Playing Ostrich on Race

Ferguson protest

Whenever an unarmed black teen gets shot by a white guy — which seems to be becoming a trend these days –you can count on two things happening. First, there is an outrage among the public. Second, there is a campaign by many in the media, and other right-wing extremists, to gloss over the incident and the public reaction. It’s really no big deal, they try to tell you. Get upset over something else instead, they say. We saw this with the killing of Trayvon Martin. And more recently, we’ve been seeing it with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Fox “News” and company have gone into hyperdrive declaring how sick and tired they are of all the media coverage of protests in Ferguson even as they offer endless coverage of Ferguson, and how the real racists are the ones who talk about racism even as they go on and on about racism.  Fox bit off more than it could chew in one priceless unscripted segment in which Steve Harrigan was, in the condescending words of a colleague,

trying to explain the reality of what is happening now — that in the middle of the night, a bunch of people are out for show.

When Harrigan patronizingly referred to the protests as “child’s play”, he was overheard by an angry participant who confronted him and schooled him in very blunt terms — asking him, among other things, “Who’s the child playing with toys? Us or them?”

Fox, of course, is not designed primarily as a news organization, but as the voice of the “conservative movement” (one of my favorite oxymorons) which likes to play ostrich with racial tensions. Republicans sometimes bill themselves as “the party of Lincoln”, forgetting (if they ever knew in the first place) that the party has undergone a radical makeover in more recent decades, and Abe wouldn’t recognize anything about it except the name. The GOP — and Fox — often trot out the scant handful of African-Americans in their midst and pretend that they are a much larger contingent than they really are, and that everything is just peachy keen.

But anyone who’s attended a Republican convention can vouch for the scarcity of dark faces among the delegates, though there might be plenty of them in the service staff — for whom black delegates are often mistaken.  I recall reading about one African-American attendee of a state GOP gathering in recent years who, though he was wearing a badge that clearly identified him, was asked to carry bags or call a taxi six times. But if you shine a light on this lack of ethnic diversity, then wingers, rather than trying to address it, are likely to upbraid you for “playing the race card”.

The trigger-happy cop in Ferguson didn’t even give Michael Brown a chance to carry his bags. What he did was shoot an unarmed teenager — not once, but SIX TIMES, who according to witnesses, was holding up his hands and moving away from the officer. The friend who was with Brown reports that when the cop drove up he yelled at them to “get the fuck on the sidewalk”.  One witness says that he then started driving away, but abruptly reversed his vehicle, after which the confrontation started. After Brown was gunned down, his body was allowed to lie in the street for FOUR HOURS.

Now suppose you didn’t know anything about the color of the parties involved, or you knew that everyone was the same race. Wouldn’t you find it alarming that law enforcement personnel could conduct themselves in this manner? Hell, there are lots of Libertarianoids out there who seem to be on a fulltime campaign to convince people that police in general are jack-booted Storm Trooper thugs; they scout out and publicize every little instance of alleged police misconduct they hear about, and tout it as representative of police activity in general and proof that all police forces should be totally emasculated. And yet they’ve been rather behind the curve when it comes to outrage over the death of Michael Brown. Why? (It isn’t true, as some have suggested, that Libertarians have been totally silent on the matter; but they haven’t been nearly as vocal as one might expect given their obsession with all things constabulary.)

The really extreme right-wingers, however, certainly have not ignored the incident. Instead, they’ve done their best to convince you that there’s really nothing to see here, so move on. And that includes trying to convince you that the dead kid “got everything he deserved”, in the words of pundit Pat Dollard. As phrased by an article in AlterNet (“4 worst Right-Wing Reactions to Michael Brown’s Killing and the Ferguson Protests”),

Conservative media has never met a young black man it couldn’t retroactively [i.e., posthumously] enlist into the shadowy urban gangs of its fevered imagination.

