Archives for posts with tag: oppression

And lots of reasons not to. It isn’t a recent phenomenon that started with white officers killing black men in Ferguson, Staten Island or Cleveland: it goes back to the days of slavery, when the authorities enforced the laws by catching escaped slaves and forcibly returing them to the slave owners. It continued through the post-Civil-War era as police were used to enforce Jim Crow laws that kept people of color (POC) in another set of “chains”.

And did the Civil Rights laws of the 60’s fix things? Oh, Hell no. The cops were used to “keep order” among the minority population and protect the white folks from said minorities. Once again, the cops were and are the visible face of oppression, and the means used to oppress the non-white people of America.

Asians are likewise POC, and they deal with a lot of crap from cops as well: immigration, profiling, harassment, civil rights violations, etc. You think anybody in their communities have forgotten the World War Two internment camps? Here’s a hint, boyo: they haven’t. And who put them into the camps? Armed people in uniforms put them in those camps. Cops (and soldiers, in that case).

How about Latinos? POC they are as well, and they have likewise dealt with a history of abuse and marginalization. And yes, once again the cops were the instrument of that extra-constitutional mistreatment.

It didn’t start with Michael Brown, or even John Brown. It won’t end with a single grand jury indictment, or even several indictments. As the Prexy has said, the system can’t function if POC don’t trust that justice will be delivered in an impartial manner.

Speaking as a (formerly long-haired) hippie freak, this writer doesn’t place blind trust in the cops or those for whom they work. Comes from having been harassed, profiled, roughed up, shaken down, and driven to city boundaries with guns enforcing the officers’ orders to “Git, and never come back” on more than one occasion. Being “othered” while looking at the wrong end of a gun makes an indelible impression on a person.

But you know what made the Cranky life a lot easier? Baldness. Cops can no longer discern my political views by a glance. Indeed, a somewhat portly middle-aged white man is rarely targeted by the cops. But…

Black people can’t wash off their pigment. Nor can other people of color. They can never, ever be free of the institutionalized violence and abuse that is routinely heaped upon minorities. Their skin color makes them a target. They know it. Cops know it.

When everybody knows the system is rigged, nobody can believe in the system. We are living in a crumbling edifice, built upon a history of xenophobia and racist hatred. Unless we all get together and build a foundation that truly aligns with the notion that we are created equal, the whole American experiment will fall apart, ending in blood and ashes.

Trust is needed. Right now POC don’t trust the system. And lots of white people are deciding we don’t trust it either. Police of America, it’s time to decide who you work for, and to earn back the trust we need you to deserve.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

It’s become a cliche’: oppressed people get pushed over the edge, riot, and trash their own neighborhoods. Those in government and media who are not from the oppressed class pontificate from the comfortable safety of their communities. So it goes, again and again. Ferguson today, Watts yesterday, and no doubt somewhere else tomorrow.

Of course, it is stupid to foul one’s one nest. But angry people often do stupid things. And that angry idiocy is the oppressors’ BFF; in fact, that anger is the product of said oppression.

So, you in the 1% (aka the oppressors): whatcha gonna do when the rioters get a clue and stop burning down the slums and decaying suburbs to which you have confined them? When they realize that their destructive impulses could better be directed away from those who are scarcely better-off than themselves? When they learn to focus on the real enemy?

Because, trust-fund turkeys, that enemy is you. You are the greedy motherf***ers who have bought the government and by so doing have robbed the rest of us blind, binging on your wealth while millions starve. You are both the cause and effect of inequality, and are completely dependent on its continuance.

And like many oppressors, you fail to see how precarious your position truly is. Someday, it will happen, as it always has and always will: the foolish will see the error of their ways and will choose a new path: in this case, towards your neighborhoods, your homes, and your businesses. The flames will not stay confined to the dwellings of “those people” forever.

Don’t believe it? Ask Marie Antoinette, or perhaps the Romanovs…oh…wait…you can’t ask them, can you? Because they got killed by those they oppressed, didn’t they? And like you, they thought it couldn’t happen.

Want to avoid that seemingly inevitable fate? Stop being a bunch of short-sighted, self-absorbed greedheads and start paying attention to the plight of those whose fortunes and futures you have stolen. Their present needn’t become your future, but it most surely will if you don’t smarten up yourselves.

Because while it may be stupid of them to burn down their own neighborhoods, it’s even dumber for you to incite them to burn down yours.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

Back in the day, a bunch of protesters were, well, protesting, and a politician named Nixon had the National Guard called out (by a crony of his), loaded weapons and all. Here’s what happened:

image

image

image

Nobody needs automatic weapons pointed at them when they are exercising their First Amendment rights. No one deserves that. And no ethical politician should EVER make that their option of first resort.

” Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. ”

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

They are upset about oppression, a non-responsive and discriminatory government, and taxation without representation. Yes, that is correct. The good people of Ferguson we see out there picketing and marching may not be dressed like, say, George Washington, John Adams or Thomas Jefferson; but their complaints are eerily like the ones identified in the Declaration of Independence.

Here is a good article on the matter. Ferguson is making up for revenue shortfalls by levying burdensome taxes and fees upon the populace; said charges not having the consent of the governed:

Traffic fines are the St. Louis suburb’s second-largest source of revenue and just about the only one that is growing appreciably. Municipal court fines, most of which arise from motor vehicle violations, accounted for 21 percent of general fund revenue and at $2.63 million last year, were the equivalent of more than 81 percent of police salaries before overtime.

And the fees are applied in a discriminatory manner, much like what King George did back in the 1770’s:

“If you’re black, they’re going to stop you,” the study quoted one traffic defendant as saying.

In 2013, 86 percent of all Ferguson police traffic stops involved black drivers, the largest share since the Missouri Attorney General’s Office began tracking the data in 2000. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the city is 63 percent black and 34 percent white.

Got it? The local government is a minority oppressing the majority, and doing so via corrupt, discriminatory and violent means. Just like what sparked the American Revolution. The differences are minor when compared with the similarities.

And just like the American colonists, the people of Ferguson aren’t asking for anything unreasonable: to be treated fairly, have their rights respected, and to have a voice in how they are taxed by the government. Unfortunately, the local administration is likewise resembling its historical counterpart and therefore refusing to change its corrupt and mendacious ways. No way this is gonna end well.

If you repeat the mistakes of the past, you’ll repeat the consequences of those past mistakes. There may not be many powdered wigs to be seen on the streets of Ferguson: but then, when s*** was getting real back in 1776, not many of the American Revolutionaries were wearing them out in the streets, either.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky (whose ancestors were here before the revolution in 1776)

That sounds crazy, and it is. But it is how we roll in these United States, and have done since the country started. Minorities and malcontents pay taxes like everybody else, but unlike everybody else, their tax dollars pay for the tear gas, bullets, billy clubs, tasers and other tools that are employed against them. We pay the government to shoot us, gas us, and beat us. Pretty sick, innit?

Michael Brown is but one example. He and the rest of Ferguson’s black community pay taxes, lots of taxes to the almost completely white government. And what did these citizens get in return for their hard-earned?

Michael Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, when he was killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, according to a preliminary autopsy.
The results, first obtained by The New York Times, showed that Brown was shot four times in the right arm. Dr. Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York who conducted the autopsy, said the bullet that caused the fatal injury struck Brown near the top of his skull and suggested he was bent forward when it hit.

Mr. Brown and his family paid for that rogue cop and the six bullets said cop pumped into him. That is beyond adding insult to injury. And the rest of that St. Louis suburb? They too are paying to be abused-or at least, those on the poor side of town are paying:

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Ferguson on Sunday night. The situation quickly spiraled out of control when police fired tear gas into the crowd well before the midnight curfew. It’s unclear what prompted the police action.
Capturing the dramatic events for the world was Mustafa Hussein, a student who works at a local all-volunteer music station, Argus Radio. The station is using video equipment it purchased to live-stream concerts to broadcast the protests in Ferguson.
Tonight, as tens of thousands of people around the world watched, Hussein was threatened by an officer wielding a weapon. “Get the fuck out of here! You get that light off or you’re getting shot with this!,” the man shouts. That portion of the live-stream was uploaded to YouTube:

It is absolutely clear that Mr. Brown was murdered by that stinking racist pig of a cop. No doubt. And it is clear that he and his parents, and indeed the community he lived in are being abused by the government that they pay to protect them. The white people in Ferguson, MO are getting their money’s worth for the taxes they have paid.

But the black community is paying in cash so that they can be gassed, beaten and shot by those who are supposed to protect and serve them.

That, Gentle Reader, is SO f***ed.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

FreespeechSee that guy? He was arrested yesterday in Wisconsin, for holding up a sign saying: “Article 1, Section 4”. That is the little tiny part of their state Constitution that guarantees residents of that state the right to freedom of speech. The cops took umbrage to a citizen holding a sign that cited the law, so they cuffed him and threw him in jail.

Moral-Monday-July-arrests_Andrew-Dye-Winston-Salem-Journal-586x1024See that guy? He’s a octogenarian military veteran, arrested for peaceable assembly in North Carolina. The Repubs that own that state took umbrage at a senior citizen who walks with a cane reminding the people what a real hero looks like, so they cuffed him and threw him in jail, too.

