Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

An Op-ed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, May 30, 2020, LA Times (a few outtakes; my bolds)

“What do you see when you see angry black protesters amassing outside police stations with raised fists? If you’re white, you may be thinking, “They certainly aren’t social distancing.” Then you notice the black faces looting Target and you think, “Well, that just hurts their cause.” Then you see the police station on fire and you wag a finger saying, “That’s putting the cause backward.”

You’re not wrong — but you’re not right, either. The black community is used to the institutional racism inherent in education, the justice system and jobs. And even though we do all the conventional things to raise public and political awareness — write articulate and insightful pieces in the Atlantic, explain the continued devastation on CNN, support candidates who promise change — the needle hardly budges.

“Yes, protests often are used as an excuse for some to take advantage, just as when fans celebrating a hometown sports team championship burn cars and destroy storefronts. I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.
…………………………..
So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether protesters are standing three or six feet apart or whether a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive. Or whether being black means sheltering at home for the rest of their lives because the racism virus infecting the country is more deadly than COVID-19.
………………………………..
“Worst of all, is that we are expected to justify our outraged behavior every time the cauldron bubbles over. Almost 70 years ago, Langston Hughes asked in his poem “Harlem”: “What happens to a dream deferred?  Maybe it sags…like a heavy load…
Or does it explode?”
……………………………….
“What I want to see is not a rush to judgment, but a rush to justice.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the N.B.A.’s all-time leading scorer, is the author of 16 books, including, most recently, “Mycroft & Sherlock —The Empty Birdcage” www.kareemabduljabbar.com

How do our minds not once again go  reeling back in time to the original civil rights movement featuring the Bull Connors of the South; J Edgar’s and Nixon’s War on the Black Panthers; the epic bravery of the Freedom Riders; Dwight Eisenhower’s sending 1000 federalized troops to Little Rock to aid 9 black students matriculating at Central High?

But with the election of comprador Barack Obomba, we’re now in ‘Post-racial Amerika’, right?

Social Justice Is The Way To End Riots’, June 1, 2020; [Baltimore Black Panther] Eddie Conway talks with Jacqueline Luqman about the myths surrounding peaceful protests, uprisings, economic oppression and capitalism, valuing property over people, and the country’s founding on violence’ (with transcript), TRNN, (a few bits and bobs)

Jackie Luqman: “Why are they destroying their own neighborhoods?” That just is the first indication for me that people still aren’t listening to anything people who live in these neighborhoods have said about how they’re treated in their neighborhoods, particularly by the police.

Eddie Conway: You would think with the Garner case in New York, the Mike Brown case, the Tyrone case, the Corrine Gaines case, I mean, there’s just thousands of cases, you would think by now people would understand this is a systemic problem. In this particular case, the officer that pinned this brother down had 18 complaints against him.

Jackie Luqman: Right.

Eddie Conway: 18 different people had went and said that this person [Derek Chauvin] uses excessive force and is destructive to the community and no one heard it.

Jackie Luqman: Right. I mean, that’s the thing. It’s like not only do people in Minneapolis the political structure not listen to the demands for justice from these people. And these aren’t just like frivolous things like, “Oh, this cop isn’t nice to me.” No, these were instances of this cop having actually shot other people, having killed another person. And at the time in 2009 or so, Amy Klobuchar was the top prosecutor and she refused to prosecute at least a dozen cops who had various police brutality charges against them. She refused to prosecute them.
………………………………………………..
And I’m wondering if you can help us parse through this response that people always have when there’s one of these videos that come out of the police killing someone on camera and people are always saying, “Well, we don’t have all the information and maybe the cop was right or we don’t know what the person did.” My feeling is that the police abuse people because they know they have the power of the police union behind them to pay their legal fees and defend them against prosecution, all of that. But they also know that most citizens, especially most White people are really going to support them regardless of what they do. And I’m wondering what you’re thinking about that and where you think that comes from.

Eddie Conway: Well, for me, it obviously comes from the way the economic system is set up in America. The capitalist system is set up and designed to protect property. Property is more important than human life. And most of the laws about protecting property, the more property you own, the more protection you get the law enforcement agencies know that. They get their money, donations, et cetera, from people with wealth. Here in Baltimore they’re flying a spy plane that’s been financed by a millionaire somewhere and given to them to carry out their mandate and their mandate is to protect property and to protect the capitalist system. And so, people outside of that system, people that’s not benefiting from that system, they have serious grievance and they represent a serious threat because they are not part of that system. So they need to be controlled, they need to be maintained and they need to be occupied.”


‘authority is not truth’, anthony freda

From the Black Power Mix-tape:  Angela Davis on Violence

In 1962, a confrontation with the LAPD outside a mosque resulted in the death of a Nation of Islam member. It was an event seized on by an outraged Malcolm X, who would condemn it in an impassioned speech.

