conference I chimed in as well, making the point that cosmetic changes aren’t enough, but what is needed is an overhaul of the entire system of policing and the system that it serves. I also pointed out that we won’t be tricked by simply having a “Black face in a White place.” Arrodondo indeed is my color and a nice guy, he has been thoughtful and respectful in all of my interactions with him over the years.
But he has sided with an institution that has historically and currently serves as an occupying and oppressive and brutal force in our community. The mayor’s firing of the police chief was like putting clean or new clothes on a dirty body, while it might look good on the outside, the body still stinks.
The problem is the institution of policing and the system they protect. The hard truth is as long as this socio-economic-political system is in place, there will be a need for this kind of policing. The kind of policing in which police intimidate harass, brutalize, bully and sometimes kill people. Until we decide we want to live in a just and equitable society, we will have the police (as we now know them), whose job is to maintain and reinforce societal divisions of race, sex, nationality and religion and clean up the fall- out from a fundamentally unjust and inequitable society.
The people advanced an unassailable argument, ”Why should we pay taxes for you to brutalize and kill us?” City Hall is supposed to be representative of the people and we shouldn’t have to beg folks in it to do our bidding. And as John pointed out, “even the furniture is ours”.
Its becoming more clear that the people ought to run this city and other Big cities, the people should run this country and not the profiteers, the warmongers, the blood suckers and parasites.
Our group got right to the point. Not only police chief Harteau, but the mayor, her staff and the whole damn system should be thrown out.
People want to be policed by a force that recognizes their humanity.
But this will only come about in a society that changes its values and ultimately changes the class who leads it. This present society is run by the ruling class, the bosses for the needs of profit.
Most major decisions revolve around what is it good for Big Business rather than what’s good for the majority; the citizens.
Mayor Hodges doesn’t represent us no more than the mayor before her and the mayor before her and the mayor before that represented the interests of the city.
Hodges refused to stand up for her clientele when the state legislature threatened to cut the transit budget for the Twin Cities. She and many of her cronies opposed efforts to implement a $15 minimum wage despite the fact that the vast majority of the citizens in the city signed on to it in a referendum.
She has failed to stand up for single women who face discrimination from landlords who saddle them with bad rental records for simply asking for lawful repairs and upkeep. She and her administration has only paid lip service to the employment discrimination in this city, which at one point lead the nation in Black and White unemployment disparity. Blacks at one point were three times more likely to be unemployed than Whites in Minneapolis.
And when Blacks have been brutalized by police, Hodges, Harteau and County Attorney Mike Freeman have responded by patronizingly telling the community how they should behave and respond to the system’s denial of justice.
Time indeed for a change and we indeed are the people who can bring it about!
justice then peace

Damond police killing: Be not deceived cops are cops and wrong is wrong!

