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A makeshift memorial is pictured near where black teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by police over the weekend in Ferguson, Missouri August 12, 2014. Police said Brown, 18, was shot in a struggle with a gun in a police car but have not said why Bro
Again.
Among the many profoundly disturbing aspects of the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson has been the reflexive reaction of white conservatives in the media. Whether it was the quickly debunked lie that Brown had damaged Wilson's eye socket or the utterly irrelevant question of Brown's use (like millions of other American teens) of marijuana, the talking points have been rolled out, rolled around, and quickly rolled away to make room for the next talking points. What must not escape notice about the talking points is the apparently desperate need of white conservatives to find such talking points. The real problem isn't the false content of those talking points, it's that desperate need to search for them in the first place.

A young man was shot dead. An unarmed young man was shot dead. An unarmed young man who had no criminal record was shot dead. What sort of vacuum of the soul causes a person reflexively to need to rationalize and excuse something so horribly sad? An unarmed young man who had no criminal record was shot dead. And the bottom line, among white conservatives in the media, seems to be that the shot dead unarmed young man who had no criminal record was black, and his shooter white. That white conservatives in the media reflexively demonize the black victim and defend the white shooter is not a unique event. It is part of a pattern, and in that pattern the pathology is revealed.

The talking points blur. The voices drone into a monotonous buzz. Bobble-heads babble, and very earnest acting alleged experts are plopped in front of cameras no matter how many times they have proved incompetent or dishonest. Yet another unarmed young black man who had no criminal record was shot dead by a white man, and the act must be made to be seen as okay. Those who are upset that yet another unarmed young black man who had no criminal record was shot dead by a white man must be proven wrong. Those who are upset that yet another young unarmed black man who had no criminal record was shot dead by a white man must be shown that this is simply how things work. Those who are upset that yet another young unarmed black man who had no criminal record was shot dead by a white man must come to accept that this is simply how things work so that the next time it happens, as it inevitably will happen, the peace and quiet of white conservative righteous privilege will not be disturbed. This is what must be stopped. The violence is not the white men shooting dead unarmed young black men who had no criminal records, it is the reactions of those who think something about it is wrong.

The question in the title of this essay is quite simple. It is an attempt to clarify the conservative mindset. Are there any conditions under which it is acceptable for people to be upset that a white man shot dead an unarmed young black man who had no criminal record? Are there any conditions under which a white man shooting dead an unarmed young black man who had no criminal record is itself not okay?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Is it ever NOT okay to shoot dead an unarmed black (18+ / 0-)

    man?

    Yes.
    Always.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:05:12 PM PDT

  •  Good title, these are the way we need to (32+ / 0-)

    frame our arguments. Framing used to be a hot topic on D Kos, lately we have gotten away from it.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:05:29 PM PDT

    •  i've been traveling (23+ / 0-)

      and haven't had time to follow every right wing response, and the quick and easy ways each specific has been revealed and refuted, but the overall pattern has been very clear. it's trayvon martin all over again. and so many many other examples.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:11:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is a refusal to accept that the US is not and (13+ / 0-)

        Never has been perfect.  It was built on the crimes of slavery and expropriation of native lands.  We have, from time to time, behaved badly.  And we have at times been a force for good but we are not a shining city on a hill for much if not most of the world.  We have never come to terms with racism and our history of race relations has been two steps forward, one step back, sometimes two back, since the Europeans arrived.  Why is this so hard to admit?

        Second, some people seem to feel diminished by admitting that someone else or some other group suffers worse.  Constantly white people raise all kinds of silly arguments about how they have suffered too, or there is more racism against whites or whatever.  Why not just admit that whites as a group are better off economically and enjoy the benefit of the doubt most of the time from the authorities?

        Admitting that we have a problem (such as poor dispute resolution skills and an over emphasis on maintaining command on the part of police, over militarization of police, polarization of society etc) is the first step to solving it.  Refusing to admit it so you can feel better is not very constructive.

        Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

        by Mimikatz on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:09:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think the title leaves us nonconservative whites (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delbert, oslyn7, a2nite, Jjc2006

      off the hook.

      Sadly parts of the conservative 'reasons' filter through and resonate with way too many whites who mock and abhor conservatives rwnjs.

      Otherwise, I think it is an effective question.

      It's just too easy for us white folks to keep looking externally and not internally, and boy those rwnj bastards are easy to point at.

      I am racist. I cannot otherwise be, as I was born and raised in the United States of America and my racism (or the dreaded word privilege) started in the womb, or even before that, and before that.

      It is in my DNA as in, the way chemicals or radiation in the environment can invade my body and alter my DNA. Racism alters me utterly.

      No matter how good a liberal I am. No matter how good I speak on race issues. No matter how active I am in my advocacy and what I do with my life.

      No matter what.

      So much of my racism is done for me. Like a favor I never asked for.

