Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stop Resisting: Baltimore, the Police State, the Second Amendment, and White Hegemony

Cropped version of larger picture.

A few sporadic incidents of looting in Baltimore has CNN, Fox News, and every white person in suburban America hyperventilating.

They decry the looting, as if property is the underlying issue. It's not, and they know it.

As Atlantic magazine notes:

What's crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn't wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn't looked.

Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson. Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

The Baltimore police are racist thugs and have been for a long time.

No not all of them. Some just tolerate racist thugs and actually aren't racist thugs themselves.

Let us find honor in the cowards who remain suited, stand silent, and engage in the Big Wink.

How crooked and twisted is the Baltimore Police Department?

This is a police department where the FBI caught 51 officers engaged in extortion.

This is a police department where people violate civil rights and seriously beat people every week and pay settlements for the same every month.

And we are supposed to have our panties in a twist about a little light looting and rock throwing from the victims?

These folks remind me of nothing so much as the police themselves who, having stopped someone for no reason, slam them to the ground for protesting, and then begin screaming "stop resisting" as they beat them around the head while handcuffing them behind their backs.

Stop resisting!

It's the rallying cry of every racist cop, and every apologist for the same.

And let me tell you, it's unpatriotic as hell.

Our Founding Fathers resisted, and when they wrote the Constitution they added the Second Amendment to make sure we would keep resisting.

It was not foreign powers our Founding Father feared, but the insidious creep of a police state that did not respect basic civil rights.

Stop resisting say they white folks now.


Shuffle along.

It's not big thing.  

It's just black folks getting arrested for dope, and never mind that legal drugs dispensed by white doctors in white coats are the number one drug killer in the nation.

After cigarettes and alcohol, of course.

Can't take those away.

White people have rights, you know.

The white folks in the suburbs say they object to the looting.

Not the looting by Wall Street, you understand. "That's  just business." No, they object to black folks looting a single CVS.

These same people have nothing but praise -- or stony silence -- for the corporate suits at CVS ripping off Medicare and Medicaid for scores of millions of dollars.

That's the Big Wink -- the little omission and the slight smile that keeps the whole thing rolling.

Of course, not all of the omissions are little. A lot of the folks outraged that 100 black folks rioted in Baltimore last night have no idea that thousands of  black people marched peacefully the day before. They did? That wasn't on the news!

No, that was not on the news.

The white producers that decide what's news were not impressed with 5,000 peaceful black folks. That was not news. Set a car on fire and loot a CVS at a strip mall, however, and it's "the city is engulfed in flames."

Except, of course, it was not. This is not 1968. This was pretty light stuff.

You want a serious riot? Go watch the white kids riot after a college coach loses his job after sexually abusing kids, or when a few of them lose a surfing competition. You don't remember that? No, of course you don't. And how rude of me to bring it up!

Now here's the funny thing.... Have you ever noticed that the same folks tut-tutting about "those people" looting and burning police cars and throwing rocks at the police ("stop resisting") are the same one who are always quick to beat their chest about the Second Amendment and their right to carry?

So let me say it clear and plain:  I support the right to carry. For black people.

I support open carry for the folks most likely to have their civil rights violated by a police state.

I support black folks and Hispanics and women and recent immigrants who want to "Open Carry" handguns to their State Capitols and loiter near the parking lots where state and federal legislators and their staffs park their cars.

You want to support the Second Amendment and give folks a Constitutional lesson? That's how you do it.

And it's been done before.

As The Atlantic notes, on May 2, 1967:

The eighth-grade students gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California’s new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation’s Capitol. But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols. 

The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement. “The American people in general and the black people in particular,” he announced, must:

take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetuated against black people The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.

Seale then turned to the others. “All right, brothers, come on. We’re going inside.” He opened the door, and the radicals walked straight into the state’s most important government building, loaded guns in hand. No metal detectors stood in their way....

... The Panthers’ methods provoked an immediate backlash. The day of their statehouse protest, lawmakers said the incident would speed enactment of Mulford’s gun-control proposal. Mulford himself pledged to make his bill even tougher, and he added a provision barring anyone but law enforcement from bringing a loaded firearm into the state capitol.

Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”

The fear inspired by black people with guns also led the United States Congress to consider new gun restrictions... Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, the first federal gun-control law in 30 years. Months later, the Gun Control Act of 1968 amended and enlarged it.

Notice that the Black Panthers were not standing up to federal soldiers. 

It was not the federal government, but local and state police that participated in the lynchings of black men and women in the south.

It was not the federal government, but local and state police that routinely arrested young black men on trumped up charges.

