Dispatches from Post-Racial America



I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled corporate propaganda to bring some disturbing news from the West Coast.  Apparently, the post-racial America that signaled Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States is a fraud.


Shalca, a blogger on MyDD posted the following video, which graphically shatters the myth of a post-racial America.


The two-minute video shows how quickly an unarmed black man can die while in the custody of unprofessional toy cops like those that police the Bay Area Rapid Transit System.  




Oscar Grant, a 22-year old unarmed black man, was executed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officer on New Year’s Day.



Amnesty International’s Dalia Hashad, released the following statement:


When an unarmed man is shot in the back after police put him face down on the ground, it is the time for authorities to demand action, not patience. Days after the incident, the officer still has not been interviewed. The delay in this critical part of the investigation hints at the callousness to the worth of human life to a public that is all too familiar with racial profiling, police brutality and cover-ups. Whatever the final investigation reveals, the bottom line is that there is never justification to shoot an unarmed person, especially one who is restrained. It is an obvious violation of the most basic human rights standards, and a clear cut abuse of power.



The corporate media have taken to making excuses for the police by peddling the canard that the cop mistakenly went for his Glock instead of his Taser.  


Junya, writing for the Black San Francisco Bay View, blows this pernicious lie to smithereens:



1. The manual states that the Taser X26 weighs 7 ounces. Depending on model and bullets loaded, a Glock pistol can weigh from 25-38 ounces. You don’t have to be a weapons expert to feel the difference between holding about two pounds and holding less than half a pound – try it.

2. Police pistols are all black, sometimes with a very dark brown grip. The X26 has bright yellow markings on it. It also has a 2-digit LED display.

3. The X26 has a safety on the grip that must be released. The Glock safety is on the trigger.

So let’s review the minimum steps of a Taser deployment:

1. You pull out the lightweight, brightly colored weapon. You load the cartridge onto the tip of the barrel. The cartridge is fat and rectangular, looking nothing like a pistol barrel.

2. You reach on the grip and flip the safety up. The LED display lights up like half of your digital alarm clock, then shows the percentage charge.

3. Police are taught NEVER to use Tasers in life-threatening situations (ensuring that the “Tasers save lives” mantra remains a fairy tale). So, since that eliminates the “split-second judgment” defense, every Taser policy I’ve seen requires a warning before firing, to give the victim the opportunity to comply. Police like to report that merely pointing the Taser and issuing the warning is often sufficient.

Most likely, this cockamamie rumor is spread by the police in order to buy time. It’s damage control, to pacify an angry public until they can come up with some way to blame the victim.

A small scale riot the other day confirmed that the lies, excuses, and spin hadn’t been effective in disguising an execution as a “mistake.”  In a “post-racial” America, it would be nice if the deliberate, pre-meditated effort to cover-up an execution got an automatic federal investigation, followed up by prosecution.

Sadly, this has happened twice before and no prosecutions for murder or manslaughter were ever brought against the BART cops in those cases.  They’ve murdered a naked, mentally ill man, and a 19 year-old boy erroneously suspected of armed robbery.  The boy was shot in the back of the head. Both were black. 

In the reality based community I live in, these incidents, taken as a whole, constitute a pattern or practice of misconduct that is actionable under federal law.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

…it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (42 U.S.C. § 14141). The types of conduct covered by this law can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests. In order to be covered by this law, the misconduct must constitute a “pattern or practice” — it may not simply be an isolated incident. The DOJ must be able to show in court that the agency has an unlawful policy or that the incidents constituted a pattern of unlawful conduct.

BART cops have no civilian review board and are virtually unaccountable for their crimes.  Based on the small amount of research I’ve found (here and here), it seems that they are following the same racist playbook that allowed them to justify questionable uses of deadly force and are simply hoping that the third time is a charm.


The Obama Justice Department, at the very least, should be monitoring this case to see what the local prosecutor does. If he does nothing, they should move swiftly on Civil Rights prosecutions against Johannes Mehserle and the rest of the officers in these old cases and use it’s power to force reforms in this rogue agency.  “Change We Can Believe In” is either a slogan or a mantra with teeth—I’d like to see which it is.

67 thoughts on “Dispatches from Post-Racial America

  1. My family and I were in Oakland last week when this happened. Within 24 hours there were video postings on YouTube showing the incident. This young man, if anything, was being passive. He had his hands in the air. Then the police placed him face first on the ground. From what I could tell two cops handcuffed him, and he wasn’t even struggling with them. A third cop pulled a gun and shot him in the back for no reason. It was unf&^%ing believable. It was just pure and simple murder. I don’t think he is going to get away with this. This was worse than Rodney King.

  2. akech

    As mother of two vey descent you black men, watching that video brought my fear for their lives to a climax. Nobody respects a life of a black/colored person wherever whites have power, and that happens to be anywhere on planet earth.

  3. Cliff

    SB: A small scale riot the other day confirmed that the lies, excuses, and spin hadn’t been effective in disguising an execution as a “mistake.” In a “post-racial” America, it would be nice if the deliberate, pre-meditated effort to cover-up an execution got an automatic federal investigation, followed up by prosecution.

    Bay Area Slavemaster: Booooy I got me anotha’ one. Gotdamn I got me anotha’ one. You people can’t touch me. I work for BART, and we are trained to kill Negras, and LIE to get away with it. I am above the LAW, I own the LAW, I enforce the LAW, and I got my LAW in barrel of my pistol. I mistakenly shot the boy in the back, while he held him on the ground. It was a mistake. And if we would have locked him up, he would have mistakenly committed suicide.

    Cliff: You know it is written that you will be paid recompense for this practice.

    Bay Area Slavemaster: Booooy, I’d like to see you come near me, I’d be happy to put another hole in another Negra.

    Bay Area Slavemaster: Furthermore, “The Lord” gives me the raiiight to do what I did.

    Cliff: You know that same “Lord” that you think gives you the “Raiiight” to kill us, also speaks of the slaughter of the guilty.

    Ezekiel 9

    1: He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.

    2: And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.

    3: And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;

    4: And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.

    5: And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:

    6: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

    7: And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.

    8: And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

    9: Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.

    10: And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.

    Cliff: You see, you make think that you will get away with this evil, and somehow absolve yourself from recompense, but it is written that you will be paid in full for what you did.

  4. Lance

    Pretty disgusting.

    I have a hard time believing it was an “execution” though. If the cop was going to “execute” this guy would he do it in plain view of not only the other officers but also all the people on the train and platform? Especially since there were at least two people videotaping it in clear view?

    Also the idea that this demonstrates that innocent black people are still being killed with out recrimination is wildly inconsistent with the facts. I saw the story, complete with video evidence, on the national news the day after it happened. Also there are at least two investigations in progress and there is exactly zero chance that this story is going away anytime soon.