      I'd like to see more non nut job obviously racist whites, like the rest of us, do more critiquing of ourselves. And find ways to stop whatever it is we do that is enabling in all this.

      I will start by refusing to lay the blame solely on the usual culprits.

      •  this nails it for me, too: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inhibitedagitator, AnnieJo
        So much of my racism is done for me. Like a favor I never asked for.
        this post and this comment and the events that triggered them leave me incredibly disheartened.

        most of my adult life i've lived in places and communities where my white face is in the minority. that has enriched our family enormously and now as we face returning to the us to take care of my husband's dad i am profoundly sad that we'll be in a largely white community just as i am feeling so much compulsion to find practical effective ways to address these issues.

        especially the ways in which racism has benefitted me. that breaks my heart.

        There is no worse enemy of God and Man than zeal armed with power and guided by a feeble intellect... --William James

        by oslyn7 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 01:04:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hugs oslyn7! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inhibitedagitator

          Good to hear from you -- I hope that your return stateside goes smoothly.

          (And yes, disheartened.)

          If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

          by AnnieJo on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 08:02:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  anniejo! was thinking about you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AnnieJo

            just a couple of days ago. i was trying to come up with a list of things that i can look forward to instead of staying stuck in my sadness about leaving tanzania...and one of them was the thought of being closer to wisconsin. maybe we'll be able to meet in meatspace!

            There is no worse enemy of God and Man than zeal armed with power and guided by a feeble intellect... --William James

            by oslyn7 on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 10:55:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I will start by refusing to lay the blame solely o (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ohiolibrarian, inhibitedagitator

        ...I think you make a solid point. Blaming SOLELY, the usual culprits isn't the answer. It's looking at what you find detestable about them, that makes you look inside yourself in the first place. I've been the beneficiary of racial privilege all my life and I know that. I've always received the benefit of the doubt. The broader sympathy is extended to me, while the broader skepticism is extended toward others for the obvious reasons.

        Growing up, I was raised in a "sundown town". Tolerance isn't acceptance. It's putting up with something that you don't like. My experience with Blacks was with the images that I saw on TV. They were Rochester, and I was Jack Benny. They were porters on trains, and cab drivers, and sports figures, and entertainers. That was their "place". I was given a seat at the table, and a place in the front of the line, not based on anything that I deserved or earned, but because I was a "winner" in the genetic lottery. Until we recognize that in ourselves...we're only shifting the blame.

        Never trust a naked busdriver.

        by Adagio4639 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:49:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you mean tolerance (0+ / 0-)

          As in the awful racial and diversity tolerance programs?

          I agree 200%

          When I was doing my advocacy work in education this was a big point i worked on. "Tolerance?" I don't want tolerance For my child! Or any child. I want my child and all children to be valued

          (I became involved in advocacy because if my child's disability, and finding school culture in complete opposition to not only my child, but also children of color and other minorities and cultures, so I worked at it all. The toxic nature of it all seemed to come from a similar core)

          But, all those years of advocacy and activism  feel lost. Work built on sand.

          And now hey tolerance starts sounding good, as in can't we just f****ing tolerate AAs to live? Just that basic? Jesus.

          And I'm so disheartened.

          If I look internally, I know that while I worked in advocacy and activism, I worked along side a few AAs, but we are a very white state and city, so way way more of the activists were white.

          And many AAs and minorities in the community were disenfranchised from the schools and advocacy. Which I totally got. Often activism is a privilege. like many of them I  was working poor, but I just had an edge. I was able to get that flexible job that allowed me to do things earlier than after my kids are in bed. I hated being like ok I'll speak on their behalf! I did my best to listen and advocate for what I hoped I understood was what needed to be said and advocated for.

          But inside I was then and still am today ooshy. I feel wrong. Most of the time. I don't want to make it worse.

          But I in many ways it was easier back then, there were great books like "Other People's Children" and "Savage Inequalities" etc etc to also guide me in my education advocacy.

          I was working to change attitudes and practices, and yes it felt life and death for me, for these children's lives. But it wasn't fighting genocide and bullets.

          Now with this subject, I want to listen, I want to serve, but I'm even more isolated from IRL AA voices and allies today due to medical issues. And the isolation that creates.

           I also know this is a white problem.

          I want some kind of a white on white (heh) protest/action. Or something.

          Like hey, thanks but no thanks cops!

          Stop killing or incarcerating AAs on my behalf thank you! Fuck you very much!

          (Actually I never devolved into swearing in real life advocacy not wanting to lose my message.)

  •  racism is all republicans have left (41+ / 0-)

    Supply side tax cuts?  Reagan and Bush 2 tried it.  Massive deficits with no discernible economic uptick.

    Deregulating Wall Street?  Hello 2008.

    Invading foreign countries to teach them democracy?  Hello failed Iraq and rise of ISIS.

    What else do republicans have left?

    White resentment at a changing world.  

    That's it.