“Republicans”, you see, have ticked off a lot of people lately. These ticked-off people have been engaging in peaceful protest, and the GOP is now ticked off right back. So, they have started arresting protesters.

All that has accomplished thus far is to bring out more protesters. And tourists who wanted to see the protesters. So, the Elephants decided to arrest even more people. Result? Even MORE protesters and gawkers.

So now, those a**holes Repubs in Cheese Country can arrest you for no reason if you are anywhere they don’t want you to be. Really. Click the link if you don’t believe it. Same deal in North Carolina. That’s upping the ante, all right: Even Bush the Dumber didn’t go so far as busting innocent people for breathing in the wrong place.

“Innocent? Bah, Humbug” says Scott Fitzgerald, one of the Grand Old Poohbahs of the occupying force Wisconsin GOP. “Innocence does not matter, we have a state to milk for all it is worth”. (OK, that is not a verbatim transcript of his remarks. But it does capture the essence. What he did say is damned nearly as bad, or even worse: “If you are in the vicinity of the illegal demonstrations that have been taking place over the noon hour in the rotunda, you will be considered part of the protests and are subject to being ticketed.”) Yes that’s right. Even if you aren’t involved in the protest, they’ll bust you for being nearby one.

Ask one innocent bystander:

Joe Meiller, a Madison Metro bus driver who brought his two sons to watch the singalong Friday from the balcony, was upset that he was asked to leave by Capitol police. “We didn’t sing or clap once,” Meiller said. “If I observe a bank robbery nearby, am I a participant because I was nearby?”

That’s your Republican America today, friends: people being arrested for not liking Republican policies, and saying so politely. That’s what your Republicans see as “freedom of speech”: you can say anything you want, so long as they agree with it. And shut up if you don’t like Repubs, or they’ll throw your a** in jail.

Even if you don’t say a word. Even if you’re nearly crippled. Even if you weren’t part of the protest at all. Jailed, by Imperial Republican decree. Freedom of speech? Not hardly.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky

P.S. Other people who were punished for either protesting or being nearby a protest against “Republican” policies on May 4, 1970:

kent 1 Wounded Kent State student John Cleary is attended to by other s KENT STATE 7cs

Yes, that’s blood. Yes, they are dead. Think it can’t happen again? Think again.

Believe it or not, there are lots of fundagelical nutjobs who think God wants women who are raped to be forced to have babies: even if it will kill them, maim them, cripple them for life and so on.  This is because they think that babies are pure and innocent until birth, after which moment they become miserable scumbucket sinners (really, they do believe this). So, even if a woman is raped (or a child is raped, even), it is God’s will that that sinful female be forced to give birth to that sacred child, even if she dies in the process (yes, these whackadoodles think that, too).

It is bad enough that these fringe religious cultists hold and promulgate such hateful, venom-filled views, but it gets worse: a LOT worse. The Republican Party also believes this and is busily working to make this froot-loop theology (apologies to the froot-loop cereal people) the law of the land. Note that they are not bothering with stricter laws or greater punishment for the rapists: only stomping upon the women who are the victims of these horrific crimes.

Adding insult to injury, republicans of all stripes are upping their lunacy game of late: by trying to claim that there are different types of rape, that women can magically expel rapist sperm from their wombs, by saying that rapist sperm is a gift from God, and that none of this really matters anyway, because you should be required by Sharia Christian Law to carry the rapist’s baby to term even if it kills you.

Mr. Blunt and Cranky is not making this up, nor is he exaggerating one wee bit. Click the links below:

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/19/13365269-missouri-republican-legitimate-rape-rarely-causes-pregnancy?lite

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/first-on-cnn-gop-prepares-tough-anti-abortion-platform/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2012/jan/25/rick-santorum-rape-pregnancy

Republicans want to tell you, your mothers, grandmothers, sisters, cousins, wives, daughters, or any female of any age that God is OK with their being raped,  and that they are to bear the children of rapists. And they also don’t care if the woman is crippled or killed, nor will they pay a dime for her medical care. Finally, they don’t seem to be much concerned with the lousy, stinking, scumball criminal himself, since all they do is bellow like the bloated pachyderms they are about those women who are faking rape, or were asking for it, or how Original Sin makes females responsible for whatever heinous crime was committed against them.

This writer finds this to be the second craziest bunch of hogwash he has heard in many a year. In fact, there is only one thing that is crazier:

Women who know all of this and still vote for Republicans. Now, that, my friends, is barking madness of the highest order.

Mr. B & C