Oakland Black Panther Elaine Brown on Twitter; still incendiary after all these years… (click for larger)
Black Panther Bobby Seale on Twitter

Now crimes against property are one thing, but barbaric beaters like theseFuck them; I hope they are indeed identified and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, found guilty, and go to prison..  They cause me to commit Thought Crimes™.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Cassiodorus's picture

This is because social injustice has become the last refuge of the profits system. William I. Robinson:

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

responding, but with a 49 minute opinion video on capitalism and covid-19? well, others may have the wherewithal to watch, but not i. may i say again? videos are not my allies."

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis Robinson will have a book out forthcoming in September. This was the most recent video of his I could find, and it's the most up-to-date speculation about a rather changing situation.

But yeah, this is a good diary, comprehensive, illustrates the important point that "the capitalist system is set up and designed to protect property."

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

it doesn't address: how to stop murdering us now! which is precisely why i'd brought only black voices this time.

sure we can go back to lewis lapham quarterly's old by now: 'Due Process;
Lamenting the death of the rule of law in a country where it might have always been missing
', but it acadmemic-speak still begs the other Qs: how to end the disproportiane police murders of blacks, and how to stop shooting, blindings, injuring the protestors (and media) in the how many nights now since i've been covering it here since may 27 of george floyd, breona taylor and others.

our son is now even more terrified both of martial law and of being killed while drivng and shopping while black: is yours? irrc, mimi had said her son is.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis At any rate, it's rather unclear as to whether martial law will in fact succeed. It might, and it might not. Trump is not credible with everyone in the hierarchy. You've got this idiot Tom Cotton being enabled by the New York Times, and then you have The Donald's endorsement of brutality, and what else?

As for me, I live in southern Oregon. The big city nearby is Medford, Oregon, with a population of more than 82,000 people. There were 63 COVID-19 cases in my county, which probably has about 220,000 people in it. There was a protest in Medford Friday; maybe a few hundred people. The one in Ashland, population 21,000, had maybe a thousand people. There are places to which I can escape where there are no people, only wilderness. I can live in my car if I have to. I do not have any progeny, nobody to witness the collapse of working-class America. By the way, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 500 points today, closing over 26,000. The owning class does not give a damn if agent provocateurs loot businesses in every city in America while the cops either fire rubber bullets at protesters or take a knee for them, depending upon where you are.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

when i leave a tab open too long i miss comments as i did with this one.

i'll try to remember to come back, though. just wore out my danged eyes and typing finger on my long un at the bottom.

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wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

deployed, the larger the protests might become. but from what i've read, biden and friends are covering for those deployments, so it's hard to say. no, evidently Our (FIRE)Rulers Owners don't care about looting and bullet then.

ajamu baraka seems to believe some po-po take a new under orders, wonder what they do after curfew?

now i'm not getting if your mentioning seeking space from people in the wildnerness has to do with covid cases...or something else. but me, i've been in lockdown for the past year and a half or something, as i can only go by car as luggage in the back end w/ the seat folded down. not much fun but i did have to go to the county seat to renew my DL in order to prove I'M ME, for signing documents and such.

one crutch indoors, two outdoors, gardening? not so much no mo', dagnabbit. but this is a gorgeous oasis of calm, green with trees, and wildlife we carved out here. not a bad place to be in lockdown, save for winter. terrified of the slidey white stuff on crutches, i admit.

but i look forward to hearing 'why the wilds in your car?' if you must.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis Redone photo.jpg

So it's nice out there.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

pristine conifer forest, i can almost smell it from here. but: to escape coronavirus or for other reasons? i admit i couldn't even make out how high the death counts were comparatively.

me, they'll take out in a body bag one day, lol. wish they'd take us both out on the same day, but then...if wishes were horses, and all that jazz...

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis Coronavirus isn't a really big problem here, as Jackson County, Oregon had maybe 69 cases over the whole pandemic period. Still, most places were shut down, and I wouldn't walk into a public building without using a mask. So I went -- there.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

cases, then. i can't even my how many our county has, but cases don't equal deaths, but some say 'spreading the virus'. not all that many folks wear masks around here; might be the Redneck Factor, i dunno.

'no progeny'; i'd kinda forgotten that word... by choice, i'd asume, although it's none of my nosey bidness. ; )

so glad you have such a wild (almost backyard). we used to hike up lots of CO fourteeners, but i rarely made it to the top. kinda seemed like overkill to me. ; ) we always lived in the high mountains before we came down to the banana belt here. our kids loved to camp, too, and we had rubber boats for the lakes, fished, and so on.

mr. wd's been bring mas quarantines of flowers in for me to arrange, but we decided that having say, 14 vases full in this tiny house was a few too many, and too much work to boot.
but we bought some new bulbs the year before last, and this year? oh, my, the beauty. and a large swallowtail just flew by the window. for the pat few years they and the monarchs have been so scarce.

i should go goof with the bearded irises, oriental poppies, and peonies. the peace here makes me wonder how anyone can survive city life.