    Also where is there any evidence at all that Grant was shot because he was black? If the guy had been Hispanic or white would you even have felt the need to post this inflammatory post?

    I doubt it, so who’s the one valuing people by their race here exactly?

    This incident may just be an example of gross negligence. That doesn’t make it any less tragic of course, nor does it excuse the actions of the officer or the people responsible for his hiring and training. Hopefully the investigations will bring the details to light and the people responsible will be held accountable.

    But your predictably inflammatory post is just the kind of irresponsible race-bating that leads to more violence not less. Maybe it’s time you traded in your “black militant” caricature worldview for a more realistic and nuanced perspective.

    Has the election of Barack Obama ushered in a “post-racial” America? Of course not, but partially because of folks like you that remain race obsessed.

    But it aint 1930’s Mississippi either. Most of America has moved on. Try and keep up.

  5. Lance,

    It is refreshing to hear from people like you. Despite empirical evidence, you remain an apologist for excessive force, police brutality, and discriminatory treatment. You are ready to dismiss, minimize, ignore, or obfuscate any and all credible evidence of bias because it doesn’t comport with your distorted, contorted, and antediluvian worldview. You, sir, are a throwback. A throwback to a not so distant past that we’ve supposedly overcome. Welcome to Skeptical Brotha. Come back often so that those ready to believe in a “post racial” America can wake the phuck up.

  6. SB,

    Houston – former Ballplayer’s son, SHOT IN HIS OWN DRIVEWAY. They used the bullshit excuse that they thought he stole the car, but the mofos hadn’t even run the damn plates.

    New Orleans – young man, New Years Eve – SHOT IN FRONT OF HIS GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE. Shot in the back 10 times –

    there goes that time honored police tradition of shooting Black men in the back because they were resisting arrest.

    He was SEATED in the car and shot 10 times in the back.

  7. I wonder, Lance, if you have children. Specifically sons. And, when said son, became of driving age, did you sit down with him, you and a group of male family members and friends, and go through, in extensive detail, how said son was to act when he came upon law enforcement – right or wrong. Did you drill it into his head that his decisions at this moment could be difference between you picking him up at the police station versus picking him up at the morgue?

    I’ve yet to find a White colleague who will answer this question with an affirmative. Because I have yet to find White parents who have THESE kinds of concerns.

  8. rikyrah,

    Thanks, sweetheart. I hadn’t heard anything about Dixon. The charges are moderately serious. The most serious involving the city contractor that her sister worked for, that is more problematic than her man lavishing her with gifts while actively doing business with the city. These are serious ethical violations, and some tax violations but I see nothing here that should put Miss Dixon in jail or force her from office. A heavy fine is all she should be facing, but I’m not a lawyer and I don’t know nothing bout Maryland law. Sheila is trying to be the Mayor that Baltimore needs and this prosecutor is hell-bent on running her from office.

  9. Lsnce,

    F*&^ you. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I really do. You are obviously an asshole who wouldn’t be moved even if you heard the countless horrible interactions that the black men in this chat have had over our lifetimes. So f&^% you.

  10. Spinster

    The fact that riots have occurred doesn’t even bother me. You know why? Because people are sick and tired of being SICK AND FUCKING TIRED.

    And if justice does not prevail, let them keep on rioting.

    The revolution WILL be televised.

  11. Spinster

    I ought to amend my comment:

    The rioters should leave businesses alone, especially those owned and ran by people of color. That’s a bit much and uncalled for.

    As for the rest of the rioting…..

    The revolution WILL be televised. Might sound simplistic, but people are sick and tired. What else can be done when injustice continues and no one pays attention or takes it seriously? Seems like the only way to get any attention is to riot and fuck shit up.

  12. Darryl

    Soul Heaven Transitions in 2008

    While we all mourn the passing of Bernie Mac, Issac Hayes, Eartha Kitt, Levi Stubbs (4 Tops) and Bo Diddley, here are some African Americans you will not read about in the mainstream papers that have made their transition in 2008:

    MC Breed – noted rapper – Age 37

    Julius Carey – actor (most famously known as “Sho-Nuff” in the cult movie, The Last Dragon, age 56

    Rudy Ray Moore – DOLE-A-MITE – age 81

    Dock Ellis – baseball pitcher, age 63- said he pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD

    Odetta – age 77 – folk singer and civil rights activist

    Miriam Makeba – age 76- singer and activist

  13. I apologize for my colorful language in my post yesterday. I am taking the execution of this young man personally. This is not a conversation about the abstract. This young brother was straight up murdered in plain sight with hundreds of witnesses (many of whom, mercifully, videotaped the murder). This Lance guy likes to come in here and be provocative by spouting not so subtle racist talking points. This is not the time to resort to such adolescent tomfoolery. This young brother was murdered and the appropriate response from Lance and others would be to send condolences to his family and to pray for peace. That is what I am doing. Peace and love to everyone, including Lance.

  14. Anon 1

    I do believe this was manslaughter. It could have happened to any cop of any race. That’s why I could never be a Police Office because it is a high intesnity emotional career and you have to make decisions sometimes in less than a milli second. Clearly, this cop was reacting emotionaly and perhaps scared to death of the other people around. He will be sent to jail for a very long time, I do believe that.

    The Cops really need to spend more time getting to know the communities. WHen they don’t respond quick enough they are call racist. When they respond and make fatal mistakes, they are call racist. When they leave the communities and allow the gangs to take over, we cry out. When they ask for witness, they are told no snitches here. Where is the outrage when their is black on black crime. Frnakly, I hope mroe of our people will turn on the known gang bangers and drug dealers like they do when a cop incident is involve intentional or not.

    WHat concerns me is the reaction of the crowd after this shooting. They wreck havoc on other black buisinesses and innocent people property were damaged. Why would they hurt their own. And upon that there seems a lot of this destruction were done by gangs and drug dealers.
    Maybe I just see such instances beyond as simply racially motivated. I tend to agree with John Mcwhorter. A post racial America does not mean doesn’t exist. Racism involving all races will never end. But racism is no more the major cause for many of these events. It maybe helpful to reflect on his Mcwhorter’s article in Forbes: The End of Racism


  15. Cliff

    Spinster, that Texas Slavemaster is the one who is the most notorious and wicked among us, and his peers. He has absolutely, as what Akech said, no regards or respect for black life. It is almost as if there is a genetic code written within white Texans to murder and kill black people.

    It still remains a phenomenon within our minds: Racially Motivated Murder, Or Animalistic Motivation for Murder.