The campaign to smear Michael Brown is virtually a carbon copy of the campaign to smear Trayvon Martin. They’ve claimed he had a criminal record. Not true. They’ve claimed he had a gang affiliation. Not true. they’ve claimed he had marijuana in his system. Possibly true, but irrelevant. They’ve circulated photos of another, more menacing-looking individual, and falsely identified them as Brown. They’ve claimed that he broke the eye socket of the policeman who killed him. Not true. They’ve circulated still frames taken from a surveillance video which they claim depicts Brown robbing a convenience store earlier that day. But the video does not prove any such thing. It shows a young man fitting Brown’s description bringing merchandise to the counter, having a discussion with the clerk, then leaving — pushing the clerk, who has come out and gotten into an altercation with him. In any case, the officer who shot him did not stop him because he was suspected of robbery; his crime that cost him his life was walking in the street.

Yet pretend that all of the rumors about Brown are true. Say that he really was as monstrous as the wingers would have you believe, and then some. Even so, is it justified to shoot him six times when he’s unarmed? Would anyone ever say that a white teen, because he lived a less than exemplary life (like most teenagers) deserved to be pumped full of lead? Would people say (as some have of Brown) that slaughtering a white teen amounts to “taking out the trash”?  It wasn’t very long ago, lest we forget, that many of these people were manufacturing all the outrage they could muster because the Obama administration gunned down Osama bin Laden. So now they high-five over the same thing happening to an unarmed American kid who apparently never hurt anyone?

“Conservatives” loudly insist that race is not a factor in slayings of this type, yet they undermine their own narrative by trying to justify the perception of the victims as suspicious characters on the basis of their appearance. Fox’s Geraldo Rivera speculated that “the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as [the killer] was”. The rumors of Michael Brown being a gangster have been bolstered by the fact that he sometimes wore red clothing. And LiberalLogic 101, a site that purports to expose flaws in “liberal” reasoning but only exposes its own utter lack of reasoning skills (we mentioned it previously in the post on straw men), suggested that judging someone for wearing a hoodie or a red shirt is no worse than judging someone for wearing a Klan robe. Such is the “conservative” logic behind LiberalLogic 101. And if you really think like this, you have your head stuck in something worse than sand.

Incidentally, the folks at LiberalLogic 101 also recently ran a cartoon depicting President Obama saying, “My position on beheadings is that I be heading to the golf course”. Coincidentally, researches in one study found that they were able to manipulate the favorability/ unfavorability with which many participants viewed Obama by subtly altering the skin tone in his photograph.

Such individuals have a habit of treating each shooting of this sort as an isolated incident, wrenched free of social context, But as many people, including the author of the AlterNet article have pointed out, the killing of Michael Brown did not occur in a vacuum. Jon Stewart, spot on as usual, goes into a bit of detail about what a vacuum it didn’t occur in.

Forget that in Ferguson, 94 percent of the police are white, and 63 percent of the people are black. Forget that 92 percent of police searches and 86 percent of car stops are for black people.

He goes on to present an account of an incident in which 4 Ferguson police officers beat a 52-year-old man and then cited him for defiling government property by staining their uniforms with his blood. Indeed, the Ferguson P.D. has an apparent history of heavy-handed behavior. Its strained relations with residents, particularly with those of the African-American persuasion, was a time bomb waiting to detonate. And it has.

Stewart also hands Sean Hannity his testicles on a platter for the umpeenth time (not a particularly difficult feat to pull off) and punctures another popular right-wing talking point: that the attention focused on an event like Ferguson or the death of Trayvon Martin is way out of proportion to the attention given to the killings of black citizens that occur in some cities on a daily basis. In the words of one clueless Foxster:

If I were African-American, I would be outraged that more journalists aren’t covering what’s happening in Chicago, and more outraged that people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson don’t head to those areas.

Which is an amazingly brainless comment for at least three reasons. First, as Stewart facetiously asks, “Why all the interest in holding police officers to a higher standard than gangs?” And second, it’s not an either/ or proposition; and as it turns out, those African-American leaders whom the wingers so often upbraid for not addressing gang violence have been very involved in, um, addressing gang violence. Third, there are good reasons for the discrepancy in media coverage: see Trayvon Martin and the “Double Standard “Standard, Part 1 and Part 2.

Okay, we’re being hard on right-wingers here, but there’s a simple explanation: they’ve earned it.  Yet observers on both the left and the right tend to cloud the issue by conflating racism with racial bias. Racism is blatant and deliberate, and as such is readily noted. But racial bias is more subtle and unconscious, and therefore does a lot of damage under the radar.