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wendy davis's picture

Kareem and his family had moved to a place in the foothills above and to the north of our town in SW CO over a couple decades ago. as i remember the house, it was a revamped log place, maybe with an addition in back that would have overlooked a P-J/ponderosa pine forest.

now at 7'2", we'd been told by a friend that the local grocer had to run to keep up with him as he'd shopped.

he'd volunteered (swear to the gods) to help coach high school B-ball for free, but the head coach's (also principal) ego just wouldn't allow it. with us having a black/azteca kid on the team, boy, howdy was i pissed. then some dimwit reporter at the local cortez rag penned a piece about Kareem's having bought 'a mansion', and all sorts of accompanying rubbish, but it wasn't soon until they moved elsewhere.

wiki says he'd converted to sunni islam in 67, but didn't start using his muslin name until '71. he used to blog at the HuffPo, dunno for how long. but dayum, i wish our kid could have known him. (i'd sent him kareem's op ed above, and he said it really helped him sort things thru a bit.)

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because if they marched over to somebody else's neighborhood, they'd be machine-gunned.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

gulfgal98's picture

@UntimelyRippd by protestors destroying their own neighborhoods. How do we know that the looters live in those areas which have had physical destruction? In fact how do we even know who those looters are? Are they really protestors or could they be people hired to destroy stores and others who are just opportunists?

We have the press and public officials characterizing cops who commit crimes as being the exception and that most cops are really good guys. And yet we are seeing over and over cops shooting into crowds of peaceful protestors, the most recent being in Washington DC. Shooting rubber bullets into a crowd can result in permanent injury or even death. Setting off flash grenades or tear gas canisters can do the same. And yet we never see a cop stop another cop from shooting at civilians or running into them with car or throwing flash grenades or tear gas canisters at civilians.

Quite frankly, I am sick of people trying to discredit what is real pain of real people whose elected officials refuse to listen to them and continue to inflict dehumanization, bodily harm, or even death upon them.

For one thing, many of these protests are huge with thousands of people participating, most of them young but mostly they are racially mixed protests. George Floyd's murder was the spark that set them off, but the tinder for them has been festering for decades. Black people have known it all along, but now white people are starting to realize that they have no human value to this system of increasing oppression and dehumanization brought about by neoliberalism and now put into practice by increasing fascism in this country. And every elected official who has failed to speak out and move to make real changes is culpable.

The first thing that must change is the entire system of policing and justice and it has to change now. One city council member in Minneapolis has recognized that and posted that he is trying to work with other council members to disband the police department and start anew with major structural changes. I am posting the first in a series of tweets the Councilman Steve Fletcher has posted. Click on it to read the entire series.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

ggersh's picture

@gulfgal98 Hopefully Steve Fletcher accomplishes his goal

Hopefully the people win the fight

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this time it's different

empty suit on Kapernick

"“Kapernick needs to think about the pain he’s causing military families."

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

what-in-the-world supposition. regardless of kareem's understanding as to the why's about crimes against property, you've likely seen White Umbrella Man w/ gas mask at work on the auto zone windows in St. Paul:

and caitlin johntone had reported that citizen journalists showing that police infiltrator cops as 'protestors' sport white armbands in order to identify one another:

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@wendy davis
WTF do you mean "what-in-the-world supposition"? Did you read the content of your own post?

Jackie Luqman: “Why are they destroying their own neighborhoods?” That just is the first indication for me that people still aren’t listening to anything people who live in these neighborhoods have said about how they’re treated in their neighborhoods, particularly by the police.

This is what I get for taking even 20 seconds of my day to express even the most casual musing around here.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

on later edit:

Jackie Luqman: “Why are they destroying their own neighborhoods?” That just is the first indication for me that people still aren’t listening to anything people who live in these neighborhoods have said about how they’re treated in their neighborhoods, particularly by the police.

Luqman was parroting that constant Q in the white media. she answers it:

That just is the first indication for me that people still aren’t listening to anything people who live in these neighborhoods have said about how they’re treated in their neighborhoods, particularly by the police.

sorry i got caught up in your 'machine gunning' image to see what you'd done. you may have been careful about your words, but i wasn't. you missed the context entirely.

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@wendy davis
i forgot nothing: my words were very carefully chosen, incorporating at least two significant subtleties that were probably lost on you; and i will not be condescended to by someone who comprehends almost nothing that I have to say.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

wendy davis's picture

@UntimelyRippd

i'd purposely built this diary to bring black voices' understandings 'the riots' and why sometimes for the citizens who have been constantly oppressed by the state, riots act as unheard voices. and they have worked in so many areas.

but you'd also added (bafflingly) "....because if they marched over to somebody else's neighborhood, they'd be machine-gunned.

what's that about? 'machined-gunned' by whom?

peace to you, and to all of us, when we're able.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

And yet you were quick to fire off a shot before you clarified the comment, or created a hospitable environment to do that. I’ve seen you wonder out loud in some of your other essays about the lack of interest in a specific topic. Perhaps it’s not the topic itself but rather the environment in which the discussion is taking place that people wish to avoid?