    We weigh the balance and come up with a mind that automatically transcends into an enraged passion to kill black people upon site. Like the animals of the jungle, the scientists have studied the motivation of the predators to kill their prey.

    Since my Math Teacher Lance is back on the scene, I would like to set up a special proof for him.

    Let the white race be considered the letter “D,” and all black people be considered “G,” and total peace and equality on Earth and true Equility, be considered “E.”

    Assume: That G=D which would imply E.

    Statements by Assumption,

    Assumption 1: Under the system of White Supremacy, being the leading ideology of the United States Government, Black/African Americans sacrificing their lives, and coming to terms on peace and equality has actually worked through the civil rights movement, for justice and peace and equality of an equal playing field of African Americans as compared to whites as American citizens, namely Integration, Equal Employment, Equal Education, Small Business/Entrepreneurship opportunities, Permanent Voting Status thus assuming that G=D which would imply E.

    Assumption 2: Under the system of White Supremacy, being the leading ideology of the United States Government, African American males have not been leading cases of the incarceration rates among all other races, especially not their white counterparts, therefore have been given full Equal Education, Employment status, which would cause no need for them to commit crimes to survive in their capitalistic society, thus assuming that G=D which would imply E.

    Assumption 3: Under the system of White Supremacy, being the leading ideology of the United States Government, African American females within the last 100 years have never annually lead the statistics of teen pregnancy, never annually lead the statistics of unwed mothers, never annually lead the statistics of prostitution/pornography, never annually lead the statistics of HIV/AIDS virus infections, thus implying a double assumption that the HIV/AIDS virus was never was meant to be used as a means of germ warfare to target the African American community, thus assuming that G=D which would imply E.

    Assumption 4: Under the system of White Supremacy, being the leading ideology of the United States Government, Black Businesses within the past 100 years have been given the freedom to achieve the financial status equilateral to that of their white counterparts, coinciding with the above assumption that G=D, which would imply E.

    Assumption 5: Under the system of White Supremacy, being the leading ideology of the United States Government, Black Men have within the past 100 years have never been the annual leading statistics of police brutality, which would contradict the statistic of


    (“Over the last 500 years people of color, especially African Americans, have endured a pattern of State-sanctioned violence, and civil and human rights abuse. To enforce capitalist exploitation and racial oppression the government and its police, courts, prisons, and military have beaten, framed, murdered and executed private persons, and brutally repressed struggles for freedom, justice, and self-determination.”


    And lastly, cases like the Bay Area Rapid Transit murder of Oscar Grant, and the Bellaire police murder of Robert Tolan, and the overall murders of young black men by the police officers in America is equilateral to that of their white counterparts of young white men, experiencing at least fifty percent of the same annual statistics with regards to police brutality.)

    coinciding with the above assumption that G=D, which would imply E.

    Assuming 1-5 are true, we have arrived at contradictions, by common knowledge and research of actual standing history, which would imply that

    G does not equal D and thus their inequality does not imply E.

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum

    Lance, I know this is a rather weak proof, so I’m sure with you being my Math Teacher, you could dispove it.

  16. Spinster

    Quick correction – Robert Tolan is still alive. However, he will have a bullet in his liver for the rest of his life.

  17. I’m always struck by the stark differences in how people react to this same old story. Almost as if there were two separate realities out there. And there are. The plantation system is alive and well as evidenced here. Every servant must know their place and every slave must be kept in line. This is THE NATURAL ORDER of things anywhere a society values property more than life. You see how here how people will support a police state as part of their reactionary world view.

    From overseer to officer as described a long time ago by KRS- One:

    The overseer had the right to get ill
    And if you fought back, the
    overseer had the right to kill
    The officer has the right to arrest
    And if you fight back they put a hole in your chest!

    My GREAT grandfather had to deal with the cops
    And then my great, great, great,
    great… when it’s gonna stop?!

    It won’t stop as long as property takes precedence over life.

  18. Lance


    Glad to see that you have calmed down.

    I’m not sure why you became enraged at my post. Is it rational to believe that the police officer “executed” this guy in front of scores of witnesses at least two of which were video taping the incident?

    You also said that I was insensitive to the family and that I spouted “not so subtle racist talking points”. Well the first thing I said was that the incident was “disgusting”. I also said that it was tragic.

    I only disputed that it was an “execution”. I expressed my disgust and then my hope that the people responsible would be held “accountable”. How exactly were those ideas “racist talking points”?

    According to Cliff it is just further proof of the “genetic trait” of white people to want to kill blacks, “We weigh the balance and come up with a mind that automatically transcends into an enraged passion to kill black people upon site.” Talk about offensive racist bullshit, but you don’t seem to have any problem with his putrid ideas since they help salve your own racially inspired hatred.

    So what is the answer to a “race” that is genetically programmed to kill your “race”? It doesn’t sound like dialogue and understanding could solve that one. That kind of problem would call for a “final solution”. Are you cool with that?

    Maybe I should view this site as a place where black folk can come to vent their rage at an admittedly unjust and yes still racially divided world. Maybe irrational outbursts like yours are healthy ways of venting that rage, but when I read the inflammatory and yes racist remarks of Cliff and SkepticalBrotha I have to speak up.

    If you want to share these ugly and violent lies to make yourselves feel better on the internet you should remember that other people are listening.

    SkepticalBrotha was against Barrack Obama ever since he separated himself from Rev. Wright and called him a “house negro” among other insults and last I checked in wasn’t even going to vote for the man. Now he is acting the fool by playing up any inflammatory racial incident to prove, if only to himself, that we live in a irreparably racist country and the election of the first African American president is not proof that America has turned the corner on its racist past.

    Well that kind of self-fulfilling negativity can never be transcended. If all you need to find is a few incidents a year of racism or police brutality you will always be able to claim that America is ruled by the “slave master” and that riots and hatred are justifiable responses to the problem. They aren’t.

    Now if you have resumed rational thought maybe you can calmly re-read my first post and tell me where I was “spouting racist talking points”? I would really like to know. Also you might explain to me why you think that the officer purposely “executed” the gentlemen in plain view of scores of people and with at least two people recording it on video?

    In the past I have found you to be an intelligent and persuasive writer. You have pointed out flaws in my thinking in the past and opened my eyes to other perspectives. I am always open to understanding the views of others but I won’t shrink from criticizing racist or demagogic speech when I see it and SkepticalBrotha is prone to those type of pronouncements.

    Using this tragic incident to inflame racial tensions just to reinforce his pessimistic and racially obsessed world view is wrong and dangerous. If it pisses people off for me to point that out so be it. I’m not here to play the respectful and condescending white liberal that knows his place.

    I’m all for equality. I don’t expect you to bow and scrape for me so don’t expect me to do it for you.