Racism suggests that the Ferguson cop killed Michael Brown because he was black. That’s probably not true — although it doesn’t speak well for him that the KKK and other racists are rushing to his defense. What’s much more likely, however, is that Brown’s ethnicity contributed significantly to his being a “suspicious character” in the first place. No matter how you slice it, it’s quite possible, if not probable, that if he had been white, he’d still be alive. Compare what happened to him to what happened when a white man walked down the street brandishing a gun, threatening and insulting police and daring them to shoot him. And what did the police do? They negotiated with him for 40 minutes, pleading with him to put down the gun, and all but invited him home for tea.

The killers of both Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have, thus far, walked free. Compare this to John McNeil, a black man who is serving a life sentence for fatally shooting a white man (who was not a teen) who was armed and threatening on McNeil’s own property. Once again, let me quote Jon Stewart (Don’t you get tired of having to get the facts about current events from comedians?) because he puts it so memorably:

I guarantee you that every person of color has faced an indignity — from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal — at some point in their,,, I’m going to say last couple of hours. [to the Foxsters] You’re tired of hearing about it?? Imagine how fucking exhausting it is to live it.

As he mentions, this blatant racial profiling occurs even in the “liberal bastion” of New York City.  Indeed, it’s everywhere. Research indicates that people with darker complexions are more likely to be considered untrustworthy or suspicious, and are more likely to be convicted of crime when accused. This bias is often present even among African-Americans themselves. It’s not a simple problem, but it’s a very real, and sometimes deadly problem. And I don’t know what the solution is — although I suspect that an increased awareness would go a long way toward a remedy. Whatever the solution, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve playing ostrich.


  1. I never really thought about the video showing a kid who looked like Brown being belligerent in a store, as not being an actual recording him trying to steal something. I guess I have my own share of racial bias floating around in my subconscious. The actuality is probably, that like many young kids, Brown may have been put off with some rude way that the clerk treated him and decided to let off some steam by showing him into a rack. This is still not a good thing to do either, but young guys in particular, whether white, black or any other color, are frequently impulsive and fail to think about the consequences of their actions–that being said, NO, even if he was trying to steal or shoplift, that DOES NOT justify the actions of the police officer who killed him!

    Although its hard to understand just how we became such a racially biased and polarized society, it sounds like the statistics in Ferguson very aptly testify to the fact that some very common stereotypes are probably behind the inordinate arrests of black people. If I am aloud to step out from my liberal veil for a moment, I do think that many white people like myself are afraid of black men who look like they could be threatening. And, they black Americans really are arrested more often nationwide, for suspicions of committing a crime—or actually committing them. But since white guys also commit those crimes, I suppose the salient point is the statistics implicating black Americans, is that they are way out of balance with the relative population–suggesting very strongly that some racial bias, if not racism itself, is often the cause of those statistical disparities.

    I also don’t really know what the answer to all of this racial fear and polarization is either. But yes, a police officer who fired six times at a young kid who is holding his hands up while backing away, does not speak well for the officer’s mentality or motives, and his extreme actions will certainly not help the situation. With regards to the officers actions, there can be little credible questionings of the videos recording his attack. The actions he took are not ambiguous or consistent with a need for self-defense at all!–they are irrefutably damning just as the presence of six bullet holes in Brown definitely are! Those shots cannot be taken back, just like a bell can not be unrung, and, they are strong testimony as to his criminal, or at least, very irresponsible, actions.

    I do think that police forces in general have a very difficult responsibility to behave correctly rather than impulsively, given the many high pressure situations they function in. It must be hard to prudently refrain in every threatening instance, even when someone might be giving the impression that he or she, had a weapon. But this case was nothing like that. I have never heard that Michael Brown had any weapon or was particularly aggressive when confronted by the cop. And anyone with their hands raised, while asking the cops not to shoot, shouldn’t be treated like a paper target at a firing range. I don’t blame the community for being angered, and I don’t think a hoodie, or a red sweater is a justifiable reason to consider someone a thug or a dangerous criminal. There was a very clear crime committed here that should be given fair treatment by the press and in a court of law. At the very least, the cop should be portrayed as having gone berserk and acting way out of line from the conduct, expected from an ethical officer.