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

'troubling' instead, ad asked how 'machine-gunning' entered his mind. but yes, i'd certainly thought that it may have my sharp thorns or however you'd expressed yourself...of which you spoke.

but look, anja, this long history of police state against blacks and other people of color (and especially the underclass) has gone on since since the original police: slave patrols, with only breaks in mass protests now and again. and the same groups are apparently dying on a similar virus that cause covid-19, as kareem noted, and other black voices i've brought.

gulfgal's lengthy explanatory pushback got right to the heart of it, didn't it?

but for blacks, especially, we seem to have hit an existential tipping point, so no, it may not be the time for being simply polite, neither in the protests, nor necessarily on the boards. i know you and many others are easily upset by jarring events and comments, but on this particular post i seriously wanted to have others hear from black voices.

from a PM i'd received earlier concerning the blanket term 'violence', i'll address that after i eat my toast. : )

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Anja Geitz's picture

@wendy davis

I’ve rarely known Untimely Ripped to be anything but very precise with his words and ideas. But no matter, even if you didn’t misunderstand, contributors here shouldn’t expect, or demand, that everyone here agree with their premise. And when there is disagreement, let’s not be personally put out by it? We all have enough on our plates these days to trouble and stress each other out every freaking day. We don’t need to add visiting this place as another barbed wire fence of acrimony for members to worry about.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

but look, anja, this long history of police state against blacks and other people of color (and especially the underclass) has gone on since since the original police: slave patrols, with only breaks in mass protests now and again. and the same groups are apparently dying on a similar virus that cause covid-19, as kareem noted, and other black voices i've brought.

Because I certainly do and I have been writing about the uprisings with this as my focus long before I joined the blue blog. And others here know the history of how blacks have been treated here and they are acknowledging it.

Wendy the atmosphere in some of your essays does come across hostile when you tell people that you don't like videos or the articles they post are too long for you to read. That is fine because I understand your limitations, however comments posted are also for others to bring forth information that adds to the conversation and I appreciate people doing so and maybe when they post just links they can add a small summary, but as long as they stay on topic. Too many get derailed by info that is not related. This is my pet peeve. At least acknowledge the topic if you want to bring in other info. It takes a lot of work for me to write on some days for various reasons and then to see them get derailed....

On further reading I might add that not all comments are addressed only to you, but to others here.

may i take it that neither you

@Unabashed Liberal nor @NYCV take kareem's words to heart, then? it seems a bit foolish to quote them again, but still i will:

You are dismissing what they think because you don't agree with them? Do we want an echo chamber?

on edit: it makes me feel hopeless that you don't understand that 'riots are the voices of the terminally unheard and discounted.' who fucking cares about 'crimes against property', it's crimes against humanity that matter to me, in this case all of the po-po nationally who kill black people with impunity, especially the underclass.

Do you know that they don't understand that? Why can't they add their own views to your essay?

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

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wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

but here are a few things Fletcher said:

Jun 2
Our city needs a public safety capacity that doesn’t fear our residents. That doesn’t need a gun at a community meeting. That considers itself part of our community. That doesn’t resort quickly to pepper spray when people are understandably angry. That doesn’t murder black men.

We can totally reimagine what public safety means, what skills we’re recruiting for, what tools we do and don’t need. We can invest in cultural competency and mental health training, de-escalation and conflict resolution.

We can send a city response that makes situations better. We can resolve confusion over a $20 grocery transaction without drawing a weapon, or pulling out handcuffs.

•The whole world is watching, and we can declare policing as we know it a thing of the past, and create a compassionate, non-violent future. It will be hard. But so is managing a dysfunctional relationship with an unaccountable armed force in our city.

he'd also said that it wa protestors who'd gotten the four police fired, but to my mind it was the #IncreasetheCharges movement that worked, as we see today.

good on him. (i'm reading an ajamu baraka column and am having a bit of a time sussing out its meaning. i voted for him last presidential cycle.) ; ) if i finally get it, i'll bring some of it.

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gulfgal98's picture

@wendy davis It came to my attention via a third party. I do not know who this man is politically, but it appears that he does care about governing to the benefit of real human beings.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

that this isn't new thinking on his part (with a video, perhaps?) but on this ancient firefox i require, tweets begin to bounce up and down, so...i stopped trying to copy paste. no, i'd never heard of him, either, but that's not surprising: a hella lotta US reps, eh?

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@UntimelyRippd are the ones being looted this time. Buckhead in Atlanta. Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue, Soho, Macy's flagship in Herald Square in NYC. Melrose Place and the Santa Monica 3rd St. Promenade. And many more.

That's one difference now.

Another is that Police Precinct #3 in Minneapolis---the home precinct of the 4 murderers was Breached. Looted. And Burned to the ground.

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NYCVG

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@NYCVG

of course, many cities are almost completely gentrified, now. (Buckhead is where met and married Mr M.)

First cousins are considering moving, due to the damage and destruction to their business the other evening. That's in spite of the fact that the maternal side of our extended family landed there straight from Ireland in the 1800's. Plus, they're life-long 'yellow dog' Dems. So angry, now, they're going to sit out the November election. (they'd never consider voting for DT, and, but, they're also too 'conservadem' to vote Green Party, etc.)