  19. RisingTide

    Skep voted for Obama, I’ll bet on it.
    What he didn’t do was vote for Obama during the primaries. Big difference.

    Understanding that Obama is an asshole is only the first step towards the path of political enlightenment. The second is understanding that a clean asshole is a HELL of a lot better than a compromised one.

  20. TripLBee


    Let me be clear, I think that my outburst was completely rational. I am as privileged as a black American can be. I make a pretty good living. I have an Ivy League education. I have relatively light skin (complexion still matters, sadly). I can “talk white” when it suits me. I have many, many advantages that I imagine Oscar Grant did not have. Yet, I have been subjected to some pretty hard core police harassment over the years,and on two occasions in my life I’ve been beaten by police officers. I am approaching middle age and do not think that I look anything like the stereotypes of a “thug.” Yet and still I have had two very troubling incidents with police officers in the past two years alone. One of these incidents, perhaps coincidentally, occurred in Oakland. Without going into too much detail, I was walking around a nice park area called Lake Temescal one evening. As the only person in the parking lot, I parked illegally in the spot closest to a walking path. As I was returning to my car I noticed a police cruiser behind my car with its lights flashing. I knew that I was getting a ticket for parking illegally. I apologized to the officer, told her I deserved the ticket and offered to move my car. Instead, she patted me down, hand cuffed me, illegally searched my car, accused me of alternately being drunk or on drugs (I don’t drink; I’ve never used drugs) and eventually—like Oscar Grant—pulled her gun out and pointed it at me as I lay handcuffed and face down. If this can happen to a balding, almost middle aged guy who drives a luxury sedan with political stickers and two baby seats, imagine what happens to other black and brown men?

    So you know what Lance, I don’t want to hear that we’re all a bunch of irrational, whining, paranoid, complaining ingrates. The fact of the matter is that police harassment of black and brown males in particular, is endemic. If you don’t want to believe it then don’t believe it. I truly don’t care what you think. But if you would like to take the opportunity to participate in a black blog AND LEARN SOMETHING, rather than simply preaching to us about how stupid we are, then this would be such an opportunity. We are pissed off about the fact that another black man was murdered by a white cop. This is not new. The fact that the visual evidence in this case is so striking and some are still suggesting (as they did with Rodney King) that somehow this young man deserved to be murdered, or that somehow the cop who shot him meant no harm, is the sort of thing which pisses off people who have grown accustomed to such madness.

  21. Lance


    I appreciate your thoughtful reply, but you still never answered my questions about how my first post was “racist talking points” and why you assume that the cop willfully “executed” Oscar Grant even when it was obvious that he was being observed and even videotaped? Isn’t it more likely that the cop acted negligently rather than maliciously? Do you really believe, as SkepBro states, that the cop acted to “execute” Grant in full view of many people thinking he could act with impunity since Grant was black and he was white?

    Doesn’t the evidence suggest that is far more likely that the cop made a tragic error due to negligence or incompetence or both?

    This does not excuse the cop’s actions in any way and as I said (twice now) he and those that trained and supervised him should be held accountable, which in my opinion should include considerable jail time for the officer and perhaps for some of his superiors if it can be demonstrated that they were partially responsible.

    But that is a long way from saying that this was a racially motivated “execution”.

    If you want to stay pissed off and pretend I am somehow minimizing the offense or the way cops treat African Americans or police brutality in general go right ahead, but that isn’t being honest or getting us anywhere in cooperating to end these horrific injustices in the future.

    One needn’t think that a racial execution occurred to be outraged and demand justice for Grant and his family and a proactive change to the system. I am also not saying that the officer treated Grant the same as he would have treated a white suspect. Maybe he would have been more careful had he been handling a white guy. He may well have valued Grant’s life less due to his own prejudices or due to the systemic attitudes of the organization that trained him. That is still not the same as an outright “execution”.

    If it turns out that the cop is some kind of homicidal racist then he should be tried for first degree murder and put away for life, but he would have to be one stupid Cracker cop to think he was going to get away with shooting a hand cuffed, non-combative suspect in the back in full view of fellow officers and scores of people of various “races” some of whom were openly recording the incident.

    As I said, if you want to “vent” your anger about your personal experiences with the police that’s just fine, just don’t pretend you’re being rational or helping to change the situation by claiming that the system is so racially skewed that cops just routinely execute black people even in full view of video cameras and that this justifies SkepticalBrotha’s cynical demagogic rant.

  22. Lance

    What the hell do you want from us? You agree that Oscar Grant was probably treated differently because of his race. You say that the cop’s actions were inexcusable. Yet you seem offended that we use terms like execution and murder? You seem put off that we are outraged at the death of a defenseless black man at the hands of a white cop. In case you need to be reminded, it’s still pretty fucking difficult to be a black person in this country, Obama’s election not withstanding. Why are you frustrated with us? Do you want us to simply disavow the experiences we’ve all had? Do you think we should convince ourselves that this murder—a completely accurate term in this instance—had nothing to do with this young man’s race? In my last post I tried in very personal terms, to explain why so many of us are taking this personally. If you are unable or (more likely) unwilling to absorb this sort of data, then you are being willfully ignorant. You know, I have to say this Lance. This is very “white” of you. So many whites—even and sometimes especially liberals—want to contain racism as some sort of exotic nuance and feel threatened or offended when blacks are outraged by its actuality. Instead of asking why we are mad and really listening, they simply try to convince us that we are wrong. I am tired of white people telling me that I have no right to be angry. I saw a white cop shoot a defenseless, young black man in the back as he lay face down. I am pissed off.

  23. Lance


    “I am pissed off.” So am I, but calling this incident an “execution” only adds fuel to the fire.

    You ask “What the hell do you want from us?” I want rationality from you. I don’t want reactionary hatred and violence. I don’t want SkepticalBro’s inflammatory cynicism.

    You continue to dodge my straight forward questions about the specific facts of the incident. Either you think this cop “executed” Grant or you don’t. That word, “executed”, has a very specific meaning. If that isn’t what you mean then don’t use that word. If it is what you mean then back it up with evidence.

    I never said you should be anything but outraged. I find the incident to be outrageous. I just don’t see evidence to support the allegation that Grant was “executed” because he was black.

    To perpetuate that idea is dangerous and counterproductive.

    Isn’t it possible, even likely, that this cop fucked up and it wasn’t a case of a racial “execution”? Gross negligence yes, but not an execution.

    SkepticalBrotha wants to perpetuate the idea that America, hell the world really, is dominated by the dynamic of white supremacy, where blacks are a permanent underclass by design and that whites wish to maintain the status quo. Do you believe this?