It was not the federal government, but local and state police that bashed men and women in gay bars, and called Mexicans "tonks" because of the sound their heads allegedly made when slammed with the butt of a rifle.

And yet, with the NRA today, notice that no one is "AR-15 rattling" about the REAL (and continuing) civil rights abuse done by local and state police against blacks, Hispanics, gays, and others. 

And why not? 

Simple: the average NRA member is more than OK with blacks, Hispanics and gays getting beat up by cops.  That's what police are for, they think: to protect white, male, heterosexual hegemony.

Stop resisting.


PBurns said...

In Baltimore, even the COO of the Baltimore Orioles knows why the folks are rioting. See >> http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/04/orioles-john-angelos-baltimore-protests-mlb

"My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."

Mary Pang said...

Bad times. I've been thinking about race relations and the like. The uk election campaign has been stirring up/reflecting back hostility towards immigrants and their descendants. Theres something unpleasant in the air.

jeffrey thurston said...

I support the NRA because they are effective in stopping a lot of government idiocy. You may think you know your "average NRA member" and you may even be right about their type of thinking but that doesn't change reality- the fact is that blacks and Hispanics are FAR FAR FAR more likely to get killed by each other than by cops or society or racism or The Man. The police in our country are out of control and basically operate as cowardly bullies- the blue-clad hide of the cop is the most precious thing on earth. That still doesn't alter the fact that if "Black Lives Matter" black people would care more about the mayhem they bring on themselves. That is never talked about- especially in a place like here in Oakland. And the reality is that gun control laws affect only law-abiding citizens- so 90 +% of criminal gun mayhem is unaffected by the law. Criminals don't obey the law. In my town of Oakland these facts are stark- yet the only thing our city leaders and the Yuppie-scum who live here (and actually vote) think will solve so-called gun violence is more laws. The 94% of gunshot victims here who are young people of color will not be helped an IOTA by me having to register my gun with the Oakland City Council or by my being unable to buy ammo online. It's like trying to stop drunk driving by having teatotalling Mormons and Muslims fill out special forms and pay special fees and take special driving tests. So the NRA has a murky history- I don't care- our country is so far around the bend morally that I admire their present stand on the Second Amendment.

5string said...

You're nuts Mr. Burns!

A post which initially appears to be about the current police brutality and resulting riot ends up as a NRA bash!

Great entertainment, that's why I keep reading. But I am compelled to point out some corrections.

The NRA has but one job - to ensure the second amdmt. is not infringed for EVERY citizen. They welcome all races and sexes as members. That's more $$. Theirs is not to take up against unjust causes which don't relate to their solitary reason for existence. Hell, you could rail against them for not decrying landmines, ebola and cancer!

Boy, Wayne LaPierre must have really left a stinky fart in your fresh air vent!

And the Founding Fathers feared an overbearing CENTRAL GOVT. not a police state. Local police matters are the sole responsibility of the local or at best, the state government.

It's the United 'STATES' of America, not plain ol' 'AMERICA'.

Good day and thanks for the chuckles...

PBurns said...

The NRA managed to get the story wrong. The "good man with a gun" was the Rolling Crips. And it's the POLICE that are pushing for gun control. http://gawker.com/the-nra-is-already-lying-about-whats-happening-in-balti-1700745070

PBurns said...

The history of NRA racism is pretty well documented, as is their silence when it comes to the violence against black citizens. Read some of that here >> http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112322/gun-control-racism-and-nra-history

PBurns said...

I am looking forward to the NRA coming out with an ad and direct mail campaign that points out that the oppressed people of Baltimore need to fight back against police oppression and the systematic violation of their civil rights. That IS why we have the Second Amendment, and it would be hard to find a better case of systematic Big Government oppression than Baltimore. Read the facts of Baltimore here >> https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/29/david-simon-on-baltimore-s-anguish Let's see what side the NRA suits up for.... Police violating civil rights and who are calling for gun control.... Or real Americans being oppressed by big government that violates civil rights with impunity.

5string said...

Well I agree that every non felon person in baltimore who wants a gun should have one.

Obamafound it easy to get guns to the Mexican gangs (fast and furious) and we all know about the Obamaphones; how hard would it be to get Obamaguns into the hands of all the po folk? One free box of ammo per month!

jeff hays said...

It is hard to pin the racist label on a police force and city government that is mostly people of color, and has been for years.
As a MOSTLY anti religious anarchistic leaning libertarian I can see issues of self serving government at work along with entrenched class struggle and police dominance issues.
I see little in the way of racism in Baltimore, where you might see it in Oakland or LA or New York. There is something rotten in Police culture that is colorblind.