Because of my experiences as a very young person (when my Father protested in Selma and Montgomery) cannot condone violence. Aside, of course, from self-defense--which is not the same thing, IMO. Plus, instigating violence and destruction almost always backfires.

So grateful that charges have finally been brought. Now, gotta keep the heat on, so that DA's don't drop the ball.

Mollie

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

nor @NYCV take kareem's words to heart, then? it seems a bit foolish to quote them again, but still i will:

Then you see the police station on fire and you wag a finger saying, “That’s putting the cause backward.”

I don’t want to see stores looted or even buildings burn. But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere.

So, maybe the black community’s main concern right now isn’t whether protesters are standing three or six feet apart or whether a few desperate souls steal some T-shirts or even set a police station on fire, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops or wannabe cops just for going on a walk, a jog, a drive.

on edit: it makes me feel hopeless that you don't understand that 'riots are the voices of the terminally unheard and discounted.' who fucking cares about 'crimes against property', it's crimes against humanity that matter to me, in this case all of the po-po nationally who kill black people with impunity, especially the underclass.

in this case three murders loomed large, but if you think that charging the others for george floyd's lynchers will result in any meaningful sentences, my guess is that's a pipedream. their unions will pay for 'expert witnesses' to convince the juries that they 'had no choice'.

and all this has been going on since the '60s, then again in watts in whatever year. beaten, pummeled, and broken rodney king's plaint: "why can' we all get along?"

do you reckon the black underclass has forgotten the long history? again, which is why i'd brought black voices.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wendy davis

my other comment.

Relating the thoughts and actions of first cousins, doesn't mean that I'm in agreement with their opinions, or, would react the same way.

(Mr M and I DemExited in 2004, and, wouldn't vote for a Dem under any circumstance. So, right there, we're as far apart, as we could be. IOW, we would never have considered voting for Biden in the first place.)

Unlike either of my cousins (to my knowledge), as a child, had to be whisked away from several protests--along with my Brother and children of other protesters--for our own personal safety (even though we were just children). Usually, we were taken about 70 miles down the road from Selma, to Monroe County, AL. And, my Father--lily white, and standing 6'7" tall--was often a target of the AL State Police. In spite of that, he carried no weapons. That has greatly influenced my own thinking, I'm sure.

That aside, I'm very sorry if relating my cousins' experience seems insensitive, or uncaring. That was not my intended message. Again, that's their takeaway.

Of course, I'm quite a few years younger than them, so, my own experience has been a bit different. As I mentioned, in my other comment, what's happened this past week was inevitable. (IMO) Which is one way of saying, understandable, after so many years of racial injustice and oppression.

Take care.

Blue

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Because of my experiences as a very young person (when my Father protested in Selma and Montgomery) cannot condone violence. Aside, of course, from self-defense--which is not the same thing, IMO. Plus, instigating violence and destruction almost always backfires.

i'd assumed you'd just left you'd left out an I, as in:: I cannot condone violence. Aside, of course, from self-defense--which is not the same thing, IMO. Plus, instigating violence and destruction almost always backfires.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I can hardly overstate how much I LOVE that slogan. Talk about INCLUSIVE! It doesn't just talk about the problems of one ethnic group, it's evocative of practically everything.

The environment; the war on freedom, privacy, and dignity; voter repression; the pincer-tactics war on the middle class; the stultification of arts and culture; thought control, political religion, and groupthink; cliocide; media consolidation; toxic "technology"; anti-intellectualism and humorlessness; the crushing weight of watching a decades-long parade of war criminals go free - and this darn pandemic's just a fucking cherry on top!

I!
CAN'T!!
BREATHE!!!

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

longtalldrink's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat We as a society are suffocating under the iron weight of elite tyranny. No one is taking a free breath anymore...full of toxins and metals and all pollutions all of us had NO participation in creating. Yet, we must suffer (all of us) because of a brutal capitalist society that cares more for their own wealth and property than us.

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Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

wendy davis's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

"i can't breathe" were the last words uttered by many killed by US killer kops, including Kelly Thomas in fullerton, CA, eric garner in NYC, and george floyd in minneapolis last week.

angela walker, green VP candidate called george's murder 'a lynching', which is exactly right. as i'd predicted, an independent (non-political) autopsy showed that chauvin's knee on his neck for 8+ minutes(carotid artery) cut off the blood supply to his brain, and his inability to breathe was secondary to that.

the ubiquitous 'stange fruit' hangings in trees in the south were slow lynchings, the rope eventually squeezing off the blood supply to a brain and lungs. think for instance, emmet till, whose accuser finally exonerated him of even having 'whistled at him' twenty or thirty year later.

as i understand it, "hands up, don't shoot" came out of the police murder by 'officer' darren wilson of michael brown in ferguson in 2014.

but isn't this from former minnesota non-prosector amy klobuchar adorable? t'was she who'd failed to prosecute derek chauvin for numerous other murders of MN civilians, and other po-po as well.

this is NOT the Onion (brittany packet makes it even funnier, but it's too long to get into):

on edit: speaking of emmit till, i just had a PM asking me about this song i'd embedded in may 27 coverage of george floyd'd murder/lynching.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

that I can't imagine the terror that must fill the minds and hearts of members of black communities, when they just do something as simple and necessary as stepping out the door to go the corner store, or, run an errand. Or, drive to work. The anxiety must be almost intolerable.