  •  Still researching the question. (9+ / 0-)

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:09:25 PM PDT

  •  They blamed Trayvon Martin (29+ / 0-)

    Let's just remember that.

    Trayvon Martin is the non plus ultra, and yet the conservative punditocracy managed to get George Zimmerman a lot of money. It was able to make his "friend," an avowed white supremacist, a pundit position for a time. With Trayvon Martin, there was no "other" side.

    With Michael Brown, there is a slight period of time where there is no yet-established public record. Into that they can project all sorts of fantasies, but the answer to your question is obvious.

    1. They are paid to get their viewers and listeners angry.
    2. They are paid more if they disagree more loudly than any other "conservative pundit" with President Obama.
    3. They get most fame and money by having "liberals" as their enemies, whoever they can conjure to stand in those quotes.
    4. Truth, accuracy, verification, and morality are entirely beside the point, if not actual enemies.

    "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

    by The Geogre on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:13:56 PM PDT

    •  Trayvon Was 8 Feet Tall And Had Laser Beam Eyes (13+ / 0-)

      They still insist he was 200+ lbs based on white supremacist hoaxes on Facebook, not 158 like the coroners report.  And that a 158 lb boy could subdue Zimmerman who had taken classes in Mixed Martial Arts (and grappling on the ground) merely by sitting on him.

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said this on another thread (5+ / 0-)

        Zimmerman said he was restraining Trayvon by sitting on him as Trayvon was face down.  Zimmerman then said that Tayvon "kept" punching him in the face.  Try that sometime -- you have to be swinging your arms backwards (does the rotator cuff even allow that much movement?) while lying down with someone on top of you (who, in this case, weighs 50 or 60 pounds more than you do).  How often do you think you'd hit the other person's face?  Maybe once?  And that would only be by sheer luck.

        I have no idea how Zimmerman didn't get convicted by his own words.

        •  That law helped (7+ / 0-)

          He only had to argue that he was afraid when he was shooting. He could even admit to chasing someone down to put himself into the position of being afraid. So long as he had fear the moment he pulled the trigger, the NRA had written a law that made him "not guilty."

          What amazed me as much as anything is how the right wing could get us ALL to stop talking about that law. It's a law that is not merely laughable, but horrible. It would be comic as a work of fiction. In reality, it is murder for any registered gun owner -- as the Dunn trial was on the verge of showing.

          "for all the murders, rapes, and thefts,/ Committed in the horrid lust of war,/ He that unjustly caus'd it first proceed,/ Shall find it in his grave and in his seed." -- Webster, "The White Devil," IV i 8-12.

          by The Geogre on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:04:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, yes, yes! (5+ / 0-)

            You have brilliantly articulated what I find odious about this law.  It is a license to kill anyone at any time if you feel threatened, even if that feeling is completely irrational.  The Koch Brothers obviously hope it will pit poor and working class whites against poor and working class blacks and Hispanics and keep them from realizing who is really  putting the screws to them.  My (evil) fantasy is a poor or working class person approaching one of the Koch's and sayng: "What you are doing threatens me, so I can kill you based upon that threat,"  and proceeding to shoot.  And getting acquitted because of the wondrous "Stand Your Ground" laws that the Koch's put in place.  Boy, wouldn't that scare the actual shit out of the 0.001%.?

            •  Stand your ground/Open carry (5+ / 0-)

              The Stand your ground law allows you to use deadly force if you feel threatened. The Open Carry people insist that they have the right to display their weapons to everyone at any time. So... assuming that I'm in a store or restaurant, or any place for that matter, and two guys walk in carrying AK47's or whatever the gun flavor of the month happens to be, I have every reason to think that my life and everybody's lives are in immediate danger and I can shoot them with my own weapon and be acquitted by claiming I felt threatened and was "standing my ground". Open Carry, and Stand your Ground, contradict each other. If a person thinks that Open Carry is right, then they must accept that I am justified in shooting them immediately because they represent a legitimate threat to me.

              Never trust a naked busdriver.

              by Adagio4639 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:05:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Open Carry Advocates (0+ / 0-)

                .... insist they not only have a right, but an Obligation to push the law as much as they can otherwise THOSE PEOPLE, whoever they are will take their guns away.  So that's why they're carrying AR-15's instead of just pistols.  They believe that the only safe American, (by which they mean who THEY decided qualifies as an American) is an armed one.  Because THOSE PEOPLE are out there.... and you've got to be ready to put them down when they will inevitably srike.

        •  He was white enough nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anon004

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:41:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They blamed Jordan Davis, too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre, a2nite
  •  Police murdering POC to enforce their authority (30+ / 0-)

    is a terrorist act and has been tolerated in America for too long. There aren't even readily accessible, complete or authoritative records on police shootings in the US, much less a record of police shootings that are broken down by race and ethnicity or economic background. I wonder why no record keeping on police violence in the USA, #1, #1, #1, USA...