    I know its much easier to judge from a distance or, to be a monday morning quarterback. But six times! While his hands were held up in surrender! The people of ferguson deserve some answers and some legal recourse to hold responsible, the officer who needlessly ended the life of a young kid!

  2. P.O.P. before getting to topic, as I don’t have Cable, I don’t watch Fox News or CNN that much anymore unless out of town such as in hotel-in fact I don’t watch new TV except for news on Spain TV channel RTVE on Internet (I am proficient in Spanish) & ocassionally PBS Nature shows here and there. I like old TV shows such as Bewitched (seen almost all the episodes incl. all episodes from the short lived 1978 Tabitha), I dream of Jeannie (seen almost all episodes including 1985 TV movie I dream of Jeannie 15 years later & 1991 I still dream of Jeannie), Partridge Family, Twilight Zone, Hitchcock Presents & hour, Flipper, Partridge Family & Lassie. TV was best from the 1950s to the 1970s and TV shows from late 1970s onwards is mostly rubbish. I don’t watch that much football anymore after 2011 NFL strike. Cable TV is greed. But to the topic you wrote on.

    But Fox News is NOT right wing. Geraldo Rivera is an apologist for homosexuals, so he is definitely not right wing. P.O.P., Christian commentators such as radio hostess Linda P. Harvey of Mission America say that Fox News is not a friend to Christians while she regards CNN as worse. People must discard the idea that Fox News is friendly to Christian views see these 2 columns by evangelical Christian journalist Peter J. LaBarbera where he tells truth that Fox News is not ally

    Now to Ferguson case. Though as of this post, the investigation isn’t complete, speculations made on whether this shooting is justified or excess force & race discussions as the cop is White and the youth’s Black. We know that 10 minutes or so before the shooting, the kid had robbed a convenience store & there is video of this. My thoughts are that we must wait for the investigation to be done such as autopsy, interviewing witnesses, before we conclude.

    If the kid tried to grab the cop’s gun & was resisting arrest, then this shooting could be justified in that these situations can be unpredictable with a robbery suspect who does not want to go to jail. Now if the kid did not resist arrest and was going to be arrested without incident, then the cop had no right to shoot him, as he could’ve arrested and put the handcuffs on the kid, taken him to jail and then help the prosecution prove the suspect committed robbery, which based on the video, it could easily be proven in court the kid committed robbery so they would have no problem getting either the kid to plead guilty by plea bargain or a jury to convict him if tried.

    But whether this shooting’s justified or excess, let’s wait for the investigation to be done before conclusion. This case is not the same as Zimmerman’s in Florida, because George M. Zimmerman’s not a policeman and had no right to pursue Trayvon when the 911 dispatcher told him not to pursue Trayvon and to wait for police to arrive. In the Missouri case, the policeman had a right to stop the 19 year old kid. Now whether the 19 year old kid surrendered without incident and was shot execution style or whether the 19 year old kid resisted arrested & attacked the cop after which he was shot and killed, we will hopefully know after the investigation is done.

  3. Abner,

    “If the kid tried to grab the cop’s gun & was resisting arrest, then this shooting could be justified in that these situations can be unpredictable with a robbery suspect who does not want to go to jail.”

    But Abner, the definitive point is that Trayvon was quite a way from the cop, was facing him and had his open hands clearly in the air before being fired on.

    He may have tried to grab the cop’s gun when struggling near the window of the squad car, but that’s not known for sure. And here again is a quote from the POP’s article:

    “They’ve claimed that he broke the eye socket of the policeman who killed him. Not true. They’ve circulated still frames taken from a surveillance video which they claim depicts Brown robbing a convenience store earlier that day. But the video does not prove any such thing. It shows a young man fitting Brown’s description bringing merchandise to the counter, having a discussion with the clerk, then leaving — pushing the clerk, who has come out and gotten into an altercation with him. In any case, the officer who shot him did not stop him because he was suspected of robbery; his crime that cost him his life was walking in the street.”

    So, Abner, the video tape did not prove that Brown was actually robbing a store, it only showed him being unruly to the clerk, and, as the POP said, he was not stopped for robbery but rather, just for walking in the street–a crime no one deserves to be shot for!