IMO, what has happened this past week, was pretty much inevitable. After today's announcement (by Ellison), hoping that all the needless and tragic deaths--as so starkly demonstrated by the HELL YOU TALMBOUT video, will stop--IOW, that George Floyd's death will be the impetus for real and lasting reform.

(having said that, not totally sure that I trust Ellison--hopefully, I'm wrong)

Thanks for furnishing me the video link, WD.

You and Mr WD stay safe. Obviously, that extends to your son, as well. Hopefully, since he's been a member of a hotshot crew, he's well known to local law enforcement, and will be safe. I hope so.

Take care.

Mollie

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

wendy davis's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

and you stay safe as well. hell, we're livin' the dream here, lol.

missed this part, but no our son does not feel safe whatsoever, never has as black man busted for driving while black, clapped in irons and interrogated for hours (no water, no pee breaks) by state pigs (and i used the term advisedly in thee cases) just havin' a bit of fun' i guess. busted gangs of 'security cops' by security cops leaving walmart, setting off a buzzer cuz a clerk had forgotten to remove the something-or-other button.

but no, my interest in police state killer ops long pre-dated adopting hiim and his ute mtn. ute sister.

currently, he says, cops are everywhere, even on the small roads of northwestern colorado where he lives. so as a large black male of a certain age, he often fears for his life.

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wendy davis's picture

No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against the African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad’, ajamu baraka, BAR, june 3, 2020, in hopes that i've chosen the right ones

The justice for George Floyd mobilizations today reflected the state’s worst nightmare – a multi-national and multi-racial action initiated by Black people with Black leadership.

“A shift must occur away from the focus on individual justice for Floyd back to a critique and opposition to the ongoing structural violence of the system.”

So, we say: Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland; for our political prisoners; for the super-exploited Black and Brown working class; for oppressed Indigenous nations; and for the millions subjected to U.S. warmongering, sanctions and criminality. We say this to shift the focus from the individualization of this week’s rebellion back to the objective structures of white supremacist, global colonial/capitalist domination

The white outside agitator trope. If it wasn’t frightening enough to see images of young white kids marching shoulder to shoulder with African and other colonized peoples, seeing white kids actually engaged in militant engagement with police authorities, which went beyond the approved forms of resistance, triggered a cognitive dilemma almost as serious as when they tried to comprehend and explain how China could escape the COVID-19 with five thousand deaths while the virus was killing tens of thousands in the U.S.
That cognitive dissonance could only be achieved by resurrecting the outside agitator notion that emerged in the 30s and was directed at organizers from the Communist Party and militant union organizers who were working in the U.S. South. But that trope was given its fullest form in the Civil rights struggles in the 50s and 60s.

It’s redeployment today is geared to 1) delegitimizing Black agency by implying that resistance of this sort had to be directed by white folks, and, 2) generating suspicion and even hostility toward white participants. Granted, issues of counter-productive tactics and police infiltration are real issues. But the state saw a vulnerability in evoking the white agitator trope that the black petit-bourgeois administrators in various cities enthusiastically embraced.
..........................................
then he references ‘Antifa; never have known what that signifies...

‘Instruct/encourage police to engage in public relations shunts [i assume he mean ‘stunts? yes, below; it was just a typo] ’like taking a knee or even walking with the demonstrators in some locations. Shrinking the distance between the police and the demonstrators is easy when the issue is being framed as “justice” for George Floyd, and by implication the idea that his killers were “bad apples.”

Those kinds of political stunts are not even inconsistent with a simultaneous display of military prowess and heavy-handed treatment of demonstrators, especially if the idea is taking hold that it is the “bad apples” among the demonstrators that are deserving of policing.

The bad apple trope plays right into the monumental political error being made by resisters by keeping focus on George Floyd as an individual, even if by extension the critique extends to the police and policing as a whole. The bad apple notion exempts a condemnation of the institution as a whole and diverts attention away from a deeper understanding of the role of the police as the leading edge of the repressive apparatus of the capitalist state.
..................................................
Two things must happen fairly quickly. On the ideological level, a shift must occur away from the focus on individual justice for Floyd back to a critique and opposition to the ongoing structural violence of the system. It is clear that the state is unwilling and unable to protect the fundamental human rights of the people. The demand for People(s)-centered human rights provides a broad, radical framework for advancing concrete demands that can unite broad sectors of the population.