    As to "conservatives," there are no conservatives in America, only authoritarian reactionaries fighting like hell to keep the status quo and that means keeping down the POC and those in poverty. Mainly because it acts as one hell of a good social control mechanism to threaten people with falling into social categories like unemployed Black or Hispanic person... You know, people who can be beaten, abused, jailed and even murdered with no recourse.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:14:11 PM PDT

  •  have our conservative icons ever protested (22+ / 0-)

    a cop killing a person of color? ever?

    closet incident i recall was in NYC, when a cop massively abused a Haitian man, Abner Louima, in 1997. Giuliani muttered a few words about how this not good.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:14:34 PM PDT

  •  When Have NRA Conservatives Ever Armed Blacks? (17+ / 0-)

    You do realize this would enrich the weapons industry if they did that?

    But they don't.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:17:22 PM PDT

  •  The cops read too much Judge Dredd (12+ / 0-)

    They aren't the judge, jury and executioners.  But they sure act that way.  How do we as a people put a stop to this behavior?  I mean EXACTLY how do we do it?  I'm game to pursue any good ideas.  

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:21:25 PM PDT

  •  It is never okay to shoot an unarmed person (15+ / 0-)

    of any race, creed, color, religion.

    Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

    by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:24:00 PM PDT

  •  From my perspective (7+ / 0-)

    we are still - whatever modest progress has been made - a country rooted in the principle best expressed by Chief Justice Taney in the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision: a black man (make that people of color in general) has no rights that any white man is bound to respect.

    That is our system, that is our culture. And on some level most conservatives hold on to that. Many liberals too, unfortunately.

    Never be deceived that the rich will permit you to vote away their wealth. - Lucy Parsons

    by cruz on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:24:05 PM PDT

  •  With few exceptions, like a person is going/coming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis, NancyWH, har

    at a cop with a deadly item, i.e., knife, machete, etcetera, and that's only in certain specific cases when there are no other choices.  

    Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

    by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:25:41 PM PDT

    •  I say this because a friend of mine in school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      har

      from K to 12 became a police officer out of high school, and he was responded to a domestic dispute where the husband had a knife.  I wish my friend had a chance to shoot him... or else my friend, the police officer,  wouldn't haven't been killed by the knife that the husband was wielding.

      Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

      by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:50:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Using this to demonize all law enforcement... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lone1c, MHB, jubal8

        Is pretty stupid.

        This shooting was a horrific wrong, and it's good that the people of Ferguson reacted, even despite the repulsive opportunistic looters.  

        But progressives should want all people to have full protection of just law.  We should want all communities to have humane, effective law enforcement, not be indulging in juvenile rants about the cops.

        I come here because I get so ticked by the wingnuts everywhere else.

        But I'm beginning to lose  my patience with unoriginal, over-privileged San Francisco baby boomer burnouts, the ones who make themselves feel macho with a lot of internet ranting about how much they hate the cops or whatever, too.

        DailyKos used to be about taking pragmatic action to elect less right wing politicians.  It's increasingly becoming a dump for the same old fake revolutionaries, who can only be distinguished from those who get a paycheck from Karl Rove for making progressive look bad, by the fact that they don't even get a paycheck.

        •  you've noticed that too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MHB

          In another diary a few days ago I posted a comment that recommended, in essence, to initially respond with calm and respect to police officers who approached to speak with you. Why assume the worst and invite it by behaving as though it were?

          Then came the turdnado. There were some angry yet considered responses, very little outright support for my position (where were all the DKers like you?), and a whole lot of reactionary poop-flinging about how all police are militant thugs and how useless such an approach was and how I was recommending licking the boots of racist cops and wow! -- just wow!

          My δόγμα ate my Σ

          by jubal8 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:09:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's not what I did. But if you say I did, I (0+ / 0-)

          guess that's all that matters.

          Using this to demonize all law enforcement...

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:06:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  On second reading, I think I may have (0+ / 0-)

          misunderstood your comment.  I apologize if I did so.

          I'm saying this only in regard to the beginning your post.

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:17:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't get the connection either (0+ / 0-)

            I even thought maybe har was replying to a different comment.

            Also not sure why San Francisco was being singled out.

            My reply above was strictly to the later points made in har's comment.

            My δόγμα ate my Σ

            by jubal8 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:27:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  What just law? That's for rich people & whites (0+ / 0-)

          only.
          The law protects the white supremacist power structure & turns black men back into slaves by turning them into felons. It's hard to be a citizen when you're really a slave.

          The police protect & serve  rich white interests & order, keeping the negro down.

          I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

          by a2nite on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:42:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wish your friend (0+ / 0-)

        had been trained properly.

        •  I wish you knew what exactly happened, and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MHB

          then you could have intelligently replied to my comment.

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:05:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A person (0+ / 0-)

      Approaching a cop with a "deadly item" would not be, by definition, 'unarmed'.