mohamed noor 1 (2)
It appears quite likely that the Minneapolis power structure is going to throw the Somali police officer Mohamed Noor ,who allegedly shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond, under the bus. People have been making that assessment all over the country and they are right, but it would be a mistake to stop there, or give some kind of moral support to Noor because he is Black. Right is right and wrong and is wrong! Noor took sides when he put on the uniform, and it wasn’t the side of the people.
It’s also important to note that the corporate press and power structure has portrayed Noor in a positive light, (just as they have Damond) as one of the “good ones.” They have written of the mayor’s support for him and interviewed family friends and even youth painting a picture of Noor as a “role model.”
As in the more recent case of Philando Castile, whose killer Jeronimo Yanez was likely charged (when other White officers historically had avoided that fate) because he was Latino. However he was still seen by the jury as a honorary White and as “believable” and therefore was exonerated. We can speculate with lots of history to support us, that Noor will be prosecuted because he is Black, Somali and Muslim.
Recently in New York,the Chinese population was up in arms because Peter Liang who is Asian,was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Akai Gurley who he killed in 2014 when he accidentally discharged his weapon in a tenement stairway.
Gurley’s character was smeared and scandalized in the Big Business press ( as they usually do victims of police violence), especially Black victims of police brutality. And they prosecuted the Asian cop which of course is something that seldom happens when Blacks (and just about everybody who isn’t rich) are victimized by the police. He was charged with the highest crime the system could throw at him, and was subsequently convicted and of course then let off by the system, which refused to give him jail time!
But it was obvious he had been the victim of a double standard and was simply easier for a racist and brutal system to scapegoat him.
Unfortunately the Asian community organized by the thousands to protest the verdict, rather than supporting the call for justice for Akai, saying Liang was scapegoated. No doubt he was, but he was not innocent and just as importantly, he in essence wasn’t really one of them. The relationship between the Black and Asian communities in New York still suffers as a result of this wrongheaded defense of the cop.
However a brave and justice minded group of young Asian Americans made a point of standing with the Gurley family and the Black community and others who demanded justice in the case.They were never tricked into defending the Chinese cop because he was Asian like them. They correctly saw Liang as a cop, who serves a fundamentally racist, classist and unjust system.
It would behoove everyone to also see this for what it is. Yes acknowledge that it’s going to be easier to prosecute Noor in a racist society, if it turns out that he indeed was the shooter. No doubt it could be worse than speculation has so far concluded, it is possible that Noor wasn’t the trigger man and is being entirely set up as the fall guy.
But it is also important to acknowledge that if indeed Noor shot Ruszczyk Damond, that is WRONG and he should be held accountable.
Since policing is such a problem in the US, its time that we face the truth about the role of the police. The cops serve and protect the interests of the power structure: period. Despite all the propaganda, they are not our friends no matter what color, sex or nationality. When a person puts on that uniform their allegiance is to that uniform, not their race sex or nationality. In fact the police serve to reinforce the stereotypes in our society which is why they over police in Communities of Color and why they brutalize and kill youth, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
The cops hit folks with their sticks to remind them of their place in this society, which is why White people (who are not rich) are victimized as well . They unequally enforce the law, while enforcing laws that are fundamentally unjust and biased.
It is imperative that we are clear and refuse to fall for the tricks of the system. A White cop is a cop. A Black cop is a cop. A woman cop is a cop. An LGBTQ cop is a cop. A Somali cop is a cop. A Latinx cop is a cop. An Asian cop is a cop. A Somali cop is a cop!
Incidentally, I don’t recall the Black community ever as a group supporting that which is morally and fundamentally wrong.
Some have spoke of callously refusing to support the call for justice for the blonde White woman in this case, because they feel White folks haven’t been supportive of others calls for justice. But that is inconsistent with the history of Black folks in this country. Black humanity despite being enslaved, dehumanized and oppressed always managed to identify with the suffering of others and other struggles against oppression. Black folks always maintained their humanity.
This system has taken a lot from Black folks it but it shouldn’t be allowed to take away that which has distinguished them as a race in this American experiment:their humanity!
justice then peace