And secondly, and most importantly, the theme and message around the importance of organization must be aggressively advanced. Mass mobilizations have a place but developing the organizational forms that will build and sustain the power necessary to bring about radical fundamental change is the primary challenge and historic task.

good night; i'm out for the night and almost sorry i ever put this diary together. i'll go watch film about some fake directors putting together a non-existent agitprop film during the carter years and the CIA/Mi6 overthrow of mossadegh (another war for oil) in favor of the US puppet leader who then privatized the oil industry.

sound familiar?

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Anja Geitz's picture

and individually have been through in the last few months, maybe we should cut each other some slack as far as comments go, instead of poking each other in the eye with a prickly stick? Goes a long way towards fostering an environment where people want to take the time to comment on this site.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

wendy davis's picture

@Anja Geitz

on edit: i appreciate your acting as hall monitor on different threads, this time in defense of a man who's dogged my trail for two years.

and most of my threads have done quite well, save for the Israeli/Palestinians, and the sadly untouchable greta, who's been tragically exploited up the yin/yang by the
Global Elites.

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wendy davis's picture

of these police state killings, including that they've spread globally: The whole world is watching the US right now, as these global protests show, june 3, BGR.com,

which the author calls: ‘a level of social unrest in the US not seen since the late 1960s.’ he/she also has embedded many demonstrative tweets with video (Instagrams?)

i wonder if we might pause to examine 'violence' v. 'peaceful' protests. RT quoted roger waters as saying this week:

Denouncing the US police as “vicious” and President Donald Trump as wanting a race war, musician Roger Waters called for protesters not to fall into their trap and focus on peaceful civil disobedience.

now some are talking of 'violence against property' (as several black voices here try to put in context of 'being black in amerika'). now violence against people is a whole different animal, so to speak, as in the tweeted video of the six (seemingly) black thugs beating 2 shop-owners with wooden plank, curse their unknown names.

similarly, when it's reported that 'protestors' have shot cops, that's evil as well. now i'd seen a clickbait one like that on RT re: cops in brooklyn, only t find this internally:

however it went down, depending on the version, still a criminal act. i did see other headlines of 'cops shot', 'officers shot dead', etc., and that sort of criminal violence is as wrong as cops shooting protestors, blinding some with rubber bullets, and what have you.

popular resistance has sent out any number of opinion pieces on this newest wave of police state protests, and i do keep trying to make my way thru this one, as its title is intriguing, including the date on which it was published.

The Problem of “Peaceful Protesters”, Feb. 13, 2020

“I’m not a protester. I’m violent.”
-Masked Rebel in Ferguson

Along with voting, in today’s society protesting peacefully is often held up as one of the only ways that everyday working-class and poor people can change the world. This is a myth we are raised with, and since the time that we are very young, we are taught that peaceful protest helped bring about massive changes in this country and remains the only way in which people can correctly pressure the government into addressing problems and grievances. This myth has gone on to become a framework that not only criminalizes and normalizes repression, but also helps to generalize the policing and shaming of various tactics of resistance in social struggles. If we are to create a movement that can not only push back against broad attacks but create a new way of living, this false notion of “peaceful protesters” is going to have to be completely destroyed.

When someone says that non-violence has been the only way that human beings have changed the world, they’re fucking lying.

Across the world and across history, oppressed, marginalized, poor, and working-class people have used a variety of tactics to further their goals and fight back, and this includes things that could be considered violent. Overall, this means that when people refuse their roles within society and instead force the system into a state of crisis, that’s when we can create a situation in which we can forward our own agenda. This often means that people refuse to do the things that allows the system to reproduce itself. In the case of workers, people strike. In the case of renters, they go on rent strike. For the poor, they refuse to be passive: they riot. In the case of all, they defend themselves against the violence of State repression and the police: they fight back.

Throughout American history mass defiance to governance and the police is what led to historic changes in the cases of both the Labor Movement and the Civil Rights struggle. In both instances, mass, disruptive, riotous, and at times violent tactics were key in pushing the State to grant massive reforms. Furthermore, disruptive elements often catapulted reformist and non-violent organizers into a position to negotiate with the State and push through changes. Thus, if it wasn’t for violence or the threat of it, leaders such as MLK wouldn’t have become so prominent.
.................
The Myth and Image of Peaceful Protesters

In the daily reporting of the media, in the eyes of the police, and in the minds of millions of liberals, “peaceful protesters” are the basic building blocks of a “successful” push to change the status-quo. Across the social landscape, peaceful protesters are celebrated as the ‘only’ people who are listened too and who historically have been able to change the way the world functions. In many ways, the positive vision of ‘peaceful protesters’ also paints a rosy image of the ‘respectable government,’ which supposedly has its ear to the ground for concerns, listens politely to all those that are not rude, and grants the wishes of those who ask nicely.

Thus, peaceful protesters are celebrated for not disrupting society or physically becoming combative with the established order, while all those who actually do so are demonized by the State, the media, the Left, and attacked by the police.