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:38:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Millions Of Guns Bought SpecificallyTo Kill Blacks (17+ / 0-)

    Race war fantasies are part of the conservative DNA, from "Birth Of A Nation" to the Koch brothers daddy, white separatist survivalists going back to the 60s, and modern Alex Jones  libertarians.  Obama's election brought these fantasies bubbling up in the conservative zeitgeist, and millions of people rushed out to buy high powered weapons to mow down the hoards of marauding blacks.  And not just the guns, but enough ammo for the apocalypse.

    And I say this as someone that loves me some guns, but also browses various right wing sites.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:26:42 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. For some reason, this very salient and, (13+ / 0-)

      to me, obvious point:

      Obama's election brought these fantasies bubbling up in the conservative zeitgeist,
      gets quite a bit of pushback around here.  People say, "oh they hated Clinton and all the sexists will rise up when Hillary runs!  It's Democrats they hate!"  But it's not the same.  It doesn't involve repeated killings by both private individuals and police.  Or the gathering and hoarding of guns and ammo.  Having a black President has brought this kind of racist hatred and resentment out from under cover and into the mainstream, and it has infected our police forces in a ghastly way.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:16:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It Brought Talk Of Race War Right To The Front (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MHB

        A lot of the blame has to go to Glenn Beck dredging up old chestnuts like FA Hayek.

        After WW2, the pundits who'd been warning about the global atrocites under Fascism pivoted without skipping a beat to warn about the looming global atrocities under trade unions, which is to say that the moment the war ended, they started using Hitler's scripts.

        Hayek was ahead of the curve, because he stayed in England instead of returning to Austria to fight for the Nazis.  WW2 was still going on when he wrote "The Road To Serfdom," adopting Hitler's theme that trade unions were an existential threat to mankind.  It took our  pundits like Cleon Skouzen until the McCarthy era to catch up.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:52:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When Clinton was in office we had a big uptick (0+ / 0-)

        In RW white supremacist and anti-government organizations, and there was the OKC bombing. After OKC, things quieted down for a bit because that was a step too far for most.

        Just saying that hatred of liberals and Democrats provides a lot of the underpinnings for Obama-hatred. That's not to imply that racism isn't a (if not THE) major factor.

        Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

        by ohiolibrarian on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 06:14:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, sure, but... (12+ / 0-)

    you see, these guys that get themselves shot by good, God-(and black)-fearing white people were doing something wrong!

    They were cutting through a yard on a rainy night...in a nice neighborhood!

    They were jay-walking, for Pete's sake - how can we keep our streets safe for cars if there's someone walking on them?

    They were standing around looking suspiciously like an illegal cigarette seller!

    They were holding a knife and scaring people!

    How dare they refuse to acknowledge our authority fast enough to prove they understand their place in the world?

    You just KNOW they've done SOMETHING criminal in the past, so you can't blame us if we're scared of them! We gotta kill them before they can kill us! ('Cause God knows we've given them enough reasons to WANT to kill us, so they're probably gonna try!)

    So, yeah, it wouldn't be ok to shoot an unarmed black man if he was just minding his own business and not looking big and scary... and black.

    But that never happens, for some reason. Guess that's just the way it is.

    "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

    by gfre on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:31:51 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are empty lifeless shells. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, howabout
  •  Answer to the very clever and probing question.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, howabout, Nance

    Not that they are prepared to admit to.

    "These 'Yet To Be' United States" --James Baldwin-- -6.75, -5.78

    by kevinbr38 on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:41:39 PM PDT

  •  Let's call them what they are: (14+ / 0-)

    Legal lynchings.  And I'm white.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:49:41 PM PDT

  •  Contrast that . . . (9+ / 0-)

    . . . with armed "sovereign citizens" pointing loaded weapons at Federal agents and police (welfare cattle queen Cliven Bundy).

    When he went off on Fox News about "the negro," and then two of his fans killed two police officers eating lunch and covered them with the "cop killer" flag, FOX News Channel dropped that story like a hot potato.

    (It is a shame that the Gadsden Flag is now the banner of cop killers, but perhaps we should refer to it that way: perhaps Tea Party supporters will drop that otherwise honourable symbol from America's past and it can regain its place in the historical record.)

    "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'"—William F. Buckley, Jr.—Founder of the conservative policy magazine "National Review"

    by Village Vet on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:50:48 PM PDT

  •  There seems to be a correlation (9+ / 0-)

    between the number of such incidents being reported and the growth of video capability in everyone's hands.

    This leads me to speculate wildly.  It is my speculation that it was ever thus, that police have shot down a number of unarmed young Black men over the last 150 years, but only now is the incontrovertible evidence being supplied by multiple onlookers.

    Speculating even more wildly, I would bet that video recording every police contact will become more than commonplace within the next few years.  

    As my sig line indicates, Orwell was an optimist.  What he did not and could not have imagined in 1948 was that TV would be in everyone's hands.  Little Brother has a camera also.