Philando trial: The system worked and then rubbed it in! Part I

Philando rally (2)
Looking back on the jeronimo yanez trial it’s even more clear that It took an amazing amount of nerve for Ramsey County prosecutor john choi to tell the community that “we have to accept this verdict.” He also implied that the trial and the process leading up to it was “fair and impartial” but judging from the information recently revealed about the investigation into the shooting, the lackadaisical prosecution, biased rulings by judge william leary along with his subsequent letter supporting the verdict and the clearly biased jurors, nothing could be further from the truth. (no caps meant as a sign of disrespect)
The trial confirmed most folks suspicions that the US system is biased partial and blatantly unfair. And that it is nearly impossible for a Black person to get a fair shake from it: dead or alive.
Everything that has been revealed about the trial of jeronimo yanez for killing Philando Castile has revealed a system that is biased to its core, that quite frankly is not worthy of respect.
Immediately after the killing, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) investigators worked to try to find evidence that would help officer yanez, rather than get to the facts of the shooting. They grilled Diamond Reynolds for three hours immediately after shooting while allowing the killer yanez 24 hours to concoct his lie. Even the prosecutors got in on the act investigating Castile rather than the cop they were supposedly trying to convict.
The prosecution which did appear to make its case, but didn’t have its heart in it, as they failed to humanize their client. It’s not possible they didn’t know what a great guy he was because they spent most of their time looking into his background.
Incredibly, the prosecution only called ONE character witness, a teacher at JJ Hill school, where Philando was referred to as Mr Phil and was beloved by staff and students. No doubt the prosecutors could have naively assumed that the jury would give their deceased client the benefit of the doubt, since the case involved two human beings, one on trial for wrongfully, killing the other.
But they would be mistaken, it is not automatically assumed in this society, that Black people are human beings. In fact often when law enforcement victimizes a Black person, there is a kind of built in societal justification for the death or the abuse, if the person had drugs in their system, a criminal record, or were unemployed.
It’s why the defense team kept pushing the marijuana theme. They know that people high on marijuana are not a threat, but they continued to make allegations that it inhibited his ability to follow commands as a way of sullying Philando’s character, despite the fact that a large number of White Americans smoke weed as well.
Speaking of the defense lawyers,( again proving race brings out the worst in folks) earl grey, who won a case in which arguably there are no winners, decided to pop off about it. Someone should tell him to shut up and that he won, only a callous pig or thug, would rub it in.
The despicable Mr grey asked after the trial, “Would you let Philando pull a gun on you” knowing that the evidence did not support such a spurious and slanderous claim. The physical evidence (gun found deep in his pocket, trigger finger shot), along with yanez’s statement immediately afterward to his supervisor that he “didn’t know where it was,” made it absolutely clear he did not pull a gun on yanez despite what the prejudiced jurors, concluded.
Grey’s lack of decorum and sensitivity is amazing considering he brushed shoulders with Philando’s mother Valerie, every day in court. But it’s a Black man that’s dead, so grey wasn’t bound by the normal rules of human decorum, which dictate that sensitivity, compassion and empathy and plain old human decency be employed in such a tragic situation.
Strangely the father of four had no comment when he was asked if he was aware of the pain that the decision caused the community. But he had a lot to say when no one was asking his opinion.
A self-respecting community would let him know just how they felt about his insensitive and callous remarks.
For the unaware, the presiding Christian and obviously biased judge leary, (who faithfully attends mass every day) took it upon himself to write a letter telling the jury that it did the “right” thing.
Sounding like a robed 1950’s night- rider, leary wrote that he wanted to thank the jurors “for the profound public service you provided to this country and the State of Minnesota,…. I write to re-assure you that you faithfully fulfilled the difficult task you were asked to undertake.”
Indeed they did!
justice then peace

Twin Cities Pride Parade reversal on allowing cops in parade demonstrates “Blacks have no rights Whites are bound to respect”

Pride fest 1


The reversal of PRIDE parade leadership from its earlier decision to limit the participation of local cops in this year’s Pride Parade and festival, makes it clear that disrespect for Black folks is the order of the day in the Twin Cities. It has been for some time while claiming to be a bastion of liberalism, progressivism and decency. It is neither.

The truth is Black folks in this locale have long been treated as if they have “no rights that White folks (especially those in power) are bound to respect.”

The Twin Cities Pride Parade organizers were attempting to be sensitive to the community’s pain after St Anthony cop Jeronimo Yanez got away with killing Philando Castile, by limiting police participation in this year’s parade. The organizers wrote on FaceBook, “We always have several police departments wanting to roll down Hennepin with lights and sirens to participate in this announcement that the parade is about to begin.With the recent verdict in the Philando Castile case Twin Cities Pride has decided to forgo this part of the police participation in the parade for this year and respect the pain the community is feeling right now.”

It was a request that made sense, considering that people’s feelings are still raw from seeing the squad video and trying to make sense of the senseless killing and subsequent senseless verdict.

But both St Paul and Minneapolis police leaders acted as if someone had shot their dog.  Even the heads of the cops federation chimed in, as if they have some kind of moral standing.

“If your organization is about love and acceptance … it’s kinda ironic,” St Paul police assistant head Nash said. “Members of the LGBTQ cross a lot of occupations. There’s a lot of good cops every day trying to do the right thing.”