    This worldview is challenged by the election of Barack Obama and he has to portray him as a “bi-racial” sell-out or a feckless “house negro” or dismiss it in some other way hence his sneering sarcasm about a “post racial” America. He is only too happy to exploit your anger and rage. You are being manipulated. There is a word for people that use powerful emotional images to manipulate people. That word is demagogue.

    You asked what the “hell” I want from you, what the hell do you want from me? Do you want me to believe that this cop willfully “executed” Grant in full view of scores of witnesses, fellow officers and at least two video cameras? I am not willing to do that just to assuage your anger or avoid your “very white” taunts.

    Here’s what I am willing to do. I am willing to demand that the Oakland city prosecutor, and the BART authority, vigorously investigate the incident and hold the officer and anyone else responsible accountable for the tragic death of Oscar Grant.

    If that isn’t enough than what is?

  24. Lance

    Sure it’s possible, but is it likely or supported by the evidence?

    If it turns out that a thorough, impartial investigation indicates that the cop purposely killed Oscar Grant because of his race, or any other reason, then the cop should get the maximum sentence under the law for aggravated first degree murder.

    If it turns out that the BART authorities encouraged or tolerated racial discrimination there should be widespread changes to the system and civil or criminal penalties for the people responsible.

    Again that is if the evidence supports such conclusions.

    Do you believe that is what happened? If so why? What I have seen leads me to believe that the cop acted recklessly and negligently. I have a hard time believing that he “executed” Grant, for being black, under the circumstances shown on the video.

    Even a hard core Aryan Nation psycho wouldn’t expect to get away with an “execution” in public with witnesses and video cameras rolling. Seriously, what do you think happened based on the video evidence?

  25. TripLBee

    The video evidence couldn’t be more clear. There was a defenseless person, who was either handcuffed, or at the very least physically subdued, lying on his stomach, with is face on the ground. The cop pulled his gun from his holster, took a step back, shot the man in the back and killed him. This is a rather text book definition of murder. My guess is that had Oscar Grant and his friends done exactly to the same thing to the cop in question, you would have no trouble identifying the action for what it was….murder.

    Several years ago, in Oakland by the way, I participated in a community dialogue between some Oakland police officers and some young men of color from East Oakland. The young men were complaining to the cops about the fact that they not only felt unprotected by the cops, but that they felt threatened because of the constant harassment and occasional physical violence to which they were subjected. Tellingly, the cops didn’t even deny the fact that they routinely harassed and ocassionally beat up black and Latino men. Rather, they tried to explain why it was a necessary evil. At one point an exasperated cop said (on TV by the way, the forum was being taped)—and I remember this word for word: “It’s dangerous out there. I got a family at home. I’m gonna do what I gotta do to get home to my family.” In response, a teenage boy said, ” You know what. I gotta family too, and now maybe I’ll do what I gotta do to get home to them.” I can understand his mindset.

  26. ph2072

    TripLBee – is there any way I can get in touch with you? I’d rather carry what I want to say off this board. I’m already holding my tongue. Thank you speaking for me.

    Back on topic…..

  27. Lance


    News reports indicate that the officer was arrested in Nevada on homicide charges. I never argued with the use of the word “murder” although the word homicide might be a more useful term. It was the use of the word “execution” that I objected to.

    Execution connotes official government sanction and intent on the part of the officer.

    It will be interesting to hear what his lawyer has to say at the press conference he has scheduled later today.

    The lawyer says that the officer fled the state out of fear for his safety. He resigned to avoid an official mandatory interview on the shooting where he would not be able to plead the fifth and still remain an officer.

    The guy is on his own now. I expect that he will at the minimum face negligent homicide charges and in light of his non-cooperation with investigators to this point likely be charged with more serious charges such as manslaughter or even second degree murder.

    I am anxious to hear his “explanation” of his actions.

    The BART board has indicated that they will make the investigation as transparent as possible.

    Are you satisfied to this point with the official response to this incident or do you see evidence that the “system” is protecting officer Mehserle or dragging its feet because Grant was black?

    That is really the question here. SB used the incident to mock the idea that America was beginning to live up to its claim of “justice for all”. The test of his cynical critique isn’t whether injustices will occur but how the system will deal with the perpetrators and assist and comfort those that have been transgressed.

  28. RisingTide

    you make a few good points. but if we can do more to prevent tragedies, shouldn’t we? psych evals mandatory for all police officers, once a year. counseling if they’ve got issues, and desk duty if they’re serious.

  29. Lance

    Rising Tide,

    “…you make a few good points. but if we can do more to prevent tragedies, shouldn’t we? psych evals mandatory for all police officers, once a year. counseling if they’ve got issues, and desk duty if they’re serious.”

    All good suggestions. These are the kind of constructive criticisms that are appropriate after this kind of tragic incident. Outrage is appropriate as well but it needs to be tempered with reason and purpose.

  30. Lance


    Uh, exactly where did I claim that anything was “post-racial”. It is clear to me that many of the people on this website are evidence of the fact that many Americans cling desperately to a race oriented worldview.

    I would like us to work on getting past it instead of viewing everything through an our “race” vs. their “race” lens.

    Oh, and I think you meant “bite the weenie”.

  31. TripLBee


    I’m not the least bit satisfied with official response to this incident. When an officer shoots and kills a person, regardless of the circumstances, he/she should be interviewed immediately. It took TWO WEEKS for this man to be arrested and interviewed, and apparently it only occurred because he fled the frigging state. This guy had plenty of time to work with the other officers to fabricate a story, he had time to flee the state, and on and on and on. He quit the police force within 24 hours of the shooting in order to avoid a mandatory interview. Are you fucking kidding me? That should have prompted an IMMEDIATE warrant for his arrest. To be clear, authorities arrested people involved in disturbances related to the incident long before they arrested the actual suspect. So no, I’m not at all satisfied with the official response.

    Furthermore, this wasn’t just any old incident. The fact that this incident became a viral video hit within a day, makes it all the more mind boggling that the officer was not arrested and questioned FOR TWO FRIGGING WEEKS. If the Alameda County DA’s office (which has never indicted a BART cop for a killing in spite of nearly 20 killings in BART’s 32 year history) was too incompetent to arrest and question this guy, then Jerry Brown (former Gov. of California, former mayor of Oakland for Christ’s sake and current Attorney General for the State of California) should have issued a warrant for his arrest.

    I could go on and on. But the fact that it took so long to arrest this guy in spite of the substantial evidence indicating his guilt, the fact that the story has been playing around the world, and a near riot occurred as a result of the murder, is an indication that public officials protect each other.