    Orwell was an optimist.
    My Home Page

    by RepackRider on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:55:03 PM PDT

  •  answer (8+ / 0-)

    It was okay for Zimmerman, therefore, I guess to many, it's more than okay for a cop.  Democracy doesn't work when the oppressed--and the family/friends of victims--don't vote.  In a strange way--low voter turnout leads to being offered low esteem.
    Blacks need to vote in huge numbers--as a block.  New Yorkers know the power of the Jewish orthodox--they vote as directed by their rabbis.  Black clergy need to take their congregants to vote--have services outside polling places.  First, get congregants registered to vote--make them show their voter's id when entering the church.  Enough--don't sign petitions, don't burn buildings, go out and vote.  Parade your voter id in front of politicians.  That will stop the bullets--weird that.

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:00:41 PM PDT

    •  This is a thing with a name: Souls to the Polls (7+ / 0-)

      which is why Republicans want to shut down early voting on Sundays.

      Now we have to get to those who aren't regular churchgoers. And now tens of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of volunteers are engaged in just that in most southern states, because there are enough unregistered Blacks and Latinos all through the South to tip most of those states if even half of them signed up, got their ID, and voted. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are not yet ripe, but Texas will be in a few more cycles.

      Former NAACP President Ben Jealous likes to talk about it, to encourage people to get involved. You could hear about it very occasionally on MSNBC if you are paying attention, but on the MSM, crickets.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:11:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not just white conservatives. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, NancyWH, JrCrone

    Although most conservatives are white, they pretty much all (perhaps even the black ones, for all I know) could not possibly care less for the lives of poor, black people or, really, underclasses of any sort. Without question, the most vicious, hateful, racist things I've heard in my life have come from Latinos and (South Asian) Indians who assume that, because I'm white, I agree with their shit.

  •  Thought experiment? OK, I'll bite. (4+ / 0-)

    If the shooter were a neo-hippie at a protest in Berkeley, and the victim were Herman Cain, I think the looney Right would be outraged, and not at the scary black man.

    Actually, with few exceptions, I think the looney Right is motivated less by skin color and more by a visceral tribal mentality. This is why they can't simply disagree on policy any more, but have to demonize and humiliate.

    So that deep seated hatred means they have to despise everyone on the opposing team. But the fact that Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin weren't wearing a three piece suit on their way back from the Young Republicans meeting--oh, yeah, and happened to have black skin--mean that it's easy to see they're on the other team. It's far easier than seeing them as human.

  •  It's the arm skin that makes him armed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Nance

    Protest that works comment by nomandates Registration Table Change the culture 100% registration.

    by 88kathy on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:17:13 PM PDT

  •  Conservative exception to the rule. (0+ / 0-)

    If it involves a high profile black conservative, yeah, maybe, depending on who the shooter is.

    Generally speaking, no, it doesn't matter to conservatives.

  •  Crispus Attucks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper, gardnerhill

    I'm not sure if that's helpful precedent.

    Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

    by Inland on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:32:09 PM PDT

    •  Well, I heard (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MHB, Inland

      he wasn't so squeaky clean either! He might even have been a runaway slave! Remember, slavery was legal back then….in all the colonies. /snark intended

      Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

      by Jilly W on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:48:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Genocidal Bible Thumping Sexual Hysteric Racists? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, kay3295, Nannyberry

    .....crying for a strong leader of an armed rebellion against the weak and corrupt elected Weimar Republic US government?  Deja vu all over again.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:45:40 PM PDT

  •  It IS time to clarify the "conservative" mind set (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    ..on this.
    We've been hearing story after story explaining that police are legally allowed, licensed in fact, to use lethal force when on the job of "protecting and serving" if faced with what they feel is an "imminent threat" of bodily harm.

    It is time to switch the script and ask the Diary title's question.

    Mother Jones has put together data from several federal databases like the DOJ, with more from the NAACP, ACLU, and other sources here:
    Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men? —By Jaeah Lee | Fri Aug. 15, 2014

    Sometimes when seeking answers, looking beyond the greater variable and switching focus on what remains is the better way to isolate the answer.

    Kind of like, if you've flunked a test having gotten most of the questions wrong, it's time to ask, well, what did you correctly answer instead?

    So if shooting an un-armed AA male "suspect" is NOT normal -> prove it? Prove when it is not okay.

    Yes, let's hear that side of the conversation for a change. Let's hear the explanations of when police or other non - AA's do NOT have the right to "stand their ground" with lethal force

    I'm sure their are loads of answers on the right. so let's hear them for a change

    Thx Laurence Lewis

  •  This is such an important topic (0+ / 0-)

    and I am glad that you are taking it on and working on peeling back this onion of talking head race (and class) privilege.