    Since when is anyone the police stop, justifiably shot for having his empty hands in the air in an obvious gesture of surrender? And, why does kid with no previous criminal record, deserve to die even if he did rob a store?

    Yes, all the truth has to come out, but it’s very unlikely that the objective truth will vindicate this officer who foolishly used deadly force on a kid with no gun and who was Obviously willing to surrender?

  4. OOPS!
    But Abner, the definitive point is that Trayvon was quite a way from the cop, was facing him and had his open hands clearly in the air before being fired on.

    (Trayvon)? Plus a bunch of other weird mistakes? I guess I should get more sleep before writing comments.

    • Peter W. Johnson, please give your views (P.O.P. may also) on my views on race. As known, there was another shooting in Charleston where a Black man was shot & killed by cops. It’s believed he fled because he feared he was going to be arrested for not paying child support. The shootings was captured on video & the cop has been arrested. I do not believe the shootings was justified & while not paying alimony & child support is a crime, that should be punished by fines & or jail, not getting killed.

      Now with race, my view is that Blacks must be treated fairly as other ethnic groups. If a Black person (man or woman) has qualifications to be an engineer, physicist, etc. then they must get the job. If a Black man (or woman) commits a crime, then there must be fair punishment based on facts & circumstances of case as any other ethnic group would get & there must be no cruel & unusual punishment, which means no mutilations. In some African nations such as Somalia, stealing has in past been punished by cutting off hands. Now thieves should go to jail but it’s wrong to mutilate limbs. It’s wrong to mutilate Black men & women convicted of crimes. In fact, it is wrong to mutilate people of any ethnic group & it’s wrong to mutilate people convicted of crimes regardless of their ethnic group. So with crime, would you agree with me that if a person commits a crime, that whether they’re White, Black, Native American, Asian-that there must be = punishment based on the crime committed & that there must be no cruel & unusual punishment-hope you can share your thoughts on this.

      On another topic P.O.P. with race deals with slavery. Now slavery was wrong- TransAtlantic Slave Trade, my guess is that you know it was Africans who kidnapped other Africans and sold them to Whites. Slavery was wrong but during that time in the world it was accepted. Whites were able to enslave Blacks because they had capability to do this with better weapons (guns) and ships for transport. Hypothetically, Africans would have done the same thing if they had the capability in that if Africans had better weapons such as guns & ships, instead of Whites enslaving Blacks, Blacks would have enslaved Whites. It’s about the capability of doing things and people are alike everywhere when it comes to what people want.

      Now I think Peter W. Johnson that while it’s wrong for the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade to have happened, what I sometimes have heard implied is the complaint of ‘you did what I wanted to do.’ When people have this view, then they’re the same & no better than what they say they’re against. Again, slavery was wrong but again Whites were able to enslave Blacks because they had capability to do this with better weapons (guns) and ships for transport. Anyhow, hope you can give your view.

      • Anber,

        There is no doubt that those who do commit crimes should be punished, but according to the severity of their crime, and not as the recipients of cruel and unusual punishment.

        Your mention of chopping off hands and mutilations, seems a bit strange to me, since in America we have frowned on such punishments for a long time, and those particular things are not even considered as being appropriate for the punishment of anyone, over any offense. I would guess that such things are sometimes done by violent criminals, and not as some form of supposed law enforcement. If any culture actively uses these kinds of punishments, I would say it must be a perverse and cruel culture—because compassion is very important–even when show towards real criminals. There have been many dictators and violent leaders who use such tactics in other countries, but in those cases I would to wonder if such leaders are not really criminals themselves, who, through the acquisition of power, are now performing criminal acts, that they should not be able to easily commit, and then escape punishment for, with apparent impunity.

        In the many recent cases which involve policemen using unnecessary force or deliberately murdering black people for offenses which are really not that severe—there have been way too many cases where involved cops who abuse their authority may also use it to violently attack others.

        The incidents in Ferguson, Charleston, and elsewhere, impress me as cases where it is very likely that the police, or at least one certain policeman, used unnecessary force when the situation didn’t call for it.