    Lance, I’m not trying to be patronizing, but I am trying to educate you about this issue. As a white American (I am assuming that you are a white American) there is no way you would know about the historical, ongoing relationship between police and the black community. I am not a radical. I have been participating in this blog because I find SB’s writing skills superb and his analysis interesting. But I often disagree with him, and he allows me the room to engage my disagreements with him in a mutually respectful way. Even as a mainstream “buppie” I am completely aware of the fact that black and brown people, but especially black people, are routinely mistreated by police. There has been study after study documenting the different treatment that black and white Americans receive from the police, criminal justice, etc. (Go to the Pew Center’s website if you are interested in learning more about this.) As a result, black and white Americans tend to see incidents such as the Rodney King beating and the Oscar Grant murder differently. Those differences are not born from some innate paranoia by blacks or some inherent prejudice by whites. They are the result of the radically different experiences that the typical white American and the typical black American have with the police. I still don’t understand how you can watch that video, or imbibe the consistent, near uniform rage of the black participants in this blog and still resist the notion that race played an obvious role in this incident. To us black folk, the Oscar Grant murder is an old, continuing story. Perhaps this is new to you. I don’t know. But it would be refreshing for you to consider that our opinions might be valid.

  32. ph2072

    Rising Tide:

    I think psych evaluations ought to be completed by them TWICE per year.

    In Mexico, anyone going into the helping professions (psychology, psychiatry, social work, etc.) is MANDATED to have one before entry into university AND they have to have counseling throughout the duration of their studies. The same ought to go for those in any type of law enforcement in the United States. (I think the same should be done before one decides to become a parent, but that’s a different topic for a different day.)

    And until people of color have the same life expectancy and health outcomes as Caucasians, the same education and institutes of education as Caucasians, the same opportunities to purchase a home or obtain a job as Caucasians, and etc. etc. etc., then race will continue to be a lens for us. And I don’t mean shiftless people amongst people of color either; I mean people who are trying hard every day to live a decent life but can’t because of race and color.

    I’m gonna end here before I say something in fury.

  33. Lance


    I didn’t find your post to be patronizing in the slightest. I am well aware of the different perspectives held by different groups of people in our society. I am a “white” man married to a “black”(Ethiopian) woman. I have a keen interest in making sure our “bi-racial” kids (or whatever you want to call them, I just call them children) live in a world where people are people PERIOD.

    Here are some facts that are true irrespective of one’s perspective. A felony murder warrant was issued for Mehserle. He was arrested and appeared in court shackled and in prison pajamas. He has been extradited to California to face murder charges. There are at least four different governmental organizations investigating the incident. It has been in the national news since the first few days after the shooting.

    Your complaint seems to focus on the fact that it took twelve days for this to unfold. A police action shooting is not the same thing as a random crime. While all defendants have a presumption of innocence a police officer in the line of duty has even more stringent protections. These protocols do not include throwing the cop in jail first and then proceeding with the investigation.

    The exception to this is if the police that witnessed the shooting had thought that Mehserle had committed a crime rather than made a tragic mistake or violated department policies on discharging his weapon. Then they would be duty bound to arrest him on the spot.

    Had Mehserle cooperated with both his department’s investigation and that of the district attorney he would, most likely, be a free man at this time. That he resigned, refused to cooperate and fled are the reasons he is imprisoned at this time.

    The above points are not in dispute.

    Mehserle did not run the minute he shot Oscar Grant. I assume he finished his shift, met with a supervisor and went home. He was probably placed on administrative duties or leave. He was scheduled to meet with investigators within a few days of the incident, in accordance with department policy, but had his attorney and the police union representative deliver a letter stating that he was resigning and thus not obligated to meet with investigators as a provision of his employment.

    At this point the department was still conducting an investigation. The only way to force Mehserle to meet with them would be to issue an arrest warrant. Since an investigation had just begun it isn’t clear that they would have even known what to charge him with. They had no reason to assume he was a flight risk so they continued the investigation.

    When Mehserle fled to Nevada this forced their hand, along with the mounting political pressure. They issued a felony homicide warrant and he turned himself in to local Nevada authorities.

    So far none of this sounds like a racially inspired, gross miscarriage of justice to me. If you think that some racially inspired injustice has occurred please tell me the specific actions that did or did not occur that indicate this injustice.

    If the facts of the shooting were so clear cut as to accuse officer Mehserle of an “execution” style murder then the other officers on the scene should have arrested him. Do you suppose that the multiple police officers on the scene thought that they had witnessed an execution style murder and are complicit with Mehserle and engaging in a conspiracy or cover up?

    Do you think that the BART and Oakland city officials are somehow acting illegally or negligently to protect Mehserle?

    So far I’ve just heard angry rhetoric backed up by claims of historic racial injustice. I want to correct any injustice, racial or otherwise, in our society. What specific actions are you criticizing? If you have suggestions to correct the situation, as Rising Tide provided, please bring them forward.

    I am being honest and respectful. I want to discuss this with you and anyone else interested. I am always hearing people saying we need a “dialogue” on race. Let’s have one.

  34. TripLBee


    I think I was crystal clear in my previous post. I don’t believe that I need to explicate any further on why I think the handling of this case represents a miscarriage of justice. I also hope that you are not so naive as to think that your children are merely people and not people of color. That’s a pleasant, utopian ideal that many white Americans latch onto, usually, I believe, as a mechanism for avoiding the ugly narratives of racial animosity. That would be doing them and yourself a profound disservice. In any event, it’s not my place to give you parenting tips, but since you raised the topic, I thought I would add my two cents.

    Also, your self-description jarred my memory, and I recall that you have commented on racial perspectives in earlier posts. I also recall that you and I had a previous exchange about several incidents from my life that I recounted in this blog. In those discussions, as in these, you tried to convince me that ugly circumstances I described had nothing to do with my race. I guess I’m tired of having this conversation with you and—particularly after my previous post—believe that you are not open to considering data, opinions or experiences that conflict with your pre-conceived notions.

  35. Lance


    Well that was a short conversation, ended by you. I reached out, you said get lost.

    So let’s see, if I don’t immediately change my views to yours then I am not “…open to considering data, opinions or experiences that conflict…” with my “pre-conceived notions”. Hmmm really?

    I gave specific facts and asked you, respectfully, for specific answers. You insulted me and walked off.

    Oh, and my kids are just kids. They aren’t “African Americans” or “bi-racial”. They are quite proud of their heritages, all of them; Ethiopian, Icelandic, Italian, Scottish etc. But they know they are human beings and Americans and more importantly unique individuals.

    They also will be taught that they might run into people that want to make judgments about them based on the color of their skin, texture of their hair or any other number of completely irrelevant things.

    Would you have me tell them that the cops are out to get them? Or that America is a racist country where they will be second class citizens and to be suspicious of other people based on the irrelevant physical characteristics those other people may exhibit? No thanks.