    However, I have quibble: noting the "real" violence of the white conservative pundits' participation in the reinscription and recapitulation of the narratives that create the possiblity of actual violence (ie the shootings, beatings etc) is a bit of a disservice. Let the physical violence done against POC stand as the repugnant and real and injury-causing violence that it is.

    A dependent clause will make your point without running the risk of seeming to make physical violence as it is experience as a "detail."

    Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?

    by JrCrone on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:56:26 PM PDT

  •  One good rhetorical question deserves another: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, jubal8, a2nite, mwothe

    how are the already angry people you've chosen to further enrage against WHITE Conservatives over these despicable killings of young Black men supposed to distinguish between White Conservative bigots and WHITE Liberal non-bigots if their anger takes a tangible form? Which it did back in the 1960's and 70's. When three black men on a get-Whitey rampage stabbed my husband, who never harmed a fly and whose only offence was being White. That's the problem with race-baiting, whatever side you're on. It's dangerous and can come back to bite you on the ass. Or worse, bite ME on the ass. Again.

    In any case, contrary to a rec-list diary right now, it's not about White rage. It is, and always has been, about fear and tribalism and clannishness. Which is a universal, deep-rooted, primitive human survival model and not so easy to civilize. And which I'm sure you already know very well. Look almost anywhere on Earth right now, and a similar hateful dynamic is playing out, frequently with nary a White in sight.

    But if we give up on politics, we’re done for. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Robert Reich

    by tovan on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:02:27 PM PDT

    •  Maybe your job (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrisculpepper, tovan, a2nite

      is to change the minds of the white conservative shooters then.

      •  Would that I could. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MHB

        But given the number of recs my wonderful wisdom receives here, where I'm good with most of the attitudes, that isn't going to happen soon.

        But if we give up on politics, we’re done for. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Robert Reich

        by tovan on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 09:19:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately we are suffering from white (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, tovan

      Tribal violence because it's state sanctioned.

      Black people live in a police state.

      I'm sorry for your loss & I hope they got prosecuted.

      I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

      by a2nite on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:48:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, but, fortunately, he didn't die (0+ / 0-)

        although it was a near thing. Our 50th anniversary is in a couple of months and we're hobbling toward it, scarred and battered, but still game. And, no, they never caught them.

        We all live in a police state, black, brown, and white. And if you take another look at the world, I think you'll see that all too often nations are not only sanctioning "tribal" violence, they're perpetrating it directly. Which doesn't ever excuse it, either there or here.

        But if we give up on politics, we’re done for. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Robert Reich

        by tovan on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When Are Wingnuts NOT In A Homicidal Rage? (9+ / 0-)

    As Jon Stewart said, conservatives are allowed to spend months in a boiling rage if someone requests a Festivus pole at City Hall, because it detracts from the town Nativity scene, even though they can have a Nativity scene on their front lawn if want. And the media treat these enraged hysterics with complete seriousness.

    On the other hand, if black people are randomly killed, the media swarms them to mock and criticize them for being angry.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:05:02 PM PDT

  •  We already know their answer. (0+ / 0-)

    It should be obvious by now.

    You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

    by djtyg on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:22:45 PM PDT

  •  Don't you know? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MHB, Mr K

    Their bodies are weapons (according to Ben Stein).

    Sigline? What Sigline?

    by Khun David on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 03:42:35 PM PDT

  •  Not only "innocents"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohiolibrarian, Ahianne
    Are there any conditions under which it is acceptable for people to be upset that a white man shot dead an unarmed young black man who had no criminal record? Are there any conditions under which a white man shooting dead an unarmed young black man who had no criminal record is itself not okay?
    As a society, we need to be clear: it is not acceptable for the police to use deadly force (be it a gun or a choke hold) against any unarmed citizen, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or criminal record.  

    And,for those tempted to think, "Well, if he is a criminal..."  We should remember that not all criminals are created equally.  Again, we need to acknowledge white privilege here.  African American men are more likely to have criminal records than their white counterparts.  Is it because, as conservatives claim, they are all criminals?  No, of course not.  There are a number of economic and sociological factors that giveway to the higher stats.  First, limited educational and economic opportunities in traditionally poorer African American neighborhoods can lead to criminal behavior.  But, this is also true in poor white neighborhoods.  There are statistically more arrests In poor black neighborhoods, for everything from traffic violations to drugs.  And, once arrested, a black man faces white justice, most often with nothing more than a public defender.  Plea deals are often arranged to save resources.  Either way, a black man is more likely to end up with a criminal record than a white man, often for doing the same thing.  So, do we really want to green-light the killing of unarmed black men with criminal records, when it's so much easier for them to get one than your average white person?

  •  There are special cases (0+ / 0-)

    Like Justice Clarence Thomas is not OK to shoot dead when there's a Democratic President.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 12:19:21 AM PDT

  •  Shooting Urkel... (0+ / 0-)

    Shooting Steve Urkel is never OK.

    Oh, who am I kidding.  Shooting Urkel is fine.