        Trayvon did seem to be standing quite far away, and was actually signaling his surrender, right before being shot. and, while It’s true that, like anyone else, the police may sometimes panic and misjudge situations they are in, but statistically, the number of black Americans who are pulled over, arrested and imprisoned, is way out of kilter with the total number of African American in our population–so although many may not commit crimes, the evidence implies they, all too often, are the victims of police rather than victims of real violent criminals who may brandish a weapon—and there’s something wrong with. this picture!

        I believe the prejudice and tensions between black citizens and white policemen need to be seriously examined and that cops should have extra training about when not to racially profile suspects or use excessive force in situations which don’t call for it.

        Its also extremely difficult to properly punish many policemen who deliberately overstep their authority. But modern cell phone footage is helping clear up just who is at fault and who is not–cameras on the chests of policemen are a good idea and are now finally being used far too late.

        Not too long ago it was revealed that the attorney who argued for the policeman in front of a grand jury in ferguson, deliberately ignored established forms of protocol that should have been used openly in regards to what the jury was allowed to knew. I suspect cases of deliberate murder are much more rare than cases of abusive authority, which may be explained by frightened and overly defense policemen who lose their better judgement when under a great deal of pressure or stress, and overreact as a result.

        Many cops should be given the benefit of the doubt when explaining their actions, but that doesn’t justify any behavior that they should truly be appropriately punished for. There are many cases where they are at fault and have acted in ways that their training should have prevented them from doing. And the facts do indicate a lopsided defense of policemen who very likely abused their authority. So, whatever it takes for them to refrain from doing so, should be seriously pursued.

        In the more recent cases, (like the strangulation hold used by an officer who ended up killing his suspect, I think there are clear abuses done by the police, since police protocol specifically prohibited that officer from doing what he did. Black Americans definitely need to be heard since they are the ones most aware of their own mistreatment.

      • Thanks for your thoughts Peter W. Johnson. I agree with you in having cops carry mini-videos if possibly so that when they arrest suspects, we can be sure by seeing the video that they did their job right & that there was not excess force when they arrested. 1 thing that we can do in places such with high Black populations is to have more Black cops work in mostly Black neighborhoods so that we can have more trust. Yes, most White cops do a good job, only that with more Black cops working in mostly Black neighborhoods, we can have more trust.

        I also agree with you in having = punishment for a crime which means no cruel & unusual punishment meaning no mutilations such as it’s wrong to cut off hands & it is wrong to castrate. These cruel & unusual punishments was mentioned by me because they still happen in some nations such as Saudi Arabia & they must abolish this. Again, if you steal such as commit robbery, then you should go to prison for this. But maiming is wrong & must be abolished. Some other thoughts & hope you can reply.

        = treatment by law also means that if a White person is committs a crime, that there must be =& fair punishment if they’re guilty, with no cruel & unusual punishment. Also means that if a White person is innocent, then they should be acquitted or have the accusation dismissed. The 2006 Duke rape case comes to mind. The White men were falsely accused of raping a Black woman, but even after proof arose that they were innocent, there were people who wanted them convicted though they were innocent-there were even Whites who did not care that the Duke men were innocent.

        I would not be surprised if filmmaker Quentin J. Tarantino (¾ White & ¼ Cherokee) sees nothing wrong (did not see his movie Django Unchained-Pulp Fiction is the only Tarantino movie I have seen) sees nothing wrong with what C.G. Mangum’s (Duke accuser) did & didn’t care that the Duke Men were innocent as Mr. Q.J. Tarantino seems to have what some call ‘Recovering Southerner Syndrome’ or ‘Passover Syndrome’ as the White prosecutor did in the Duke case where he did not care that the White men were innocent of raping a Black woman, he just cared about his image of he takes seriously crimes against Blacks even if it means prosecuting men he knew were innocent.

        Peter W. Johnson, here’s copy/paste or copy&paste I did in 2013 on CG Mangum (Duke accuser) after she was convicted of murdering her boyfriend. -Money gave the Duke men an advantage in that rich people can recover faster from this as they can afford better lawyers but what saved them is the fact that DNA tests disproved Crystal Gail Mangum. Had the men she falsely accused been poor esp. poor Black men, then the possibility is more of conviction as they would not be able to afford the best lawyers, would likely have public defenders.