Dave Titus the borderline thug, who heads the St Paul Police Federation claimed,” to exile gay and straight officers from the parade runs counter to the values the organization claims to promote,”

Minneapolis Police Chief Janea Harteau, who is an open lesbian, claimed that  “the decision  was “divisive” at a time when the police were trying to mend fractured ties with marginalized communities.”

Harteau  has proven  that a gay person can run be just as ruthless, dishonest  and disrespectful in leading the occupying and oppressive force that we know as the police.  And this statement is further proof. There can be no mending of so-called fractured ties, unless the police stop over-policing and harassing the community and serving as patrollers enforcing unjust laws.

“I really struggle to see how this decision helps our community heal, and the message of division and not inclusion is hurtful to many of us,” she wrote. “Police officers are more than just officers, they are human beings with families who are also part of this community.”

Harteau claims that the cops are human beings! If that’s the case why didn’t they act like human beings, and respect the request of another set of human beings, asking that you respect their right to not include you for a year, because your very presence is a reminder of the community’s pain.

The police didn’t act like human beings in this case, they acted like armed Bullies! The correct human response would have been to say, I see the community needs it  space, so we will give it to them. But the cops couldn’t give that to the community, because they don’t respect the community. Their real role is an oppressive one, which is to remind us at ALL TIMES who is running things.

The truth is they are not human beings, they are the POLICE!

Moreover this dispels the notion that we live in a free, open and democratic society. If we lived in a free and open and democratic society, we could ask the police to sit it out and they would comply. The parade organizers permit required that a cop car lead the parade, that is all that the Parade organizers were bound to, they weren’t required to allow police to march in it.

But Harteau and her gang BULLIED the Festival committee and insisted that they be included because let’s face it, they don’t give a damn about the communities feelings.

Even the capitulation on the part of the liberal organizers hinted at disrespect. While they were concerned about hurting the cops feelings, there is no evidence that they INCLUDED BLACK PEOPLE IN THE DISCUSSION  with them and the police.

Yet the Star Tribune quoted Pride officials as vowing “to continue listening to minority groups.”

Pride Executive Director Dot  Belstler ,said, “To our transgender and people of color communities, we will continue to respect your pain and angst by bridging the divide and continuing conversations on both sides of this issue, to ensure we consider alternatives that make each group feel comfortable and safe.”

Ironically the Pride parade came about as a way for the LGBTQ community to assert its right to exist, to assert its humanity and its right to be different. It was also partially organized as a push back against police harassment.

The Pride organizers should have stuck to their decision if they really meant what they said about recognizing the community’s pain, they would have stood on it. Their spinelessness will only encourage more police intransigence in the future.

Since Pride organizers say they are listening, they should know that oppressed communities don’t respect folks talking about “feeling” their pain, they respect folks who rather than talking about it, “be” about it! “Oppressed people learn early that the problem of life is not the problem of evil but the problem of good.”

Imagine that, the Twin Cities can’t have a parade without the cops (who Harteau calls fellow human beings) and in an open, just and democratic society!

justice then peace

Philando Castile case proves that this society is neither decent, democratic,or just; Its not fit for human subsistence