    I am willing to work to make our country and the world a better place. I never discounted your personal experiences. I asked you for a discussion and for suggestions to improve things.

    Are you still walking away?

  36. TripLBee

    NO Lance. That’s not what you did. To me and to every other person to whom you’ve pontificated in this blog, you’ve condescended to us and discounted our opinions. For some reason, you have ordained yourself the expert on black culture and experience and are out to convince all of us that we are wrong. I have not ended the conversation with you. YOu have simply refused to engage in a conversation. I’m not trying to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. I am simply asking you to consider the prospect that WE MIGHT be right about the Oscar Grant situation in particular, and that our opinions are validated. You seem unwilling to consider that prospect, even though our own experiences are far closer to the complicated fabric that led to Grant’s death. As is typical, you discount our analysis and anger, as the passionate ramblings of the insane. You boil us down to whiners who would teach our children that the cops are out to get them, that they are second class citizens, etc. Your tone is stereotypical and insultingly condescending. That you describe yourself as a liberal, open to racial healing, is profoundly disheartening.

  37. Burroughston Broch

    Would this particular post and blog exist if Oscar Grant was not black? I wager there would be nothing here if he were Hispanic. Nobody(except Lance)focuses on progress – everyone else vents.

  38. Lance


    You say, “As is typical, you discount our analysis and anger, as the passionate ramblings of the insane.” That is a rather inaccurate, not to mention inflammatory, characterization of my remarks. You seem anxious to insult me and distort my remarks, why?

    You say, “You have simply refused to engage in a conversation. I’m not trying to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. I am simply asking you to consider the prospect that WE MIGHT be right about the Oscar Grant situation in particular, and that our opinions are validated.”

    If I am not willing to immediately concede that officer Mehserle purposely “executed” Grant and that the authorities, at all levels, delayed action to “protect each other” I am somehow “refusing to engage in a conversation”?

    Those are incredibly serious charges that, if true, would mean that a racist conspiracy existed at all levels of at least the California government. When I present another possible scenario of the events you get angry and say, “To me and to every other person to whom you’ve pontificated in this blog, you’ve condescended to us and discounted our opinions. For some reason, you have ordained yourself the expert on black culture and experience and are out to convince all of us that we are wrong.” Huh?!

    The way conversations work is that one person puts forth an idea and then asks for comment. I never said that I was an “authority on black culture” or even mentioned black culture. I spoke specifically of the events of the Oscar Grant case and asked you specific questions. Rather than address those questions you chose to get pissed off and hurl invective.

    Also you seem to think that I should somehow treat my kids differently because they are of “mixed race” or I am doing them a “disservice”. I mentioned that I tell my kids that they are unique individuals and that some people may hold prejudices based on their irrelevant physical features, but that I will not tell them to be afraid of the cops or to view themselves as second class citizens. You seem to think that is being “stereotypical and insultingly condescending”.

    You say, “You boil us down to whiners who would teach our children that the cops are out to get them, that they are second class citizens, etc.” Again I never said anyone was a “whiner” just that people allow their emotions to get ahead of the facts sometimes.

    As for the remarks about second class citizens and being taught to fear the cops what else is one to make of the view that Oscar Grant was targeted by the police for “execution” because he was black and that there has been a systematic cover up or series of purposeful delays in the investigation of Grants’ murder? If that were true then certainly you should teach your kids to fear the cops and view themselves as second class citizens.

    I understand that race continues to influence many aspects of our law enforcement and justice systems. I am talking to you to get your perspective as a person that has become exasperated with the issue based on his personal experience and those of his friend and relatives. But if you want to convince me that Oscar Grant was purposely “executed” and that this is routine and that the system condones or even encourages this behavior you are going to have to give me specific evidence.

    It is not enough to make accusations of a monstrous crime perpetrated and encouraged by the system and when I ask for specific evidence and suggest other possibilities to angrily insult me and claim that I being condescending and “refusing to listen”.

    I’m sorry if my views and questions are ticking you off. I am trying to be honest and reasonable. Please try to respond in the spirit of understanding and respect that I write these posts rather than looking for something to label me a “stereotypical white liberal” or whatever other caricature you may use to avoid real dialogue.

    Getting mad and walking away may be emotionally satisfying but it isn’t going to change anything for the better.

  39. Cliff

    “Would this particular post and blog exist if Oscar Grant was not black?”

    Okay Burroughston Broch, if Oscar Grant were white instead of black, then the officer would have not have shot him, therefore no story, okay that is correct.

    The officer hears a constant voice in his head, which says, “I must kill all Negras!”

    “All Negras must die!”

    You’re right, if Oscar Grant were white, No story.

    No Passion for Murder.

    No staged execution.

    No hunger, to please the philosophy of the Bay Area Rapid Transit officer’s police code.

    Seeing a white man on the ground with his hands behind his back, these same voices do not go off in the officer’s head.

    He is only trained to kill black people, substitute a 22 year old white man, okay, good point, NO STORY.

    “To us black folk, the Oscar Grant murder is an old, continuing story.” TLB

    Slavemaster: You gotdamn right it is a old story and I will continya’ to make it continyain’ story. I will continya’ to murder and incarcerate every one of em’ I can find until the day I die.

    You see the type of mind we’re dealing with. This is why Obama is like Dr. Nevel.

    Obama: You are sick, and I can help you!

  40. ph2072

    “…..Because of the intense public interest I think more resources were put into wrapping this up than would be put in in other situations.”

    Alameda County District Attorney, Tom Orloff http://www.ktvu.com/video/18481107/index.html (video 6:46 minutes long)

    In 14 years as Alameda County District Attorney, Tom Orloff had never before charged a police officer for an on-duty shooting. And when asked, several legal experts were unable to come up with any examples of officer-involved shootings becoming murder cases in California.


    Assuming that there are folks from the Oakland area who may know more about the demographics of those killed by police officers (I’m not from the Oakland area), it would not surprise me if all or most of the deaths involved black/brown people.

    Venting? Not discussing progress? Give me a break.

  41. TripLBee


    I grew up in DC, went to school in New Haven, lived in Oakland for several years, then moved to Chicago, and just moved to LA. In the 11 years I was in Oakland all of the people who were killed by police were either black, Latino or mentally ill. (There’s a huge homeless population of mentally ill people in the Bay Area.) That being said, I still don’t think that the police in the Bay Area are anywhere near as bad as those in the D.C. area, New Haven or Chicago—where they are damn near a Gestapo. When I was growing up in DC, for example, it was just understood that you watched your back in neighboring Prince George’s County, because the cops there were so bad. I had a few bad incidents in Oakland, but overall I found the cops there much friendlier and less offensive than in the other places I’ve lived. That’s why I was surprised about the Oscar Grant murder. I would have expected that in NYC, Philly, DC, Chicago, Texas, anywhere down South or even LA (where I hear the cops are horrible, but have not had any bad experiences thusfar).