        Crytal Gail Mangum had problems long before her Duke false accusation such as Crystal Gail Mangum’s a junky who used crack, drunk driving and she had drug/alcohol problems. If she had been prosecuted and convicted of being a false accuseress, then it’s possible the man she killed would still be alive today. She only got 88 days in jail for her 2010 child abuse conviction when she should have gotten more punishment. Crystal Gail Mangum had problems long before her Duke accusation and her problems worsened after. There are people who side with Crystal Gail Mangum even after it was proven she lied.

        Something else to regard. It’s possible that Crystal Gail Mangum had threatened or even committed assault & battery on her boyfriend, only that he tolerated it until it got him murdered. It is known that if a woman slaps her husband or even stabs her husband or boyfriend, men are more likely to tolerate this.

        Crystal Gail Mangum had a history before the day she murdered her boyfriend and her problems were not solved. Do not be surprised if Crystal Gail Mangum’s boyfriend believed that he could handle Crystal Gail Mangum’s abuse if it’s true that there were other domestic violence incidents. If it’s true that Crystal Gail Mangum had committed assault & battery on her boyfriend or had threatened him before with a knife, then he should have called the cops. Hopefully she would have been convicted, gotten counseling to change her conduct (if it succeeds). But he did not do this and in the end it got him murdered.

        Anyhow, it’s possible that there are other things which Crystal Gail Mangum did. Hope you have thoughts because the Duke case is old news. I agree that her false accusation had no relevance to the murder trial and prosecution did not raise this. Crystal Gail Mangum was judged mainly on the facts of the murder case and again the jury convicted her of Murder 2 and she will spend @least 14 years in prison (believe with credit given for time incarcerated). Hope you have thoughts to this.

      • Abner, I haven’t followed all the cases you mention above, but I do remember the Duke (lacrosse?) team being found innocent of raping a black woman at a party.

        Whenever there’s a miscarriage of justice, we need to question why. And in the cases of rape among college students, it does happen far too often than it should. In most rape cases, women who were assaulted are usually the one’s who are criticised and demeaned by others. Many of them don’t come forward for fear of all the negative publicity and the emotional trauma of trying to face their attackers in court. Continually women victims of rape are stereotyped as nymphomaniacs or revenge seekers in order to nullify their comments–even if they truly were attacked after clearly saying NO!

        likewise, even though a black person may be arrested for committing a serious crime, his guilt or innocence may depends on how some jurors feel about the color of his skin. I am not attempting to paint all black people as angels or poor innocents who have been mistreated and condemned by society–for sure sometimes a black person, or a person belonging to any racial group, is treated fairly and tried fairly for committing a crime, but statistically, the evidence is overwhelming that black people are stopped, arrested, imprisoned, and/or beaten by cops, in much larger numbers than are whites men or wealthy whites men. And numerical evidence clearly proves that black arrests, (although I have no numbers on hand), are way out of line than anything that can be accounted for when considering the much smaller numbers of black Americans in the general populations.

        Black offenders ARE much more often racially profiled and harassed by the police, than white people are, or even than many other different minority groups are. I woud guess too, that cases of excessive force on the part of cops, are more often directed towards black people who are beaten or shot for no reason, like many cases in the news reveal. So when one expresses anger over the fact that some women do manufacture accusations of rape, or that there is just cause for the police to harass and arrest black men at a far greater rates than other racial groups—sometimes legal actions ARE warranted in regards prosecuting black men, or towards discrediting loose women are really seeking revenge. But much more often, women who accuse men of rape, or black men who complain about police brutality, or of being arrested and convicted unfairly largely because of their race, are warranted—even though sometimes, as with anyone, suspects representing and all races are tried and imprisoned correctly, with valid evidence and fair trials.

        But, justice like this is a matter of degrees and statistically relevant information. So any defendant may truthfully be found guilty, and any African American MAY commit crimes he or she is truly are guilty of—the statistics are way out of line and unbalanced in regards to evidence about police harassment of innocent black suspects who are assumed to be guilty based on the color of their skin. So there is a real reason why some of them feel they have been given a bad shake by the society they live in—because they are!