Philando protest after verdict

Let’s face it, the society that allowed an armed agent of the State to shoot a man for absolutely no good reason and then failed to punish the shooter, is the society we live in and not the one you think you live in that is decent, democratic and just and believes in “liberty and justice for all.”
The sooner folks face this fact the sooner we can move to some real concrete solutions.
The Minnesota House People of Color and Indigenous Caucus summed up the killing of Philando Castile as well as anybody when they said,”We continue to believe the killing of Philando was senseless, without cause, and veiled in unfounded racial fear and prejudice.” But they also said ,”urgent reform of our policing and criminal justice systems is needed.”
Unfortunately the legislators got it half right. The system of policing, this social/economic /political system cannot be reformed. It is resistant to reform because these systems exist as they are for a reason. It has to be torn up and tossed out and a new one has to be put in its place.
If someone or something continues to do something over and over again, it is who or what they are, police killings and police brutality occur too much for it to be an aberration, a so-called exception to the rule; it is the rule!
Just today In Milwaukee, a Black cop was just acquitted of murder, for shooting Syville Smith in the back in August 2016 and while he lay on the ground helpless, killing him. A few weeks ago a female Tulsa cop was acquitted of manslaughter and excused for killing unarmed Terence Crutcher, last September. On Sunday, a Black woman suffering from mental illness was shot in killed by Seattle police. This is no accident.
And the system supports the killing! It is codified in law, reinforced by the highest law in the land. And you can’t reform it because the lawmakers identify with and owe their careers to the rulers and not the person on the street.
The Yanez verdict coupled with the Tulsa and Milwaukee verdicts, reinforce the fact that police can not only kill you, but the law GIVES THEM THE RIGHT TO KILL YOU WITHOUT FEAR OF REPERCUSSIONS OR NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES.
That is the system we live under and not the fairy tale.
When Plilando Castile’s lottery number came up, he didn’t have a chance; in life nor death. Yes being Black and surviving in the US means you hope you don’t win the reverse lottery, in which the winners reward is loss of life, or well- being.
Philando tried to tell the armed agent of the State that he wasn’t reaching for his gun, but Yanez didn’t listen, rather he listened to the propaganda; spoken and unspoken, conscious and unconscious that suggests a “ni–er” with a gun should be dead.
Sounds harsh? Nobody has come up with a reasonable explanation for why Yanez shot Castile. There was no evidence that he saw a gun, in fact all the logical evidence at hand indicates that was an impossibility since Castile got shot in his trigger finger and Yanez said immediately after the shooting that he didn’t see a gun.
Yanez was guilty he was proven to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (I was there), yet he was acquitted. That was not justice by any measurable standard. In a decent, democratic and just society the cop would have had to pay for his actions.
If the juror Broussard who has talked to the press is to be believed ten folks POSING as decent, fair minded, human beings made their minds up only hours after the trial ended.
And people shouldn’t be surprised that the two Black jurors caved in right away and believed the cop, they too have been fed a constant diet of White Supremacy and the “serve and protect” lie.
Folks should rather acknowledge and applaud the courage of the two holdouts according to the juror who talked: two White people held out. It’s likely the hold out jurors were forced to concede on Friday (after judge William Leary said he was going to force them to come back on Monday), for financial reasons because most working people can’t afford to miss more than two weeks of work.
Yanez would have had to stand trial again without the interference of the supposedly upstanding biased and undemocratic judge Leary, in the case who forced the jurors to continue to deliberate, though it was obvious the thoroughly propagandized and insensitive majority weren’t budging. As Mr Broussard said he “believed” the officer saw a gun; despite all the evidence presented to the contrary.
And Yanez is a coward.
Yanez has been portrayed as a decent person, but he is anything but. A decent person would not have tried to blame Philando for his death. A good person would not in his BCA interview try to disparage Castile and make up a story about smelling marijuana. No one else on the scene smelled marijuana, his partner, nor any of the cops that showed up afterward said on the witness stand said they smelled marijuana. But he lied to protect himself.
If he was a decent person he would saved everyone all this grief and just admitted that he made a mistake. He could have pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. The system would have slapped him on the wrist and he would have been hired by another cop agency. The Castile family and Diamond Reynolds could have gotten on with their lives, but instead he committed a kind of soul murder against them as his actions, denied them the peace the justice that so desperately need to heal.
Even the defense lawyers were indecent. Earl Gray and Tom Kelly (who would probably represent Lucifer, if the money was right) weren’t satisfied with their tainted victory but decided to rub it in. Gray cold-heartedly told the press that “Castile would be alive if he followed Yanez’s orders.”
The truth is Philando would be alive if he hadn’t been profiled. Yanez had no reason to stop him at all.
And after adding insult to injury with their unjust verdict, the defenders of this unjust system have the nerve to demand that we respect it and its show trial. What kind of decent society demands that you respect it after they have it has spit on you? People have no obligation to respect anything, anyone, any law, or any system that does not respect them.
This is the society we live in and the sooner we acknowledge the truth, the sooner we can begin the work of creating a just humane decent society fit for human beings.
justice then peace