  42. ph2072

    And thanks for answering TripLBee. I live in one of the cities that you mentioned and yes, the police here are disgusting. The only one who doesn’t disgust me is my good friend who happens to be on the force.

  43. Burroughston Broch

    ph2072, so it’s not worthy of consideration because you don’t think it likely? It happens but it doesn’t make the front page in the mainstream media. Check the statistics.

  44. ph2072

    No one said it wasn’t worthy of consideration. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    I’m trying to find statistics now but it’s kind of difficult; it might be the way I’m phrasing my questions in my search.

  45. Burroughston Broch

    ph2072, you’re right – I did put words in your mouth and I apologize.

    I can’t speak about rest of the country but I can assure you that black cops shoot white, hispanic, vietnamese, ukrainian and all sorts of people in metro Atlanta. It seems only to make the front pages when the person shot is black. The greatest shame is that most of the shootings are black on black with no cops involved.

  46. Fred Ziffle

    Seems pretty cut and dry to me. If you dress like a gangster, act like a gangster, want people to be scared of you cause you think you’re a gangster, then guess what? You got exatly what you wanted.

    I seriously doubt he’s gonna be missed after all the “in memory of” t-shirts fade.

  47. Karl

    With regards to the being mistaken for a taser bit, do remember the following: aside from the weight, color and size differences, the taser is worn on the opposite side (away from the strong hand/shooting hand) and was in fact on the left side of the pig’s duty belt (the cop was a righty). Secondly, if you watch the video you will see the murderer look down at his holster and seat the weapon (gun) before sitting on the mans back and then drawing it out and shooting.

    With regards to the Burroughston monkey comments about all the other people black cops in atlanta shoot, post a link or keep your filthy mouth shut…next…in fact monkey, why dont you post a link of a black cop shooting a white boy period….then post a link of a black cop shooting an unarmed white boy…wait you cant, cause that never happens…idiot….keep your mouth shut.

    And as for the monkey named Fred Zizzle…by dress like a thug what would you be meaning? Wearing his black skin, because in the picture during his shooting he was wearing a a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt…since when is that thug wear….oh yeah when it’s on black people….shut up

  48. White in Detroit

    Hey, remember me? I was THE white kid in your class at MLK. THE white person on your block. It was a shock to me to learn that blacks were minorities in this country. And I have had many unpleasant encounters with black cops. But then I was an ass when I was younger.

    The things I miss most about Detroit are the racial conversations we had, letting everything fly out of our mouths, yet remaining friends, laughing about the fallacy of racial supremacy(black and white).

    TripLBee- “What the hell do you want from us?” Would you please focus on the fact that this is yet another example of excessive force and police brutality IN THE EXTREME in which we are all potential victims. My fear of cops may be race induced as well by my upbringing.

    That’s all. Just that. It is a point we could all come together on, and you could enlist millions more crackers to your cause. Or are your simply repulsed by the thought?

    I appreciate the forum SB.

  49. White In Detroit,

    Were you a regular in this blog who had followed our conversations you would not need to rhetorically ask me “Or are you simply repulsed by the thought?” I am not at all repulsed by the thought of people of every hue coming together to build a better, more loving and peaceful planet. In fact, I think it is essential. But I simply disagree—vehemently—with your insinuation that police brutality cuts both ways in terms of race. While you and Burroughs will be able to find anecdotal incidents suggesting otherwise, the fact remains that black and brown people are exponentially more likely to be the victims of police brutality. If you recall the history of your own Detroit in the mid-60s you will be reminded of this sad fact.

  50. White in Detroit

    It ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT CUT BOTH WAYS, I know and I sympathize and I advocate and I act. And I temper my passions.

    All I want is progress.

    peace out

  51. White in Detroit

    I guess I am asking you to consider that race was not necessarily THE prime motive but the event is SO OUTRAGEOUS I cannot even argue it without appearing to be cold hearted so let me try another tact.

    Many times in Detroit I would do things that I know were perceived as racist. I was as race blind as I believe anyone can be and I don’t mean in the liberal patronizing way. I mean that I looked into people’s eyes and I saw the same things in the mirror. But I know that many perceived the scowl on my face as directed towards them. And I know that they were told in many churches and mosques that it was. I think that kind of disinformation is the most harmful thing that exists today. I believe that these resentments and paradigms that are taught and encouraged in Detroit and in the black community causes more harm than good. I’m thinking here of Farrakhan, Rev. Wright etc. Even though I understand they were originally empowering and I value that.

    All governments lie and we must ALL be ever vigilant against it. The race is secondary and inflammatory. The statistics do not lie though and I DON’T DISPUTE them in the least but race is a narrow way to interpret the data. Correlation does not imply causation. I was always stopped by black cops because all the cops in my neighborhood were black. I was always white when I ran a light and even when I didn’t.

    I have come to tolerate this country for first throwing off the chains and ending European Colonial oppression and then turning around and freeing the rest of us. If you feel your means are effective than I will concede.

  52. White in Detroit

    And you know as well as I do that is pure speculation. How many detentions go without incident. But I’m done stressing the point. Just know that you have many on your side until we get things right. May that bastard rot in hell.

  53. White in Detroit,

    I want to stress that I appreciate your desire to be civil and even handed. My prior post, I believe, is not pure speculation. That statement is predicated on the fact that I cannot recall a single case where an innocent white person was murdered by the police. Off of the top of my head I can think of dozens of cases where black and brown people were murdered by the police and I’ve probably forgotten dozens more. So my prior post, rather that speculation, is based on data.

  54. MiseginatedMadwoman

    rikyrah— Wow, your white colleagues are prob middle to upper middle class, suburban professionals… aren’t they? (If I’m wrong… do correct me)

    If it makes you feel better, it’s life or death for white folk to have that conversation with their kids too… If those white folk are poor, belong to a “deviant” social group, or have the “wrong” social/religious beliefs.

    Trust me, I look like a white chick… I’m paler than most of the pure-bloods. (‘specially since I’ve gone blonde) I was raised in suburban Nebraska, so I act like one too. I am OFFICIALLY the honkiest quadracial chick in the history of anything. Still, you wouldn’t BELIEVE the shit cops have put me and mine through though. (Actually, if you’re black… you would, you’ve likely seen or experienced this shit first-hand)

    Now.. I’m presuming you know plenty of black women. Therefore, I’m presuming you also know the whole new dimension of wonder being female adds to the situation when a cop decides to be a total fuck-tard. (pardon my french)

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