The media also always helps to divide protests into two camps: “peaceful” and non-protests, or riots. In today’s edition of The New York Times for instance, a headline reads, Peaceful Protest Is Not a Crime, as it discusses the various draconian pieces of legislation which are aimed at stopping people from blockading and disrupting freeways, roads, and pipelines.

Ironically, the whole point of these pieces of legislation is that the tactics they seek to criminalize are disruptive and confrontational, and thus dangerous, regardless of it they are ‘non-violent.’

Thus, liberals miss the point again. Any sort of strategy that seeks to physically shut down and block things from happening will be targeted by the State. It is not interested if things are “non-violent” or not, simply if they disrupt business as usual.

popular resistance sent this this morning as well, a bit too lng for me to read at the time, maybe even now (slow reader here):

'What Will It Take To Stop The Police From Killing?', By The Collective, Anarchist News, June 3, 2020

We’ve reached a breaking point. The murders of George Floyd—and Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the other Black people whose lives were ended by police just this month—are only the latest in a centuries-long string of tragedies. But in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the state is openly treating Black communities as a surplus population to be culled by the virus, the arrogance and senselessness of the murder carried out by Officer Derek Chauvin crossed a line. Supported by hundreds of thousands across the US and beyond, the people of Minneapolis have made it clear that this intolerable situation must end, no matter what it takes.

Since the Ferguson uprising of 2014, considerable attention has focused on racist police killings in the United States. Reformers of many stripes have introduced new policies in hopes of reining in the violence. Yet according to the Police Shootings Database, the police killed more people in the US last year than in 2015. If police killings are continuing or even increasing despite widespread public attention and reform efforts, we need to revisit our strategy.

How can we bring an end to racist police murders once and for all?

(two bolded headings of major interest to me are:

Criminal Charges and Civil Lawsuits

It’s widely known that the chances of individual officers or departments suffering real consequences for killing people, especially Black people, are next to nothing. It makes sense that protestors and grieving families often demand criminal charges against murderous cops—the US criminal legal system offers no other model for “justice,” and by refusing to press charges, the authorities show how little they value Black lives. But locking ordinary people in cages doesn’t prevent anti-social activity—and considering that police violence is legitimized by exceptional laws and powerful institutions, this deterrent seems to be even less effective for police. Johannes Mehserle, the officer who murdered Oscar Grant in Oakland in 2008, was one of very few police to serve prison time; yet the 2018 killing of Joshua Pawlik and many other police murders in the region suggest that this precedent has not deterred Bay Area police from fatally shooting people.

the AP Minneapolis is reporting that the 'official' autopsy of george floyd shows he had previously tested positive for covid-19, healthy enough lungs, had fentanyl in his system...

"The county's earlier summary report had listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.” The full report’s footnotes noted that signs of fentanyl toxicity can include “severe respiratory depression” and seizures.

dunno how that will affect any trial charges, but i'd think good defense attorney might use that as exculpatory evidence for 'lesser charges'. the murdered is always on trial in cases like this.

So What Do We Do? (back to anarchist news)

So What Do We Do?

If none of the “solutions” that governments, police departments, and some community activists have proposed will suffice, what could put a stop to racist police murders once and for all? It is not easy to answer this question, but we have to ask it in earnest.

The assumption that Black and Brown lives are expendable is fundamental to all of the institutionalized power structures of our time. We will answer the question of what will work to abolish police murders in practice, through a lifelong process of experimentation—but it is clear that it will require us to abolish or utterly transform all of these power structures. Starting from the model of collective defiance we have seen over the past week, we have to extrapolate what long-term change can look like. Here are some long-term objectives—some stars to navigate by.

Disarm and abolish the police.

Share resources freely through mutual aid.

Delegitimize and disempower all the institutions that excuse police murder.

To End Police Murder Once and For All

So what will it take for us to end police murders once and for all? Nothing short of a revolution.

But that revolution isn’t a distant utopia or a single spasm in which we storm the Winter Palace. It’s an ongoing process of building relationships, sharing resources, defending ourselves, undoing the interlocking structures of white supremacy, and organizing to meet our needs together without police or politicians—and it’s already happening. It’s time for each and every one of us to choose a side and take a stand. The stakes are high—the life you save might be your own. But as the courageous protestors in Minneapolis and beyond have shown us, not even the power of the police is absolute. Together, we can overcome their violence and build a new world.
If none of the “solutions” that governments, police departments, and some community activists have proposed will suffice, what could put a stop to racist police murders once and for all? It is not easy to answer this question, but we have to ask it in earnest.

The assumption that Black and Brown lives are expendable is fundamental to all of the institutionalized power structures of our time. We will answer the question of what will work to abolish police murders in practice, through a lifelong process of experimentation—but it is clear that it will require us to abolish or utterly transform all of these power structures. Starting from the model of collective defiance we have seen over the past week, we have to extrapolate what long-term change can look like. Here are some long-term objectives—some stars to navigate by.

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wendy davis's picture

'COVID-19 data sharing with law enforcement sparks concern’, May 18, 2020, apnews.com
https://apnews.com/ab4cbfb5575671c5630c2442bc3ca75e

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