  •  Really (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ohiolibrarian, Ahianne

    Even IF a police officer got in a scuffle with an unarmed young man, felt the kid reach for his gun, so felt he had not choice but to use lethal force (I don't believe at all this is the scenario for this case). Even IF the young man had a record...

    The correct, normal human response should be sorrow. Even from the police officer if he felt able to express it. It is sad when someone is killed. It is especially sad when a young person dies. Especially sad if one dies who isn't a a bad person. But few young people are even if they have a record.

    It is a tragedy when anyone is killed. If the Officer's story was true, it'd be normal for him  and the Police to 1) not let the body lie there for 4 hours, especially without explanation and apology to the family 2) come forward ASAP to speak to the community about the tragedy, and call it sad that a young person died, and vow to investigate it to be absolutely sure it was needed.

    See, they didn't even act as if they believed their own story. They acted entirely disrespectfully the whole time. That's why the town lit up. They didn't act as if this were a human being.

    Someone needs to tell off, every single time, these people who smear Michael Brown. Say, "look, even if he was misguided and his shooting was unavoidable-I'm not saying I think that but being hypothetical-it is still a tragedy when someone is killed. Especially a kid. He wasn't a bad kid too. Why do you smear a dead kid? Even if the officer had no choice, why wouldn't he and the police and everyone be sad that it was that way? we aren't talking about a serial killer here. HE was a kid. At the very most-and I dont' believe this-but at the very most according to the police story he made mistakes.

    These people think it's either or. Either MB deserved to die, or he was an innocent of wrong doing. Since they think he was not innocent of wrong doing, and because they don't see him as a human being, they then feel the need to prove he deserved to die. They don't get that even if he were guilty of wrong doing he wouldn't deserve to die. It isn't one or the other. This needs to be explained to them. As well as explained how they are in fact trying to prove he deserved to die when they smear him.

  •  Perhaps the better question is; (0+ / 0-)

    Is it ever okay to shoot ANY unarmed man or woman?

  •  Quick Question (0+ / 0-)
    That white conservatives in the media reflexively demonize the black victim and defend the white shooter is not a unique event. It is part of a pattern, and in that pattern the pathology is revealed.

    Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others. We see this every time. Right after the killing, the rightwing media begins to drag out photo's that look threatening, and details of the victims life that have no relationship to the shooting in order to justify the killing of a black man.

    Never trust a naked busdriver.

    by Adagio4639 on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:15:49 AM PDT

  •  There are a lot of "yeah but" liberals also (0+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:14:32 AM PDT

  •  Judging from recent cases.... (0+ / 0-)

    ... it's wrong if you leave survivors.  There was one case in recent memory where a man shot into a van killing one teen and injuring several.   He was cleared on all counts for the death,  but  convicted on the injured  cases.

Angie in WA State, Mimikatz, Odysseus, mwm341, deben, misscee, RAST, Shockwave, Minnesota Deb, hubcap, regis, 88kathy, mik, resa, Moody Loner, TexDem, mrkvica, ranger995, never forget 2000, tenderheart, Steven D, Black Max, Frank Vyan Walton, historys mysteries, capelza, LakeSuperior, democracy inaction, owlbear1, Mikado, SaraBeth, mlleelizabeth, bunsk, captainlaser, mightymouse, Sister Havana, Nance, dopper0189, AoT, gpoutney, armadillo, justiceputnam, JeffinQC, NancyWH, Temmoku, Aaa T Tudeattack, Thinking Fella, john07801, jessical, Mr K, EdSF, bnasley, HCKAD, getlost, jayden, OIL GUY, keyscritter, on the cusp, Justus, flowerfarmer, cruz, Involuntary Exile, lineatus, KJG52, Gemina13, BYw, LaFeminista, Jonohex, Denise Oliver Velez, Tortmaster, cassandraX, parse this, NJpeach, Susan Grigsby, ATFILLINOIS, JoanMar, shyewoods, addisnana, ericlewis0, Nada Lemming, Oh Mary Oh, slice, kerflooey, Bob Duck, slowbutsure, MaryinHammondsport, FarWestGirl, NormAl1792, Deleuzional, BarackStarObama, peregrine kate, Laurel in CA, Monsieur Georges, fenway49, BlueZone, ahumbleopinion, a2nite, JGibson, Laiane, raina, George3, mumtaznepal, Australian2, Most Awesome Nana, countwebb, remembrance, Thornrose, Tim DeLaney, SanFernandoValleyMom, Joy of Fishes, Alhambra, KatinHi, howabout, Ishmaelbychoice, oslyn7, WFBMM, starduster, Dodgerdog1, PugetSound, Will Stark, lrganassi, CJB2012, AJayne, Incredulousinusa, laughingRabbit, Blackwolf53, Queenofdragons6, Wagymfan, Ohaeri, Village Vet, snau, AnacharsisClootz, mchaole, Brian Carland, inhibitedagitator

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