        I think its also important to remember that our laws can be written to be unfair, untrue, and be falsely used to convict innocent people—as well as, used as justifications for all sorts of extreme punishments based on misleading evidence. Our society should always be judged by the level of its humanity which should include compassion and mercy provided for even the poorest among us, as well as the right to equal treatment under the law—If we are to expect mercy from others and for ourselves,

        Many studies have acknowledged anti-homosexual sentiments and represent, more or less, 10% of our population. But, ducking our heads in the sand, is not a good way to deal with such an important issue, and, we can’t continue to punish anyone just for having biological differences.

        In closing I’d like to mention the famous novel by Victor Hugo, which was also made into a movie musical. It portrays pre-revolutionary France as a corrupt and ruthless word in which the main character is tried and sentenced to 20 years of hard labor for simply stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving child. The only character who is truly virtuous is a Priest who gladly feeds the hero (played by Hugh Jackman), as an act of compassion soon after he is released from prison. Jackman’s character steals some gold candlesticks and other valuable objects from the Priest’s church when he leaves. But he is soon caught by authorities who view this stolen treasure, and haul him (Jackman), back in front of the Priest to try to determine if the golden valuables were stolen from the Priest’s church by Jackman. Showing rare compassion, the Priest, (who perceives that Jackman’s character has suffered enough), says (NO) And insists that Jackman must own them.The Priest helping Jackman character be set free, shows the only compassionate that Jackman has ever known and, then, insists on letting him take the gold candlesticks and other valuables so he can sell them for money.

        So here was a case, where a trivial crime was actually committed and paid for by Jackson, with 20 years of hard labor. The police and courts showed no mercy but one lone priest decided to do a truly Christian act, and show that human love and compassion are really more precious than all he gold on earth. And as Christ would have him do, he takes pity on jackman’s character and allows him to get away with a crime.

        What I get from this, is that the letter of the law should not eclipse the spirit of it, and that sometimes true justice demands the quality of mercy over worldly property. Our legal system also needs to keep these principles in mind and see beyond stereotypes, while insisting on treating others with compassion, and refusing to make punishment more important than compassion and mercy. To do this we must be aware of the poor treatment faced by women who are raped, and the unnecessary racial stereotypes that ultimately costs too many men their lives, because this is a cost that many of them absolutely don’t deserve!

  5. This post will not be copy&paste. Grand Jury decided not to indict cop & they decided this after reviewing proof. There was controversy over St. Louis Rams putting their hands up during an NFL game & the St. Louis police wanted the players sanctioned and here is my view. If the St. Louis Rams wanted to protest the grand jury decision to not indict the cop as citizens outside game hours, then I support their free speech right to do this. But NFL game is to play football & they need to be neutral during game as it’s not relevant to sport. They should just have played football and not make any comments.

    Writing that, I do not believe the NFL should punish the St. Louis Rams players though what the players did was wrong. The NFL should inform the St. Louis Ram players that if they want to protest, then do it as citizens outside the game because a football game is to play sports to entertain. I don’t watch that much NFL anymore-only 3 or 4 NFL games a season which includes Superbowl and have only seen 2 NFL games in the 2014-15 season-Texans vs. Cowboys game and the Steelers vs. Chiefs game. Ever since the 2011 strike, I don’t watch that much NFL.

    Getting back to this, while I believe the NFL should only give a warning and not sanction the St. Louis Rams players for putting their hands up during a game, let’s be honest. The NFL is to my knowledge not sanctioning the players because what they did is politically safe. If an NFL player had let’s say made comments against homosexuality as a citizen outside game hours on his free time, homosexual & lesbian groups would demand that NFL punish the NFL players who make these comments as they would offend homosexual groups. Sports commentators such as ESPN would lecture the NFL players for saying things which offended homosexuals & don’t be surprised if the NFL players would be suspended. There’s alot of political safeness when it comes to free speech.

  6. Rest is copy&paste but needs to be repeated. The NFL is not sanctioning the players because what they did is politically safe. If an NFL player had let’s say made comments against homosexuality as a citizen outside game hours on his free time, homosexual & lesbian groups would demand that NFL punish the NFL players who make these comments as they would offend homosexual groups. Sports commentators such as ESPN would lecture the NFL players for saying things which offended homosexuals & don’t be surprised if the NFL players would be suspended. There’s alot of political safeness when it comes to free speech.

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